§ Question again proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be now considered."1560
§ MR. HOPWOOD,
resuming, said, he had been explaining to the House the position of this matter. On the 13th March it was ordered by the House—That the Committee of Selection do appoint a Committee, not exceeding Seven in number, to whom shall be referred all private Bills promoted by Municipal and other local Authorities, by which it is proposed to create powers relating to Police or Sanitary Regulations which deviate from, or are in extension of, or repugnant to, the general Law; and that it be an Instruction to such Committee to make a Special Report to this House in respect of any such powers as the Committee may sanction, together with the reasons on which the grant of such powers are recommended and the recent precedents applicable to the case.That Order was acted upon, and these Bills were referred to a Committee of hon. Members specially selected for the purpose; and, so far as he (Mr. Hop-wood) was concerned, he would join in bearing his testimony to the able manner in which the Committee had discharged their duties, and had complied with the general directions of the Instruction they had received from the House. Nevertheless, he had still to call attention to some matters, although not in a sense of hostility, in these Private Bills which had not been reported upon by the Committee, in the hope that in future precautions would be taken to prevent the inconvenient course adopted in the present case from becoming a precedent. The House knew what the general mode was of introducing Improvement Bills of this sort. The Bill itself usually had in view some special wants of the town in connection with which it was introduced, such as gas, or water, or possibly highways. There might be some special demand which called for legislation, and for legislation which might be properly applied locally. But when the Bill was brought in due form before the Corporation, some member of the Corporation, who had some "fad" upon some other general subject—perhaps of health—availed himself of the opportunity of converting the measure into an Omnibus Bill, so as to include in it a number of other matters on which he thought legislation might be fairly and effectively introduced. The Corporation thereupon set to work to see how this was to be done. It was provided by the Legislature under Leeman's Act that due notice should be given to the town affected, that a meeting should be called to discuss the 1561 proposal, and that nothing whatever should be done without proper information having been conveyed to the people of the town who were interested in the project. But the way in which that provision of that Statute was carried out was to insert a sort of advertisement in the newspapers, intimating that a Bill was about to he promoted in Parliament, containing provisions respecting gas and water, and "for other purposes." Then, under the "other purposes," most important clauses were introduced, often infringing the personal liberty of the subject, and placing every sanitary and police regulation under the exclusive control of a certain class of persons who were, as a general rule, able to introduce such measures as "unopposed." He was sensible that the subject was one to which he could not induce the House to devote all the attention it deserved; but he, nevertheless, felt himself bound to call attention to the matter, and to show the evils which the existing system engendered. As he had already stated, a Select Committee had sat upon these various Bills, and it would probably interest the House to show the nature of the provisions which the Committee had considered it right to cut down. He would refer for an example to the Dundee Police Bill. That Bill contained clauses of this sort—that every person who committed, or attempted to commit, falsehood, fraud, or otherwise, in the course of an investigation before the magistrates, should be liable to imprisonment for 60 days; and that a pawnbroker or broker should, under certain circumstances, be punishable as the receiver of stolen goods. Then there were provisions in regard to disorderly houses, and powers enabling medical men to inspect and examine every house and premises, and every person residing in such house or premises, in order to ascertain if anyone was suffering from any infectious or dangerous disease. There were powers also to issue and enforce regulations in regard to the prevention of disease. A number of these powers were struck out by the Committee before whom the Bill was sent; but not only the Dundee Police Bill, but the Newcastle-on-Tyne Improvement Bill, and various others, contained a number of similar extravagant provisions. He could not say that such provisions were actually applied for by the Corporations interested, because he understood that 1562 when a town wanted an Improvement Act, it was the practice to send up general instructions to a Parliamentary agent, who thereupon set to work and included in the Bill every possible provision which any other town in a distant quarter had ever either obtained or sought for. The object of the Act was to try these propositions again before a Committee, who might feel that, in the event of the Bill being unopposed, they were to be passed without question, and in that way a Bill, containing provisions which the Legislature never intended, was passed by a Committee upstairs and became the law of the land. It was as well that the House should know that a Private Act was just as much an Act of Parliament as any public one. It was not generally supposed to be so; but, as a matter of fact, it certainly was so, and hence it was that they had an accumulation of provisions in Private Acts which were contrary to the generally received law of the land. Owing to the adoption, by means of such Private Acts, of peculiar legislation, the law had become as diverse in form in many localities as the numerous laws and jurisdictions which characterized France prior to the Revolution. He believed