HC Deb 21 January 1897 vol 45 c268

moved for leave to introduce a Bill to Amend the Law of Evidence in Criminal cases.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

said that he very sincerely regretted that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General should have seen fit to move for leave to bring in this Bill at that hour of the night. Such a Measure should not be brought in unless there was time to discuss it, and in his view, looking at the programme of the Government as indicated by the Queen's Speech, there would be no time to discuss such a Measure during the present Session. On every previous occasion this Measure had been introduced in that House of civil and religious liberty the House of Lords, and why had it not been introduced there upon the present occasion? He himself had always opposed this Measure; why did not the Government take their Bills in the order in which they were referred to in the Queen's Speech, according to which this Measure was only the 19th in importance? The five minutes that remained before midnight had arrived might have been devoted to some more important subject. Why had not the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies proceeded with his Motion for the appointment of the South African Committee? He had come down to that House with the expectation that the right hon. Gentleman would have proposed the appointing of an additional Irish Member upon that Committee. The right hon. and learned Gentleman had asked for leave to introduce this Measure without saying a single word as to its principles and objects.

The hon. and learned Gentleman was speaking at 12 o'clock, when the Debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed this day.

Adjourned at One minute after Twelve o'clock.