§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. JEFFREYS (Hampshire, N.) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1—
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause stand part of the Bill,"
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
moved to report Progress in order to ascertain how far it was intended to proceed.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Sydney Buxton.)
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (MR. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester. E.
hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not press his Motion. A period of the session had now been reached when every Leader of the House was obliged to ask Members to make sacrifices in order to carry annual Bills which it was necessary to pass, within which category the Bill under discussion came. Under these circumstances he ought not to be asked to postpone the Bill night after night, especially as it raised no new questions of principle.
§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
protested against the Bill being proceeded with, inasmuch as it was not mentioned in the list of measures which the right hon. Gentleman had announced his intention of taking, and a number of Nationalist Members had consequently left the House under the impression that the Bill would not come on. He suggested that the Bill should be taken at an hour when it might be reasonably discussed.
§ MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)
joined in the appeal which had been made. Among the measures included in the schedule was a Coercion Act for Ireland, the most peaceful portion of the United Kingdom, and it would be 1694 the duty of the Nationalist Members to offer to the Bill their strongest opposition.
§ MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
agreed that sacrifices must be made to get through the necessary Parliamentary business; the question was simply as to the form those sacrifices should take. Should they sit until four or five o'clock, going through the Bill clause by clause; or should they meet on Monday or Tuesday next week? Personally, he did not mind which they did, but for the sake of the House generally he thought it would be wiser and probably in the interests of business to proceed, not with this Bill, but with others of a non-contentious character.
§ MR. BOLAND (Kerry S.)
supported the Motion. The measure in which Nationalist Members were particularly interested stood 25th on the list, but they would probably have a good deal to say before that item was reached.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
pointed out that this Bill was included in the list of measures with which he had said he intended to proceed that night, and he thought hon. Members were rather unreasonable in pressing the Motion to report Progress.
§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE (Bristol, E.)
said that two alternative sacrifices had been mentioned, but there was a third, viz: the sacrifice of sonic of the fifty-two Orders still on the Paper. If the right hon. Gentleman would state definitely which were to be proceeded with it might tend to shorten proceedings.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
asked whether the Bishoprics Bill was to be proceeded with.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said he meant during the session, because that would have some effect upon the manner in which the discussion was conducted.
§ Question put.
§ Clause 1.1696
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 36; Noes, 123. (Division List No. 329.)1695
|Boland, John||Hubhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Brigg, John||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Toulmin, George|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kilbride, Denis||Tully, Jasper|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Delany, William||Lewis, John Herbert||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, aster of||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Moss, Samuel|
|Ffrench, Peter||Norman, Henry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. William M'Arthur and Mr. Causton.|
|Grant, Corrie||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Samuel, Herbert L (Cleveland)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Higham, John Sharpe||Shackleton, David James|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Arkwright John Stanhope||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Percy, Earl|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Grenfell, William Henry||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gretton, John||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'donderry||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Helder, Augustus||Randles, John S.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bingham, Lord||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hunt, Rowland||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Brassey, Albert||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Keswick, William||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Butcher, John George||Knowles, Sir Lees||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Lawrence, Win. F. (Liverpool)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A. (Worc.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Spear, John Ward|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Davenport, W. Bromley-||Macdona, John Cumming||Tuff, Charles|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Maconochie, A. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Malcolm, Ian||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Morpeth, Viscount||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Myers, William Henry|
|Forster, Henry William||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Gardner, Ernest||Nicholson, William Graham|
§ MB. CHARLES HOBHOUSE
said he did not wish to go into all the reasons which might be alleged against this clause. At this late hour of the morning it was impossible for them to examine which Bills in the schedule it was desirable to continue, and which ought to be expunged. Therefore he moved that Clause 1 be struck out.
§ MR. MACVEAGH
thought the Motion of his hon. friend, was an eminently reasonable one. The schedule contained some very goods Bills, but most of them were bad Bills. It was absurd to ask the Committee to legislate upon such subjects as the Ballot Act, the Corrupt Practices Act or the Sunday Closing Act at this late hour of the morning. The bad Bills ought to be dropped out altogether and the good ones made permanent. Nobody would ever dream, for instance, of proposing the repeal of the Ballot Act, and the same argument applied to the Corrupt Practices Act. Then there was the Sand Grouse Protection Act. He was not aware that any of his hon. friends from Ireland were interested in a Bill of that kind.
Order, order! The hon. Member cannot enter into a discussion of these points upon the
§ first clause. That will not be in order until we reach the schedule.
