HC Deb 27 June 1876 vol 230 cc535-6

Order for Second Reading read.


moved that the Bill be now read a second time, with the view of a Select Committee being appointed to consider it.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland.)


was sorry to say that he could not agree with the proposition. The Bill was one of the most important relating to Ireland that could be brought before the House. It proposed to revolutionize the whole system of County Courts, and that being the case it ought not to be read a second time in that way without a discussion. The Bill was introduced and read the first time on the 8th February, and had been put down for second reading about 50 times. Yet the discussion had not taken place to this day, and the Government therefore had no right to complain that he objected to it being referred to a Select Committee in this summary manner. To refer the Bill to a Select Committee in July was quite absurd. Most of the Irish Members would not be in the House in July, and it was very important that persons taking an interest in the question should serve on the Committee. He repeated that the Bill involved changes of the most important character. The House would, perhaps, be surprised to hear that the County Courts were now nearly 80 years old. They existed in Ireland before they existed in England. They were indebted to the Irish Parliament, which they were so much in the habit of abusing, for the first establishment of Civil Courts in Ireland, and they were now exercising a jurisdiction under an. Act passed in 1796. They were the cheapest Courts in any part of the United Kingdom. They had given universal satisfaction to the people in Ireland, and he believed there were no Courts in Ireland in which people had such confidence as they had in the Civil Courts.

And it being ten minutes before Seven of the clock, the Debate was adjourned till this day.

The House suspended its sitting at Seven of the clock.

The House resumed its sitting at Nine of the clock.