that, in the Resolutions they had arrived at, the Select Committee had done excellent service; but, although they had rendered excellent service in certain respects, they had thought it right to sanction two long series of sections in the Bill before them, which made a considerable addition to the Sanitary Code, and they had done so, in his (Mr. Hopwood's) opinion, without hearing the people who were interested on the other side. They had trusted altogether to the suggestions of the Local Government Board; and, in doing so, he submitted that they were entirely in error. He would admit that there was great value in having some Department of the State responsible to the House for what was passed in the shape of these Local Bills; but when he found that the Local Government Board were prepared to go in advance of the public mind in regard to sanitary legislation, he contended that a Committee of this kind ought to have exercised its own independent judgment in the matter. He would not go the length of saying that the Committee, in this instance, had not done their duty; but what he did say was that certain objectionable principles 1563 which had been pointed out by him had been left untouched, and that alterations of the general law ought not to be made in the shape of Private Statutes. The Committee, in their Report, stated that—Anomalies and irregularities have undoubtedly received the sanction without the full knowledge of Parliament; and it appears to the Committee that such provisions, whether punishable or otherwise, should not, as is too often the ease, by the mere fact of being unopposed, escape the publicity which their importance demands.They then proceeded to say that they had examined the clauses of the Bills submitted to them, and had struck out a large number of clauses proposing to give powers which might be already obtained by means of bye-laws under general Acts. Their defence for sanctioning the two particular sets of clauses they had inserted was, in the first place, in regard to the sanitary regulations, that they were asked for mostly by the medical officers of the Corporations interested. Now, the medical officer of a corporate body might be one of the ablest of men, or he might be, as was too often the case, a practitioner subordinate to many others in the same town, quite inexperienced and unskilled, and yet it was proposed to give him these exceptional and extraordinary powers at his own request. He would give the House one quotation from the evidence to illustrate what he meant. It was the case of Bolton, and a medical officer was called before the Committee in support of a clause conferring exceptional powers in regard to infectious diseases. The clause provided that if any person had resided in a house, or any part of a house, in which there had been within six weeks previously a person suffering from an infectious disease, which house had not been disinfected to the satisfaction of the Corporation, &c., and no person residing in such house, or part of such house, should receive books, &c, on loan from any such house, any person offending being liable to a penalty of 40s. The witness was a Bolton practitioner, who was called in support of the Bolton Bill; and his evidence was to the effect that it was desirable to legislate to prevent the transmission of disease by means of books, letters, pamphlets, and so on. Being asked to give an instance in which a disease had been so transmitted, the witness stated that, 1564 about a month or six weeks previously, a case came before him which clearly established that small-pox had been transmitted by that means. The case was that of a young lady engaged in the distribution of tracts from house to house. She caught the disease, and subsequently died; and the witness thought it was quite possible that the work she was engaged in—of distributing tracts in the district—contributed towards the spread of the disease. This was the evidence of a gentleman who was to be charged with the administration of one of these Private Acts which sought to add to his power; and this was the way in which he was prepared to deal with these most important questions. A Member of the Committee asked the witness on what theory he submitted that the young lady had caught the infection from the tracts, and not from contact with any individual she might visited; and the answer was, that she might have done so, but she might also have taken it from the tracts; and he thought the distribution of tracts, under the circumstances, ought not to be allowed. The same Member of the Committee asked him if he had known, in the course of his experience, a case in which an infectious disease had been taken from a monthly magazine. The witness said he could not quite recollect a case in which such a thing had occurred. The question was repeated—"Did you ever know of a case where a disease or disorder was taken from a magazine?" and the answer was—"I do not know of one. "Yet, in the very district to which this evidence applied—namely, Bolton, it had transpired, within the last few days, that a medical gentleman had sent a patient whom he was attending to a small-pox hospital; and yet the patient turned out to be suffering only from measles. These were the men who clamoured for these violent and stringent Acts—persons with peculiar "fads," at whose instance respectable people were to be conveyed from their residences to hospitals for the treatment of infectious diseases, often in a state in which they were totally unfit to be removed.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, he rose to Order. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Hopwood) was illustrating his case by quoting a series of clauses which had been disallowed by the Committee, and which were not, therefore, 1565 in any of the Bills now before the House. He would ask the Speaker if it was competent for the hon. and learned Gentleman, in moving his Amendment, to apply his argument to provisions which had been struck out of the Bills referred to the Select Committee?
