HC Deb 14 July 1881 vol 263 cc853-4

said, he desired to ask the Prime Minister, Whether he can hold out the hope that, when the Irish Land Bill had been disposed of, opportunity can be found for a further discussion of the Church Patronage Bill?


said, he would ask the Prime Minister, before answering the Question, to say, Whether one of the conditions on which he undertook to endeavour to find an opportunity for the further discussion of the Bill was not that there should be no considerable opposition to its further progress?


Sir, I was not aware that there was any considerable opposition to the Bill in the limited form to which it has been reduced, and in which it appeared to meet with the very nearly unanimous assent of the House. In cases where we have got the very nearly unanimous assent of the House, there is a strong hope of making progress with a measure, and I thought that that was the case in this instance. Opposition, however, sometimes springs up in different quarters, and manifestations are given different from what was anticipated. I am therefore afraid that if there be considerable opposition to the measure—and this is a point on which I am unable to throw any light—my hon. Friend can have no rational hope of passing it this Session. If the opposition be not considerable, if there be merely a desire for discussion and explanation, after which the decision of the House would be accepted, then I would advise my hon. Friend not absolutely to give up the hope of finding some opening for this modest and exceedingly contracted Bill.