§ (Mr. Dodson.)
§ COMMITTEE. [Progress 2nd May.]
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clauses 3 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Clause 9 (Provisional Order to prevent discharge of certain gases in salt works).
§ MR. WILBRAHAM EGERTON
said, there was an Amendment down in the name of his noble Friend (Earl Percy), which, in his absence, he would move.
Amendment proposed,In page 4, line 8, after "carried on," insert "or in any galvanizing or tin-plate works in which iron is treated with acid previous to receiving a coating of tin or other metal."—(Mr. Wilbraham Egerton.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. DODSON
was sorry to say he could not accept the Amendment. He would not detain the Committee by discussing its merits; but would merely point out that if it were accepted it would be extremely unfair to a great many works in the country which had been given to understand that they would not be affected by the measure. There were a considerable number of these works scattered over a wide part of the country which would come under inspection if this proposal were adopted, and a large additional staff of Inspectors would have to be appointed. Under the circumstances, although the recommendation of the Royal Commissioners had not been followed, he hoped the hon. Member would not press the Amendment.
§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
said, that at this hour—1 o'clock in the morning—and as they had a Morning Sitting before them, he thought it only reasonable that they should now allow the Chairman to report Progress. The President of the Local Government Board appeared to be so exhausted that he could not speak loud enough for any 1413 hon. Members to hear him. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, he (Mr. Arthur O'Connor) had been unable to catch one single word the right hon. Gentleman had said, and it must be confessed that the Members of the Government were not the only persons in the House who were exhausted. He would move to report Progress.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(MR. Arthur O' Connor.)
§ MR. DODSON
hoped the hon. Member could hear him now, and was sorry that the words he had uttered had failed to reach everyone in the House. As far as he and his Friends were concerned—and he thought that, on this matter, he could speak for the majority of hon. Members opposite—they were anxious to see this matter settled. The clauses he was asking the Committee to go through were, substantially, agreed to. He might say that with the exception of that now under discussion there was not an Amendment to the clause he wished the Committee to take which was opposed by any hon. Member interested in the measure on either side of the House. He might say that all he proposed to do to-night was to go through the Bill as far as the 25th clause, which was a contested provision. Under the circumstances, he trusted hon. Members opposite would allow the measure to go forward. It was not in any sense a Party measure. It was a Bill in which manufacturers and residents in the neighbourhood of manufactories were alike interested, both being anxious that it should become law as soon as possible.
§ MR. A. M. SULLIVAN
pointed out to the hon. Member for Queen's County (Mr. Arthur O'Connor) that he had had sufficient proof that he had been labouring under a misconception as to the physical powers of the Member of the Government in charge of the Bill, and appealed to him to withdraw his Motion. It had been clearly demonstrated that not only was the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Dodson) physically, but mentally, and in the best possible temper, prepared to go on with the Bill. There was another reason he would venture to suggest to the hon. Member why he should not press on his Motion, and it 1414 was this—that in the future an Irish Bill would have to make large demands on the time of the House; and for that reason he (Mr. A. M. Sullivan), for one, as an Irish Member, was prepared to remain in the House an hour or two longer in order to help through an English Bill which was desired by the English people. He was sure he was not appealing in vain to his hon. Friend.
§ Mr. WILBRAHAM EGERTON
said, that after the appeal from the Government he would withdraw his Amendment. It was the opinion of the Commissioners—or so his noble Friend (Earl Percy) had thought—that such a clause as this should be inserted in any measure introduced on this subject. So far as the Bill dealt with a certain class of works, however, it had his (Mr. Wilbraham Egerton's) support, and he would not delay its progress by pressing his Amendment.
§ MR. HEALY
said, the hon. and learned Member for Meath (Mr. A. M. Sullivan) must have a very short memory if he thought the Irish Members were anxious to pass the Government Land Bill, which they looked upon as a most absurd measure. He would not ask his hon. Friend (Mr. Arthur O'Connor) to withdraw his Motion. What they had to consider was, were they going to consent to stay in the House until 2, 3, and 4 o'clock every morning? For his own part, whenever a Motion to report Progress was made after 1 o'clock in the morning he should support it.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, that before the Committee went to a division he wished to say that, for an opposite reason to that given by the hon. Member who had just sat down, he intended to vote with the Government. In his opinion, the Land Law (Ireland) Bill was not an "absurd" measure, and he would appeal to the hon. Member for Queen's County not to offer any obstruction to any Government measure which could in any form or way delay the progress of that Bill. It must not be supposed that many of the Irish Members—he amongst the number—abstained from voting on the second reading because they considered the measure absurd; and he wished to enter a most decided protest against any such language being used in regard to the Land Bill.
§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
said, that after the very satisfactory, though 1415 unusual exhibition they had had of sympathy and agreement between the hon. Members for Meath and Louth (Mr. A. M. Sullivan and Mr. Callan), he was not disposed to interfere with the continuance of those feelings. Unquestionably, there was a disadvantage in proceeding with measures at this hour of the morning, when their Business was conducted in whispers. Yesterday an hon. Member sitting on the Treasury Bench, distinctly and intentionally placing his hand before his mouth, had conducted a portion of the Business in a low whisper, in order that the course he desired the House to take should meet with no opposition. In the lowest tone that he could contrive, he had proposed that the House should sit at 2 o'clock to-morrow; and it was not until the Speaker had refused to recognizes such an unusual proceeding, and had called upon the hon. Member to state his proposal clearly, that the proposal was made known to the House. That was one example of the dangers they would have to face if they allowed the Business to be conducted in whispers; and it had taught him that it was always desirable, when they could not hear what was going on, to propose an adjournment of the discussion. The first short speech of the right hon Gentleman (Mr. Dodson) he had been unable to hear, and he had said so to the Committee; but after the manifestation the right hon. Member had since given of the excellence of his physical powers—which he hoped he might long continue to enjoy—he (Mr. O'Connor) was ready to admit that the President of the Local Government Board was in a position to conduct the Business of the Committee. As it was the feeling of the Committee that they should go on with the Bill he would withdraw the Motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment proposed,In page 4, line 13, after "discharged," to insert "Also whether in any works in which aluminous deposits are treated for the purpose of making cement, hereinafter called 'cement works,' such means as aforesaid can be adopted with respect to the noxious or offensive gases evolved from such works."—(Sir Sydney Waterlow.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. DODSON
said, the hon. Member's Amendment was to insert cement works in Clause 9. That had been substantially agreed to in an Amendment already adopted, and the present proposal was only a formal one to make the words of the clause agree with the intention of the Committee.
§ MR. DODSON
said, the hon. Member evidently had a wrong copy of the Amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendment proposed,In page 4, line 10, after "gas," insert "and in the case of cement works of any noxious or offensive gas."—(Sir Sidney Waterlow.)Amendment agreed to.
Amendment proposed,In page 4, line 28, at end, add, "The Board shall take such steps as they may think fit for giving notice to persons interested of the provisions of any order made by them under this section before any Bill for confirming the same is introduced into Parliament."—(Mr. Dodson.)Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.