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the Question, in order to add the words could. He hoped their delay in legis“this House will, upon this day three lating on the employers' liability quesmonths, resolve itself into the said Com- tion would be noted by those most in. mittee,"-(Mr. Arthur O'Connor,)-in- terested, and that the Government stead thereof.
would be brought to their senses in this Question proposed, “That the words matter, just as the agricultural labourers
had brought them to reason on allotproposed to be left out stand part of the
monts two months ago.
His hon. Question."
Friend's complaint was so well founded THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir that he hoped he would go to a Division RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight) as a protest against the Government's said, that no one knew better than the way of doing Business, hon. Member that the Expiring Lais MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, CamContinuance Bill must be brought in at borne) said, there was a good deal of the end of the Session, and it was ground for the complaint made as to always necessary to bring it in at a certain Acts contained in the Bill. He late period, as it was impossible to found that there were no less than eight know early what Bills the Government Acts in this Bill relating to one subwould be introducing, and what Bills ject-namely, Parliamentary elections would require to be dealt with in this and corrupt and illegal practices at way. The hon. Member had asked a Parliamentary elections. It appeared very fair question as to the Employers' to him that such subjects as these Liability Aot, and in reply he (Sir should not depend on an annual ExRichard Webster) could assure him piring Laws Continuance Bill, but that all that no one was more anxious than the provisions relating to such an imporhimself, and the Government also had tapt matter as Parliamentary elections been most anxious, to bring in a Bill should be properly dealt with in a on the subject, not embodying altogether permanent law. He must also comthe recommendations of the Committee, plain of the inconvenient policy pursued but to a great extent adopting them. in regard to the
endowed schools Ho might say that the recommendations schemes and the payment of the Charity of the Committee would form a very Commissioners, and record at the same large basis for the Amendments that time his strong objection to the Sunday the Government would propose to intro-Observance Prosecutions Act. duce into the new Bill. It was not MR. SEXTON (Beifast, W.) said, ovly an amendment Bill but a codify. no doubt there must be an Espiring iug Bill which the Government had pre- Laws Continuance Bill, and he admitted pared, and which they hoped to have the convenience of the principle. The passed this Session. It was the inten- ground of his objection was that the tion of the Government to introduce a Bill contained no less than 34 Statutes, mcasure embodying the recommenda- i several of which ought to have been tions of the Committee, and going dealt with by amending and reforming further by qualifying the relations Bill. The fact was that an omnibus Bill between masters and servants It was of this kind and at this period of the because the Home Secretary desired to Session was a test and a meter of the make the Bill as complete as possible incompetence of the Government. that the measure became so heavy that the Government had not wasted the it was impossible to deal with it this public time several of the Statutes in. Session. The Government desired to cluded in the list would have been dealt deal with the matter at the earliest with. He joined with his hon. Friend possible opportunity next Session. (Mr. Arthur O'Connor) in protesting
MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.) said, against the failure of the Government ho must complain that questions ripe to amend the Employers' Liability Bill. for settlement had not been treated by There were many of his own constituents the Government during the long Session and numerous workingmon throughout just coming to an end, although they Great Brituiu who felt the gravest dishad the complete control of the time of appointment on account of the failure to the House. It seemed to him that the amend the law in this respect. He also object of the Government was to evade thought that the Irish Sunday Closing their responsibilities as long as they Bill should be excluded from the pro
visions of this Bill. He hoped that he that was more in dispute in Ireland than
would satisfy the hon. Member for West THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES Belfast, he would do his best to look into (Mr. COURTNEY) (Cornwall, Bodmin) the question in the course of the Recess. said, he rose for the purpose of making As to the complaint of the hon. Member a suggestion, which might possibly save -that there had been no opportunity of time and satisfy the requirements of the discussing the Act-he was not prepared hon. Member for West Belfast. He to deny that it might be a proper thing remembered distinctly the history of the that the question should be fully dis- passing of the Irish Sunday Closing cussed by the House. But the hon. Mem. Bill, and the kind of objection which ber would admit that the discussion could was taken to it before it was carried. not take place this Session.
He remembered on one occasion Mr. N. MR. SEXTON: That is the basis of Murphy speaking for four hours on a my complaint—that the subject has not Wednesday afternoon in opposition to been discussed since the promise was the Bill, and that Major O'Gorman degiven.
feated it Session after Session. But MR. A. J. BALFOUR, continuing, eventually it was carried. He thought, observed that, as the hon. Gentleman in face of the experience they had had was aware, two Bills on which the ques. of this Bill, a discussion upon it now tion could have been raised were brought would be an entire farce. They would in by some of his Friends, but they never have just the same sort of lengthy came on for adequate discussion at all. speeches leading to no result whatever
. There was no doubt, however, that the There had been twice introduced alhon. Member would be able to raise the ready, on the responsibility of the Goquestion in a form which would give full vernment of the day, a Bill for making opportunity for Parliamentary discussion this Act perpetual; and in one of the at some period early next Session. He Bills he believed it was proposed to conceived that would be the proper course extend the Act to the large towns. The from a Parliamentary point of view; but opinion of the right hon. Gentleman the from the point of view of Ministers he Chief Secretary was in that direction at was ready to give a pledge that he would present; and he thought he might fairly look into the subject in the course of the suggest that the right hon. Gentleman Recess, and to the best of his ability form might undertake to introduce a Bill at a judgment upon it. The information the commencementof next Session, which, he had received, however, distinctly was on the understanding that hon. Members not in the direction of inducing a modi. from Ireland would asseut to the second fication of the action of Parliament that reading, might then be referred to a had already taken place. He had ob- Select Committee, and the evidence taken served that the bulk of Irish opinion before it would at length place the House seemed to be in favour of this law; and in a position to decide upon this much when they found that opinion opposed disputed matter. In respect of the Exthey often ascertained that the opposition piring Laws Continuance Bill, it was proceeded from those who were, no doubt said such a Bill would not be necessary conscientiously, influenced by motives if the Government did not go on wasting which were hardly connected with the its time; but that was an accusation good of the community. Under those always made-[Mr. Arthur O'CONNOR: circumstances, and having regard to the And always true. ]-and in his opinion decisions come to by his Predecessors in never true. That was just one of those the Office he held, he felt he was bound reckless statements which hon. Members to tell the hon. Gentleman that his own were in the habit of making. There inclination would be in the direction of must be an Expiring Laws Continuance the continuance of this law. He was Bill; but if the Government would accept clearly convinced that there could be no his suggestion an important matter of possibility of getting adequate discussion dispute might be avoided and the quesof the matter this Session; but in the tion settled. absence of that opportunity to drop the MR. SEXTON said, that he would be Bill out of the Expiring Laws Continu- satisfied if the Government would introance Bill would be a very prejudicial duce next Session a separate Bill on step of public policy, and he could hold Sunday Closing, and refer it to a Select out no hope that the Government wouid Committee. He hoped that this reasouaccept such a Motion.
able suggestion of the Chairman of Con
mittees would be accepted by the Govern. Therefore he should, in the absence of ment. In that event, he would not any further statement, be compelled in resist any Motion to include the Bill. Committee to move the omission of the
MR. A. J. BALFOUR said, he was Bill. perfectly ready, at all events, to give MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton) this pledge, that next Session he would said, he trusted the Chief Secretary endeavour to make some occasion, by would meet a little more frankly the Bill or otherwise, for a discussion by a suggestion of the Chairman of CommitSelect Committee or otherwise.
toes. He thought the matter was one MR. JOHN O'CONNOR Tipperary, the Government might well meet in the S.) said, he had listened with great at- sense proposed. He had no desire to tention to the statement of the Chief press the Government for any unfair Secretary, and to the suggestion of the pledge; but to pledge themselves to Chairman of Ways and Means. As he refer the matter to a Select Committee was the Member who was about to move early next Session did not seem to him the omission of this Bill from the Ex- to be asking too much. piring Laws Continuance Bill, he was MR. A.J. BALFOUR said, he thought anxious to receive from the Chief Secre- he had met, in substance and in spirit, tary some definite statement with regard the suggestion of the Chairman of Comto the course which the Government mittees very frankly. He was unwilling intended to pursue. The Chief Secre- to pledge the Government to legislation tary had promised them an inquiry, but on the subject; but he was perfectly prehe did not approach that inquiry with pared to pledge the Government to give an open mind. He (Mr. John O'Connor) a Select Committee, in some form or took an entirely different view of the other, by which the matter might be position of the matter from that stated inquired into. by the Chief Secretary. He came to a
MR. SEXTON said, if they understood different conclusion altogether upon the that if there was not a Bill thore would fact that two Bills had boen introduced be a Select Committee next Session, he by former Governments in that House would advise his hon. Friend not to dealing with this matter, and the very further press the matter. faet that those Bills came to nothing MR. A. J. BALFOUR: Yes, that will showed that there was a great difference be so. of opinion upon the subject, and that the MR. JOHN O'CONNOR: I am perGovernment were not sincere in their fectly satisfied with the right hon. Gendesire to press them forward. The Chief tleman's statement. Secretary, it appeared, would be inclined DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid) said, to support a measure for extending the it was absolutely necessary on this quesoperation of the Bill to the five cities tion of Sunday Closing in Ireland that which were exempted. Well, upon a both sides of the question should be little inquiry as to the results of the heard. They would never arrive at a operation of the Act in different parts judicious judgment on this burning quesof Ireland—as to the state of things in tion without taking the interests of all exempted parts of the country, and the parties into consideration. Although state of things in those places where it there was difference of opinion on the was in operation-ho thought he would subject, still a large number of the Membe led to an entirely different conclusion. bers of the Irish Party believed "Ireland It was an investigation of facts which successful, Ireland sober." There were had led him (Mr. John O'Connor) to that several Statutes in the Expiring Laws opinion, and he had no personal interest Continuance Bill that they ought natuwhatever in bringing the question for- rally to object to. For instance, there ward. They courted investigation into was the Act which gave power to Lord the matter, and believed they should be Lieutenant and Magistracy to collect a able to prove, before an impartial in- certain amount of county cess. That Act quiry, that the view they took was the constituted a standing injustice in Irecorrect view. What was the use of land. He objected to important quesaccepting the assurance of the Chieftions which ought to be thoroughly conSecretary that he would inquire into the sidered being disposed of in this manner matter during the Recess, when he at the end of the Session. brought to that inquiry a closed mind?
