HC Deb 08 May 1867 vol 187 cc208-11

(Mr. Richard Young, Mr. William Edward Forster.)

Order for Second Reading read.


said, he believed there was only one opinion in the House with regard to the Bill. It related to charities which had been handed over to trustees with very beneficial effects. There had been no complaint of the management of the charities by the trustees, who were locally elected, and knew the circumstances of the charities. This Bill would re-invest charities in the hands of corporations, and to do that could only lead to jobbery. He was convinced that scarcely a Member of the House approved the Bill, and therefore there was no use in keeping the Order on the books. He moved that the Order be discharged.


said, it was an unusual course to move the discharge of an Order in the absence of the Member in charge of a Bill, and in this case the hon. Member (Mr. R. Young) had arranged for the postponement of the second reading to Wednesday, the 19th of June.


asked if it was to be understood that the noble Lord (Viscount Galway) was precluded from moving the discharge of the Order. He apprehended that, by the usages of Parliament and the rules of the House, when an hon. Member had charge of a Bill it was his business to be in his place when the Order was called.


said, that, as a matter of fact, the hon. Member in charge of the Bill was in the House a minute ago.


, who had given notice of his intention to move that the Bill should be read a second time that day six months, said, that he had a conversation with the hon. Member two minutes ago on the subject of the Bill.


, who had returned to the House, said, he had thought his presence unnecessary, as previous to the division on the Church Rates Bill it had been arranged that, as there would not be time to discuss this Bill, the second reading should be postponed to the 19th of June.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be read a second time upon Wednesday the 19th day of June next.


moved, as an Amendment, that the Order be discharged.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the words "That the" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "Order for the Second Reading of the said Bill be discharged,"—(Viscount Galway,) —instead thereof.

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


hoped the noble Lord would not press the Amendment. He himself entertained an opinion adverse to the Bill, and should be disposed strongly to oppose it and to vote against it; but yet, if the noble Lord divided the House, he should be obliged to vote against him. When an hon. Member who had charge of a Bill communicated with others opposed to him, and a general understanding was arrived at with regard to the postponement of a Bill, if that understanding could not be relied upon, and a division took place on the Bill, it could be no fair criterion of the opinion of the House, because it would take place in the absence of some of those who took special interest in the matter.


said, that although he had given notice of an Amendment for the rejection of the Bill, he had not been a party to the alleged understanding; no notice had been given him of the intended postponement, and it was only by accident he had heard of it.


said, it was quite an ordinary thing to allow a Bill to be postponed at the request of the hon. Member in charge of it, and it would be unfair to depart from that course on the present occasion, when, owing to the Bill being preceded by a most important one, there was every reason to suppose there would be no time for discussing it.


said, while desirous of showing all courtesy to the hon. Member for Cambridge, he must say that it was taking an undue liberty with hon. Members to put them to the inconvenience of attending to consider a particular Bill, and, when there was a full House, to have it announced suddenly from the Chair, without the attendance of the responsible Member, that the business for which they had assembled was to be postponed.


said, he was in the same position as the hon. Member for Exeter—opposed to the Bill, and informed of the intended postponement; and he knew that a number of Members interested in it had gone away with the belief that the understanding as to postponement would be acted upon.


knew that many Members interested in the Bill had left the House, and rather than have the Order discharged he would move the adjournment of the debate.


said, his hon. Colleague had not displayed that zeal which might have been expected of an hon. Member in regard to the first Bill he introduced, for he had personally had some difficulty in impressing the hon. Member with the fact that he must look after his own interests if he meant to carry the Bill—which, however, was open to doubt.


appealed to the noble Lord (Viscount Galway) not to press the Motion for the discharge of the Order. It was quite true he had ample grounds for making it, for the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire (Mr. R. Young) was in the House up to within a minute of the time that the Order was read; and to leave it then, knowing of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Chippenham (Mr. Goldney), was almost an act of disrespect to the House. However, the hon. Member had not been long in the House. They must give him credit for fully believing that an understanding had been arrived at, and after the statement that an understanding existed, and that hon. Members had left the House in the belief that it would be acted upon, it would hardly be consistent with the ordinary rules of their procedure to discharge the Order.


objected to the hon. Member (Mr. R. Young) being charged with any want of respect to the House in acting upon what he believed to be an accepted arrangement.


said, he was quite astonished, after he had moved the discharge of the Order, to hear that the hon. Member (Mr. R. Young) was not in the House. As he might, perhaps, be thought to be taking a somewhat unusual course, he would not put the House to the trouble of dividing, although he was inclined to do so, considering that the Bill might have been discussed in the time already spent, and that there was not the slightest chance of its passing, not a Member having said a word in its favour.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Bill to be read a second time upon Wednesday 19th June.