§ MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
asked, with reference to the date of the second reading of the Local Government (England and Wales) Bill, for which they had only 12 days for its consideration, Whether the First Lord of the Treasury could not find it consistent to give a longer time for the consideration of the measure? Twelve days were not enough for hon. Members to make themselves masters of this somewhat formidable measure. There had been no Bill like it since the Irish Land Bill or the Irish Church Bill, 18 days being given in the one case and three weeks in the other for consideration.
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster) ,
in reply, said, he fully appreciated the spirit in which the Question was put; but, looking at the course of Public Business, and having regard to the fact that the principal discussion on a measure of this kind must be in Committee, the Government felt it necessary to take the second reading of the Bill at the earliest possible period, consistently with due notice to the country and to the subject-matter of the Bill. Seeing that the President of the Local Government Board explained the measure at full length on Monday week, he thought that an interval of three weeks and a few days after that statement was sufficient for the consideration of the Bill by the country and by the House before they were asked to assent to its principle.