§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to continue various Expiring Laws."—(Mr. Jackson.)
§ THE LORD MAYOR OF DUBLIN (Mr. SEXTON) (Belfast, W.)
said, the Bill introduced this year was a measure of an exceptional character. It was not only for the purpose of continuing the ordinary laws that were annually included in such a measure, but it was understood that it would deal also with some special matters. There was, for instance, the Irish Sunday Closing Act, and there were also certain provisions with regard to the Irish Land Commission. He thought it was necessary before they proceeded further with the Bill that the Minister in charge of it should state to the House what special provisions and powers were being included in relation to the various measures not ordinarily included in this Bill.
§ MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)
asked, whether amongst various other Acts the Bill would include the Coal and Wine Dues Bill?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON) (Leeds, N.)
said, it would obviously be for the Committee of the House, and hon. Members should wait until they saw the Bill, as then all these questions would be answered.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
said, that perhaps he might reply to the hon. Member for West Belfast. It was true that the measures which the hon. Member had alluded to were not those ordinarily included in a Continuance Bill, although he believed that last year the Irish Sunday Closing Act was included.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, he thought the hon. Gentleman would feel as he felt, that after the Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider the question of Saturday and Sunday Closing in Ireland, it was impossible for the Government to let the present Act lapse. The hon. Gentleman would also acknowledge that it was equally impossible for the Government to bring in new leglislation on the subject this Session. Anybody who was acquainted with the state of the Business of the House would feel that as much as he (Mr. A. J. Balfour) did. With regard to the provisions affecting the Land. Commission, the hon. Gentleman was aware that if something was not done the office of those Commissioners will come to an end on some day in August—he thought the 24th—and, of course, it was impossible for the Government to leave Ireland without a Land Commission. The whole land system in Ireland would break down; and, inasmuch as it had unfortunately proved impossible for them to carry through the House the Bill which he introduced, and which has been read a second time, he thought the most convenient plan was to continue the office of the existing Commissioners for another year.
§ MR. SEXTON
asked, would the proposal amount to anything more than continuance for another year; was there anything more than that?
§ MR. MAURICE HEALY (Cork)
asked, whether during the Autumn Session steps would be taken by the Government to give effect to the Report of the Select Committee on the question of Irish Sunday Closing?
§ MR. HANDEL COSSHAM (Bristol, E.)
asked, whether the provisions with regard to the Land Commission would involve any further strain on the English Exchequer?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, the English Exchequer would undoubtedly have to pay the salaries of the existing Land Commission. There was no other additional obligation than that. He was afraid it would not be possible in the coming Session to occupy the time of the House with an Irish Sunday Closing Bill.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
asked, if this opportunity would be 681 taken to add to the strength of the Sub-Commission?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, the Sub-Commissions did not depend upon the Bill. The number of Sub-Commissions were not regulated by Statute at all.
§ MR. HOWELL
asked, whether the Bill would continue the Coal and Wine Duties beyond the stipulated period?
§ SIR EDWARD WATKIN (Hythe)
wished to ask, whether the suspension of the ballot for the Militia would be further extended by the Bill?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
said, he must ask the hon. Baronet to wait until he saw the Bill.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Jackson and Sir Herbert Maxwell.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 353.]