§ Order for Second Reading read.
, having presented several petitions in favour of the Cattle and Sheep (Ireland) Bill, moved the second reading of the Bill. He considered that, in doing so, it would be only necessary to state some facts briefly for the necessity of the Bill, and to show how fearfully this crime had increased. In 1845, the number of offences under this head, reported by the constabulary, was 620; in 1846, the number reported was 3,025; and in 1847, they had risen to the startling number of 10,044, out of which only about 1,500 convictions occurred. It was not owing entirely to distress that an increase had arisen in that particular class of crime, but the fact was, that evil-disposed persons, who were to be found in every community, had availed themselves of the distress to commit depredations. The evil, he regretted to say, had materially increased during the last year. Mr. Baron Lefroy, in his address to the jury at the 1105 Galway assizes, stated that the number of cases on the calendar was 764, of which there were 115 for sheep and cattle stealing, and 57 for cow stealing; and added that, although it might, in a great degree, he attributed to the failure of the potato crop, it could not be longer endured, now that efforts had been made to alleviate distress in Ireland. Mr. Baron Richards had also stated to the grand jury of the county of Kerry, that cattle and sheep stealing was on the increase, and that some effort should be made to put a stop to it. He begged to call the attention of the House to several letters which he had received from magistrates, and others, not only from places where distress existed, but from the county of Wicklow, which was peculiarly exempted in that respect, and which was remarkable for its good order, stating that scarcely a night passed without depredations being committed; and that, although the guilty parties were in most cases known, a conviction could not be obtained under the law as it now stood. The usual practice, after stealing the animal, was to skin it, and cut it up, and to destroy or dispose of the skin in order to prevent identification. One letter, dated the 13th of April, 1849, from a gentleman resident in the county of Clare, stated that, within half a mile of him, one farmer, in the course of last year, had lost 80 sheep by night depredators; and another, living five miles off, had lost 140 sheep in the same way. Another letter, from a magistrate in Kilkenny, expressed his approbation of the Bill, and his opinion that it was required by the present circumstances of the country, and the loss sustained by the small farmers, who generally concurred in its becoming the law of the land. The present Bill was merely the revival of an old one, which was repealed by the 9th of Geo. IV., c. 55, and which was in operation in Ireland for many years. It was generally regretted by all parties that it had ever been repealed. The Bill was introduced, in 1839, by Lord Morpeth and Mr. Pigott, and although there were only 272 cases of cattle and sheep stealing reported by the constabulary in the previous year, the Government deemed that a sufficient cause to recommend the passing of the measure. He, therefore, thought, when he showed by returns that there were now as many as 10,000 cases, that he was entitled to ask the Government to support the present Bill. A statute similar to this was to be 1106 found in the 7th and 8th of Geo. IV., which enacts, among other things, that every one to whose possession meat suspected of being stolen was to be traced, should be made to account for it in the same way as the present Bill provided. An enactment of a similar nature was to be found in force in Ireland as regarded timber. Now, he thought he had shown that it was not asking too much of legislation to endeavour to mitigate the dreadful evil which was so ruinous to the farmers in Ireland. It was the general wish of the inhabitants of Ireland at large, both of proprietors and small farmers—more particularly those very small farmers whose sheep were so few, and whose flocks were so small, that they could not afford to pay for watchmen to protect them during the night against nocturnal depredators—that this Bill should pass into a law. In corroboration of that he had a resolution, passed at the quarter-sessions of Water-ford, signed by the Lord Lieutenant of the county, and by every magistrate there present. A number of petitions had been also presented in favour of the Bill, including not less than twelve grand juries of Ireland. It had attracted very considerable attention in this country, and all with whom he had communicated on the subject had concurred with him in opinion that the Bill should pass into a law. He hoped that the House would permit the principle of the Bill at least to pass into a law, which placed the onus probandi on the person in whose possession meat suspected to have been stolen was found, of showing that he lawfully and honestly came by the same.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ SIR G. GREY
