§ LORD RIBBLESDALE,
in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said, he hoped their Lordships would allow the Bill to belong to that fortunate class of measures which the noble Marquess promised should reach their full perfection. The Bill itself only re-enacted certain clauses of the Irish Relief Bill of 1880, which was introduced by Sir Stafford Northcote and Mr. Lowther. It enabled the Local Government Board for Ireland to authorise the boards of guardians to distribute out-door relief to poor persons who happened to be in the occupation of land exceeding a quarter of an acre, and the importance of the Bill was that there was a validating clause, which made valid the action taken by boards of guardians in anticipation of the passing of the Bill. During last winter the Local Government Board recommended this distribution of relief to poor people, and the Government thought the best way of dealing with the matter was to pass a measure of this sort, following the lines of the Bill of 1880. It was not anticipated that there would be any 40 delay, and if this Bill did not pass into law the guardians would be surcharged for the charitable relief they had given. Beyond that, the Third Clause provided that the receipt of such relief should not carry with it any electoral disability, and that followed the precedent of the Seed Potatoes Act and the Irish Relief Act.
§ Read 2a (according to Order); then it was moved that Standing Order No. XXXIX be considered and dispensed with; agreed to. Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House forthwith; House in Committee accordingly. Bill reported without Amendment. Standing Committee negatived. Bill read 3a and passed.