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Parliament is ordinarily at an end. Schedule.
The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord

Mr. CLANCY: I asked the right of the Treasury quoted a remark which hon. and learned Attorney General for may be applied not only to the proceed. Ireland (Mr. Gibson) yesterday for an ings of this Session, but to all human explanation of the first Bill specified affairs. He said it was impossible to in the Sc dule. No doubt his answer forecast the proceedings of Parliament

was intelligible to himself, but I am next year. Of course it is, but we may afraid it was not regarded by hon. Memforecast that this Parliament will meet bers of the House as very satisfactory, again next February, and that, with the For that reason as well as for others I exception of a short holiday at Easter, beg to move the omission of this Act will sit right on until August. We may from the Schedule-namely, “5 & 6 suppose, too, that there will be no Coer- | Will

. IV., c. 27,” which is an Act cion Bill passed next year, because the dealing with the

hemp and other manu. Government have exhausted human factures in Ireland. "I venture to say ingenuity in respect of coercion to Ire there is not one man in the House land. We may assume that next Session will be more free for normal and except the right hon. and learned Gen

tleman who is at all acquainted with the regular legislation than this Session has been, and what my hon. Friend provisions of this Act. desires is to apply a useful spur to the

Amendment proposed, in page 2, side of the intentions of the Government line 5, to leave out“ 5 & 6 Jill. IV., in regard to legislation. He says

He says- c. 27."(Mr. Clancy.) "We will only allow your expiring

Question proposed, “That the words laws to continue in force until the end proposed to be left out stand part of the of August, unless you take care to deal

Schedule." with every Statute, either by way of an omnibus Bill or by separate legislation

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR before the end of August." The right IRELAND (Mr. GIBSON) (Liverpool, hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Walton): There are two Acts which Treasury cited the case of the Employers' deal with the linen industry. This Act Liability Act, and hinted that incon- is one for the protection of the linen venience would arise if it together with industry of Ulster, and among other other Acts were to cease in August things it deals with the embezzlement of next. But unless the Government deal | linen, hemp, and other materials of the with the Employers' Liability Act some

same kind, There was a proposal made way or other it will expire in December. in this House in 1877 by the right hon. The right hon. Gentleman must see that Gentleman the Member for West Bristol he has made no reply whatever to my (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) that the lines hon, Friend because all the Statutes Acts should be consolidated. The Bill included in this Bill will expire before was blocked, and the result was that it December next year. The Government was not passed into law. No opposimust deal with every one of them some- tion, as far as I am aware, ltas ever boen time next Session, therefore any argu- made by any section of the community, ment which applies to the Motion of my either by employers or employed, to the hon. Friend applies equally against the continuance of this legislation. There Bill as it stands. I fail to see any rea- have been complaints no doubt from son why the Acts specified in this Bill time to time about the lowness of the should remain in force until the end of wages in the industry-I ask the hon. 1888 when there will be six months of Gentleman not to press his opposition. intervening legislation next year. I MR. SEXTON: I must say tho think the date mentioned by my hon. right hon. and learned Attorney Friend is the most convenient one. General for Ireland's explanation

is the very

lamest I have Question put.

heard. He has been asked what is the The Committee divided :-Ayes 86; purpose of the Linen Acts, and why Noes 19: Majority 67.-(Div. List, they should be continued. The right No. 474.)

[2.15. P.m.] hon. and learned Gentleman with as

much vagueness as he exhibited yesterClause agreed to.

day, has said these are Acts to deal

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with cases of embezzlement. But the us the trouble of further expostulation; general law prevents stealing or taking to save us the trouble of taking a Division away. The right hon. and learned upon this matter. If he will only rise Gentleman says there has been no com- and afford us the information we desire, plaint made from any quarter about the he will save us from much acrimonious continuance of these laws. I cannot discussion. understand what can be the meaning GENERAL SIR GEORGE BALFOUR of the laws, because noone can commit an (Kincardine): The Irish Members say offence of dishonesty with regard to the they do not care for this espiring law. materials mentioned which is not punish- Let us have an inquiry to see how far able by the ordinary laws. We still wait the law is necessary. I think it is very come explanation of the use of this parti- much to be regretted that when such sular Statute.

