HC Deb 18 March 1887 vol 312 cc783-801

Order road, for resuming Adjourned Debate on the Amendment to the Main Question, as amended, That, after a Question has been proposed, a Member rising in his place may claim to move, 'That the Question be now put,' and, unless it shall appear to the Chair that such Motion is an abuse of the Rules of the House, or an in- fringement of the rights of the minority, the Question, 'That the Question be now put,' shall be put forthwith, and decided without Amendment or Debate. When the Motion, 'That the Question be now put,' has been carried, and the Question consequent thereon has been decided, any further Motion may be made (the assent of the Chair as aforesaid not having been withheld) which may be requisite to bring to a decision any Question already proposed from the Chair; and also if a Clause be then under consideration, a Motion may be made (the assent of the Chair as aforesaid not having been withheld) That the Question, That certain words of the Clause defined in the Motion stand part of the Clause, or that the Clause stand part of, or be added to the Hill, be now put. Such Motions shall be put forthwith, and decided without Amendment or Debate. Provided always, That Questions for the Closure of Debate shall not be decided in the affirmative, if a Division be taken, unless it shall appear by the numbers declared from the Chair, that such Motion was supported by more than Two hundred Members, or was opposed by less than Forty Members, and supported by more than One Hundred Members. Provided always, That this Rule shall be put in force only when the Speaker or the Chairman of Ways and Means is in the Chair."-(Mr. William Henry Smith.)

And which Amendment was, To add, at the end of the Question, the words "Provided also, that any number of Members exceeding Ten, who shall be dissatisfied with such decision, shall be entitled, at the next Sitting of the House, to make a collective protest in writing, which shall be recorded in the Journals of the House."—(Mr. Parnell.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there added."

Debate resumed.


This Proviso, which was moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell), was under discussion when the debate was adjourned on Wednesday, and it provides that a protest in writing may be made and recorded in the Journals of the House. On that occasion I ventured to say that no hon. Member could find fault with the Amendment, seeing that it would occasion neither delay nor procrastination, nor involve a waste of the time of the House [Cries of "Oh!"] If hon. Gentlemen are under that impression, let me explain to them how the matter stands. The proposal simply provides that any number of Members exceeding 10 who feel themselves aggrieved by a decision in favour of closure shall be able to make a collective protest in writing. I fail to see what reasonable objection can be made to the proposal. There can he nothing unreasonable in the protest, which, in many cases, might be valuable when a discussion of grave local importance, such, for instance, as that which has been debated to-night, had been brought to an end by the closure. Every Member who is dissatisfied with the decision, and whose constituents are affected by the action of the Government or the majority, will be able to place their views upon record. The Proviso is so framed that a defeated minority could not at once, in unseemly haste, rush to the books and record their protest. It must also be a collective protest of at least 11 Members, and it is provided that the protest shall not be made at once, but at the next Sitting of the House. This is no Party question, and the Proviso is practically the same as that which was proposed by the Conservative Party in 1882; and I hope, therefore, that at least some hon. Members on the other side of the House will justify themselves to history and in the eyes of their constituents by voting in favour of it. I would certainly invite the Leader of the House to explain the reasons which induce him to oppose the insertion of the Proviso.

Colonel NOLAN (Galway, N.)

I hope that this will not be made a Government or even a Party question. We do not ask the whole of the Members of the Government to vote for it, but simply to leave it an open question. The Amendment is not our Amendment, but it is one which was originally proposed by the First Lord of the Treasury himself. If, therefore, he will consent to leave it an open question. I believe that a large number of his followers will be willing to support it I have no doubt that if they are allowed to vote as they like, there will be a considerable majority in favour of it. The time will come when the Conservative Party may be in Opposition, and they will then find the right of protest which we ask them to adopt very useful. This is not a Radical innovation—the words of the Amendment are those of the Conservative Party, they are not ours—and the Conservatives are much more likely to want freedom of speech than we are. They ought, therefore, to cherish this right, and if they refuse to accept the Amendment, they will, I think, act very foolishly, and regret having done so hereafter. It would be a graceful act on the part of the right hon. Gentleman to concede this point; and if he is not willing to do so now, I trust he will say that the matter shall be taken into consideration.

