§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, " That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
who had a Motion upon the Paper " That tile Bill be read a second time upon this day three months," said the House had recently adopted an Instruction to the Committee in connection with another Bill of this Company, and it was rumoured that the Company intended to flout the decision of the House. They were to hold a meeting to-morrow for the purpose of considering the matter. It was obvious that the House ought to know the decision of the Company before it proceeded with the consideration of this Bill, and accordingly he moved the adjournment of the debate. The Bill could be set down on Wednesday, and meantime it could be seen what arrangements were made.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, " That the debate be now adjourned."— (Mr. MacVeagh.)
§ SIR E. CARSON
said he only rose to reply to one observation made by the lion. Member to the effect that the Great Northern Railway Company of Ireland were threatening to flout the decision of this House. There was not the slightest foundation for the suggestion. When the Second Reading of the other Bill was carried an Instruction was moved throwing certain obligations upon the Company. The Company were quite within their 650 rights to say whether they would accept those obligations or not, and, as he stated at the time, they would have to consider whether under the circumstances they would proceed with that Bill or not. Nobody had any right to say that they intended to flout the decision of the House, and indeed that was the last thing they intended to do.
§ MR. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)
appealed to the hon. Member who moved the adjournment not to persist in the Motion, on the ground that this was a very important Bill to the North of Ireland. The session was passing away rapidly and unless they got the Second Reading of the Bill to-day they might not be able to get the measure through. He submitted that there was no reason why the Second Reading should not be proceeded with at once. When the Instruction to the Committee which would have to consider the other Bill of this Company was brought forward, they very much objected to it, but the railway company were considering whether under the circumstances they would oppose it any further. The hon. Member had paid that this Bill could be set down for Wednesday and in the meantime arrangements could be made by the board of directors in Belfast to carry out the negotiations which were proceeding. But those who were accustomed to negotiations between a railway board and the opponents of a: Bill must know that they could not be carried out in one or two days. The directors would have to come over from Ireland and would have to consult their advisers, and considerable time would be lost by the negotiations. Under these circumstances he thought he was right in asking that the Motion for adjournment should be withdrawn, and the Bill read a second time.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
wished to know whether the hon. Gentleman was prepared to accept the Instruction passed the other night on the previous Bill if this Bill were passed.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND
said that was a conclusive reason for the adjournment of the debate. Since the House came to a decision the other night the railway company, through their agents, had threatened to drop the first Bill. If they dropped the first Bill, the Nationalist Members would object to their getting the second Bill. It therefore seemed a reasonable course! for them to adopt j to adjourn the debate in order that they might sec what the result of the negotiations was.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Debate to be resumed upon Wednesday.