an important question is raised no DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid): One Cabinet Minister is present. could easily understand the retention of MR. CLANCY: If the right hon. and these laws if they were of any use in learned Attorney General for Ireland backing up the linen industry of the can say that this Act affords protection North of Ireland. The right hon. and that is not now afforded by the Common learned Gentleman the Attorney General Law, I shall be quite willing to withfor Ireland apparently does not think it draw my opposition. worth his while to give us any ex- MR. GIBSON: The utility of this Act planation of this ambiguous Act of of Parliament has never until now been Will. IV. I, for one, would be very called in question. A Bill was intropleased to support this Act if it were duced on the subject by my right hon. really one capable of backing up and Friend the Member for West Bristol maintaining the linen industry of Ire- (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) to make this land. If, for instance, it was for the law perpetual by putting it into a per. purpose of preventing the introduction petual code. There is a law in England of German linen into Belfast, and of its which is substantially similar to this law being sold as Irish linen. The three relating to Ireland-namely, the 6 & Conservative Members for Belfast are 7 Vict. c. 40. I venture to put it to conspicuous by their absence to-day. the hon. Gentleman the Member for They would have acted wisely in attend- North Dublin (Mr. Clancy) that Parliaing to-day, and seeking to introduce ment is not in the habit of passing Acts some clause into this Bill which would of Parliament when there is no necessity deal with the standing injustice at pre- for them. We cannot suppose that an sent done to the linen industry in Ire-Act of Parliament which was passed in land. It is a notorious fact that linen is the 6 & 7 Vict., with the object of present from Germany to Belfast, bleached venting abuses in manufacture, and conin Belfast, and then sold as Irish linen. taining 35 pages, was entirely illusory We certainly hope that this Bill will not and unnecessary. There is no doubt pass without the right hon. and learned whatever that this Act of Parliament Attorney General for Ireland explaining does perform very useful functions. to us what is really meant by this ex- This must be patent to the hon. Gen. piring Act.

If it is of no use, it would tleman if he reads the Act. be much better to let it expire in the due MR. CLANCY: I will persist in my and ordinary course of things, and then opposition to the Act if the right hon. bring in next year some measure which and learned Gentleman, who—as we would really deal with the emergency of see-has the information in his possesthe case, and which would relieve the sion, does not condescend to give it to people in the North of Ireland who are the House. now suffering. The people in Belfast MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Cam. are suffering as much as those of any borne): I do not contemplate with great other place, and I think if you were to satisfaction the possibility of the right allow this Act to lapse, and next year hon. and learned Attorney General for bring in a Bill dealing with the exigen- Ireland reading all the sections of this cies of the case, everybody would be a Act, because it appears to me to be a great deal better pleased. I call upon lengthy Act, and probably it is filled up the right hon. and learned Gentleman with such old verbiage as old_Statutes the Attorney General for Ireland to save were filled up with. What I desire, however, to impress upon the Govern

An hon. MEMBER: They are all usement is that, if they really believe this

less. Act is a useful one, it would certainly be better to make it a permanent Act SIR RICHARD WEBSTER : They instead of troubling us with a discussion are not useless, because there are of this kind year after year. If, on the penalties provided for the breach of other hand, this Act really is of no use them. The subject was investigated as contended by my hon. Friends, if all some few years ago, and it was in conit does can be done by the Common nection with that investigation that Law of the country, I think it would permanent English Acts were passed. be better to leave it out of the Schedule Surely hon. Members will not suggest altogether. It appears to me that that if these Acts were obsolete Parliathere are only two logical conclusions. ment would have made them the perThe

very fact that this is a temporary manent law of England. There are a measure dating back, I think, 50 years, number of provisions for settling disputes, and that it has been renewed year and for a variety of other matters every after year for 50 years, shows the one of which is valuable to the trade to absurdity of its being included in this a greater or lesser extent, but which it Bill. If it has been worth while to re- would take many hours to discuss. I new it yearly for 50 years, why not make assert that there are a number of proit a permanent Act? If, on the other visions in this Act which do supplement hand, it is of so little consequence that the Cominon Law. If the hon. Gentleyou cannot make a permanent Act of man (Mr. Clancy) calls our attention to it, why not drop it altogether? There is any particular point, we shall be very another course, however, which might be glad to endeavour to answer him. followed. The right hon. and learned MR. CLANCY: I think the speech Attorney General for Ireland might tell of the hon. and learned Gentleman us as briefly as possibly what are the the Attorney General (Sir Richard principles and essential provisions of Webster) is such as to compel us to go this Act which he thinks useful, and to a Division. I am clearly justified now then we might leave out all that is un- in having asked for an explanation of necessary. If there are one or two sec. this Act, for what do we find ? The right tions which he can satisfy us are really hon. and learned Gentleman the Attoruseful provisions, I am sure that my ney General for Ireland (Mr. Gibson) hon. Friend (Mr. Clancy) would not be told us that this was an Act for the prounreasonable, and would not refuse to tection of the linen industry and other accept them.

