§ Report of the Standing Orders Committee, considered.
*THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (The EARL of MORLEY)
said that this was a Gas and Water Bill when it was originally introduced into the House of Lords. The Lords' Committee threw out the gas clauses, and when the Bill went to the Commons it was purely a Water Bill. In the Commons the Committee were instructed to deal with the municipal franchise of Dublin, and clauses were introduced into the Bill for that purpose. It was obvious that those clauses could not be covered by the original notices, and when the Bill as amended came before the Examiners they found that there had been a non-compliance with the Standing Orders. The Standing Orders Committee had met that afternoon, and had heard the promoters and certain of the opponents of the Bill, and they had come to the conclusion that the Standing Orders in this case should not be dispensed with, and that the third part of the Bill relating to the municipal franchise should be struck out. This case was different from the Drogheda case, in which there was no opposition. But in this ease there was opposition to the dispensation of the Standing Orders; and, further, as the Bill originated in the House of Lords, and these Amendments, which were never contemplated in the first instance, were introduced in the House of Commons, it would now be impossible for anyone who wished to oppose to be heard in the House of Lords. He hoped the House would agree with the decision of the Standing Orders Committee; and he wished to lay emphasis on the great importance of keeping matters dealing 462 with public interests, such as the municipal franchise, out of Private Bills altogether. It was not right that large constitutional changes should be introduced in a manner which gave no public notice of what was taking place. Further, it had an extremely prejudicial effect on private legislation that it should be possible in a Gas and Water Bill to introduce subjects which were not cognate to the subject of the Bill. Therefore, he asked their Lordships to agree to the Report of the Standing Orders Committee which he now presented to the House.
§ Motion agreed to.
*THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES
moved that the House do disagree with those portions of the Commons' Amendments which dealt with the franchise clause of the Bill, and that the House do agree with the rest of the Commons' Amendments.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ A Committee appointed to prepare reasons to be offered to the Commons for the Lords disagreeing to the said Amendments. The Committee to meet forth-with.
§ Report from the Committee of the reasons prepared by them read, and agreed to; and a Message sent to the Commons to return the said Bill with the reasons.