HC Deb 29 June 1891 vol 354 cc1712-3

Order read for resuming Adjourned; Debate on Question [25th June], "That the Bill be now read the third time."

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.

(3.10.) MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

On Wednesday, the Chairman of Committees moved the adjournment of this Debate in order that those who are locally or otherwise interested in the Bill should consider whether it was desirable that some action should be taken in regard to it. It is a Bill promoted by the Dundalk Town Commissioners and others, who compose a Board, consisting of elected and ex officio members. The right hon. Gentleman pointed out that the elected members are not chosen by the ratepayers, but by the Urban Sanitary Authority; and although this course has been sanctioned by long continuance and continuous practice, he suggested that it does not carry out the intentions of Parliament. But the principal objection of the right hon. Gentleman had reference to the selection of ex officio members who are proposed to be the Chairmen of the Board of Guardians and of Town Commissioners. Now, there are no Local Boards in Ireland except these two, and there are many precedents for the course proposed by the Bill. I am quite prepared to admit that if Parliament were engaged in reviewing the whole policy of election to these Boards, the representation of the right hon. Gentleman would be entitled to attention, but the promoters of this Provisional Order Bill are not responsible for the manner in which the measure has been drawn up. As a matter of fact, it has been drawn up by the Irish Local Government Board, who have followed the usual precedents. The object of the right hon. Gentleman was to give time to the Local Government Board, or to the authorities in Dublin to take action in the matter, if necessary; but it does not seem desirable that action should be taken. Under these circumstances, I hope the House will assent to the Third Reading of the Bill.

MR. COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)

My object, which was simply to call attention to the matter, has been secured. There is no representative of the Irish Office present, and as they must now be aware of the irregularity, I presume that they do not object to it.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.

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