HC Deb 09 August 1904 vol 139 cc1693-706

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.)


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


Not to-night.


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.


said he had an Amendment to move in regard to Clause 1.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 36; Noes, 123. (Division List No. 329.)

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

The Question is that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill.


said he understood that the Deputy-Chairman simply called out "Clause 1."


The only Question before the Committee is that Clause 1 stand part of the Bill.


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.


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.


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.


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.)

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."


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.

Amendment proposed— 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."


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 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.


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 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.


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 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.


The hon. Member is not in order in discussing the general codification of the law.


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.


But that question does not arise here.


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 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.


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).


said he did not see why they should not come to the arrangement suggested by the hon. Gentleman provided it was thoroughly 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.