HC Deb 04 March 1856 vol 140 cc1857-9

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


recommended the hon. Baronet to postpone it till after Easter, when, he said, there would be a better chance of having its provisions fairly discussed.


said, it was a very good and a very simple measure.


hoped the House would agree to the second reading of the Bill. Any objections to it could be dealt with in Committee.


objected to the measure entirely. The principal provision of this Bill was, that the dwellings in question should contain one window and one chimney to two rooms. It was a Bill which reflected shame on the landed aristocracy. Was it a measure which the House ought to legislate upon in the absence of Irish Members? Was it a measure which English Members were prepared to extend to England? No, it was not. It was a measure which he should resist to the utmost; and if he was supported by only one Member of the House, he would resist it in all its stages, and by every expedient the forms of the House would allow. He moved the adjournment of the debate.


said, he perceived, from the course taken by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that it was quite impossible that the Bill could be read a second time that evening.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the debate be now adjourned."

The House divided:—Ayes 11; Noes 104: Majority 93.

Question again proposed.


then moved that the House do now adjourn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the House do now adjourn."


did not think the Bill was calculated to benefit the labouring classes; it was rather intended to add to the power of the landlords. It was applicable to every house in the country not built of mud, or of which the rent came to 15s. a month, and a tenant under it could be turned out at a week's notice. The power of appeal was destroyed by the Bill, and under its provisions the whole of the labourers of the country were liable to be turned out at a moment's notice. It was true that the Bill provided compensation for growing crops, but what compensation could supply the place of the labourer's half-acre of potatoes, upon which his existence depended? He objected to the measure being pushed forward at so late an hour, with so thin a House, and so few Irish Gentlemen present.


would vote for the second reading of the Bill, without pledging himself to its details. He could not consent to stop a Bill the sole object of which was to improve the habitations of the labouring classes.


not being connected with the Government, had no choice of time to bring forward this measure, and, therefore, could not consent to postpone the second reading. Last year he had obtained the concurrence of the House to the principle of the Bill, and he appealed to hon. Members opposite then to proceed with the Committee upon the clauses, to which no objection could be raised, but his appeal was ineffectual. He must, under these circumstances, ask the House to agree to the second reading.


did not think the measure would answer the purposes for which it was intended. It conferred additional powers of ejectment, and if cleanliness were not observed the tenure was forfeited. He did not think such powers would induce landlords to build good houses for the poor. The way to produce a demand for good dwellings was, to improve the social condition of the people. He admitted the houses of the labouring poor were disgraceful, but this was owing to the extreme poverty of the occupants. The Bill was not calculated to afford employment, and it would not, therefore, create a demand for improved dwellings. He also objected to it further, because it tended to localise labour and place the labourer at the mercy of his employer. He felt it his duty to oppose the Bill, but still he would not advise his hon. Friend to divide.


objected to the Bill upon principle. There ought not to be separate legislation for the people of the two countries, except when the ends of justice demanded it.


thought this debate would be differently regarded in Ireland than it was in this country. Public opinion in that country was adverse to this Bill, and it ought to be postponed till a day could be got for its consideration.


for Ireland said, the objections which had been urged to the Bill were such as could be considered in Committee, and he, therefore, appealed to hon. Members to allow the Bill to be read a second time.


asked the noble Lord at the head of the Government whether he could give a day for the discussion of the Bill?


thought hon. Members might well accede to the proposition of his right hon. Friend, who intended, if the Bill were read a second time now, to fix the Committee towards the end of April, when the principle might be considered before going into Committee, and the details in Committee.

Question put, and negatived.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2o.