§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, in consequence of what took place at the close of business last night, when we wore informed by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill that it would be put down for Thursday, whether on Thursday the Bill will be actually taken, or, if not, it may be carried on to a date at which it can be taken, as great inconvenience is now being felt by Members interested in the Bill and who wish to take part in the Debate. My question to the right hon. Gentleman now is, can he possibly say when the Bill will be taken; and, if not, will he name a day before which it shall not be taken, and so relieve Members from the uncertainty of coming down to take part in a Debate which may not come on.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I am very sorry that hon. Members should feel any inconvenience with regard to the course of public business; but hon. Gentlemen have been a sufficiently long time in the House to know that it is not always possible to make provision that Orders of the Day causing the attendance of Members shall be reached, as, unfortunately, it is not always competent for the House to reach them. We had hoped that the Order would be reached in the ordinary course of things, but in that we were disappointed. Under the circumstances, I am not in a position to say when the Order will be taken; but I will endeavour, as far as possible, to meet the convenience of hon. Gentlemen.
§ MR. BRADLAUGH
May I ask whether the Bill will not be taken on Thursday, because there was not an absolute pledge that it should. It was the' understanding, I believe, that at least two days' notice should be given, so that I might communicate with hon. Members interested in the measure.