§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (The Earl of IDDESLEIGH)
My Lords, before your Lordships adjourn, I wish to refer to a matter about which there may be some mistake. There appears in the newspapers this morning a short correspondence between Mr. Broadhurst and myself with regard to a suggestion made by me that he should serve on the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the Depression of Trade. From Mr. Broadhurst's answer, it would appear that he considers that I had delayed the consideration of the question of labour representation until everything else had been settled. That, however, is not the case, and, in order that there may be no mistake in the matter, I wish to state that as soon as the communications with Mr. Shaw Lefevre and other Members of the late Government were concluded, I, for the first time, sent out a letter inviting other Gentlemen to join the Commission; and in the number that were asked were two 1869 Representatives from the working men. One was Mr. Birtwhistle, who represents the Lancashire weavers, who accepted; and the other was Mr. Burnett, Secretary of the Amalgamated Engineers, who declined. I did not take any further steps for some time, because I was anxious to see what Representatives I could get from the Party opposite; and until I had done that I did not like to make any other proposals. I mentioned, from the first, that I had invited two Representatives of the working men to take part in the Commission; and, therefore, I am not liable to the charge which Mr. Broadhurst makes in his letter.
§ House adjourned during pleasure, at 2.45 P.M.
§ House resumed at 7 P.M.
§ The Lord KINTORE—Chosen Speaker in the absence of the Lord Chancellor and the Lords Commissioners.
§ The following Bills were returned from the Commons with Amendments, and with Reasons for disagreeing to some of the Amendments made by their Lordships:—Housing of the Working Classes (England) Bill; Labourers (Ireland) (No. 2) Bill; and Poor Law Unions' Officers (Ireland) Bill.
§ On the Motion of The Lord HARRIS, the said Amendments and Reasons ordered to be printed, and to be considered To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, Two o'clock.