§ MR. SPEAKER
Do I understand the hon. Member to take notice of the presence of Strangers in the House?
§ MR. SPEAKER
That being so, I must order Strangers to withdraw.
The following is stated, upon sufficient authority, to be a correct Minute of what took place during the exclusion of the Reporters.
§ MR. DISRAELI,
who spoke amid great excitement, said—Mr. Speaker, I regret very much that notice has been taken of the presence of Strangers in this House. There may be occasions on which it is proper to enforce the Rule excluding Strangers, but this should not be to gratify the caprice of a single Member. I think the course pursued by the hon. Gentleman tends to the discredit of this House, and that if such proceedings are resorted to the country will cease to believe that this House is what—notwithstanding there may be exceptions—I believe it to be, an Assembly of English gentlemen. It has always held, and whatever may be the political changes within it, I am sure it always will retain that character. Therefore, Sir, in order to foil the attempt of the hon. Gentleman—an attempt which I must describe as discreditable—I shall move that the Standing Order of the House excluding Strangers be suspended during the present Sitting. [Cheers.]
§ Moved, "That the Rule for the Exclusion of Strangers be suspended during the present Sitting of the House."—(Mr. Disraeli.)
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
I rise to second the Motion. Although I regret that some arrangement was not arrived at two years ago when the matter was brought "before the House by my right hon. Friend the late Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Lowe), I concur so entirely with the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman, and all the reasons which justify the exclusion of Strangers are so manifestly absent from this occasion, that I hope the House will at once agree to the suspension of the Standing Order. [Cheers.]
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
Having served on the Committee which considered this question 10 years ago, and having, as an old Member of this House, never seen this Order enforced without some real or 1694 apparent justification, I call upon the hon. Member for Cavan to declare whether he can assign any sufficient cause for this extraordinary and discreditable proceeding. [" Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. BIGGAR
said, that what he had done he had done in consequence of the unsatisfactory position in which the members of the Press stood in relation to the House. He complained that sufficient attention had not been paid to the question brought forward by his hon. Friend the Member for Louth (Mr. Sullivan), and though the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Hartington) had given Notice of Resolutions, the Prime Minister had made no sign. This being so, and until some sufficient remedy for this anomalous state of things was proposed, he would every day exercise the privilege he had exercised that evening.
§ MR. DODSON
suggested that in consequence of the declared intention of the hon. Member for Cavan to repeat his present proceeding every Sitting the Standing Order with respect to the presence of Strangers should be suspended "until further notice."
It was understood that several hon. Members from Ireland rose and repudiated all knowledge of, or concurrence in, the proceeding of the hon. Member for Cavan.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolved, That the Rule for the Exclusion of Strangers be suspended during the present Sitting of the House.—(Mr. Disraeli.)
§ After the lapse of about 20 minutes Strangers were re-admitted.