§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time.—(Mr. Henry H. Fowler.)
§ MR. BIGGAR
, in moving the adjournment of the debate, said, he hoped the measure would not be proceeded with that evening, on the ground that several Irish Representatives who took an interest in the Bill, especially the hon. Member for South Tyrone (Mr. W. O'Brien) and the hon. and learned Member for South Londonderry (Mr. T. M. Healy), were absent from the House. The hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell), who led the Party to which he (Mr. Biggar) had the honour to belong, had told the rank and file of the Party that they need not put in an appearance at Westminster till the 9th of May, which was Sunday next, the consequence being that the Irish Party now in the House was only a mere skeleton.
§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
, in seconding the Motion for the Adjournment, said, the Ulster Members were strongly against the Bill.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Biggar.)
§ MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)
said, he hoped his hon. Friends would not go to a division on the Question. He was not an Ulster Member, but he was an Ulster candidate; and he found that there was a very strong feeling in favour of the principle of the Bill, and against delay. He thought his hon. Friend (Mr. Biggar) had scored quite enough already against the Bill, by preventing its passage for several years.
§ SIR JAMES CORRY (Armagh, Mid)
said, he agreed with the hon. Member for South Sligo that there was a very strong feeling in Ulster in favour of the Bill. He therefore thought the debate ought to go on.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER) (Wolverhampton, E.)
said, that, as three weeks' or a month's notice had been given that the Bill would be taken tonight, he should not be acting fairly to 251 the House if he consented to the adjournment of the debate. In saying that he had no desire to steal a march on the Irish Members; and he had already postponed the Bill several times for their convenience. He should press for its second reading now. This Bill was a Treasury "annual." It was before the House for four or five years; but the very effective block of the hon. Member for Cavan (Mr. Biggar) had hitherto prevented its passage.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 6; Noes 127: Majority 121.—(Div. List, No. 87.)
§ Original Question put.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday 17th May.