HC Deb 04 July 1878 vol 241 cc763-6

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he is prepared to make a statement to the House as to the order in which he will proceed with the several Bills which he has introduced?


, in reply, said, it had been the intention of the Government that the Valuation Bill, which, after Whitsuntide, stood first on the Notice Paper, should be completed in Committee before any progress was made with the Highways Bill. The House was aware that on Friday afternoon, from accidental circumstances, it became convenient, not only that the Speaker should leave the Chair, but that considerable progress should be made in Committee with the Highways Bill. That having been the case, to-morrow (Friday) would probably be sufficient to complete the Committee on the Highways Bill, which it was proposed to take at 2 o'clock. The Highways Bill now contained provisions which would conflict with some provisions of the County Government Bill, so that if the Highways Bill passed it would be necessary to move that the Order for the County Government Bill should be discharged. The Valuation Bill would be proceeded with after the Committee on the Highways Bill.


I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether the Government intend to proceed on Monday with the Contagious Diseases Animals Bill, for which day I believe it now stands? I understand, with reference to the Business to-morrow, that the Government intend to proceed with the Highways Bill. I should be glad to know whether that will be the first Business? I would take the opportunity of repeating to the Government the request that they will give to the House all the information they are able to give with regard to their intention as to Business; because I think on one or two recent occasions Business has come on unexpectedly, while Business that was expected to come on was not taken. I do not know whether it was our fault or not, but I find there is considerable ignorance as to the fact that it was the intention of the Government to take the Education Estimates to-day. I appeal to the Government to give all the information in their power as to their intentions.


said, perhaps the House would be informed when it was proposed to take the Admiralty and War Office Bill?


said, he should be glad to know whether it was the intention of the Government to proceed with the Inclosure Bill?


asked, When it was proposed to take the second reading of the Irish Intermediate Education Bill, which stands for third reading in the House of Lords to-morrow?


Sir, I think the various Questions which have now been put strikingly illustrate the great difficulty under which we labour with regard to fixing the order of Business. There are a number of measures with which we have to proceed; some are of considerable importance, but the discussion on them, if reached, would not occupy any inordinate length of time. For instance, the Inclosure Bill, to which reference has been made, and the Admiralty and War Office Bill, and others to which I might refer. We have been putting these Bills down night after night in the hope that in the course of the evening opportunity might arise for taking them and proceeding with them; but the time has been spent over the Orders which stood first, and we have found it exceedingly difficult to proceed with these Bills. I am constantly asked by Members who take an interest in one or the other Bill to put them down as the First Order for this day or that day; but if that were done, it would interfere very much with the Business which we otherwise desire to proceed with. I am sorry to learn from the noble Lord that there is any surprise on the part of the Members of this House as to the Education Votes being taken to-night. I think I publicly stated this two or three nights ago, and the Notice has been on the Paper for two days. With regard to what is proposed to be done, my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board has already stated that we propose to take the Highways Bill as the First Order at the Morning Sitting to-morrow. With regard to Monday, we propose to take the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill. I am not able to say positively what Business we shall be able to proceed with on the Tuesday and the following days, but there is the remainder of the discussion on the Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Bill, which we had hoped might be concluded in one sitting, but which still remains—with, however, only a small amount of work to be done. There are the Admiralty and War Office Bill and the Inclosure Bill, which we are anxious to get forward, if possible; but I do not like to make promises, because if you make a promise you may find afterwards that the arrangements for one Bill clash with what can be done with regard to others. With regard to the Question put to me by the hon. Member for Limerick as to what day we propose to take the second reading of the Irish Intermediate Education Bill, I would remind him that Thursday, the 11th, has already been promised for the Irish Sunday Closing Bill, and the earliest day, subject to that arrangement, which can be appointed for the Bill to which the hon. Member refers is Monday, the 15th instant. If any change could be made between the one Bill and the other, it would be acceptable to the Government.


reminded the right hon. Gentleman, with regard to what he had said as to the Roads and Bridges Bill, that that measure was to be taken that night. Was he to understand that the Bill would be taken after Supply?


I hope we may be able to take it after the Estimates to-night.