HC Deb 07 February 1881 vol 258 cc257-8

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he will consent to the appointment of a Select Committee to review certain entries on. the Journals of the House in regard to its Proceedings, and to report thereon; also to report upon the changes in the Standing Orders required permanently to ensure that the Business of the House be conducted within the limits of reason and usage?


In reply to the first part of this Question, in which the hon. Gentleman inquires whether the Government will consent to the appointment of a Select Committee to review certain entries on the Journals of last week, of course I cannot be mistaken in supposing that the reference is to certain proceedings in which Mr. Speaker was specially concerned. My answer would be, on the part of the Government, that if a case has arisen for reviewing the conduct of Mr. Speaker, in our opinion that ought to be done by the Whole House, and not by a Select Committee. The second part of the Question is whether the Select Committee may report upon changes in the Standing Orders for the better regulation of our proceedings. With regard to that I have to say that I think there is less reason, at the present moment, than there has been for some years, to make an examination of the Standing Orders on this subject, in consequence of the proceedings which the House of Commons was pleased to take on Thursday night. And with regard to the general scope of the Question I ought to say, after what has formerly been stated in the House, that in my opinion, and in the opinion of my Colleagues, the whole matter has been quite sufficiently pronounced upon and settled by the decision at which the House arrived on Thursday; and that, in our opinion, it does not require, and will not admit with advantage at the present time of any further investigation.