§ MR. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars, & c)
, asked Whether, as a great number of hon. Members took a great interest in the question of the contract for the conveyance of mails to the East, the First Lord of the Treasury-would pledge himself that the Resolution on the subject should be brought on for discussion by half-past 10 or 11 o'clock at night?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREA-SURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
said, he was anxious, as much as possible, to consult the convenience of hon. Members; but he was afraid he would not be able to bring on the mail contracts at so early an hour, unless they had extraordinary and rapid progress with the Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill, which he hoped might be the case. In such circumstances, he should endeavour to meet the hon. Member's wishes.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that last night, when the Vote was on, the Postmaster General stated to the House that they would have an opportunity of discussing the question of these contracts, and that on that understanding they did not continue the discussion?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
replied, that he hoped there would be an opportunity for discussing the question of these contracts; but it was impossible for him to make any engagement in the present condition of Public Business, unless the House would itself assist the Government in forwarding that Business.
§ MR. PROVAND
said, the right hon. Gentleman himself said it might come on at 12 o'clock. Now, as this was a most important matter, he would ask him to consent to its being taken at 11 o'clock?