§ MR. T. DUNCOMBE
said, he wished to ask the noble Viscount at the Head of the Government what is intended to be the course of the proceedings on Thursday? The Wine Licences Bill and the Church Rates Bill were down for that day. He wished to know whether the Wine Licences Bill will come on first. He desired, also, to know whether the Reform Bill, which stands for Monday next, will be proceeded with then?
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he thought it would be necessary to proceed with the Naval Estimates on Thursday, as so little progress had been made in them on the previous evening. It was intended that the Reform Bill should come on next Monday.
§ SIR JOHN TRELAWNY
complained of the arrangement lately made, by which independent Members were deprived of the opportunity of bringing forward important questions on the Thursdays. The Government had left him to legislate on the subject of church rates; and yet, by an arrangement come to in his absence, they 1891 deprived him of the advantageous position he had held on the business paper for next Thursday. If the Government did not restore to him the advantage he had before possessed, he was not sure that he would not move that the Church-rates Abolition Bill be taken first on Thursday. To put himself in order, he would move the adjournment of the House.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that before the recess an order was made by the House that Government Orders of the Day should take precedence on Thursdays instead of Fridays; and in pursuance of that arrangement it was intended to take the Navy Estimates on Thursday next. Private Members would have the same opportunities on Friday that they used to have on Thursday.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he had resisted the Motion of the Government which produced this change of business; but, as the House had agreed to it, the hon. Baronet would not be acting fairly in moving the third reading of the Church-rates Abolition Bill next Thursday. There had been a clear understanding that that Bill would not be proceeded with on Thursday, the leader of the House having announced that financial measures would be taken into consideration on that evening.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
remarked, that he did not understand that the hon. Baronet's Bill had ever stood first for consideration on Thursday. The hon. Baronet had had a chance of bringing it forward late at night, and he still had the same chance under the now arrangement.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, he would beg to remind the House and the Government of the great public interest felt in the subject of church rates. Two hundred thousand persons had petitioned in favour of the Bill of the hon. Baronet, and he did hope that the Government would endeavour to comply with the wishes of his hon. Friend.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, it was a mistake to suppose that the hon. Baronet had obtained any precedence for his Church-rate Bill on Thursday next. Being an Order of the Day it stood behind all the Notices, and it would not have had a chance of coming on before twelve o'clock at night. He could still bring it on at that hour. Or if the hon. Baronet placed the Motion for Friday, it would be in the same position as if no change of days had taken place. The hon. Baronet had in no respect been placed in a less favorable position by the Government.
§ MR. BRIGHT
said, he did not understand that his hon. Friend blamed the Government for what had taken place; but as the Bill was a very important one, and was in the hands of a non-official Member; and as the House on both sides, it might be supposed, wished to send it on its journey to "another place"—the hon. Baronet appealed to the Government and to the House not to allow it to be placed in a worse position on Friday, than it would have been on Thursday, had the change in the order of business not been made. With respect to the change itself, be thought that if the House had determined to proceed on Fridays with the business of the day at six o'clock, and have left an hour and a half for other matters, it might not have been necessary. But being made, he presumed that the experiment must be tried. He hoped, however, that the Government would do all they could for the hon. Gentleman, who had a great responsibility on his hands with regard to this question.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
observed, that the hon. Baronet had just the same reason to complain as other hon. Members, of the change that had been made. He (Mr. Newdegate) had expressed his opinion upon the subject; and he held that, if the business of the House was to be conducted, such changes in the Standing Orders must not be made. He ventured to bring this subject under the consideration of the Government, because the arrangement, under which the Government business would be taken on Thursdays, was only temporary in its character. He trusted, in the event of any extension of such arrangement beyond the time to which it was at present limited, or of any intention to make any other alteration in the order of business, that the House would insist upon receiving due notice of such a proposition, in order that hon. Members who had notices on the paper might be prepared for the contemplated change.
§ MR. HORSMAN
said, he wished to remind the House that he had given notice of his intention, upon the bringing up of the Report of Committee of Supply, to ask some questions of the Government in connection with our foreign relations. But as the noble Lord the Secretary for Foreign Affairs had made a communication to him upon the subject, and as it was intended to go into Committee of Supply on Thursday next, he would not press his questions upon the present occasion, but he would 1893 submit them upon the Motion for going into Supply on Thursday.
§ Question "That this House do now adjourn," put, and negatived.