§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ SIR GEORGE PECHELL
said, he objected to the Bill being read a second time at that late hour. He should move as an Amendment that the debate be adjourned.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 53; Noes 75: Majority 22.
§ Question again proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he hoped the hon. and gallant Gentleman would not persist in his Motion. Hon. Members were perpetually asking when the Session was to close, and yet every evening, when twelve o'clock arrived, some one, upon some pretext or another, endeavoured to put a stop to the business of the House. If the House wished to sit till the end of September, they would find Her Majesty's Government perfectly ready to remain until that time; but if they wished the Session to end before that period, and if Parliament was to get through the business before it, he hoped hon. Members would not interrupt their proceedings by Motions of this kind. It often happened, that at the end of a Session, the Government were reproached with not having passed many of the measures they had proposed; but if these obstructions were to be continually opposed to those measures, the responsibility of their not passing must rest with the House.
MR. H. BERKELEY
said, he must complain that many most important measures were never brought on until twelve o'clock and later, and were then frequently gone through without opposition. He was 2043 remaining to watch one of the Bills upon the paper, the Corrupt Practices Prevention Bill, as, in his opinion, it was an exceedingly bad Bill, and ought not to be allowed to pass.
§ MR. WILKINSON
said, the reason why many important measures could not be brought on before twelve o'clock was, that hon. Members discussed at such great length those Bills which were brought under their consideration in the early part of the evening.
§ MR. P. O'BRIEN
said, he wished to call attention to the inconsistency of the hon. Member for Lambeth (Mr. Wilkinson), whom he had frequently found dividing with the Government, to force on important Irish questions as late as one and two o'clock in the morning.
§ MR. VANSITTART
said, he thought the noble Lord at the head of the Government ought to take care that the measures on the subject of the poor law were drawn up with proper care, in order that the House might not be troubled with so many Amendment Bills. He believed this was the thirty-fifth Bill which had been introduced since the passing of the original measure upon that subject.
§ SIR JOHN TROLLOPE
said, he thought that a measure of such importance as the present ought to have been brought on at a period of the Session when it could have been properly discussed and considered.
§ VISCOUNT GALWAY
said, he had great objections to the Bill, and should take every means in his power to oppose it.
§ MR. M'CANN
said, as an Irish Member, he thought that, in order to remedy the grievance complained of by so many hon. Gentlemen, they must either shorten the speeches or lengthen the hours.
§ MR. BOUVERIE
said, that, in his opinion, the real business of the Session was done after midnight, the early part of every evening being spent in useless talk. Seeing that the feeling of the House was against proceeding with the Bill, ha would postpone it till 12 o'clock on Thursday next.
§ Motion and Original Question, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Second Reading deferred till Thursday.