HC Deb 23 April 1891 vol 352 cc1171-2
MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rush-chile)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, inasmuch as the House has now been sitting this Session for 70 days as against 125 in the Session of 1890 and 122 in the Session of 1889, and, as out of a total of 175 Votes in Supply only 13 have been taken, he will now mention a time when the Government will enable the House to perform one of its primary duties, by fixing definite and regular days for the consideration of Supply?


I am obliged to the hon. Member for calling attention to the slow progress made with Public Business. The House has been sitting about 70 consecutive days, and Government Business has had precedence only on 43 of those days, eight of them having been devoted to Supply. If the hon. Gentleman would use his influence with some of the Members on his side of the House, who have occupied two-thirds of the time, or nearly so, with a view to prevent prolixity and repetition, the progress of Public Business might be somewhat more rapid. When the Land Purchase Bill has been reported to the House it will then be in our power to make some arrangement as to Supply.


Were we not, given a promise last Session that Supply should be taken early this year?


I am sure the hon. Gentleman will see that any arrangement to put down a particular order for a given day could be frustrated by gentlemen on his side of the House.

DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeen,. W.)

May I ask whether, if days cannot be fixed, the Estimates cannot be taken in their regular order? There is much inconvenience to Members in the fact that the Votes are not taken in their regular sequence.


It will always be my duty to suit the convenience of the House.