HL Deb 03 August 1906 vol 162 cc1468-72

Bill read 2a (according to Order).

Moved, "That the Bill be committed." —(The Earl of Crewe.)


My Lords, I should like to call attention to the fact that this Bill has not been printed, and we know nothing as to its provisions. I have known of a mischievous clause relating to Ireland being placed in a Bill of this character, and I would wish to have an opportunity of seeing the Bill before it is passed through all its stages.


This is a Bill to grant money for the purpose of certain local loans out of the Local Loans Fund and for other purposes of that kind. It has been read a first time, and copies of the Bill have, I presume, been accessible to noble Lords who felt interested as to its contents.


Why has the Bill not been circulated?


I am not sure if this Bill should have been circulated.


It is quite possible that pressure of time has prevented the Bill being printed, but ii there is no clause in it relating to Ireland I will say no more upon it.


I am not familiar with all that has taken place, and it may be, as the noble and learned Lord suggests, that pressure of time has prevented the Bill being printed.

On Question, Committee negatived. Then (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended). Bill read 3a, and passed.


Order of the day read for the consideration of Commons Amendments.


My Lords, this is a Bill to which I gave considerable care when I was in office, but for some reason or another which I have never yet understood, it was laid aside on reaching the House of Commons. It has again been introduced, and has passed through this House. A considerable number of Amendments have since been made in it. As your Lordships will well understand, a Bill which goes into the whole region of sea insurance is one which I cannot undertake to go through at once, and therefore I propose to ask your Lordships to postpone the consideration of the Commons Amendments until we meet in the Autumn.


I think the course which my noble and learned friend has suggested is a prudent one. This is a purely technical Bill, and certain Amendments of a technical character, but deriving high authority, have been inserted in he House of Commons. I believe it was there understood that the noble and earned Earl and myself, with others familiar with legal matters in this House, would revise those Amendments. I therefore think the course suggested of postponing the consideration of the Amendments until the autumn a wise one.

Order of the Day for the consideration of Commons Amendments discharged.



Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is an unopposed Bill. I believe it is the result of a great fight between parties who have now come to terms. The object of the Bill is to enable a bridge which is very much wanted to be built at Kilkenny, and the persons concerned are very anxious to get the Bill through so as to begin the construction of the bridge as soon as possible. I hope your Lordships will therefore permit me to take the Bill through all its stages to-day. Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Ribblesdale.)


This Bill is a very short one, it is true, and no doubt everything the noble Lord has said is quite correct. I know there has been a considerable controversy for many years as to the building of a bridge at Waterford. It may be that one side of the bridge would be in county Kilkenny, and that this Bill refers to the same matter. If that is so, and if this Bill is a result of a settlement between the parties, who are very eagerly alive to their own interests and have been litigating for many years, I think he would be a rather rash person who would interfere with that arrangement.


I am not quite sure whether the noble and learned Lord may not be right as to a portion of the bridge being in Waterford. But I distinctly remember that it referred to Kilkenny, because I associated it with cats.


I think your Lordships have some reason to complain of the action of the noble Lord, though we are delighted at the light and humorous way in which he treats legislation. He is asking your Lordships to pass the Second Reading of a Bill which has not been printed and circulated. I think that is going much too far. If this were the last moment on which legislation could be carried there might be something to be said for it; but I do not think even that would be an adequate defence for such a procedure. There will be ample time after the short recess to consider this and other measures, and I respectfully submit that the House ought not to be asked to pass in this way Bills which they have not had any opportunity of considering. I therefore ask the noble Lord whether he will not consent to put the Bill off.


I think I might explain that the Bill was sent up to me from the House of Commons. I handed it to Lord Denman, but, through some mistake, it was not put down and no action was taken upon it until yesterday, when the persons interested came to me from the House of Commons and explained the straits they were in. They told me about Kilkenny, and I said I would try and get the Bill passed through all its stages before the adjournment. I agree that this is rather an expeditious way of passing Bills, but the persons concerned are very anxious to get on with the building of this bridge, and there can be no danger in your Lordships allowing the measure to go through.


The putting down of a Bill for First Reading is not necessary in this House. If the Bill came up from the other House it would be read formally and printed. I think it is important to know when this Bill was read a first time.


It was read a first time yesterday.


In the circumstances I would suggest that the consideration of this matter should be postponed until the conclusion of business to-day. This would enable noble Lords interested in the matter to make inquiries.


I have just looked at the Bill. It merely amends a certain clause in a previous Act, and says nothing about the locality. But I think it must refer to the bridge connecting Kilkenny and Waterford. I have no doubt that if the suggestion of the Lord President of the Council is adopted the noble Lord in charge of the Bill will in the meantime be able to get full information.

Debate (by Order) adjourned.