HC Deb 09 August 1888 vol 330 cc118-23
MR. WARMINGTON (Monmouth, W.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the Government will postpone the further stages of the Liability of Trustees Bill [Lords], Mortmain and Charitable Uses Bill [Lords], Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Bill [Lords], and Solicitors Bill [Lords], until the Autumn Sittings?

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

The Liability of Trustees Bill is, no doubt, a very important Bill, as it will make a very serious alteration in the law; but, on that very ground, it would not be right to take it in the course of the present Sitting. I hope, however, that there may be an opportunity afforded for considering it in the course of the Autumn Session. As regards the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Bill and the County Court Consolidation Bill, the Government are of opinion that those two measures ought to be passed before the Recess, and they will be set down for consideration to-morrow. It is important that those two Bills should be passed without any further delay, seeing that the Revised Edition of the Statutes has been kept back for some months, in order that they may be included in that edition. We hope to read the Patents and Trade Marks Bill a second time to-morrow; but we shall not press the Solicitors Bill in the course of the present Sitting if there is any objection to it.


asked, whether it was proposed to pro- ceed with the Court of Session and Bill Chamber (Scotland) (Clerks) Bill?


said, the Government could only undertake to afford facilities for Bills which had passed a Grand Committee, or the corresponding stage in that House. It was not in their power to make arrangements for the progress of private Members' Bills, even although they might have come down from the Standing Committees. The Court of Session, &c. Bill would not be produced with in the course of those Sittings, because there was objection to it.

In reply to Mr. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.),


said, that the Report of the Royal Commission on Civil Establishments would be in the possession of the House at the beginning of the Autumn Sittings.

MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

asked, whether the Government intended to proceed with the National Defence Bill, the Irish Drainage Bills, and the East India Officers Bill after 12 o'clock?


said, it might be convenient if he stated what Bills the Government proposed to go on with that night. They would first proceed with the Oaths Bill, the Indian Budget, the Metropolitan Board of Works (Money) Bill, the Public Works (Loans) Bill, the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, the Imperial Defence Bill, and the National Defence Bill. With regard to the latter, he hoped that after the Secretary of State for War had made a statement to the House the Bill would not be further opposed. The Land Law (Ireland) (Land Commission) Bill, the Bann Drainage Bill, the Barrow Drainage Bill, and the Shannon Drainage Bill would be postponed until November 15th. The Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Bill would be taken to-morrow, and he hoped the House would agree to the second reading of the Hawkers Bill and the Committee stage of the Municipal Funds (Ireland) Bill to-night. The School Board for London Election Bill, not being a Government measure, would not be proceeded with in view of the opposition to it. There was a Bill down which, though not marked as such, was in reality a Government measure, and which proposed to validate certain marriages which had been performed by unqualified persons who were not clergymen. The individuals affected by the Bill were at present in a peculiar position, from which the House should lose no time in relieving them. He, therefore, proposed to proceed with that Bill also.


asked, with regard to the National Defence Bill, whether the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War was in a position to say that the Government would not proceed with Clause 2 of that measure, in so far as it varied the present status of Volunteers with respect to being called out? If the Government abandoned the clause, all opposition to the measure would probably be removed.

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said, he proposed to amend the National Defence Bill so as not to interfere with the present status of Volunteers in respect to being called out; but he would bring that provision forward again at a subsequent period.

COLONEL SANDYS (Lancashire, S.W., Bootle)

asked, whether the First Lord of the Treasury would not consent to postpone the Marriages Validation Bill until November?


Certainly not, Sir. The Bill is intended to validate marriages which have been invalidated in consequence of being performed by a clergyman who was not properly qualified. It is quite impossible to allow the persons affected to remain any longer in the very serious circumstances I have indicated.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

asked, if the right hon. Gentleman had enumerated all the Bills which he proposed to deal with before the Recess, and if he could now inform the House of the day on which it was expected to adjourn?

MR. MARJORIBANKS (Berwickshire)

I suppose we may assume that no Scotch Government Bill will be taken during the present Sitting?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)


SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

asked as to the intentions of the Government with regard to the High Courts in India Bill and the East India Officers Bill?


said, he was not able to give absolutely the assurance that the right hon. Gentleman asked for. There might, however, be some other Bills of a purely formal character, such as Lloyd's (Signal Stations) Bill, that it would be necessary to proceed with. The High Courts in India Bill and the East India Officers Bill would not be proceeded with now. It was hoped to take the Suffragans Nomination Bill. He had, he thought, stated all the important measures which the Government proposed to proceed with. It was impossible to say absolutely when the Adjournment would take place. That must depend on the proceedings in the House of Lords. He hoped, however, they might be able to conclude the serious Business of the present Session on Saturday; but he must reserve to himself the power to take further Sittings if it were necessary.

MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

asked, whether the Government would move the Adjournment of the House after all the Government Orders had been disposed of, for there were several very mischievous Bills on the Paper?


said, he would move the Adjournment after the 24 Government Orders had been disposed of, and the 43rd Order—namely, the Marriages Validation Bill, which, though not marked as such, was in reality a Government Bill.


said, as it appeared to have been a slip not to have put the Marriages Validation Bill down as a Government Order, it might be now set down as such after Order 24.


said, he must ask the Government not to move the Adjournment until he had been able to bring forward the School Board for London Election Bill, which was the next Order. He was prepared to abandon the whole Bill, save Clause 6, and that would, he felt sure, disarm all opposition, even that of the hon. Member for West Cavan (Mr. Biggar), who, he knew, objected to the measure.

MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)

said, he trusted the Government would not consent to so unusual a course with regard to this Bill.


also urged that the Bill should be taken at the present Sittings.


said, if they interfered with the present arrangement to allow of one private Member's Bill being taken, they would have to do so in favour of a great many.


said, he quite felt the force of the observation of the right hon. Gentleman, and although he believed that it would be to the public advantage that the Bill should be passed it was not a Government measure, and did not come within the category of Bills for which he had asked for facilities. It was impossible for him to pick out one Bill and deal with it as a Government measure, or give preference to it over other private Members' Bills. He regretted, therefore, that he could not reply favourably to his hon. Friend.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

asked, in reference to the Marriages Bill, if it was not intended to validate the marriage of persons who gave no reasons to doubt their bona fides?


said, he wished to call attention to Order 42, the Local Bankruptcy (Ireland) Bill. That was really a Government measure, and he would be glad to know whether the Government included that?

MR. BIGGAR (Cavan, W.)

said, there was a very wide difference of opinion with regard to the Bill. He would suggest its postponement.

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

contended that the preponderating sentiment was in favour of it.


said, it was perfectly true that it was a Government Bill; but it could not be expected to pass through the House without some controversy, and therefore he was afraid it was impossible to deal with it.


asked, if facilities would not be given for passing the Libel Law Amendment Bill, particularly as the hon. Baronet in charge of the measure was willing to adopt the Amendment made by the Lords?


said, that there were other Amendments to the Bill which would lead to very wide differences of opinion.


said, the Bill was not a Government Bill, and it was not for the Government to press it on the consideration of the House. As had been said by the hon. Member (Mr. T. P. O'Connor), the House had given a great deal of time and trouble to the Bill, and it would be well if time could be found for disposing of it during the present Sitting; but it was not for him to make provision for that. He would feel it his duty to press the Marriages Validation Bill.

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