HC Deb 24 July 1873 vol 217 cc919-21

said, it was his desire, in consequence of what had occurred with reference to the course of Public Business next week, to make a few remarks, and to put himself in order he would conclude with a Motion. It would be in the recollection of the House that the hon. Member for Penryn (Mr. R. N. Fowler) asked the Prime Minister a few days since whether he would in the present year give a whole day, and not merely a morning sitting, to the Indian Budget? The answer of the Prime Minister was that he would take the proposal into his favourable consideration. Instead of so doing, however, he must have taken it into his unfavourable consideration; for, instead of appointing Monday or Thursday next, the Indian Budget was at the last moment fixed for a morning sitting. On the last occasion the Under Secretary of State for India occupied a considerable portion of the sitting, and for his own part, when the present Budget came on, he feared he would be unable to confine his remarks within a very narrow compass. It would be impossible to have the subject fairly and properly discussed in a morning sitting, and anything which appeared like a suppression of debate would, he believed, be felt in India as an injury. Tinder these circumstances he appealed most earnestly to the Prime Minister—not in his own interest—but for the sake of the deep impression this proceeding would produce in India, to reconsider his decision, and, at any rate, if he fixed the Indian Budget for Wednesday, to give a promise that if the debate should not close by a quarter to 6 o'clock he would make it the first Order for Thursday. He begged to move the adjournment of the House.


The appeal of my hon. Friend is very fair, and I am not going to contest what he has said on the subject. My motive in fixing Wednesday was two-fold. In the first place, I found I could not arrange to make Tuesday the day for the Indian Budget, and my desire then was, that it should come on upon the earliest possible day, which was Wednesday. But I had another reason. When the command of private days is given to the Government at the close of the Session they are not given absolutely, but they are given with a view to enable public Orders to take precedence. For instance, I have no power to give precedence to the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) on Tuesday, for his is a private Order; or to my right hon. Friend opposite (Sir Charles Adderley) on Wednesday, for his Motion on the Gold Coast. On that account it would possibly be the best way to allow the debate on the Indian Budget, in case it should not be concluded on Wednesday, to be resumed on Thursday or Friday, I cannot say which. If that will not do, we might fix it for Thursday, but then it might run some risk of not coming on. However, perhaps the best plan will be to let the matter stand until Monday before making any final arrangement.


asked, whether it would not be possible to fix a day for the debate on the Gold Coast?


said, he hoped to be able to see his way further on Monday.


said, he had not had an opportunity of consulting his Friends om the subject; but as the right hon. Gentleman had kindly offered Thursday he hoped they should be allowed to have it the first Order of the Day.


The matter will be fixed finally on Monday.

In reply to Mr. PLUNKET,


said, he purposed, when taking the second reading of the Landed Estates Court (Judges) Bill, to ask the House to commit it pro formâ. He could not give Notice of Amendments until the second reading of the Bill.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.