HC Deb 11 June 1883 vol 280 cc223-4

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Whether, as the Agricultural Holdings Bill is now postponed until after the Committee of the Corrupt Practices Bill, the Government will consider the advisability of re-committing it, in order to incorporate it in the Clauses of "The Agricultural Holdings Act, 1875," to which reference is made in the Bill?


said, that before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question he should like to put another Question to him on the same subject, and, with the indulgence of the House, he would say one word in explanation. When the Committee on the Tenants' Compensation Bill was fixed for that day, they were led to believe that the Committee would be proceeded with with as little delay as possible. The right hon. Gentleman had, in fact, given a pledge to that effect to the Member for Gloucestershire. He wished to ask the Government whether, having regard to that understanding, they would consent not to postpone the Agricultural Holdings Bill until after the Committee of the Corrupt Practices Bill?


said, he also should ask the Government to reconsider their decision, as if the Agricultural Holdings Bill was not taken first, it would come on when hon. Members interested in it would have to be away attending to Quarter Sessions.


In answer to the Question of my hon. and gallant Friend (Colonel Kingscote), I can add nothing now to the answer given by the Prime Minister on the subject on Friday last to the right hon. Baronet the Member for North Devon. The Government are disposed to look favourably on the proposal, but wish to reserve their judgment as to the time and mode of giving effect to it until further progress has been made with the Bill. With regard to the Question of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin) as to whether the Government will give precedence to the Committee on the Agricultural Holdings Bill, I can only say that when I stated what I did on a former occasion that was the intention and view of the Government. It was not an engagement on the subject; and I can only say that it has now been determined that it would be better to proceed with the Corrupt Practices Bill.


I beg to give Notice that on Thursday I will ask the Prime Minister what has since occurred to alter the intention of Her Majesty's Government to proceed with as little delay as possible with this Bill?