HC Deb 30 July 1840 vol 55 cc1159-60

Mr. Labouchere moved that the House resolve itself into committee on the Linen Manufactures (Ireland) Bill.

Mr. Warburton

thought that this bill should be proceeded with this Session. Some of the clauses were undoubtedly good, but others were exceedingly stringent. They were taken from an old Eng- lish act of 1774, when these matters were not very closely looked into; and before they extended them to Ireland, they ought to obtain the opinions of their utility from the operatives as well as from the masters. Some of the clauses were so important, and so loosely drawn, that they could not be properly amended at this period of the Session, when bills came upon the House like lightning, and it was absolutely impossible, with the utmost industry, to go through and correct all the minute details. He hoped, therefore, that the bill would be withdrawn for the Session, and brought forward at an early period of the next Session. He would, therefore, move, that the bill be committed that day three months.

Mr. Labouchere

said, nothing would have induced him to propose the bill, if he had not been assured that it met with the consent not only of the master manufacturers of the north of Ireland, but also of the operatives, who had all made representations to him, that unless some measure were passed, the manufacturers would be much injured. The objections of his hon. Friend would be better considered in committee, but in the main the bill only extended to Ireland the law of England, which was indeed an old law, but actually in beneficial operation. Of course, if his hon. Friend persevered in his objection, he could not press the bill, but considering the urgency and importance of some remedy, he hoped that his hon. Friend would withdraw his amendment.

Mr. Wakley

said, he had never before met with laws so stringent in their operation as those in the 10th section of this act. He admitted the necessity of protecting the property of the manufacturers in Ireland; but what was wanted was a just law, one not more stringent than the necessity of the case required. This bill, however gave the officer a power of search without a warrant, and the householder resisting such an aggression was subject to a penalty of 5l. He hoped if they went into committee the right hon. Gentleman would strike out the 11th clause, and restrict the operation of the bill till the 1st of May next, in order that they might fully legislate on the question next Session.

Amendment withdrawn, and the House went through committee.