HC Deb 08 August 1890 vol 348 cc272-5
MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can make any statement with regard to the meeting of the House in the Autumn beyond what has been already indicated, as it may be a great convenience to many hon. Members? I also wish, in the second place, to know whether, as it is the very general wish on this side of the House that the Foreign Office Vote should be proceeded with as soon as possible, and as it would probably not take more than two hours, the right hon. Gentleman will agree to take that Vote now before the Navy Vote? My right hon. Friend (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) is quite of opinion that it would be a pity to divide the Foreign Office Vote.


Is it proposed that the Sitting to-morrow shall be of an indefinite length, as it is not to be governed by the Wednesday Rules? It would also be convenient to learn what Government business is to be disposed of to-morrow.


Can the right hon. Gentleman now definitely fix a day for the Indian Budget?


As far as the Maltese question is concerned, I altogether demur to the statement that the Foreign Office Vote will only take two hours.


I also demur to it. There are a good many other subjects to be considered in connection with the Foreign Office Vote.


When will the Home Office Vote be taken?


The hon. Member for Aberdeen asked me first to make a statement with respect to the Autumn Session. I am afraid I cannot make any statement other than I have already made—that it will be in November. With regard to the Sitting tomorrow, the proposal, so far as the Government is concerned, is that the Sitting should be confined to the consideration of the Estimates and of Ways and Means. We do not propose to consider any Bills with the exception of the Census (Ireland) Bill if it should be postponed this evening, and amended Bills which may come down from the House of Lords, and may remain for consideration. The hon. Member for Belfast (Mr. Sexton) spoke of the indefinite duration of the Sitting to-morrow. The duration of the Sitting will be determined by the general desire of the House. If it be the desire of the House to make great progress with the Estimates, the Government will not object; but if it be the general wish of the House to rise shortly after 7 o'clock, the Government would be willing to meet that view. With regard to the Indian Budget, in the event of the Votes in Supply being concluded, either to-morrow—["No"]—or at least on Monday, the Indian Budget will be taken on Tuesday, but it cannot be taken until after Supply has been concluded. With regard to the Foreign Office Vote, I should be very glad to meet the wish of the House as far as I possibly could; but I made an engagement with the House to take the Navy Estimates to-day. If, however, there is a general understanding that the Foreign Office Vote should be disposed of in a couple of hours, or before 7 o'clock this evening, and if it would not be disagreeable to hon. Gentlemen who take an interest in the Navy and the Army that the interval should be allotted to the Foreign Office Vote, I should we willing. If there be this general understanding, I would appeal to hon. Gentlemen to permit me to depart so far from my engagement on the Navy and Army Votes as to allow the Foreign Office Vote to be taken before 7 o'clock this evening. But if I do not receive an assurance that the consideration of the Vote will be concluded by that time, I should not be justified in asking hon. Gentlemen interested in the Army and Navy to give way.

MR. DUFF (Banffshire)

I would beg the First Lord of the Treasury to take the Navy Vote first. If the Navy Vote is to give way, I hope it will be on the understanding that the discussion on the Foreign Office Vote shall not go beyond two hours.


I think it would be a great injustice to postpone the Navy Votes.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

As a point of order, as the Orders of the Day say that the Navy, Army, and Civil Service Votes are to be taken, is it competent to take the Foreign Office Vote first?


An alteration may be made by the consent of the House.


I believe that the discussion on the Foreign Office Vote may be fairly concluded by 7 o'clock.


I read in the papers that the Foreign Office Vote was fixed as the first Vote for Friday. Taking a great interest in the Maltese question, I came over specially, as it is a matter of concern to the Irish people as well as to the Maltese, involving as it does the question of the veto. The discussion cannot possibly be closed in two hours.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I would suggest that the difficulty may be met by having a two hours' discussion on the Navy Vote. After that the right hon. Gentleman may move the Closure. The Foreign Office Vote, under the circumstances, is much the more important.


This is the third time I have endeavoured to approach a subject depending on the Navy Vote, and I shall be exceedingly sorry if I find myself postponed for anything. I shall be very glad if we keep to the order on the Paper.

MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

If the Navy Votes are taken first I do not think they will last longer than 7 o'clock. Any further discussion that may be necessary can take place on the Report.


I think that I shall be best consulting the convenience of the House if I adhere to the arrangement already fixed.