MR. M. J. KENNY (Tyrone, Mid)

I hope the House will not forget the origin of this Amendment. Hon. Members will be aware that this Amendment was originally brought forward by the present Loader of the House: it was moved in his words, and it was supported by the whole force of the Tory Opposition in 1882. The question was brought to a Division, and it was only defeated by a very narrow majority. The majority against the Amendment was only 31; and yet the right hon. Gentleman, in the face of all his former arguments, and the arguments of every Member who at the time sat on the Front Opposition Bench, turns round and opposes the very Amendment which he then introduced, and which the whole of his Party supported. But we are supported by other recommendations than those of the then Conservative Opposition. We have other precedents for the Amendment which is now under discussion, and the support of gentlemen who are authorities on Parliamentary precedent, and who do not belong to the Tory Party. One of those gentlemen whose authority is, perhaps, higher than that of others is Professor Thorold Rogers, who has collected a series of precedents for protests made during a number of years. Professor Thorold Rogers, who was at the time a Member of the House, spoke in favour of this right of recording a protest; he referred, in support of the Amendment, to the practice of the House of Lords, which enables Peers to record their protest against the action of the majority of the House of Lords; that protests had been of great assistance in securing English liberty; and that those who had protested "were the protectors of public liberty against the arbitrary action of the Crown." In the series of protests which he records, an instance, in 1641, was included, when in the House of Commons an effort was made to exercise the identical right of protest which existed in the House of Lords. They claimed it in a higher degree than we do now, because we only ask for a cer- tain number of Members what was then sought for all—this right of recording their protest on the Journals of the House. It was ultimately refused, but it may have been fortunate that it was so, because., at that time, the right of protest would not have been beneficial to the liberties of the Members of the House. The argument adduced against the Amendment of the present Loader of the House was that since it was the Speaker who had to exercise the initiative in proposing the closure, any protest recorded in the Journals of the House would be a protest in futurum, and not a protest in rem. That, Sir, strengthens our case immensely, because the initiative no longer rests with the Chair; and it can no longer be contended that a protest on the Journals of the House would be a protest in futurum, and not a protest in rem; it would be a protest against what the majority then considered an injustice, and the argument, therefore, falls completely to the ground. If it be contended that the recording of a protest might be considered as an insult to the Chair, I remind hon. Members that it would be competent to the House to expunge the protest. The House of Lords has frequently ordered certain protests, condemned by the Regulations of the House, to be expunged, either wholly or in part. If, therefore, anything were recorded on the Journals of the House which was considered as a reflection on the Chair, it would be very easy to order a correction of the protest recorded. I think these are reasons why the Amendment of my hon. Friend should be accepted. We are supported by most excellent precedents, and by the very high authority of persons who have made the practice of Parliament their special study. Under the circumstances, I urge upon the right hon. Gentleman that he should accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend, always bearing in mind that it is identical with that which he himself proposed to the Closure Rule in 1882.

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

The right hon. Gentleman advocates the closure on the ground that the time of the House will thereby be economized; but surely, if our tongues be silenced, our pens need not be paralyzed. There can be no reason why we should not record our protest, when we believe that the closure of debate is premature. This proposal precludes the idea of obstruction, for the recording of our protest could be the cause of no waste of time. The privilege for which we are asking is analogous to the right existing in the House of Lords, or, rather, it does not go so far; because I understand that in the House of Lords an individual may protest on any subject, while in the Irish House of Lords the right was carried even further. Then Peers were allowed to protest even by proxy. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to yield this point, which is identical with his own proposal in 1882. I am certain that if he does not do so it will be a great disappointment to Members on both sides of the House. What we ask for is that the Government should give us the greatest alleviation of the Rule, which can be conceded now by allowing us to record our protest on the Journals of the House. The protests of the House of Lords are of great historical value, as evidencing the current of contemporaneous opinion on leading public events. Professor Thorold Rogers, who was for some years a Member of this House, has collected these protests in a work which is a valuable monument to historic research. In his preface, written in 1875, he speaks unconsciously words of warning when he says—"A tongue-tied Parliament is a contradiction in terms." the House of Commons were urged to claim the privilege of protesting on the occasion of the Grand Remonstrance in the time of Charles I. That privilege was not then exorcised in the interests of public liberty owing to the power of the Crown. It is now claimed in defence of public liberty, which demands the utmost publicity for all proceedings in this House. It cannot be attacked on the ground of novelty. The publication of Division Lists, which commenced in the House of Commons so late as in 1836, and in the House of Lords so late as 1853, might thus be impugned.

