§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Second Reading be deferred till Tuesday 14th April."—*(Sir Charles Forster.)
§ MR. RITCHIE
, who had the following Notice on the Paper:—To move, That this House declines to assent to the Second Reading of a Private Bill which 647 proposes to set aside the provisions of 'The Disused Burial Grounds Act, 1884,'said, he did not propose to oppose the postponement of the Bill, but he felt bound to draw the attention of the House to the great inconvenience which attended the constant postponement of Private Bills. This Bill, which had now been postponed on three or four different occasions, involved a very serious principle—the principle of setting aside a Public Act of Parliament very recently passed, besides other principles which, in his opinion, were hardly less objectionable, and the Bill itself naturally excited, in consequence, very considerable interest. Hon. Members came down to the House from time to time prepared to discuss the provisions of the Bill with a view of giving a vote upon them, and time after time they were put off by the further postponement of the Bill. He had no complaint to make personally, because the Gentlemen who were opposing the Bill had always courteously given him Notice of their intention to postpone it. It was the general inconvenience of which he complained; and he had thought it right, although he was not prepared to oppose the postponement now asked for, to call the attention of the House and those who were in charge of the Bill to the serious inconvenience he had mentioned. He would add further that, while not opposing the postponement now, he should certainly oppose any further postponement when the day now fixed for the second reading arrived.
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER
wished to say, on the part of the Government, that he entirely endorsed every word that had fallen from the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ritchie) as to the undesirability of these frequent postponements of measures which, although introduced as Private Bills, really involved principles of public importance and the setting aside of provisions of general legislation in which many hon. Members took interest. He only hoped the promoters would not attempt any further postponement of the present Bill; but if they did, he should certainly support the hon. Member in resisting it.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Second Reading deferred till Tuesday 14th April.