HC Deb 03 August 1888 vol 329 cc1419-24
MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

, asked, Whether the First Lord of the Treasury was in a position to state the exact day when the Government proposed that the House should reassemble for the Autumn Sittings? He hoped the First Lord was in that position, as a large number of Members of the House were being seriously inconvenienced, as they were being pressed to make engagements, some of an important character, and they were unable to do so in consequence of the present uncertainty.

MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

stated that he was in a position to inform the First Lord of the Treasury from his own knowledge that it would be practically impossible for a great many Scotch Members to take part in the consideration of Scotch Business on a later day than Wednesday next.


inquired, whether the right hon. Gentleman could now say definitely on what day the Indian Budget would be considered; or whether the Government had determined to put it off till the Autumn Sitting?

MR. BAUMANN (Camberwell, Peckham)

asked the right hon. Gentleman, Whether he would make arrangements to take the second reading of the Metropolitan Board of Works (Money) Bill, which stood eighth on the Order for that evening, at such an hour as would admit of a reasonable amount of dis- cussion upon it; or whether he would fix it for some evening next week?

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked the right hon. Gentleman, in regard to the 19th Order of the Day (the Oaths Bill, second reading), Whether, having in view the statement made by the hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Fowler) last night, that the opponents of the Bill would be satisfied with taking a Division upon it, he would not even now afford an opportunity for the passing of that measure?

MR. F. S. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)

wished to know whether it was the intention of the Government to proceed with the Bill for the appointment of a Minister of Agriculture; and when the Employers' Liability for Injuries to Workmen Bill would come on?

MR. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, whether he was aware that the only Scotch Bill proposed to be taken was a Bill of nearly 600 clauses, and innumerable Appendices and Schedules, making it quite impossible for it to be taken on Wednesday, or indeed on any single day; and whether, if he was determined to stand by the Wednesday he had shadowed forth, lie would undertake to move the suspension both of the half-past 5 o'clock and the 12 o'clock Rule?


pointed out that it would be impossible to put down Amendments on the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill before Monday.

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

asked, whether the First Lord would consider the advisability of moving that at 1 o'clock on Wednesday the remaining clauses of the measure then under consideration shall be put from the Chair?

MR. A. R. D. ELLIOT (Roxburgh)

said, with regard to that portentous measure, the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill, he might point out to the First Lord of the Treasury that it necessarily touched upon very many subjects which might be expected to be dealt with in the Local Government Bill which Scotch Members were looking forward to next Session, and that was an additional reason for not proceeding with it at the present moment.


asked the First Lord, whether he was aware that at a meeting of Scotch Members an agreement was practically come to that the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill should be taken?

SIR GEORGE TREVELYAN (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

asked the right hon. Gentleman, whether he would say anything as to the correctness of the suggestion of the hon. Member for Roxburghshire (Mr. A. R. D. Elliot) as to the relation of the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill with any possible Local Government Bill for Scotland?

MR. MARJORIBANKS (Merionethshire)

said that, so far as his knowledge went, there were only a comparatively few Scotch Members who were opposed to the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill.

