HL Deb 11 June 1860 vol 159 cc220-3

Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 3a.


stated, that on a future occasion he should ask the Government to lay on the table an account showing the amount of drawback payable on foreign wines at the time of the passing of the Resolutions in the House of Commons, and to inform their Lordships whether any negotiations were now in progress with Spain and Portugal, with a view to the reduction of the duty upon wines imported from those countries; and if so, whether there was any probability that such reduction would be met by a corresponding reduction of the duties upon articles of British manufacture exported to Spain and Portugal. He should inquire, at the same time, whether any reliable calculation could be made as to the amount likely to be lost in the consumption of malt, hops, and spirits, by reason of the reduced duty upon French wines.


said, that, in his opinion, the whole law upon the subject required revision before new vested interests were created. It was not wise, without such a revision, to increase the present large number of beer and refreshment houses, and he believed the result would be most pernicious. He thought that all beer, spirits, wine, and refreshment houses should be put under the control of the magistrates, and that the present number of public-houses ought not to be increased. He had been at a public dinner himself last year, where there were thirteen dozens of one sort of French wine consumed, and only one class of beer. With regard to this Bill carrying out the Commercial Treaty with France, it could only tend to that object, if a promise had been made by an irregular diplomatist to the illustrious individual who condescended to communicate with him. He thought that every shop would be in danger of being a wine-shop, and the blacksmith's and the saddler's in villages be places of resort, where the law as to not selling on the premises might be evaded. Thinking this Bill wholly unnecessary, he should, therefore, move the third reading that day six months; and would call upon Lord Portman,—who, when in the House of Commons, had moved that the Beer Bill be rejected,—to support him on that occasion.

Amendment moved, to leave out "now" and insert "this day six months."


said, that though he entertained objections to parts of the Bill, and would second the noble Lord's Motion, it was not with the intention of pressing it to a division, but for the purpose of addressing a few remarks to their Lordships. He maintained that the present Bill ought not to have been a Supply Bill. Nearly the whole of the clauses were devoted to the regulation of the houses for the sale of wine, and had nothing whatever to do with Supply. In "another place" the Chancellor of the Exchequer was asked to separate the two parts of the Bill, in order that their Lordships might have an opportunity of dealing with the clauses other than the money clauses. He replied that he could not ac- cede to the suggestion thus made to him, because the Beer Act was considered and passed as one measure. But the right hon. Gentleman forgot to mention that the Beer Act was not a Supply Bill at all, and that, consequently, it was not only discussed, but amended by their Lordships. This Bill, however, was made a Supply Bill, whereby their Lordships were prevented from introducing any Amendments without coming into collision with the House of Commons. It appeared to him that the Bill had been purposely drawn with that intention; and if that were so, he thought their Lordships' privileges had been seriously infringed. The Bill created a new class of refreshment houses, made new police regulations, and did many things that had nothing whatever to do with Supply. The 40th clause of this Bill, for instance, altered the law affecting drunkenness, by imposing a penalty of 40s., or seven days' imprisonment, though the law as to drunkenness had nothing whatever to do with Supply. Such a clause ought, therefore, not to have been in a Supply Bill at all. He was not disposed to say that he should not agree with the imposition of a 40s. fine on persons found drunk, the substance of his objection being that such a clause should not have been in a Supply Bill. He was not, however, disposed on this occasion to do anything to bring their Lordships into collision with the other House of Parliament, and therefore all he could do was to say "Not-Content" to the third reading, by way of entering his protest against the course which had been adopted.


said, there could be no doubt whatever that this was a Supply Bill; but there could be no doubt whatever that several clauses of the Bill were such as this House might reject or amend, and some, such as the 40th and 41st Clauses, which were unquestionably tacks, on account of which this House, if it stood on its strict rights and privileges, might reject the Bill on the ground that it was not framed in accordance with our Standing Orders. But he, for one, was not prepared to support any such course of proceeding in this case, thinking, as he did, that the regulations were salutary ones; at the same time he thought it right, as the subject had been mentioned in the House, to call the attention of the Government to the point.


stated, that the 40th and 41st clauses, which had been ob- jected to by some of their Lordships, were introduced into this Bill at the instance not of the Government, but of Mr. Hardy, who was Under Secretary for the Home Department in the Government of the Earl of Derby. The Government did not, he repeated, intend to raise any constitutional objection to their Lordships dealing with any of the questions involved in this Bill; but he did not think that it would be improved by the introduction of any of the Amendments which had been suggested.

On Question, That ("now") stand part of the Motion? their Lordships divided:—Contents 36; Not-Contents 2: Majority 34.

Resolved in the Affirmative.

Bill read 3a accordingly, and passed.

Campbell, L. (L. Chancellor.) Gloucester and Bristol Bp.
Newcastle, D. Aveland, L.
Somerset, D. Belper, L.
Chesham, L.
Townshend, M. Churchill, L.
Churston, L.
Belmore, E. Dartrey, L. (L. Cremorne.)
Chichester, E.
Clarendon, E. Digby, L.
De Grey, E. Foley, L. [Teller.]
Ducie, E. Harris, L.
Granville, E. Llanover, L.
Mayo, E. Lyveden, L.
Romney, E. Methuen, L.
Saint Germans, E. Minster L. (M. Conyngham.)
Eversley, V. Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Falmouth, V.
Lifford, V. Portman, L.
Sydney, V. Talbot de Malahide, L.
Derry and Raphoe, Bp. Wodehouse, L.
Harrrington, E. [Teller.] Denman, L. [Teller.]
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