HC Deb 26 June 1890 vol 346 cc77-83
MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury when the Government will give the House an opportunity of considering Supply?


The Government propose to ask the House to go into Committee of Supply on a day in next week, when it will be necessary to ask for some Votes. On the following Monday I hope to proceed with the Irish Estimates, taking the Constabulary Vote first.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that the Irish Estimates will be separated from the rest?


An appeal was made to me more than once by right ton. Gentlemen opposite to place the Constabulary Vote before the House as early as possible. I am responding to that appeal by fixing it, I hope, for Monday week.


I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in the event of the withdrawal of the extinction of licences clauses of the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Duties Bill, the Government will consider the advisability of employing a portion of the extra Spirit Duty for the purpose of establishing a penny postage within the limits of the British Empire?


With reference to the very important communication which you, Mr. Speaker, made to the House on Tuesday last in reply to the question of the hon. and learned Member for Longford, the Government have given their most respectful and careful consideration to the dicta which fell from you, and which they do not presume to question; and in submitting themselves to the highest Constitutional Authority on matters of Parliamentary practice, they have no alternative but to withdraw the provisions relating to the fund for the purchase of licences from the Local Taxation Bill. Under those circumstances when we proceed with the Bill, we shall move to omit on the Report Sub-section 2 of the first clause, and in Committee Sub-section 2 of the second clause. On Clause 3 we shall move to omit Sub-section 1. Clauses 5, 6, and 7 will also go out of the Bill. With regard to Clause 8, I can only leave that clause in the hands of the House. With regard to the restriction on the issue of new licences, the Government are not prepared to enter into anything approaching a contest with the House on that clause, and if, therefore, it is proposed to raise Amendments, which are on the Paper to the extent of two pages, the only course open to the Government would be to withdraw that clause also. The Government, at a later date, will take into consideration all the various proposals which have been made with regard to the funds which will be released from the original appropriation under the Bill as it stands, and they will offer their recommendations to the House in the form of Amendments or a new clause to the Bill on a future day. But the Government reserve to themselves time for the consideration of the suggestions made in various parts of the House, in order that they may, as they hope, submit proposals which will meet with the general acceptance of the House.

SIR G. CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)

May I ask if it is intended to reinstate Clause 8 in the Western Australia Bill?

MR. W. E. GLADSTONE (Edinburgh, Mid Lothian)

I wish to widen the hon. Member's inquiry. The House is anxious for, and I may say is entitled to, some further information as to the course of public business. I, therefore, ask the right hon. Gentleman what additions he is prepared to make to the information he has already given us with regard to the immediate and the approaching course of business? The right hon. Gentleman has said that some nights next week are to be devoted to Supply, and that on Monday week the Irish Constabulary Vote will be taken. That is practically all the information we possess with regard to our prospects, and I think the right hon. Gentleman will feel we are entitled to ask, either to-day or on the earliest day that suits his convenience, for what I will call a revised edition of the statement he made a short time ago. For example, there is a Bill of very great importance in a state of very great uncertainty, and as to which there ought not to be uncertainty much longer—that is the Bill relating to the collection of tithe. We have no idea whether there is any serious intention of going forward with that Bill, or, if so, when it will be taken. I think the inference must be that it will be definitely postponed. I ask for information on that subject and on the general intentions of the Government as to proceeding with Bills or dropping them.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state now whether the Indian Council Bill, which stands for Monday, only stands formally for that day; if so, can he fix a day when the Bill will be taken?


I admit the reasonableness of the right hon. Gentleman's question, but I must ask for a few days in order to make a statement which may be regarded as definitive. I trust, however, the right hon. Gentleman will not assume that the Tithe Bill is not to be proceeded with, if, in the arrangements we make, we are unable to proceed with it next week. We are under the necessity of asking Votes in Supply on Thursday; and on being pressed by hon. Members as to the Irish Votes, I thought it best for the convenience of the House to state that Irish Supply would be taken on Monday week. The business for to-day and to-morrow will be found on the Paper. I hope it will be possible to complete the Debate on the Second Reading of the two Police Bills to-morrow. I think hon. Gentlemen opposite will agree that those Bills should be referred to either Standing or Select Committees. If it is not possible to read those Bills a second time tomorrow, then I shall have to ask that they be read a second time on Monday. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has prepared a Memorandum explanatory of the character of those Bills, which should, I think, be of considerable assistance in discussing them. I will state to-morrow what the business will be on Monday. It will be obvious that the business on the Paper to-night offers very few opportunities for difference of opinion. The Government do not propose to re-introduce Clause 8 into the Western Australia Bill. I am not able to state when the Indian Council Bill will be taken, but it will not be taken on Monday. It must stand over until the more pressing Bills are disposed of.


