HC Deb 09 September 1887 vol 321 cc30-2
MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

With regard to Order 23 on the Paper, ''Truck Bill; consideration of Lords' Reasons, and consequential Amendments" in regard to the engagement given yesterday by the First Lord of the Treasury, I wish to ask him whether the Government have considered the unanimous Resolution of the Trades Union Congress protesting against the excision of the Irish. Wages Clause as depriving the Irish working people of their rights; what is the result of that consideration; and whether, as the Bill came down from the Lords only yesterday, and as the Lords' Reasons have not yet been circulated amongst Members, the right hon. Gentleman will cause the Reasons to be printed and put down for consideration on Monday?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

Sir, the Government have, undoubtedly, considered the Resolution to which the hon. Gentleman has called my attention, and which was communicated to me by telegraph; but I must point out that the Government are without any power to take any action whatever in the matter. The decision of the House of Lords is one which it is not in their power, in the slightest degree, to contravene. It rests with the House, as a House, to determine whether they will insist upon the Amendments to the Bill which were inserted in this House; and, in that event, if they do so insist the Bill is lost, under the Rules and Regulations which guide the practice of Parliament. It is for the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to say what course he proposes to take.


I wish to ask the hon. Member for Northampton, who is in charge of the Bill, what are his intentions with regard to it, and with regard to the circulation of the Lords' Amendments?

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

I, of course, extremely regret that the Lords have thought it their right or their duty to strike out two clauses of the Bill; but it seems to me, that even as it stands, the Bill is a most valuable Bill, and I dare not risk its loss, though I quite understand the feeling of the hon. Member for West Belfast. It will, therefore, be my duty to move that this House do not insist upon disagreement with the Lords. Of course, with reference to the question of the circulation of the Lords' Reasons, the matter should follow the usual course, if there is any wish on the part of the hon. Member that they should not be taken to-night. I am entirely in the hands of the House.


With reference to the statement of the hon. Member for Northampton, I beg to give Notice that when Order 23 is reached I shall move that the Lords' Reasons be circulated before their Amendments be considered. What course will the Government take with respect to that Motion?


It rests with the hon. Member in charge of the Bill to say what course he would desire to be taken.


I can only say that the course of the Bill in this House has been so harmonious that I only wish to do what is entirely in accordance with the wishes of the House. I do not want to force on a discussion on Reasons which are not printed. If it is thought better to take the Bill on Monday I have no objection.


said, there was no reason why the Lords' Reasons should not be printed at once, if the hon. Member for West Belfast would move that it be done.

MR. SEXTON moved, "That the Lords' Reasons be printed, and that they be considered on Monday."

Motion agreed to.