§ MR. MACVEAGH
said that without going into particulars he would state that the whole schedule was put together in a slipshod manner. It was twenty-nine years since Mr. Disraeli and the late Lord Salisbury both gave public pledges that the system of re-enacting these Acts from year to year would be abandoned, but no serious effort had been made to carry out those pledges by the Leaders of the House. He ventured to say that the Solicitor-General for Ireland, the Solicitor General for England, or any of the other lawyers in the House had not the slightest idea of what they were voting for. Not one of them could give an intelligent definition of the measures mentioned in the schedule. He suggested that a Committee should be appointed to separate the wheat from the chaff before they gave facilities for the passing of the Bill.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said he would vote for the Amendment as a protest against taking the discussion of the Bill at this unreasonable hour. The Committee had made good progress, and nobody could say that there had been any undue talking on the proposals which had been brought before the House
§ Question put, "That the clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 120; Noes, 35. (Division List No.330.)1699
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A.(Worc.||Forster, Henry William|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Gardner, Ernest|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Gordon, Hon J. E. (Elgin & Nairn|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Balcarres, Lord||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dalkeith, Earl of||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Davenport, W. Bromley-||Grenfell, William Henry|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Gretton, John|
|Bingham, Lord||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'donderry|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Helder, Augustus|
|Brassey, Albert||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Butcher, John George||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Hunt, Rowland|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Fisher, William Hayes||Keswick, William|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Lawrence, Win. F. (Liverpool)||Nicholson, William Graham||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham||Parkes, Ebenezer||Spear, John Ward|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Percy, Earl||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Loiter, Gerald Walter Erskine||Pierpoint, Robert||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)||Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Tuff, Charles|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Valentia Viscount|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Randles, John S.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Ratcliff, R. F.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Reid, James (Greenock)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Remnant James Farquharson||Wrightson Sir Thomas|
|Malcolm, Ian||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Boland, John||Higham, John Sharpe||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Brigg, John||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Shackleton, David James|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Sullivan, Donal|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kilbride, Denis||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Toulmin, George|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John Herbert||Tully Jasper|
|Delany, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Whitley, J H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Moss, Samuel|
|Ffrench, Peter||Norman, Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Charles Hobhouse and Mr. Corrie Grant.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
§ Clause 2—
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 120; Noes, 35. (Division List No. 331.)
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Gretton, John|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Helder, Augustus|
|Arrol, Sir William||Davenport, William Bromley-||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hunt, Rowland|
|Balcarres, Lord||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Keswick, William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Bingham Lord||Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Fisher, William Hayes||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Brassey, Albert||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Butcher, John George||Forster, Henry William||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gardner, Ernest||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J. A. (Worc.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Grenfell, William Henry||Maconochie, A. W.|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Randles, John S.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Ratcliff, R. F.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. N.|
|Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow||Reid, James (Greenock)||Tuff, Charles|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Remnant, James Farquharson||Valentia, Viscount|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Percy, Earl||Sharpe, William Edward T.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood, and Mr. Ailwyn-Fellowes.|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Plummer, Sir Walter R.||Spear, John Ward|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Boland, John||Higham, John Sharpe||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Brigg, John||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Shackleton, David James|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Sullivan, Donal|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John Herbert||Toulmin, George|
|Delany, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Tully, Jasper|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Kenna, Reginald||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Moss, Samuel|
|Grant, Corrie||Norman, Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Kilbride and Mr. Ffrench.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Rigg, Richard|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the clause stand part of the Bill."1701
§ MR. HIGHAM (Yorkshire, W.R., Sowerby)
said he wished, to move the omission Of the first Act, which, he said, contained regulations regarding the flax and linen industry in Ireland which were absurd and inapplicable to the methods of today.
In page 2, to leave out lines 6 to 9, inclusive."—(Mr. Higham.)
§ Question proposed, "That the lines proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule."
§ MR. MACVEAGH
thought that, in view of the declaration of an hon. Member well acquainted with the linen trade that there was not a single clause of this particular Act to which the slightest attention was now paid, a conclusive case had been made out for the omission of the Act from the schedule. Having himself a fair experience of the Irish line trade, he had come to the conclusion that the Act was obsolete. It was 1702 absolutely ludicrous that the House of Commons should be kept sitting at three o'clock in the morning to re-enact a statute at which everybody in the trade concerned was laughing. The whole of the North of Ireland was defying this Act, and he submitted that it should be either enforced or repealed.
§ MR. DELANY
thought that some explanation ought to be given for the inclusion of an Act passed seventy years ago for a purely temporary purpose. He protested against the time of the House being wasted by the re-enactment of measures of this character.
§ MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
said the illustration brought forward by the hon. Member for the Sowerby Division justified a close examination of this schedule. The deliberate policy of the particular Act referred to must have been to restrict the Irish linen trade. Five mending Acts had been passed, but no explanation had been given as to the extent to which they affected the principal Act. The schedule contained ninety-one Acts and 1703 it certainly ought not to be passed without any explanation whatever. The provisions of the Linen Manufactures Act were an absolute impossibility. If the measure had been amended an explanation ought to be given. if it had not been amended, it ought to be enforced; if it was not necessary it ought to be repealed.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM,) Dover
said that not only had this Act been amended four times, the last occasion being in 1867, but by the Statute Law Revision Act, 1874, all the obsolete and mediaeval clauses were repealed. All the statutes could not be codified year by year, and the Expiring Laws Continuance Act was a convenient method by which to perpetuate those parts of legislation which were still of use. It was really absurd to waste time by discussing provisions which had long since been repealed.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
submitted that the Act of 1867, so far from repealing, extended the Act of 1835, and enlarged the area of the anomalies to which reference had been made. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment spoke from the point of view of the textile manufacturers; he desired to speak as a lawyer who wished to have the law in such a form that it could be reasonably understood by ordinary people. The Linen Manufactures Act was passed in 1835; it was being continued in the schedule of this Act; four amending Acts had been passed, the last of which was carried in 1867, since when nothing had been done. Therefore a manufacturer who wished to see how the law stood had to get five Acts, to read them together and to consider their bearing one upon another. Surely the Law Officers of the Crown might go through this schedule from year to year and consider which it was necessary to continue, which could be dispensed with, and which might to some extent be codified. This particular Act was of no use, whatever; it was probably originally intended to hamper Irish trade, and therefore there was the best possible reason for getting rid of it. The only result of 1704 such legislation was to create in the minds of students of Parliamentary proceedings an impression of incompetency on the part of the House to deal with the work it had to do. The ordinary theory of the incompetent outsider was that the more statutes there were and the more complicated they were the better it was for the lawyers. He wished to point out that that was rot the case.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said he was simply endeavouring to point out how difficult it was for working lawyers, who had to consider laws of this kind, to do justice to their clients.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said that all he wished to say on this point was that lawyers did not desire to have complicated laws.
The hon. Member has repeated this argument several times after I have informed him that he is not in order. I must call the hon. Member's attention to the Standing Order in regard to irrelevancy.
§ MR. DOOGAN (Tyrone, E.)
appealed to the Prime Minister not to press this Bill further at this late hour. The Bill to which they were objecting was passed in order to crush out the linen industry in Ireland, and it was nothing more nor less than prohibitive legislation. At one time the linen industry was carried on principally by means of hand-looms, and at that period he did not think there was even one large linen house in Belfast. This Bill was ridiculous and absurd, they were breaking this law every day in Ireland, and if they did not break the law they could not compete with other manufacturers and send their linen all over the world. Surely in the interests of the linen trade of Belfast it would be wise to drop this Act. It was an act which was inoperative, useless, and prohibitive to industry, and it was enacted 1705 at a time when the most primitive hand-looms were in use. So much ridicule had been thrown upon this Act that it ought never to have been put in the schedule again. The amending Act had not altered its character. He ventured to assert that there was not a single right hon. Gentleman on the Front Bench opposite who had even read this Act through. He trusted that under these circumstances the Prime Minister would not proceed further with the Bill to-night, but allow them to retire to their virtuous beds. He hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would allow this measure to be withdrawn altogether. The Law Officers of the Crown should look into this Bill with the view to all obsolete Acts being left out.
§ MR. MACVEAGH
said he could hardly conceive that the First Lord of the Treasury would ask them to continue this discussion till three or four o'clock in the afternoon. He remembered an occasion not very long ago when the feelings of Members were strongly worked up by this method of dealing with business. He did not wish a similar state of confusion to arise now. He moved to report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. MacVeagh.)
§ MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)
said that in the interest of the general business of the House an arrangement should be come to by which this Bill should be held over to another time. He suggested that the House should agree to the following non-contentious Bills being disposed of now: Public Health Bill (Second Reading); Poor Law Authorities (Transfer of Property) Bill (Committee); and Outdoor Relief (Friendly Societies) (No. 2) Bill (Second Reading).
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he did not see why they should not come to the arrangement suggested by the hon. Gentleman provided it was thoroughly 1706 understood that the three Bills mentioned should be now disposed of, and that this Bill on another night would only be discussed at reasonable length. [Cries of "Hear, hear!"] He would offer no opposition to the Motion to report Progress.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.