§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. CHISHOLM ANSTEY
moved the Second Reading of this Bill, which he said contained only two clauses—the one being to give County Courts jurisdiction in actions for bribery penalties, and the other to enable any Royal Commission, in case of corrupt practices being proved against any particular district, to inflict exemplary punishment upon it; and also to make the guilty parties pay the costs.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, that so important a measure ought not to be discussed at that late hour. He moved that the debate should be adjourned.
§ MR. KEOGH
said, that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Adderley) had recently proposed a very important Bill at a much later hour. He had been there since twelve in the morning to half-past one at night. Now, what did the Government think about the proposed adjournment? If they thought it too late an hour then to proceed with public business, he should support the Motion for adjournment. He was the more anxious to obtain their opinion because he had been unable to learn from the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland at what hour he should think it too late to bring on two important measures regarding Ireland, which were not only at the bottom of the list of Orders of the Day, but also 73 some three or four down the Notices of Motion. The right hon. and learned Gentleman had kept the Irish Members till that hour because he could not make up his mind at what period of the evening it was too late to proceed with such measures.
§ The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
thought there could be no strict rule laid down on a subject like this, as it depended on the circumstances of the Session, and other considerations of that kind. In the present state of Parliament, they must not be very nice as to their hours, and must sit up later than at ordinary times. The Government had already passed over several of their measures that night without advancing them a stage, on account of the lateness of the hour, and had indeed brought forward no subject that would lead to discussion. The hon. and learned Member for Youghal (Mr. C. An stey) had, however, moved the adoption of a measure which was sure to provoke debate, and he certainly thought it unreasonable in him to press it. At the same time, he could not pledge himself that next week he might not, at a late hour, bring forward Government measures; though he would not do so if he found that it was not agreeable to the wishes of the House.
§ Debate adjourned till Monday next.