§ MR. BUCHANAN
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, If it is still his intention to take the Second Reading of the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Bill on Saturday; and, if so, whether, as it is the only Bill relating to Scotland introduced by the Government into this House, it will be placed first on the Orders of the Day?
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question, he wished to ask whether he was aware that out of about 48 Scotch Members in the House last night, 36 were anxious that the Bill should come on, and that the opposition to it was really from a very small section?
My statistics of the number of Scotch Members are not so accurate or precise as those of the hon. Gentleman; but I am under the impression that a very largo proportion of the Scotch Members are desirous that the Bill should go on, and it will be brought to issue in the regular manner. With respect to the scope of the first Question, it is our intention and our pledge to proceed with the second reading of the Educational Endowments Bill 452 on Saturday. That, of course, presumes that the Sitting of the House is confined within a moderate number of hours, because it is not to be considered that this Bill is to be carried to an all-night Sitting. I am given to understand that the Electric Lighting Bill is not likely to occupy any great length of time, and, therefore, I am in hopes that the Scotch Educational Endowments Bill will be taken at a very early period of the day.
§ MR. O'SULLIVAN
wished to know whether the Prime Minister would not also put down the Poor Law Guardians (Ireland) Election Bill for to-morrow?
said, he could not do that, because the House had been asked to assent to a Saturday Sitting for a definite purpose.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, he supposed it might be taken for granted that no other Government Bills besides those that had been mentioned would be taken on Saturday, and that no private Members' Bills would be taken?
§ MR. BUCHANAN
asked whether the Educational Endowments Bill would be taken immediately after the Electric Lighting Bill, and if the right hon. Gentleman declined to name an hour after which the Bill would not be taken? He should also like to ask whether the Prime Minister was himself one of the 36 Scotch Members supposed to be in favour of the Bill, and how many Members of the Government were included in that number?
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he gathered that the first Bill to be taken was the Electric Lighting Bill, and the second Bill was to be the Scotch Education Bill. He wished to know whether an hour could be fixed after which the Sitting would not be prolonged, or whether it was to be prolonged indefinitely, and whether private Members could put Bills down for the Sitting?
It is in the discretion of private Members whether they put them down, and of the House whether it proceeds with them. The Government will move the adjournment 453 of the House when their Bills are disposed of. To fix the precise hour at which a Sitting shall close sometimes holds out a dangerous inducement to certain Members to prolong discussion. There is an understanding that the Sitting will be closed at a time compatible with the convenience of Members. Motions stand in the same position as private Members' Bills.
asked the Chairman of Committees, whether, considering the importance of the changes he proposed to make in the Standing Orders respecting Private Bills, he would put them down for some day other than Wednesday, when they could be discussed in a fuller House than on that day?
§ MR. LYON PLAYFAIR
said, that the state of Public Business would render it impossible to take them on Wednesday, and he would, therefore, put them down for Tuesday week.