§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, How the first new Rule of Procedure, if adopted, would operate in the case of a series of Amendments on going into Supply; and, whether the term "Question under discussion" will mean the original Motion that Mr. Speaker do leave the Chair, or whether it will have reference to each of the series of Amendments in succession as they become the subject-matter of debate; and, in the latter case, what is to happen when, the first of such series having been negatived, the subsequent Amendments can only be debated, and cannot be put from the Chair as substantial Amendments to the main question? The right hon. Gentleman said he asked this Question because he apprehended that the Rule of Procedure to which it referred was rather a development of the existing practice of the House with regard to the Previous Question. It was a well-known incident of that practice, and laid down in the work of Sir Erskine May, that the Previous Question could not be moved on an Amendment.
That, I believe, which the right hon. Gentleman has just mentioned is a well-understood portion of the Procedure of this House; but this Rule, which establishes a new Procedure, will not, of course, be governed by the practice. Of course, I have no 1021 authority to expound any Resolution which the House may adopt; but the right hon. Gentleman is quite entitled to ask me in what sense we understand the proposed Rule. We understand the Resolution in the strict sense—that is to say, that the step taken shall refer to the actual Question then under debate, which the Speaker shall next put from the Chair, and to no other. For example, if the Question be an Amendment on going into Committee of Supply, the Question will be, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question;" and it is to that Question so put, and to that alone, that the terms of the Resolution will apply.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
called the Prime Minister's attention to the latter part of his Question relating to a series of Amendments subsequent to the first.
I think I have answered that, Sir. I have said that the Rule will have no application whatever except to the Question immediately to be put from the Chair.