§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
Is it right that we should be asked to deal in the perfunctory manner suggested with a Bill of over forty-five pages of clauses of a complicated character? Is it too much to ask for some small explanation? I confess to having studied it to some small extent, but I am bound to confess I cannot understand it. At all events the House of Commons is entitled, speaking in all seriousness, when a Bill of this kind is brought forward, that the right hon. Gentleman representing the Government should give some explanation of its provisions. Here we have some 45 pages of proposed legislation. Let us be told what it is all about. It is not respectful to the House simply to say, "I move." We are perfectly entitled to know what it is we are thus asked to pass.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)
I think I can satisfy the hon. Member that he has no real grievance. The Bill is founded on the Report of a very representative Committee which sat a considerable time, and which recommended the Bill and the schedules contained in it. The measure was discussed in this House for a considerable portion of one sitting last Session; it passed its Second Reading and went through Committee, and various Amendments agreed to by the interests concerned were inserted, and it would have obtained its Third Reading in due course had it not been for the Dissolution.