HC Deb 05 June 1871 vol 206 cc1542-4

said, that the other day an understanding had been come to—he might almost say that a pledge had been given by the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland—that he would bring up a clause, enabling the Lord Lieutenant's writ to run in England and Scotland. Under the impression that that would be done, no steps had been taken by hon. Members for framing a clause to that effect; but, since that time, he understood that Her Majesty's Government now declined to bring forward such a clause. The Bill was down for to-morrow morning; but, under the circumstances, he thought it the duty of the Government to give some further time to hon. Members to enable a clause to be prepared.


said, though he should be glad to go forward with the Bill, yet, under the circumstances, the request of his hon. Friend the Member for Galway was reasonable, and therefore he would not ask the House to proceed with the Bill to-morrow. The Government would take an opportunity before the close of the week, when they should see what the arrangements of Business were to be, to say when the Bill would be brought on.


said, he was surprised to hear what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the postponement of the Westmeath Bill. The announcement of the noble Lord the Chief Secretary for Ireland had been made on Thursday, and there had been ample time to frame Amendments. Under all the circumstances, it would be agreeable to the House to know what would be the course of Business to-morrow. He should also like to know, if the House was not to proceed with the Westmeath Bill to-morrow, whether its attention might not be called to the recommendations of the Committee on the Business of the House, especially as that Committee had been appointed at the instance of Her Majesty's Government.


said, the reason why he had not referred to the course of Business for to-morrow was, that he understood some hon. Members intended to dispute the proposal of the Government that there should be a Morning Sitting. The intention of the Government, at all events, was to proceed with the Army Bill that evening, and to resume its consideration at 2 o'clock tomorrow, in case the House adopted, as he hoped it would adopt, the Government proposal.


said, he wished to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, in consequence of what had occurred in the House on Friday night. There was nobody more unwilling than he was to make groundless complaints; but the House had, after three attempts, two of which were rendered unsuccessful, been counted out on that evening, and it was, he believed, understood that the Government were responsible for keeping a House on Friday. [An hon. MEMBER: For making a House.] Well, be that as it might, he, at all events, was prevented, by the count out, from bringing a charge against the Government in connection with certain appointments in the Cornwall Rangers, of which he had given Notice; and he hoped his right hon. Friend would, under the circumstances, name a day when, without the risk of a count out, the subject might be brought on.


said, he had not the slightest objection to answer for his conduct with respect to the Cornwall Rangers; but he must remind his right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich that he himself had been counted on each of the three occasions on Friday to which he alluded, there having been, he believed, nine Members of the Government present on the third occasion, when the total number of hon. Members was considerably less than 40. He had only to add that, although he should be glad of an early opportunity of considering the case of the Cornwall Rangers, yet, in the present state of Public Business, he could not name any particular day when his right hon. Friend could bring forward the subject.