§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. BAGWELL
said, the House wished for some explanation of the measure from the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Unhappily, transactions which had recently taken place in his own neighbourhood would prevent him from opposing the Bill, though, in his opinion, it would be totally ineffectual. The only 1782 way to preserve the peace in Ireland was by just Government and altering the system of police. The police force of Ireland had been made so military in its character that it was of no use as a civil force. It was entirely inefficient for either the detection or prevention of crime; and until it was made effective for these purposes, the Government could not protect either life or property in Ireland. The last thing which had been dune was to arm the police, who ought to be active and unencumbered, ready to pursue offenders, with the new Enfield rifle, which he understood was 3½ 1b. heavier than the old carbine. All that the police did was to go out on patrols at night, when, marching as they did in military array, they could be heard a mile out; and all that any one was out with an unlawful purpose had to do was to hide in a ditch or behind a hank until they had gone past. The result of all that was that murders were committed, their perpetrators were undiscovered, and thus encouragement was offered to other persons to be guilty of similar crimes.
§ MR. BRADY
said, he had hoped his hon. Friend would have opposed the Bill. The inefficiency of a measure was a strange ground for supporting it. The police were ineffective because they were a military body. Crime was more prevalent in England than in Ireland. Why, then, should such a measure be passed with regard to Ireland only? Ireland ought to be treated as England. Such a law was an insult to Ireland. He moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.
§ Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months,"
§ MR. BLAKE
said, he rose to second the Amendment. He deeply deplored the murders which had recently been committed; but that the Bill would not prevent the commission of such crimes was proved by the fact that in Tipperary assassinations had taken place in districts which had been proclaimed for many years. All that was required was a reorganization of the police force.
§ MR. O'BRIEN
also condemned the murders which had been committed in Ireland, but he was convinced that this Bill would have no effect in preventing the commission of similar crimes in the future.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, he had made rather a lengthened statement on the 1783 introduction of the Bill; but the truth was the House might as well ask for a long speech on bringing in the Mutiny Bill. The measure was a mere renewal of an old Act to give under special circumstances certain powers to the Lord Lieutenant, which would be seldom used and never abused. He did not doubt that it would have the general support of Irish Members at the present moment.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 78; Noes 13: Majority 65.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read 2°, and committed for Tomorrow.