§ (Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Secretary Walpole, Mr. Solicitor General.)
§ Order for going into Committee read.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, that when a Question was put to him a week ago as to whether the Government intended to proceed with the Bill in the present Session, he had some hope, though not a very sanguine one, that something 1416 might be done in the direction proposed even before the Recess, Looking, however, at the position in which the public business now stood, and the advanced period of the Session, he frankly admitted that it would be, in his opinion, impossible to go on with a Bill which contained 479 clauses, and to pass it, even if he were to ask the House to sit de die in diem. He therefore thought it his duty to move that the Order of the Day be discharged. He, however, believed that the care and labour bestowed on the measure had not been thrown away. The leading provisions of the Bill had been received with very general assent throughout the country, and he believed it would not be found expedient to introduce into it any very great alterations. The measure, at the same time ought, no doubt, to receive full and fair discussion, and he did not think that he should be justified in pressing it forward under present circumstances. The criticisms upon, it which had reached him from all quarters, especially from the Chambers of Commerce, were, upon the whole, extremely favourable; the only adverse criticism, upon it as a whole, being contained in the statement that it was impossible to tell whether it was a debtor's or a creditor's Bill. That was, however, he thought, the highest compliment which could be paid it; for it was a Bill which had been framed in the interest of the whole community, and not of any particular class. In conclusion, he had only to say that he hoped to be able at the earliest possible moment next Session to introduce another Bill of substantially the same character, which would lead to the satisfactory settlement of a long vexed question. He begged to move that the Order for going into Committee on the Bill be discharged.
§ MR. LEEMAN
thanked the hon. and learned Gentleman for taking the course which he had adopted, inasmuch as the House was thereby secured from much inconvenience. He would suggest that before the measure was re-introduced, it should, as far as possible, be divested of the cumbrous machinery with which, as it now stood, the arrangements with creditors were surrounded.
§ MR. NORWOOD
also thanked the hon. and learned Gentleman for the great attention which he had paid to the subject, and the courtesy which he had manifested in dealing with it. The withdrawal of so important a Bill might occasion some disappointment in the country; but at the 1417 present advanced period of the Session, it could not, he thought, with advantage be proceeded with.
§ Order for Committee discharged; Bill withdrawn.