HC Deb 30 July 1891 vol 356 cc781-4

I wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government contemplate having a Sitting on Saturday, and whether there are any Bills still before the House for the consideration of which a particular day can be fixed?


Do the Government intend to proceed with the Clergy Discipline Bill? According to Hansard's Report of July 2, it was there stated by the Government that the Bill would not be proceeded with until the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. Gladstone) returned to the House.

MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)

May I ask when the Lords' Amendments to the London Public Health Bill will be considered? There are 11 pages of Amendments on the Paper, which was only issued this morning, and I wish to know whether the Amendments alter the character of the Bill or are likely to receive the support of the Government or not?

MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

There are no fewer than 137 Amendments to the Bill. No doubt many of them are non-contentious and some consequential, but there are others which will cause discussion, and, in view of the number of Amendments, I wish to ask whether the Government cannot fix a particular day next week for the consideration of the Bill?

SIR H. JAMES (Bury, Lancashire)

When do the Government propose to take the Lords' Amendments to the Factories and Workshops Bill?

MR. PICKARD (York, W.R., Normanton)

Are the Government prepared to give a day, or any portion of a day, for the discussion on the Eight Hours Bill?


With regard to the London Public Health Bill, I may state at once that all the Lords' Amendments except two are of a verbal character, and on those two I do not think much discussion or opposition is likely to be raised.

MR. MARJORIBANKS (Berwickshire)

Will the postponement of the Scotch Vote mean the loss of the £110,000, or will it only be held over to be disposed of in another year?


It will be impossible to give any of the small remaining part of the Session to the discussion of the Eight Hours Bill. With regard to the question of the right hon. Member for Derby (Sir W. Harcourt), arrangements must depend much on the progress made with business to-day and tomorrow. As soon as there is a prospect of Supply being speedily closed the Government will be better able to make arrangements for the convenience of the House with regard to the remaining business to be disposed of next week. I will ask the right hon. Gentleman to repeat his question to-morrow. As to the Factory Acts Amendment Bill, it will depend on the progress of Supply when it will be taken, and, therefore, I cannot say whether it will be taken on Monday or not. If I receive no serious protests in the course of the evening against the postponement of the Scotch Vote, I think I shall be able to accede to the suggestion, and postpone the Vote till next Session. The Government propose to have a Sitting on Saturday. In answer to the hon. Member for the Rugby Division (Mr. Cobb), I may say that the statement he alleges to be given in Hansard is erroneous. The Government recognised the interest the right hon. Gentleman took in the Bill, but they did not say they would not proceed with the Bill until he returned.

MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E, Rugby)

I find on reference to Hansard the First Lord of the Treasury is reported to have said— The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian is deeply interested in the measure, and I hope he will soon be able to return to the House in order that we may be able to proceed with the Bill.


I can assure my hon. Friend—the communications having passed a good deal through myself—that he is entirely mistaken. There is no assurance that this Bill is not to be proceeded with in the absence of the right hon. Member for Mid Lothian, who takes a deep interest in the Bill.

MR. S. T. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)

Do the Government intend to proceed with the Clergy Discipline Bill, then, this Session?


I am reluctant to withdraw the Clergy Discipline (Immorality) Bill until I am thoroughly convinced that the opposition to it is such that it will be absolutely impossible to pass it, but I venture to appeal to hon. Members—others may be able to appeal to them with greater force—not to allow a state of things to continue in which, as was stated yesterday, scandals may occur without any possibility of a remedy, when the passage of a few simple clauses might prevent a state of things which is to the interest neither of the Church nor the community.


In what order will the Civil Service Estimates be taken?


In their regular order.


With regard to the Eight Hours Bill, I should like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that an influential deputation of miners waited on the First Lord of the Treasury on this question, and although the right hon. Gentleman gave them no definite pledge, he certainly left in the minds of the vast majority of them an idea that a day would be granted for the discussion of the subject this Session.


Bearing in mind the advanced period of the Session and the business still to be transacted, I doubt if the House would be prepared to discuss the question.