HL Deb 01 August 1873 vol 217 cc1426-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Morley.)


complained of the practice which had grown up of passing this Bill hurriedly through Parliament at the very close of the Ses- sion, when there was no opportunity of giving it adequate consideration. Many of the Acts named in it were of the very gravest importance. Many of the Acts, when first introduced, were designed to be merely temporary, but they actually became permanent by being annually renewed through the medium of this Bill. This mode of proceeding was very objectionable; because if these measures required consideration, it was impossible to give them that consideration when they came before the Legislature merely as names in a General Continuance Bill.


was surprised to hear a noble Lord of such great Parliamentary experience raise such an objection. For many years past it had been the practice in the House of Commons to appoint a Select Committee in every Session to consider these expiring laws, and decide whether they should be continued or dropped altogether. He might assure the noble Earl that the great majority of the Acts contained in the Bill wore of such a nature that they could not be dropped without the greatest inconvenience. All that Parliament wished to declare in passing this Bill year by year was, that there were a number of Acts of a temporary character, the wisdom of whose continuance it was advisable from time to time to consider.


thought the complaint of the noble Earl (the Earl of Carnarvon) was a salutary protest against a very pernicious practice. The Bill under discussion was merely a means to enable Parliament and Ministers to cheat themselves by smuggling. Acts through quietly against which there was very considerable objection. Thus, Acts which were merely allowed to pass on condition that they were only to be in operation for a year, were continued and re-continued without discussion until they became part of the permanent statutes of the land.


said, that in illustration of the necessity of such a Bill, he would point out that the Schedule embraced a measure of such importance as the Preservation of the Peace in Ireland. Parliament could not pursue any other course with respect to such a measure than to make it temporary; because otherwise it would be a practical declaration that the ordinary privileges of the Irish people were to be taken away permanently. By continuing that Act as long as it was found to be necessary by means of this Bill, not only a great deal of time was saved, but much needless and unprofitable irritation was avoided.

After some remarks from Lord DENMAN and Lord CAIRNS,

Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a acordingly; Committee negatived, and Bill to be read 3a To-morrow.