asked the First Lord of the Treasury, in reference to the announcement in Her Majesty's gracious Speech of a measure "for the amendment of certain provisions of the Education Act of 1870," Whether the House can be in possession of the proposals of the Government before it is invited to discuss the Resolution which stands in the name of the honourable Member for Birmingham for the 11th of March?
in reply, said, he never had any serious expectation that before the 11th of March it would be possible for them to make such progress with the Irish University Education Bill as to put the Government in a condition to bring before the House its proposals with regard to the Education Act of 1870. The progress so far made with the Irish University Bill had confirmed him in that belief. But his hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) was well aware that the Government not only desired, but fully intended to make proposals to the House, and to make them in such time as should give a favourable and advantageous place to the subject in the Business of the Session; and he trusted that under these circumstances his hon. Friend might be 1288 disposed to postpone his Motion from the day for which it stood until a future day, relying upon the assurance which he had given him on the part of the Government.
§ MR. DIXON
asked, Whether, in the event of the first reading of the Education Act Amendment Bill taking place and he should wish to bring forward his Motion, the Government would give facilities for so doing?
said, it would be competent for his hon. Friend, if he should think fit, to make his Motion as an Amendment to the Government Motion; and the very fact of the Government making a proposal would give him the opportunity which he desired to have.
§ MR. DIXON
said, he did not think that that was quite the same thing. If he were to move an Amendment on the Bill brought forward, that would be taking a position of antagonism to the Bill. That was a position which he hoped not to have to occupy. His Resolution was not necessarily antagonistic to the Bill at all, and was not intended to hamper any measure brought forward by the Government; and therefore be hoped that the Government would give him the opportunity of bringing forward his Motion at some other time. Under such circumstances he would accede to the suggestion of the Prime Minister.