HL Deb 20 April 1893 vol 11 cc734-5

House in Committee (according to Order).


hoped their Lordships would, before the Bill loft their House, clearly understand its effect. Under the original Act it rested with the ratepayers to decide whether they would or would not have public libraries. The Bill took that power away from them, and transferred the power of decision to the Urban Authorities. That was a great change in the law, and though he did not oppose the Bill going into Committee he wished their Lordships to see clearly its bearing.


My Lords, I should like to state with regard to this Bill that it was brought before the House of Commons, and was there fully considered, and passed with absolute unanimity on both sides of the House. Its simple object is to follow the Museums and Gymnasiums Bill, and also the Act of 1890. At present a very cumbrous process has to be gone through—namely, sending out voting papers to the ratepayers to get their assent, and the object of this Bill is to leave it in the hands of the representatives of the ratepayers themselves without going through that cumbrous process. That is the sole object of the Bill, and, as everyone on both sides of the House of Commons assented to it, I hope your Lordships will assent to it also.


said, he had an Amendment which he would move, either then or in Standing Committee, whichever the noble Viscount pleased. It was simply to supply a defect in the principal Act, which, curiously enough, while it gave rural and urban districts power to combine, did not give the same power to two urban districts. That, had led to considerable practical inconvenience, and he might mention the case of two urban districts in Cheshire which desired to combine, but could not do so.


I should be glad if the noble Lord would postpone his Amendment until Standing Committee, so that we may have an opportunity of considering what the Amendment is which he proposes to introduce.

Bill reported, without Amendment.