said, he was afraid, notwithstanding what had fallen from the hon. Member for Kildare at the conclusion of his speech, he should still feel it necessary to give his opposition to the Bill. He certainly did intend on the part of the Government to have given the Bill, it its present shape, his most decided opposition; but, even with modifications, he did not see that the principles involved ought to enter into the legislation of the country. The hon. Gentleman had stated the extent to which the crime of sheep and cattle stealing had increased, and the number of cases which had been prosecuted, leaving a considerable number still behind, which could not be prosecuted for want of suffi- 1107 cient evidence to convict. But on that part of the question he (Sir G. Grey) had not a single observation to offer at present. What he did remark in the hon. Gentleman's speech was, that he had not stated what was the nature and provisions of the Bill, further than merely telling the House that it would throw the onus probandi on the party accused. He did certainly state that the Bill was a transcript of one introduced by his noble Friend the Earl of Carlisle, and the present Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer; but whether it was so or not, that could have but little weight with him if he thought the Bill objectionable, and that he ought to oppose it. He thought the first clause was objectionable as re-enacting what was at that moment the law of the land, that justices of the peace, or magistrates, on being informed that stolen property was suspected to be in a certain place, should be empowered to issue a search warrant. That was already the law of the land, and he should certainly object to re-enacting it, as though there existed any doubt upon the point. But then the Bill proceeded to enact, that the search warrant being issued, and search made, the individual in whose possession any piece of fat beef or veal was found, should be dragged before the justice or sitting magistrate, who, without any discretion whatever as to the evidence that might be offered on the occasion, was bound to commit him to the common gaol for safe keeping till the beginning of the ensuing sessions. With such a clause as that, and with such another as threw the burden of evidence on the accused party, he did not see how the House could pass this Bill. When he had read it through, he intimated to the hon. Gentleman and his friends the objections which he entertained against the Bill, and that he could not consent to it in its present state; but the hon. Gentleman himself admitted the objections which he then named to him, and his recommendation therefore now was, that the hon. Member should withdraw this Bill, in order to introduce another for the same purpose, but with provisions of a different character. If a Bill were introduced on this subject, awarding to those convicted on proper evidence a limited amount of imprisonment, he was not disposed to object to it. He saw no reason to doubt that jurisdiction might advantageously be given to magistrates when parties were called upon to give an account of the mode in which property came into 1108 their possession. He could not help thinking, however, that the hon. Gentleman, in the facts which he had stated, had rather overlaid his case. He had stated that this offence had very greatly increased. Now, it certainly did appear that the commitments for sheepstealing, which in 1844 were 352, had increased to 2,830 in 1848; and there was no doubt that a very considerable loss had been sustained by the farmers of Ireland. But he must remind the hon. Gentleman, that out of these 2,830 commitments, 1,574 persons had been convicted, which showed that the difficulty of procuring a conviction was not so great as had been represented. The hon. Gentleman had spoken of an organised gang of sheepstealers, who were perfectly well known in the country, and who committed nightly depredations. He had stated that footsteps had been traced from the places where the sheep were killed to the houses where these persons resided, and that the remains of the sheep found in these houses had been proved to correspond with the fleece which had been left behind, In a case that occurred in his (Sir G. Grey's) recollection, blood had been found on the knees of parties, and on other parts of their dress; and he did not mean to say that under these circumstances there would be much difficulty in inducing a jury in England to believe that such persons were guilty of the offence of sheepstealing, although it was impossible for the plundered party to swear that a particular piece of mutton was his own property. If, however, the hon. Gentleman would analyse the 1,574 cases in which convictions were obtained, he believed that he would find many instances in which the owner could not swear to the identity of the mutton, and he thought that if greater care were taken in conducting the prosecution and getting up the evidence, the difficulties of a conviction would be much lessened. At the same time, he was aware that there might be cases in which it would be impossible to effect that object, as he was told that Irish juries were more indisposed to convict upon moral proof than English juries were. Under these circumstances, he was not prepared to say that, if a Bill were brought forward as a temporary measure, and limited to sheepstealing only, because no case had been made out for including cattle within its provisions, he should be indisposed to assent to the introduction of such a measure. If, therefore, the hon. Gentleman would withdraw this Bill, and bring 1109 in another limited to sheep, or if he would consent to go into Committee pro formâ, for the purpose of striking out those parts of the Bill which related to cattle, he should be sorry to offer the hon. Gentleman's views any obstruction. In assenting to this course, however, it must be distinctly understood that he should feel it to be his duty to object to the other provisions of the Bill.
