§ THE PRIME MINISTER (The Marquess of SALISBURY) moved, for the remainder of the Session, the suspension of Standing Order 39 (which precludes the taking of two stages of a Bill on the same day).
§ LORD CASTLETOWN
said, he did not wish in any way to oppose the Motion, nor did he desire to resist the progress of the Municipal Franchise (Ireland) Bill, but, after what they heard yesterday of the number of concessions that had been made by the noble and learned Lord opposite with regard to the Bill, it must be left in a most complicated condition unless it were referred to a Select Committee or a Committee of Experts; and he therefore suggested that it would be wise to make an exception in the case of this Bill when it reached the Committee stage. There were two points which made his position a strong one. A number of Amendments had been put down for To-morrow, and these, with the concessions which had been already made, would cause the Bill to be of a very complicated character. Further, Mr. Healy, on the second reading of the Bill in the other House, said that he was prepared to have the Bill freely amended 169 in this House. Another point was connected with the schedule of the Bill. That repealed a large number of sections dealing with municipal matters, and it would be difficult even for experts to find out what effect the repeal of those sections would have on the future working of the municipal franchise in Ireland. He would therefore ask the Government whether, when the Bill came on for Committee of the whole House To-morrow, it would not be advisable even then to refer it to a Select Committee of Experts on this particular question.
§ LORD HERSCHELL
I do not know whether the matter would not be more properly dealt with when it comes on To-morrow. Whatever the object of the noble Lord's suggestion may be, the effect of it would be to kill the Bill, and probably that is what is intended.
§ LORD CASTLETOWN
I have no desire to kill the Bill. I have always desired that the law of Ireland should be assimilated to that of England, and, in attaining that object, I desire not to kill the Bill but to make it intelligible.
§ Motion agreed to.