§ DR. FARQUHARSON moved, "That this Bill, as amended, be considered."
§ MR. H. LABOUCHERE (Northampton) moved, "That the Debate be now adjourned," on the ground that the present 10 moment was hardly the time in which to raise a Debate, which must necessarily occupy a considerable time, upon a local question. The last time that the matter was before the House, the discussion lasted for two hours. In these circumstances, therefore, he merely begged leave to move the adjournment of the Debate. Of course, if the Motion for the Adjournment were refused, his hon. Friend who had given notice of his opposition to the Bill, did not wish to lose his opportunity of stating his objections to the measure.
§ MR. JOHN BAIRD (Glasgow, Central)
said, that he hoped the House would not accept the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate.
§ MR. J. H. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
said, that he desired to explain the circumstances under which this measure, which was originally an opposed Bill, came before the Committee on unopposed Bills; and had, therefore, come back to that House much sooner than it otherwise would have done. The constituency which he represented, and many others, were very much opposed to the Bill as it stood. Through a misunderstanding, the notice of opposition to the Bill was delayed until it was too late to give it; and, therefore, those who opposed the measure had not had an opportunity of stating their objections to it, and it was only in that House that the matter could be threshed out. It was for that reason that he supported the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate, especially as the House, under the peculiar circumstances in which they had met that day, would be indisposed to listen to the discussion on a local question. Nothing would be lost by the adjournment of the Debate, because, in any case, the consideration of the Bill would be resumed in the future in precisely the same stage in which it was then. He hoped that the House would consent to adjourn the Debate.
§ MR. J. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
said, that he did not think that the arguments which had been put forward in support of the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate would weigh very much with the House. This Bill 11 had been before the House since the beginning of the Session, and it was not opposed either by Kirkcaldy or any other locality. The only opposition to the measure had come from the Caledonian Railway Company on a totally different point from that which was raised to it by those who supported the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate. He would point out that the Bill was before that House as the first of the two Houses of Parliament, and that any local question which it was desired to raise might be raised when the measure was before a Committee of the House of Lords. It was perfectly impossible for that House that day, or at any other time, to enter into any discussion on local questions, because that was contrary to the principle upon which the proceedings of the House were conducted, which was that such matters should be referred to a Committee, and that that House would abide by the decision of their Committee. It was a matter of considerable importance to the promoters of the Bill that it should be proceeded with at once, because otherwise the Bill would be in serious danger of being lost. He hoped that the House would allow the Bill to proceed in the ordinary and regular course.
§ THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (Mr. MELLOR, York, W.R., Sowerby)
said, that he was chairman of the Unopposed Bill Committee before whom the Bill had come. The Bill came before them in the ordinary way as an unopposed Bill. It appeared to him that it was too late to take an objection of this character on the Third Reading of the Bill, and he thought that the House ought not to consent to the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate. He thought it his duty to say this much in defence of the action of the Committee. He did not know whether, if the Motion for the adjournment of the Debate were carried, it would entail the loss of the Bill, but he thought that the position of the promoters would be very seriously damnified if the Motion were agreed to.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 150; Noes 217.—(Division List, No. 140.)
§ Original Question put.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
on the point of Order, asked whether the Directors of 12 the North British Line had the right to vote, as he was informed that two of the Directors had done so.
§ MR. J. H. DALZIEL
said, it was exceedingly tempting to raise important questions in the interests of his constituents. He might not, however, be successful in the end, and he was inclined to study what he believed to be the general desire of the House, and not raise these important questions on that occasion. He would content himself with dividing against the Third Reading of the Bill.
§ Original Question again put, and agreed to.
§ Ordered, that the Bill be now read the, third time.
§ [Queen's Consent signified.]
§ Bill read 3º, and passed.