§ MR. W. P. BYLES
desired to ask whether it was intended to proceed with this Bill, and whether the Government were not aware that there was considerable opposition to it. [Ministerial cries of "No!"] Well, he was opposed to it, and he was aware that several of his hon. Friends, who were not present, would have resisted it in a most determined manner had they been in the House. His hon. Friend the senior Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) was warmly opposed to it. No one had a wider knowledge and experience than his hon. Friend had of the law—["Hear, hear?" from the Ministerial Benches]—which he had found already quite drastic enough if enforced. [Renewed ironical Ministerial cheers and laughter, and cries of "Order."] At any rate, there was opposition, not only from those who believed that the law itself was properly enforced, but from those who felt that the conditions of this Bill were of so vague a character that they would have the effect of excluding poor men from the House.
§ SIR W. HART DYKE (Dartford)
asked whether the hon. Gentleman was aware that the Bill passed its Second Reading nemine contradicente, and that it was most carefully considered in Grand Committee, where it met with no opposition.
§ MR. DALZIEL
pointed out that, although there was no Division on the Second Reading, yet a Division, which was largely supported, took place on the question of adjournment, which was really the same thing.
§ *MR. T. H. BOLTON (St. Pancras, N.)
asked whether the hon. Member was aware of the circumstances under which that Division took place? The only question was, whether the Bill should be sent to Grand Committee, and in the Grand Committee the only discussion that took place was as to whether the Bill should be further extended. No opposition was made to the principle of the Bill in the Grand Committee.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
If many more questions are asked about this matter, I shall know all about the Bill. I think there has been no opposition to the principle of the Bill and no desire to minimise it, but that there was rather a desire to extend its operation. Under the present circumstances hon. Members will probably agree that half a loaf is better than n bread. I hope under the circumstances there will be no opposition to the Order for the consideration of the Bill, but if there is to be the kind of opposition that has been foreshadowed it would be impossible and, indeed, the Government would have no desire to force the Bill down the throats of hon. Members.