Motion made, and Question proposed,
That Committees shall not sit To-morrow, being Ascension Day, until Two of the clock,
and have leave to sit until Six of the clock, notwithstanding the sitting of the House."— (Mr. Dodson.)
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
, in opposing the Motion, said, he wished to speak with sympathy and respect in regard to religious observances; but it was well known that those who were most attentive to such duties attended Service at 8 o'clock in the morning. If the Committees, therefore, sat at the usual hour, hon. Members would have an opportunity of attending at the hour mentioned. [Mr. WARTON: Oh!] The Motion referred only to Committees; and the effect of passing it would be that about 12 or 15 Committees, including the Standing Committee on Law, &c., would meet to-morrow at 2 instead of at 12 o'clock, and half the working day would be lost. No doubt, they got permission to sit until 6 to make up for it; but experience showed that that permission was seldom taken advantage of. This was a serious matter. In proof of that, he stated that a Bill like the Manchester Ship Canal Bill cost as much as £1,500 a-day for Parliamentary expenses. Besides, town clerks, solicitors, members of municipalities, and other important functionaries were kept in town, and the greatest inconvenience was thus caused to municipal and great commercial bodies. The town clerk of a large city had just told him that they all looked on Ascension Day with dread, because of the expense and inconvenience caused by this arrangement. For the reason he had stated, he would oppose the Motion.
§ MR. WARTON
said, he supported the Motion, but thought that it ought to be insisted on that the Committees should sit till 6 o'clock. For himself, he should go to church at 11 o'clock, as usual.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 93; Noes 37: Majority 56.—(Div. List, No. 100.)