HC Deb 06 May 1887 vol 314 cc1130-3
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in the event of the Select Committee on the charges against the Corporation of the City of London reporting next Monday, he will afford facilities on an early day after Whitsuntide for the discussion of that Report?

MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in view of the continued and disastrous depression of agriculture, and, in view of the probable occupation of the whole time of the House of Commons for some months to come by the affairs of Ireland, and, in view of the improbability of the proposal to constitute a Grand Committee on Agriculture being reached, he will consent to give facilities for reading a second time the Agricultural Holdings Bill and other Bills relating to agricultural tenancies, and to refer them without delay to a Select Committee, so that it may be possible, before the close of this Session, to pass some measure to promptly relieve and permanently improve the position of the tenant farmers of England and Wales?

SIR JOHN SWINBURNE (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in view of the assurance of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on Thursday, 28th April, that opportunity should be given for discussion on going into Committee on the Coal Mines, &c. Regulation Bill, and of the fact that the Bill stands on the Orders for Monday 9th May, he will mention an hour after which the Motion to go into Committee on this Bill will not be made?

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

The Government and myself are most anxious that the House should, as quickly as possible, revert to the ordinary Rules and Regulations for the conduct of Public Business, which give to private Members certain days of the week for their Motions and Bills. But, as I have already informed the House, the several stages of the Criminal Law Amendment (Ireland) Bill will be taken on every day for which is is set down in preference to other Business. The Government feel it to be absolutely necessary that that Bill should be disposed of with the greatest possible rapidity, consistent with the due consideration of its provisions. We are aware of its gravity and importance, and therefore we admit that these provisions ought to be carefully examined. But it must be in the power of hon. Gentlemen opposite who desire to forward their own measures—the importance of which I do not deny—and the consideration of Motions which they desire to submit to the House—it must be largely within their power to facilitate the efficient but not the excessive discussion of the measure before the House. When that Bill is disposed of I hope it will be in the power of the Government to facilitate the progress of other measures which they consider of great importance.

MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)

asked, on what day the Budget Bill would be taken? The right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a Question some days ago, said that it would be taken in 10 days.


I said not before 10 days. I hope it will be possible to take it on Thursday; but I am not able to say so absolutely. I will give a positive answer on Monday.


asked, if the right hon. Gentleman would give a pledge that, after the legislation for Ireland was disposed of, he would give a day for the discussion of the Report of the Committee on the charges against the London Corporation?


said, the hon. Gentleman would understand that he was quite unable to give any pledge with regard to the conduct of Public Business until they knew what progress was made with Public Business now before the House, to which they attached great importance.


said, he did no ask that any particular day should be fixed; but that the right hon. Gentleman should, at his own convenience, give a day for the discussion of the Report.


I will give an answer to the hon. Member when I have seen the Report. I am most anxious to facilitate the conduct of Business, and the discussion of measures and Motions in which hon. Members on the other side take an interest; but I am sure the hon. Member will see that it is scarcely reasonable to ask me to enter into an engagement with regard to a Report not yet adopted by the Committee, and not yet before the House.


In consequence of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, I beg to give Notice that, in the event of his being unable to give an assurance that the Government will afford a date, I shall take such a course as is in my power directly the Report is on the Table to secure that discussion.

In answer to Sir JOHN SWINBURNE,


said, he understood there was a general acquiescence in the House in the desirableness of passing the Coal Mines, &c. Regulation Bill, and an engagement on the part of the Government to afford time for its discussion, but he could not undertake to fix any particular hour. He would consult, as far as possible, the convenience of hon. Members; but, under the conditions in which they were now placed, it must be obvious to the hon. Baronet and hon. Gentlemen interested in seeing such measures passed that opportunities as they occurred must be taken advantage of.


asked, whether the House was distinctly to understand that Thursday next was to be the day for the Budget Bill? He also wished to know, whether the subject of the treatment of the Irish tobacco manufacturers had been before the Government as a whole, or had it been confined to the Chancellor of the Exchequer?


said, he had given an answer to the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Childers) as to the discussion of the Budget Bill. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was a Member of the Government, and his answer must be taken as the answer of the Government.

In reply to Mr. CHANNING,


said, the Government were as conscious of the depression in agriculture, and as desirous as the hon. Member of doing whatever was in the power of the Government and of Parliament to relieve it; but a question of the kind he had submitted was of such a general character that it was really out of his power to make any promise on the subject.