§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
asked the Prime Minister, Whether he was now prepared to make the statement he had promised in regard to the probable course of Public Business, and also what was the character of the Bill with reference to the Revenue and National Expenditure, of which Notice had been given by the Secretary to the Treasury? He thought it had been understood that no more Bills were to be brought in. If the measure was of a technical character, there could be no objection to it; but if it was a Bill of any importance, he should object to its being proceeded with.
said, he was sorry that, in the absence of his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury, he could not explain exactly the purport of the Bill to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred; but, of course, they had to provide, as a financial necessity, funds for the purpose of the Arrears Bill and certain purposes of the Land Act by way of loan. He thought, also, it would be absolutely necessary to make provision for meeting the deficiency on the Friendly Societies' account. These would be the principal objects of the Bill. His promise yesterday referred mainly to the Bills before the House, which stood thus. There were certain Bills as to which there was no opposition whatever. These were—first, the Militia and Reserve Forces Consolidation Bills. He did not say that they were not blocked; but hon. Gentlemen were well aware that blocking now, in most instances, had no reference whatever to the merits of the particular measure, but was resorted to for some other purpose, which the Gentlemen using the power of blocking had in view, and which they sought to obtain through the liberal use of the privilege of blocking. There were next the Municipal Corporations Bill, on Report, the Registry of Deeds (Middlesex) Bill, the Bombay Civil Fund Bill, the Isle of Man (Officers) Bill, the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Bill, the Government Annuities and Assurance Bill, the Parcel Post Bill, the Expiring Acts Continuance Bill, and the Suspensory Bill for Corrupt Practices, not yet introduced. There was another Bill, the 375 Entail (Scotland) Bill, in respect to which he was not aware, as yet, whether there was any opposition whatever. It was certainly very much desired by the great majority of Scotch Members. There was one other Bill, with regard to which he had hoped to be able to speak positively to-day; but he was not so able. It was the Police Superannuation Bill. There had been communications going on about it to-day, and he should have been in a position to make a definite announcement to the House had it not been absolutely necessary for the Home Secretary to go down to Osborne on business connected with the accession of the Bishop of Newcastle to his See. He would, therefore, reserve until Thursday any absolute declaration respecting the Bill.
We propose tomorrow to take the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Bill first, as that Bill is merely for Eeport—and then to go on to Supply.
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
asked that an hour might be named after which the second set of Estimates would not be taken. He had left the House last night in the expectation that the Civil Service Estimates would not come on, and to his surprise he found they were taken at a late hour. In former days, it was not considered the right thing to take them after midnight. Although the time they were now taken had been considerably extended, he did not think they ought to be taken very late without due Notice.
said, it had been understood that they were to go forward on every occasion with Votes in Supply. Last night, when the Vote relating to India was disposed of, it was after half-past 12 o'clock, and Bills which were blocked could not come on. It was then for the Government to consider whether they should lose the remainder of the evening, or take Supply.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, the House was anxious to know exactly what would be taken on Thursday. There was an impression that the Amendments of the House of Lords on the Arrears Bill would probably be taken for consideration on Thursday. Was that the case?
No, Sir; we have no intention of taking the Lords Amendments on Thursday or on Friday. We propose to postpone them.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the remainder of the Army Estimates would be taken this week or next week?