HC Deb 13 August 1901 vol 99 c614
MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the fact that notices of amendment to the Second Reading of the Bishopric of Southwark Bill have been given from both sides of the House, it is his intention to give special facilities for proceeding with the Bill during the present session; and, if so, whether he will arrange that the Second Reading shall be moved at a time when its provisions can be adequately discussed.


In answer to my hon. friend I have to say that if this Bill is to be made the text in any quarter of the House for a general discussion on Church matters and matters ecclesiastical, it is evident that it is quite impossible to go on with it this session. I confess I had hoped that, as members of the Church of England and all shades of ecclesiastical opinion in the diocese desire the passing of the Bill, it might really be allowed to go through without discussion. But I have no control over that, and if it appears that the opportunity is to be taken, as technically it can be taken, for the wider discussion my hon. friend desires, of course it would be quite impossible to hope to pass the Bill into law in the course of this session.


I should like to ask whether the First Lord is aware that notice has been given from both sides of the House of motions for the rejection of the Bill on the Second Reading?


My opinion, which I give for what it is worth, is that the only obstacle to the passing of the Bill is this desire to discuss general ecclesiastical questions on this Bill. I cannot help thinking that if that stumbling-block were removed from its path the passing of the Bill would be assured.