§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK,
in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that it had been before the House on several previous occasions, and was therefore well known to hon. Members.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir John Lubbock.)
§ MR. BROMLEY-DAVENPORTmoved the adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Bromley-Davenport.)
§ MR. MUNDELLA
supported the Second Reading of the Bill, which he thought ought now to be allowed to pass.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
wished to remind the House of a fact which had, apparently, escaped the notice of the hon. Baronet, which was that the Bill had only been delivered since the last Sitting of the House, and that, consequently, there had been no opportunity for hon. Members to give Notice of opposition to it. If, therefore, the spirit of the half-past 12 o'clock Rule was to be observed by the House it was manifest that it would be unreasonable to proceed with the Bill after objection was taken to its being proceeded with at half-past 2, a couple of hours later than the hour prescribed in the Rule to which he had referred.
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK
said, he would have been very reluctant to press the Bill at that hour of the night, had it not been for the manner in which it had been treated on previous occasions. If his hon. Friends opposite really desired to consider the Bill, he would be happy to give them time to do so; but he feared that they had made up their minds. The Bill was really the same as that upon which the House had often expressed an opinion, and he thought, therefore, that no object would be gained by delay.
§ MR. ASSHETON
protested against the Bill being pushed forward in such a hurry. It proposed to deal with private property in what he considered a most ruthless and unjustifiable manner, and he would oppose it by every means in his power.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, he did not know whether the Chief Secretary for Ireland had spoken on behalf of the Government.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
thought, perhaps, the right hon. Gentleman was returning to his former instincts, and that, having forgotten the official position he held, he was taking the lead, as in the last Parliament, they must remember, he always did in measures of obstruction. The right hon. Gentleman appeared to be the great obstructive of this Bill, and he was not at all surprised that he should take that attitude. They would see enough, no doubt, of an hon. Member from Ireland who had preached obstruction of this Bill at every stage; but he only wanted to point out now that there were no Gentlemen who understood the art of obstruction so well, or practised it so frequently, as hon. Gentlemen opposite.
MR. C. BECKETT-DENISON
did not think the remarks the House had just heard would much advance this discussion. Personally, he was not in the least opposed to the Bill; but he would suggest that if, on the chance of a great many opponents of the Bill being absent, it was pressed through that stage that night, the opposition at the next stage would be all the fiercer for it. Of course, he understood that the hon. Baronet, after unsuccessfully trying four or five Sessions to pass this Bill, looked with great disfavour on any opposition, even at that late hour of the morning; but he certainly could not give the hon. Baronet his support at that hour, and under those circumstances.
§ Question put.
§ The Housedivided:—Ayes 35; Noes 55: Majority 20.—(Div. List, No. 2.)
§ Main Question put, andagreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, andcommittedforTo-morrow.