§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ (3.4.) MR. LEA (Londonderry, S.)
I wish to refer to a particular Act which is included in the schedule, and in which I take a particular interest. For nine years the Act has been renewed in this Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and the circumstance has on one occasion 869 been referred to by the Chief Secretary as "discreditable," and upon another; occasion as "disgraceful." It is a discredit to the House that year after year we fail to deal with the question by a permanent enactment. The pledges we have had from the Government time after time have come to nothing. Once more I ask the Chief Secretary is it the intention of the Government to deal with the subject next year?
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
The hon. Member has referred to some Act, but as to what Act it is he has left us in ignorance.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I understood the hon. Member's reference to be to the Irish. Sunday Closing Act.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Undoubtedly. I adhere to the words I used, and which the hon. Member has quoted. I do not withdraw from what I said; but when the hon. Member asks me to promise Government time next Session, I can only say that such a pledge might have very wide-reaching consequences if the Bill should be opposed with the vigour it has met with in past years. I still think the Bill has a chance of passing in the hands of a private Member, but I will confer with my right hon. Friend and see if we cannot find means of putting an end to a disagreeable and troublesome state of things from a great measure such as this being included year after year in the Continuance Bill.
§ Verbal Amendments made.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.