HC Deb 23 February 1888 vol 322 cc1251-2

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he was now able to state when the Government proposed to introduce the most important measure of the Session—the County Government Bill?

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

It will be introduced at the very earliest day possible after we have considered the necessary Supplementary Estimates, which must be taken by the 15th of March.

MR. LABOUOHERE (Northampton)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, whether to-morrow the precedent of last year would be followed, and a general discussion allowed on the New Rules of Procedure, or whether they would go at once to Rule No. 1?


I should be reluctant to enter upon a general discussion of the Rules; because I am under the impression that the general discussion which we had last year sufficiently elucidated the question on which the judgment of the House will be asked by the Government. The introduction of new matter is very small; and I hope it is new matter which will generally receive the assent of the House without much delay.

MR. W. E. GLADSTONE (Edinburgh. Mid Lothian)

I venture to put a request to the right hon. Gentleman, that he will not consider that as a final answer. I am under the impression that our general discussion last year was of a very controversial character indeed; and I am not at all sure that it is expedient that it should be treated as an introduction to the discussion of the Rules this year. I think it is almost a matter of necessity that where there are a great number of independent proposals an opportunity, however limited, should be allowed for stating our views as a whole. I should be less disposed to make this representation to the right hon. Gentleman were it not for the fact that I really believe that it will conduce to the progress of Public Business.


I shall be most anxious to take any course which will conduce to the progress of Public Business, and the Motion which I shall have to make at half-past 4 to-morrow will permit, no doubt, of some little latitude in dealing with that question; but I am most reluctant to enter upon a discussion which shall only be repeated when we come to discuss particular Rules.

In reply to Sir BERNHARD SAMUELSON, (Oxfordshire, Banbury),


said, that he was afraid that the Railway Rates Bill would not come on for discussion in that House for some little time.


asked the Speaker, whether, on the Motion referred to by the First Lord of the Treasury, it would be open to Members to go into the general discussion of the Rules of Procedure?


I do not think it would be relevant to go into a general discussion of the Rules on the Motion to give precedence to their consideration; but the House might adopt the course which it adopted last year, and if such should be its pleasure I shall make no objection from the Chair. I would only remark that the Rules are, for the most part, independent one of another.