HC Deb 21 May 1878 vol 240 cc360-2

, who had the first Motion on the Paper relating to Religious Denominations (Scotland), said, that he had no wish to interfere with the course of an important debate, and expressed his willingness to postpone his Motion, provided that other hon. Members who had Motions on the Paper took the same course.


said, he would also postpone his Motion relating to Pauper Children in Irish Workhouses.


said, that as he had a Motion on the Paper relating to the Sales of Irish Church Lands, he wished to explain the course which he proposed to take. He should be very unwilling to interfere between the House and the debate on the movement of the Indian troops under ordinary circumstances; but the circumstances under which his Motion appeared on the Paper that evening were not of an ordinary character. Originally, he introduced a Bill upon the subject, and the fact of his Motion appearing on the Paper that evening was the result of the proceedings which took place in connection with that Bill. He moved the second reading of that Bill about a quarter-of-an-hour after midnight, and the Government deliberately promoted a "count-out." ["Oh, oh!"] The Government, he repeated, deliberately promoted a "count-out"——


The hon. Member is stating the course which he proposes to take with regard to his Motion; and it is quite out of Order on his part to discuss the conduct of the Government on a late occasion, with regard to a Bill not now before the House.


said, that he wished to explain the reasons of the course which he intended to take.


The hon. Member is entitled to explain; but is not entitled to call in question the proceedings of the Government on a late occasion.


, resuming, said, that he merely wished to explain his reasons for pursuing the course he had pursued, and which he was about to pursue. As a result of the "count-out," he was compelled to bring the matter forward in the form of a Motion. It did not relate to the subject-matter of the Bill, but was rather a consequence of the proceedings which took place in connection with the Bill, and of some matters that happened subsequently. He feared that he should not be able, under ordinary circumstances, to bring forward his Motion with any certainty in the event of his postponing it now. If he endeavoured to bring it on again, there might be another "count-out," and, consequently, he might be precluded from submitting the very important question involved in his Motion to the decision of the House; and, unless the House decided on that question that Session, an opportunity for coming to a decision would have disappeared, because the lands would all have been sold, and the same opportunity would not be available next Session. He, therefore, felt himself in a position of very considerable responsibility in reference to the question. On the one side, he did not wish to prejudice the fate of his Motion by setting the House against him; whilst, on the other hand, he felt it his duty to use every means and all diligence to obtain the opinion of the House on the subject as soon as possible, because mischief was being done every day. What he should propose was this—if the Government would undertake to keep a House for him next Tuesday, and to use their influence with their Supporters to prevent any Notices of Opposition being given to his Motion, so as to prevent it from being brought under the operation of the Half-past 12 o'clock Rule, then he should be happy to put his Motion down for next Tuesday. Otherwise he should, however reluctantly, feel it his duty to move his Resolution at whatever time it might be reached.


Sir, I can only say that I will do everything in my power to keep a House; but, of course, I cannot promise that my efforts will be successful.


Sir, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised to do everything in his power to keep a House. That is perfectly satisfactory, and I shall not proceed with the Motion.

Motion accordingly postponed until Thursday next.


intimated his readiness to postpone the Motion of which he had given Notice, relative to the riots and bloodshed attending the enforcement of the collection of the new licence tax at Surat.