§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
I wish to ask the Prime Minister, What is to be the course of Business after the adjourned debate on the Address; and, whether he is able to give us any information as to what the Business will be next week?
There was a conversation in the House at an early 1732 hour this morning, when the desire was expressed that the limited number of hon. Gentlemen who are very anxious to address the House on the Irish part of the question should not be debarred from doing it on the Address, and the intimation was given that if they were debarred it might lead them to re-open the whole matter on Report. Under those circumstances, and after a protest, ineffectual as it generally is on the part of the majority, we settled the matter that the debate on the Address should not be proceeded with further last night, but that it should be closed to-night. It was, however, suggested from the other side of the House that very probably the House would consent to go forward with the Report also to-night, at a convenient hour, giving an opportunity for a discussion with reference to the intelligence as to Merv, such as that which the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. E. Stanhope) had given Notice to raise. If the debate on the Address should finish at a convenient hour, we think the House would do well to go forward with the Report at once.
I am afraid that I am precluded from entering on that subject. We are in expectation of an event of deep interest to the House, which, if it arises, will place the disposal of Business for a day or two a good deal beyond the control of the Government.
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
It will be a great convenience if the right hon. Gentleman will state what the Government mean by a convenient hour?
That is a reasonable request, and I should say 9 o'clock. Although we have no title or desire to limit the utterances of independent Members on the Merv news, yet, considering the present state of the question and the recent character of the intelligence, the declaration of the Government must necessarily be limited and reserved.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
Is it the intention of the Government to go on with other Business to-night, such as the Bill for the Representation of the People, which I find on the Paper?
Certainly it is not our intention to go on with the Bill 1733 for the Representation of the People, nor should we think of proceeding with the debate on Grand Committees, unless the other Business should finish at a comparatively early hour.
§ SIR WILLIAM HART DYKE
asked whether the Bill for the Extension of the Hours of Polling would be proceeded with to-night?
said, he believed his right hon. Friend (Sir Charles W. Dilke), if he could, would proceed with the Bill.
I think my right hon. Friend will consider that hour as the one fixed by the Rule of the House (half-past 12 o'clock).