§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
My Lords, I hope to explain to your lordships before I sit down that my Bill is neither audacious nor impertinent. There were amendments on the part of three noble Lords. On the 15th May, the noble Earl Lord Carnarvon pointed out the great anomaly existing, and it has been stated on high authority that the majority of your Lordships' House are in favour of the measure. This measure has reference to County Government. A most salutary regulation was passed in the Hallamshire County Council, that no member of that body should speak for more than 10 minutes; and as there are 196 30 members, instead of the 65 comprising Road Trustees and other Authorities, their meetings would only have occupied five hours supposing every member of the Council wished to speak. I venture to mention that fact, and I hope your Lordships will have regard to it in considering the time to be devoted to speeches. I have no wish to say anything in disparagement of the County Councils, though I do not think you will find in their working during the three years since their commencement any improvement on the old system; but that is merely matter of opinion. I merely address your Lordships in the hope that what is useful may be adopted, and that whatever is faulty may be remedied.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a." [The Lord Denman.)
* THE PAYMASTER GENERAL (The Earl of JERSEY)
I am sorry the noble Lord has thought it necessary to introduce another Bill upon this subject. This is obviously neither the time nor the occasion for a discussion on the Local Government Acts which have been so recently passed. I will not delay your Lordships, therefore, by criticising either the Preamble or the clauses of this Bill, but move at once that it be read this day three months.
§ Amendment moved to leave out ("now") and add at the end of the Motion ("this day three months.")—(The Earl of Jersey)
§ On question whether ("now") shall stand part of the Motion, resolved in the negative; and Bill to be read 2"this day three months.