§ Upon the CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER moving that the Orders of the day be postponed until after the notice of Motion for leave to bring in a Bill for the Main Drainage of the Metropolis.
said, he observed that among the orders to be postponed was the report on the Clerk of Petty Sessions (Ireland) Bill. When that Bill passed through Committee he objected to a clause having for its object to apply to local purposes the public revenues of the Crown, but he was told that the fund only consisted of the fines of Petty Sessions, and was not the revenue of the Crown. Further investigation, however, had shown that was a mistaken view of the matter, as, by an Act of 1851, the fund was made a portion of the revenues of the Crown. No Resolution having been taken in a Committee of the whole House prior to the introduction of the Bill, it now turned out that the proceedings upon it were informal, and he wished he knew what course the Government intended to take with regard to the Bill. He did not think that recommitting the Bill would be sufficient. They must begin de novo.
§ COLONEL GREVILLE
said, he wished to ask whether the Dublin Police Bill was to be proceeded with this Session?
replied, that it was intended to proceed with the Dublin Police Bill as soon as possible. With regard to the Clerk of Petty Sessions Bill, he had consulted the highest authority and found that if he moved the preliminary Resolution in Committee of the whole House, and supposing that Resolution was carried, they recommitted the Bill and introduced a clause founded on that Resolution, it would be sufficient, and he would, therefore, now give notice to that effect. He must add, however, that the fund to which the hon. Gentleman alluded had never been appropriated to public purposes. By the Act of 1851, it was made a part of the revenues of the Crown, but it had never been so applied, but was lodged every year to the credit of the Under Secretary of the Treasury and the Receiver General, to be appropriated, after a time, as was the intention of the Act, in the same way as it formerly was, to local purposes.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
said, he did not 1507 wish to enter into any discussion as to the merits of the Bill, but confessed that he was startled at the noble Lord's announcement as to the usage and practice of the House with regard to Money Bills. He certainly had sat in the House many years under a totally different impression as to its rules in that respect from that which the statement of the noble Lord was calculated to convey, though, on many occasions, when he, as a Member of the Government, had had the charge of such Bills, it would have been a great convenience to him had he supposed that the doctrine now laid down by the noble Lord was in accordance with their rules and practice. He hoped to hear, however, at the proper time, from the highest authority, whether the noble Lord's doctrine was correct, or whether, as he (Mr. Gladstone) had always supposed, the neglect to proceed by a preliminary Resolution of the whole House was not fatal to Bills of this character. With regard to the New Caledonian Bill, if he understood the right hon. Gentleman (Sir Bulwer Lytton) aright, certain Amendments were to be introduced, and it was to be pressed to a third reading that evening without reprinting the Bill, or affording to the House any opportunity of knowing beforehand what those Amendments were. He was quite sure that, upon reconsideration, the right hon. Baronet would not press the Bill against a request so consonant with usage as that which had been made to him by the hon. Gentleman opposite to recommit it.
§ MR. LOWE
said, that at the risk of being thought troublesome, he must repeat his question to the right hon. Gentleman, and hoped to receive an answer before the third reading of the Bill was moved—namely, whether he would make a statement to the House of the estimated expense the Bill would entail upon the Imperial Exchequer?
§ SIR BULWER LYTTON
was understood to say, that he did not consider it the duty of a Secretary of State to furnish the House with an estimate of the probable cost to the Exchequer of this country of a new colony. He would, however, on the third reading, make a statement as to the probable expense which this colony would entail.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
suggested that an estimate of the expense ought to be 1508 laid on the table, and a Vote taken for the amount.