§ MR. VERNON HARCOURT
wished to ask a Question relative to the Royal Parks and Gardens Bill. There appeared in that morning's newspapers a letter purporting to be addressed by Mr. Gurdon to a Mr. Hartwell relative to the future progress of that Bill. It was as follows:—10, Downing Street, Whitehall,Feb. 24, 1872.Sir,—Mr. Gladstone desires me to state that your last letter on the subject of the Parks Regulation Bill only reached him on the morning of the 22nd instant, when the state of public business would not allow of the postponement of that measure until after the reception of the deputation, as suggested in your letter. It is now intended that the Bill, when it has passed through Committee, shall be re-printed, in order that there may be an opportunity of considering it, with such Amendments incorporated as will be proposed by the Government, and may probably be adopted by the House of Commons. Should it be found necessary, after reprinting, Mr. Gladstone will receive the deputation on whose behalf you have written; but, judging from your letter, he thinks it likely that little objection will be felt to the Bill.—I have the honour to remain your obedient servant, W. B. GURDON.MR. R. Hartwell.1032 Now, the first Question he had to ask the right hon. Gentleman was, was that letter authentic? And the next was, whether the House of Commons would have notice of the Amendments which it was said the Government intended to propose, and whether the further consideration of the Bill would be adjourned until notice of such Amendments had been given by the Government?
The letter in question, Sir, is perfectly genuine, though it is not expressed with quite so much accuracy as it should have been. It ought to have said, "such Amendments as have already been proposed and assented to by the Government." There is no intention on the part of the Government to postpone the Bill, neither have they any Amendments of their own to propose. Amendments which are now on the Paper will raise the points that require readjustment, and the House has already had full notice of the intentions of the Government with regard to some of them.