HC Deb 29 July 1850 vol 113 cc480-2

Order for Third Reading read.

MR. BROTHERTON moved the Third Reading of the Public Libraries and Museums Bill.


was surprised that such a Motion should have come from the hon. Member for Salford, who was always ready to prevent business after twelve o'clock, when it came from a different side of the House from his own. He objected altogether to the present Bill, and would therefore move that it be read a third time that day three months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."


wished the House to understand that this Bill would repeal all the Statutes of Mortmain.


said, that the Bill would only repeal the Statutes of Mortmain in so far as libraries and museums were concerned.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question?"

The House divided:—Ayes 64; Noes 15: Majority 49.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3°.


said: Sir, perhaps there never was a Bill introduced into this House under such unfortunate auspices. Though professedly for the amusement and instruction of the working classes of the people, its real object now turns out to be actual, permanent, and forced taxation. Sir, the second reading of this Bill was not a triumphant one. As regards Ireland, I object to the principle of this Bill, as tending to impose a new tax upon an already pauperised people. I object to it, as it would not be of the slightest benefit in the city I have the honour to represent; for it cannot be imagined that a peasant, fatigued after his daily toil, could be so impressed with the love of literature, or the study of the antique, as to set off, even under the influence of a bright summer evening, to walk six or seven miles to improve his mind, and then walk back to ponder over and digest what he had seen and heard. Sir, I think this proposition monstrous and ill-timed; and although no person can be more anxious than I am for every fair opportunity being given to the working classes to gain useful knowledge, still I never can consent to this method of procuring it, by taxing the many for the supposed advantage of the few. I beg to move that the provisions of this Bill do not pass into law in Ireland.

Clause (And be it enacted, That the Bill do not extend to Ireland) brought up.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read the First Time," put, and agreed to.

Clause read 1°.


supported the Motion.


hoped the hon. and gallant Colonel would not press his Motion. They had taken care that the people of Ireland should be taught to read; but, having done so, no libraries were established from which proper books could be got: and he believed that was the reason why they were driven to read inflammatory publications.


hoped his hon. and gallant Friend would not press his Motion, seeing what was the sense of the House in respect to the Bill extending to Ireland.


said, that as he conceived great injury would be done to Ireland by this Bill, he could not withdraw his Motion.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the said Clause be now read a Second Time."

The House divided:—Ayes 13; Noes 56: Majority 43.

Amendment made.

Bill passed.

The House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.