HL Deb 12 March 1906 vol 153 cc852-3


Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this: is a Bill to abolish an inconvenient anomaly in the law. By the Local Government Act of 1888, the jurisdiction of the justices in quarter sessions to settle polling districts for counties was thrown on county councils, but at the same time, the jurisdiction of the justices in petty sessions for the same purpose was retained. The effect of that is, that in all the county districts the county council is the authority; but with regard to Parliamentary boroughs the county council is not always the authority. Where a Parliamentary borough is solely within one petty sessional district, the power still resides with the justices. The justices do not in the least wish to keep up their jurisdiction, and it is eminently desirable that there should be as few authorities as possible to settle this matter. This Bill, like the one your Lordships have just read a Second time, has passed this House on no fewer than four occasions, but it has never made progress in the House of Commons. I believe the reason for that is that they are non-contentious measures. It is extremely difficult to get the House of Commons to take the slightest interest in any measure that is not acutely contentious. In the other House what everybody wants nobody wants. It requires a great deal of driving power to get Bills of this description passed, and I earnestly hope that His Majesty's Government will take them up and endeavour to get them through the House of Commons.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Monkswell.)


My Lords, I have to say, on behalf of the Home Office, that there is no opposition to this Bill.

On Question, Bill read 2a.

Committed to a Committee of the whole House to-morrow.