MR. T. P. GILL (Louth, S.)

I am glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House in his place, because I am anxious to see how he will answer the arguments which he himself used in 1882 in support of the Amendment, which we are now asking him to adopt. It will be, I think, very instructive to hear on what grounds the right hon. Gentleman now considers unwise that which he considered so wise and necessary in 1882, as to compel him to move it as an Amendment to the Rules of Procedure which were then brought forward. Various reasons have been given for accepting this Amendment, and it will puzzle an ordinary intelligence to know on what ground it is now rejected by the right hon. Gentleman. The hon. and learned Gentleman who spoke against the Amendment (Sir John Gorst) hardly gave any reason at all, except that the times have changed, and we have changed with them; but I am sure the Leader of the House has too much respect for the gravity of hon. Members to base his refusal to accept the Amendment on that ground; and, therefore, I trust that he will consider the House to be worthy of receiving an explanation of his altered position. It must be remembered the Motion for the closure cannot be debated, so that there may be a very large section of the House who differ from the Motion, and who may have very good reasons against it, which, if they were allowed to lay them before the House, would possibly change its decision, or, at any rate, reasons which would justify the veto of those who are opposed to the closure; and it would be an explanation to the country and their constituents of their action as to what might otherwise appear to be the evident sense of the House. Although they oppose the Vote they dare not speak—they will be absolutely tongue-tied when the closure is applied. Now, hon. Members may have very strong reasons indeed why they should wish it to be known that they opposed the closure, and there may be also very strong reasons why they should wish their protest to be publicly recorded. The mere fact that the Motion for the closure is to go to the Division without Amendment or debate ought alone to be sufficient to secure the Members of the House the privilege of stating their views, and laying them before their constituents. Protests on the Journal of the House have a very great political and historical significance, and, besides, the protest we desire to make would in no way hamper the operation of the Closure Rule, or interfere with the dignity of the House. While simply providing that the opposers of the closure should be able to state their reasons, it will have no effect upon the closing of debates. That being the case, I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to have a very grave reason why an Amendment so harmless and so proper should not be agreed to. We have no attempt at a serious debate on the Amendment; and, in view of its importance, I hope we shall hear from the right hon. Gentleman some cogent reasons for its rejection.

MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's Co., Ossory)

I think we, on this side of the House, have great reason to complain of the action of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, and to contrast with it the statement of his intentions which he made at the opening of the discussion on these Rules. In his opening statement he said he was not pledged to the form of the Rules, and that he would look with a view to their adoption, if salutary, upon all Amendments which might come from any part of the House. But I have observed that the right hon. Gentleman has not, in any single instance, made a concession of importance to Members on these Benches, unless it was backed up by Members in other parts of the House. Now, I say that that is not carrying out the pledge which the right hon. Gentleman gave, and it is not treating us with that fairness and courtesy which I am sure he would like to be extended to himself. The principal part of the discussion on this Rule has now terminated, and the right hon. Gentleman is not asked to make any modification of the Rule, but simply to allow us the privilege of doing what he himself wanted to do in 1882, and the refusal of the right hon. Gentleman seems to me to be carrying inconsistency very far indeed. I can understand a change of front when anything is to be gained by it; I can understand a change of front when there is a real change of time and circumstance; but I cannot understand anyone occupying the position of the right hon. Gentleman refusing a concession of this kind, which he knows cannot materially interfere with anything which the House has determined to do. We do not ask the power of preventing the closure in any way whatever; we simply ask that, on the following day, when our minds are calm and collected, and when we are no longer in danger of acting on the im- pulse of the moment, we may have the opportunity of recording our protest on the Journals of the House against the decision of the majority. Was ever a more moderate proposal than that in the interest of a minority made in this House? I can understand the right hon. Gentleman saying that he ought to have a week for consideration; I can understand him saying that we propose too small a number of Members, and that it ought to be 20 or 30; but we are met with a blank refusal, and that, I say, is not acting at all in the spirit by which the right hon. Gentleman, at the commencement of these discussions, said he should be guided with regard to Amendments. There is no doubt that if the closure is exercised prematurely and severely, there will be an injured feeling on the part of the minority on this side of the House, and that injured feeling we may be certain will find a vent for itself in some form or other. Now, I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman and the Government as to whether it is not better that this resentment should find expression in a silent vote, than in proceedings which might be embarrassing to the majority? Surely, if this right of protest will have the effect of calming the minds of the minority, instead of affording an opportunity for confusion being introduced into the proceedings of the House, as was said by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke against the Amendment on behalf of the Government, it will import into them the true principle of harmony and good will as between the various sections of the House. I will only say, in conclusion, that if the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters do not yield on this point, he has not kept to the undertaking which he solemnly gave when he introduced the Rule to the House.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 281: Majority 221.—(Div. List, No. 68.)

