HC Deb 31 July 1873 vol 217 cc1385-6

said, that before the Bill was read a second time, he wished to put a question to the Government with reference to the Indian Budget. In the early part of the evening he had found it impossible to extract a satisfactory answer from the Prime Minister as to the arrangement of Indian business. He understood that the present evening was, if possible, to be reserved for the discussion of the Indian Budget; but the Prime Minister stated that circumstances over which he had no control prevented him from giving up the whole of the evening for that purpose. Now, he admitted that the Public Business had been dislocated, owing to the unfortunate absence of the Prime Minister on Tuesday night. No one could, however, complain of his absence, for, as everyone knew, no Minister had ever worked more assiduously or zealously than he did. In consequence, however, of his absence, and owing to the circumstance that one of his Colleagues refused to say five courteous words, which would have been perfectly satisfactory to the House, the unusual course was adopted of moving the Adjournment of the House, and the Report of Supply was not, in consequence, agreed to. Had the Prime Minister been in the House he would have said those few conciliatory words which he spoke the next morning, and. the Business of the House would have been in a different position at the present moment. So far as that evening was concerned, he did not, therefore, blame the Prime Minister; but he could not understand whether to-morrow was or was not to be set apart for the discussion of the Indian Budget. That, it seemed, depended on whether a private Member was prepared to give it precedence or not. Unless, then, the Government gave him some assurance that time would be given for the due consideration of a subject which vitally affected our Indian Empire, he should deem it to be his duty to move a distinct Motion impugning their conduct as to the management of Indian affairs in that House before the Session should close.


said, that the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Mundella) would not bring on his Bill to-morrow, and the debate on the Indian Budget, if adjourned from to-night, would follow the Appropriation Bill and the Duke of Edinburgh's Annuity Bill to-morrow.