HC Deb 27 July 1883 vol 282 cc788-90

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in the event of time not being found to finish the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Bill, and to deal with the Local Government (Scotland) Bill, he will consider the advisability of a Sitting on Saturday to dispose of the Scotch Bills?


said, that before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question, he hoped he might be permitted to ask whether it was in his recollection that last year, when the Scotch Members endured a Saturday Sitting, it was at the close of the Session of a very exceptional character, and was for the promotion of measures about which there was a very general agreement; but that, in the present Session, there was nothing of a remarkable character that he knew of, and the measures to which the Question referred were susceptible, at all events, of great varieties of opinion?


I know that the House of Commons is very averse to Saturday Sittings; but, at the same time, these Sittings are usually reverted to towards quite the close of the Session; and when the time has arrived when Gentlemen had to make their choice between sitting on Saturday and postponing the Prorogation for a day, then the question becomes rather pinching, and that reluctance and natural horror which they feel to Saturday Sittings begins to be a little abated. With regard to these Bills, I am in hopes that we may be able to deal with them in the course of next week. But I certainly should hold myself free—though I do not wish to press unduly on the inclination of the House—as we should then be in the month of August, and looking forward to the early close of Business—if we are not able to deal with the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Bill conclusively, and with the Local Government Board (Scotland) Bill as to its second reading in the course of next week, I should think it quite convenient, and according to the spirit of our usual proceedings, to submit to the House that we should have a Sitting on Saturday.


trusted the Prime Minister would let the House know as early as possible whether there was to be a Saturday Sitting next week.


I will endeavour to do that.


gave Notice that when it was proposed to hold a Saturday Sitting for the disposal of Scotch Business, he should oppose the Motion, because it would come to be a precedent of a very unpleasant character, to consider that a Scotch Saturday was the obvious way of dealing with Scotch Business.


said, that if the right hon. Gentleman would give a Saturday for Irish Business, he and his Friends would be very glad.