HC Deb 11 March 1898 vol 54 cc1494-5

Order of the day for the Second Reading read.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Objection taken.

MR. E. H. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

I must protest against the Second Reading of a Bill of this important character being moved without a single word being said in its support. I do not desire to commit myself at present, either to oppose or support the Bill eventually, but I would point out that it docs make a very considerable change in our criminal law. In one respect, at all events, it is of a very revolutionary character, and it is not consistent with the usual practice of this House to take a Bill of such importance at the present late hour. I think the House will consider that, because the older law, dealing generally with the subject with which this Bill deals, this House, some years ago, by the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, did go, at all events, to some extent in the direction of those objects which the hon. Member and his Friends desire to promote, if not in altering the substance of the law, at all events in giving summary remedies, and, I think, for this reason, and for other reasons which might be given, further time ought to be allowed for discussion.

It being Twelve of the Clock the Debate stood adjourned.