§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
I hope the Government will not press this Bill now, but will take the Charitable Loans (Ireland) Bill, which is down on the paper, and which we are all anxious to pass. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman will do this I will undertake to omit a most eloquent speech upon the Census Bill. If he cannot see his way to give this undertaking I shall have to discuss the Census Bill.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. ATKINSON,) Londonderry, N.
I hope the hon. and learned Member will not press his objection to this Bill, for it is almost identical with the former Bill of 1881. I have always understood that the way in which the last Census was taken gave universal satisfaction. The only new feature in this Bill is a clause in reference to overcrowding and the housing of the working classes. I do not wish to take the Charitable Loans Bill now, because a great many Members who are interested in it are absent.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
I regret that the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not see his way to accede to my request. If there is an objection to taking the Charitable Loans Bill on account of the absence of hon. Members, that same objection applies equally to the taking of the Census Bill. A great many people in Ireland have been defrauded in regard to sums invested, and 1286 they cannot get one halfpenny out of the Government. The hon. Gentleman has stated that this is practically the same Bill as the previous one, but in my opinion it introduces important changes. I have always held that a Census Bill is not merely taken for the purpose of enumeration, which is a small matter, but it is taken for the purpose of ascertaining the actual political opinions of the people. Therefore there should be a column for registering and obtaining their opinions on the great political questions which affect the country. I should like to know if it would be in order for me to move that this Bill be read a second time this day six months.
§ MR. ATKINSON
In deference to the hon. and learned Member's objection I will consent to an adjournment.
§ Debate adjourned till Thursday.