§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Committee be deferred till To-morrow."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
said, he would again ask why put the Bill down for a day that must inevitably be occupied with other Business? He had himself a Motion on the general condition of Ireland that would in itself take up all available time.
§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
said, he wished to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, if there was really any intention of pressing this Bill forward or not? If there was not such an intention, what was going to be done to remove the block in the Land Court? To the removal of that block the Bill was directed; but the Bill was not pressed forward, and the block continued; and, on behalf of the tenants of Ulster, he asked what was going to be done?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said, he had done his utmost to bring the Bill on, and that his efforts had not been successful was due to causes over which neither he or his Colleagues had any control, and which had greatly delayed that progress of Business they had hoped to make in the last few weeks. That was the sole cause of delay with the Bill. But he was far from despairing of passing the Bill within a reasonable time. The hon. Member was aware that other Bills had taken a much longer time than the Government expected, and the Local Government Bill must be proceeded with rapidly. Hence it was that there was delay with this Bill. For putting the Bill down for tomorrow, he could only repeat the reason he had just given, and he was following strictly the Parliamentary practice adopted by successive Governments, based, he presumed, on the fact that the daily course of Parliamentary Business was always attended by some uncertainty. The hen, and learned Member 1147 for North Longford (Mr. T. M. Healy) said he had a Motion that he would guarantee would take up the whole time, and provent the Bill coming on. But unforeseen contingencies might arise, the hon. and learned Member might be indisposed.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Many accidents might alter the anticipated course of Business, and, therefore, he was anxious not to lose the remotest chance of proceeding with the Bill.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
said, he desired only a word in the interest of historical accuracy. The right hon. Gentleman said the delay with the Bill was occasioned by causes over which the Government had no control; but really it was due to a cause over which the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues had full control. The only reason why the Bill for removing the block in the Land Court was not in an advanced instead of in a backward stage, was entirely due to the persistency with which the Government, in and out of season, had pressed forward that unfortunate measure, the Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Bill, of which that night he hoped the House had heard the last.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee deferred till Thursday.