HC Deb 12 May 1887 vol 314 cc1691-2

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether it is intended by the Government that Questions addressed to the Minister responsible to this House for the conduct of Irish Affairs shall be habitually answered by the right hon. and gallant Member for the Thanet Division of Kent, who has been appointed unpaid Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant; whether there is any precedent for such an arrangement; and, whether a similar delegation of duties will be applied to other Departments of State, of which the responsible Head and certain of his subordinate officers are simultaneously Members of the House?

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

The arrangement to which the right hon. Gentleman refers has been made by my right hon. Friend and Colleague the Chief Secretary, to meet the pressing demands made upon his time at the present moment in connection with the discharge of his official duties. No inference must be drawn from that circumstance, either that the arrangement is intended to be permanent, or that it will affect any other Department of Her Majesty's Government.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the present Chief Secretary is more involved in Irish business than was the late Mr. Forster, or Mr. Trevelyan, or the late Chief Secretary?


I apprehend that the hon. Member is aware that the present Chief Secretary is greatly involved in work; but whether more so than the Gentlemen he has named I cannot say.


Does the fact that another hon. Member of the Irish Administration is also a Member of the Cabinet, and resides in Ireland, diminish or increase the labours of the Chief Secretary?


I am surprised at the Question of the right hon. Gentleman. He is sufficiently aware of the mode in which Public Business is conducted to be able to answer the Question himself.