§ Bill read 1a; to be printed. (No. 227).
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
My Lords, I propose to fix the second reading for Monday next, and if the debate should terminate and the Bill be read a second time on that day, I should wish to appoint Friday for the Committee. Tour Lordships, I am sure, would desire at this period of the Session that the Bill should be pro- 1616 ceeded with without unnecessary delay. If the debate does not terminate on Monday, and if your Lordships are desirous that further time should be given, I shall be prepared to fix the Committee for the following Monday.
I think it would be much more convenient if the Committee were fixed at once for Monday week; for I have reason to believe that the debate on the second reading will be by no means so short as the noble Earl seems to suppose. I do not intend to oppose the second reading, nor have I heard that any Member of your Lordships' House intends to do so; but it is my intention before the Bill is read a second time to move a Resolution, the purport of which will be to express the opinion of the House to show that the Bill requires considerable amendment. I cannot now give the precise words of this Resolution, but I have reason to believe that it will meet with considerable support. At all events, I am persuaded that the whole principle of a Bill of such importance ought to be discussed on the second reading, in order that we may be properly prepared to consider its details in Committee. It is necessary, moreover, that there should be some interval between the second reading and the Committee, because, until the opinion of the House has been indicated to a certain extent by the proceedings on the second reading, it is impossible for those who object to some of the provisions of the Bill to decide upon what Amendments they will propose. It is desirable that the House should not be in any uncertainty as to the date of the Committee, and I therefore trust the noble Earl will acquiesce in the propriety of at once fixing Monday week.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
I can assure the noble Earl that I have not the slightest desire unduly to hasten the progress of the Bill, and I have already said that if the debate on the second reading should not terminate on Monday, I shall be ready, if it is thought more convenient, to defer the Committee till the following Monday. At present it would not be regular to do more than fix the second reading, but I can assure the noble Earl that I shall be glad to meet the general wish of your Lordships as to the time for taking the next stage.
§ Bill ordered to be read 2a on Monday next.