§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Lord Frederick Cavendish.)
§ MR. COURTNEY
hoped some explanation would be given of the objects of this Bill. Nothing was known of it, for it had not yet been printed.
§ LORD FREDERICK CAVENDISH
said, a Drainage Board was formed in this district some time ago, and it appeared that, in carrying out its works, some damage was done to a farm. The farmer sued for damages, which he obtained, and, as the Board had no money to pay either these, or the costs they had incurred, they had asked to be allowed to borrow the money on loan; and this Bill was to confer on them power to borrow £1,000. Considering the difficult position in which this Board stood, and the lateness of the Session, he hoped he would be allowed to take the second reading then, deferring the discussion till they got into Committee.
§ An hon. MEMBER: County Limerick.
§ MR. MONK
said, he must object to this Bill being taken at this time. He rose to Order. It was all very well for his hon. Friend to bring in a Bill of this nature, and ask to have it read a second time, without being printed; but it was 776 most unusual, except in the case of Indemnity Bills, or Annual Bills. This Motion really ought not to be pressed.
§ LORD FREDERICK CAVENDISH
said, he did not desire to press the Bill against the strong feeling of the House; but, at the same time, he did appeal to them to allow it to pass the second reading. His hon. Friend said it was a monstrous request, but his hon. Friend knew next to nothing about the Bill. The case of the district concerned was an extremely hard one. Through little or no fault of its own, it had been placed in a position which was practically one of bankruptcy. By a decision of a Court of Law they had been cast in £600 damages and £400 costs. It was utterly impossible for them to raise the money, and unless a loan was granted to them the distress in that district would be very great indeed. They did not propose to take any further step until the Bill was printed, but if the Bill was not read a second time that night, he would be placed in a position of great difficulty.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have to say that the course proposed to be taken is an unusual one; but I cannot say it is a breach of Order to read a Bill a second time without its being printed. It is not a question that I can decline to put from the Chair.
said, many of them had had experience of drainage matters in England, and they knew that they required great consideration; besides, this was a question which ought to be considered and discussed locally before this Bill was passed.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. LAW)
said, as he was counsel in the case, he might be supposed to know something about the facts. This drainage district was formed, and the drainage system was executed by the Irish Board of Works, who then handed it over to drainage trustees, persons who were interested in the district. They had nothing to do with forming the district, nor had the ratepayers, but it was practically left by the Irish officials to the trustees to carry out. They were consulted of course, but the work was done and executed by the officials, and then handed over to the trustees. By floods or otherwise, after the work had been done, damage was done to a farm outside the drainage 777 area. The farmer brought an action against the trustees for sending too much water upon him, and they were cast in damages. The trustees had no funds, being merely persons appointed to look after the district, and yet they were condemned to pay £600 damages to the farmer and £400 for costs. They could not pay this money themselves, and the Bill was, therefore, brought in to enable them to borrow it from the Treasury. These were all the facts of the case, and as it was a very simple one, he hoped, under the circumstances the House might read the Bill a second time and discuss its provisions in Committee.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow, at Two of the clock.