MR. M. J. KENNY (Tyrone, Mid)

In the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Cork (Mr. Parnell) I rise to propose the Amendment next standing in his name—namely, that it shall be provided that in any Division the vote shall be taken by secret ballot. This proposal is by no means unprecedented. We had, in the case of the last Amendment, the authority of one of the most distinguished Members of the Party now sitting on the Treasury Bench. This Amendment is in the ipsissima verba of the proposal made by the present Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord John Manners) in 1882. Although we have almost ceased to hope that the Government will accept any Amendment that is proposed by the Opposition, I venture to submit this to the Leader of the House, in the hope that he will view it with favour. We all recognize the great authority of the present Chancellor of the Duchy on questions connected with the Procedure of the House; next to the Prime Minister there is no one who can speak with the same authority; because, as he himself has reminded us during the progress of these discussions, he has sat in the House for 40 years. the noble Lord, in 1882, referred at great length to the reasons which prompted him to introduce this Amendment. Amongst them I find he stated that during the debates Members in various parts of the House apprehended undue influence and intimidation in carrying the Closure Rule; and that, if it were so carried, it was reasonable to suppose that it would be applied under similar conditions; and he cited a letter written by a Member to one of his constituents to the effect that a well-known Radical Member had said that he was going to vote for the clôture, and that he had no more power to vote against it than he had to refuse his purse to a man who held a revolver at his head. The noble Lord was followed by the late Mr. Schreiber, the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck), and the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett), all of whom supported the Amendment. I believe the discussion was continued for a considerable time. The Amendment was rejected, in spite of the protest of the Members of the Irish Party and a few independent Radicals; but the majority against it was very narrow. The opposition to the present proposal of the Government is quite different from the opposition offered to the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E Gladstone), which extended over many months, whereas the present opposition has been confined to days. There should be no objection in the country to this proposal to vote by ballot. We know that a Party man votes as a Party man, and not as a person recording his own opinions; anyone who has heard the Whips directing Members on which side to vote will know that Members do not care for anything but the interest of their Party in the Division. ["No, no!"] I cannot understand that any Members would have the hardihood to deny that they are frequently unacquainted with the merits of the questions on which they vote. I remember that, when the closure was applied in this House, the Liberal Whips had to use the utmost pressure to get a sufficient number of Members to carry it, and they barely succeeded in doing it, for the majority in favour of it was only 7. I say that Members are liable at any time to unfair pressure; they are liable to the innuendoes of their Party in respect of the votes they are about to give; and it is for this reason that we have submitted this Amendment to the House. We are acting on good authority in this; for we have on our side all the Members on the Treasury Bench, every one of whom, in 1882, supported the proposal we are making.

Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words "Provided also, That in any such Division the votes shall be taken by secret ballot."—(Mr. M. J. Kenny.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

I am not now pre-pared to justify, in respect of this Rule, every proposal that was made with regard to the Rules formerly introduced. I should regard it as an ill day for Parliament when Members of this House, instead of recording their names openly on the Division Lists, think it necessary to seek the protection of the ballot. I cannot accept the proposal of the hon. Member, and I trust I shall be excused for refraining to make a long speech on the subject.

