HC Deb 31 March 1881 vol 260 cc341-3

Order for Second Reading read.


in moving that the Order for the second reading of the Bill upon Wednesday next be discharged, and that the Bill be referred to the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills, said, that he made this Motion in conformity with the established practice of the House; but in doing so he wished to call attention to the inconvenience and hardship which the practice inflicted upon private Members. When a Bill was referred in this way to the Examiners of Private Bills it necessarily lost its place on the Paper for second reading; and, as the House was aware, it was almost impossible to get a Bill to a second reading unless the Member in charge of it balloted for a day on the first night of the Session. If he was successful in obtaining an early day, and the Bill affected any particular locality, or appeared to affect any rights of private bodies, it then became necessary to refer th Bill to the Examiners, and he lost the day he had obtained. This happened even though the Examiners might ultimately hold that the Bill was entirely a public one. It thus became practically impossible for a private Member to bring in a Bill with a prospect of getting it read a second time, however important it might be, if it became necessary to refer it to the Examiners. He hoped the House would see its way to modifying the existing practice by a new Standing Order, which he hoped to be able to propose, dealing with this inconvenience, and permitting a Bill referred under such circumstances to the Examiners, to retain its place on the Order Book for second reading. He might add that the difficulty became greater by the application of the half-past 12 o'clock Rule.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Order for the Second Reading of the Bill upon Wednesday next be discharged, and that the Bill be referred to the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bill."—(Mr. Bryce.)


hoped he might be allowed to say a word upon the subject. He would not take up the time of the House by commenting upon the reference of the Bill to the Examiners; but he could not let the opportunity pass of calling the attention of the Government to the importance of the measure, and of expressing a hope that if the Bill came forward too late to be fully considered this Session, the Government would, at the earliest time at their disposal, take up this important matter, with a view of giving effect by legislation to the views of the Royal commissioners.

Motion agreed to.

Leave given to the Examiners to sit and proceed forthwith.

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