§ BARON DE FERRIERES
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, considering that private Members' nights were subjects to counts out, and a great waste of time was thus occasioned, Her Majesty's Government would, in order to expedite Public Business, take more than two nights a-week for the discussion of the important measures now awaiting the consideration of Parliament?
Sir, I am afraid that the Government have no power in the matter, and that before they could 468 attain the very desirable object of the hon. Member, they would have to submit his proposition to the House. In pleading this cause before me, the hon. Member is appealing to a tribunal which may not be altogether impartial. I can only say that whatever donations and contributions of time the House may be graciously pleased to make to us with the view of expediting the Public Business will be most thankfully received by us.
MR. MAC IVER
said, he also desired to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman respecting the course of Public Business and the rights of private Members. It would be in the recollection of the House that there was a very late Sitting on Monday night, and that the Government took until 3 o'clock on Tuesday morning for the consideration of the Estimates, and that very large sums of money were voted at that hour. It would also be in the recollection of the House that, entirely through the fault of the Government, a "count out" took place on Tuesday night. [Cries of "Order!"]
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is entitled to state such facts as are necessary to make his Question clear; but he is out of Order in referring to controversial matters.
MR. MAC IVER
said, he wished to ask the Prime Minister, whether he would consent to the debate being adjourned to-night at a reasonable hour, in order that the important Motions which stood upon the Notice Paper for tomorrow night might be properly considered. By taking the Estimates at so late an hour a double injustice was done—in the first place, the House was too weary to listen to private Members' Motions brought forward on the following night; and, secondly, the Estimates were passed in a hurry, without due consideration being given them. The fault of the recent "counts out" lay entirely with Her Majesty's Government.
I am not quite sure, Sir, that I entirely comprehend the hon. Member's Question. But I do understand it to contain a request to me to pledge myself to consent to the adjournment of the debate that is about to be resumed at an early hour this evening. I certainly cannot give such a pledge, because I believe that it is the 469 very general wish of the House that that debate shall be brought to a close to-night.