HC Deb 25 March 1872 vol 210 cc602-3

said, he desired to make an appeal to the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). That hon. Member had a Bill on the Paper for to-morrow evening—the University Tests (Dublin) Bill—and a large number of Irish Members, some being engaged as grand jurors, would be absent. He, therefore, asked the hon. Member, as a matter of fairness, not to proceed with the Bill to-morrow. He asked his hon. Friend, as a matter of fair play and courtesy, to postpone the Bill till after Easter. If he did not agree to do so, he must say his hon. Friend would not be acting in his usual spirit of fairness.


said, as his hon. Friend had requested him on the ground of fair play not to proceed with the Dublin University Tests Bill to-morrow, he would only say in reply that had the measure been treated on Wednesday last with fair play, nothing would have induced him to put any Irish or any other Member of the House to unnecessary inconvenience in pressing forward the next stage of the Bill. But he believed he might with confidence appeal to the Chair, whether, when an hon. Member introduced a Bill which had been previously discussed in the House, and when it had been fixed first for a Wednesday—when, in order to give every one the fullest opportunity of discussing it he confined his own remarks within the narrowest possible compass, and entreated Members of great influence and position to forego speaking, in order to give the opponents of the Bill the fullest opportunity of discussing it—whether, under such circumstances, the course adopted on Wednesday last was not almost without precedent. Had the usual course been adopted, and the second reading been taken on Wednesday last, he should immediately have gone to the opponents of the measure, and consulted their convenience as to the next stage, leaving them to fix a day for going into Committee within any reasonable limits. The Bill now stood as the first Order of the Day for to-morrow, and he believed he should be consulting the wishes of the great majority of the House if he simply said that he should do all in his power to bring on the Bill to-morrow; indeed, on looking through the Orders he found he should not have the slightest chance of proceeding with the measure, if he did not avail himself of the position he had gained, The only consideration that would induce him to forego that arrangement would be an intimation that it would meet the convenience of the Government to give him a Government night.

Motion agreed to.

House, at its rising to-morrow, to adjourn till Thursday, 4th of April.