§ MR. HOPWOOD
hoped he might be allowed to explain the reasons which induced him to refer to these matters.
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, the Question before the House was the consideration of the Blackburn Improvement Bill. He did not gather from the observations of the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) that his remarks had any relation to that Bill; but he was bound to say that the conversation which was being carried on generally throughout the House prevented him from gathering accurately what the hon. and learned Member's statements exactly were.
§ MR. HOPWOOD
said, he regretted, as much as the right hon. Gentleman, the indisposition of the House to listen to the discussion of these Bills; and he could assure the House that he had undertaken a task which was likely to be of very little profit to himself, and for which he expected to receive a very small modicum of thanks. He begged, however, that for a short time longer the House would extend their forbearance to him, because he felt himself bound to point out certain facts, although he was not in the least degree disposed to enter at length into matters which had been taken from the purview of the House by the very beneficial action of the Select Committee. His illustrations were only meant to show that the authority which had power given to it by one of these Bills to carry into operation very exceptional clauses was a power that was not fit to be entrusted, in an arbitrary manner, with such extraordinary provisions as were sought to be included in Acts of this kind. He only desired now to make one or two observations upon the sanitary regulations dealt with by the Committee. The Committee stated that—It must be noticed that the Local Government Board, who are the Department charged with the execution and supervision of the Public Health Acts, have been parties to similar enactments in Provisional Order Bills passed by their authority through Parliament, notably in the case of the Manchester Provisional Order Act, 1878.1566 He (Mr. Hopwood) thought this paragraph afforded proof that Imperial legislation was demanded on the question; and that neither the Local Government Board nor any other Department should be allowed by Provisional Orders to sanction regulations deviating from the general law. He believed very few hon. Members knew what was contained in the body of a Bill for giving effect to a Provisional Order. A Bill for confirming a set of Provisional Orders was often addressed to half-a-dozen different centres of population; and in the instance referred to it had dealt with contested matters which were, at that moment, proposed to be dealt with by more than one general Public Bill. He might also point out that the Select Committee, in the conclusions they had arrived at, had not before them the judgment of the population with which these Bills dealt. The people of the localities had not been in the least degree consulted. He had already shown how these things were done; and he would submit that in none of the towns directly interested were the inhabitants generally made acquainted with the nature of the regulations sought to be imposed on them. The Local Government Board recently held an inquiry, with the view of adopting the notification of diseases at the request of the Office of Health, at Rochdale; and there the medical men of the locality, in a large majority, assembled and protested against the proposed action of the local authorities. In Liverpool, when it was attempted to enact similar provisions, 248 signatures against the proposal were immediately obtained representing the immense majority of the medical gentlemen of the town. In Nottingham and in Bolton clauses of this kind had been inserted into Local Bills; but in both places similar objections had been expressed by a numerous section of the inhabitants, and he was satisfied that the vast majority of the medical practitioners of London would resent any such attempt as this to impose exceptional sanitary and police regulations upon the people. A Return had been presented by the Local Government Board as to the effect of legislation in Private or Local Acts upon the question; but such a Return was asked for under circumstances which would insure a favourable answer. Therefore, the answers which had been returned were of a most favourable 1567 kind; but the sole proof attempted to be given of the satisfactory working of the regulations was that the death-rate 10 years before they were passed had been so much, whereas during three, five, or six years after their passing it had only been so much. But it did, not follow that the improvement was the logical result of the passing of the Acts. There might have been a hundred other causes at work in producing satisfactory sanitary results, such as the pulling down of houses which were unfit for habitation, the improvement of the sewerage, the provision of a better supply of water, and the increased cleanliness of the district. All of these things were causes which might have had a preponderating effect upon the sanitary condition of a town. He had in his possession figures which ho might quote in illustration of his argument; but he did not propose to inflict them upon the House. But a comparison between Liverpool and Bolton might be drawn, one town having these provisions, and the other not; and the statistics were strongly in favour of the city of Liverpool, which had steadily refused to have such clauses, and against Bolton, which had possessed them, perhaps, as long as any town. The figures clearly proved that the death-rate had diminished much more rapidly in Liverpool than in Bolton during the same period of time. So much, then, for the value of these Returns, which he certainly would have dealt with at much greater length, if it had not been for the impatience of the House. Of course, it was only to be expected that Returns obtained under such circumstances would be