HC Deb 07 March 1888 vol 323 cc523-4

That, whenever the House shall be in Committee at Seven o'clock, the Chairman do report Progress when the House resumes its sitting.

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

said, he believed lion. Gentlemen opposite would not desire to take away the interval between the Morning and Evening Sitting, which right the Government desired to preserve, lie thought hon. Gentlemen would see that it was impossible to conduct the Business of the House without Morning Sittings more or less frequently towards the end of the Session, and even sometimes earlier. He was most undesirous of taking the whole Sitting, and it was exceedingly disagreeable to trench upon the rights of private Members. It was for these reasons that the Government had proposed the Resolution to which he asked the House to agree. In order, however, to make it clear that the House, after meeting at 9 o'clock, should not continue to sit till any hour, he was advised that it would be desirable to add these words at the end of the Resolution relating to the Standing Order of 30th April, 1869— That the House shall, unless previously adjourned, sit until One o'clock, a.m., when the Speaker shall adjourn the House without Question put, unless a Bill or Proceedings exempted from the operation of Standing Order ' Sittings of the House' be then under consideration. That the Business under discussion and any Orders of the Day not disposed of at One o'clock, a.m., do stand for the next day on which the House shall sit.


said, he would first put the Question that the Resolutions of the 30th April, 1860, be made a Standing Order of the House, and the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury could then add his Amendment as a substantive Amendment after the word "Sitting."

SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

said, the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury was that the House was to be put to extreme inconvenience in order to enable the Government to take the time of private Members by a side wind. In his (Sir George Campbell's) opinion the existing Rule of the House was better than the right hon. Gentleman's proposal. It would be extremely difficult to get a House at 9 o'clock. The right hon. Gentleman said, his object was to protect the rights of private Members. But, although by the Standing Orders private Members were to have at their disposal Tuesdays and Fridays, it had become the custom of the Government to take away more than two-thirds of the time to which they were entitled. He would prefer that private Members should have one night in the week rather than that their time should be taken from them in the manner proposed.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That the said Resolutions be Standing Orders of the House.