HC Deb 03 May 1898 vol 57 cc186-7
SIR THOMAS LEA (Londonderry, S.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he has received copies of numerous resolutions passed unanimously at many public meetings in Ireland in favour of the Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Bill; if he is aware of the strong feeling recently manifested in favour of this Bill and the disappointment that exists at the protracted delay in its passing; and whether he will therefore allow it to retain its position as first Order of the Day on Wednedsay next?


I have received a very large number of resolutions in the terms referred to by my honourable friend, and I am aware, as he suggests in the second paragraph of his question, that strong feeling has been manifested in favour of this Bill. But when my honourable friend asks me to reserve next Wednesday for this discussion, I would remind him of facts which he probably knows, although the outside public may not be aware of them. In the first place, if next Wednesday were given to the Bill, it would not render the probability of its passing this Session any greater than it was before; and, in the second place, it is impossible to make exceptions of special Wednesdays in favour of a particular private Member's Bill without throwing the whole Parliamentary business into hopeless confusion.