favourable to the continuation of these powers. The persons from whom they were obtained were the very persons who had either brought or carried Bills before the House asking for similar or greater powers. He submitted that Returns gathered from such a source were not reliable, and that there ought to have been evidence taken on the spot in the various towns to show what the general feeling of the inhabitants was. The Select Committee referred to some of the other powers which these Corporations sought to obtain, and especially to those which were to empower Corporations to close schools and to exclude scholars from schools during the prevalence of infectious diseases. The Committee said that— 1568These, though plausibly urged, seemed to the Committee objectionable and unnecessary; first, because the managers of public elementary schools (which form the vast majority of day schools within urban districts) ought to be held exclusively responsible for the exercise of a proper discretion on so important a matter; and secondly, because the managers have been, recently, under the 98th Article of the new Code, expressly required by the Education Department (presumably as a condition of participation in the grant) to conform to any intimation they may receive from the Sanitary Authority in regard to the necessity of such closing or exclusion.Then, in the Appendix, the Committee give a classification of diseases, and empowered the Corporation to pay a registered medical practitioner, who sent in a certificate or declaration, a certain fee. The Report also contained observations in reference to certain educational provisions, and in this respect the Select Committee had allowed clauses which were of a somewhat doubtful character. All must feel that education was a matter which could not be rightly dealt with in a Local Bill. Nevertheless, the Select Committee sanctioned, in regard to the Manchester Bill, very important provisions as to juveniles employed in hawking newspapers, &c. Now, he (Mr. Hopwood) believed himself that the grounds for this legislation existed just as much in London, and in some of the other large towns, as in Manchester; but it appeared that some of the most benevolent people in Manchester had arrived at the conclusion that it was wise to adopt in that city the clauses of the Scotch Education Act in regard to young children. His only protest was that such provisions ought not to be contained in a Private Act, and that Parliament should not attempt to do that in a Private Bill which should only belong to a public measure, to be applicable to all places. He believed himself that the public law of England, as contained in the Elementary Education Act of 1876, did all that was necessary in regard to this matter. In the first place, any child under 10 years of age was prohibited from being employed, and anybody who took such a child into his employment rendered himself liable to a penalty of 40s. That being so, the Act of 1876 applied to all employments. It appeared, however, that two years after the passing of the Act of 1876 the Elementary Education Act for Scotland was passed, and it 1569 seemed to have been thought necessary in that Act to establish some prohibition in regard to casual employment. But he submitted that, as the general law applied to all employments, there was no necessity for a special intervention in regard to casual employment. Then, in addition, there were several other clauses in the Act for England, and others in the Act for Scotland, which, to a certain extent, ameliorated the severity of this provision; and yet they had not been adopted by the Select Committee. The Select Committee had only selected that portion of the Scotch Act which imposed a restriction upon children under the age of 14 years, and provided that after the passing of the Act no child under that age, unless he had obtained a certificate of ability to read and write, and a knowledge of elementary arithmetic in terms of Section 5 of the Elementary Education Act, should be employed in any casual employment after 9 o'clock at night from the 1st day of April to the 1st day of October, and after 7 o'clock at night from the 1st day of October to the 1st day of April. The Committee, however, had left out an important part of the Act of 1876, and that was the provision which enabled a boy or girl to be employed, if he or she had completed the requisite number of attendances at a school under the Act of 1876. He did not know why that should have been done; but it illustrated the inconvenience of legislating in this manner. There were other parts of the English Act, equally important, which were excluded from the operation of the Manchester Local Bill; and altogether he thought it would be far more convenient to deal with such important questions by general legislation. He had now stated very shortly the points to which he desired to call attention, for he felt bound to enter a protest against some of the conclusions to which the Committee had arrived. No doubt, it was a very thankless task he had undertaken; but he should regret to see any other hon. Member, who had, from a sense of public duty, to undertake a similar task, received with so many interruptions by those in the House who took more interest in the questions which were to follow. The hon. and learned Member concluded by moving, as an Amendment— 1570That it is inexpedient to proceed with the consideration of the Accrington Improvement Bill, or any of those included in the Reference to the Committee on Sanitary and Police Clauses of March 13th 1882, unless such portions thereof as create local Sanitary or Police Law exceptional to the Law of the Realm be omitted therefrom.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I wish to point out to the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) that the House is now considering the Blackburn Improvement Bill, whereas he has been speaking of the Accrington Improvement Bill.
