MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)
With reference to what fell from the Attorney General earlier in the afternoon, I should like to ask at what time the Government propose to adjourn other business in order to take the 1596 Behring Sea Arbitration Bill, which does not stand even as second Order on the Paper?
SIR W. HARCOURT
We are anxious that proper time should be given for the consideration of a Bill of such importance. But I hope we may assume that, under the circumstances, it is not a Bill which is going to be opposed. It would be a very ungracious thing towards the United States if it were opposed. I am extremely anxious, on account of the International character of the Bill, that, it should not be made the subject of Party controversy. Would it he considered adequate if we took the Bill at half-past 11?
MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As a matter of personal explanation, let mo remind the right hon. Gentleman that when the Bill was read a second time I took great pains to make it clear that the Bill would not be treated by us in any controversial spirit, and that I would do my best to enable it to pass. The whole difficulty arises from some differences between this measure and the measure presented to the United States Legislature. I am not qualified to say whether the differences are such as would justify a Debate in this House. The Government are better judges of that; but I hope they will not stint the necessary time for the consideration of the Bill.