HC Deb 11 March 1892 vol 2 cc627-8
MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)

had the following Instruction upon the Paper:— That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert clauses in the Bill exempting Eastbourne from the operation of sec. 26, cap. vii. 10 Geo. IV., and to make provisions in the Bill to secure that equal, full, and free toleration be accorded to all religious persuasions to hold meetings and processions within the borough of Eastbourne.


The Instruction standing in the name of the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Monaghan cannot come on to-day, because it would be postponed, necessarily, if it were in Order; but it is not in Order. There is nothing in the Eastbourne Improvement Act, 1885, nor in the precedent of the Belfast Act, which would warrant exempting a particular locality from the operation of the general Statute referred to. In the case of the Eastbourne Act, exceptional powers were granted to the Mayor and Corporation, but in this case exemption from a general Statute applicable all over the United Kingdom is supposed to be conferred upon a particular locality. That would contravene the general principle, and, I think, would be clearly out of Order.

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

Your ruling is unquestionable, but I would like to ask the Leader of the House or the Home Secretary whether the Government would introduce or facilitate a Bill to repeal the obsolete provisions of the Emancipation Act?

(3.10.) MR. MATTHEWS

It is hardly a question that should be put without notice. It is a matter of public policy of great importance, but I would point out to the hon. Gentleman that since the Emancipation Act was passed I am not aware of any penalty under the section in question ever having been levied, so that the grievance is not a very tangible one.


I beg to give notice that, on the earliest possible occasion, I will introduce a Bill to repeal this infamous clause, and I hope then to get the votes and support of the hon. Gentlemen who voted for religious liberty to the Salvation Army. I hope that they will be prepared to extend that principle to Roman Catholic subjects of Her Majesty as well as to the Salvation Army.

(3.12.) MR. SEXTON

I beg to give notice that when such a Bill is introduced, I will move to add to it provisions to repeal various other matters of a similar kind in the Bill.

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