§ MR. CLARE READ
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, considering the backward state of Supply, and the number of Amendments to the County Government Bill, he still expects to pass that measure as well as the Cattle Diseases Bill this year; and, should any doubt exist, whether he will allow the Cattle Diseases Bill, which has already passed the Lords, to take precedence of any English measure now before the House?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, undoubtedly it will be a matter of interest to proceed with the Cattle Diseases Bill, and as it has already passed the House of Lords we may hope there will be plenty of time for its discussion in this House. With regard to the County Government Bill, the case is this. If the debate upon going into Committee had been concluded—as we had every reason to hope it would be—before Easter, it would have been possible, by placing certain Notices of Amendments on the Paper, to have shortened the debate and attained the same end; but, unfortunately, the preliminary discussion was not concluded. The result is that it would be impossible to go into Committee on that Bill without a renewal of the debate. In these circumstances, and looking to the fact that the Bill is one of considerable importance, and contains some provision of great novelty, and that it requires the attention not only of this but of the other House of Parliament, it does not appear probable that we shall be able to pass it this year. It ought to be remembered that the Bill is of no immediate advantage, unless two other Bills which my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board has introduced—the Valuations Bill and the Highways Bill—are also proceeded with. We have, therefore, thought it better to take these two Bills before the County Government Bill. My right hon. Friend proposes on Friday to commit the Highways Bill pro formâ, in order to reprint it with Amendments which he hopes will facilitate its passage through the House.