§ MR. SHEIL
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is aware that in the Standing Committee Boom E. there is not space for more than some fifteen person in the part reserved for the Members of the House who are not Members of the Committee; how Members of the House are to obtain an authoritative knowledge of the proceedings and speeches in the Standing Committees; and, whether since the reports of debates in this House which appear in the newspapers frequently differ, and that an official reporter attends on Select Committees, whose reports of the proceedings of such Committees are sent to every Member of the House, if he would consider whether an official report of the proceedings and speeches in the Standing Committees should not be made? I wish to say that the last part of the Question does not appear on the Paper in the form in which I gave the Notice.
Sir, I can only answer the Question as it stands upon the Paper; and, in doing so, I must refer the hon. Member to the explanation I have already given to him, when he put the Question tome the other day. Of course, the hon. Member is aware that I have no authority to settle the accommodation provided in the Grand Committee Rooms; but I understand the Question to be an appeal to me in regard to a complaint as to a certain state of things which is alleged to exist in connection with the now Grand Committee Rooms. If that is so, I am bound to say I think it would be a mistake, at this moment, at the very commencement of the trial of an interesting and important experiment, if a very large provision were made, on the assumption that there would always be a great number of the Members of this House in attendance upon the proceedings of these Grand Committees. As far as I am able to judge, I believe that the space allotted to Members of the House who are not Members of the Committees is sufficient. Then, with regard to obtaining authoritative knowledge of the proceedings of these Committees, as the hon. Gentleman knows, he has the different journals 86 to refer to, and he has, in addition, the power of personal attendance, in which he is not likely to be obstructed; and, finally, he has the power of referring to the Report of the proceedings of the Committees, which is supplied from day to day to this House. With regard to the hon. Member's final interrogatory, whether, as an official reporter attends on Select Committees, whose reports of the proceedings of such Committees are sent to every Member of the House, I would consider whether an official report of the proceedings and speeches of the Standing Committees should not be made, I may say that the case, with regard to the Select Committees, is this—the Questions and Answers are reported in full, and in shorthand, and they appear afterwards as official reports of the evidence; but there is no official report of the proceedings of a Select Committee as far as the speeches are concerned neither in shorthand nor in full. All that is given is the proceedings in the same sense as the record of the proceeding of this House. The reporting of speeches in Select Committees has never been thought of. I have already said, and I must adhere to the opinion I have expressed, that it would be premature and inconvenient in the present position of the subject to consider the question of official reports of speeches in connection with the sittings of the Grand Committees.