HC Deb 17 April 1891 vol 352 cc797-9
DR. CLARK (Caithness)

I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will consider the desirability, in consequence of so many Members sitting on Grand and Select Committees, of still further modifying the Rule as to Morning Sittings on Tuesdays and Fridays, by having the Morning Sitting from 3.0 to 8.0 and the Evening Sitting from 8.30 to 12.0? [Cries of"Oh !"]


I do not believe I could make a more unpopular proposition to the House than that indicated in the suggestion of the hon. Member. I have considered, so far as the means at my disposal have allowed me, the suggestion made yesterday with regard to the alteration of the Standing Order affecting the Evening Sittings on Tuesdays and Fridays, when following Morning Sittings, and I intend to put a Motion on the Paper for Monday at 12 o'clock —that is to say, after the ordinary business has been disposed of—for the consideration of the House. If the House is disposed to accept it I should be very glad to move it, but it is one which is entirely for the House itself to decide. It is not in any way a matter which the Government would think it right to press upon the House. The Motion I should make would be that the Sittings on Tuesday and Friday evenings shall be held subject to the rules which regulate the ordinary Day Sittings. The result would be that the Debate would be suspended at 12 o'clock, and that any Opposed Business could not be taken after that hour. If it were possible to dispose of any Motions which are not opposed, or to go through the Orders of the Day for the purpose of fixing them for a future day after 12 o'clock, that I think would be a convenience to hon. Members generally. It would also afford facilities which the present rules deny to hon. Members, to get the stage of an Unopposed Bill, or to get an Unopposed Motion accepted by the House. I make this statement by way of explanation, but I trust the House will understand that in putting the Motion down for 12 o'clock on Monday, I do not wish to urge the House to accept it then if further time is desired for its consideration, or if there is any considerable feeling against it. It would be obviously in the power of any hon. Member to object to the Motion.


May I ask whether the rule as to Unopposed Business or General Business between 12 and 1 would be different from the present rule?


Precisely the same rule which takes effect at 12 o'clock at an ordinary Sitting will apply.

MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)

Do the Government intend to take the Report of Supply on Tuesdays and Fridays?


Certainly, Sir.

MR.J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

As several Bills have been referred to the Standing Committee on Law may I ask when the Committee will sit?


I have no official information, but I believe the Committee will sit on Thursday next.

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