§ MR. SCHWANN
I beg to ask the, right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury when he proposes to take the Foreign Office Vote?
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH
I regret to say that we made very slow progress with the Police Bill on Saturday. We are anxious to bring on the Foreign Office Vote as soon as possible, but we cannot do so until the Bills now before the House are completed. It rests with hon. Members opposite themselves to forward the business of the House, and I would most earnestly appeal to those who ask for consideration to show some of that consideration which they owe to their colleagues in this House, so as to enable us to make such progress with business as is reasonable. We might well have expected that greater progress would be made on Saturday. In the circumstances, I cannot say when the Foreign Office Vote will be taken.
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH.
After the Bills now before the House have been completed. There is only one Vote for the Foreign Office. I wish to give notice that to-morrow I shall move the suspension of the 12 o'clock Rule, as far as 1773 Government business is concerned, for the remainder of the Session.
§ MR. W. A. MACDONALD (Queen's Co., Ossory)
Can the right hon. Gentle-man inform the House when the Irish Census Bill will be taken?
§ * MR. W. H. SMITH
The English and Scotch Bills stand before that measure, and the Irish Bill will be taken directly after them.
§ (5.5.) MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to inform the House what he is going to do with the Savings Banks Bill? The right hon. Gentleman will remember that about a week ago he stated that the Bill would not be proceeded with if it were opposed, and now there were 39 notices of opposition against the measure.
§ * MR. BARTLEY) (Islington, N.
The Savings Banks Bill is brought forward in the interests of 1,500,000 persons, and I should like to ask whether it is not a fact that a few Members opposite are alone responsible for the opposition to it.
§ MR. MADDEN
These Bills contain details which certainly require discussion. I do not intend to proceed with them this Session, but they will be re-introduced next Session. The Orders will be read and discharged.
MR. PHILIPPS (Lanark, Mid)
May I ask when the Scotch Estimates will fee submitted?
MR. HUNTER) (Aberdeen; N.
Is it the intention of the Government to take the Second Reading of the Factors (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill before the Foreign Office Vote?
§ MR. HOWELL) (Bethnal Green, N.E.
May I ask whether the Savings Banks Bill had not been the subject of most careful consideration in a Committee upstairs?
§ *(5. 7.) MR. W. H. SMITH
I believe that the hon. Member for Bethnal Green has correctly represented the origin of the Savings Banks Bill. It is no doubt the result of a very careful inquiry before the Committee, and the desire of the Committee that the Bill should pass is 1774 not confined to any section or Party in this House, but is, I believe, as widespread on the other side of the House as on this. We desire to provide satisfactory security for the savings of the working classes of this country. The present arrangements do not afford adequate security, and the Government hope to provide such security by the adoption of this measure. If the Bill should be defeated this Session by any dilatory opposition, the whole responsibility for any evils that may occur in connection with savings banks next year must rest on hon. Members who oppose the measure. I cannot say this evening whether it will be proceeded with or not in case of a continuance of the kind of opposition which it has met. To the hon. Member for Lanarkshire I may point out that I have already said that the Scotch Estimates will follow the Foreign Office Vote. The Factors Bill was, I thought, an uncontested measure, but it appears that the hon. Member for Aberdeen wishes to oppose it.
What I object to is the introduction in the dying days of the Session of Bills seriously altering and affecting Scotch law when there is no time for their consideration.
§ *(5.10.) MR. W. H. SMITH
The Bill has appeared upon the Paper for many weeks, and it has been considered by the House of Lords with great care. It is a legal measure of great advantage to the public.