HC Deb 24 April 1884 vol 287 cc592-4

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(sir John Kennaway.)


said, he thought the House ought to know something more about this Bill before they agreed to the second reading. He did not object to the Bill, because he knew nothing about it; but he thought that was a good reason for protesting against its being taken now. He would ask the hon. Member who had charge of the Bill to say whether it was applicable to England alone, or to the whole of the United Kingdom; and if it was only applicable to England, why he so restricted it? A measure of this kind ought to be general in its application. The Public Health Acts for England and for Ireland were practically identical, although they were enacted separately; and as the hon. Member thought it incumbent upon him to amend the Public Health Act of England in certain particulars, he ought to take the trouble to ascertain what were the corresponding clauses in the Irish Act and amend them also, and so preserve that uniformity which had been established by a codifying Act a few years ago. This Bill, he thought, should be made general, and should not be restricted to one part of the country; and if the hon. Member would undertake on the Committee stage to re-commit the Bill, so as to extend it to Ireland, he should not further object to the second reading.


said, that as the question of public health in Ireland was dealt with by separate Acts from those referring to England, and was under entirely distinct authorities, it would be impossible to make Amendments in the Acts of the two countries at the same time; but he could promise the hon. Member that if the same difficulty existed in Ireland as in England he should have no objection to amending the Irish Acts. A grievous hardship, undoubtedly, existed. It was stated in the form of a Question put to himself a few days ago, and he had then said that a hardship existed which ought to be remedied; but he would await the issue of an appeal that was pending in a case which had occurred in the West of Ireland before he attempted to deal with the subject. At the same time, he stated that he would give all possible support to this measure, because he knew that a certain grievous hardship did exist. If the same hardship existed in Ireland he would certainly help the hon. Member to remedy it.


asked the right hon. Gentleman to state what the hardship was?


replied that it was an extremely technical point, which it would be desirable to deal with in Committee. The 3rd clause referred to proceedings being taken by a common informer against persons who had become servants merely by letting a room to a Local Authority. In some cases the service to the Local Authority had been of the smallest kind; and yet a whole class of Acts had been invalidated by the mere fact that a small room had been let to the Local Authorities. The penalties were recoverable at the instance of a common informer.


said, there was a great deal more than that in the Bill.


replied that it would be open to the hon. Member to move to leave out other portions of the Bill; but the main principle of the Bill was as he had stated it.


asked whether the hon. Member would be willing to leave out Clause 2? According to the right hon. Gentleman the really important clause was the 3rd, which was to prevent a common informer pursuing a person for acts which were illegal now, but which Clause 2 would make perfectly legal.


suggested that the objections raised by the hon. Member were objections to be raised in Committee, and that if the Bill was now read a second time they could be dealt with in Committee, when the hon. Member in charge of the Bill would be able to give 'the objections thorough consideration. He did not think the hon. Member would lose any- thing by assenting to the second reading.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday15th May.

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