§ MR. BRIGGS
wished to know if the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) was entitled to take a vote of the House upon the Blackburn Improvement Bill, seeing that the greater part of his remarks were not relevant to the Blackburn Bill at all?
§ MR. HOPWOOD
said, the Amendment he proposed to move was a comprehensive one, and included all the Improvement Bills, of which the Blackburn was one, which stood for consideration upon the Paper. He had risen the moment these Bills were called on, and if the Accrington Bill had been passed, it was because his opposing voice had not reached the Chair, and he had understood that he was making his observations upon the Accrington Bill. He was certainly in his place before any Private Bills were taken at all; and he thought that the House generally, from the terms of his Amendment upon the Paper, was fully aware of what his intentions were. He would, however, if the Accrington Bill had already been disposed of, substitute the Blackburn Improvement Bill, which stood next on the list.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I do not understand, from the remarks of the hon. and learned Member, what Amendment it is, precisely, that he proposes to move.
§ MR. HOPWOOD
referred to the Amendment itself upon the Paper, and he proposed to move that it was inexpedient to proceed with the consideration of the Blackburn Improvement Bill.
To leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "it is inexpedient to proceed with the consideration of the Improvement Bills, or any of them, included in the Reference to the Committee on Sanitary and Police Clauses of March
13th 1882, unless such portions thereof as create local Sanitary or Police Law exceptional to the Law of the Realm he omitted therefrom."—(Mr. Hopwood.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, the hon. and learned Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) complained that he had undertaken a thankless task in asking the House to reject these Bills; but the hon. and learned Member would remember that the House was much obliged to him three months ago, when he first raised this very important subject. At the hon. and learned Member's instance, the House relegated the whole of these Bills to a Select Committee appointed in a peculiar way. That Committee had taken evidence, and had considered the Bills with great care and attention, having perfect freedom to deal with them under the direction of the House. They had so dealt with them, and, according to the admission of the hon. and learned Member, they had done good service by striking out a great deal of objectionable matter. He thought the hon. and learned Gentleman would have done well if he had refrained from opposing these Bills on the present occasion, especially seeing the indisposition of the House to re-open the question. It was to be presumed that hon. Members interested in the subject had read the Report of the Committee. That Report was extremely clear, and it laid down propositions which he thought would be supported by the House; but if all the result of their labours was to be rejected, upon the floor of the House, after half-an-hour's discussion, it would be very difficult in future to get Committees to undertake these laborious duties. He submitted to the House that they should now allow these Bills to go forward. Considering that the attention of the House had been called to them, and that they had already been cut down from the shape in which they were originally presented, and that certain provisions, which had excited a good deal of observation and opposition, had been struck out of them, the Report of the Committee should receive the sanction of the House. The hon. and learned Gentleman had suggested that the Committee should advise the House as to the manner in which they had dealt with all 1572 the questions submitted to them. For his own part, he did not think that that was the duty of the Committee. The Committee had made certain recommendations, and he should be prepared—if no other hon. Member did it—after the close of the debate to give Notice of a Resolution, in the shape of a Standing Order, to carry out in future years the same policy which had been adopted this year in regard to the present Bills. He would suggest that the precedent Parliament had established in regard to the important Private Bills submitted to the Select Committee during the present Session should hereafter be adopted in regard to all similar measures. He was satisfied that great good had resulted from the labours of the Committee, although he did not expect that every hon. Member would be satisfied. Some hon. Members would think the Committee had done too much; while other hon. Members would think they had done too little. What he contended was that the House was not in a position to do justice to the important questions contained in the Report of the Committee. They ought, therefore, to allow the Bills to go forward, in order that they might be sent up to the House of Lords, where there would be another opportunity of re-examining them.
§ MR. JACOB BRIGHT
said, his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) was scarcely reasonable in putting half-a-dozen Bills together, and asking the House to vote "Aye" or "No" upon the whole half-dozen. It was quite clear that many hon. Gentlemen might approve of one Bill and dissent altogether from another. It seemed to him that it was absolutely impossible to vote at one time upon half-a-dozen separate Bills. Personally, he had only one word to say in respect to the Manchester Bill. He understood that that Bill was objected to on account of clauses which dealt with the hours of labour of young children in the streets at night. There was a very strong feeling in Manchester on that point, and he believed the hon. and learned Member would admit that there was nothing in the Bill, as it stood originally, of an exceptional character in regard to the law of the Realm. There was nothing novel in it, and nothing that could not be perfectly well understood. He, therefore, thought 1573 it was scarcely reasonable that a Bill of so much importance as the Manchester Corporation Bill should be rejected, because it limited the hours of labour of young children in the streets, and he trusted that the Bill would receive the support of the House.
