There's no concept of a "paused" consumer in AMQP itself (let alone spring-amqp or SI).
One thing you could do is add an advice to the listener container's advice-chain that would suspend the container's threads, but it's important to understand that each thread would be paused when a message arrives and you'd have an in-process delivery running on each thread. When the maintenance period is over, the advice would let the threads proceed.
auto-delete queues are a little scary to me in this environment; if you don't want the queue to be deleted during this maintenance period, it would seem you wouldn't want it deleted if, say, the consumer failed for some reason.
Gary P. Russell
Spring Integration Team
SpringSource, a division of VMware