§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE,
in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, in order to save time, he would suggest that any discussion that might be wished on the measure should be taken on the later stage. He would move its second reading.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(The Lord Advocate.)
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
concurred in the objection, especially when the amount of opposition existing against it in Scotland was considered.
§ COLONEL ALEXANDER
regretted to hear the remarks of the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken. He had lately come back from Scotland, and could testify that there was only one chorus of approbation of the conduct of the Government in proposing the Bill. The feeling was, that if they had only carried the clause providing for medical aid, that alone would have entitled the Government to the gratitude of the people of Scotland.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said, that without pronouncing any opinion for or against the Bill, he was sure there was not such a chorus in its favour as had been represented. He thought, moreover, that nothing whatever would be gained by reading the Bill a second time now and taking the discussion at a later stage. It was rather a slipshod way of conducting business. They had Scotch Business put down and deferred night after night, and then they were at last implored to pass Bills, even without discussion. That he regarded as anything but the right mode of conducting Scotch Business.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, the questions which were raised in the Bill were matters which were much ventilated in Scotland. There was considerable difference of opinion and much discussion upon them. Therefore he thought that the House should have a fair opportunity of considering the measure.
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, he approved of the Bill in a general way, and should be glad to see it read a second time. Yet he must complain of the manner in which Scotch Business was treated by the Government. Scotch Members were treated badly by the last Government; but the present were even worse, inasmuch as they never could get discussions of Scotch Business except private Members Bills on Wednesdays. On such occasions as the present the Bills were 260 always left over till 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning; and then it was said that if they were not allowed to pass without opposition, they would not be taken at all. The Bill was very much what it had been described to be by the hon. Baronet, and would not require much discussion till after being in Committee; but still, as it was a matter of great importance to the Scotch Members, they would like to say something about it, and he would consent to the second reading now if the Government would undertake to allow them to have a full discussion on going into Committee.
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, he had entered into an engagement that when Bills were opposed an opportunity should be given to hon. Gentlemen for having them discussed; but he had consulted the Lord Advocate in regard to this Bill, and they had agreed that it was an exception. There was no opposition to the principle of the Bill, and the only points on which discussion would take place were those of detail, and he assured them there would be ample opportunity for discussing these on a future occasion.
§ MR. YEAMAN
said, that so far as his constituency were concerned, they had no objection to the principle of the Bill, though they thought considerable alteration was required on the clauses. He thought they might take the second reading now.
§ MR. RAMSAY,
in explanation, said, he did not object to the principle of the Bill, but to the time at which Scotch Business was brought forward.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after One o'clock.