HC Deb 28 March 1889 vol 334 c1110

Order for Second Reading read.


Sir, I wish to say just a word or two with regard to this Bill. It has been prepared under the direction of the Secretary of State for War and the First Lord of the Admiralty, in order to punish the offence of obtaining information, and communicating it, against the interests of the State. The Bill is an exceedingly simple one, and I beg to move its Second Reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir E. E. Webster.)

DR. TANNER (Cork, Mid.)

I really think we require some further explanation than the miserable one afforded to this House by the hon. and learned Gentleman. I really think he is trifling with this House in introducing a measure of this importance with such brief explanation. I earnestly protest against the method and manner in which measures of this sort are brought in at this hour of the night. It is not so very late, and there is ample time and opportunity for explaining the meaning of it. We want to know what there is behind the Bill. I do not say that we look upon this measure with suspicion, but I think we may reasonably ask for the reasons for its introduction; and I, therefore, trust that this House will understand me when I make this protest from below the Gangway, and I hope hon. Members opposite will join with me in insisting on obtaining further explanations before the Bill is allowed to pass.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday, 1st April.