HC Deb 28 November 1888 vol 331 cc485-6

said, he did not know whether the First Lord of the Treasury was now prepared to name a day for the discussion of the Van and Wheel Tax, or whether, considering the congested state of the Public Business, it might not be better to abandon the Bill?

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

said, the Question was put without Notice; but he thought the House must have seen that, during the last few days, the delay in the progress of Public Business had been so serious that the Government were obliged to give up any hope of passing any contested measure during the course of the present Session. The Government had had every reason to believe the Bill would have been read a second time, but, beyond the second read- ing, there were other stages; and, looking at the opposition which had been offered to the Bill, he and his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer had most reluctantly come to the conclusion that a sufficient number of days did not exist between this and Christmas during which they could proceed with the measure with any reasonable hope of passing it. He was, therefore, obliged to say that the Government saw no hope whatever of pressing this measure on the House in the course of the present Session.