§ Question proposed, "That Standing Order No. XXXV. be dispensed with for this day's Sitting."—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
My Lords, I beg to ask if the suspension of the Standing Orders applies to every Bill on the Minutes of this day. On the 4th August, 1879, they were suspended for the hurried passage of a Bill for limited liability to Banking Companies—no deliberation was allowed to the Bill by the noble Viscount (Viscount Cranbrook), then Secretary of State for India—and it received the Royal Assent the day after it had been read a second time. I venture to think that this House ought to reject a Money Bill if it has been passed by the cloture. On the 10th of July, 1884, an extraordinary instance of an attempt at undue haste occurred; there were three Bills on the paper—the Bill appointing a Secretary of State for Scotland—a Bill for Women's Suffrage—and a Bill to legalize marriage with a deceased wife's sister, and the noble Earl (Earl Cairns) wrote to me to postpone the Women's Suffrage Bill, as the House would wish to divide before dinner on the Bill which was next on the minutes to the Women's Suffrage Bill. I did not consent, but all 814 business was suspended soon after. My Lords, with great difficulty I have established the fact that an Order for a Bill to be read on a certain day is, if the House be sitting, a real Order, to be carried out at the end of so many lunar months, and ever after upon Notice, if agreed to by the House. On the 18th March two Bills were postponed for six months. I wished the Order to be changed to two months, and handed a Notice to the Clerk of this House. He refused to issue it, but I believe it is not the duty of the Clerk to reject Notices, but to leave it to the House to alter or reject them. I have twice beaten two different Clerks as to Notices—and maintain my opinion. I would rather sit every day in the week and see Bills considerately carried than agree to the suspension of the Standing Orders, which has been too often resorted to.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a—Agreed to.
§ Bill read 2a accordingly.
§ Moved, "That the Earl Beauchamp do take the Chair in the Committee."—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)—Agreed to.
§ House in Committee.
§ Bill reported without Amendment; read 3a, and passed.