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I am permitted to speak on upon the among the members of a popular assembly. present occasion ; and if any one doubts it, I will state a case in point. I might refer to a very eminent and very the House sustained a heavy loss—and I useful Member of this House—the late a much heavier loss than any other Mr. Joseph Hume-who introduced the hon. Member-in the removal for eversubject on a similar occasion. I may state more of a dear and lamented friend of that I have not mentioned to any Member mine, without whose presence here I feel the question I wish for a moment to bring myself almost alone. Well, for twentyunder the notice of the House, and I only, four years—from 1841 to 1865—he was therefore, am entirely responsible for men- a Member of this House, yet during the tioning it. I refer to the practice which whole of that period he felt himself rehas prevailed for generations, I suppose, strained from accepting any official invitaand which obtains even to this time, of re- tion either from Viscount Eversley, when quiring that Members of the House who he held the office of Speaker, or from the accept invitations to the official dinners right hon. Gentleman below me (Mr. or evening parties of the Speaker should Denison) while he has occupied the Chair. appear either in court dress or uniform. Now, my lamented friend was not a man Many Members of this House may think of eccentricities; he was a man to whose this is a very trifling matter, and I do not merit the whole world has borne testiintend to contest it with them ; but if any mony, and posterity will say that he was body does think it trifling, I hope he will one of the most eminent men who ever not refuse to concede that the matter is adorned the Parliament of this country. one for fair consideration. My own im. But so strongly did he feel on this question pression is that this custom is a little out that he was restrained during the whole of date, especially among the Members of of that twenty-four years from dining with a popular Assembly. There are, I believe, the Speaker of this House, or from at160 or 170 gentlemen coming to this Par-tending his official evening parties and liament who were not here in the last or levées. Well, there have been to my any preceding Parliament. Well, they certain knowledge other Members of this have not yet been initiated into these mat- House less eminent than he, but not less ters; but I think the fact of there being entitled to be regarded in a matter of this 80 many new Members here makes it the kind, who have entertained the same more proper that I should now mention feeling. I cannot, therefore, see why this this subject. The Speaker of this House point should be thought an absolute trifle, is only superior to any other Member by or, if it be a trifle, that even a small reason of our choice; and I cannot see-I minority should be forced to concur with believe no man living can see—that, ex- the majority in respect to it. If there be cept for this old custom, there is any neces- any country gentleman who likes to appear sity or advantage in the Speaker being in decorated apparel, or if there be any compelled by this practice to require that homely manufacturer from the North who all Members of this House who accept his is gratified by figuring in the blazing garinvitations should appear in court dress ments of a deputy-lieutenant, I do not or in military costume. It may be thought object to it in the least. I should like mean to speak of cost. In a House where every man to please himself in this matter. there are so many rich men—and all are sup- But if there are some of us, as is the case posed to be rich who come here—I do not with myself, and, I believe, many more, speak of cost; but I remember an hon. Mem- who would like to make their appearance ber holding the rank of a colonel in the in a quieter costume, with less that is army once complaining, and complaining, gorgeous and astounding about them, why too, with a seriousness of manner, that it should not their taste be gratified also ? had taken fifty guineas to put him inside This is not a subject which I expect the a suitable dress in which to appear at the House to debate, nor do I even say that Speaker's table. That may be thought it is worth debating. I throw it out only by many to be a small matter, and perhaps as a suggestion which I trust my right it is ; but if our Speaker is but the first hon. Friend who is about, with the unani. among equals, and is made what he is in mous consent of the House, to take the honour and dignity by the choice of the Chair, will consider. And if he can House, I see no necessity why—even if abolish this Act of Uniformity and estabsuch things be necessary in the circles of lish an Act of Toleration, so that, proCourts such a practice should be retained vided we appear at the entertainments of the Speaker as we should at the houses of by a unanimous voice, might unduly eleeach other if invited to dine there, we vate me in my own imagination, had I not should not be thought to transgress the a strong and abiding sense of many imrules of the House, I believe that then perfections and shortcomings; and I attrisome small burden will be removed from bute the favour of the House, to its proper the minds of some Members, and that the cause—its too indulgent appreciation of dignity of the Speaker will in no degree my imperfect services. That I have enbe impaired.
