LORD J. RUSSELL
I stated at an early period of the day, that I would state this evening the course which Her Majesty's Government intended to take with regard to certain Bills which stand amongst the Orders of the Day. The first to which I shall direct the attention of the House is the Encumbered Estates (Ireland) Bill, the Committee on which stands for this evening. The object and intention of that Bill would be found, I am convinced, very beneficial to the country; but, from late inquiries that have been made upon the subject, it appears that very great alarm has been excited by it. Not an alarm occasioned by the special provisions of the Bill itself, but by the contemplation of new powers being given by an extensive measure of this kind. It is said, by persons well qualified to speak upon the subject, and well qualified, also, to be entitled to attention, that several millions sterling, which have been advanced upon mortgages of estates in Ireland, would be called in if this Bill were passed. If we were now in an early period of the Session, I think those objections could be removed, and the Bill appear unexceptionable; but at the present period of the Session I think it would be impossible to allay the alarm which exists. We think it necessary, therefore, to defer to another Session the further consideration of this Bill. There is another Bill which stands third upon the Orders of the Day, the Prisons Bill, which is likewise one that has passed through the other House of Parliament. The Secretary of State for the Home Department finds that the arrangements to be made under this Bill are not necessary to be carried into effect during the present Session. The further progress of it may therefore be postponed to another Session. Another Bill, which also was just introduced into the other House—I mean the Custody of Offenders Bill—it is proposed to go on with. A Bill which stands among the Orders for Wednesday, the Parliamentary Electors Bill, we will proceed with through the second reading. I propose to read it a second time; but it is not my intention to proceed further with it in the present Session than the Committee. With regard to the other Bills, the Polling at Elections (Ireland) Bill, the Navigation 1193 Bill, the Post Office Bill, and the other Bills that stand upon the Orders of the Day for to-night, we propose to go on with in the present Session.
§ Bill passed through Committee.
§ House resumed.