§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
, in moving—That the Orders of the Day subsequent to the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill be postponed until after the Notice of Motion for leave to bring in a Bill for promoting University Education in Ireland;said, he made the Motion in accordance with a promise which he had given the other evening to the hon. Member for Roscommon (the O'Conor Don), which was partly dictated by the consideration that the Government, by fixing a Bill of their own for a Morning Sitting, had prevented him from bringing forward his Bill on the occasion on which he would otherwise have done so. He (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) wished to take that opportunity of saying that the businesslike spirit in which the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill had been discussed encouraged the Government to hope that they would be able to make further progress with that measure that night; and he trusted that the House might be disposed to allow them to take a Morning Sitting to-morrow, in order to 404 go on with it, so that they might, if possible, get it through Committee before the House rose for the Whitsuntide Holidays.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he intended to take the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill? The House was aware that he had a Notice of some importance to be considered before the second reading of that Bill. He would also like to know when it was proposed to take the Criminal Code (Indictable Offences) Bill? At present it stood for Tuesday next; but it appeared to him impossible that the Government should propose to go on with it before the Whitsuntide Recess.
§ MR. KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN
said, that having balloted with praiseworthy perseverence during the Session, he had obtained first place to-morrow for his Motion on the subject of Brewers' Licences, and he thought it rather hard that at the very last moment Notice of a Morning Sitting should be given, which placed him at a disadvantage. He hoped the Government would take steps to make and keep a House at the Evening Sitting.
§ SIR JULIAN GOLDSMID
called attention to the fact that it was only at the last moment the Government informed the House that they proposed to hold a Morning Sitting; and he would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in future, it would not be possible for him to give some longer and more formal Notice with reference to the intention of the Government to hold Morning Sittings?
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
hoped the Government would not put down the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill for the Morning Sitting. This was a Bill in which he had several important Amendments to propose; and as he was j also a Member of the Parliamentary Reporting Committee which would meet at 12 o'clock to draw up their Report, and this was also a subject in which lie took a great interest, he trusted the Government would not then take the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill.
§ MR. E. JENKINS
seconded the appeal of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and pointed out the inconsistency of the reasons advanced by the Government for these Morning Sittings. Last year the Government excused themselves for taking early Morning Sittings because of the opposition offered to the Mutiny 405 Bill. This year they appeared to ask for it because of the business-like way in which the House had carried through the Business. Therefore, whether they opposed or facilitated Business, the Government seemed equally determined to have Morning Sittings.
§ MR. A. MILLS
considered the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill of much more importance than the question of Parliamentary Reporting, and he trusted the Chancellor of the Exchequer would proceed with it. He had himself a Notice on the Paper for to-morrow evening, but would willingly sacrifice it in order to promote Public Business.
§ MR. J. HOLMS
intimated that immediately the House got into Committee on the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill he should move that the Chairman do report Progress, in order that he might, in his humble judgment, save the time of the House by drawing the attention of the Committee to the real state in which they were in relation to that Bill. He thought it only fair and courteous to the House and the Government to state his intentions, and if the House wished, he would at once give his reasons for taking the step he proposed. [Cries of. "No," and "Goon."] He would state his reasons when the House was in Committee.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
stated, in reply to the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. New-degate), that the second reading of the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill would be moved on Monday after Supply, and that it was proposed to close Supply in good time, so that the Bill might be conveniently taken and discussed afterwards. "With regard to the Criminal Code (Indictable Offences) Bill, he was not at that moment in a position to answer all the Questions that had been asked, and he would be obliged to hon. Members if they would put them down on the Paper, so that he might consult the Attorney General. With regard to the observations of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Jenkins), he must demur to the idea that Morning Sittings were merely to be regarded as punishments; and in proposing them the sole object of the Government was to promote, in the best way they could, the Business of the House. He quite agreed that it was inconvenient that sudden Notice should be given of them; and it 406 was only in consequence of what had occurred in regard to the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill that he proposed to take the course which he had stated. He hoped that the House would consider the precedents, and would consent to a Morning Sitting on each of the two following Tuesdays, in order that they might make a real and important effort to get through the Bill before Whitsuntide. The Bill was one which ought to become law, certainly not without due consideration, but within a limited period. He would assure the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) that the Government would do the best they could to secure a House for the discussion of his Notice, the importance of which he frankly admitted.
§ MAJOR NOLAN
wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman could name a convenient day for the Dogs Regulation (Ireland) Act (1865) Amendment Bill, and whether it could be placed as the first Order on the Paper?
§ MR. DILLWYN
protested against the commencement of Morning Sittings a month before the usual time, and gave Notice that on the Motion to adjourn until 2 o'clock to-morrow he would oppose it.
§ SIR ANDREW LUSK
supported the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman had been very liberal and kind to hon. Members with regard to the Holidays of the House, and his liberality ought to be met in a similar spirit.
§ MR. MELDON
complained that all Government Orders were placed upon the list nearly every evening, thus causing considerable inconvenience to Members interested in any particular measure, and to the public. There was one Bill down on the Paper before them relating to Ireland, but which he did not wish to mention, and a deputation had come expressly from Ireland to watch its progress, and he did not believe the Government had the slightest intention of going on with it for the next two months. The Bill referred to by the hon. and gallant Member (Major Nolan) excited much feeling throughout Ireland, and Irish Members would find it very convenient if they knew when Irish Bills were coming on. In his opinion, the object of the Government in putting down all their Bills night after 407 night was the hope of their obtaining a "catch" vote.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, it was absolutely necessary that the Bills should be set down, inasmuch as it was impossible to say when a convenient time might arise for their discussion. He would endeavour to arrange with the Chief Secretary for Ireland that the Dogs Regulation (Ireland) Act (1865) Amendment Bill should be brought forward with all due regard to the convenience of hon. Members. He was anxious to give a general Notice as to the time when regular Morning Sittings were to begin, and with regard to others as full a Notice as he could.
§ In reply to Mr. HIBBERT,
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Ordered, That the Orders of the Day subsequent to the Army Discipline and Regulation Bill be postponed until after the Notice of Motion for leave to bring in a Bill for promoting University Education in Ireland.—(Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer.)