HC Deb 28 March 1884 vol 286 cc1105-8

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [24th March].


I do not know whether it is absolutely necessary that anything should be positively decided to-night as to the subject which we discussed last night— namely, the adjournment of this debate. Of course, the second reading of this Bill will be proceeded with as the second Order on Monday, and I believe it would be a great convenience to the House generally that there should be some understanding arrived at as to the period at which this debate should be concluded. From what I have heard, I believe it would be possible that it should be concluded in the course of next week, and that it would be a great convenience to the House generally, and to hon. Members in making their arrangements for the Easter holidays, if there could be an understanding as to the time when the debate will be concluded. As I said last night, if the right hon. Gentleman opposite was disposed to use his influence with hon. Members who have Motions on the Paper, so as to obtain Tuesday for the resumption of this debate, then I think it might be possible to conclude the debate next week.


I am not sure that it is possible to come to any definite understanding at the present moment; but I agree with the noble Marquess that we should not prolong the discussion on the second reading beyond the Easter holidays; and although there are a very large number of Members on both sides of the House who are anxious to speak, I believe it is possible that an arrangement might be made by which the debate might be closed before the holidays. I do not know that it will be so easy to close it next week; but I think it may be possible to conclude it by Monday week. At all events, with regard to the proposal of the noble Marquess that we should do what we can to continue the debate on Tuesday, I think that is well worthy of consideration, and I would appeal to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Bridport (Mr. Warton), and other Gentlemen who have Motions on the Paper for that day, to waive their rights in order to continue this discussion. I do not think we can now fix a time for the resumption of the debate; but I hope we may be able to approach an understanding.


wished to put a Question to the noble Lord, or some other Member of the Government, with regard to their intention to make progress with the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill? He knew that some hon. Members below the Gangway were anxious to defeat the Bill; but the Government must remember that they were pledged to proceed with this Bill with all the despatch in their power. The Government were very anxious to press forward the Representation of the People Bill; but he had not seen, any earnest endeavour on their part to obtain that despatch with the Cattle Diseases Bill to which they had pledged themselves at the commencement of the Session; and when he said that, he meant that he did not recollect a single occasion on which that Bill had been taken as the first Order of the Day on a Government night. He hoped there would now be some understanding as to when the Government intended to proceed with the Bill.


said, he hoped the noble Lord would be able to give the House some notion on Monday as to what steps they intended to take with reference to the decision of the House this evening.


said the subject for which he had a place on Tuesday was one which he had brought before the House last Session; but the Government had not vouchsafed a single word with regard to what he then said. He had written to the noble Lord upon the subject, and he should wait till Monday for an answer.


said, he had certainly understood that a Morning Sitting was to be taken on Tuesday next for the Contagious Diseases Bill debate.


With regard to what has fallen from the hon. Member for Mid Lincolnshire (Mr. Chaplin), it is impossible for the Government to give any undertaking as to the time when they will take any other measure until the second reading of the Franchise Bill is disposed of. With reference to what the right hon. Gentleman opposite has said, our experience is not very favourable to the idea of making any progress with the Cattle Diseases Bill at a Morning Sitting. After the experience we have had, we cannot think it worth while to ask the House to proceed with that measure at a Morning Sitting at the expense of losing the day on which we might make further progress with the second reading of the Franchise Bill, which I think it would be convenient to the House to dispose of, if possible, next week, and, at all events, at the earliest possible time before the holidays. With regard to what the hon. and learned Member for Bridport said. I do not recollect the circumstances under which he put forward his Motion last year; but he has communicated with me, and I will place myself in communication with the House, and if some means can be taken to prevent the inconvenience to which he has referred, I shall be very happy to make a proposal. I am quite sure the desire of the House is that the House shall not be taken by surprise. I hope, under these circumstances, that the appeal that has been made may receive favourable consideration, and that we may be able to take Tuesday for the debate on the Franchise Bill.


said, that after the kind statement of the noble Lord, he would withdraw his Motion for Tuesday.


said, the Motion for which he had the second place on Tuesday was one which he had once before tried to bring before the House, and one which many hon. Members wished brought forward; but he should give way at once, in order to proceed with the Franchise Bill.

Debate further adjourned till Monday next.