MR. T. P. GILL (Louth, S.)

The main argument against vote by ballot was that Englishmen should not be afraid to record their votes openly. But the Ballot Act was considered a most beneficial change in the law; and I think this Amendment, which was proposed in 1882, did honour to the head and spirit of the noble Lord the Chan- cellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is a Tory of the old school and steeped in all its prejudices. I venture to say that a great number of hon. Gentlemen in the last Division did not know what they were voting about. Two hon. Gentlemen stood at the door, who said "No" to Members as they came in, and they went into the "No" Lobby like sheep into a sheep-pen; and, besides that class of voters, there are others who feel that they are compelled, by the exigencies of Party and Party intimidation, to vote against what probably are their opinions as to the question before them. But there are other Members whose minds were open to argument, who were convinced by the arguments used on this side of the House, and who felt that there was right, reason, and justice on the side of the Amendment, and who, if they were not under the watchful eye of the Whips, would have voted for Amendments which they dare not support, owing to the intimidation which is exercised by the Chiefs of their Party. What is the meaning of the word Parliament? It means a place in which talking goes on. What, then, will be the position of Members of the House of Commons when this right is taken away? [Cries of "Order!"] I can see there are a large number of Members in this House who have do-generated so far already.


I must ask the hon. Member to speak more relevantly to the subject in hand.


I should be glad to do so; but I was induced by the interruption—


Order, order! I have asked the hon. Gentleman to speak more relevantly to the Question.


I was only ex-plaining—


Order, order!


Then I adduce these reasons in favour of this Amendment—that upon a question of this kind many hon. Members would like to resist the adoption of a Clôture Rule, but are compelled, by the exigencies of Party arrangements in this House, to vote for the Resolution. The Amendment, if adopted, would provide the same protection for Members in this House as is provided for voters at the polling booth at Parliamentary Elections. I only hope that, as an example of the independence which ought to characterize Members of this House, and which hon. Members claim in supporting this Resolution, that those who voted for the Amendment when it was last before the House will vote for it now in spite of the Government Whips.

