§ MR. LABOUCHERE
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is now in a position to state on what occasion he proposes to make his promised statement with regard to any steps intended to be taken in order to secure the efficiency of the Navy and the security of our coaling stations abroad?
I understand my hon. Friend to signify by this Question that the Franchise Bill ought to be postponed in order to have a discussion on the Navy. If that is his intention—
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
No, Sir. Perhaps I may be allowed to explain. I was in hopes that the Franchise Bill would be passed in two or three days, and I wanted to know if a statement about the Navy could be made immediately?
Well, I am very glad to have called forth that explanation. I am not quite so sanguine as the hon. Member, and I may now remind him that we are really in exactly the same position, with the exception of 906 the introduction of the Bill, that we were in on the first night of the Session. Indeed, I may say that we are in a worse position, because on the first night of the Session the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir Stafford Northcote), I think, wisely made an observation in his speech which appeared to contemplate, and which tended to bring about the close of the debate after what I might call the old fashion. I should be glad if my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) can give me any positive information as to that point. No doubt, when we see that we are going to be clear of the Franchise Bill, then I think some Question of this kind may very well be put, and I understand that right hon. Gentlemen opposite have it in view.
§ SIR DONALD CURRIE
I beg leave to give Notice that on the earliest available opportunity after the Franchise Bill has passed this House, I shall call attention to the state of the Navy, and the condition of our Eastern and Colonial Defences and Coaling Stations, and move a Resolution.