§ MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
said, that as the course of Public Business had somewhat changed during the past few days, perhaps the First Lord of the Treasury would be able to give the House some information on the subject?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
I am very glad that the right hon. Gentleman has asked me a Question on this subject. I very much regret that the course of Public Business has been different from what I contemplated at first. We had hoped that the discussion on the Land Purchase (Ireland) Bill would have been finished before now; but as we have been disappointed in our expectation I would make an earnest appeal to hon. Gentlemen on both sides to aid us in bringing the discussion on the Bill to a conclusion. I think I may make that appeal in the interest of the House, whatever the views of hon. Gentlemen. The Bill has been under discussion now for the seventh day, and there has been but one Amendment moved in Committee, as to the amount thought necessary for land purchase. I should hope, then, that we may be able to bring this business in Committee this evening to a conclusion. Then we should take the third reading to-morrow. After that we shall be under the necessity of asking the House to proceed at once with Supply. I should regret that we should be obliged to ask the House for a further Vote on Account. [An hon. MEMBER: What Supply?] The Civil Service Estimates; with a view to taking the Irish Estimates on Monday next, so as to carry out our obligation to hon. Members opposite. As considerable progress in Supply is essential between this and Monday next, we shall have to ask the House to sit on Saturday. I am sure the House will 325 feel that at this time, approaching the month of December, unless considerable progress is made in Supply, very grave inconvenience may be caused. We propose to take Supply on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
§ MR. JOHN MORLEY
asked, if they were to suppose that the Excise Duties (Local Purposes) Bill was indefinitely postponed?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling, &c.)
asked, whether the Scotch Estimates would follow immediately after the Irish Estimates?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, the right hon. Gentleman must give him a little indulgence till they saw what progress was made with the Irish Estimates. If they were finished on Thursday of next week the Scotch Votes might be proceeded with on Friday.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
said, he had half-a-dozen Amendments on the Paper, and he saw no reason why those Amendments should not be disposed of to night, and the Report and Third Reading taken at the next sitting. There was, in fact, no obstruction, and there was no reason why Amendments should not be incorporated in the Bill.
§ MR. WIGGIN (Staffordshire, Handsworth)
asked, if the right hon. Gentleman's statement applied to the Employers' Liability for Injuries to Workmen Bill?
§ DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
said, that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House at first proposed to take the Scotch Estimates before the Irish, and Scotch Members had made arrangements accordingly. Under these circumstances he thought the right hon. Gentleman might fairly tell them to morrow when he intended to go on with the Scotch Estimates?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I shall endeavour to give the House as much information as I can on Thursday next.
§ In reply to Mr. CHANNING (Northampton, E.),326
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
said, that Class V. of the Estimates would be taken as soon as they had closed Class VI.