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

I hope hon. Members will not be misled by the suggestion of the hon. Member who has just sat down, and lose sight of the difference between the proposal now made and a simple vote at the election of a Member of Parliament. I was a supporter of the ballot when originally proposed in this House; but I am entirely opposed to the present proposition, because Members come here in a representative capacity, and their constituents have a right to know how they vote. There is this difference between voting for a Member of Parliament and a Member of Parliament voting in this House—that it is necessary, in order to keep the elector beyond the reach of improper influences, that he should vote secretly; but that it is equally necessary that the Member of Parliament should vote openly, in order that those he represents may know the action he is taking.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I would submit to the House that there is a vast difference between an ordinary vote given in this House and the vote of a Member upon a question of clôture, so far as that Member's constituents are concerned. In the case of an ordinary vote upon a matter of legislation or national policy, a Member's constituents can form some opinion as to how he should vote; but it is absolutely impossible for them to know the rights and wrongs of a question of clôture. No one can be better called upon to say whether or not it is right to close a particular debate than those who have sat and listened to that debate; and to say that our constituents are in a position to form an opinion upon such matters—to say that a debate ought not to have been closed when it has been closed, or ought to have been closed when it has not been closed—is simply preposterous. Our constituents have a right to judge our action on great questions of public policy; but when we come to deal with a question of closing debate, I submit that no one has a right to form an opinion as to the expediency of the clôture, and no one has a right to exercise pressure upon Members who has not sat and listened to the debate. If this Amendment is carried to a Division I shall support it, although I admit that the question is not one upon which I take a very strong view. The vagaries of Party Leadership in this House are the most extraordinary one could possibly conceive. We have heard the Leader of the House solemnly declaring that he cannot see his way to support this Amendment. Well, will hon. Gentlemen believe me when I say that on Monday, the 6th of December, 1882, there was found voting for an Amendment in terms precisely similar to those of the Amendment be-fore the House "the Right Hon. William Henry Smith?" The Amendment proposed on the 6th of December, 1882, was— To add the words, 'Provided also. That in any such Division the vote shall be taken by secret ballot.' That was proposed by "the Right Hon. Lord John Manners;" and that Amendment was supported, on a Division, by 55 Members, amongst whom I find Mr. Edward Stanhope, the Right Hon. Alexander Bresford Hope, Sir Henry T. Holland, Mr. Gorst, the Right Hon. Edward Gibson, Mr. Arthur J. Balfour, and Mr. Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett. I cannot understand how it is that these hon. and right hon. Gentlemen, having succeeded in making us converts to their views by the eloquent speeches they made on that occasion and by the votes they gave, can now, having got into Office, and having a majority at their back, and the opportunity of carrying out the principles for which they eloquently pleaded in 1882, and for opposing which they denounced the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone) in unmeasured terms—I say I do not understand how these Gentlemen can now refuse to accept the proposal of my hon. Friend. I am at a loss to make out how they can accuse us of proposing unreasonable Amendments when we are simply bringing forward proposals which, as I have shown, were made by them, and debated at considerable length. The noble Lord (Lord John Manners), in introducing this Amendment in 1882, spoke for about an hour; a long debate ensued, and the Amendment was supported by the full force of the official Members of the Conservative Party. The effect of the course followed by the Government upon the minds of us independent Members, who never get into Office ourselves, is to convince us that Gentlemen who occupy the Front Treasury Bench really do not vote on principle at all on these matters—that they lay down their rules and their principles in politics exactly as the Party exigencies of the moment require, and that they are prepared to swallow principles with the greatest celerity, notwithstanding that they have made most eloquent appeals on behalf of them only a few months before. As I said before, this is not a matter upon which I entertain a strong opinion; but I do say, in reply to the hon. Member opposite, that questions of Procedure in this House, such as the closure of debate, are matters that our constituents take no interest in, and upon which they are not entitled to exercise influence upon us. I maintain that it is desirable to protect Members from the influence of those in Office. The spirit of fair play which ordinarily exists amongst individual Members of this House is frequently—as we have too good reason to know—is frequently overruled when, at a late hour of night, the temper of Parties is aroused. Men do not like to set themselves against the whole bulk of their Party. If this Amendment goes to a Division I shall certainly support it.

Question put, and negatived.


The remaining Amendments on the Paper are out of Order; therefore I shall now put the Main Question.

Main Question, as amended, again proposed.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

Mr. Speaker, may I ask if you consider my Amendment out of Order?


Yes; I have ruled it out of Order.


I believe, Sir, that a debate would now be in Order on the Main Question you have just proposed, following the precedent sot by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House in 1882. In that year the Main Question was debated for four whole nights, after the Amendments on the Paper had been disposed of, making 19 nights which had been consumed by the Tory Party in the discussion of a Rule of a much less drastic character than that now before us. That was 19 nights as opposed to 14 which have been occupied by the discussion of the present Rule. However, I do not intend to follow the bad example set by the right hon. Gentleman and his Party on that occasion, and I shall content myself with taking a Division against the Question you have proposed from the Chair.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 262; Noes 41: Majority 221.

