HC Deb 02 July 1863 vol 172 cc141-3

Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."


said, he objected to the 18th clause, which really contained the principle of the Bill. It was an important subject, deserving much more attentive consideration than it had received. He would therefore appeal to the hon. Member not to press the measure.


said, that the Bill had been somewhat narrowed in its scope by the Select Committee, but he had accepted the Amendments suggested by the Committee, and hoped that the House would pass the Bill.


said, that the 18th clause contained no machinery or funds by which the inquiry could be prosecuted, He would recommend his hon. Friend (Mr. Hunt) to withdraw the Bill for that Session, more especially as no dissolution of Parliament was pending, so far as he knew.


said, he had stated, when the Bill was referred to a Select Committee, that he had no wish to defeat or postpone it. He believed that the Bill had been much improved by the Committee. It was for the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northamptonshire to determine whether he would go on with it, but he believed it would be better to reserve it for another Session.


said, he would move that the House go into Committee on the Bill that day two months.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end the Question, in order to add the words "this House will, upon this day two months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"—(Mr. Richard Hodgson,) —instead thereof.


said, he really thought that he had not been fairly dealt with. The Bill was read a second time without a dissentient voice, and the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary expressly stated that the reference to a Select Committee would not prevent the Bill passing that Session. The right hon. Gentleman in Committee had himself proposed the 18th clause, to which objection had been taken. The Bill had received the right hon. Gentleman's support in Committee, and he had cheerfully accepted the amendments suggested by the Committee. No notice of amendment to any of the clauses had been given, and the Bill as it stood—although not all that might be wished—would effect a very considerable improvement in the law. He therefore trusted that the House would go into Committee, and endeavour to pass the measure.


said, that hon. Members, by the course they were taking, were giving very little encouragement to private Members to endeavour to amend the grossest abuses. After a general election, when Members were fresh smarting from sham Election Petitions, they were loud in condemning the system, but now they seemed inclined to remain the victims of a set of attorneys. The objection to the 18th clause was founded on a misconception, as would be seen if the House went into Committee.


said, the labours of the Committee only showed the uselessness of that sort of legislation. The Bill was not only useless, but mischievous.


said, he thought the Bill of very little use, and he would put it to the hon. Member whether he could expect the Bill to be carefully considered at that hour (twenty minutes past one)?

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question," put, and negatived.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Bill put off for two months.