HC Deb 24 March 1881 vol 259 cc1916-20

Order for Committee read.


, in moving that the Speaker do now leave the Chair, said, it was Isis intention, if the House went into Committee, to ask the Committee not to consider the Amendments that night, for there were a great many Amendments on the Paper; and he understood that the President of the Board of Trade wished for further time, in order to consider what Amendments it might be his duty to also place on the Paper. He therefore intended, after the Preamble of the Bill had been postponed, to move to report Progress, and to postpone the further consideration of the Bill in Committee until after Easter.

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


observed, that this was a most important Bill, and suggested that the best course would be that the Speaker should not then leave the Chair, but that the debate should be adjourned, so that the further Amendments might be placed on the Paper, and a good opportunity afterwards be given for the consideration of the Bill in Committee.


I hope the House will assent to the proposal of the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Monk). The grievance which the Bill proposes to deal with is really a very urgent one, and is a great and growing scandal. It is exceedingly desirable that there should be some speedy legislation on the subject; but, at the same time, I do not think the Bill of my hon. Friend should be allowed to pass exactly in its present form, and the House will have to give very careful attention to the Amendments already on the Paper, and to others to be proposed. There are some important Returns which have been asked for from County Court Judges, and some statistics which I hope to be able shortly to lay upon the Table. I therefore asked my hon. Friend, if the Bill should be now moved into Committee, to agree to the next stage of the Bill not being taken until after Easter. There will then be full time given to consider the Amendments; and considering the great difficulties there undoubtedly are, especially in a Session like this, in making progress with a Bill, I hope the House will assent to the suggestion now made.


hoped the official Amendments would be placed on the Paper before Easter; otherwise, when the House met after Easter, they would be in the same position as they now were. If the right hon. Gentleman would give an assurance to that effect the proposal might be agreed to; if not, he thought it should not be assented to.


The hon. Member is under some misapprehension. I understand that there are already on the Paper one or more Amendments to this Bill, and that there are other Amendments to be placed on the Paper by private Members. It was to those that I particularly referred. As to the position of the Government, it might be possible to deal with this subject in connection with the Bankruptcy Bill; and that is under the consideration of the Board of Trade. If not, then we should propose to place any Amendments we might consider necessary in connection with the present Bill on the Paper. So far as I have any influence in the matter, there shall be full time for the consideration of the Amendments.


did not wish to offer any opposition to the Bill; but he thought the House should have some understanding that the Amendments of the Government should be placed on the Paper before Easter.


also urged that the Government Amendments should be placed on the Paper before Easter, in order that they might be properly considered.


With regard to the proposal of the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. R. N. Fowler), I am afraid I could not pledge myself to put my Amendments on the Paper before Easter; but if I cannot do so, I will endeavour to insure that there shall be sufficient time for consideration afterwards.


, observing that the Government seemed not to have recovered from the influence of urgency, said, there was no urgency about this Bill. It was a ridiculous Bill; and if there was any scandal, it would be in passing a Bill of this insane description, which would destroy bills of sale altogether. There were, at least, 100 Bills of more importance than this before the House; but the hon. Member for Gloucester (Mr. Monk) was always endeavouring to force on legislation at an unseemly hour; and he protested against going on with the Bill now.

Motion agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

On Question, "That the Preamble be postponed?"


said, he hoped, now that his hon. Friend had got the Speaker out of the Chair, he would at once consent that the Bill should not be brought on till the month of May. The House would then have an opportunity of seeing the Amendments of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Chamberlain), who was so exceedingly fond of getting Bills into Committee, so that they might be advanced a stage, if there was something that he wished done. He (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) objected to the principle exceedingly; and as it was not a good principle for the House or for the country, particularly in the case of a Bill like this, which required the most serious consideration. It was a most important Bill. Undoubtedly it ought to pass; but it ought not to be passed in a hurry. The right hon. Gentleman stated that he was not prepared to put down his Amendments until after Easter; but he though the ought to be able to place them on the Paper before the House separated for the Easter Recess.


said, as soon as the Preamble had been postponed he should be ready to report Progress, and he would ask that the Committee should be fixed for an early day in May. He hoped that would meet the wishes of his hon. and gallant Friend opposite (Sir Walter B. Barttelot). It was, as his hon. and gallant Friend said, a most important Bill, and he wished to have it thoroughly considered. He wished to give ample time for putting further Amendments upon the Paper, and to consider those Amendments which were now on the Paper; but he hoped to see the Bill carried during the present year; and, as his hon. and gallant Friend knew, it was almost impossible for private Members to carry their Bills, unless they took these opportunities of moving the Speaker out of the Chair. A single Member would be able to stop this Bill if he postponed it this evening without taking the stage.


wished to point out that if the practice were pursued of moving the Speaker out of the Chair before the Amendments which were known to be about to be moved were put on the Paper, the only way in which such a very irregular practice could be prevented was by systematically "blocking" Bills.


hoped that as he had given way to the feeling of the House in not pressing for a division, the hon. Gentleman opposite would not unduly press the matter now. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Chamberlain) had not yet got a notion of the way the Government were going to treat the Bill, whe- ther they would move Amendments to the Bill itself, or whether they would incorporate in it some Bankruptcy Bill, which would never be soon passed this Session.

Preamble postponed.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Tuesday 3rd May.

Forward to