HL Deb 15 August 1881 vol 264 cc1878-80

moved— That the Order of the 1st day of April last, which limits the time for the Second Reading of any Bill brought from the House of Commons confirming any Provisional Order he dispensed with respect to the said Bill. The noble Lord explained that the Bill was one of considerable interest and importance to a large number of persons in Ireland. The measure had reference to a district in the county of Cork. It was of a very useful character, and he hoped it would not be prevented from becoming law by reason of a technicality in the Forms of the House.


said, he did not think he ever rose to do a more painful or unpleasant duty than the present. He had been for a great many years Chairman of the Committees of that House, and it was his duty in that Office to see that the Orders of the House with regard to private legislation were observed. He had never yet found any want of confidence in the decisions he had come to, and this was the first time in which, having expressed a decided opinion against a proceeding of this kind, that opinion had been overruled. One of the Standing Orders of the House was that no Bill confirming a Provisional Order should be read a second time if brought from the other House after the 16th of June; but this Bill was not read a first time in the House of Commons till the 21st of July, and if their Lordships allowed such an infraction of their Orders, those Orders were worth nothing at all, for nobody could rely on them. He had never shown any unwillingness to suspend the Orders when good reason had been shown; but here there was a deliberate insult to the House of Lords. Everything was ready in the Office in Ireland by the 22nd of January, and the delay was simply owing to the negligence of the promoters to push it forward in due time.


entirely agreed with the observation of the noble Earl that the Orders of the House should be maintained; but could not accept the view that any insult to the noble Earl would be involved in a Resolution of their Lordships to suspend the Order for the public convenience. He was not acquainted with the details of the matter, and could not say why the Bill was not proceeded with at an earlier date. He could not help thinking that the observations of the noble Earl would expedite parties who were concerned in Private Bills. There was really no objection to this Bill. The object of it was good, and it was desirable that it should be passed this Session. He thought they might suspend the Order in this exceptional case. To do so would cast no reflection on the Office of the noble Earl.


said, he felt that the noble Earl had done his duty by calling attention to this matter. Unless the Order was maintained, there was very little chance of it meeting with any respect hereafter. These Orders were often a security against private rights being invaded by the action of Provisional Orders, and if the noble Earl went to a division he should support him. But, while saying that, he admitted that there was in this case some ground why they should take an indulgent view; and, as there was no opposition to the Bill, he would advise the noble Earl not to press his objection.


said, he could not accept the advice which had been given him, because if he did it would go forth that their Orders were of no use. If this were a small case he would not press his objection. This Bill was ready on the 22nd of January; but the promoters had thought proper not to push the Bill forward. If the Motion were agreed to there would be an end of their Standing Orders.


desired to assure their Lordships that nothing had been done which was prejudicial to the dignity or the Office of the noble Chairman of Committees. There had been an unfor- tunate delay; but he might observe that two Bills analogous to the present were brought in last year in the month of August, and were passed into law.


said, that the fact just mentioned showed that he was not unwilling in proper cases to have the Standing Orders suspended. The circumstances of last Session were very exceptional indeed. Everything was very late. As he believed it to be necessary that the Standing Orders should be obeyed, he should divide against the Motion.

On question? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 29; Not-Contents 31: Majority 2.

Selborne, L. (L. Chancellor.) Breadalbane, L. (E. Breadalbane.)
De Mauley, L.
Ailesbury, M. Denman, L.
Fingall, L. (E. Fingall.)
Kenmare, L. (E. Kenmare.)
Camperdown, E.
Granville, E. Kenry, L. (E. Dunraven and Mount-Earl.)
Kimberley, E.
Minto, E. Monson, L. [Teller.]
Morley, E. Ramsay, L. (E. Dalhousie.)
Northbrook, E.
Spencer, E. Rosebery, L. (E. Rosebery.
Sydney, E.
Sandhurst, L.
Exeter, L. Bp. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Strafford, L. (V. Enfield.
Ampthill, L.
Boyle, L. (E. Cork and Orrery.) [Teller.] Talbot de Malahide, L.
Thurlow, L.
Braye, L. Wrottesley, L.
Somerset, D. Borthwick, L.
Colchester, L.
Salisbury, M. Ellenborough, L.
Winchester, M. Elphinstone, L.
Foxford, L. (E. Limerick.)
Cairns, E.
Devon, E. Harlech, L.
Fortescue, E. Lamington, L.
Harrington, E. Oranmore and Browne, L.
Ilchester, E.
Lathom, E. Rowton, L.
Redesdale, E. [Teller.] Silchester, L. (E. Longford.)
Hawarden, V. Stratheden and Campbell, L.
Melville, V.
Sidmouth, V. Strathspey, L. (E. Sea field.) [Teller.]
St. Albans, L. Bp. Ventry, L.
Waveney, L.
Alington, L. Wynford, L.
Bateman, L.

Resolved, in the negative.

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