Question put, and agreed to.
Main Question, “That Mr. Speaker do carried on in a rational way should be now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to. understood in their proper sense. Bill considered in Committee.
Amendment proposed, in page 1, line (In the Committee.)
20, to leave out the word “ December," Clause 1 (short title).
and insert the word “August."-(Mr.
Clancy.) MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.): Complaint was made just now with
Question proposed, “That the word reference to the practice of the Govern- | December 'stand part of the Clause.” ment in holding over till the end of the Tue FIRST LORD OF THE TREA. Session several important questions SURY (Mr. W. H. SMITII) (Strand, which are ripe for legislation, and then Westminster): It must be quite obvious mixing them up altogether in one Bill, to the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Clancy) that and thus getting rid of their respon- it is impossible for the Government to sibility in the matter, and evading the accept this Amendment. We cannot obligation put upon them by their posi- foretell what the conditions of the next tion to endeavour to bring such ques. Session of Parliament may be, and tions to a settlement. I desire to pro therefore it would not be wise to provide pose a step now which would compel the that the Espiring Laws Continuance Government, if it is taken by the Com- Bill should cease to operate in August. mittee, to make up their minds before The Employers' Liability Act, for exthe end of the Session upon these dis. ample, might cease to have any force or puted questions, and which would not might expire altogether at the end of allow them the opportunity of evading August, a few days probably before their responsibilities and obligations in another Bill could be passed. It would the matter. In Clause 2, line 20, I be a most absurd, and, I was going to propose to substitute for December” say, a silly proceeding on the part of the word " August."
this House." No, Sir, the provision THE CHAIRMAN: Order, order! must remain as it is-namely, that the We are on Clausė 1.
law shall continue in force until tho Clause agrecd to.
expiration of a reasonable period beyond
the ordinary course of the next Session Clause 2 (Continuance of Acts in of Parliament. It is possible that, Schedule).
owing to circumstances, we cannot now Mr. CLANCY: I beg to move the foretell Parliament may continue to sit, omission of the word “ December” in as it has sat this year, much beyond the line 20, and the substitution of the word usual period, and, under these circuin“August.” If this alteration be made the stances, the Government cannot accept Government will be obliged to commence the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. work early in the Session, and to some MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.): I think extent it will prevent the scandal we the reply of the right hon. Gentleman have witnessed during the last week or was scarcely civil to my hon. Friend. fortnight of keeping the House towards He spoke of my hon. Friend's Motion the close of the Session until 4 o'clock as a silly one. or 5 o'clock in the morning, and, as it MR. W. H. SMITH: I said it might were, holding the blunderbuss at their produce a perfectly absurd result. head of the displeasure of the country MR. SEXTON: I suppose a Member if they do not pass the Bills submitted of tho House is capable of foreseeing to them. The manner in which legis- the effect of his own Motion. My hon. lation has been conducted during the Friend has never distinguished himself last few days is scandalous. The Go by silliness, whatever may be his other vernment bave kept us hero till 4 qualities. I think the Motion ho has o'clock and 5 o'clock in the morning, moved is a highly straightforward one. and if we have insisted upon our rights, What is the object of his Amendment ? they have charged us with obstruction. It is that the Expiring Laws Bili shall The proceedings of the past week ought only continue in operation until Parliato be explained in some forın to the ment has had an opportunity of concountry, so that the charges of obstruc- sidering what it contains-until the 31st lion brought against Members of the of August next year-which is pracHouse who desire to have legislation tically the date at which a Session of