HL Deb 01 August 1873 vol 217 cc1423-6

Commons' Amendments considered.

Moved that the Commons amendments to Lords amendments and Commons reasons for disagreeing to certain of the amendments made by the Lords be now considered.—(The Lord Chancellor.)


rose to move as an Amendment that the said Amendments and Reasons be taken into consideration that day three months. The noble and learned Lord stated his objection to the Bill, notwithstanding, or in consequence of, the numerous Amendments that had been made by both Houses. After a highly technical examination of the provisions of the Bill as it stood, the noble and learned Lord said, that in a Bill of this description it was essential that everything should be clear and intelligible, but that the alterations made in the measure at the last moment only confused and complicated the subject. The Bill which had been originally sent into their Lordships' House from the House of Commons was a very different measure from that which had been sent down to the other House their Lordships, and this had again been materially changed by the Amendments recently made by the Commons. Those persons in Scotland who had taken a warm interest in this subject had not had time to consider the Amendments, and seeing that the Bill was not to come into operation before the 1st January, 1874, he thought that if Government introduced a Bill in February, it might be passed and come into operation in June, that the mere question of a six months' delay ought not to prevent the measure from being carefully and properly considered.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and insert ("this day three months")—(The Lord Colonsay.)


said, the course taken by his noble and learned Friend was neither a usual nor a convenient one. Their Lordships had already affirmed the principle of this Bill, and the desirableness of legislating on the subject to which it had reference, by giving it a second reading. When the House went into Committee, their Lordships had bestowed a considerable amount of attention and care upon the consideration of the details, and many Amendments moved by his noble and learned Friend (Lord Colonsay) were adopted. Some of those Amendments, bearing upon the general scope and object of the Bill, the House of Commons, differing from their Lordships, rejected; but others—and among them some Amendments of great importance—were accepted by the House of Commons, who had therein shown a disposition to approximate towards their Lordships' views. Their Lordships could hardly alter the opinion they had expressed as to its being desirable to legislate upon this subject, but they might disagree with the Amendments sent up from the House of Commons, and insist upon their own—thereby throwing upon the other House the responsibility of the failure of the Bill if they persisted. He certainly could not think that in the case of a Bill relating to an important subject, on which all parties had agreed that it was desirable to legislate—and especially when the general nature of the legislation was also agreed upon—his noble and learned Friend or the House would be pursuing a very consistent course in declining to take into consideration the Amendments sent up by the Commons.


said, there was no doubt that the Bill was one of great importance, and that a great deal of the time of both Houses had been expended in putting it into shape. No doubt some of their Lordships must have a painful recollection of the time they had spent on the Bill in Committee, and it would be in their remembrance that considerable Amendments were made by their Lordships, and made with a great deal of care. They all understood and appreciated the firmness and the candour with which the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had met the opposition urged against portions of the Bill, and they could remember the form in which it was sent back to the other House, where he had no doubt, from the Amendments there made—although the discussions appeared to have been conducted with closed doors, as they were not recorded in the ordinary channels of information—the most earnest attention was bestowed on the details of the Bill as altered by their Lordships. When the Commons had made the changes they thought requisite, the Bill was sent back to their Lordships, and it was for them to say whether they should turn it out at the last moment, or send it to the House of Commons once more in order that they might again consider the Amendments they proposed to make. The latter appeared at first sight the most promising and plausible course, and there was only one ground on which he regarded it as insecure. The Prorogation of Parliament they were told was to take place next Tuesday; and if their Lordships chose to-night to go through the Amendments and Reasons which occupied 25 pages of print, it was probable the House of Commons might require some days to consider the result of their Lordships' work, and it would be utterly impossible that they could have this time if Parliament were to be prorogued on Tuesday. On the whole, he thought it would be better that the measure should be re-introduced next Session.

On Question, that ("now") stand part of the Motion? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 25; Not-Contents 43: Majority 18.

Selborne, L. (L. Chan- Boyle, L. (E. Cork and
cellor.) Orrery.) [Teller.]
Camoys, L.
Saint Albans, D. Gwydir, L.
[Teller.] Hatherley, L.
Houghton, L.
Lansdowne, M. Kenmare, L. (E. Ken-
Ripon, M. mare.)
Methuen, L.
Camperdown, E. Monson, L.
Cowper, E. Mostyn, L.
Granville, E. Ponsonby, L. (E. Bess-
Kimberley, E. borough.)
Morley, E. Seaton, L.
Stanley of Alderley, L.
Halifax, V. Waveney, L.
Sydney, V. Wrottesley, L.
Buckingham and Chan- Bagot, L.
dos, D. Boston, L.
Northumberland, D. Cairns, L.
Rutland, D. Chelmsford, L.
Wellington, D. Colonsay, L.
Congleton, L.
Salisbury, M. Denman, L.
Amherst, E. De Saumarez, L.
Bantry, E. Ellenborough, L.
Beauchamp, E. Hartismere, L. (L. Hen-
Carnarvon, E. niker.)
Dartmouth, E. Hylton, L.
Denbigh, E. Ker, L. (M. Lothian.)
Derby, E. Manners, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Buc- Oranmore and Browne,
cleuch and Queens- L.
berry.) Penrhyn, L.
Leven and Melville, E. Ranfurly, L. (E. Ran-
Malmesbury, E. furly.)
Mansfield, E. Redesdale, L.
Powis, E. Saltoun, L.
Verulam, E. Skelmersdale, L.
Clancarty, V. (E. Clan- Templemore, L.
Carty.) Thurlow, L.
De Vesci, V. Wynford, L.
Hawarden, V. [Teller.]

Resolved, in the negative; Commons' amendments to Lords' amendments, and Commons' reasons for disagreeing to certain of the amendments made by the Lords, to be considered on this day three months.