industries in the North of Ireland, and The ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir now it appears that it is an Act for RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight). If the restraint of trade. this line of discussion were to continue, Sir. RICHARD WEBSTER: I did we might spend days and weeksin giving not say one word about the restraint of hon. Gentlemen information upon points trade. If the hon. Gentleman will which they ought themselves to master read the Act, he will see there is nothing if they intend to oppose the renewal of about the restraint of trade. a law. I assert that not only in regard MR. CLANCY: Of course, the hon. to one point, but in regard to 20 or and learned Gentleman did not use such 30, these Acts supplement the Common a phrase; he was not such a sillyLaw, and give remedies and protection billy" as to use an expression like that. to trade that the Common Law does [Cries of "Order, order!”] not give. It is somewhat strange that DR. TANNER: Well, he said he was an hon. and learned Gentleman like the not a “silly-billy.” Member for the Camborne Division of MR. CLANCY: That is my inference Cornwall (Mr. Cony beare), who fre- from his remarks, and I am justified in quently professes knowledge of law, the inference when I hear there is in should ask us to read him a number this Act such an extraordinary proof section of Acts of Parliament. In vision interfering with the course of this particular Act there are provisions trade as one prescribing how linen shall as to the quality of linen, and there is a be folded, and another provision dealprovision as to the way pieces shall be ing with the settlement of disputes befolded.

tween masters and workmen. The

sooner we get at the bottom of this say purposely ignorant, but negligently
matter the better-[An hon. MEMBER: ignorant, must be construed under cer.
Hear, hear!]-Yes; and I hope that tain circumstances, and I would be
the country will understand that Con- bound to so construe it, as an attempt
servative Members are prepared to sup- to defeat and delay the progress of
port a measure for the restraint of trade. legislation.
I do not know the name of the hon. THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL
Gentleman who cheers, but I shall try GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE)
to find out in order that I may bring it (Tower Hamlets, St. George's): Hav-
before his constituents. Now, this is ing some special knowledge of this trade,
an Act, according to the explanation of perhaps I may be allowed to say one or
the hon. and learned Gentleman the At- two words. I think that this Bill is
torney General (Sir Richard Web certainly not useless, but important, and
ster), which clearly upholds the absurd so far from its being a restriction to
and irritating policy of the last century, trade, it is really a protection to the
which goes back to the worst days of honest trader. Hon. Gentlemen will
Protection, which is actually imposing understand that it is of great impor-
in the 19th century restrictions on trade tance to any trade that an article should
which are supposed to have been really represent that for which it is sold.
abolished long ago in the British Now, let me say with reference to one
Dominions. Sir, I think this measure class of goods, flat yarn, that it is sold
contains such unsuspected depths of according to its number, and according
iniquity that we are bound to oppose it to its number it is well known in every
to the very last. I repudiate the doctrine market of the world. According to its
laid down by the hon. and learned At number and the size of the yarn its
torney General that we are not to ask price varies. It is extremely desirable,
for explanation of these Statutes. It is and indeed necessary, that there should
the business of any Member of this be some provision securing that one
House who introduces a Bill to explain number, one size of yarn, should not be
its provisions. It is not the business of sold for another. That is secured by
the hon. and learned Gentleman to making it necessary


skein or throw Bills at our heads, but it his bundle of yarn shall contain the same business to make himself acquainted length of thread. That is exactly what with the provisions of Bills of this kind, is provided for in one section of this it is his business to explain the pro- Act. The section indicates that a visions of the Bill, and it is not cour- bundle of yarn shall be composed of a teous or civil, but it is indeed insulting certain number of skeins, and that the to the House, for him, instead of per- skein shall be of a certain length, and forming this duty to expect those who there is a special penalty and a special object to the Bills to perform it. The mode of procedure provided for punishexplanation we have just had makes me ing anybody who sells yarn for something suspicious of the nature of these old else than it actually is. It is of the Bills, and if I do not get an explana- greatest importance to the linen industry tion about every one of these Statutes, of Ireland that there should be some proI shall be obliged to move their rejec- vision that the purchaser should get tion and omission in order that we may that for which he pays. examine them for ourselves before we Mr.HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N.E): assent to their continuance.

