§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made and Question proposed,—
§ "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would not press his Bill on that night. It was obviously impossible that a Bill of this importance could receive proper consideration and discussion at that hour (five minutes past Twelve). He would not, therefore, go into the question at all, but would simply move that the debate be adjourned.
§ MR. HORSMAN
If this Bill was one on which there was much difference of opinion in the House it would be only fair to the House that my hon. Friend should listen to the request of the hon. Gentle- 577 man; but as it was read a second time with the general assent of both sides of the House—the Government assenting to it—the general principle has been assented to. It is a very simple Bill, consisting of only one clause, and there is no sufficient reason why it should be opposed in this stage. I hope, therefore, that we shall not be prevented going into Committee.
§ MR. PACKE
, said, that from his speech the right hon. Gentlemen must really imagine that this Bill has been well discussed. It is generally the practice for hon. Gentlemen who have the conduct of a Bill to accede to the wishes of any Member who wished to have time to oppose it. This is a question which is likely to lead to discussion, and I hope the hon. Member will give way.
MR. LOCKE KING
I must remind hon. Members that the House has passed the second reading of this Bill, and that what was necessary to be discussed was discussed on the second reading. If the hon. Member for Norfolk (Mr. Bentinck) is inclined to discuss the Bill now, I am sure the House will be ready to hear him.
§ MR. KNIGHTLEY
In answer to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Horsman), I beg to say that the second reading of the Bill was passed, I will not say surreptitiously, but very unexpectedly. I and several other Gentlemen paired off in favour of the Government, supposing that Her Majesty's Administration would oppose the second reading, but we found, to our great astonishment, that my right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) rose and with his usual seraphic smile gave in his adhesion to the principle of the Bill. I can only say, that when Her Majesty's Government abandon what we think sound Conservative principles we must oppose them, and as we mean to give all the opposition in our power to this Bill it is notch too late an hour to proceed with it.
THE CHANCELLOR or THE EXCHEQUER
I do not think hon. Gentlemen opposite have any reason to complain of the manner in which this Bill has been received by Gentlemen on this side of the House. It must be admitted that a full and fair discussion should be afforded to every measure. I was not present when the second reading of this Bill was passed, but if I had been I should have agreed with my right hon. Friend in supporting it, believing, as I do, that the time has come when it is desirable that such a measure should be adopted. I do not know 578 what may be the opinion of hon. Gentlemen who paired off, but I must say that is not exactly a Parliamentary phrase to be used in this House. I have heard, however, that the discussion on the second reading took place at as late an hour as this, and hon. Gentlemen, therefore, could hardly have had a fair opportunity of discussing the measure. There may be hon. Gentlemen who entertain different views to those who support the Bill, and they have a right to have a discussion upon it, and as I should be sorry if that right was obtained by means of a division, I think hon. Gentlemen opposite should meet the wishes of those who desire further discussion. Therefore, although I am not opposed to the measure, still I think it so advantageous that there should be a formation of public opinion on such a question by means of ample and free discussion, that I shall support my hon. Friend (Mr. Bentick) in his attempt to obtain it.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed—
§ "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 81; Noes 156: Majority 75.
§ Question again proposed.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed—
§ "That this House do now adjourn."
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, he hoped the hon. Member for Surrey would not persevere in the face of the opposition which was threatened. He thought time should be given to discuss the measure.
§ MR. MALINS
said, he was in favour of the principle of the Bill, but was averse to going on with it at so late an hour.
§ MR. E. BOUVERIE
remarked, that he had always found that it was in vain to encounter a determined opposition in such circumstances as the present, and, therefore, recommended his hon. Friend the Member for Surrey not to press his Bill that night. There was no doubt of his hon. Friend carrying his Bill, as he had not only a great majority of the House, but Her Majesty's Government also in its favour.
MR. LOCKE KING
said, he would not, under the circumstances, press the Bill that night, but postpone it till Tuesday.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Debate adjourned till Tuesday next.
§ House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock.