HC Deb 22 July 1878 vol 241 cc2140-6

Clause 64 (Recovery and application of penalties, and other matters).

MR. ANDERSON moved, in page 35, line 29, after "Act," to insert—"if from justices or burgh magistrates shall be to the sheriff of the county, otherwise." At present the provisions of the Bill would bear very hard upon a poor man. If any appeal were made, it would have to be to the Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh. The Amendment he proposed did not alter that provision if the appeal were made from the Sheriff; but when appeals were made from the Justices or borough magistrates, he desired that they should be heard by the Sheriff. This would give a poor man a chance of getting redress. They had not got much faith in Justices' decisions in Scotland, and it was necessary to provide a more simple mode of appeal from them or borough magistrates than the Bill at present provided. He, therefore, hoped the hon. Gentleman would concede the Amendment.


could not agree to accept the Amendment, and for this reason—these clauses had been carefully drawn by his right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate, with a special view to the present form of appeal. The same form was adopted in all Acts now being passed relating to Scotland; and, therefore, he could not accept the proposed alteration.

Amendment negatived.

MR. ANDERSON moved, in page 35, line 38, to leave out "the fine and expenses awarded against him by the conviction or order appealed from, together with." He thought such an Amendment could hardly be refused, because an exactly similar one had already been accepted for England. The effect of the Amendment was that a man appealing against a judgment should find security for the costs of the appeal, but should not be compelled to find security for the fine inflicted upon him. Such a provision, as enacted in the Bill, meant depriving a poor man of the right of any appeal at all. As the right of not finding security for the fine on appeal had been accorded to the English people, of course the same policy would be adopted in the case of the Scotch people.

Amendment agreed to.

SIR CHARLES W. DILKE moved that the Chairman report Progress. They were now coming to the Irish portion of the Bill, and it was perfectly preposterous to think of taking any Irish clause at such an hour—a quarter to 1. Clause 33—the very important foreign clause—was postponed that night, in order that the Irish clauses might first be considered. That being so, the Irish part of the Bill required careful consideration, with the view of taking them together with the clause alluding to foreign animals.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Sir Charles W. Dilke.)


pointed out that much time might be wasted by reporting Progress. They had now to consider not only hours, but days; and, bearing in mind the Amendments which had been made in the Bill, and bearing in mind that the greater part of the next week would be devoted to the foreign debate, they had to consider how far they could go with the Bill that night. He knew that many hon. Members from Ireland were exceedingly anxious to go on with the Intermediate Education (Ireland) Bill; but it would be impossible for the Government to take that unless they were allowed to make progress with the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill. He thought the House would be disposed to make an exertion to push forward the Business, and not prolong the Session too much.


saw no reason why they should not go on with the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill. He desired to see the Irish clauses disposed of, so that they might proceed with the Intermediate Education (Ireland) Bill.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 16; Noes 166: Majority 150.—(Div. List, No. 231.)

MR. CHAMBERLAIN moved that the Chairman do leave the Chair. He must say it appeared to him extremely unreasonable to be pressing on the Bill at such a time, especially as the Committee had considered 34 clauses that evening, showing that the Government had been allowed to make very considerable progress. If there had been any obstruction to the measure, he said deliberately that it had proceeded from the Government, because Amendments had been accepted after the Government had spent two or three hours in disputing them. He considered that time would be saved if the Government would accept his proposal, and let the House consider the remainder of the Bill at some future date.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. Chamberlain.)


said, the clauses of the Bill at present before the Committee related exclusively to Ireland, and there was not a single Irish Member present who did not wish the discussion to proceed. There was not one Irish Member who voted in the miserable minority of 16. Was he to understand that this Motion to obstruct the Irish Members in their own Business was given up. [Mr. CHAMBERLAIN: No, it is not.] That being so, he must tell the hon. Member for Chelsea that this was an obstruction of the Irish Members; and he must say that the hon. Member for Chelsea should be the last person in the House to be guilty of such obstruction, seeing that he was returned by Irish votes to that House. He (Mr. Butt) thought it ill became the hon. Baronet to set himself against the wishes of the whole Irish Members. He had no objection to a fair discussion upon any clause, but he protested against obstruction. He appealed to the Committee and to the House for fair play; and he complained of the action of those who were trying to prevent the Irish Members doing their Business at any time of night they chose. They wished to go on with the Bill, because they knew that by so doing they would be forwarding a Bill of great interest to Ireland. He, therefore, appealed to the hon. Member for Chelsea not to obstruct the Irish Members in Business which concerned them.


