HC Deb 17 February 1879 vol 243 cc1387-91

Order for Committee read.

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


said, this was a very important Bill, and it affected most materially the liberties of the subject. He should oppose this Bill, and all such others, which had for their object putting a stop to the legitimate amusements of the people on the plea that they could by legislation improve the morals of the public. He hoped the hon. Gentleman would consent that it should not go into Committee at this hour. He believed that since the hon. Member for Glasgow carried this Bill certain facts had come out which his hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Sir Charles Legard) would tell the House; but to be asked to pass a Bill through Committee at that hour, it could hardly be expected that many Members would not oppose it in every way. He opposed the Bill last time, and was instrumental in stopping it. It was somewhat a long Bill, and at the present time he did not think they had had time to consider it properly, even though it was said to be the same Bill that did not pass last Session. He begged to move that the consideration of the Bill be taken that day six months. MR. STACPOOLE seconded the Motion.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, "this House will, upon this day six months, resolve itself into the said Committee,"— (Mr. Onslow,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, notwithstanding the decision which the House arrived at on Saturday morning, he should again oppose the Bill. He stated, on the last occasion, that he had been present at the meetings to which the Bill was to be applied; and he had not seen anything which ought to cause the measure to become law. He had taken some little trouble to ascertain whether those few meetings were really of the description that it was necessary for the House of Commons to legislate for. He believed the House ought not to indulge in any mere sentimental legislation. He thought there never was a case in which there was greater reason to pause than there was now, before they legislated to do away with two small suburban meetings. He need not say he was not personally interested, directly or indirectly; but, as far as he understood it, the House was asked to legislate expressly to do away with the race-meetings at Kingsbury and Streatham, because he understood the Bill would not apply to the Alexandra Palace meeting owing to the more amiable disposition of the magistrates of that district. Therefore, it came to this—Kingsbury and Streatham had offended the dignity of a few people who lived in their vicinity, and they wished to get them stopped. Well, he had obtained from the proprietor of Kingsbury racecourse that he had canvassed the whole of the ratepayers of Kingsbury upon the question. There were 55 ratepayers, and out of that number eight were neutral, eight were from home, and three only were opposed to the races—consequently, giving all as against, there were still 36 in favour of the races. He knew nothing about Streatham; but, with regard to Kingsbury, he was informed that not a single police case occurred, not a robbery was reported in the neighbourhood, until the magistrates withdrew the licence for refreshments, and then the police were withdrawn. Up to that time, not a single case of rowdyism had occurred. Consequently, if the magistrates had not withdrawn the police from attending the race-meetings, no disturbance would probably have occurred. Well, then his hon. and learned Friend (Sir Henry James) had said that he objected to Kingsbury races because no good horses over ran there. Now he (Sir Charles Legard) had ascertained that three Grand National winners had run at Kingsbury; and although he did not bring forward that as an argument, the argument of his hon. and learned Friend was done away with. He read part of a letter from the Vicar of Kingsbury in support of the respectable manner Kingsbury races were conducted. And, in conclusion, he contended that the House of Commons should not be asked to legislate simply to do away with two small race-meetings.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 64; Noes 30: Majority 34.—(Div. List, No. 11.)

Question again proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."

MR. STACPOOLE moved the adjournment of the debate.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."— (Mr. Stacpoole.)

The House divided:—Ayes 24; Noes 61: Majority 37.—(Div. List, No. 12.)

Question again proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."


Sir, I move the adjournment of the House. Nothing is so disgusting to me as sanctimonious hypocrisy. If hon. Members wish to be very virtuous, why do they not move that the Derby shall be abolished, or the St. Leger, or the Chester Cup, and all the rest of the races in England? Why do they not move that we shall have no more racing at the Curragh? They oppose two miserable races near London. I have been informed that the Directors of the Glasgow Bank were gentlemen who were extremely sanctimonious, and that they subscribed large sums of money — which, I believe, they never paid—to the Irish Church Missions, and others, for sanctimonious purposes. And what became of them, Sir? We know what became of them. They utterly impoverished and destroyed thousands of the poorest families in this country. It is perfectly well known that they were the most sanctimonious hyprocrites in the whole Kingdom. I move the adjournment of the House.


seconded the Motion.

Motion made, and Question put, "That this House do now adjourn."— (Major O' Gorman.)

The House divided:—Ayes 18; Noes 64: Majority 46.—(Div. List, No. 13.)

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


thought hon. Gentlemen ought to have further opportunity for discussing the Bill.


said, all the Amendments on the Bill were debated last year; and therefore, as there was no time later on in the Session, and the sense of the House had been so decidedly pronounced on the matter, he hoped he might be allowed to go on.


said, he believed that Her Majesty's Government had almost in a body supported the Bill, while some of the strongest supporters of the Government would vote against them in reporting Progress. There was a very strong feeling against this Bill; and he felt that, considering all that had happened — that many Bills had been stopped on account of the lateness of the hour—it was not inconsistent to ask that further consideration of the Bill should be postponed till a more suitable opportunity.


agreed with the hon. Member that it was absurd to think of the House being asked to go into Committee on a Bill at 2 o'clock in the morning. There was something preposterous in the Motion. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) had, no doubt, a high moral standing on this question; but he did join with hon. Gentlemen on the other side in asking the hon. Member to allow the Bill to be put down for another day.


said, the hon. Member would not expect him to agree that they had not made substantial Progress that night; and having regard to the progress of the Bill last Session, he thought they might now report Progress.



Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

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