HC Deb 16 March 1885 vol 295 cc1232-3

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he cannot now state what provisions in the Parliamentary Elections (Redistribution) Bill the Government and the Leaders of the Opposition regard as vital, and thereby obviate debate on points that cannot be conceded without destroying the measure?


asked, Whether, considering the number of Amendments on the Paper, relating to the changes in the names of the electoral districts, the Government did not consider that it would tend to shorten the passage of the Bill, if one or two Gentlemen from each Front Bench were to meet and determine what alterations should be made?


In reply to the last Question, the names excite so much interest that the House would hardly be willing to trust any Members with the final settlement of the subject; and I fear we shall have to discuss the names in the House. Still, I should hope that, on the earlier names, we might arrive at something like general principles. In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle (Mr. Joseph Cowen), I have to say that the answer of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—that it is unusual to state in advance what points in the measure are vital—is, I fear, the only reply which I can make. It is the intention of the Government to ask the House to adhere closely to the Bill as proposed, except where its provisions are departed from by general consent.