§ MR. CALLAN
said, he should oppose the Motion. He proposed to take a stage of the Irish Borough Funds Bill, which stood in the name of the hon. Member for Carlow, and was a Bill of great importance.
§ MR. KENNY
said, he was also opposed to the Motion. The Irish Turbary Bill was down on the Paper, and was an extremely just and equitable one.
§ MR. BIGGAR
said, that when this question of enfranchising those who obtained medical relief which hon. Members we're driving at in an irregular fashion came properly before the House he would vote for it. He opposed the present Motion on the ground that the Irish Turbary Bill, which was down on the Paper, ought to be considered.
§ MR. BR0ADHURST
pointed out that when the appeal was made to the House not to adjourn, the sole objection was to permit the introduction of the Medical Relief Bill. He, therefore, hoped his lion. Friend would not press his Motion.
§ MR. SAMPSON LLOYD
pointed out that many hon. Gentlemen were interested in other Bills which stood on the Paper. He thought the simplest course would be to allow all the Orders of the Day to be run through, as this would be better than to stop at a particular measure.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said, that after the speech of the hon. Member for South Warwickshire (Mr. Sampson Lloyd), it seemed hopeless for him (Mr. Jesse Ceilings) to attempt to get the Medical Relief Bill introduced tonight. The hon. Member had contended for the right to deal with certain Bills. That was not in the mind of the House when it agreed to continue the Sitting. He could not hope to take the first stage of his measure to-night without keeping hon. Members for such a length of time as he did not like to propose. He regretted the course the hon. Member had taken, and he left the responsibility with him. He understood that after the House went into Committee pro formâ on the Copyhold Enfranchisement Bill, nothing would stand in the way of the Medical Relief Bill. He was afraid that the bottom of the Opposition was an unwillingness to allow the object which the House 1588 wanted carried out to be accomplished. Therefore, if the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Rowley Hill) went to a division, he should vote with him.
§ MR. SAMPSON LLOYD
repudiated the imputation that he wished to delay the question of Medical Relief. Nothing was further from his intention. All he asked was that if for the convenience of some hon. Members they proceeded with certain Orders they might also proceed with other Orders in which other lion. Members were interested.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Sir Henry Fletcher.)
§ MR. BIGGAR
thought it was idle for hon. Members opposite below the Gangway to attempt to make the public suppose that they could introduce a Bill on the 15th of June, and pass it into law during the present Session. There were no fewer than 42 Bills on the Orders far to-night, many of which were of far greater importance than this.
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER
said, they were in the midst of what was known as a Ministerial crisis. There was no responsible Minister of the Crown present in the House, and the well understood practice of the House for generations had been that no legislative action of any kind should take place when there was no responsible Minister of the Crown ready to undertake the responsibility of advising the acceptance or rejection of these measures. Special exception had been made in favour of a measure passed in both Houses, and which would shortly receive the Royal Assent, and the House had also decided to allow a Bill to be introduced closely connected with that measure. An exception had further been made with regard to the closing stages of the Princess Beatrice's Annuity Bill. Ho would submit that it would not be wise, in the absence of a Ministry, and in the absence of a large number of Members on both sides of the House, to attempt to snap a division on any of the Orders of the Day on the Paper, and that it was due to the House and the country that they should on that occasion follow well-understood precedents, and adjourn the proceedings of the House.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, he entirely concurred with what had 1589 fallen from the hon. Member, that it was in accordance with all practice in a Ministerial crisis that the House should merely meet from day to day to know when it might expect that crisis to terminate; and that it was most unusual and unprecedented for Business of a controversial character to be taken. Tonight they had had a large number of Orders of the Day, the accumulation of former days, and it was perfectly understood, when the Motion was made for the adjournment of the House to-day, that it was that a further adjournment might be made, that a day might be fixed in order to take the necessary steps to establish regular order in their proceedings. Two exceptions, however, had been made by the House at the suggestion of the present Government. One was to finish, so far as lay in their power, the proceedings on the Redistribution of Seats Bill, and the other was to finish the Bill with regard to Princess Beatrice's Annuity. Both of these were treated exceptionally, and they were informed by the right hon. Gentleman still at the head of the Government, who, although only holding Office till his Successor was appointed, still had the responsibility of the actual events of the day, that as soon as the fifth Order had been passed—namely, that of the Princess Beatrice Annuity Bill, the Motion would be made that the House would adjourn. That Motion was made: but he was certainly surprised that no steps appeared to have been taken to keep hon. Members present. However, they must not be too critical at a time like this. It was unfortunate, and had led to some confusion; but he believed they were now in this position—that all the Government Orders had been postponed, and other days fixed for them. One or two Orders for Bills of independent Members had been proceeded with, and he believed his hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Mr. Pell) had obtained a stage on his Bill. It was obvious that something might be done all through the remaining Orders; but he did think it would be considered hardly fair, and hardly in accordance with practice, that those Bills so put down should be taken. The case of the Motion of the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) was treated as a peculiar one; and although the Government, and he with them, divided in favour of the ad- 1590 journment of the House, yet, now that the division had been carried against them on it, he certainly did not desire to throw any impediment in the way of that Motion being made; but he thought it would be extremely inconvenient for the House if they were to proceed with all those Bills, most of which were met with Notices of opposition, and none of which were expected to be taken on a Monday, which was a Government night. He thought it would be unfair if advantage were taken of accidental circumstances. He hoped, therefore, the House would agree to the postponement of all these Orders till Friday, and that the hon. Member for Ipswich would be permitted to bring forward his Motion.
remarked, that it was one of the inconveniences of having no responsible Government that no responsible Minister thought it necessary to stay in the House while the dinner hour was on.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 75; Noes 7: Majority 68.—(Div. List, No. 207.)