HC Deb 29 April 1881 vol 260 cc1422-3

My hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General has a Notice to give this evening with respect to the procedure of the House, and I am anxious to introduce the subject without delay to the House. We have made such inquiries as we could with respect to the probabilities of our passing, without serious difficulty, a Bill for the alteration of the Parliamentary Oaths Act, as we thought there appeared to be a very widely-spread acquiescence, if not concurrence—[Mr. WARTON: No!]—I did not say it was unanimous—a very widely-spread acquiescence in the idea that that was the only method in which a question, otherwise somewhat menacing to the dignity of the House, could be dealt with. My hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General will give a Notice to that effect to-night. I trust, and indeed I think I may take it for granted, that the House will be desirous to have the Bill in their hands as soon as possible; and, therefore, I shall assume that there will be no opposition to bringing it in for the purpose of printing and laying it on the Table on Monday evening. Then, assuming so far, we should propose to proceed with it at a Morning Sitting; and as the Bill will consist of only a very few lines, we should propose, in the interest of all parties, to take that Morning Sitting on Tuesday, if that be agreeable to the general view of the House. But if it be not agreeable to the general view of the House, if I should learn between this and Monday, or on Monday, that it would be desirable to take it on a later day, we would then postpone the Morning Sitting. I wish to observe that a discussion on the introduction of a Bill could not be taken at a Morning Sitting. A Morning Sitting is for disposing of the Orders of the Day, and such a discussion could not conveniently be taken, except in the shape of an adjourned debate.


I did not quite understand when it is proposed that leave shall be asked to bring in the Bill?


On Monday night. Notice will be given to-night, and leave asked on Monday night.


hoped that, if the course proposed to be taken were adopted, he would not be precluded from proceeding with the Motion of which he had given Notice on the subject. He begged to ask when the Prime Minister anticipated that the Bill would be placed in the hands of hon. Members?


No doubt the Bill will be placed in the hands of hon. Members on the first morning after leave has been given to introduce the measure. The Bill is not a long one, and has been already drawn; but we cannot place it in the hands of hon. Members until leave has been given to introduce it.


gave Notice that if the Motion for Leave to introduce the Bill were not made before half-past 12 o'clock on Monday night he should oppose it.