HC Deb 23 May 1871 vol 206 cc1179-80

said, when the Government Bill on that subject came on for its second reading he had suggested that it should be referred, with the other Bills relating to the same question, to a Select Committee, and on a subsequent occasion the Home Secretary assented to that suggestion. Since then, however, the right hon. Gentleman, as he understood, had stated that he was in favour of referring the Game Laws and the Law of Trespass to a Select Committee. That was a very different thing, because under his suggestion there would have been a chance of passing a measure that Session; and by the other arrangement the question would have been hung up for another Session or more. He therefore wished to know, what has caused the Government to change their purpose?


, in reply, said, he had readily assented to the suggestion that the three Bills before the House, which pretty well covered the whole subject of the game laws, should be referred to a Select Committee; but he had found that there was a very determined opposition to the second reading of those Bills. Two of them were not in the hands of the Government, and Notices of Motion against all of them had been given. There was, therefore, little probability of the Bills being read the second time early enough to be referred to a Select Committee and afterwards disposed of this Session. On the other hand, there was an expression of opinion on both sides of the House that the whole subject of the game laws, including the law of trespass, should be inquired into with a view to legislation. The Government Bill, though containing very useful provisions, did not pretend to cover the whole ground of the game laws, but only the particular parts of them which affected landlords and tenants. The Government therefore conceived that, on the whole, the best mode of facilitating the solution of that question was by referring the entire subject to a Select Committee.