HC Deb 22 November 1888 vol 330 cc1931-2
MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

begged the indulgence of the House while he asked the First Lord of the Treasury what course the Government proposed to pursue, during the remainder of the Session, with reference to the Bills of private Members? He took it they were now in the position they were ordinarily in when the Session was drawing to a close, and when they had only to deal with Supply and Government measures. Towards the end of a Session there was a general understanding that the Government would not afford facilities for proceeding with Bills of private Members. He could quite understand hon. Members coming down night after night to deal with Government Bills; but he did not think they ought to be called upon to deal with the Bills of private Members, unless the Government meant to support and carry them.

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

said, he thought the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly reasonable in his view of the purposes to which this Autumn Sitting was devoted. Undoubtedly this Sitting was primarily for Government Business; but he would not say that a private Member's Bill, which was unopposed, should not pass. However, so far as the Government was concerned, it would not be any portion of their duty to provide facilities for the discussion of private Members' Bills which were opposed. He trusted, therefore, that hon. Members who found that opposition was likely to be taken to their Bills would withdraw them.


asked what the right hon. Gentleman proposed to do with those Bills which appeared on the Paper as Private Bills, but which were really Lords' Bills?


said, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Haddingtonshire (Mr. Haldane) had already given an indication of the course which hon. Gentlemen in charge of Bills coming from "another place" were prepared to do—he had withdrawn a Lords' Bill.