§ MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, in regard to Easter, and in consideration of the serious inconvenience caused to hon. Members as to uncertainty and the shortness of the Recess, especially such as represent constituencies in distant parts, If the Government will reconsider their resolution to defer the adjournment of the House until so late a date as Thursday; and, if so, to what date it is proposed that the House shall stand adjourned? The hon. Member further asked, Whether the right hon. Gentleman would consent not to take the Division on the second reading of the I Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill till Monday, the 18th, as he thought it would be for the convenience of many hon. Members if he could give that assurance?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
Sir, it is my wish, on the part of the Government, 509 to make such arrangements with regard to the Sittings of the House as may be most convenient to all sections of the House; but we have our own sense of the duty that is incumbent upon us; and I am unable, therefore, to give the hon. Gentleman any hope that the Government will be able to reconsider the decision which they have already announced to the House. But I understand that it would be for the convenience of the House that a Morning Sitting should be held on Thursday, and that the House should adjourn in sufficient time for hon. Gentlemen to catch the afternoon and evening trains. If that is the wish, and an understanding can be arrived at, I shall be exceedingly glad to offer every facility, so far as the Government are concerned, for that purpose. The hon. Gentleman will understand that it is necessary an understanding should be arrived at in order to carry out the arrangement. As to the date of the Division, I should desire to consult the convenience of all sections of the House on that subject; but I must remark that the date which the hon. Member named is a very late date, having regard to the very serious amount of work that is before us during the present Session, and the small amount of work that we have yet been able to accomplish.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he could not promise not to take any other Business except the Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill in the Easter week?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I cannot undertake to do that. The Government think it is their duty to proceed de die in diem with the Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill as the first Business of the House until the second reading is obtained; but there may be matters of subsidiary or comparatively small importance that might be taken after the discussion of that Bill with advantage to the country.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked the right hon. Gentleman, whether he would, as usual, move the adjournment of the House over Good Friday at the commencement of Public Business on Thursday?