HC Deb 06 June 1882 vol 270 cc235-6

wished to ask the First Lord of the Treasury a Question as to the Business of to-morrow. After many disappointments, he had obtained the first place to-morrow for the Motion of which he had given Notice relating to the administration of the Income Tax. He therefore asked whether the Government proposed to occupy the whole of to-morrow with the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Bill, or whether they would not consent to a portion of the Sitting being devoted to the discussion of the important subject which he wished to bring forward?


Sir, unless the Committee on the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Bill should terminate in the course of the Sitting to-morrow, I am afraid we must occupy the whole of the Sitting with it; and I have but a slender prospect to hold out to my right hon. Friend.


said, it appeared to him that the Business of Scotland and England was unduly postponed. He therefore asked the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, whether he would not apply the Rule of Urgency to the Prevention of Crime (Ireland) Bill?


said, that before the Question was answered, he would ask the Premier whether, having regard to the manner in which Ireland continually occupied the time of Parliament, he would find some other way out of the difficulty than that just proposed?


I think, as far as our present experience has gone, that the Rule of Urgency has been regarded, certainly it was so regarded last year, as a Rule that had reference to what is commonly known as Parliamentary Obstruction. Now, the position of the House at the present moment is a most unfortunate one, and no one feels that more strongly than I and my Colleagues do. Although the debates upon the Irish Crime Bill have been long, and we could have wished they had not been so long, yet I must say I do not think they have been of such a character as that we could justly tax them with the offence, if I may so call it, of Obstruction; and unless it could be so proved, I do not think we should be justified in asking the House to declare Urgency for this Bill?