§ MR. SHARMAN CRAWFORD
should oppose the second reading of the Bill, believing that it would rather increase and perpetuate than diminish the evil complained of, and because that in Ireland, at least, persons convicted of this offence did not care for the infliction of the utmost punishment which the law awarded. In support of this view, he would mention the case of the trial of four young men for sheepstealing, who pleaded guilty, and besought an assistant barrister who tried them to transport them, as, if they were liberated after a short imprisonment, they must commit some other crime, in order to provide the means of subsistence, for they were starving. He acceded to their prayer, and they were all transported for seven years, which seemed to gratify them exceedingly. This Bill provided that a suspected person might be brought before a magistrate, and if he could not show how the property came into his possession, and there was reason to think he had not come by it honestly, that he might be committed for not less than three months, or until a fine of 5l. was paid. Why, this would induce persons to commit the offence, in order that they might obtain a comfortable asylum in prison. He opposed the Bill, and recommended its withdrawal, because he believed it would be altogether inoperative. Arbitrary laws might be necessary; and he, for one, would support such laws if they were likely to do good; but this measure was not of that class. From the facts quoted by the hon. Gentleman who had introduced the Bill, it appeared that the great cause of crime was absolute famine. Was it right, therefore, he (Mr. S. Crawford) asked, to pass a law like this against such a people as the Irish? The law as it stood was, in his mind, sufficient for the punishment of the persons with whom this Bill proposed to deal. Such palliatives would not do for Ireland. Great and sweeping measures would alone save that country from absolute ruin.
§ MR. GROGAN
agreed with some of the arguments used by the hon. Member for Rochdale; but he did not agree with him in his conclusions. Because a few persons, who found that their ill repute prevented them from subsisting at home, wished to be transported when they were convicted, was property to be left at their mercy?—for his argument amounted to this. Was, therefore, no remedy to be applied to a glaring and monstrous evil? He denied that the increase of sheepstealing had arisen from the state of the country. It was true, poverty had increased; but he attributed the increase of this particular crime rather to the laxity of the law. He maintained that the crime of sheepstealing had been gradually growing and increasing; and he thought it was the duty of the House to take measures to suppress it. Many private Members had ineffectually taken up the subject; but, in his opinion, its importance demanded that it should be looked into by Government. The criminal returns of Ireland proved, beyond all doubt, that the farmers suffered terribly from the depredations of thieves, and he should cordially support the Bill.
§ MR. J. O'CONNELL
believed that this Bill would operate rather as an incentive to crime than as a prevention. After what the hon. Member for Rochdale had said, it was clear that if the House held out a prospect of a competent provision in gaol for three months, the offences against which this Bill was intended to guard, would not be diminished. If a measure of repression were necessary, let some well-digested permanent measure be introduced instead of the present Bill, which was confessedly of a temporary character. As he believed that the Bill would defeat its own object, he, for one, would vote for the Amendment.
§ VISCOUNT BERNARD
supported the Bill, and referred to a memorial which had been sent up in its favour from the grand jury of Cork.
§ MR. BRIGHT
said, the House seemed to argue upon the presumption that no Irishman could have any mutton in his house; because, according to the Bill, if any Irishman had any animal food therein, it was immediately to be suspected that it was dishonestly come by. The right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department had pointed out many defects in the Bill; and he (Mr. Bright) 1111 was at a loss to understand why, under such circumstances, the right hon. Baronet should consent even to a second reading. It was evidently a Bill that was quite intolerable, and one that could not be assented to for a single moment. The principle of the Bill was most absurd and unjust; there were also clauses in the Bill, and, looking on it in the most favourable light of which it was capable, he must say, that it appeared to be of such a nature as the House could never assent to. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary had shown no great necessity for any alteration in the law; for he said that out of upwards of 2,000 cases, more than 1,500 convictions had been obtained. The evil arose from the extraordinary distress which prevailed in certain parts of Ireland at this moment; and his opinion was, that, if they were to pass a law like the one proposed, they would lay open the population to informers, and to all the evil consequences of informers, to a degree that would produce an amount of irritation, and, probably, according to the custom which had prevailed in some parts of Ireland, of vindictive retaliation, which would only be worse than the evil which they attempted to remedy. He confessed that he could not support the Bill after what had been said against it by the right hon. the Home Secretary. It appeared to him that the Bill was exceedingly like one introduced by the hon. Baronet the Member for the city of Water-ford some time ago as to summary convictions; and he was only sorry that the hon. Member, in bringing forward a measure for the preservation of property in Ireland, should have brought forward a Bill which the House could not entertain, and which would aggravate the evils he was intending to remedy.
