HC Deb 07 June 1878 vol 240 cc1343-4

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether, in view of the fact that the County Government Bill is not to be proceeded with, he proposes to withdraw the Grand Jury Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill?


Sir, the terms of the hon. Gentleman's Question, as it appears upon the Paper, seems to me to place the County Government Bill in a different position from that which it really occupies. I do not understand that any positive announcement has been made that it will not be proceeded with this Session, but merely that other measures would be placed before it. Even if the County Bill were to be withdrawn, I should not be disposed to consider that the Grand Jury Bill would necessarily be carried down with it. On the contrary, I should consider that one of the rival claimants for the time at the disposal of the Government was thereby disposed of, and I should be most reluctant to abandon the Grand Jury Bill. I still cling to the hope that hon. Gentlemen on both sides will afford such assistance as may enable us to progress with it this Session.


remarked, that the impression on that—the Opposition—side of the House, from the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer the other day, was that the County Government Bill was not to be proceeded with. He ventured to ask, Whether that impression was correct, inasmuch as the subject was really one of too much importance to make it proper that the country should be left in a state of uncertainty upon it, and the Government measure dangled before the eyes of Parliament, to be carried forward, or dropped, as accident might determine?


Sir, it is really very difficult at this period of the Session to give absolute answers with regard to Bills; but I must confess that, in making my statement the other day with regard to the precedence which was to be given to other Bills, the impression I had was that in all probability the County Government Bill could not be fully considered this Session. At the same time, I do not like to withdraw it so early in the Session, as an opportunity for passing it may still arise.