HC Deb 12 June 1895 vol 34 cc1018-9

in moving that the Order for the Committee stage of this Bill "be discharged and the Bill withdrawn," said that a few words of explanation were necessary. He said that he had received a large amount of support in reference to the main object of the Bill, and no one who had investigated the question could doubt that some Amendment of the law was necessary. He was informed that Her Majesty's Government had proposed clauses with the same object in the Friendly Societies Bill, but had not introduced them for various reasons. He mentioned that fact because the idea had got abroad that this was in some way a Party question. But while some amendment of the law was required, he felt that in drafting this Bill he had not sufficiently considered the various interests involved; and there were many societies which had a right to object to the Bill as it was framed. The Bill put things too much in the hands of the ordinary friendly societies, who, he must remark, had unanimously supported the Bill, and did not sufficiently regard the very best of the collecting societies. Much strong language had been used with respect to himself and his motives in connection with this matter, but that had not hurt him in the least degree. He simply thought that the Bill required re-framing from the point of view of protecting bonâ-fide businesses, and of not interfering unduly with those who wished to benefit by them. On these grounds he should withdraw the Bill and introduce another one dealing with the same subject at a later day.

MR. W. ABRAHAM (Rhondda)

asked the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he would initiate an inquiry, before re-introducing the Bill, with the view of finding out what evidence there was to justify the extreme opposition to this Bill. If the hon. and learned Gentleman would do that, he would have the co-operation of the friends of the working people in this country.

MR. J. POWELL-WILLIAMS (Birmingham, S.)

said, that he had received a large number of communications on this matter; and he thought that no legislation on this subject should be attempted unless it were first referred to a Select Committee, before which the evidence of a great number of conflicting interests could be given on oath.

MR. A. J. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

said that he had always supported the object of the hon. and learned Gentleman's Bill—namely, the protection of children from cruelty and oppression, but he hoped that before another Bill was introduced an Inquiry would be instituted.

DR. CLARK (Caithness)

said, that three years ago there was a Select Committee which sat to inquire into this subject, under the Chairmanship of the hon. Baronet the Member for Wigtownshire; but no facts were adduced to justify Mr. Waugh's statements.

Order discharged; Bill withdrawn.