HL Deb 08 December 1890 vol 349 cc687-8

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


My Lords, this is the third time I have brought forward a Bill on this subject. On the first occasion I presumed to include the House of Commons, but on consideration I thought it was better that I should not attempt to dictate to another branch of the Legislature the adoption of that which should be approved of in this House. I happen to know that there is a Bill pressing forward in another place, and I believe that the author of that Bill would be perfectly ready to support any measure which your Lordships approved of. In the case of procedure a great deal has been done in this direction, and full latitude was given to Privy Councillors to speak for an unlimited time; but certainly that does not seem to me to tend to the rapid transaction of business. I think that the substitution of an hourglass for regulating time would be an improvement. It certainly would be less offensive than to have a bell sounding in your Lordships' ears. I have no other wish on the subject than to provide for the transaction of Public Business being less clogged than it has often been hitherto. I would venture to remind your Lordships that in 1831 Mr. Stanley brought forward a Bill upon the subject. The only person who opposed it was Mr. Shaw, the Recorder of Dublin. He divided the House 17 times, and although it was a Wednesday Sitting, the House sat on until an early hour in the morning. I wish to see everything go smoothly, and I will do my best to facilitate the fair and proper consideration of Public Business.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Denman.)


I think, perhaps, we had better reserve our energies for more urgent and serious grievances than this, and that we need not consider a proposal of this kind until the Debates in your Lordships' House assume such a character as to render it necessary. Any person who is not content with the speed at which your Lordships transact business in this House and who complains of the duration of time which you devote to it in making speeches must, indeed, be very hard to please. I think that whenever the speeches in this House come to be of the model referred to by the noble Lord, when a speaker carried on his speech until 1 o'clock in the morning, your Lordships may very well undertake some such reform as this; but until that condition of things comes about, we had better do without this legislation. I am compelled to make the unusual Motion, that this Bill be read a second time this day ten months.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and add at the end of the Motion ("this day ten months.")—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

On Question whether ("now") shall stand part of the Motion, resolved in the negative.

Bill to be read 2a this day ten months.