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

said, he would endeavour to answer, as well as he could, the many Questions that had been addressed to him. They must have some idea of the day of adjournment before they could well fix the date for re-assembling; but he hoped that it would not be earlier than the first week in November. With regard to the Wednesday which he had offered for Scotch Business, it must be for the Scotch Members to say whether that arrangement was convenient to them or not. He trusted they would not avail themselves of that day unless they intended to make real progress with the Bills which were of interest to Scotland. With regard to the Burgh Police and Health (Scotland) Bill, he must remind hon. Members from Scotland that there had been a large Committee, consisting almost wholly of Scotch Members, which had devoted a very large amount of time to the consideration of that measure. It was a domestic measure, and one which had been framed with regard to the interests of the burghs of Scotland, which had been very largely consulted upon it. If hon. Gentlemen threw obstacles conscientiously in the way of the passing of that Bill in the course of the present Session, it would not be for him or the Government to force it through against their wishes. [An IRISH MEMBER: Why not?] But he must leave it to them to take such steps as they thought advisable to communicate with the Lord Advocate; and if the arrangement for Wednesday was convenient, and one which would tend to a satisfactory conclusion of questions interesting to Scotland, he should be very glad, indeed, to adhere to it. As to the Indian Budget, he must be able to see his way better than he could at present before he could name a date for the discussion of that subject. The Metropolitan Board of Works Bill was intended to provide funds for the County Authority for London, and had very little reference to the existing Board; but it was desirable that it should be put down for a time when some discussion could be taken upon it. The Oaths Bill would not take much time; but, if possible, he would have it put down for some time next week as an early Order of the Day, if it was not possible to make it the first. With regard to the Bill for the creation of a Minister of Agriculture, he proposed to lay it on the Table in the course of next week, not intending to proceed with it during the present Sitting.

MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

supposed they were right in assuming that no Business would be taken on Saturday except Supply?


said, that possibly one or two non-contentious Bills would be advanced a stage, but nothing more would be done. Of course, there would be the Report of the Vote on Account.


suggested that it would be better definitively to put off the Indian Budget till the Autumn Session.


said, it would be better to postpone the Indian Budget than to have a curtailed and insufficient discussion now.


said, it would be a convenience to know for a certainty that Parliament would not be summoned in October.

MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N. E.)

asked whether the Report of the Lords' Committee on Sweating could be distributed to Members?


said, he was anxious to do all he could to meet the wishes of hon. Members; but it was desirable not to postpone too much Business to the Autumn Session. He would take the Indian Budget next week if he could get an evening for the purpose; but he would not say positively that it should not be taken after next week. He had no hesitation in saying that the Government would undertake that the House should not be called together in October. As to the Report of the Lords' Committee appointed to inquire into the Sweating System, he would ascertain whether it was necessary to make a formal Motion, in order that the Report of that Committee, which was appointed by the Lords, might be circulated among Members of the House of Commons. It would be necessary to take a Vote on Ways and Means on Saturday to give effect to the Votes in Supply.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

asked, whether the First Lord of the Treasury could give any explanation of the delay that had occurred in the issue of the Report of the Royal Commission on Education, especially after the surreptitious draft of that Report which had appeared some weeks ago?


That Report has been forwarded to Her Majesty, and will at once be presented to the House.

SIR JOHN SWINBURNE (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

asked, whether the Government would, before the House adjourned, circulate in the form of a Schedule a list of the measures they were going to bring forward in the Autumn Session?


said, the course proposed was a very unusual one. The Schedule which the hon. Baronet desired would probably be contained in the Orders of the Day, which would stand for the first few days of the Autumn Session.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the agreement making over the Ulster Canal to the Ulster Canal Company had been signed yet.


said, it had not.


asked, whether he would guarantee that before making over this Canal to the Company he would afford the House an opportunity of considering the terms of the agreement?


said, that would be a very unusual course, conveying that the Executive Government were not to be trusted in making agreements of this sort.


asked, was it not an extremely usual course, even though the Executive Government did possess the confidence of the House?


said, he was not aware that it was.


asked, whether, as there was no other moans of learning the terms of the draft agreement, hon. Members who called at the Treasury Office would be allowed to see it?


thought the hon. and learned Member would admit that he was usually very willing to afford every information in his power—[Mr. T. M. HEALY: Hear, hear!]—and he would endeavour in this case to afford the information desired.

In reply to Mr. JAMES STUART (Shore-ditch, Hoxton),


said, he was aware that he had undertaken to give three days' clear Notice of the Indian Budget; but he was sure the hon. Gentleman would feel that, at this period of the Session, that Notice was rather more than it was reasonable to require. He would give all the Notice in his power.

In reply to Mr. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside),


said, that he hoped that the Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Bill would be proceeded with before the Adjournment.