HC Deb 05 April 1883 vol 277 cc1499-500

, who had the following Question on the Paper:—To ask the President of the Board of Trade, If he is correctly reported to have used, in a speech at Birmingham on March 29th, the following expressions with regard to the Bankruptcy and other Bills now before this House, and the action of the Conservative party:— I will not whisper it" (i.e. a charge of obstruction against the Conservatives), "I will say it upon the house tops. Why it is the common talk of the lobbies of the House of Commons that the Conservatives have determined that the Government shall not get through their legislative programme. The Government have had only one day out of 25" (this Session) "and that day it passed the second reading of the Bankruptcy Bill. The other 24 days were either wholly taken up with attacks upon the Government, or with the necessary and formal business of getting Supply, or with discussion on the Bills or Motions of private Members; and, if so, whether, in view of the fact that the debate on the Queen's Speech, embracing the whole programme of Government policy business for the Session, and such important questions as the administration of Ireland, the Kilmainham transaction, Irish distress, the relations of Great Britain with Egypt and other Powers, and the affairs of South Africa, lasted eleven days, and was practically Government business, and, in view of the fact that Supply is Government business, he can produce any other proof of his charge of "obstruction" against the Conservative party than that the Bankruptcy Bill passed its Second Beading in a single night; and, whether he is now prepared to withdraw the words above quoted? said, that as the Speaker had ruled that the Question could not be put, he wished to give Notice that, on going into Committee of Supply, he would call attention to the reckless and unjustifiable language used by the President of the Board of Trade on the 29th of March, and on other occasions.


I rise to Order. I wish to know if it is in accordance with the Rules of the House for an hon. Member to put a Notice upon the Paper of his intention to charge another Member with reckless and unjustifiable conduct?


I can see no reason for interposing. I understood the hon. Member for Eye to say that he intended to make a Motion upon the subject. [Mr. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT: Yes.] If it were the intention of the hon. Member simply to call the attention of the House to the conduct of another Member, without asking for the judgment of the House upon it, he would, undoubtedly, be out of Order.


I propose to call attention to the use by the President of the Board of Trade of language of the character I have mentioned, and to move a Resolution upon it.