HC Deb 28 March 1890 vol 343 cc188-91
VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Lancashire, N.E., Darwen)

May I ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can give some intimation, in the event of the Tithes Bill being read a second time this evening, what day will be fixed for the Committee stage?


I hope on Monday, the 21st; certainly not before that day.

MR. OLDROYD (Dewsbury)

Will the Allotments Bill be taken on Monday?


The Government propose to take Supply on Monday.

MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I think the reply a little ambiguous. The House would prefer to know positively whether the Allotments Bill will or will not be taken on Monday?


I think my answer was sufficient. Supply is likely to take the whole evening. The Bill will not be taken.

SIR G. CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy)

What business will be taken on Monday, April 14?


Supply will be taken.


What Supply?


I cannot say, but ample notice will be given.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Order for resuming the Adjourned Debate on the Second Reading of the Tithe Rent-charge Recovery and Redemption Bill have precedence this day of all Orders of the Day, including the Committee of Supply."—(Mr. William Henry Smith.)

(4.50.) MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I have not risen to oppose the Motion, but I wish to have some sort of understanding with the First Lord of the Treasury, in view of his persistent raids on the time of private Members. Apparently this demand is made in order to get an additional day for the discussion of the Tithes Bill; but, in point of fact, it really is asked in order to secure to the Government an additional day for the Estimates. The right hon. Gentleman says that the Easter vacation will not take place unless the Tithes Bill is read before Easter. Hon. Members intend to limit their eloquence on the Second Reading in order to secure that object. The Bill is to be discussed for two days; but no sooner had this arrangement been come to than the right hon. Gentleman said—"I must take Friday, and put down the Tithes Bill on that day, in order that I may be able to take Monday for Estimates." I have been unable to discover why the right hon. Gentleman thinks it necessary to have an additional amount of money before Easter. A few weeks ago he asked for a Vote on Account, and took a private Members' day. The Vote was for two months, an excessive term, and that amount might have carried the Government over Easter. If these things occur before Easter the House knows what will take place after Easter; not a single day will be left to private Members. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not be more reasonable when he wants extra time to have Morning Sittings on Tuesdays and Fridays? What causes me to hate the House is that hon. Members never can get any definite knowledge of what they are going to do a week in advance. I urge the right hon. Gentleman to have some compassion upon hon. Members, to consider that we are very long-suffering persons, and that he is the master of many legions. He might at least make some arrangement whereby hon. Members could have time to themselves at any rate after 9 o'clock in the evening.

(4.54.) MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

I know it is of no use protesting against the Resolution, although I have on the Paper to-day an important notice, and one the appropriateness of which will cease unless it can be brought on before the Budget Statement is made. I do, however, want to point out to the right hon. Gentleman that he is hardly dealing fairly with private Members. It is said that private Members only indulge in destructive attacks on the Government, and do not help in constructive legislation. I have introduced a small Bill dealing with certain small points of interest, and as to which I was assured by the first Law Officer of the Crown that it met with the approval of the Government; but, notwithstanding that, progress with it has been stopped by a mere notice of an Amendment put on the Paper by one of the followers of the right hon. Gentleman. The Government, by their action in regard to private Members, are reducing Membership of the House almost to a farce, so far as constructive work is concerned.

*(4.56.) MR. W. H. SMITH

I think the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken will admit that he has not been unsuccessful in regard to legislation as a private Member, and that the Government have not been unwilling to render him assistance. As to the Motion which the hon. Member has on the Paper, I think that if he will wait until the Chancellor of the Exchequer explains the Budget, he will find that no opportunity has been lost by the postponement of that question. The hon. Gentleman who spoke as the representative of the humble and long-suffering Members of this House complains that he has no definite knowledge of what the House is going to do a week in advance. But may I point out that more than a week in advance I stated to the House that the Tithes Bill must be read a second time this week, and that Supply would be needed before adjournment for the Easter holidays. I have given as much notice as was possible in the circumstances. The senior Member for Northampton has recommended Morning Sittings for the conduct of public business. I will give the hon. Member an opportunity of supporting a proposal of that kind which I shall make immediately after Easter. I think it is my duty to ask the House to vote Supply as rapidly as it can, consistently with the proper discharge of its duties; and I do not think at any time the House has adjourned at Easter without having made some progress in Supply. I should like to correct one statement which I made a few moments ago. I do not wish it to be inferred that the Committee on the Tithes Bill will necessarily be taken on the 21st April, because the Second Reading of the Land Bill must precede the Committee stage of the Tithes Bill.

(5.1.) Question put, and agreed to. Ordered, That the Order for resuming the Adjourned Debate on the Second Reading of the Tithe Rent-Charge Recovery and Redemption Bill have precedence, this day, of all Orders of the Day, including the Committee of Supply.—(Mr. William Henry Smith.)

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