MR. T. M. HEALY,
in rising to ask leave to introduce a Bill to amend the law relating to Municipal Franchise in Ireland, said that the House might remember that a Bill on this subject 177 passed the House of Commons last June, but was rejected in the Lords on the Motion for going into Committee, after the Bill had been read a second time. The present Government were good enough to declare that they assented to the general propositions of that Bill, and he did not know whether the Government might not find time to allow a non-contentious Bill of this kind to be brought in now, and whether they might not also find that, in passing such a Bill, they would be doing something which would conduce to the limitation of discussion on other matters during the present Session. [Ministerial cries of "Oh."] Having no other means to bring this matter before the House, he now asked leave to bring in this Bill.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman desired to know whether the Government were prepared to pass through the House this Session a Bill which, in general, would assimilate Municipal Government in Ireland to that in England. It was quite true that, not only in the other House but in that House, the Unionist party had often expressed their general adhesion to the doctrine which he had enunciated, but he would see that, however favourable the Government were to the Bill at that time, the House could not be asked to discuss anything so complicated at the present time. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that the principle of the Bill was conceded. There would, however, be a legitimate desire to discuss its details, for the House was not permitted to do so in the last Session; and the hon. and learned Gentleman would hardly suggest that the Bill should be passed without any alteration whatever. ["Hear, hear!"] Under these circumstances, it was scarcely possible for the Government to hold out any hope for the passage of the Bill in the present Session, and he had already told the leader of the Opposition that, with regard to next Session, the Government could not now give any sketch of their legislative programme.
Bill to amend the Law relating to the Municipal Franchise in Ireland, ordered to be brought in by Mr. T. M. Healy, Mr. Justin M'Carthy, Mr. Pinkerton, Mr. Thomas B. Curran, and Mr. Maurice 178 Healy; presented accordingly, and read the first time; to be read a second time upon Monday next, and to be printed.—[Bill 1.]