HC Deb 17 November 1884 vol 293 c1853

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, since one Irish Bill has already passed this House, and since he has suggested the possibility of passing a Bill to settle the relations to one another of the Australian Colonies, Her Majesty's Government will immediately reintroduce the Bill to settle the relations between the two parts of this island by the appointment of a Scotch Secretary, upon which both parties were substantially agreed at the end of last Session, and by which a Minister may be forthwith provided to look after the Crofter question, and other urgent Scotch affairs? The hon. Member added that on reference to the Notice Paper, it would be seen that after the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer there was no more serious business than a Bill for Women's Suffrage.


We do not propose to bring in this important Bill at the present time. It may be quite true that the House will have its labours during this Sitting occasionally considerably shortened, or it may not be true that I should not reckon on our adjourning early to-night until we have actually adjourned. In that respect I should certainly not like to count my chickens before they are hatched. But we do not think that we could draw a distinction between the Scotch Bill to which the hon. Member refers and a number of other measures which are really both important and urgent. This measure is doubtless important, and I do not deny that it is urgent; but I do not think that it is a measure that could be, with satisfaction to the House or in conformity of the spirit of the pledges which we have given to the House, taken out of the mass of the Government measures hanging over and propose it at once to the House for adoption.