§ In reply to Sir JOHN HAY.
said, that after the Notice he gave with regard to the Navy Estimates on Monday, he thought it better that that arrangement should stand. With regard to Tuesday, the very slow progress that had been made with the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill had 1237 thrown some doubt upon the Business to be taken on that day, and he was afraid he was not in a position to give a definite answer on that point. The Government was certainly most anxious that they should proceed at once with the Agricultural Holdings (England) Bill after the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill; and although certainly his noble Friend (the Marquess of Hartington) had promised—and the Government were bound by the promise—to bring to issue the question about Indian Expenditure in the middle of the month, yet he hoped the House would think that, on the whole, it would be better to postpone that for a few days rather than to allow it to interrupt the course of that important measure. He might say, with regard to the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill, that as far as the Government were concerned, they would have been inclined to ask the House for a Saturday Sitting for the purpose of getting through with that Bill, but that they were given to understand that there was a very great objection in the House to that course being taken. As he should be very sorry to introduce a fresh element of discord, he was, therefore, reluctantly compelled to give that up, and to run the risk of being able to carry through the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill on Friday.
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
asked the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) whether it was his intention to proceed with his Motion in reference to the Franchise to-morrow evening? He understood that the hon. Member on Monday last had said that he would not proceed with the Motion; and, if so, it would give an opportunity to his hon. Friend behind him (Mr. Dawnay) to proceed with his Motion on the subject of Zululand.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
replied, that he had said he was ready to give up his precedence on Friday on going into Committee of Supply, in order to aid the Government in getting into Supply; but he was not aware that he had said he would give it up to the hon. Gentleman opposite. He had assumed that the hon. Gentleman opposite was going to follow his good example; but the question as to whether he would give up his precedence to the hon. Gentleman was 1238 one which he would probably take all night to consider about.
§ MR. GUY DAWNAY
wished again to ask the Prime Minister whether he would use his influence with the hon. Member for Northampton to withdraw his Motion, and give the House a proper opportunity of discussing so important a subject as that contained in the Motion next on the Paper—a subject which had been deemed of sufficient interest to merit a place in the Queen's Speech? He was sure that the natural loyalty of the hon. Member for Northampton would induce him to defer to any expression of the wishes of the right hon. Gentleman.
I speak under some difficulty, because neither the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton nor that of the hon. Member himself (Mr. Dawnay) is a Motion which I have any reason to regard with favour. With regard to my own own opinion, it would be most for the convenience of the House if the House were to go on with the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill. But I am afraid if the hon. Member for Northampton gave way, the hon. Gentleman opposite could not make his Motion in Committee of Supply. If my suggestion to go on with the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill to-morrow evening is not adopted, I cannot interfere with the hon. Member for Northampton.
§ MR. PARNELL
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether he would agree to postpone the Vote for the Secret Service?