said, the hon. Member for Chelsea had stated that he would not oppose the Bill save in the shape of fair criticism. He now gave the hon. Member the opportunity of proving the sincerity of that allegation. There was now a proposal before the House that the Chairman leave the Chair, although there was no Amendment of any consequence on the Paper until Clause 68 was reached. That being so, if hon. Members were sincere in their statement that they did not wish to vexatiously obstruct the measure, they would go on with the clauses until an important Amendment was reached.


asked the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) to withdraw his Motion until Clause 68 was reached, as previous to that clause there were no Amendments beyond mere formalities. When Clause 68 was reached, as the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Pease) had an important Amendment to it, he would suggest that Progress be reported.


said, he was quite ready to accept the proposal of the last speaker. His only object in the course he had taken was that the part of the Bill relating to Ireland should not be discussed at such an hour; and if hon. Members said there were some clauses on which no important Amendments occurred, he did not see why those should not be taken before Progress was reported; although, at the same time, he must confess that he thought no time would be lost by deferring them to another day. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt) had spoken very strongly with regard to him (Sir Charles W. Dilke). He and his hon. and learned Friend had always been on good terms, and he hoped always would be. But with regard to the hon. and learned Gentleman's charge against English Members of obstructing Irish Business, he must assure him that if the part of the Bill they were now on related exclusively to Ireland, the English Members certainly would not interfere. But they could not look at the Bill in that way. They must regard it as affecting England, and affecting the trade in foreign animals. Early in the evening, his right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) who, he was sorry to say, had voted against reporting Progress—moved, in a few excellent remarks, that Clause 33 be postponed until the part of the Bill relating to Ireland had been considered, and to this the Government assented, admitting, at once, that it was necessary to decide first what was to be done with regard to Ireland before dealing with foreign beasts. This acceptance on the part of the Government of the suggestion of his right hon. Friend, showed that they considered that part of the Bill relating to foreign animals, and that having reference to Ireland, should be taken conjointly. That being so, he thought the Irish clauses should not be taken that night.


said, half-an-hour before he had asked whether the Irish clauses were likely to come on that night, and he understood the hon. Gentleman (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson) to say he thought they would not. The consequence was that he had contemplated leaving the House. When the Motion to report Progress was made, and he found that the Irish Members wished to go on, he considered that they might fairly do so until a debatable clause was reached, and hence, he voted against reporting Progress. He still considered they might be allowed to go on until the 68th clause was reached; but that then Progress had better be reported, as the clause was an important one, and one on which the hon. Member for Durham (Mr. Pease) and the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) would both propose Amendments.


regretted the attack which had just been made upon his hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea. It was not correct to say that his hon. Friend had obstructed the Bill. He had rendered most valuable aid in discussing the clauses. While, however, he was surprised that his hon. Friend should have been attacked in such a violent manner, he was still more surprised at the conduct of the Government. The Bill had now been under consideration for several hours, and when, after 1 o'clock in the morning, they moved to report Progress, they were immediately told by the Government that they were obstructives. This was not the way hon. Members ought to be treated. Formerly, it was the practice of Government to consent to Progress being reported when it was half-past 12 o'clock, and it was quite an innovation for the present Government to desire to push a measure through Committee after 1 o'clock in the morning. He hoped, if they were to proceed any further with the Bill that night, it would be on the understanding that they were not to take any contested clauses, only those that were unopposed. The House was not in a temper to discuss the Bill any more that night, and he should certainly object to their taking any clause which was opposed.


Of course, we do not want to detain the House unnecessarily, and we feel that there are one or two important clauses—such as Clause 68—which it would not be right for us to ask the Committee to discuss to-night. On the other hand, there are several clauses which we think may well be disposed of at the present Sitting, because they do not appear likely to give rise to any serious discussion. What I suggest is that when we come to Clause 68, we should postpone it until a future day; but that we should endeavour to complete the other clauses of the Bill. If we do that, we may be able to get through a good deal of work, not of a very difficult character, but which might lead to more discussion on another occasion than it will now.


thought the proposal just made could hardly be accepted. Not only would Clause 68 create some discussion, but there was an important Amendment to Clause 71. The Government ought to be satisfied if they passed the unopposed clauses up to Clause 68, and that Progress should then be reported.


was in favour of proceeding with the Bill.


regretted the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt). It showed an entire want of knowledge of the case, and he protested against a discussion of so much importance to Ireland being commenced at half-past 1 o'clock in the morning. On a former occasion, a great injustice was inflicted upon Ireland by a Cattle Plague Bill being forced through at an early hour of the morning. Although, in the division which had just taken place, he had voted in the majority, yet, if there was to be another division, he should vote in favour of adjournment.


gathered that it was the wish of the Committee that before Progress was reported, the couple of unopposed clauses should be agreed to; and, therefore, he would withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.