HC Deb 26 August 1880 vol 256 cc99-102

asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether, having regard to the approaching termination of the Session, he can now name a day when the Addresses for the appointment of the Commissions to inquire into Corrupt Practices will be moved?


asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether, having regard to the fact that so many Members are desirous of leaving town, he will fix the day for moving Addresses to the Crown for Royal Commissioners to inquire into the alleged corrupt practices in certain Parliamentary Boroughs?


Sir, I am afraid I can only give the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gibson) the answer which I have given so often—namely, that it is impossible, until we see our way to the termination of Supply, to make any arrangement as to the day on which we shall propose to move for the Addresses for the appointment of the Commissions to inquire into Corrupt Practices. We still hope that Supply may be completed on Monday night. If so, my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General will, on an early day next week, move for the appointment of these Commissions. In the present state of uncertainty it would be impossible for me to give any more definite answer than this. It may be, perhaps, convenient that I should take this opportunity to mention that I understand it would be very generally for the convenience of the House that we should sit on Saturday at 12 o'clock, for the Committee on the Burials Bill. We shall propose also, if there is time, to proceed with the second reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill; and, if it should be convenient for the House, with any other Government Business on the Paper. To-night I will also just mention the hope that we may be allowed to enter upon Supply without any delay this evening. I observe that there are on the Paper a large number of Notices on going into Committee of Supply, which, of course, hon. Members have a right to move; but, as I stated on Tuesday night, the Business of Supply is assuming really a very urgent character, and as it is probable there will be considerable discussion on the Irish Votes, I trust the House will go into Committee without any unnecessary delay.


I presume it is only intended to take Government Business on Saturday; in fact, that the Sitting is to be given for the purpose of enabling the Government Business to be proceeded with.


Certainly, that is our intention.


asked the Government, before they gave their irrevocable assent, to consider whether they could not pass one solitary Bill for Ireland this year, the Bill of the hon. and learned Member for Kildare (Mr. Meldon) with reference to the registration of voters in Ireland. The Bill now stood for the stage of Report; and he would only urge upon the noble Marquess the propriety of making some exception in favour of a Bill which had the unanimous assent of the House in all its stages up to this time, and so permit the Irish Members to return to Ireland and say that they had, at all events, obtained one measure.


said, he had a Notice on the Paper with reference to the Navy; but, in compliance with the appeal of the noble Marquess, he did not intend to proceed with it. He proposed to take it to-morrow, when he understood there would be Supply put down for the Evening Sitting.


asked the noble Marquess to give an undertaking that the House should not sit beyond 6 o'clock on Saturday.


hoped that, before the Session terminated, a statement would be made respecting Eastern Affairs, and that there would be a discussion on the subject. He would like to know from the noble Marquess when that statement would be made; and, whether it would be convenient to take the discussion on the Appropriation Bill, or in any other form?


In reply to the hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. J. Cowen), I think, if a debate on foreign affairs is desired, it will probably be most convenient to raise the discussion on the Appropriation Bill. In reply to the hon. and gallant Baronet (Sir Walter B. Barttelot), I think it would be very inconvenient if I were to lay down any hard-and-fast rule as to the hour at which we shall rise on Saturday. I think, also, it would not be conducive to the despatch of Business if it was understood that we are to rise at 6 o'clock on Saturday night. I wish very much that I could respond to the appeal of the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. Parnell). The Bill he refers to has met with considerable support from all parts of the House; but on the next page of the Notice Paper I see a great many Amendments to it, and I do not think it would be fair to the House generally, when we ask the House to give way for the convenience of the Government, that we should make an exception in favour of a Bill brought in by a private Member. If the hon. Member could induce some of those hon. Members who have Notices of Amend- ment down to the Bill to withdraw them, perhaps the House might not be indisposed to agree to his request.