HC Deb 26 June 1876 vol 230 cc429-31

Sir, I believe that the course of the Business of this House for the present week was stated to this House on Friday last by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I have no Question therefore, to ask on the subject. I wish, however, to ask the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Goverment a Question with reference to a Notice which has been placed on the Table by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Oxford (Sir William Harcourt), relating to the Papers on the subject of the Extra- dition correspondence with the United States. The Question I wish to ask is, Whether it will be in the power of the right hon. Gentleman to give any facilities to my hon. and learned Friend to bring on that discussion? My hon. and learned Friend will, of course, if necessary, take his own chance of bringing forward that discussion, but I wish to point out that my hon. and learned Friend could have no opportunity of doing so for a month at least, and it is very likely that he might fail altogether. Looking to the importance of the subject and the desirability of having a discussion on it, I consider that neither of these contingencies would be desirable. I also wish to ask whether, now that the last set of Papers relating to Egyptian affairs has been laid on the Table, the right hon. Gentleman will name a day on which he proposes to take the discussion on the Vote for the expenses of Mr. Cave's mission? I have also been requested by many of my Friends to ask, whether it will be in the power of the right hon. Gentleman to make a statement as to the intentions of the Government respecting the University Bills? I know that in the arrangements of the Government for this week those Bills are not included. I do not ask the Government to state precisely on what day they will bring them forward; but it may be in the power of the right hon. Gentleman to say, in the event of the Business set down for this week being disposed of, what is the next important Business which it is the intention of the Government to take up?


Sir, I propose to place the Cambridge Bill on the Paper as the First Order of the Day for Thursday, the 6th of July. With reference to the noble Lord's inquiry respecting the Extradition Papers and the Motion contemplated by the hon. and learned Gentleman, I would observe that those Papers are not yet completed. We ought, before discussing the question, to have before us the despatch of Mr. Secretary Fish, and also the answer of Her Majesty's Government. The answer of Her Majesty's Government to that despatch is written, but has not yet been sent, though, probably, it will be sent immediately. With regard to giving facilities to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Oxford, I may say it is always my duty and pleasure to assist the course of Public Business; but I should hardly like to fix any day for the discussion of the subject until I have seen the terms of the Motion of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He has only given Notice of a Motion without stating what the Motion is to be, and, of course, at this period of the Session, I must weigh the circumstances which may influence me in advancing other measures before I can indulge myself in the pleasure of obliging the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. Of course, when I see the Motion, I will state the course which the Government may think it their duty to take with respect to it. Under the circumstances, I think it is desirable that before the House consider the question they should be in possession of two of the most important documents which the issue had produced—namely, the statement of the case of the United States Foreign Minister and the answer of Her Majesty's Government. With reference to the third inquiry of the noble Lord respecting the discussion on the question of the Suez Canal and the mission of Mr. Cave, I would also remark that, although the Papers connected immediately with the purchase of the Canal are complete and are in the possession of the House, yet a great many other Papers will be presented which are immediately connected with the surtax question and also with the administration of the Canal, and which I think it desirable that the House should possess before we enter into any discussion. Therefore, I will only say at present that I will take care ample Notice is given to the noble Lord and his Friends before we ask for a Vote.