§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
In page 1, leave out from beginning of line 5 to "which," in line 6, and insert, "Where any society, by reason of its being constituted so as to receive contributions by means of collectors at a greater distance than ten miles from its registered office."—(Mr. Tomlinson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
said, he understood that this Bill could not be proceeded with in "another place" this Session, and therefore it appeared to him that to proceed with the consideration of the Amendments to the Bill at the present time was simply to waste the time of the Committee. He moved that the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again, and did so in the interests of Members on both sides of the House.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Conybeare.)
§ MR. TOMLINSON (Preston)
said, he would not like to absolutely contradict the hon. Member when he said the Bill could not be passed this Session. He could not say whether the Bill could be passed this Session or not, and he certainly had no wish to detain the Committee unnecessarily. If it was the wish of the Committee that the Bill should not proceed further he would not oppose the Motion to report Progress; but he desired to say that it would be a great misfortune to many working men in the country if this Bill were not passed this Session. The Bill was brought in to amend a defect in the Friendly Societies Act, which had excluded large Miners' Associations from the benefits of that Act. No real opposition had been offered to the Bill, and its progress had been stopped hitherto only by hon. Members who probably had never taken the trouble to read the Bill. He desired to leave it to the Committee to say whether the Bill should be proceeded with. If there was any chance of its passing this Session, and it would not occupy more than five minutes, for the Amendments were merely formal, he should personally desire to proceed. With the permission of the Committee he would like to point out that the Members who had backed the Bill were, besides himself, Sir Joseph Pease, Mr. Burt, Mr. Bradlaugh, Colonel Blundell, Mr. Wood, and Mr. Abraham (Rhondda Division of Glamorgan). The hon. Member for the Camborne Division of Cornwall was, with himself (Mr. Tomlinson), a Member of the Committee which reported in favour of establishing a Miners' Association in Cornwall similar to those affected by the Bill, and that Association could not be formed unless the Bill passed.
§ MR. CONYBEARE
said, the hon. Member for Preston had attacked him with considerable vehemence and warmth. It was not for the hon. Member to attack him, for the hon. Member certainly did not assist the miners when he sat on the Committee to which he had referred, but he opposed the miners' interests at every point, and was most 995 obstructive. That, however, was not the point. He (Mr. Conybeare), in the interests of those who had got other matters to look after, and who did not wish to waste their time in the Committee upon the present occasion, simply pointed out what he understood was the fact from a Gentleman sitting upon the Ministerial Benches. He asked any Member of the Government to say whether the Bill could be passed this Session if it were passed through Committee that afternoon? If it could, he was not going to oppose it on a technical point, but if the Bill could not proceed further than this House during this Session, he maintained that it was a waste of time to proceed with the consideration of the Amendments. He wanted information from a Member of the Government. He did not in the least oppose the Bill on any fictitious ground. If the Bill could be passed this Session he would remain here as long as was necessary to consider the Amendments on their merits, but if the Bill could not go through the House of Lords it was a waste of their time to go any further. Surely, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was in a position to say whether there was any likelihood of the Bill being passed through the other House this Session or not.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
said, the passing of the Bill depended upon whether the Bill reached their Lordships in sufficient time for it to be passed. Unless it was passed that day or to-morrow through all its stages there would be no time to pass it this Session. If hon. Members would allow sufficient time to give the Bill a chance, the Government would offer no opposition whatever. He advised the Committee to pass the Bill through its remaining stages, so that it might be at once sent up to the House of Lords in the hope of it becoming law immediately. If that were not done, the responsibility would rest on those who bad blocked it at this period of the Session.
§ MR. CONYBEARE
said, he was quite satisfied with the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. He was given to understand that there was absolutely no chance of the Bill passing this Session. He begged to withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.996
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ Amendment proposed to amend the proposed Amendment by inserting the word "friendly" after the word "any."—(Sir Herbert Maxwell.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'friendly' be there inserted."
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
said, he wished to understand the meaning of the Amendment. This Bill was brought in for specific purposes, and since it had been brought in there had been a great many Amendments put down.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ On the Motion of Mr. TOMLINSON, the following Amendments were agreed to:—In page 1, line 8, leave out from "on," to "and," in line 10, and insert "the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies;" page 1, line 12, after "members," insert "thereof;" page 1, line 12, after "may," insert "on the application of the society;" page 1, line 13, leave out "provision," and insert "provisions;" page 1, line 13, leave out "section thirty," and insert "the said section;" page 1, line 17, after "society," insert "affected;" page 1, line 21, leave out "and."
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 2 agreed to.
§ Bill reported; as amended, considered.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.