HL Deb 14 July 1870 vol 203 cc233-4

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee, read.


said, that this Bill had passed the other House of Parliament with singular unanimity, having been accepted generally on both sides of the House. Since, however, it had been read a second time he had heard grave objections to it expressed by several noble Lords on that and the other side of the House, who represented to him that its main provisions ought to form the subject of a special inquiry. Under such circumstances, and in deference to the opinions thus expressed, he should propose to discharge the Order for going into Committee; and, early next Session, he should move for the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry on the matter.


, referring to the observation of the noble Duke that the Bill had passed through the House of Commons with singular unanimity, said, he had no doubt of the truth of that statement, notwithstanding that the measure might be open to grave objections. Everyone who had had much experience of the House of Commons must know that it was a common practice in that House to pass a Bill through it without consideration, relying upon their Lordships to throw it out if it were an objectionable measure. From his own experience in the Lower House he declared he had heard it frequently said—"We will not go into this Bill as it takes up too much of our time. The Lords will be sure to throw it out if it be not a fit measure to enact." That was a practice that he believed was going on at that very day. He recollected Mr. Joseph Hume saying on one occasion—"Do not let us trouble ourselves with this Bill. The Lords will consider it, and if there be any difficulty involved they will have the assistance of the Judges, who are more competent than we are to remove it." The unanimity of the other House of Parliament in passing a Bill was rather a compliment to the vigilance and judgment of their Lordships than a reason for the adoption of the measure by that House.


said, he was informed by some noble Lords who entertained objections to the Bill that, in consequence of its being moved at a very late hour of the night in the House of Commons it was passed without consideration.


said, the noble and learned Lord was mistaken, for it was at a Morning Sitting of the House of Commons that the Bill was passed.


said, as there was a strong feeling in favour of the measure, he hoped the noble Duke would not lose sight of the subject that Session.

Order for Committee discharged.