§ SIR H. W. BARRON
said, that it was the small class of farmers in Ireland who were particularly affected by this systematic sheepstealing which had taken place in almost every county in the south of Ireland. He was himself obliged to keep two men as night-watchers, with arms licensed, to protect his sheep. Was that state of things to be admitted in a civilised country professing protection to life and property? The noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government had lately said, that the first duty of the House was to protect property in Ireland; he said that that was the paramount object of his Government. Let them prove that by their acts this day. He said, in bringing in a measure for the 1112 suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland, that peace and security were ever the first things essential to civilise any country, and to place her in a proper state to receive improvement. This was one of the questions brought forward by Irish Members for the purpose of the protection of property. He wanted to know whether Government would support a measure of that description for the country. There was not one of his own farmers in Water-ford that had not told him, within the last twelve months, that year after year he had been obliged to give up keeping sheep. He (Sir H. Barron) had procured an improved breed, and had given some of them tups to improve the breed. They brought them back again, and said that they were obliged to keep them in their houses at night, and that they were not safe during that time. If the farmers clothed themselves and their families with the produce of the sheep, would the House deprive them of that? Would they force them to go into the market to buy what was manufactured by their wives and daughters, without cost to themselves, at spare hours by night and day, promoting industry amongst the peasantry of the country, and giving them real and substantial advantages? Were they about to deprive the poorer classes of the peasantry of Ireland of these resources? Were they, from some absurd, unfounded, and ignorant assumption, to say that the people of Ireland were to be deprived of these means of clothing themselves, and giving profitable employment to their wives and children? And for what? On the absurd pretence that the least injury could possibly be inflicted on a man when he was brought before a magistrate to tell where he had got his leg of mutton. There was protection for the property of the rich; he asked for protection for the property of the poor. It was essentially the poor man's Bill, and if you rejected it, you would tell the poorer classes of holders in Ireland that they were no longer to have any sheep on their lands. He defied the Attorney General to find out any way of identifying a sheep when its skin was destroyed, and when the only marks by which it could be found out were carefully laid aside. What was done in parts of the counties of Galway and Roscommon? When a man had lost a sheep, he immediately collected some twenty or thirty of his neighbours, without a magistrate, without any legal threat, and went round from house to house to the suspected per- 1113 sons, and when he found a piece of mutton or a sheep in any of these houses, they brought out the man in whose house it was found, and gave him a right good beating, and in the next place they pulled down his house. This had been found a most effectual remedy in Galway; did hon. Members want to extend it to his country, and to give them the benefit of Lynch law? He hoped the Bill would be read a second time.
§ MR. NAPIER
said, that if he thought the Bill such as it had been represented to be, he should not give it his support. It was complained that if a man had mutton in his house he might be brought before a magistrate; but there must be witnesses to prove that it was stolen mutton, on the premises with the knowledge of the party. The magistrate was bound to issue his search warrant, and bring the party before him; and a party so circumstanced, either in England or Ireland, having a charge against him on the oath of a credible witness that he had stolen property, would be committed for trial. It was plain that this crime had very much increased. It was of the greatest advantage that the guilt or innocence of the party should be ascertained at the earliest possible period, and he should support the Bill.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
observed that the Bill gave summary jurisdiction to a magistrate to convict a person in whose possession mutton was found, and who could not satisfactorily account for it. He understood his hon. Friend to object to that principle, and say that it was hard and unjust to make him account for the possession of what he had honestly obtained. If this was a proper measure for Ireland, it was proper for England. Only the other day sheepstealing was a capital felony. If you could convict summarily for a sheep, why not do the same for a horse? Summary convictions had been only allowed in cases where there was no necessity for any publicity of investigation; and which were not attended with any serious consequence.
§ COLONEL SIBTHORP
did not approve of sympathising with rogues and vagabonds. He was sorry to say that in many cases in this country where sheep had been stolen, they had been cut up and carried to town by railroads and by express trains. It had been found that the skin had been taken off evidently by some master workman with great care, so as to prevent the possibility of identification. Farmers' pro- 1114 perty ought to be protected in Ireland. They should have protection both in England and Ireland; they were determined to have it. He lamented to see the sympathy with rogues and vagabonds, and was sure that if the question had been the stealing of three yards of calico, transportation for seven years would have been considered too light a punishment.
