HC Deb 11 July 1867 vol 188 cc1421-2

(Mr. Secretary Gathorne Hardy, Mr. Sclater-Booth.)

Lords' Amendments considered.

On Question, "That this House do agree with the Lords to these Amendments,"


begged leave to call the attention of the House to the fact, that the Amendments bore no reference whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, to the subject-matter of the Bill, or to any of the places named in the Bill as it left this House; and that the said Amendments attempt to set aside the provisions of a previous Act of Parliament which is not even referred to in the Bill. He must say that, in all his Parliamentary experience, these Amendments were some of the most extraordinary kind that he had ever known or heard of. The Local Government (No. 2.) Bill was drawn up in the Home Office, for the purpose of confirming by Act of Parliament the provisional orders relating to Sheffield, Derby, and five other towns named in the Bill. The town of Hastings, which he had the honour to represent, was not one of the towns, and was not in any way named or referred to in the Bill. Well, the Bill, as introduced by the Home Secretary, passed through each stage in the Commons without amendment. It then went in usual course to the Upper House, there it was read a first and a second time. It was not referred to a Select Committee; but in Committee of the Whole House, certain Amendments, totally irrelevant to the subject-matter of the Bill, were introduced. Those Amendments referred only to the town of Hastings. But the town of Hastings was not named in them—neither was any notice given to the Mayor of Hastings, nor to the Local Board of Health of that town, nor to himself as Member for that borough. When the Amendments had come back to this House for approval, the Home Secretary personally knew nothing about them, nor their nature; and it was due only to the accidental discovery that he (Mr. Waldegrave-Leslie) had made in looking at them that any attention was called to them. If this species of legislation was to be carried on, and this case be formed into a precedent, there would be an end of all trust and all faith in Parliamentary practice. He called on the House to enter its protest against such legislation. He was sure that the Upper House could scarcely have been aware of the nature of the Amendments. He begged, therefore, to move that this House do disagree to the said Amendments; and that a Select Committee be appointed "to draw up reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to the Amendments to which this House hath disagreed."


, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, said, the Bill sought to deal with a place which was not named in it at all; and as all the parties interested had not been served with proper notice, it would be most irregular to accede to these Amendments.

Motion agreed to.

Committee appointed, "to draw up reasons to be assigned to The Lords for disagreeing to the Amendment to which this House hath disagreed:"—Mr. WALDEGRAVE-LESLIE, Mr. DODSON, Mr. Secretary GATHORNE HARDY, Mr. CHILDERS, Mr. CHARLES FORSTER, Mr. EDWARD EGERTON, Mr. JOHN ABEL SMITH, Lord HOTHAM, and Mr. BONHAM CARTER.

House adjourned at a quarter after Eight o'clock.