HL Deb 26 July 1885 vol 300 cc214-5

said, he wished to ask the noble Earl who was in charge of this Bill, Whether he would state to the House, in proposing the second reading, what day he intended to take the Committee, and what facility he meant to ask the House to grant him in order to hasten the decision of the House so that it would have effect at the forthcoming registration of voters? The noble Earl was probably aware that next Friday was the last day for making out the overseers' lists; but the President of the Local Government Board, in "another place," had promised, when in charge of the Bill, to introduce a clause providing that the overseers should make out supplemental lists of the claims of those who had received medical relief to be presented with the other lists to the Revising Barristers. If the Bill passed this week it would only give 24 days to the overseers to perform this duty, which he was informed was not more than sufficient. He should like to know whether the noble Earl had taken any means for the incorporation of this clause in the Bill?


said, he had to state, in reply to the noble Earl, that it was his anxious desire that the Bill should pass through that House as soon as possible. It was with that view that he came down to that House yesterday to consult the authorities as to when it was necessary that the Bill should pass in order that it might be efficacious this year. He spoke to his noble and learned Friend the Lord of Appeal opposite, as to whether it would be possible to suspend the Standing Orders. He had every wish that the Bill should become efficacious as speedily as possible. The Question addressed to him by the noble Earl seemed to be one which ought properly to be addressed to the Leader of the House. With reference to the regrettable incident that took place yesterday evening, he might observe that nothing was further from his mind than to say anything that could be construed as implying in the slightest degree discourtesy to the noble Earl opposite. Up to last night he, in common with every other Member of their Lordships' House, had invariably received the utmost courtesy and consideration from the noble Earl. But the noble Earl put the matter as a question of right, and upon that he was afraid the noble Earl was wrong.


said, he would cordially reciprocate the words of the noble Earl. He did not complain that the noble Earl had put himself forward, but that he persisted in the course he had adopted when he (Earl Granville) had stated that he had been requested to take charge of the Bill by those who had conducted it through its final stages in the House of Commons. He had looked at the newspaper reports of what took place on the previous evening; and they appeared to him to entirely confirm what had been said on that side of the House. He was quite aware that the ultimate power in this matter rested with the noble Marquess; but what he wished to know was whether Mr. A. J. Balfour's advice would be taken, and for what day the Committee stage would be fixed?


said, he was sure there was every desire on the part of their Lordships to facilitate the progress of the Bill; but the course suggested by the noble Earl was somewhat unusual. The point should be raised after the second reading.


said, he could not agree that it was an unusual course to ask the Mover of the second reading of a Bill when he proposed to take the Committee stage.


said, he had only one remark to make, and that was with regard to the noble Earl's observation as to the report in the papers. He was of opinion that the report entirely confirmed his view of the case.