§ MR. REYNOLDS
said, that the hon. Member for Waterford had ended his speech by expressing a hope that this Bill would be read a second time; he (Mr. Reynolds) would commence by expressing a hope that it might not be read a second time. The hon. Baronet, in asking the House to road this Bill a second time, placed his claim on these grounds; it is a Bill for the protection of the poor man; it is a Bill for the protection of my farmers in Waterford—those farmers to whom he had lent tups. He was not surprised that the hon. Baronet should call on the House to support this Bill. There was a very strong analogy between this Bill and the Bill of Pains and Penalties which had recently been introduced into the House. The hon. Baronet said that this was a Bill of mercy towards the small farmers of the county of Waterford; he forgot to inform the House that the present law against sheepstealing was a very severe law, that it provided seven years' transportation for the offence; but he wished that the possession of a neck of mutton and a leg of mutton should be punished by a fine of 5l., and in the event of the pauper delinquent not being able to pay, he was to be sent to gaol for five months. Who were to be his judges? Probably the very persons from whom the sheep was stolen. The hon. Member for Waterford took the hon. Member for Manchester to task with his usual mildness, and said that he wanted to outrage property and to protect delinquents. Let him be reminded of this fact, that this Bill of Pains and Penalties was brought forward at a most extraordinary crisis—at a time when the hon. Baronet voted against the rate in aid—voted against any kind of relief to the people—voted for nothing except for the protection of the income tax. He (Mr. Reynolds) was not surprised that sheepstealing should have increased; the only thing which surprised him was that there was a sheep alive and in good health. He was astonished that the whole tribe had not disappeared, and some of the bullocks too. He knew that if he was in the position of some of his fellow-countrymen, 1115 and saw a fat sheep on the other side of the "wearing," he would say, "I will take care I will live longer than you." If any of his countrymen, not being a sheep-stealer, should visit the city of Waterford and purchase a neck of mutton and take it to where he lived, although he bought the neck of mutton honestly, to protect himself he must get a bill and receipt from the butcher. Certainly he might get the bill, but not always the receipt. And yet this was a measure, which, with a sober face, the hon. Baronet asked the House to pass. He might be asked, have you anything to suggest? He had something to suggest. The greater part of the House had heard of the celebrated Catholic clergyman of Ireland named Father Prout. He presided over a very extensive parish in Cork. When he took possession he found it infested by sheepstealers. His parishioners suffered severely, both aristocracy and democracy, and called upon him to apply a remedy. He said, "I see no remedy but to prosecute." "We do not like to be called informers." "Do you know the fellows who steal the sheep?" "We do." "Whenever you meet one of them at fair, put your lips to his ear and cry out 'Ma! Ma!' and every one will know who is a sheepstealer." His instructions were acted upon, and in less than six months there was not a sheepstealer in Waterford. He regretted that this Bill was introduced by hon. Members who were sent into the House by the very parties who would be oppressed by them. It was a calumny on the people of Ireland for any one to get up in the House and designate them as sheepstealers. He believed that no portion of the population of the empire could bear a comparison with the population of Ireland for the observance of the rules of integrity, particularly after the suffering which had been going on for the last five years.
§ MR. KEOGH
did not think that the measure was so objectionable as it had been represented to be by the criticisms of the hon. Member for the city of Dublin. This Bill had been introduced with the approbation of a large number of the Irish representatives, and of a vast number of the grand juries of Ireland. The hon. Member for the city of Dublin had expressed it to be a measure to restrict the liberties of the Irish people. Now, it was no such thing. It merely aimed at the restrictions of the felonious propensities of certain parties, who gained their livelihood 1116 by committing depredations on the property of the poorer classes of their fellow-countrymen. Indeed, this might be called a poor man's Bill—for the rich man could pay for the hire of men to guard his property, whereas the two or three unguarded sheep of a poor man (perhaps the greater portion of all the property he possessed) were an easy prey to the felon. He (Mr. Keogh) thought that the hon. and learned Attorney General had misunderstood the observations of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the University of Dublin. His hon. and learned Friend had not said that he disapproved of the principle of this Bill, but merely of some of its details. He (Mr. Keogh) did not see why the deer and timber of the rich man should be specially protected, and the sheep of the poor farmer denied a similar protection. He (Mr. Keogh) would give this Bill his support, because he wished, if possible, to diminish an evil which prevailed to an alarming extent. The difficulty of convicting under the present law was evidenced by the fact that in 1847 the number of commitments in Ireland for sheepstealing was 10,000, whereas the number of convictions was only 1,500; so that 8,500 escaped conviction. The objections which were entertained to the details of the Bill by the hon. and learned Attorney General and other hon. Members, might be easily removed in Committee. He hoped, therefore, that the House would consent to its second reading.