It will not be taken on Monday?


was understood to reply in the negative.

*MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)

I wish to ask when the Scotch Police Superannuation Bill is proposed to be taken, and what Supply is to be taken on Thursday?

MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the pledge given by the Home Secretary that the Scotch Police Superannuation Bill should be sent to a Select Committee?


The Scotch Bill will be referred to a separate Select Committee. With regard to Supply, on Thursday it is intended to take the Army Estimates, and we shall put down the War Office Vote.

MR. BAUMANN (Camberwell, Peckham)

I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he did not give an undertaking to the House the other evening that when the Police Vote was disposed of he would put down the Colonial Vote. Will the right hon. Gentleman depart from that undertaking?


I do not think I undertook to finish any Vote. I said it would be desirable we should proceed with the consideration of the Vote; but I think it must be admitted that the Army Estimates must have precedence.

MR. STANLEY LEIGHTON (Shropshire, Oswestry)

Do I understand my right hon. Friend to pledge the Government to proceed this Session with the Tithe Rent-charge Bill, or does he decline to give such a pledge?


I did not decline to pledge the Government to proceed with the Tithe Rent-charge Bill. On the contrary, my language was in the opposite direction.

SIR G. TREVELYAN (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to take the Scotch and English Police Bills to-morrow; and, if so, will it be in order for the Scotch Members to speak on the general question of police as relating to Scotland on the Debate on the Second Reading of the English Bill?


As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I am not an authority on points of order. But I have no doubt, Sir, that, with you in the Chair, due licence will be given to hon. Members during the discussion on the principle of superannuation, even if it should extend beyond the scope of the Bill on which the speech is made. I hope hon. Gentlemen will understand that we only ask them to accept the principle of superannuation on the Second Heading, and that, by assenting to the Second Reading, they will not bind themselves upon any question of detail.

MR.H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I wish to ask whether the Government will not send the English as well as the Scotch Police Bill to a Select Committee? There is considerable opposition to referring it to a Grand Committee.


The Government are prepared to take either course as the House desires.

MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S. E.)

I beg to ask my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury a question of which I have given him private notice, namely, whether the Government will give facilities for the Small Holdings Bill introduced by myself and the hon. Member for East Norfolk?


My hon. and gallant Friend will see that the opportunities which the Government have of affording facilities are very limited.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the postponement of the Colonial Vote will deprive hon. Members of opportunities of discussing the Agreement between this country and Germany, and will he have the Colonial Vote set down for an early day?


I will endeavour to get the Vote forward as early as possible; but I think that colonial subjects have already been discussed during two evenings. [Cries of "No!"] The hon. Member will have the opportunity he desires.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when it is his intention to take the Navy Estimates?


I am unable to say.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to say whether he intends to take the fourth notice of Motion on the Paper to-night, the appointment of the Committee on the Procedure of the House? The names have only been put down to-day, and if it is desired by any hon. Member to substitute another name, it is not possible to do so without notice.


I was under the impression that it was desirable to take the Motion to-night. It is not usual to oppose these nominations, settled as they have been in the manner with which the hon. Member is familiar.


Whether it is usual or not, is it not absolutely necessary to give notice for the substitution of a name, and the rights of Members are lost if they do not give notice before the Motion comes on? I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not persist in taking the Motion this evening, because it will be opposed.

MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

In regard to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the Police Superannuation Bill is to be referred to a Select Committee, is he aware that the question of police superannuation was examined in 1877, and is not this further reference to a Committee calculated very much to delay the matter?


I should be extremely sorry, as I am sure would be the House generally, if the Bill should be delayed by the reference to a Committee. While it is true the question of police superannuation was carefully examined by a Committee some years ago, the mode of settlement proposed in the Bill has had no such examination, and I could not resist the desire of hon. Members that the Bill should be referred to a Select Committee for examination of the important details in the Bill. I trust the Committee will rapidly come to their Report.


Then I would ask that the Committee should be struck at once, and nominated as soon as possible.


Certainly; every effort will be made to secure despatch.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

With regard to Orders No. 13 and 14, the Reformatory Schools Bill and the Industrial Schools Bill, may we not have something more than a negative answer that they will not be taken to-night? There is a strong feeling among members of School Boards, especially in reference to the Industrial Schools Bill. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when the Bills will be taken; can he give definite notice?


Notice will be given. I am not able to say just now.


Is it the intention to take any other of the Army Estimates on Thursday but the War Office Vote? The Medical Vote is next, and as the right hon. Gentleman is aware, probably, there is the keenest interest taken in that Vote.


We shall only take the War Office Vote.

MR. BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give us a distinct promise that the Motion for the appointment of the Committee on the Business of the House will not be taken to-night?


No; I cannot do that.