HC Deb 14 March 1879 vol 244 cc963-6

Order for Committee read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."—(Mr. Sclater-Booth.)


who had on the Paper a Notice of a Resolution on the subject of the North-West Frontier of India, then rose to address the House on this question, but—


informed the hon. Baronet that he was under a misapprehension, as the Question now before the House was, that the House do go into Committee on the District Auditors Bill.


said, he supposed the Rule was, when the Motion against Supply was carried the Motion stood, and, in accordance with that Rule, this Motion stood till Monday next, unless it was set up again; but he would suggest to the Government whether they would not consider, under the circumstances of this case, that it would be better to set Supply up again, in order to give the hon. Baronet an opportunity of addressing the House.

Question again put.


said, he omitted to mention that he intended to conclude his observations with a Motion for the adjournment of the debate, and, therefore, he wished to give his reasons why he thought the Government ought to agree to the adjournment of the debate on this particular Bill. Those who were interested in the Paper were placed in a very awkward position by reason of the Government being defeated, and they were not prepared to go into several of the questions on two or three very important Bills on the Paper—the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill, which was a very important matter, and which could not properly be discussed just now; the Prosecution of Offences Bill, which introduced the question of English procedure; and the District Auditors Bill, which was not expected to come on, and the opposition to it was not ready. He, therefore, now begged to move the adjournment of the debate.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."—(Mr. Parnell.)


said, he hoped the hon. Member for Meath would not press his Motion. He thought the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Sir George Campbell) hardly saw the effect of the last Motion—it had negatived the Motion to go into Committee of Supply. It was not the intention of the Government to proceed that evening with the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill.


said, he now perceived that he had no right to call attention to the subject of the North-West Frontier of India to-night. He had spoken formerly under a misapprehension that it was because of his not rising more quickly that his opportunity had been lost. The subject was most important, and he hoped the Government would give an opportunity for its ventilation.


observed, that he had no desire to stand in the way of the Government Business on the Paper, and he would therefore withdraw his Motion for the adjournment.


said, he objected to the policy, adopted by the Government of late years, of transferring the charges from the Local Government Board to the ratepayers.


said, the same amount of contribution from the Votes of Parliament would be continued as in former years. The whole of the money which was now applicable to the salaries of the auditors was either derived from Votes of Parliament or local rates. No difference was made by the Bill in this respect. The only difference now proposed was, that the Guardians, with other local authorities, should pay the ad valorem stamp. It was not to be regarded as a Guardians' question, but as a ratepayers' question; and he was astonished that his hon. Friend should try to sow dissension amongst different classes of ratepayers. The Bill would really benefit all classes of ratepayers alike. One-half of the expenses of the auditors would be ultimately defrayed by the local rates. The whole of the salaries of the auditors would be paid by the Votes of Parliament; but the Public Exchequer would be recouped to the extent of 50 per cent.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," put, and agreed to.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clauses 1 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 11 (Repeal of Acts).

MR. SCLATER-BOOTH moved the following Amendments:—

In page 4, line 33, leave out after "repealed," to end of Clause; page 4, line 39, after "day," insert— Or from recovering any expenses already incurred, or which may hereafter be incurred, by him under section sixty, sub-section eight, of 'The Elementary Education Act, 1870.'

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

On the Motion of Mr. SCLATER-BOOTH, the following Clause was agreed to, and added to the Bill, after Clause 11:—

(Saving of certain fees and expenses.)

"Nothing in this Act shall prevent a district auditor from recovering any sum in respect of an audit held by him prior to the twenty-fifth day of March one thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine, or in respect of an audit of accounts made up to some day prior to that day, and the audit of which might have been held before the said day, or for recovering any expenses incurred, or which he may hereafter incur, in any proceedings which he is authorised or required to take or defend under the statutes in that behalf."


On the Motion of Mr. SCLATER-BOOTH, the following Amendment was made:— in page 1, line 9, after "and," leave out "it is expedient to make further provision," and insert— Whereas it is expedient that in future the whole of such remuneration and expenses should be paid out of moneys voted by Parliament, and that in lieu of the amount now so paid out of local rates an equivalent sum should be raised by means of stamps in manner hereinafter mentioned, and also that further provision should be made.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Monday next.