HC Deb 30 July 1888 vol 329 cc762-3
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury Whether his attention had been called to the fact that 37 Committees of this House, including Grand Committees, Hybrid Committees, and Joint Committees of both Houses, have been appointed this Session, upon which 591 Members have been required to sit, exclusive of Members added to Grand Committees for particular Bills; that, in addition, 120 Members have been required as added Members to the Grand Committees; and that 71 Members have also been required on opposed Private Bills Committees; whether this number of Members is, in all, in excess of any number ever required for Committees in any previous Session of Parment; and, whether, as Loader of the House, he will, during the Recess, consider whether it is possible to diminish the enormous strain on private Members caused by this heavy Committee work?

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

, in reply, said, the hon. Member gave the House a great deal of interesting information as to the labours of hon. Members, which, he believed, was perfectly accurate. The total of Members mho had that Session served on Committees was given at 782; but that total had several times been exceeded, and in 1882–3 it reached so high as 909. He should be very glad, consistently with the discharge of the Business of the House, to do anything to spare hon. Members; but it must be remembered that the House generally approved of the system of delegation to Committees, as tending to the quicker and, what was far more important, the more efficient discharge of the duties of the House.