§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ MR. EVELYN ASHLEY,
in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, he wished to say that it had passed through the House of Lords without a Division. The object of the Bill was to prevent any future exhibition or performance of a child under the age of 14 years, if, in the opinion of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, such exhibition or performance was dangerous to the child's life or limb. It was a very small Bill, and was really only a slight instalment of what was required upon the subject.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Evelyn Ashley.)
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, that he had not had time to look into this Bill, and hoped that the second reading might be postponed. The Bill had not yet been delivered to hon. Members, and he thought the best way would be to put it down for to-morrow. He thought it was only right that hon. Members should have an opportunity of looking at the Bill before the second reading was moved.
§ MR. BENETT-STANFORD
said, that this was not the first time that this Bill had been before the House, and he hoped that it might be allowed to go to a second reading, as the matters with which it dealt were of the utmost importance. The Bill was very small and very short, and he hoped that the hon. Member for Guildford would allow the second reading to be taken then, as the Bill had been well considered, and was well known to be of great importance in protecting young children.
§ MR. DILLWYN
did not think that in any case they ought to allow a Bill to be read a second time which had not been delivered to hon. Members. In some cases great inconvenience had arisen from allowing that to be done. He thought it ought to be insisted that such a course was not to be allowed; and he should, therefore, join in the opposition to the second reading of the Bill on the present occasion. They ought not to go on with a Bill which they had not been able to see.
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
said, that the Bill was very simple. He agreed in principle with his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) that it was not right that a Bill should be allowed to be read a second time before the House had had an opportunity of seeing it. This Bill had been in his hands some time, and he was not aware that there was any opposition to it. The proposition of the Bill was so very simple that he trusted on this occasion it might be allowed to be read a second time.
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, that they were only contending for the principle that the Bill should be seen by hon. Members before it became law. That was the only objection he made.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON
said, that, technically, hon. Members who objected to the Bill being read a second time were quite right; but it had been stated that the Bill was a very small one, and would raise no opposition. Anything which required amendment could be dealt with in Committee.
§ MR. COURTNEY
said, that he had only had the Bill placed in his hands a few hours ago. He had looked it through, and he thought that it deserved their support; but his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea bad laid down a sound principle that a Bill ought not to be read a second time if it had not been delivered to hon. Members. He wished to take that opportunity of calling attention to a transaction which seemed to call for some remark. After the Orders on the Paper were disposed of two or three nights since, the House had agreed to Amendments made by the other House in the Hares (Ireland) Bill, which Amendments were not put down amongst the Orders of the Day, and had not been circulated among hon. Members. He thought they were entitled to know what those Amendments were, and why 1187 they were not printed and distributed to the Members of the House.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Thursday.