HC Deb 18 June 1884 vol 289 cc769-70

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Charles Wilson.)


said, he did not know whether the hon. Member seriously intended that a measure of this importance was to be pressed to a Division at that period of the Sitting. This was a measure affecting the great county of York, and they would have expected figures to show the great preponderance of opinion in favour of it. But it was in that respect a worse Bill than the Cornwall Bill, which was rejected yesterday by the House of Lords, for they had no figures to show that there was even a majority of the people of Yorkshire in favour of the measure. In Cornwall they knew that there was a majority in favour of such a measure, and he referred to that county because they knew what had taken place in regard to the Cornish Sunday Closing Bill on the previous day. He put it to the hon. Member whether, when such a Bill had been rejected by the House of Lords, backed as it was by a majority of the people, there was the slightest hope of passing a measure which was not backed by a majority of the people concerned? The Opposition had been charged with wasting the time of the House; but it was really a tremendous waste of time to bring in these Bills one after another, when only the day previous one of them had been rejected in "another place." There was not time to go into the whole question; but so far as time would allow, he must take the opportunity of stating the principle which underlay his opposition to the measure. The principle was that of individual liberty and freedom. He said, as an honest, respectable Englishman, he had a right to Sunday, and meant to have it, and he did not mean to be deprived of his freedom. He thought that, at the present time, the temperance people were much to be pitied. They had advertised an extraordinary reward of £700 for anyone who could find a single temperance drink fit to be compared with beer. They had offered this prize to all the world, and the limit of time was rapidly drawing near; but at present there was no indication of any person coming forward to claim the prize. They had not been able to find anything so good as beer. That was because beer was the only drink of this country.

It being a quarter of an hour before Six of the clock, the Debate stood adjourned till To-morrow.

Forward to