HC Deb 28 June 1867 vol 188 cc664-5

said, he would beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether he proposed to continue the Morning Sittings at Two o'clock and the Evening at Nine o'clock after the month of June? The result of this arrangement had been most satisfactory in the morning, but in the evening the House had often been very thin indeed. It was understood at the time the arrangement was entered into that these Morning Sittings would not continue after one month.


This is a question which I should wish to leave to be decided entirely by the wish of the House. It was not proposed as a general arrangement; and I should not recommend the House to adopt it as a general arrangement. I asked the House to agree to try this new plan for the better progress of a Measure of great importance, in which both sides of the House felt equally interested; and I think I may presume to say that, as regards that Measure, the arrangement has been eminently successful. I am not at all prepared to say that, under ordinary circumstances, such an arrangement would be the best which the House could make. Under any circumstances I should wish to consult the feeling of the House. But my impression is that, in the position in which we find ourselves, it would be wise on the part of the House not entirely to withdraw from the arrangement. I should be inclined to propose, if it meets with general approval, that for another month the power of meeting at Two and at Nine o'clock should be continued, but in a modified form; so that it would not be a matter of necessity, but the Government would be able to avail themselves of the privilege until they see the Reform Bill fairly out of the House, After that we may perhaps find it necessary to recur to our normal state of Morning Sittings, if we have Morning Sittings at all. But if the House should wish to meet at Two o'clock, my desire would be to comply with that wish, in order that there might be discussion upon some questions of great importance which of late have been unfortunately neglected.


said, he presumed the right hon. Gentleman would place a Notice on the Paper, so as to afford the House an opportunity of expressing their views on the matter.


said, he had already done so.


said, he wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman would consider the desirability of the House meeting at Two o'clock on Wednesdays? ["No, no."]