HC Deb 20 March 1884 vol 286 cc311-4

I wish to ask the noble Lord a Question with regard to the conduct of Business. I see on the Notice Paper to-day the Navy Estimates, and also a Vote on Account for the Civil Service. I wish to ask, Whether it is intended to proceed with the Vote on Account, and, if so, at what hour; and, also, what course is going to be taken with regard to the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill, and whether there is any probability of the second reading being taken to-night; and, if not, what arrangements the Government will propose for going on with that Bill?


Sir, the Government propose to take a Vote on Account in respect of the Civil Service Estimates to-night, and the Navy Estimates will he taken at whatever hour they may be reached. With regard to the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill, as we were not able to take the second reading on Tuesday morning, although there appeared to be a general concurrence of opinion in the House, we propose to consider that Bill again at a Morning Sitting to-morrow. I wish also to give Notice that as it is possible, and even probable, that the end of the debate is very nearly reached, we shall propose to put down after that Bill the Committee on the Election (Hours of Polling) Bill, and after that the Sunday Closing (Ireland) Bill.


I wish to ask the noble Lord whether, in view of the fact that the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Bill involves a very wide question, in reference to which Members from Ireland differ very widely, and that, the Bill is absolutely certain to be talked out if the course announced by the noble Marquess is pursued, he will not consult the general feeling of Irish Members as to the choice of Government Bills relating to Ireland which he will put down for to-morrow's Sitting?


There is very little probability of the House being able at the Morning Sitting to-morrow to make progress beyond the second Bill I have referred to; and if the hon. Member think it to be impossible to dispose of the Bill I have named, there shall be put down as the third Order the Revision of Jurors and Voters List (Dublin County) Bill.


asked why, if Supply was urgent, it could not be taken after the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill to-morrow?


I would like to ask the noble Lord, after what conference has he decided that the Bill which he intends to put clown as third Order is likely to be one most pleasing to the House and having the best chance of being passed? Is the noble Lord aware that the Irish Government are pledged to the highest point that they can be pledged to go forward with the Sunday Closing Bill?


I would like to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Gibson) whether be is aware that the Bill against which he now hints opposition was read a second time without a single word of discussion on Monday night?


, as responsible for advising the Leader of the House with regard to Irish Business, might say that he had heard from many quarters that it would he impossible that the Sunday Closing Bill would have any chance of passing as the third Order on any day whatever; and with regard to the Jurors, &c., Bill, it was a very small Bill, that passed the second reading without any discussion, and he had every reason to believe the reason for that was that it was a Bill to which there was no serious opposition in any quarter of the House.


said, that the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. E. Stanhope) wished to take part in the debate in Committee on the Elections (Hours of Poll) Bill, and he was a Member of the Committee on Indian Railways which would be sitting to-morrow.


asked why the Elections Bill was to be taken before the Merchant Shipping Bill, which involved the loss of human life; and whether they were to understand that the Shipping Bill was adjourned sine die?


asked whether the noble Lord could give any assurance when the House would get to the Representation of the People Bill, which was of far greater importance and interest to the country generally than the Cattle Diseases Bill?


asked the Secretary to the Treasury for what amount it was intended to take a Vote on Account?


said, the Paper had been circulated for some days; the Vote on Account would be for two months.


asked whether there was any truth in the rumour that the Government proposed to take the Representation of the People Bill de die in diem?


The present necessities of Supply will be met, if we are able to obtain the Votes I have mentioned to-night; to postpone those Votes till to-morrow will make them too late for the operations be frequently described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Besides, there will be no certainty that we shall obtain the Votes at a Morning Sitting, on account of the Motions that may be made on the Motion that the Speaker do leave the Chair; and if we do get into Committee there is no certainty that the Votes will be obtained before we are compelled to break off. As to the Hours of Polling Bill taking precedence of the Merchant Shipping Bill, the President of the Board of Trade is not now in the House; but I am under the impression that he gave a distinct pledge to Members interested, that it should not be brought forward without ample Notice. In these circumstances, it would be impossible to bring it forward at one day's Notice. Thy Franchise Bill it is proposed to take on Monday next. As to proceeding de die in diem, the Government at present have no intention to ask the House to come to a resolution of that kind. With reference to the engagement of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. E. Stanhope) on the Committee on Indian Railways, I would point out that the House does not sit until 2 o'clock; there are Questions and preliminary Business; and the Cattle Diseases Bill will probably occupy some little time, so that when the Hours of Polling Bill is readied, it will be in the power of the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire to be here.


asked whether, if the general discussion on the Navy Estimates were not completed on the first Vote, it would not facilitate Business if an understanding were come to that it might be resumed on the second Vote?


I understand that has been done on a former occasion; and, so far as it depends upon the Government, it may be done again.


asked on what occasion the Navy Estimates would be taken after to-night?


said, that the proper time to settle that would be when Progress was reported.