HC Deb 10 April 1899 vol 69 cc767-9

Question proposed— That clause I stand part of the Bill."— (The President of the Loral Government Board.)


I appeal to the right honourable Gentleman not to press this Bill. It is most inconvenient to take it now, as the honourable Member who represents the County Council here and who knows what the wishes of the majority of that Council are in regard to it, is unable to be present through illness. I really think the right honourable Gentleman will not lose anything if he meets the wishes of honourable Members on this side of the House in respect to this matter and will abstain from pressing the Bill. Having got into Committee, surely he might rest satisfied and let the Bill stand over to a more convenient day.


I can assure the honourable Member that, in common with all other Members of this House, I greatly regret the absence of the honourable Gentleman the Member for Hoxton, and still more the cause of it, but I am afraid if legislation were postponed whenever Members interested are unfortunately laid up with influenza there would be no progress with business. Under ordinary circumstances, I would go a long way to meet the views of Members, but I must remind them of what I said the other day, namely, that the Bill deals with a matter which becomes more urgent every day. The honourable Member has said that the County Council are not represented today. But this Bill does not only affect the London County Council, and it is pressed by the Government for the purpose of saving people in the East End of London from a repetition of the suffering from scarcity of water they experienced last year. The views of the London County Council were powerfully presented before a Committee upstairs, and the Council came to the conclusion that, having thus made their wishes known, they would reserve any further representations they might have to make for the passage of the Bill through the other House. That gave me the impression that they were satisfied so far as the progress in the House of Commons was concerned. The Bill will have to go before another Committee upstairs, when anything further that may be necessary can be said. I consider it my positive duty to take such opportunities as offer to make progress with the Measure.


The original intention was to get Mr. Speaker out of the Chair to-night, and that was all, and if the Debate on that Motion had been kept up till midnight, no Votes would have been obtained, and no opportunity would have been afforded of bringing on this Bill. It is understood that when Supply is down on the Orders no other business shall be taken. We have no wish to delay this Bill, but I am bound to point out that up to the present it has passed through its various stages with scarcely any discussion. It is no answer to our complaint to say it can be discussed in another House, and I submit it is both ungracious and unreasonable to press the Bill now. Under the circumstances it would be far more gracious to postpone the stage and to provide facilities for it another day.

Question proposed— That clause I be added to the Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.

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