§ Order for Committee read.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (12.3.) DR. TANNER
This is a matter concerning which a great deal has been said from time to time, and for many years hon. Members have tried to enforce on the attention of Her Majesty's Government the claims of the district of Ballinasloe for the execution of drainage works. I now want to know what is going to be done, and to what extent the funds asked for will be applied for the real benefit of the neighbourhood? I sincerely hope that this money will not be thrown away in the manner in which we are accustomed to see large sums of money, voted by the House, squandered. I must expostulate with the Government trying, night after night, when the hour of 12 approaches, to pass these large sums of money without giving us any explanation of what they are going to do. It is positively insulting to the Members who come from Ireland that they should be required to agree to these Votes without one word of explanation.
§ *THE SECRET ARY TO THE TREASURY (MR. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
This is really what I may call a stage which is necessary before the Bill can be introduced, and I hope the hon. Member and the Committee will be satisfied to allow this stage to pass, and the Bill to be introduced, so that the House may see what the Bill contains. The history of the matter is within the recollection of hon. Members. Last year a private Bill, which provided 1067 for an extension of the time for the completion of the drainage of the River Suck, was introduced. There has been a large expenditure already sanctioned, and that money cannot be appropriated on the land under the Act of last year unless and until the works are completed, and the works cannot be completed unless some aid is given in the shape of a grant. The Government came to the conclusion that a case had been made out for giving a grant, and the Bill proposes to make a grant of £50,000, to be expended by the Local Authority fixed under the Bill of last year. The interests of the tenants and of the district are fully protected, and, therefore, I hope this preliminary stage will be assented to.
§ DR. TANNER
I had not an opportunity of being present last year because the Chief Secretary for Ireland locked me up. I think it is only right that a Member who differs from Her Majesty's Government on nearly every measure they introduce should endeavour to extract from the Government, even at an hour when they are getting tired. [The CHAIRMAN (Sir J. Gorst): Order, order !] As a Member of Her Majesty's Government, Sir John Gorst, I bow to your superior judgment. I consider the Government are hardly treating us with decency, and I must object to the grant being passed at this time of night.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday.