§ Order for consideration of Bill, as amended, read.
§ Amendment proposed. Clause 6, page 6, line 30, to omit the words "Council Chamber and."—(Mr. Kelly.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ *(12.26.) SIR J. LUBBOCK (London University)
The object of the clause is to enable the Council to purchase a site for their offices, so that they may be able to bring the whole staff together. If the effect of the Amendment would be to prevent the Council Chamber and offices being on the same site, of course, I must oppose it, as that would defeat the very object of the clause. I understand, however, that the Amendment is merely a drafting Amendment, as the word "offices" includes Council Chamber. Under these circumstances, if the hon. Member cares to press his Amendment I shall not oppose it.
§ Question put and negatived.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
I beg to move "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."
§ *(12.27.) MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK (Whitehaven)
I wish to take this opportunity of protesting against the doctrine advanced on the Second Reading by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. H. H. Fowler). That right hon. Gentleman seems to think it is not in the province of the House to discuss any of the proceedings of the County Council. So far as I am able to understand, the County Council represents the late Metropolitan Board of Works. [Cries of "No."]
§ MR. TOMLINSON (Preston)
I rise to order. I believe that this a money Bill, and that it is a Rule of the House that only one stage of a money Bill can be taken at one sitting.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
It is not strictly a Money Bill. The assent of the House to its provisions are necessary under a Statute, and that is the reason why it is exempt from the Rule.
§ * MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
I was about to say that the proceedings of the Metropolitan Board of Works were discussed in the House, and I think the proceedings of the County Council may very properly be subject to discussion here. I may also take this opportunity of protesting against the charge made by some Members opposite as to the alleged hostility to the County Council on the part of Members on this side of the House, because the sentiments which they hold as to the inefficiency of the County Council are shared unanimously by all the intelligent ratepayers residing in Bond Street, Piccadilly, Oxford Street, and Regent Street. The scenes which have lately occurred there have been condemned even by the hon. Member for St. Pancras (Mr. H. L. Lawson), who has compared them to the proceedings of a Clerkenwell or St. Pancras Vestry. I am very much afraid that when any question affecting the County Council of London comes before the House, the 1650 interests of the ratepayers are apt to be forgotten in the discussion. In my own part of London the ratepayers protest very much against the mode in which the business of the County Council has been conducted. I hope the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir J. Lubbock) will endeavour to keep order in the Council.
§ *(12.32.) MR. T. H. BOLTON (St. Pancras, N.)
I do not agree in the construction put upon the Amendment by the right hon. Baronet (Sir John Lubbock). I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Jackson) will understand that the alteration which has been made is with the view of restricting the application of the money to additional offices, and to prevents its being used for a new Council Chamber, which many of us consider to be unnecessary.
§ *(12.33.) SIR J. LUBBOCK
If the statement of my hon. Friend who has just sat down had been the case, I should have been compelled to object to this Amendment. I distinctly stated, however, that I accepted it because it had no practical effect, but was a mere question of drafting. Our object is to get the officers of the Council together. We are not anxious to do anything with regard to the Council chamber itself, except in the event of being able to acquire a sufficiently large site to get all the staff together. With regard to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck), I shall be prepared to answer any attack that may be made upon us, and, I hope, to the satisfaction of the House. I can only say that the Council will maintain its own order; and considering the lateness of the hour, and the vague character of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks—I hope the right hon. Gentleman will excuse me—I do not think the House would expect me to enter into any further defence of the Council.
§ (12.34.) Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.