HC Deb 03 August 1871 vol 208 c767

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If he will suggest and support any proposal calculated to avoid the serious inconvenience and disadvantage consequent on the frequent introduction of very important legislation at so late a period of the Session, and at such hours in the morning, when Members of this House are physically incapacitated for the careful and efficient performance of their duties? There were now no fewer than 43 Orders of the Day on the Paper for that evening.


With regard, Sir, to the number of Orders of the Day, I can only say that, so far as I am aware, the number of Orders in the hands of the Government is not at all unusual. Speaking from recollection rather than from any minute calculation, it is within, not beyond, what it usually is at this period of the Session—that is, with so many days of labour as we have still before us. With regard to the number of private Members' Orders on the Paper, my impression is that it is large; but we have no means of controlling that number. It is entirely for private Members to consider at what period they should drop those Orders, and when they should give up all idea of being able to carry their Bills. But as to the general question, I think it well worthy of consideration. I do not think there would be any advantage in attempting to indicate any views I may entertain as to the mode of dealing with it, because it can only be met by some regulation as to the sittings of the House. But when the House shall proceed to the consideration of new regulations for that purpose, which, no doubt, it will do at an early period of next Session, the point to which the hon. Baronet has referred is one very fit and proper to be considered.