Acland, C. T. D. Campbell, R. F. F.
Addison, J. E.W. Channing, F. A.
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Chaplin, right hon. H.
Allison, R. A. Charrington, S.
Ambrose, W. Clarke, Sir E. G.
Amherst, W. A. T. Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L.
Coddington, W.
Anstruther, H. T. Coghill, D. H.
Asher, A. Colomb, Capt. J. C. R.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E. Commerell, Adml. Sir J. E.
Asquith, H. H.
Baden-Powell, G. S. Cotton, Capt. E. T. D.
Baggallay, E. Courtney, L. H.
Bailey, Sir J. H. Cranborne, Viscount
Baird, J. G. A. Cross, H. S.
Balfour, G. W. Crossman, Gen. Sir W.
Barry, A. H. Smith- Curzon, Viscount
Bartley, G. C. T. Curzon, hon. G. N.
Bates, Sir E. Davenport, H. T.
Baumann, A. A. Davenport, W. B.
Beach, W. W. B. Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P.
Bective, Earl of
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. De Cobain, E. S. W.
Bentinck, Lord H. C. De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer
De Worms, Baron H.
Betheil, Commander G. R. Dimsdale, Baron R.
Dodds, J.
Biddulph, M. Dugdale, J. S.
Bigwood, J. Dyke, rt. hn. Sir W. H.
Birkbeck, Sir E.
Blundell, Col. H. B. H. Ebrington, Viscount
Bond, G. H. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Bonsor, H. C. O. Elcho, Lord
Boord, T. W. Elliot, hon. A. R. D.
Borthwick, Sir A. Elliot, hon. H. F. H.
Bridgeman, Col. hon. F. C. Elliot, G. W.
Ellis, Sir J. W.
Bristowe, T. L. Elton, C. I.
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F. Evelyn, W. J.
Ewart, W.
Bruce, Lord H. Ewing, Sir A. O.
Buchanan, T. H. Eyre, Colonel H.
Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash. -B. Feilden, Lieut.-Gen. R. J.
Burghley, Lord Fellowes, W. H.
Buxton, S. C. Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Caine, W. S.
Caldwell, J. Field, Admiral E.
Campbell, Sir A. Finch, G. H.
Finch-Hatton, hon. M. E. G. Lafone, A.
Laurie, Colonel R. P.
Fisher, W. H. Lawrance, J. C.
Flower, C. Lawrence, Sir J. J. T.
Folkestone, right hon. Viscount Lawrence, W. F.
Lea, T.
Forwood, A. B. Lechmere, Sir E. A. H.
Fowler, Sir R. N. Lees, E.
Fraser, General C. C. Llewellyn, K. H.
Fry, L. Long, W. H.
Fulton, J. F. Low, M.
Gaskell, C. G. Milnes- Lowther, J. W.
Gathorne-Hardy, hon. A. E. Lyell, L.
Lymington, Viscount
Gent-Davis, R. Macartney, W. G. H.
Gibson, J. G. Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A.
Giles, A.
Gilliat, J. S. MacInnes, M.
Godson, A. F. Maclean, F. W.
Goldsworthy, Major General W. T. Maclean, J. M.
Maclure, J. W.
Gorst, Sir J. E. M'Calmont, Captain J.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J. M'Lagan, P.
Gray, C. W. Malcolm, Col. J. W.
Grey, Sir E. Mallock, R.
Grimston, Viscount Marjoribanks, rt. hon. E.
Grotrian, F. B.
Hall, C. Marriott, rt. hn. W. T.
Halsey, T. F. Maskelyne, M. H. N. Story-
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.
Matthews, rt. hon. H.
Hamley, Gen. Sir E. B. Maxwell, Sir H. E.
Mayne, Admiral R. C.
Hardcastle, F. Mildmay, F. B.
Hartington, Marq. of Mills, hon. C. W.
Havelock-Allan, Sir H. M. More, R. J.
Morgan, hon. F.
Hayne, C. Seale- Morley, A.
Heathcote, Capt. J. H. Edwards- Mount, W. G.
Mowbray, R. G. C.
Heaton, J. H. Mulholland, H. L.
Hermon-Hodge, R. T. Muntz, P. A.
Hill, right hon. Lord A. W. Murdoch, C. T.
Noble, W.
Hill, Colonel E. S. Northcote, hon. H. S.
Hoare, S. Norton, R.
Hobhouse, H. O'Neill, hon. R. T.
Holland, rt. hon. Sir H. T. Parker, C. S.
Parker, hon. F.
Houldsworth, W. H. Pease, A. E.
Howorth, H. H. Pelly, Sir L.
Hozier, J. H. C. Pitt-Lewis, G.
Hubbard, E. Plunket, right hon. D. R.
Hughes-Hallett, Col. F. C.
Plunkett, hon. J. W.
Hunt, F. S. Pomfret, W. P.
Hunter, Sir W. G. Powell, F. S.
Isaacson, F. W. Quilter, W. C.
Jackson, W. L. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
James, C. H. Rankin, J.
Jarvis, A. W. Rasch, Major F. C.
Jennings, L. J. Reed, H. B.
Johnston, W. Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T.
Joicey, J. Roberts, J. B.
Kelly, J. R. Robertson, E.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Robertson, J. P. B.
Kenyon, hon. G. T. Robinson, B.
Kerans, F. H. Russell, T. W.
Kimber, H. Salt, T.
King, H. S. Saunderson, Col. E. J.
King-Harman, Colonel E. R. Sclater-Booth, right hon. G.
Lacaita, C. C. Seton-Karr, H.
Shaw-Stewart, M. H. Vernon, hon. G. R.
Shirley, W. S. Vincent, C. E. H
Sidebotham, J. W. Walsh, hon. A. H. J.
Sidebottom, T. H. Watson, J.
Sidebottom, W. Webster, Sir R. E.
Smith, rt. hon. W. H. Webster, R. G.
Smith, A. West, Colonel W. C.
Spencer, J. E. Weymouth, Viscount
Stanhope, rt. hon. E. White, J. B.
Stanley, E. J. Whitley, E.
Stevenson, F. S. Whitmore, C. A.
Stevenson, J. C. Will, J. S.
Stewart, M. Winn, hon. R.
Sykes, C. Winterbotham, A. B.
Talbot, J. G. Wodehouse, E. R.
Tapling. T. K. Wood, N.
Taylor, F. Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Temple, Sir R. Wright, H. S.
Thorburn, W. Wroughton, P.
Tollemache, H. J. Young, C. E. B.
Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Tottenham, A. L. TELLERS
Townsend, F. Douglas, A. Akers-
Trotter, H. J. Walrond, Col. W. R.
Blake, J. A. M'Cartan, M.
Blane, A. M'Donald. P.
Byrne, G. M. M'Kenna, Sir J. N.
Campbell, H. Nolan, Colonel J. P.
Chance, P. A. Nolan, J.
Clark, Dr. G. B. O'Brien, J. F. X.
Cobb, H. P. O'Brien, P.
Connolly, L. O'Brien, P. J.
Con way, M. O'Doherty, J. E.
Conybeare, C. A. V. O'Kelly, J.
Deasy, J. Parnell, C. S.
Dillon, J. Quinn, T.
Ellis, T. E. Stack, J.
Foley, P. J. Stanhope, hon. P. J.
Fox, Dr. J. F. Sullivan, D.
Gill, T. P. Tanner, C. K.
Harrington, E. Tuite, J.
Hooper, J. Wallace, R.
Kenny, C. S.
Kenny, M. J. TELLERS.
Lane, W. J. Redmond, J. E.
Macdonald, W. A. Sheil, E.
MacNeill, J. G. S.
THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

