§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department not to proceed with the Bill at the morning sitting fixed for tomorrow. Surely the right hon. Gentleman was not prepared to say that the subject would not keep for another month after the many postponements which it had already undergone. He (Sir John Shelley) and other metropolitan Members had strong objections to the Bill, and this was not the period of the Session at which it could be satisfactorily discussed. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not thrust it down the throats of hon. Members at the close of the Session.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, he could assure his hon. Friend that he had no wish to thrust the Bill down the throats of the House. The Bill had been postponed for many years, and he was not prepared to say that it might not be postponed for another year; but when his hon. Friend spoke of a month's delay being of no importance, it was right the House should understand that if the Bill were not considered this Session there was no probability of its being considered till after next Easter. The Bill had not emanated from the present or the 160 late Government, but had in substance come from a Select Committee of that House to which the Bill of last year had been referred. If the House thought it was not desirable to have morning sittings, or to enter on the consideration of any Bill of magnitude this Session, he was quite ready to defer to the wish of the House; but it must be understood that the Government did not shrink from their duty or from the labours which the performance of that duty involved.
§ MR. E. P. BOUVERIE
rose to order. He believed it was out of order on the Motion for going into a Committee of Ways and Means to raise a discussion on a Bill of a totally distinct character.
§ MR. SPEAKER
It certainly would be out of order to discuss the merits of the Bill; but I understood the Secretary of State from the Home Department to rather invite the opinion of the House on the question of the postponement of the Bill.
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
believed that the postponement of the Bill would disappoint no one anxious to see an honest reform of the Corporation. Indeed it would be no disappointment if such a measure as that proposed by the Government was never proposed at all. The Bill was completely at variance with the Report of the Select Committee.
§ MR. AYRTON
was sure that the Liberal Members would give a certificate to the right hon. Gentleman that he had been very anxious to slip the Bill through at the end of the Session, but that his intention had been frustrated by them.