I shall feel bound to support the second The CHAIRMAN: I think it con- reading of this Bill, and the clauses that venient to state with reference to the are in the Schedule. At the same time, future discussion of this Schedule, what I shall not do so for the reason urged by must perhaps be known to hon. Mem- the right hon. Gentleman who has just bers, that it is the duty of every spoken, but rather do so because I think Member of the Committee, wherever there is another and far better way of he may sit, to bring to the discussion of dealing with all these Acts. A great the subject-matters before the Commit. number of these Acts are old and obsolete, tee his best ability and his best indus- and really contain very little of use to try. But to continue a series of the industries represented. What I ask quiries on matters about which an hon. my hon. Friends from Ireland to do is to Member apparently remains, I will not do in this case, as I have endeavoured to do in some other cases-namely, to in England. To the advantage of all put down Questions upon the Paper parties a long discussion took place upon as to whether these Acts are really this subject not so very long ago, I think useful, and let us see whether we can in the course of last month. Well, it is once for all rid our Statute Book of not my intention to start another debate them. I do not suppose that any of upon the subject, or to treat the matter the clauses of this Act are put in force in extenso, but I must ask the Governin Belfast at the present time; I should ment to give us some explanation in the be surprised if they were. There are, matter, and to tell us what they intend indeed, a number of clauses in various to do in this business, or I must move to Acts of Parliament which apply in some omit the Bill relating to the Survey of way to this country; and I think it Great Britain Bill. I do not think there would be extremely useful if hon. Mem- are any Members of the Irish Governbers would make themselves thoroughly mentin their places-yes, I see one-and acquainted with the contents of the Acts, I trust he will be able to re-assure us on and let us all see if we cannot co-operate this point as it is one which is exciting to get these old and obsolete Statutes so a great deal of interest in Ireland, and purged that we may be able to under which we sincerely hope will be dealt stand, with much less difficulty than we with. have at present in doing so, the utility of THE CHAIRMAN: All that the hon. these Acts.

Member can do in the case of these Acts MR. SEXTON: Hearing the right is to move to omit them, or to omit cerhon. Gentleman the President of the tain portions of them. It is not comLocal Government Board (Mr. Ritchie) petent for him to move their extension, or discourse so eloquently on the subject of modification in any other fashion. This yarns rather conveys to us a supreme is a Bill which concerns Great Britain sense of our ignorance than a sense of only. the utility of this measure. It may be

THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF possible that there is a remnant of WORKS (Mr. PLUNKET) (Dublin Uniutility in the Act, though I must say versity): Ì think I can satisfy the hon. I have a doubt on the subject. I would Member for Mid Cork on this subject. ask my hon. Friend not to press his op. I do not think he was in the House position any further.

when I answered a Question on this Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. subject which was put to the Govern

ment by the hon. Member for East DR. TANNER: I rise for the purpose Donegal (Mr. Arthur O'Connor). The of calling attention to the Survey of hon. Gentleman may recollect that the Great Britain Act, which stands No. 3 hon. Member for East Donegal took on the Schedule. In doing so I wish to great interest in the matter when say this. The Survey Act in itself is the subject came up on the Estimates, very good, no doubt, but at the present and that I promised at that time to time it is desirable that we should have look into the matter. Afterwards when the matter dealt with in a better way. the hon. Member for East Donegal Not very long ago we had a long discus- asked me a Question about it I was sion on the extension of a certain portion glad to be able to tell him that what of the Bill which deals in a satisfactory he desires will be done. An order will way with England, and which gives be given in Ireland for a map to be preEngland certain advantages which are pared on the scale desired by the hon. not extended to Ireland. It is for that Member for Mid Cork and the hon. reason that I rise to take exception to Member for East Donegal. It does not the Bill continuing without equalizing require any alteration to be made in the the law, and extending it to Ireland in Act of Parliament in order to enable the same way that it does to England. this to be done. In Ireland at the present time, owing MR. CLANCY: I propose to move to practically to the number of estates amend Bill No. 7. which are thrown on the market, there TIIE CHAIRMAN: The hon. Mem. is a considerable amount of difficulty in ber for Mid Cork has given notice of an dealing with the boundaries, and accord-Amendment to No. 6. ingly, latterly, we have agitated to get DR. TANNER: That is true, to this 20-inch scale map which you have amend the measure dealing with eccle

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