deavoured to do my duty as a zealous THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE and faithful servant of the House I can QUER: I do not rise for the purpose of truly say. What I have been able to do saying anything in addition to the speech you know, and it would not become me of the right hon. Gentleman the Member to enlarge upon it. Neither would you for Limerick, for that is quite unnecessary, wish me to enter into professions for the but to say a single word, as definitely as the future. I will not, therefore, detain you subject will admit of, to the suggestion of with one unnecessary word, but simply the hon. Member for Birmingham. He say that I submit myself with all respect has incidentally called the attention of the to the desire of the House. House, as it may have been quite com
The House then unanimously calling petent for him to do, to a matter which
Mr. EVELYN DENISON to the Chair, he was may undoubtedly be connected with the convenience, and probably also with the taken out of his place by the said Right feelings and opinions, of some hon. Mem-honourable William Monsell, and the bers of this House ; but I think the House Right honourable Earl Grosvenor, and by in general will feel that my right hon. them conducted to the Chair. Friend (Mr. Denison), whom it is pro- Then Mr. SPEAKER ELECT, standing posed to elect to a most important office in on the upper step, said: I return my this House, could not be expected by the thanks to the House once more from this House, and could not be expected espe- Chair. On looking round the House I cially by the hon. Member for Birmingham miss—we all miss-one familiar face. The -I will not say to express off-hand a House has sustained a great loss. We have judgment on a matter of this grave im- lost him who was the foremost man among portance, but to commit himself in any us, the leader of this House-who, by his way with regard to it without having a great abilities, his long experience, and a very full opportunity for consideration. I rare combination of qualities, had con. would, therefore, only add that I am ciliated to himself in a remarkable degree satisfied that any communication which the confidence of this House. We remem. any hon. Gentleman may have to make, ber often when, after long sittings, the paeither now or at any future time, to my tience of the House was well-nigh wearied right hon. Friend touching the dignity or out, how his good temper, his genial spirit, the comfort of any Member of this House smoothed the ruffled surface, and sent us will receive the fullest consideration at to our homes at peace with each other and the hands of the right hon. Gentleman, with him. I do not propose to speak an with his accustomed courtesy and kind- eulogium on Lord Palmerston. The House ness.
will permit me these few words of regret, The House then calling Mr. EVELYN of esteem, and of grateful friendship. Of DENISON to the Chair
the great body of the House, my Col. MR. EVELYN DENISON stood up in leagues in past Parliaments, whom I am his place and said: I offer my respectful happy to see again around me, I ask a rethanks to the House for the honour they newal of that generous support which they propose to confer upon me. I am much have on former occasions afforded me. beholden to my right hon. Friend and my There is a large number of Members prenoble Friend for the manner in which sent who have seats in this House for the they have proposed and seconded my first time. They succeed to no ignoble nomination to the Chair. I can hardly inheritance. I would venture to say to venture to assume to myself much of them that the fame of this House, both the commendation which they have been for the conduct of debates and the transpleased to pass upon me. The favour of action of business, depends, in no small the House, the gracious manner in which degree, on the rules and orders which it that favour has been bestowed by its choice has formed for its own government. A of me to fill the Chair, for the third time, study of these rules would be useful to
every Member, and the better they are the House of a number of men who had known the more certain I should feel of attained distinction and acquired authority general co-operation in my endeavour to under the old Parliamentary system. From uphold them. If any difficulty connected year to year, from Parliament to Parliawith the business of the House should ment, one by one, they have passed away. present itself to any Member, I hope he So lately as on the last occasion when you, will do me the favour to communicate Sir, were chosen to fill that Chair, there with me. I shall always be happy to re- were still remaining here three persons ceive him and to confer with him in the who had attained to great Parliamentary spirit of frank and friendly counsel. distinction, and who had filled high offices
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHE- before the passing of the Reform Bill. I QUER: Mr. Speaker-I presume, Sir, in mean, first, my noble Friend Lord Rusmy own name, and I am sure I may say sell, who has been removed, in acknowin the name of the whole of the Members ledgment of his public services, to the of this House, to tender to you our most other House of Legislature; secondly, my cordial congratulations on your having been right hon. Friend Sir James Graham, than for the third time, by the unanimous voice whom few, indeed, of the Members of of this House, placed at the head of the this House made more valuable contriCommons of England. Sir, you have suc-butions to the conduct of its public busiceeded to the Chair amid growing duties ness; and the last person to whom I allude, and growing responsibilities. The wants of and the most eminent of them in respect modern society make themselves felt within to the place he occupied in the favour and these walls, both by the increasing amount attachment of this House, I need hardly of public business and by the increasing mention-Lord Palmerston. After what has amount also of what we term the private been so well said by my right hon. Friend business of the House. Your duties in the behind me, and by yourself, Sir, I need latter respect are in a great degree with hardly dilate on the character of that disdrawn from the observation of the world, tinguished man, the more especially as it and partially withdrawn even from the may be my duty very shortly to make a observation of the Members of this House; proposition to the House which will natu. but the long experience of those conversant rally introduce the subject.
