HC Deb 10 August 1885 vol 300 cc1705-6

Order for Second Reading read.


said, this was a. Bill to provide for the registration and regulation of travelling vans and other vehicles used as abodes. The House had, in the Housing of the Working Classes Bill, acknowledged the principle that travelling vans used as houses by gipsies and others should be subjected to certain sanitary regulations. This Bill went further; it dealt with educational matters, and it contained provisions to prevent infection being carried by these moveable dwellings from one part of the country to another. The measure was framed on the lines of the Canal Boats Act, the provisions of which he thought might very fairly be made applicable to travelling vans. He begged to propose that the Bill be now read a second time.

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


said, he opposed the Bill on the first reading; and as far as he could see his objections had not been removed by anything which occurred between then and now. Unfortunately, the block of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) had lapsed; but as it would be quite easy to block the next stage, he (Mr. Healy) need not go into the merits of the Bill. It was well to point out, however, that while this legislation would harass gipsies, the Bill did not propose any penalties for non-registration. Seeing that in future gipsies would probably have votes and be able to return Representatives to Parliament, he thought the hon. Gentleman would do well not to press the Bill.


said, he was sorry to disagree with his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Healy). The Bill was calculated to do very good service, being aimed, not so much at genuine gipsies, as at people who pretended to be gipsies—people who were a great annoyance to those amongst whom they lived, and people who lived, to a great extent, by spoil. He happened to sit on the Select Committee on the Canal Boats Act; and judging by what he heard in the Committee, and what he had heard since as to the habits of gipsies, he thought a measure of this kind, which would authorize the Local Government Board to provide for the better inspection of moveable dwellings, and for the education of the children who were brought up in those dwellings, was calculated to do the greatest possible service to the people themselves. Furthermore, he believed the operation of a Bill of this sort would be greatly welcomed by the people of the districts infested by persons masquerading as gipsies.


said, the sanction which the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy) missed was to be found in the Canal Boats Act, which was intended to be incorporated in the Bill. He thought the House might allow the principle of the Bill to be affirmed.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for To-morrow.


gave Notice that, on going into Committee, he should move that every dwelling so registered should entitle the person occupying it to a vote.

House adjourned at half after Three o'clock.