HC Deb 26 February 1864 vol 173 cc1188-9

said, he wished to make an appeal to the noble Viscount at the head of the Government with regard to the course laid down for the Business of the Evening; and, in order to place himself in order, he would conclude with a Motion. It appeared by the papers, to be the intention of Her Majesty's Government to go into Committee of Supply on the Navy Estimates that evening. It would be in the recollection of the House that, on Wednesday last, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer made an appeal to the House to permit a Motion to be carried, that the Speaker report Progress, as unavoidable circumstances compelled him to leave, and the right hon. Gentleman named Friday as the day for considering the Malt for Cattle Bill in Committee. On the faith of this understanding, a number of hon. Members were now present. It was therefore quite clear that great inconvenience would arise if the proposal so volunteered by the right hon. Gentleman was not adhered to. All hon. Members were aware that, by the rules of the House, Motions of Supply were placed on the paper on Fridays for the purpose of enabling Members to raise questions of various kinds; but he apprehended that it was not in accordance with the rules or practice of the House that Her Majesty's Government should force on Estimates, especially under present circumstances. Without saying anything about the merits of the Malt for Cattle Bill, it was clear that great inconvenience was arising in the country from not knowing what the decision of the House might be. He therefore begged to ask the noble Viscount whether he will consent to the Malt for Cattle Bill being taken before the Estimates?


Sir, I cannot agree with the doctrine laid down by the hon. Gentleman, that the rules or practice of the House exclude the House from going into the Estimates on Fridays, after the preliminary matters have been disposed of. With regard to the particular question raised, I can only say that, if any expectations were raised by any arrangement made on the part of the Government as to a particular question, unless great public inconvenience would arise from its being postponed, I should always be anxious not to inflict disappointment on those who come on the faith of the arrangement. I was not aware yesterday evening when we fixed the Navy Estimates, that any such agreement had taken place, but I am quite ready to accept the hon. Member's version of it, and I can at once assure him we will not go into the Navy Estimates this evening, but take the Malt for Cattle Bill if possible.

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