But one thing with that important branch of our occupa- I will venture to say. You, Sir, have tions has convinced them that that depart- glanced at the loss which you yourself exment has never been more carefully and perienced by the lamented death of so more efficiently attended to than during great and experienced a statesman. There the period while you, Sir, have occupied is one person at least in the House who the Chair. As regards the public business may venture to compete with you in the of the House, all those who hear me, and, sense of that loss, and that is the humble I may add, the public out of doors, are individual who has the honour now to adcompetent judges of the manner in which dress you, considering the responsibilities you sustained your arduous functions, and which have devolved on him. Sir, we which has been borne testimony to with a have, as was to be expected after the lapse force far beyond any that can be expressed of so many years during which the late by words—by the silent and unanimous Parliament existed, an unusual number of vote of the House which has now placed Gentlemen chosen for the first time to the you in the Chair. But it is true that in high duty of representing the interests of some respects you have difficulties to con- their country within these walls. But front even beyond those arising out of the there is amazing strength in the traditions constantly increasing calls on the time, of this House, and there is unequalled apdiligence, and wisdom of the House. We titude among English Gentlemen for con, have seen within a generation a great forming to the spirit of those traditions. It change in the composition of this House, is remarkable to observe, from Parliament and likewise a great change in the com- to Parliament, how little those who watch position of those constituencies by whom it our proceedings from without, or those was chosen. At the period of the Reform who take part in those proceedings within Act the transition which this House then these walls are able to remark any differunderwent (the effect of the important ence in the firmness and regularity and alterations of a constitutional character discipline with which the House discharges then made), was immensely softened by its high functions, in consequence of the the continuing presence on the Benches of infusion of new Members which constantly follows a dissolution; and, however much passions may contrive to raise an indi. we may lament the loss of those distin- vidual to the elevated post you now guished men to whom I have referred, we occupy, but they cannot keep him there, may still reflect that there remain among Sir. For that result the possession of us, on both sides of the House, men whose great and personal qualities is necessary ability, experience, character, and weight -natural courtesy, adequate learning, will enable them to afford you efficient aid firmness and impartiality, and, above in the discharge of those arduous duties all, that inspiring sense of honour which which will devolve, Sir, upon you. We is our surest guide in the perplexities of may, Sir, presume to look forward with public life, and which ever has been, and, confidence to the continuance of that vigi. I trust, erer will be, the characteristic lant jealousy for the liberties, and that high of English gentlemen. It is because the regard for the honour of this Assembly, House sees that you, Sir, possess those which are the two main pillars of the dig- qualities that you have been re-elected to nity and efficiency of the House. You, the Chair for the third time this day; Sir, will contribute your share from the and it is because we feel on this side of elevated position you now occupy to the the House that you possess those qualities accomplishment of that task, and we in that I am authorized, on behalf of Gentleour several spheres shall be ready to se- men here, to offer you the tribute of our re. cond you to the best of our ability. In con- spect and congratulation. I would not have clusion, allow me to express the wish that said more, had it not been for some unexhas already been uttered by my noble Friend pected allusions made to another subject. behind me, that health and strength may The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor be spared to you for many years to dis- of the Exchequer alluded to increased recharge the high functions to which you sponsibilities falling on him ; but I can have been called, in the manner most pleas-, assure the right hon. Gentleman of that of ing to your own mind, and in a way cal- which he need hardly be reminded; for, culated to elevate you to the highest de. though he appears now for the first time as gree in the eyes of the House and of the leader of this House, yet he has sat in it country.
