HL Deb 27 November 1888 vol 331 cc278-82

House in Committee (according to order).

Clause 1 (Short Title) agreed to.

Clause 2 (Interpretation of terms.)


, in moving in line 12, after ("districts,") to insert ("the population of which exceeds 5,000,") said, he thought it was unwise to extend the provisions of the English Borough Funds Act to all the townships of Ireland, because the municipal institutions of England were widely different in regard to size from the townships that existed in Ireland. There were about 105 townships in Ireland, and, excluding the large towns, there were very few of them between 5,000 and 10,000 inhabitants. Their Lordships would appreciate the importance of this matter when he stated that some of the Irish townships were so small that there were 30 of those townships whose income from rates and other wise did not exceed £200 a-year. Some of them had an income as low as £64 a-year, and one of them, he believed, had only an income of £30 a-year. It appeared to him, therefore, that it would be highly inexpedient to entrust such townships with the power to originate expensive litigation. He thought his proposal limitating the operation of the Bill to townships of 5,000 inhabitants was a very moderate one; but, if the noble Earl in charge of the Bill did not think so, he was willing to meet him, and make the limit 4,000.

Amendment moved, in page 7, line 12, after ("districts") insert ("the population of which exceeds 5,000.")—(The Lord Fitzgerald.)


said, he should be very unwilling to reject any Amendment which commended itself to the knowledge and experience of the noble and learned Lord, but in that case he was afraid he could not accept the Amendment. The object of the Bill was to assimilate the law in Ireland in regard to the application of municipal funds to the law in England, and it appeared to him that any limitation, such as that proposed by this Amendment, would create a difference between the law of the two countries without any corresponding benefit to Ireland. The provision requiring the approbation of the Local Government Board and the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant to be obtained would suffice to prevent the misapplication of the funds by the local bodies. He hoped, therefore, the noble and learned Lord would not press the Amendment. He also trusted that the noble Earl opposite (the Earl of Arran), who intended to propose to limit the operation of the Bill to townships of 8,000 inhabitants, would accept his observations in the same sense, and not move his Amendment.


intimated that he did not intend to move his Amendment.


said, he would not press his amendment.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 3 (Cost of promoting or opposing Parliamentary and other proceedings for benefit of inhabitants to be charged on borough and local funds, except in certain cases) agreed to.

Clause 4 (No payment to member of governing body to be so charged) agreed to.

Clause 5 (Costs of promoting or opposing Bills to require sanction of special meetings.


said, that as the Bill stood it required that no such expense should be charged unless it was incurred in pursuance of a resolution of an absolute majority of the whole number of the governing body. That majority, however, might be a majority of one, and he therefore proposed as an Amendment that the required majority should consist of not less than three-fourths of the governing body. If one-fourth of the whole governing body were opposed to that expenditure of the rates, it ought not, in his opinion, to be undertaken.

Amendment moved, in page 2, line 13, after ("majority") insert ("consisting of not less than three-fourths.")—(The Earl of Milltown.)


said, he must object to the Amendment because it would impose a limitation which was not contained in the English Act, and it was desirable to adhere as strictly as they could to the words of the English Act. He hoped that the Amendment would not be pressed.


supposed it was of no use pressing the Amendment, but, although it was desirable as far as possible to assimilate the law in Ireland and in England, he thought it was hardly a good reason for applying a faulty provision to Ireland that now existed in England.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Amendment moved, in line 12, after ("expense") insert ("in relation to promoting or opposing any Bill or Bills in Parliament.")—(Viscount De Vesci.)


said, if the noble Lord (Viscount De Vesci) referred to the beginning of Clause 3 he would find that there were two objects proposed in this application of municipal funds. The first object was that of promoting or opposing any local and personal Bill or Bills in Parliament, and the second, or alternative, object was that of prosecuting or defending any legal proceedings necessary for the promotion or protection of the interests of the inhabitants of the district. The noble Lord would, perhaps, see that if his Amendment were inserted in Clause 5 he would limit the effect of the Act to the case of the promoting or opposing of Bills in Parliament, and would exclude the other purposes which he had just referred to as provided for in Clause 3. The result would be that the funds might be supplied for those purposes without the control of the ratepayers or the constituencies under the Bill. He imagined that it would scarcely commend itself to the approval of the noble Lord, and he hoped he would not press his Amendment.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

On the Motion of Viscount DE VESCI, Amendment made, in line 20, leave out from ("shall") to ("resolution") in line 27, and insert— ("Have received, in respect of matter within the jurisdiction of the Local Government Board of Ireland the approval of such Board, and in respect of other matters the approval of the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant.")

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 (Vote of the electors).

Amendment moved, in page 3, line 18, leave out ("any person") and insert ("ten persons present at the meeting and.")—(The Lord Privy Seal.)


said, he hoped the noble Earl would not press his Amendment. In the Public Health Act of 1875 a poll could be demanded by anyone, owner or ratepayer.


said, he must press at least for five.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment moved, In line 23, leave out from ("by") to ("where") in line 26, and insert ("Schedule III. of the English Public Health Act, 1875, which shall be applicable to any such poll.")—(Viscount De Vesci.)


said, the Schedule referred to contained 50 clauses, many of which it was impossible to embody in a Bill of this kind. The clauses applied to constituencies in England which were uniform, and in that respect they differed from those in Ireland. He was led to believe that the object in view was to obtain an enactment for the use of voting papers at those elections. He would frame a new clause in order to carry out that object, but at present he could not accept the Amendment.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Amendment moved, after Clause 6, to insert as anew clause— The approval of the Local Governmen Board, or of the Chief Secretary, as the case may be, shall not be given to any such resolution as aforesaid until the expiration of seven days after the second publication thereof as provided by this Act, and in the meantime any ratepayer within the district of the governing body may give notice in writing to the Local Government Board, or the Chief Secretary, objecting to such approval."—(Viscount De Vesci).


said, he would accept the Amendment. He suggested that instead of "ratepayer" the wording should read—"Any person qualified to vote at the election of the governing body of the district."

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended agreed to.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

Order of the day for consideration of Standing Order No. XXXV., read and discharged; The Report of the Amendments to be received on Tuesday next; and Bill to be printed, as amended. (No. 290.)