§ Bill read 3a (according to Order).
My Lords, I rise to move the addition of a new 273 clause to provide that a Justice in Ireland shall not be disqualified to act for any purpose under the Licensing Acts by reason only of his being interested in a railway company, which is a retailer of intoxicating liquor. A similar disqualification existed in this country until the Licensing Act of 1902, in which a clause was inserted precisely similar to the one I now move. I think it is quite manifest that it was not the intention of the legislature that a magistrate should be disqualified from sitting for such a cause, and as the disqualification has been removed in this country, I ask that the law in Ireland should be assimilated with that in England in this respect.
After Clause 2, to insert the following new clause: 'A Justice in Ireland shall not be disqualified to act for any purpose under the Licensing Acts, 1828 to 1906, or the Licensing (Ireland) Acts, 1833 to 1905 or this Act, by reason only of his being interested in a railway company which is a retailer of intoxicating liquor.'"—(Lord Clonbrock.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, with the object of the noble Lord's Amendment I am in entire sympathy, but I think it is my duty to point out that the proposed new clause is hardly relevant to the purposes of this Bill. The Bill is one dealing with married persons when habitual drunkards and with persons found drunk in charge of children. It is quite true that it does deal with summary jurisdiction, but the Amendment is of a general kind, enacting that a Justice in Ireland shall not be disqualified to act "for any purpose" by reason only of his being interested in a railway company which is a retailer of intoxicating liquor. Having had some experience in the interpretation and administration of the law, I venture to say there is great inconvenience in a clause being inserted in a Bill which is not really germane to the purpose of the Bill; and I suggest that such an Amendment would not be held to be in order in the other House. I know that we are not so strict here, but I suggest to the noble Lord that his proposed new clause is not relevant to this Bill.
My Lords, after what has been said by the noble and 274 learned Lord on the Woolsack, I beg to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ An Amendment made; Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.