Mr. Speaker, I now move that this Rule be made a Standing Order of the House; and, in doing so, I have to express my own very great satisfaction that the Rule has been adopted by such an enormous majority of the House-a Rule winch does not represent the views of only one section, or of two sections, of the House, but of the great majority of the House. I am sure it will receive the cordial and loyal acceptance of the whole country. I move that it be made a Standing Order.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this Resolution be a Standing Order of the House."—(Mr. W. H. Smith.)


Certainly, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. H. Smith) is thankful for small mercies. When he speaks of the enormous majority by which his Rule has been passed, he must recollect that he has not succeeded in getting anything like one-half of the House of Commons to vote in support of it. I hope that this day two years, or even this day twelve months, the right hon. Gentleman and his Party will be as pleased with the Rule as they seem to be now. My object in rising was not, however, to follow the right hon. Gentleman in his remarks, but to suggest that this would, perhaps, be a favourable time for the Leader of the House to take the House into his confidence as to his intentions with regard to the remaining Rules of Procedure. I should like to know whether he in-tends to proceed with the remaining Rules or not? It would also be convenient to many hon. Members to know what Business the Government propose to take on Tuesday, the day upon which, in the ordinary course, the consideration of the Rules will be resumed.


The Question be-fore the House is, whether this Resolution should be a Standing, or a Sessional Order. I do not think a general debate can take place upon a mere question of time.


I merely wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman what he intends to do with regard to the remainder of the Rules. If you think it will be more in Order to ask such a Question upon the formal Motion that the House do adjourn I will put it then.


It would be more regular to defer the Question until then.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That this Resolution be a Standing Order of the House.