§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
said he wished in a few words to state the position of the Government in regard to this measure. It would be within the recollection of many hon. Members that a very similar Bill passed the House in 1899, but was abandoned owing to inability to arrive at an agreement in regard to the Lords' Amendment. A similar Bill was also passed by the House last year, and he might mention en passant that the ratepayers had already expended £54,000 in seeking to achieve the object aimed at by this Bill. The Bill of last year was referred to a Joint Committee of both Houses—a Committee of a very-representative character, which unanimously recommended that legislation should be pressed on Parliament following upon the lines of the Loudon Equalisation of Rates Bill. The Leader of the House, when that recommendation was pressed upon him, promised to give it careful consideration, and undertook to inform the promoters before November whether the Government would or would not be, in a position to lend its aid to carry such a Bill during the following session. But the General Election and the reconstruction of the Government rendered [it impossible for them to redeem that pledge. The Government 776 had examined the present Bill, and had found that it was drawn in almost exact accordance with the recommendation of the Committee. But it must be borne in mind that the cases of London and Dublin were not exactly on all fours. London constituted an entity of local government, but in Dublin there were several entities, and there was a danger that some hardship or injustice might arise to the townships concerned from the purely automatic effect of such a measure. The question was to what extent they would benefit from the road lighting and sanitation. The Government would, therefore, feel bound to introduce Amendments to safeguard the townships in that matter. They would not oppose the Second Reading, but it must be perfectly understood that their Amendments must be embodied in the Bill.
§ MR. HARRINGTON (Dublin, Harbour),
on behalf of the promoters, undertook to accept the Government proposals, and MR. MOORE (Antrim, N.) also, under the circumstances, withdrew his opposition to the Second Reading.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.