HC Deb 20 June 1881 vol 262 cc953-4

Bill, as amended, further considered.


wished to ask Mr. Speaker's opinion on a point of Order. He wished to know whether he could reverse the fiat of the Attorney General upon his Amendments? He had said to the House what he wished to say; therefore he would not press this point.

New Clause (Publication of ex parte statements before a magistrate, &c.)—(Mr. Warton,)—brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."


said, he could not allow the new clause to pass at this hour of the morning. He would move the adjournment of the debate.

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


hoped the House would dispose of this matter, and pointed out to the hon. and learned Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton) that the proposed clause could have no effect on the Bill. The clause said that the 2nd and 3rd sections of the Act should not apply to proceedings before the magistrates. Well, these sections did not apply to proceedings before the magistrates. They only applied to public meetings, and proceedings before the magistrates were not public meetings. He hoped the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Briggs) would not persist in his Motion, and so obstruct the progress of the Bill.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Question put, and negatived.


said, there was a great deal of force in what the Attorney General had said as to the last Amendment; but he (Mr. Warton) had another on the Paper which, he thought, did relate to the subject of the Bill, and did refer to public meetings. The Amendment was very important, and would apply to meetings of railway shareholders or bank directors, at which statements were made reflecting upon the conduct of some person or persons. It would be known when these statements were made that the meeting was to be adjourned, and that an opportunity would be given to the parties interested to reply. At the adjourned meeting parties might come forward and repel the accusations; and he therefore proposed that the new protection should not be given to newspapers publishing a report of the first meeting, but only to those who published their report after the adjourned meeting had been held.

New Clause,— (Provision as to ex parte statements at public meetings.) The protection afforded by sections two and three of this Act shall not extend to the case of the publication of any ex parte statement made at a public meeting, which public meeting was adjourned, unless such publication be made after such adjourned meeting,"—(Mr. Warton,)

brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."


said, that it would be in the interest of the public that the reports should appear without delay. He could not agree to the Amendment.

Question put, and negatived.

Bill to be read the third time To-morrow, at Two of the clock.

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