§ MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's Co., Ossory)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he had any serious intention of proceeding with the Bills standing in his name for the drainage of the Bann, Barrow, and the Shannon; and, if so, was it his intention to make a statement when introducing the Bills, or to reserve them till the second reading? He begged to ask the right hon. Gentleman further, whether, in the event of the Bills being acceptable to the House, 1546 he would press them forward through all their stages, so that they might become law during the present Session?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
I am unable to understand what the hon. Gentleman means by "serious." He must be aware that the other day I got up to move the introduction of these Bills, and the hon. and learned Member for North Longford (Mr. T. M. HEALY) was of opinion—of which I do not complain—that a more convenient season might be chosen for doing so; and in deference to his wish, which I understood to be the wish of hon. Gentlemen sitting near him, I deferred introducing them on that occasion. I am anxious to do so on the first possible occasion, and I should like to make a statement which would not be unduly curtailed. I will consult my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury as to what day will be most convenient.
§ MR. W. A. MACDONALD
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that the Bills were on the Paper for last night, and the right hon. Gentleman did not move them then, although the hon. and learned Member for North Longford did not oppose. I also asked the right hon. Gentleman whether, in the event of the Bills proving acceptable to the House, he would press them forward and pass them this Session?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I presumed that the objection of the hon. and learned Member for North Longford would apply to last night the same as to Monday night, and I am bound to say I think there was a great deal in the objection. As to the second Question of the hon. Gentleman, of course I mean to ask the House to pass into law this and other proposals which I have the honour of laying before the House in regard to Ireland.