§ THE EARL OF GRANARD
My Lords, before asking your Lordships to suspend the Sessional Order as regards this Bill, it is only right that. I should state the reasons which make this Motion necessary. The negotiations with regard to the Bill have been very difficult. The local inquiry was held as far back as March. 23 last, but no Order could be made before June 29. The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on July 21, and since then no time has been lost with regard to it. The Board of Trade are very anxious to complete the Order, winch has been an unusually difficult one but is now not opposed. I venture, therefore, to ask your Lordships to make an exception in this case and allow me to move the suspension of the Sessional Order so far as this Bill is concerned.
§ Moved, That the Order made cm the 29th day of March last. "That no Provisional Order Confirmation Bill brought from the House of Commons shall be read a second time after the 4th day of July next," be dispensed with, and that the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Granard.)
LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
My Lords, this is a very unusual request, even after the explanation of the noble Earl. It seems to me that a great deal of time has been lost. Apparently the Bill was not introduced into the other House until nearly three weeks after the time when it ought to have been read a second time in your Lordships' House, and it does not seem to me that in these circumstances we should suspend our Sessional Order at 735 this late period of the session. The House resolved that no Provisional Order Confirmation Bill brought from the House of Commons should be read a second time after July 4. and yet on December 11 it is proposed to read this Bill a second time. If you are going to allow such a long interval to elapse, I do not see the use of retaining the Sessional Order.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE)
My Lords. I am glad the noble Earl in charge of the Bill and the noble Lord opposite have drawn attention to this matter, because it does at first sight look a little unusual that your Lordships should be asked to suspend the Sessional Order in the case of a Bill which was only introduced into the other House after the date at which, by our Sessional Order, it should have been read a second time here. But the ease is a little exceptional, and I think your Lordships would do well to suspend the Sessional Order in this case and allow the Bill to go forward in the ordinary course, and, if your Lordships pass it, receive the Royal Assent at the end of this session. The fact is that the Order was lodged at the end of January, as is usual. The local inquiry commenced at the end of March, which, as a matter of fact, was only a fortnight after the usual time, and I understand that it was owing largely to geographical difficulties that delays took place which resulted in the Order being introduced at so late a period in the other House. But what really has delayed this Order more than anything else is this. There were two Orders originally in this Confirmation Bill. The other Order was opposed, and the opposition to that Order, which has been dropped, resulted in this Order, which is unopposed, being delayed. If this Order had been in the Bill by itself the Bill would probably have reached your Lordships before we adjourned in August, when no question would have been raised as to the propriety of suspending the Sessional Order. These being the facts, I think your Lordships would do well to agree to this Motion now, having entered a caveat that it is not self-evident that a Sessional Order made in July should necessarily be suspended five months afterwards on a Bill which only reaches your Lordships in December.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed for To-morrow.