for many years, and been one of its most MR. DISRAELI : I hope, Sir, I may eminent and distinguished Members: his be permitted, on behalf of Gentlemen on experience, then, must have taught him this side of the House, to offer you our that on all occasions, when the order and congratulations on the event, so gratifying honour of this House are concerned, the to the House, which has just occurred; leader of the House may appeal for support and the more so, as from the mode in to those sitting opposite to him with the which the business of this morning has same confidence as to the Members occu. been conducted, you might, if I were pying seats on his own side. Sir, I quite silent, for a moment suppose that your agree with the right hon. Gentleman that elevation to the Chair has been a matter there is one cause why on this occasion, in of indifference to us. I believe I am ex- the responsible office which he now occupressing a very general feeling on their pies, he may feel some distrust. I do not part when I say that regret is felt think that it is possible for us to re-assemhere that your nomination to the Chair ble under this roof-many of us who have was not seconded from this side. On sat in all the Parliaments of the Queen, and the previous occasion that mode was some of us who have been Members of the followed. There are, I believe, other pre. House during three reigns—and not feel cedents for such a course of proceeding emotion when they mark that the familiar under such circumstances ; and if prece- form which you, Sir, have referred to can dents did not exist, I think we ought to no longer be observed among us-a form have made one, because this is an occa- connected so intimately with the history sion on which the general and cordial of this country, and with the most importfeeling of the House could not be shown ant transactions of this House of Parin too striking and significant a manner. liament. It is impossible to deny that You have to-day, Sir, been re-elected to the disappearance of such a character the Chair for the third time. I have from the scene of so much sagacity, of so myself always been of opinion that re- much experience, and, I may say, of so election to the Chair is, in fact, a greater much fame-must in some degree, and distinction than the original choice. for some time, derogate from the authoPolitical maneuvres and Parliamentary rity even of the House of Commons. But,
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
Sir, it is not on this occasion that I wish THE LORD CHANCELLOR ;
Then MR. SPEAKER said,
“ With profound respect and gratitude hope that this present Parliament, in in- I bow to Her Majesty's commands. And telligence and public spirit, will not be it is now my duty, in the name and on inferior to the preceding Parliaments of the behalf of the Commons of the United this happy reign.
Kingdom, by humble Petition to Her
Majesty, to lay claim to their ancient
to freedom from arrest and molestation of
jesty whenever occasion shall require; and HOUSE OF LORDS, that the most favourable construction Friday, February 2, 1866.
should be put upon all their proceedings.
And for myself, I humbly pray that any
" We have it further in command to on a form placed between the Throne and the Woolsack, commanded the Yeoman
that Her Majesty most readily Usher of the Black Rod to let the Com. confirms all the rights and privileges which mons know “The Lords Commissioners have ever been granted to or conferred desire their immediate attendance in this upon the Commons by any of Her Royal House."
“ With respect to yourself, although Who being come;
Her Majesty is sensible that you stand in
no need of such assurance, Her Majesty SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
will ever put the most favourable con
struction upon your words and actions." PRESENTED AND APPROVED. ME. EVELYN DENISON, Speaker Then the Commons withdrew. Elect, said"My LORDS,
Several Lords—Took the Oath. "I have to acquaint your Lordships Several Lords-Took the Oath prescribed that, in obedience to Her Majesty's com
by the Act 10th Geo. IV. to be taken by mands
, Her Majesty's faithful Commons, Peers professing the Roman Catholic Rein the exercise of their undoubted right ligion. and privilege, have proceeded to the election of a Speaker, and that their choice
House adjourned at Five o'clock, to
Monday next, Three o'clock. has fallen upon myself. I now present myself at your Bar, and submit myself with all humility to Her Majesty's gracious approbation."