§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir George Grey.)
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he rose to move the second reading of the Bill. It comprised a great many details which would require to be considered in a Select Committee, and the discussion could then be taken on the Report. He thought, therefore, that discussion on its details should he waived for the present.
§ MR. LIDDELL
said, he wished to know what would be the scope of the inquiry before the Committee. The Bill was very important, as it proposed to confer great additional powers on justices of the peace, and to diminish the powers of the ratepayers. The Act had not worked well in that part of the country with which he was connected, and he was anxious to know whether the Select Committee would be empowered to take any evidence.
§ MR. THOMPSON
said, he hoped the right hon. Baronet would not press the second reading of the Bill at that late hour, as it would involve very important questions.
§ MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, there was no general principle to be discussed at that stage, and he trusted, therefore, that the second reading would be agreed to. If the Act had not been successful in the quarter referred to by his hon. Friend the Member for South Northumberland (Mr. Liddell), it was because too large districts had been created.
§ SIR MATTHEW RIDLEY
said, the Bill would require very mature consideration. He thought that it would be satis- 693 factory for the Bill to undergo discussion in a Committee upstairs.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read 2o.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
begged to move that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee. It would be desirable not to instruct the Committee to take evidence, because the Committee could, if they thought it necessary, apply to the House for permission to hear witnesses with respect to any particular provision.
§ Bill committed to a Select Committee.