HL Deb 17 July 1890 vol 347 cc30-1

House in Committee (on Re-commitment) (according to order).


I hope your Lordships will not proceed with this Bill. Almost all the Peers-belonging to Ireland are opposed to it as contrary to the customs and wishes of the agricultural classes in Ireland; and the same reasons that make it objectionable in Ireland make it objectionable to the agricultural classes in England, which furnish most of the intestates. No cause has been shown for altering the law, and it is a great objection to such changes, that it is a long time before such changes become generally known to intestates, whose intentions to abide by the actual law are thus frustrated.


This is a speech against the Second Reading. As the noble Lord has said that all the Irish Peers are contented with it, and it is only an English Peer who is discontented, that certainly seems, if I may venture to say so, rather an Irish mode of objecting. I hope your Lordships will adhere to your opinion with regard to the Bill on. Second Reading.


I must venture to demur to the doctrine of my noble and learned Friend who has just sat down with regard to Second Readings. The other night we were told by noble Lords that when a Bill is read a second time that is only meant to express agreement with a principle, and not giving a pledge that certain things ought to be done. If that doctrine is correct, and if we are now to be asked, as my noble and learned Friend asks us, when we get to this stage not to object on the ground that we have given our assent, it seems to me that our opportunity of objecting to Bills is reduced to very slender proportions. I do not object very strongly to this Bill, although I do not know why the widow should have exactly £500—why that should be the sum fixed—and although I do not know why no account should be taken of anything that has been done for her during the lifetime of her husband. However, I do not think it is a measure of very great importance, and I therefore do not offer any resistance.

Bill reported without further amendment; and to be read 3a to-morrow.