§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir Charles Forster.)
§ MR. HOPWOOD
said, he had no desire to offer any resistance to the second reading of the Bill. He had given Notice of opposition; but a suggestion had been made, which he was sure would be carried out by those who were in charge of the Business of the House, which would render his opposition unnecessary. That suggestion certainly emanated from himself, and he believed it had been adopted by his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. It was 1316 that these Improvement Bills should be referred to a Committee of the dimensions and selected in the manner in which the Committee of 1882 was selected. At that time a considerable number of these Bills—even a larger number than were now before the House—were introduced. The actual importance of the subject did not, however, depend altogether upon the number of Bills, but rather upon the nature of the provisions inserted in them. In most of these Bills there were provisions by which it was sought to alter the Sanitary, or Police Laws, in a manner which differed according to the locality intended to be dealt with. He thought that was a most objectionable system, and that some effort could be made to make these Sanitary and Police Laws uniform. The best mode of doing that would be to refer the Bills themselves to some such Committee as that which had been suggested. He might mention that there were a considerable number of Bills now before the House in addition to the one now under discussion. Opposition, however, had been given to the Leicester Bill in error. Possibly it was his own mistake; but he had since ascertained that there was no necessity for dealing with that measure in this way. As, however, Notice of opposition had been since given to it by others, he would leave the matter to be determined by those who would have the selection of the Committee. There were five other Bills of the same kind, each of which was equally objectionable from a public point of view, which had been allotted to the House of Lords; but he apprehended that any such Committee as that which had been suggested would be empowered to deal not only with the Bills that were in the first instance referred to them, but also with any similar Bill which might come down from the House of Lords, so that the legislation in regard to them might be uniform. He had no doubt that parties promoting Bills in the House of Lords would take care that Amendments were inserted in accordance with the precedent established by the House. Under those circumstances, he would withdraw any further opposition to these Bills, on the understanding that they were to be referred to a Select Committee such as had been suggested. He was quite satisfied that it was in the public interest, and for the public 1317 benefit, that such a course should be adopted.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.