§ (1.) The Acts mentioned in Part I. of the Schedule to this Act shall, to the extent specified 260 in column three of that Schedule, be continued until the thirty-first day of December One thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, and shall then expire, unless further continued.
§ (2.) The Act mentioned in Part II. of the Schedule to this Act shall, to the extent specified in column three of that Schedule, be continued until the thirty-first day of March One thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight, and shall then expire, unless further continued.
§ (3.) Any unrepealed enactments amending or affecting the enactments continued by this Act shall, in so far as they are contemporary in their duration, be continued in like manner, whether they are mentioned in the Schedule to this Act or not.
MR. T. M. HEALY
asked the Government to state their intentions with regard to the Arms Act. Ireland was absolutely quiet now, and there could not be a better opportunity of dropping the Act. If the Government would not do that, let them say that if Ireland was as peaceful next year as it was now they would then drop the Act.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that he could not undertake to give that pledge. Ireland was, no doubt, extremely peaceful now, but the Act was useful as a measure of police regulation, and might be more useful in the future. The late Government retained the Act for that purpose; it caused no inconvenience to anybody; and the circumstances of Ireland were in many respects peculiar. At certain periods of the year there was a liability to disturbances and to conflicts between crowds, and it was desirable to place a restriction on the possession of arms. Although moonlighting was not now so common in Ireland as it had been, it still continued to some extent, and, although agrarian crimes had greatly diminished in number, the cases of firing into dwellings were still more frequent that they ought to be.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 2,—