§ MR. LEA (Londonderry, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Government now intend to introduce a Local Government Bill for Ireland this Session: and, if so, whether such Bill will be upon similar lines to the Acts passed for England and Scotland, as intimated in Her Majesty's Gracious Speech, or if it will contain any provision for giving powers to Local Authorities to control the hours during which Exciseable liquors are sold in Ireland, or any such regulations?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The possibility of introducing a Local Government Bill for Ireland during the course of the Session must depend upon the progress of other Government business which at present stands before it. But, of course, the Government adheres to the intentions expressed on this subject in Her Majesty's Gracious Speech from the Throne. It is not usual to state the provisions of any Bill before it is read the first time but no inconvenience can, I think, arise from my informing my hon. Friend that the Irish Bill would not differ from that passed for England and Scotland in respect of containing provisions for giving powers to Local Authorities to control the hours during which Excisable liquors are sold.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
I assume it may be understood that the question of the introduction of the Bill is still an open one, and that it will be open for hon. Members to move provisions connected with legislation for the liquor traffic, and to take the sense of the House upon them.
§ *MR. LEA
I beg to give notice that to-morrow—the Chief Secretary having informed the House that the Local Government Bill for Ireland to be introduced this Session, as intimated in the Speech from the Throne, will be upon similar lines as the Acts passed for England and Scotland, and 962 will not contain any provisions giving Local Authorities power to control the hours during which the trade in Excisable liquors shall be carried on in Ireland, I will move that—This House is of opinion that there is nothing to prevent it from proceeding further with legislation in relation to the control of and trade in Excisable liquors in Ireland, any previous Resolution of the House notwithstanding.
§ MR. J. MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
In connection with the Motion of which my hon. Friend has just given notice I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the promise which the Chief Secretary gave on February 1, 1889, with the authority of the Prime Minister, that the Government would do the best they could to facilitate the passing of the Bill of my hon. Friend, he will give facilities tomorrow night for the discussion of my hon. Friend's Motion?
§ *THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, Westminster
I think I am not in a position to give facilities, much as I should wish it. I do not know that I have it in my power to do so; but I will inquire whether it is in the power of the Government to assist the hon. Gentleman to obtain a decision of the House upon this Motion.
§ MR. J. MORLEY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in consequence of the decision of the House in favour of an Amendment of the hon. Member for Tipperary (Mr. J. O'Connor) there was a difficulty in bringing on the Bill of my hon. Friend?
§ *MR. W. H. SMITH
There can be no doubt that a misunderstanding has arisen as to the effect of the Resolution to which the House came; but I may remind the right hon. Gentleman that the Government voted that the words "do not stand part of the Question." I should be glad, in view of the misapprehension, to do anything in my power to give the House an opportunity to pro-coed with the consideration of the Bill.
§ MR. J. MORLEY
One word mere. That is the reason why we are anxious that the Resolution of my hon. Friend should, if possible, come on to-morrow.