Motion made, and Question proposed,
That whenever the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill shall be appointed for Tuesday or Friday the House shall meet at Two of the clock."—(Mr. William Henry Smith.)
§ MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)
said, he presumed it was the wish of the House that the Bill should be proceeded with rapidly, and that there would be, he hoped, no objection to the right hon. Gentleman's proposal; but if the House gave up Tuesday and Friday mornings to the consideration of the Bill, he thought that on Mondays and Thursdays no Business should be put in the front of the Paper except this Bill and matters of Supply and Ways and Means.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
said, he thoroughly entered into and sympathized with the spirit of the right hon. Gentleman's observations. The Government felt that in asking the House for Tuesday and Friday mornings they were asking a great deal; but they did so for the sake of a measure in which the House took a very considerable interest, and which they were bound, therefore, to further as much as possible, not only on the two days he now asked for, but also on Mondays and Thursdays. The Government intended, therefore, that the principal Business on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays should be the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill in Committee, unless it were interrupted by Supply or any urgent measure, such, for instance, as the measure of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to the Wine Duties. There were also other small matters which might, from time to 1439 time, have to be placed on the Paper. It might be necessary, for instance, to take the Report stage of a Bill, in order to send it to the House of Lords, or a Money Resolution such as that which stood first on the Orders that Day with reference to the Railway and Canal Traffic Bill. Unless that Resolution were passed, the Grand Committee could not deal with the clauses. There were necessarily matters of that kind which might have to be interposed between the meeting of the House and the commencement of the principal Business of the evening. He only mentioned those matters in order that there might be no suggestion of a want of faith on the part of the Government.
§ In answer to Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT (Derby),
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
further said, that whenever it was found necessary to take other Business before the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill it would be so stated on the previous evening.
§ In answer to Mr. STANSFELD (Halifax),
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, that on Tuesdays and Fridays no Opposed Business of any kind would be taken, except the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
asked if the Government would promise to do their best to keep a House on Tuesday and Friday evenings?
§ MR. ANDERSON (Elgin and Nairn)
said, that as the rest of the Session was to be mainly devoted to the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill, he should like to ask, whether the Government proposed to introduce and press home the measures relating to Scotland which they had promised?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
Certainly. It is the desire of the Government to make progress with and pass several Scottish measures in the course of the Session, and I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman and those with whom he sits will assist the Government in passing the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill rapidly through the Committee, in order that we may be able to pass those other measures which we regard as of great importance, and which we consider ought to be passed this Session.
§ Question put, and agreed to.