§ MR. SCULLY
would not support the measure, if he believed it would interfere with the rights and liberties of his poor fellow-countrymen, who, he regretted, were so inadequately represented in that House. He supported the Bill because many poor farmers had been materially injured by the want of such a law.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, it was admitted on all hands that this was exceptional legislation, and he therefore thought it was but fair that such a measure ought to be presented to the House in a definite shape as regarded its details, without leaving their adjustment to the next stage (the Committee), because the very essence and justice of such measures of exceptional legislation depended upon the frame of the details. With the view, then, of compelling the withdrawal of the Bill for the present, in order that it might be introduced in an amended shape, he should vote the second reading.
§ MR. NAPIER
explained that he was in favour of the principle of the Bill. The 1117 changes which he had recommended in the Bill were in favour of the party accused.
§ COLONEL DUNNE
, in consequence of the increase of sheepstealing in Ireland, felt himself compelled to approve of a measure calculated to diminish the evil. The increase of this crime during the last few years in Ireland had been forced on the attention of Her Majesty's Government, and he was therefore surprised at the tone which the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department had adopted with regard to this measure. It was high time that the Government had introduced some measure for the protection of the small farmers of Ireland against this increasing evil of sheepstealing. It appeared that the Government did not object to the principle, but merely to the details of this measure; he hoped, therefore, that the House would allow it to go into Committee, as in that stage its objectionable portions could be removed.
§ MR. O'FLAHERTY
, as coming from a part of the country which suffered much from these depredations, felt bound to support the proposition for sending the Bill to a Committee. He knew one case of a poor farmer in his neighbourhood, who, in one week, had lost forty sheep.
§ SIR W. SOMERVILLE
rose, in consequence of a remark made by the hon. Member for Athlone, to the effect that his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary had stated, that if that clause in the Bill was removed which extended its provisions beyond sheepstealing, he would give his assent to it. What his right hon. Friend really said was, that he objected not only to that clause but to some others, which he had pointed out to the hon. Member for Kildare, at a private interview with him, and which the hon. Member for Kildare expressed his willingness to alter. For his own part he should vote for the Bill going into Committee.
MR. VERNON SMITH
said, if this measure were pressed to a second reading, he should vote against it on the ground that this short Bill, consisting almost entirely of details, was to be altered in Committee in almost all its details, and in some of its principles. The fair course, and that which had been adopted with other Bills 1118 under similar circumstances, was to withdraw the Bill and introduce another.
§ MR. PLUMPTRE
suggested to the hon. Member for Kildare to withdraw the Bill, and bring in another embodying the required alterations.
§ MR. STAFFORD
hoped, on the other hand, that the House would allow the Bill to go into Committee, after the distinct pledge of his hon. Friend the Member for Kildare, that he would then introduce the desired alterations. It should be recollected that this Bill was almost word for word the same measure as was introduced by the late Attorney General for Ireland, Mr. Pigott, and Viscount Morpeth, in 1839, and which passed through that House. Many of the objectionable portions of the present measure were introduced in deference to the high authority of the framers of the Bill of 1839. His hon. Friend the Member for Kildare had ventured to make the present measure less objectionable than that of Mr. Pigott's, by empowering magistrates in petty sessions to entertain an offence of the description in question; whereas the Bill of Mr. Pigott empowered a single magistrate to do so. Those who were acquainted with the present condition of Ireland must acknowledge that the growing crime of sheepstealing required an immediate remedy, and he therefore hoped that the House would not delay the adoption of such a remedy by compelling his hon. Friend to withdraw this measure, with the hope of being allowed to introduce another at some future period.
would put it to the promoters, whether they ought not to adopt the course which was taken with regard to the Insolvent Members Bill, namely, to withdraw the measure, and bring in a new Bill?
§ MR. AGLIONBY
hoped the Bill would be withdrawn. No inconvenience would arise from this course, as a new one could be immediately introduced.
in reply, said, as the principle of the Bill was agreed to on all sides of the House, he hoped they would allow the Bill to be committed, in which stage he should be happy to alter it, so as to meet the objection of hon. Members. The changes required to be made in the Bill were not greater than the House was in the habit of permitting to be effected in Committee. If the Government promised to introduce a measure of their own on this subject, he would at once consent to withdraw the Bill, but otherwise he should feel 1119 it his duty to press the second reading to a division.
