§ MR. TOMLINSON
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, with reference to the following paragraph in the speech made by him on the platform of the Preston Railway Station, on the 26th of September last, viz.:—Well, I have shown that the Franchise Bill was a very simple measure, but everything was done by the Tories, whenever they could, to make it complicated. Why, what did they do? They tried to bring in a woman's franchise. What was the object of that? Do you suppose they were very fond of the woman's franchise? If they were so fond of a Woman's Franchise Bill, why did they not bring one in when they were in office for six years? No, gentlemen, their object was to weight the Franchise Bill, and make, as I have said, the ship carry such a cargo as to swamp it;If he would state to what Amendment to the Franchise Bill of last Session he referred; and, whether he is aware that many members of the Tory Party, including some of the Leaders, have supported female franchise for some years past?
I answered a portion of this Question yesterday, and I am now asked to state what Amendments in the Franchise Bill of last Session I referred to. Perhaps I ought to say, with regard to this passage, although I believe it is correctly reported, that on the occasion which has drawn the attention of the hon. Member, the station at Preston—an absolute exception to all the other stations visited in my journey Northward—was in a state of perfect chaos. Hence my reference to this matter was very curt, and was not attended with the explanations which, under other circumstances, I should have been disposed to give. That, I hope, will in some degree satisfy the hon. Gentleman; and I am quite certain that, if he had been a witness of the state of things, he would perfectly well have understood the statement I now make. I, of course, referred to the debate on women's suffrage, and to no other Amendment.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would not give an answer to the Question, which was, What Amendments he referred to?
Yes, Sir; I have answered it. I ought also to say that I am under the impression that some Members of the Tory Party, like a great many Members of the Liberal Party, are determined and convinced supporters of woman's suffrage, quite apart from political exigencies.
§ LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL
In consequence of what has fallen from the Prime Minister, I beg to give Notice that on Monday I shall ask the President of the Board of Trade, as being responsible for the railway traffic, Whether he will communicate with the Railway authorities as to the advisability of preventing in the future political demonstrations at Railway stations?