§ MR. PUGH
begged to move that the debate now adjourned. It was quite clear, from the statement of his hon. and and learned Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood), who moved the Amendment, and from the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Sclater-Booth), that the questions involved in the consideration of the Bill were of the utmost importance, and it was also clear that there was an indisposition on the part of the House to enter into a debate of that kind at the present moment. He begged, therefore, to move the adjournment of the debate.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Pugh.)
§ MR. LYON PLAYFAIR
said, the House would recollect that when these Bills were referred to a Select Committee, of which his right hon. Friend (Mr. Sclater-Booth) was Chairman, it knew that it was imposing upon that Committee a formidable and onerous task. He was quite sure the House would agree with him, when he added that the Committee had performed that task in an admirable manner, and that they were entitled to the thanks of the House. After the great labour of the Committee, he trusted the House would support the Committee, and that, without any attempt to adjourn the debate, they would proceed at once to a decision. All these Bills had received an unusually full and careful consideration. He knew of no Committee to which Private Bills had been referred, except, perhaps, the Committee upon the Electric Lighting Bill, which had given the matter referred to it so much exhaustive attention. He, therefore, trusted that his hon. Friend (Mr. Pugh) would not press the Motion for the adjournment of the debate.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, that, on the part of the Local Government Board, he thanked the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth) and the Committee for the labour they had bestowed upon these Bills; and, in doing so, he wished 1574 to point out that the objections raised by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stockport (Mr. Hopwood) upon the clauses contained in the Bills would apply to similar clauses which now existed in Acts of Parliament relating to 23 of the largest towns of the country. He thought if his hon. and learned Friend had inquired, he would have found that the clauses, to which he so strongly objected, had given great satisfaction in the towns to which they had already been applied. He did not think that his hon. and learned Friend would find that a single Petition had been presented against the proposed clauses; on the contrary, he (Mr. Hibbert) held in his hand Reports from 23 towns, and, in almost every case, the strongest opinion was expressed as to the satisfactory working of these Acts. There was a general concurrence of opinion that they tended very much to prevent the spread of disease; and he knew, further, that it was from the knowledge gained of the working of these Acts in these 23 towns that other towns were anxious to have similar provisions. His hon. and learned Friend said they ought to wait until Parliament could pass some satisfactory general law; but they knew what the difficulty was of getting any legislation at all through that House; and he thought that after the trouble bestowed by the Select Committee, it would be most undesirable to throw the whole of their labours away by refusing to adopt their Report.
MR. JOSEPH COWEN
said, he agreed with the spirit of the Amendment, although the town he represented was one of the places which had a Bill included in the Resolution. At the same time, he believed it would be very inconvenient to delay the passing of that Bill, which proposed to carry into effect very considerable local improvements in reference to parks and other matters. Nevertheless, he was in entire sympathy with the proposal of his hon. and learned Friend, that it was undesirable, under cover of Local Bills, to bring forward general legislation. But the point they had to consider here was, how they could possibly obtain a discussion of these Bills? He thought it would take as long as the discussion upon an Irish Coercion Bill. The Bills themselves 1575 raised all sorts of questions, and in a case of such importance, involving many details, he thought his hon. and learned Friend should be satisfied with lodging his protest against what had been done, and taking reasonable means in future to secure the end he had in view. It must be borne in mind that all parties concerned in these Bills would have an opportunity, in "another place," of raising the points in dispute, and probably they might be able to secure an alteration in regard to some of them.
§ MR. HOPWOOD
said, he fully felt the force of the appeal which had been made to him, and he had no desire to waste the time of the House, although he knew very well that the subject was capable of a great deal more being said upon it than had already been said. As he had been allowed to make a protest against the provisions contained in most of these Bills, and as he knew that the House desired to proceed to other Business, he would now withdraw the Amendment.
§ MR. SPEAKER
pointed out that the Motion for the adjournment of the debate must first be withdrawn.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill considered; to be read the third time.