HC Deb 08 June 1883 vol 280 cc31-3

asked the Prime Minister, When he answered a Question last night by the hon. and gallant Baronet the Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot), whether he was aware that, in replying to the right hon. Baronet (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), the Chancellor of the Duchy the other night stated that he would not like to re-commit the Agricultural Holdings Bill, because he desired to go on with it next Monday, and to re-commit it, in order to incorporate procedure clauses, would cause delay; whether he was aware that, in consequence of that answer, hon. Members understood that the Bill would be gone on with on Monday, and through next week; and, whether he did not consider it would cause inconvenience if that arrangement was altered?


, in reply, said, that at the time his right hon. Friend made the answer, the Government were not certainly aware that they would have the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill in a condition to go into Committee last night or today; and he agreed with the observations of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Sir Walter B. Barttelot) that it was better for the interest of both subjects not to mix the Committees upon Bills of this character. There was no difference whatever in the intention of the Government to proceed with these two Bills; but, on the whole, having already gone into Committee on the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill, they thought it would be for the convenience of the House that they should persevere with the Committee on the Bill first, and that was the intention they had formed. Some of the circumstances of the debate last night certainly tended to impress them that it was well there should be no appearance of hesitation on the part of the Government with respect to this Bill.


asked whether the Government were or were not going to accept the suggestion of his right hon. Friend (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach), that it was desirable to incorporate in the Agricultural Holdings Bill the clauses from the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1875, in order to avoid reference to two Acts? As there was now time given before proceeding with the Committee stage on this Bill he thought it would be desirable to take the course suggested and re-commit the Bill.


said, he did not think it would be desirable to take a course that should mix a re-discussion of all the old clauses with the discussion on the new clauses. The whole argument for introducing the old clauses was for convenience of reference. What they should take into consideration was whether they should not take the Bill through Committee as it was, and subsequently to re-commit it for the purpose of introducing the old clauses. He did not object to the proposal in principle; but they should have an opportunity of considering during the next few days what would be the best course to adopt.


said, he feared if the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill were to be carried through Committee before they again took up the Agricultural Holdings Bill they might not be able to deal with the latter Bill at all.


said, ho was sorry his hon. Friend should indulge in such gloomy anticipations. The Government entertained considerable confidence that both Bills might be disposed of within a time when it might be for the convenience of most Members of the House to attend.


asked the Prime Minister, Whether, since he had once successfully taken a Tuesday, he would not consider the propriety of taking another Tuesday, and of discontinuing the Morning Sittings, by which the working time of the Grand Committees was shortened, and the House was counted out regularly at 9 o'clock?


said, he thought ho should be acting more agreeably to usage, and the general feeling of the House, if he persevered for a short time in the course of the Motion which the House had granted the Government, and they could then form a judgment according to circumstances.



stated that the Business of next Tuesday would be the Committee on the Parliamentary Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices) Bill and a Morning Sitting.