HL Deb 29 June 1905 vol 148 cc506-7


Order of the Day for the Third Reading read.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 3a."—(Lord Avebury.)


My Lords having given notice to move an Amendment to exclude the Province of Ulster from the operation of this Bill, I should like to say a few words upon it. When I first saw that my noble-friend Lord Avebury, who is so active in matters of legislation, had taken up the subject of Christmas Day, it appeared to me that he was poaching on the manor of the right rev. Prelates opposite. My noble friend Lord Avebury occupies an unique position. He is the only man who has been canonised during his lifetime, and not only has he one Saint's Day but four, for each of the four Bank Holidays is called St. Lubbock's Day. Whether, when this Bill passes, another name will be given to Christmas Day in Ireland do not know. I happened to be spending a holiday recently in Ireland, and I thought it right to endeavour to find out what the feelings of the people there were with reference to this Bill. Knowing what the Presbyterian feeling in Scotland was, I thought that the Presbyterian feeling in Ulster was the same. I found, however, that that was not so. The people of Ulster are not hostile to the Bill. As a matter of fact, it rather surprised me to find that the Irish are so distrustful of their powers of resistance and so anxious for coercion in this matter. As, however, they accept the Bill of my noble friend, I congratulate him upon that fact, and shall certainly not move the Amendment of which I have given notice.

On Question, Bill read 3a, and passed.