HC Deb 29 April 1892 vol 3 cc1714-8

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

(8.15.) DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

I wish to call attention to the recent peculiar attitude of the Government in the Lobby in preventing us entering the House. The Government Whips were at the door calling upon us not to enter in order to secure a count out. I think this attempt to proceed with Government business is absolutely impudent after they have been defeated in their object. ("Order, order!") To give them an opportunity of defending the attitude they have assumed, I move that you do now report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I have seen many incidents in this House caused by the attitude of Her Majesty's Government; but I never saw more determined impudence than this attempt to do business now after they have only sncceeded in defeating the Home Rule movement by 20 votes.


Order, order!


I always bow to your ruling, Sir; because we are here to do the business of the country. We do not go home and leave others to do the work. We bring these gentlemen up to the mark, and now they try to seize the opportunity and proceed with Public Business in a way which I consider is lowering to the dignity of this House, in a manner which is unworthy on the part of common-sense business men at this period of the 19th century. I have much pleasure in moving that you do now report Progress and ask leave to sit again.


The hon. Member has said nothing to convince me that this is anything but an abuse of the Forms of the House.

MR. KNOX (Cavan, W.)

I think, while we are on Clause 1, I might move to insert a clause which would make this Bill applicable to other countries. In the first line of Clause 1——


Order, order! The Question has been put that the clause stand part of the Bill.


I move, then, this clause do not stand part of the Bill. I wish people to take these matters seriously. It is unfair that Members of this House should have been literally turned away by Government officials at the door.


The hon. Gentleman must confine himself to the Question before the Committee—that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill.


As objecting to the substance of the Bill and on other grounds than those presented by the Bill, I thought I should have the opportunity of expressing myself. I naturally feel indignant at the attitude the Government have followed, and it is for that reason I object to the measure. I object to the clause, and I shall certainly divide the House upon it. I hope that every hon. Member who is possessed of conscientious principle will support me in this vindication of the rights of the House of Commons.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause do not stand part of the Bill."—(Dr. Tanner)

The Committee proceeded to a Division, and the Chairman stated that he thought the Ayes had it, and on his decision being challenged, it appeared to him that the Division was frivolously claimed; and he directed the Noes to stand up in their places, and Nine Members having stood up the Chairman declared the Ayes had it.

Clause 2.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


then left the Chair. On his return,


said: There are many points in connection with this Bill which are deserving of attention. I wish, however, to move just one Amendment.


Order, order! The Question was put before I left the House.


Then am I to understand that I cannot move an Amendment to this clause? I have not had an opportunity——


Order, order! The Question is, "That Clause 2 stand part of the Bill."

Motion agreed to.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 3.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

(9.1.) MR. KNOX

In order that equal justice may be done to Ireland I have to move an Amendment. In the town of Cavan and another town which I know, the Town Commissioners had to give their personal security before they could borrow money for public purposes. That is a burden which ought to be thrown on the town, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept this reasonable Amendment, which will only apply to Ireland the same conditions which now exist in England.

Amendment proposed, In page 2, line 17, to leave out the words "or Ireland," and add "This Act shall extend to Ireland with the following modifications, that is to say, the council or town commissioners of every corporate town in Ireland shall be the local authority for the purposes of this Act, and shall have the same powers as the council of a county or borough in England under this Act, and for that purpose may borrow money under the 'The Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878.'"—(Mr. Knox.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'or Ireland' stand part of the Clause."


I am sorry I cannot agree to this offhand. If the ordinary law applying to Ireland will permit of the alteration the hon. Member proposes, I shall be perfectly willing to accept the Amendment. If the hon. Gentleman will withdraw his Amendment now I will make inquiries.

(9.5.) MR. KNOX

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to apply to Ireland the particular provision which will enable Town Commissioners to borrow under the Public Health (Ireland) Act for the purpose of buying the markets?


That is exactly the point on which I must inquire. I have no objection to their buying the rights, but I cannot say whether I could give them the power to borrow.

(9.7.) MR. KNOX

The power is given to the same authorities in England, and I only propose that equal powers should be given to Ireland. At present the Town Commissioners have not the power, and I have quoted two cases in which the Town Commissioners had to give personal security before they could borrow money which was required far public purposes. That, I contend, is very improper, and if the right hon. Gentleman has followed what I have said he can have no difficulty in finding out what is the ordinary law. But what he has said is so vague that I am afraid it is hard to see how far he would go. There is a Public Health Act in Ireland and a corporate authority, and why the corporate authority should not be allowed to borrow for the purpose I have named under this Act, as is the case in England, is more than I can understand.

(9.10.) Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 63; Noes 41.—(Div. List, No. 94.)

Question again proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

(9.17.) DR. TANNER

I have another Amendment.


Order, order! The Question is that the clause stand part of the Bill.

(9.18.) DR. CLARK

There are objections to the clause passing in its present form, and I should like the President of the Board of Trade to consider whether he cannot allow it to apply to Scotland and Ireland.


I will consider before the Report stage whether the Bill can with advantage be extended to Scotland and Ireland.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time upon Monday next.