§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Order be discharged, and Bill withdrawn."—(Mr. Jackson.)
§ (1.17.) MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
This Bill was brought in in consequence of some very serious disasters in which poor people suffered considerable loss in being deprived of their savings in banks. The Bill is based on the recommendations of a Select Committee which carried on an inquiry over two years, and it was hoped that this Bill would afford protection to the savings of the thrifty among the poorer classes. It is not creditable to the House that this Bill should have been obstructed and talked out, seeing it is urgently required by 1,500,000 of the inhabitants of this country. We find time for Irish Debates over and over again, but apparantly no time to put the savings of the working classes on a safe and permanent basis.
§ (1.18.) COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
I do not think the responsibility rests with the House; the fate of the Bill for this Session is due to the unfortunate arrangement of business by the Government.
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)
The Bill is sacrificed now in order to add a single day to the holidays.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
That is scarcely a proper observation to make; but, however, it is not worth while to take notice of it.
§ (1.19.) DR. CLARK (Caithness)
It is fair to remark that the Bill has been completely changed since its introduction, although it was drafted on the Report of the Committee. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has endeavoured to please both Parties. The Bill must needs provoke very considerable discussion, and I do not see that the Government have any other course now.
§ (1.20.) THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
No one regrets more than I do the necessity for withdrawing the Bill. It has not been dropped owing to any controversy as to the clause involving the banks, but through the fact that the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Storey) determined that the Government should not pass it unless they made the concession of dropping the Police Bill. I have seen a letter from the Savings Banks representatives themselves, saying that they had endeavoured to put pressure on the hon. Member for Sunderland; but that the hon. Member stated that he was a Parliamentarian, and if the Government withdrew the Police Bill he would consent to the Bill. These representations have been made by the Savings Banks, who have been most anxious that the Bill should pass.
§ MR. SEXTON
On behalf of my colleagues, I have to say that those of us who displayed an interest in the Bill withdrew our notices of Amendment as soon as we learned that they would endanger the principle of the Bill. 210 Further, I may say the Government might easily have passed this and other useful measures if they had not thrown away a fortnight on a foolish and vindictive attack upon Irish Members of this House.
§ (1.22.) MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
As one of those who put down notices of Amendments, I may be permitted to say that I should in all probability have withdrawn them, but I happened to have been absent for a day or two. As to the reference to the hon. Member for Sunderland and the contents of a letter not produced, I happen to know it was because my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland considered the policy of the Bill in some respects objectionable, and not because of his opposition to the Police Bill, that he took up the position he did. The hon. Member for Sunderland is not here, and I do not know if it is his intention to return, but I would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman in a friendly way that he should leave the Bill on the Paper for a day or two in order that the hon. Member may make a reply to the right hon. Gentleman should he think proper to do so.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill withdrawn.