§ [Progress Clause 1, 17th February.]
§ Order for Committee read.
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 (Definitions) agreed to.
§ Clause 2 (Horse-races unlawful within 10 miles of London unless licensed).
§ MR. CALLAN
begged to report Progress. He did not think that at 10 minutes past 1 such a Bill should be rushed through the House, and that further time should be given for consideration. He had no doubt that the Bill would meet with the support of the Scotch Presbyterians; but he (Mr. Callan) belonged to a religion which did not exact such sacrifices, and contributed to the amusement of the people. He regarded the Bill as an act of barbarism, inasmuch as it limited their enjoyments. He trusted it would never pass into law.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Callan.)
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
hoped the House would be allowed to go on with the Bill, which had been before it a very long time, although it had come forward very late in the evening. He was quite as strongly in favour of retaining all the rational amusements of the people as the hon. Member for Dundalk (Mr. Callan), and as long as he had any power would do all he could to promote them. He only spoke in the interest of public order, when he said that had not people seen that these 365 races were conducted in an improper manner the hon. Member for Glasgow (Mr. Anderson) would not have brought forward the Bill. But the races in question had not been conducted with proper decency.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
suggested that the House should finish the Bill, and was glad that the Home Secretary had opposed the Motion of the hon. Member, because he had thereby removed the impression of some hon. Members on his side of the House, who thought they observed other Members leaving and contributing to the risk of a "Count-out."
§ MR. CALLAN
did not think that the sensibility of the right hon. Gentleman should be so marked; for although he had been an official of the Government for the last 10 years, he (Mr. Callan) had never found him lend his assistance to the proprieties of life by putting down Cremorne or the Argyll Rooms.
§ MAJOR O'GORMAN
was quite astonished at the wonderful virtue which was assumed by the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary on that occasion. Of course, he freely granted him the possession of the utmost virtue; but when he told them that all the virtue of racing in England was concentrated by the abolition of racing at two or three wretched meetings in the immediate vicinity of London, all he could say was that he did not agree with the proposition. If the right hon. Gentleman wished the country to become perfectly virtuous, he ought to put down all racing. He (Major O'Gorman) was inclined to the belief that the Bill ought to take a larger scope. The Derby ought to be put down—there was no doubt about that. Every vice that could be imagined had full scope at the Derby; and, doubtless, every vice had full scope at those two or three Metropolitan races. Why should they have been singled out for prohibition? What was the reason that their legislation did not go further and higher, and in a more virtuous direction?
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 2; Noes 63: Majority 61.—(Div. List, No. 37.)
§ Clause agreed to.366
§ Clause 3 (Power to justices to license at Michaelmas Quarter Sessions) agreed to.
§ Clause 4 (Mode of making application for licence) agreed to.
§ Clause 5 (Penalty on persons taking part in unlicensed horse-races) agreed to.
§ Clause 6 (Penalty on owners and occupiers of ground where unlicensed horse-races take place) agreed to.
§ Clause 7 (Unlicensed horse-races to be deemed a nuisance, and liable accordingly) agreed to.
§ Clause 8 (Exemption in favour of long existing horse-race meetings).
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
I am bound to say that I do not like this clause, and think it ought to be altered. I move that this clause be struck out.
§ Clause struck out.
§ Clause 9 (Short title) agreed to.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Tuesday next.
§ MR. ONSLOW
gave Notice that on the Report he should move that the Bill be considered that day six months.