§ MR. LEADER
begged to say, that he thought it most inconvenient that they should that night proceed to read the Bill a second time. The division which took place on the subject was not a fair division; it did not fairly represent the feeling of the House. Wednesday was considered a day for private business, for Railway Bills and similar measures, but not for a Bill of such importance as that to which they were then called upon to give their assent. The hon. Member for Knaresborough might not agree with him in suggesting this postponement, for he was supposed to think the manufacturers the most detestable beings on earth; but he trusted the House would agree with him that they ought not then to read the Bill a second time. Why proceed with it that night—why not appoint next Wednesday for the second reading? He merely mentioned Wednesday, because it unfortunately happened that that was the only day on which the measure had been discussed; and, in fact, he thought that unless the second reading of the Bill was fixed for Monday or Friday, it was utterly impossible that there could be a fair expression of the opinion of the House upon it.
§ MR. FERRAND
said, that the hon. Member had said that he had stated in that House that the manufacturers were the most detestable beings on the earth. Now, such words never fell from his lips. If they had, he should have been ashamed of himself; and as attacks of this kind had often been made upon him, he begged to 297 say that no man had a higher opinion of the manufacturers as a body than he had. He had many friends among them, and he knew many of them who were a blessing to the neighbourhoods in which they lived.
§ MR. BICKHAM ESCOTT
said, his opinion with respect to this Bill, to a certain degree coincided with that of the hon. Member for Westminster (Mr. Leader); but he was bound to say that he felt on deliberation that the House ought to take the vote of Wednesday last as a vote on the second reading. Therefore he should not offer any opposition to the second reading then; but he begged to give notice, that on the Motion that the Speaker leave the chair on going into Committee, he should consider it a fair opportunity for taking the sense of the House; and it would be his humble duty to move that the House go into Committee that day six months.
§ Bill read a second time.