HC Deb 24 June 1886 vol 307 cc203-5

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, in the case of the Belfast Main Drainage Bill, Standing Orders 243 and 247 be suspended."—(Mr. Dodds) (for Sir Charles Forster.)

MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)

This is a Motion to suspend the Standing Orders in order to enable the Bill to be read a third time. Before we consent to that course, I think we have a right to learn from hon. Members who are responsible for the introduction of the Bill what course they intend to take hereafter in regard to the important clause which was inserted in this Bill on Monday last, and which assimilates the Municipal to the Parliamentary franchise in Belfast. We, in this part of the House, regard that course as essential to the proper administration of the scheme embodied in this Bill; and, therefore, before the measure is read a third time, I feel it is my duty to ask the promoters of the Bill whether they intend to use their influence to strike out the clause in question in "another place," or whether they are prepared to accept the decision at which the House arrived on Monday in good faith? If I receive an assurance to that effect I shall be glad to assent to the third reading of the Bill; but if not, I shall most certainly feel it my duty to divide the House against the suspension of the Standing Orders.

[No one rose to answer the question.]


May I ask whether the Question before the House is not a Question of the suspending of the Standing Orders?




Has Notice been given to the promoters of the Bill that it was intended to move the suspension of the Standing Orders?

MR. DODDS (Stockton)



. Then, is there no one here to answer the question which has been asked by my hon. Friend? It is quite evident that the Bill ought to be postponed.


If the Bill is opposed it will stand over necessarily until the next day of the sitting of the House.

MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)

Perhaps I may be allowed to repeat that, if the general sense of the House is in favour of the understanding that the clause which was inserted in the Bill on Monday last shall not be got rid of in "another place," I should not feel disposed to insist upon my opposition to the third reading of the Bill.

SIR JAMES M'GAREL-HOGG (Middlesex, Hornsey)

I do not think that the hon. Member for Sligo (Mr. Sexton) has any right to make a proposal of that kind in the absence of the hon. Members for Belfast.

MR. BIGGAR (Cavan, W.)

I think the most simple way of dealing with the question would be to allow the third reading to stand over until the commencement of the new Parliament, so as to allow the new Parliament to express its opinion whether the Bill ought to be read a third time or not. Nothing whatever would be lost by taking that course, and it would prevent any difficulty being raised with regard to this new clause in the other House of Parliament.

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

I think that hon. Members below the Gangway on the other side of the House have a right to claim that there should be a specific understanding in regard to this measure. I cannot forget that when the understanding, which was supposed to have existed in regard to the postponement of the Bill from the 31st of May, was before the House on Monday last there was an absolute disagreement as to what the nature of that understanding was. Indeed, it was questioned by certain hon. Members whether there had been any understanding at all. I think, therefore, that in what we decide upon to-day there should be no repetition of the misunderstanding which occurred on Monday.


The Question now before the House is the suspension of the Standing Orders. A subsequent Question will be "That the Bill be now read a third time."

MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)

In the absence of those who are entitled to enter into an undertaking I shall certainly persist in my objection to the suspension of the Standing Orders.

Question put.


inquired who were the Tellers for the Ayes?

[No answer.]


If there are no Tellers there can be no division.


I will tell for one.

VISCOUNT FOLKESTONE (Middlesex, Enfield)

And I for another.


Then I name as the Tellers for the Ayes, Viscount Folkestone and Sir James M'Garel-Hogg, and as the Tellers for the Noes, Mr. Sexton and Mr. Howard Spensley.

The House divided:—Ayes 36; Noes 63: Majority 27.—(Div. List, No. 142.)