§ Order for Committee read.1572
§ MR. ONSLOW
said, that before Mr. Speaker put the Question he would appeal to the right hon. Member who had charge of the Bill to know what course the Government intended to take with regard to it? If he was not mistaken, on Monday night it was proposed to take the Corrupt Practices Bill; and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not rather inconvenient to hon. Members to put down the Ballot Bill, as it had been put down, night after night, bringing people down to the House to discuss it, when there was not the remotest chance of its coming on? Under the circumstances, he would appeal to the right hon. Member who had charge of the Bill as to whether he could not defer the Committee stage until they had got through the Corrupt Practices Bill, or, at any rate, until they had disposed of the second stage of that measure? There was a great deal of analogy between these two Bills; and it appeared to him that it would be a great convenience to the House if the Government, instead of putting the Bill down for Monday, would say when they really intended to bring it on. Did they intend to bring it on as a Government measure immediately after the passing of the Corrupt Practices Bill, or did they intend that some other measure should intervene between the Committee stage of the Corrupt Practices Bill and the Ballot Bill? As the right hon. Gentleman to whom he put the question might know, he had taken a great deal of interest in the Ballot Bill; and he had been down in his place a great many nights expecting it to come on, in common with numbers of other hon. Members who sat on the Opposition side of the House. As he had said, it would be a convenience if the Bill were deferred until the Second Reading or Committee stage of the Corrupt Practices Bill had been disposed of; and if some Member of the Government would give them a distinct pledge that that course would be adopted they would be glad.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, the proposal before the House was not, as the hon. Member supposed for Monday, but for Tuesday, at a Morning Sitting. He could only say he hoped this Bill would come on speedily; and he should be extremely loth to postpone the Committee stage of the Bill until the Corrupt Practices Bill was through, as that 1573 might occupy a considerable time. He feared he could not give the promise for which the hon. Member asked; but he would promise to make every effort to bring the Bill before the House at the earliest possible time; and he was not without hope that that might be on Tuesday.
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE
said, he feared it would be the second Order; but he hoped it might be reached.
§ MR. R. N. FOWLER
said, he thought it was a proper course to put this off to Tuesday, and he hoped it would be brought on; but he feared that was not very likely. He wished to urge that, whenever the Bill was brought on, it would be at a time when there could be some discussion upon it.
§ Committee deferred till Tuesday next, at Two of the clock.