THE EARL OF BELMORE
asked the Lord President of the Council, If it is 1252 the case, as stated by the opponents of the Tramways Order in Council (Ireland) Bill, that—An application was made by the promoters to the Irish Government to introduce a Confirming Act this Session, and the matter having been submitted to the Law Officers, they advised the Government that, having regard to the provisions of the General Tramways Acts, the Order in Council in this matter must be deemed to have lapsed, and that it was not now competent to introduce a Confirming Bill;and, whether the solicitor for the opponents to the Bill was informed by the Attorney General for Ireland and the Assistant Under Secretary (Sir William B. Kaye), so recently as 25th May, that the Government had determined not to introduce another Bill for confirming the said Order in Council?
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Earl SPENCER)
It is not usual to make public the opinion of Law Officers given to the Government as matter of advice. I may state, however, that the action of the Government in declining to act under the particular powers and obligations created by Section 14 of the Tramways Act, 1860, and introduce a second Bill there under, was owing to advice received from the Law Officers. The Law Officers did not advise that it was not competent for the Government under their general powers to introduce such a Bill.
§ LORD HALSBURY
said, that when the matter came on for discussion he thought it could be shown that the action which had been taken by the Government was open to question.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (Lord HERSCHELL)
said, that he had not offered a decided opinion; but admitted that the matter was open to very grave doubt. He felt that it was a scheme which it was desirable should be carried out, and that as it had been made a subject of local inquiry it would not be wise to reject the measure on the second reading.