HC Deb 19 July 1861 vol 164 cc1243-4

said, that a notice respecting the Merchant Shipping Bill promised to be introduced by the right hon. Gentleman the President by the Board of Trade had stood on the business paper eight or nine times, and now for some reason had disappeared. It related to a subject in which great interest was felt, and, therefore, he would suggest that the Bill should be laid on the Table, in order that it might be considered by the country during the recess.


said, he knew that conderable disappointment existed among the shipping interest that great subject had not been dealt with in the present Session. He, therefore, hoped the President of the Board of Trade would take the suggestion into his favourable consideration.


said, it was the intention of the Government to have given effect to the remaining recommendations of the Committee, and for that purpose two Bills had been prepared, one for the abolition of passing tolls and for the termination of certain dues that were levied on shipping, and the other for the amendment of the Pilotage Laws, and those relating to the liability of shipowners. Having but a limited portion of the time of the House at his command he thought it better to proceed with one of these Bills before he attempted to proceed with the other; but the other Bills was prepared. Now it was obvious, from the various important subjects with which the House had to deal, that a matter of this kind could only occupy a certain portion of time, and with every desire to pass the measure he really had not found himself able to do so. If he did not accede to the suggestion to lay the Bill on the Table of the House, it was simply because he did not think it would be advantageous to the public interest to do so, inasmuch as there was no intention to push it through its various stages this Session. If he were to lay it on the table, hon. Members would naturally be impatient of having any explanation made with respect to its provisions; and he did not think it would be fair to ask him to introduce it without such comment as might be calculated to meet the objections which might be made against it. Upon that ground, as well as because still further consideration might, on the principle "the longer we live the more we learn," tend to improve the measure, he thought it would be better to postpone its introduction till next Session, at an early period of which he hoped to be able to proceed with it.