HC Deb 04 May 1885 vol 297 cc1502-3

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, bearing in mind that Her Majesty's Government brought in a Bill in the Session of 1883 to render permanent the Irish Sunday Closing Act of 1878, and extend its provisions to the five cities and towns exempted from them, and re-introduced it in 1884, when it was again withdrawn from want of time, Government intends to bring in the Bill during the present Session of Parliament?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers the Question I would like to ask him whether, having regard to the fact that a large number of the working classes who are about to be enfranchised are the persons who are most interested in the restrictions about to be imposed by the Sunday Closing Act, he will consider whether it would not be better to leave the settlement of this question to the new Parliament, having in mind the warm manner in which this question—

[Cries of "Oh!"]


Order, order!


Without entering into any argument, and looking at the matter drily, and only as a matter of business, I will point out that I have commonly answered Questions of this kind by what is called a dilatory reply, asking hon. Members to wait until I can state on the part of the Government what Bills we can undertake to bring in with a hope of passing them. The time to do so is now approaching; but with regard to this Bill, viewing the time of year we have already arrived at—and certainly our view about the Bill is perfectly clear and strong, yet it is a Bill that is likely to excite opposition and require time—I do not see any reasonable probability of our being able to introduce and proceed with the measure during the present Session.