HC Deb 01 May 1891 vol 352 cc1853-5
MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

I desire to ask your ruling, Sir, upon a point of Order in connection with the Orders of the Day, namely, whether, in view of the Motion passed yesterday, giving the Government precedence on Tuesdays and Fridays for the Land Purchase Bill, they are entitled to place to-night in the Orders of the Day before Supply Orders, 2, 3, and 4 (Mail Ships Bill, Public Accounts and Charges Bill, and Summary Jurisdiction (Youthful Offenders) Bill), and whether the purport of the Motion was not this— that on Fridays the Purchase of Land Bill should have the first place, and then Supply, and that on Tuesdays the second place should be given to Private Members' Motions.


I replied to a similar question in answer to the hon. Member for Donegal (Mr. A. O'Connor) on the 17th of June, 1887. There is nothing in the Standing Orders to show that if Supply is not placed first it ought to be put second on a Friday. The Standing Order XL has been superseded, so to speak, by the Resolution passed yesterday, giving precedence to the Irish Land Purchase Bill over all Orders of the Day and Notices of Motion. The hon. Member asks why Supply was not put second. If Supply had been put second, there being no effective Supply down, the only result would have been that the Government would put off Supply as soon as that Order was reached. Friday is a Government night, subject only to the limitation of Supply standing first. If Supply can be got out of the way, the Government take the other Orders of the Day. On a Tuesday the case would be different. Precedence would be given to the Land Bill; and if the proceedings thereon came to an end any time before 12 o'clock, of course Private Members would re-enter into their rights. Notices would be next taken, the precedence being given only for that particular Government Order.


May I ask you, Sir, as a matter of form, whether you are to be understood to say that the Resolution of yesterday, practically speaking, repeals Standing Order XL, which says— That while the Committees of Supply and Ways and Means are open to the first Order of the Day on Friday shall be either Supply or Ways and Means, and that on that Order being read the Question shall be proposed ' That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair?' Am I to understand that it is not necessary to have any formal Resolution to suspend that Standing Order?


It is virtually a repeal, or rather a suspension, so often as the Land Purchase Bill is appointed on Friday. Otherwise Supply would stand first, and I should have to propose the Question" That I now leave the Chair," on which Private Members' Motions would come on in the usual way, but then the Resolution of yesterday would be rendered inoperative and ineffective. When precedence is given to particular business it, implies the suspension of the Standing Orders ordinarily regulating the course of business.