§ Viscount Duncannon moved the second reading of this bill. He understood that there was one clause in the bill to which some objection would be made, but he hoped that their Lordships would allow the bill to go into committee.
The Earl of Wicklow
certainly would not allow the bill to be read a second time, without calling the attention of their Lordships to the clause to which his noble Friend had alluded. With regard to the bill generally, he had no particular objection. The history of the clause was this:—There came up last Session to their Lordships' House, a bill containing the clause to which his noble Friend had referred; but when it came there, no individual Member of the House could be found to move the second reading, and it therefore fell to the ground. The object of that bill was this—to repeal a bill which some time back the Government passed into a law, for they had considered, and very properly considered, that a power given to the grocers to sell spirits by retail, must lead to immoral and improper practices. Yet, notwithstanding that, because a certain individual of great influence with Her Majesty's Ministers, who wished to keep well with the lower portion of grocers in Dublin, pressed the measure, the bill was allowed to pass through the House of Commons. That bill, however, having failed last Session, it was re-introduced this Session into the House of Commons, but the hon. and learned Gentleman could not get the bill read a second time, and he had therefore prevailed upon the Government to let him ingraft a clause upon the bill now before the House, in order to carry into effect the objects which he had in view. The bill originally introduced by the Government, contained no such clause, and he had the bill in his possession, which the hon. and learned Gentleman had tried to pass, which was exactly in accordance with the clause to which he had referred. He looked upon this as a gross fraud and imposition on the part of the Government, and he really thought that their Lordships ought to refuse to give a second reading 194 to the bill, in order to make an example of those who brought in the bill, that they might impose upon their Lordships.
§ Viscount Duncannon
said, that when his noble Friend talked of making an example of those who brought in the bill, he must make an example of the public, for it was for their benefit that it was brought forward in the Commons. He really thought it would be a very hard case, if their Lordships should do what his noble Friend called on them to do, for the sake of making an example of particular individuals, and he hoped the House would allow the bill to go into committee.