§ SECOND READING.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ Moved, "That the Bill he now read 2a.—(The Lord Henniker.)
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, I have to present a Petition in regard to this Bill from the Guardians of the Kensington Union, and I may be allowed, perhaps, to say that I entirely concur with the statements set form in it, and as it is very short, with your Lordships' permission I will read it—Without expressing any opinion as to the desirability, or otherwise, of the provisions of the Bill, your petitioners, as persons interested in the administration of the Poor 1774 Law, are of opinion that it is inexpedient that a measure embodying important questions of principle should be introduced into Parliament at so late a period of the Session when the full consideration which such questions require cannot be given to them.That, my Lords, is signed by several members of the Board of Guardians of the Union.
§ LORD BASING
My Lords, I wish to ask my noble Friend in charge of the Bill whether he thinks it absolutely necessary that it should be passed into law within the very short period that now remains of the present Session, that is to say, without adequate discussion. The subject is a very important one. I do not deny that the provision of casual wards in the Metropolis should be made uniform, and ought to be made subject to some more satisfactory authority; bat it is not only the Guardians of certain Unions, who might have to be coerced into providing casual wards, who are concerned with the Bill, but the Metropolitan Asylums Board would have a right to say whether it is reasonable that such provision should be made without their view being heard. My Lords, I maintain that it is very important that they should be considered, being, as they are, about the most, influential and important body of voluntary workers in the Metropolis, or any other part of the Kingdom. I believe they have not I been consulted as to the very important part that is assigned to them by the Bill in relation to the management of casual wards.
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (Earl CADOGAN)
My Lords, perhaps I may be allowed, in my private capacity, to say that I also presented a Petition the other day, very much of the same tenour as that presented by my noble Friend opposite, and I very much trust that the noble Lord who represents the Department will not press this Bill at this period of the Session. There is one clause in it which provides for an alternative body who would have the authority which the Board of Guardians at present have, and I think it is extremely undesirable, at this period of the Session, that they should be brought in in that way. I shall be very glad to 1775 hear that my noble Friend has no intention of proceeding with the Bill.
§ LORD HENNIKER
My Lords, this is a Bill of some importance, and one which will occupy the attention of Parliament hereafter; but, in the face of the feeling that has been expressed in this House and outside, that those who are connected with the different Boards of Guardians in London require more time to consider it, the President of the Local Government Board does not wish to press it, and therefore, with your Lordships' permission, I will move that the Order for the Second Reading of the Bill be discharged.
§ Motion (by leave of the House) withdrawn.
§ Moved, "That the Order for the Second Reading of the Bill be discharged."—(The Lord Henniker.)
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
I am very glad that the noble Lord has taken that course. I have no wish to oppose the Bill on its merits; but I am glad on the simple ground stated in the Petition, namely, that the various Boards of Guardians of London have not had an opportunity of thoroughly considering a measure which is to them, of great importance. Otherwise, my Lords, the measure is one worthy of the consideration of your Lordships; but I think it is the more reasonable course not to press it.
§ LORD HENNIKER
I hope it will be understood, as I expressed to your Lordships, that the reason why I withdrew the Bill was that the different Boards of Guardians wish for more time to consider the measure, which, however, is one of great importance.
§ Motion agreed to; Order discharged.
§ Bill withdrawn.