§ Consideration of Lords' Amendments.
moved, "That the House do agree with the Lords in the following Amendment—In Clause 11, 'provided that, where the Court is satisfied in any particular case that, owing to the difficulty of showing title, the costs properly or necessarily incurred in respect of such payment amounted to a larger sum, the limit of £10 may be exceeded.'
§ MR. SPEAKER
said he had to acquaint the House that this Amendment was, or might still be, an infringement of the rights of the Commons. Of course, the possibility of an increase of rate, which might be caused by such order of the Court, was remote, but still it was a possibility, and in that respect it might be that an extra charge might have to be incurred. And therefore, as he had said, the Amendment was still, in his opinion, in an almost infinitesimal degree, but still in some degree, an infringement of the Commons' rights.
thought that, although it was late, the importance of disposing of this Bill, which must be disposed of to-night if it was to pass into law to-morrow, and which was awaited with the greatest anxiety and impatience in Ireland, justified them, in taking the matter now, and he would state the position in the fewest possible words. This House had disagreed with some of the Amendments made by the Lords. The first of those Amendments the Lords had abandoned and not insisted upon, or had agreed to the Commons' Amendment. The second raised an important question of privilege, and upon that the Lords had not insisted. The third Amendment now before the House was one upon which they disagreed with the Lords upon the question of privilege. The Lords had also not insisted upon that Amendment, but had substituted for it another Amendment, which was now before them. That Amendment, as Mr. Speaker had told the House, might possibly, to an infinitesimal degree, be an infringement of the privileges of the House to this extent, that it might possibly in certain cases impose a charge upon the rates. That, however, would be to a very small extent, and this Amendment did not cover any decision at which the House had arrived, as the former Amendment did. It only contemplated a certain class of cases, in which it was possible that there might arise some hardship to individuals. The Amendment itself therefore, on its merits, was not unreasonable, and he believed that it would remove a certain amount of not unnatural irritation in certain quarters. Of course, they all knew how important and valuable to them were the privileges of the House. They had been the very foundation of the power and strength of the House, and he thought they ought on every occasion to be jealously guarded. At the same time the House had never been dogmatic on the subject, and where it could 1788 be shown that its rights were fully vindicated, and where it was shown that an Amendment might be adopted without prejudice to those rights, it had never hesitated to waive its privilege, having asserted it. And therefore no harm was done to its rights, while at the same time the object of putting the Bill into a proper shape was in point of fact attained. That was the course which the Government thought the House might properly follow on this occasion. The Amendment itself was one which might perfectly well be accepted, and one which might be represented as an improvement of the Bill. They had asserted their rights, and their rights were admitted in this case from the fact that the Lords had substituted another Amendment which was to a vary much, smaller degree subject to the objection before taken; and under these circumstances he thought the case was one in which the House might properly waive its privilege and accept the Lords Amendment.
§ Question, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment," put, and agreed to.