§ MR. WILSON PATTEN
wished to observe that the Insolvent Members Bill was withdrawn on account of the extensive changes introduced into it; and though in the present case the principle of the Bill might be retained, yet the changes were also so great that he thought the same course should be adopted.
The ATTORNEY GENERAL
would remind the hon. Member for Kildare that those parties in Ireland who approved of the Bill as it stood, might not approve of the alterations, so that that was no reason for persisting with a Bill which he meant to alter.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 67; Noes 86: Majority 19.
|List of the AYES.|
|Ashley, Lord||Hotham, Lord|
|Barron, Sir H. W.||Howard, Sir R.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Jervis, Sir J.|
|Beresford, W.||Jones, Capt.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Kildare, Marq. of|
|Blackall, S. W.||Lacy, H. C.|
|Blair, S.||Lewis, G. C.|
|Boyd, J.||Lewisham, Visct.|
|Bremridge, R.||Lindsay, hon. Col.|
|Broadwood, H.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Brooke, Sir A. B.||Moffatt, G.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Moody, C. A.|
|Codrington, Sir W.||Mullings, J. R.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Napier, J.|
|Damer, hon. Col.||Nugent, Sir P.|
|Dodd, G.||O'Flaherty, A.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Pigott, F.|
|Duncuft, J.||Pilkington, J.|
|Dunne, F. P.||Pugh, D.|
|Du Pre, C. G.||Sandars, J.|
|Fagan, J.||Scully, F.|
|Ffolliott, J.||Sheridan, R. B.|
|Fox, R. M.||Sibthorp, Col.|
|Gaskell, J. M.||Sidney, Ald.|
|Gooch, E. S.||Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.|
|Greenall, G.||Stafford, A.|
|Greene, J.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Grogan, E.||Sullivan, M.|
|Hamilton, G. A.||Talfourd, Serjt.|
|Hamilton, Lord C.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Heald, J.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Heathcote, G. J.||Vyse, R. H. R. H.|
|Heneage, G. H. W.||TELLERS.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Bourke, R. S.|
|Hope, A.||Keogh, W.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Adair, H. E.||Bernal, R.|
|Aglionby, H. A.||Bouverie, hon. E. P.|
|Alcock, T.||Boyle, hon. Col.|
|Arkwright, G.||Bright, J.|
|Armstrong, Sir A.||Carter, J. B.|
|Armstrong, R. B.||Clay, J.|
|Bass, M. T.||Clay, Sir W.|
|Berkeley, C. L. G.||Clive, hon. R. H.|
|Clive, H. B.||Meagher, T.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Marshall, W.|
|Compton, H. C.||Molesworth, Sir W.|
|Craig, W. G.||O'Connell, J.|
|Cubitt, W.||Patten, J. W.|
|Denison, E.||Peto, S. M.|
|Drummond, H.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.||Renton, J. C.|
|Edwards, H.||Rice, E. R.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Ellis, J.||Salwey, Col.|
|Estcourt, J. B. B.||Simeon, J.|
|Evans, J.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Fagan, W.||Smith, M. T.|
|Foley, J. H. H.||Smith, J. B.|
|Forster, M.||Somers, J. P.|
|Fox, W. J.||Sotheron, T. H. S.|
|Fuller, A. E.||Spooner, R.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.||Stuart, Lord J.|
|Granger, T. C.||Tenison, E. K.|
|Greene, T.||Thicknesse, R. A.|
|Grenfell, C. P.||Thompson, Col.|
|Harris, R.||Thompson, G.|
|Hastie, A.||Verney, Sir H.|
|Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.||Waddington, H. S.|
|Heathcoat, J.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|Henley, J. W.||Walpole, S. H.|
|Henry, A.||Walter, J.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Watkins, Col. L.|
|Hodgson, W. N.||Williams, J.|
|Hogg, Sir J. W.||Wilson, J.|
|Hope, Sir J.||Wilson, M.|
|Hornby, J.||Young, Sir J.|
|King, hon. P. J. L.||TELLERS.|
|Lockhart, W.||Crawford, S.|
|Lushington, C.||Reynolds, J.|
§ Words added.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Second Reading put off for six months.