HC Deb 12 June 1895 vol 34 c1017

On the Motion for the consideration of this Bill as amended by the Standing Committee,

MR. C. H. HOPWOOD (Lancashire, S.E., Middleton) moved that the Bill be considered "on this day six months." He said that he wished to give the House another opportunity of considering the merits of this Bill. It had emerged from the Standing Committee considerably amended; but not sufficiently to make it acceptable. On the Second Reading the House was informed that care had been taken to ascertain the views of the trade upon the matter. No doubt the statement was made in the best of faith, that the trade as a body were not opposed to the Bill, but it had been contradicted by the Petition which he had presented to the House. That Petition was signed very largely by the people concerned in the manufacture and sale of pistols, and they objected to the passing of this measure, on the ground that if the Bill became law in its present form, it would cause serious interference with the trade, detrimental alike to the traders, and to those who legitimately required to use pistols. Furthermore, they urged that it would not have the desired effect, but would be inoperative, because of the many ways in which its provisions could be evaded. They objected that Clause 1 did not make it incumbent for the maker or the seller of the pistol to be resident in the United Kingdom, and that by prohibiting the sale of ammunition suitable for a pistol, it would prevent the sale of ammunition for a sporting rifle. These objections showed that in dealing with so technical a matter it was possible for the House to miss its object, and to enact something to the detriment of another interest not aimed at.

It being half-past Five, the Debate stood adjourned.