HC Deb 14 May 1891 vol 353 cc706-8

In the contingency, which it is unfortunately necessary to contemplate, of the Land Purchase Bill not being finished to-morrow, when do the Government propose to continue the consideration of that Bill? Secondly, I would ask at what time the Adjournment of the House will be moved tomorrow? I think we have a right to ask this, if we are called upon to waive the usual right of having the Adjournment moved at the commencement of business to-morrow.


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question, I wish to ask him whether he will direct an inquiry to be made at the printing office as to the delay which has taken place in the delivery of the Manipur Despatches? Will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to answer that question to-morrow?


Will the putting down of the Land Purchase Bill to-morrow at 3 o'clock depend upon the hour at which the House is adjourned to-night?


No, it will not depend upon that; I wish the House to look upon the matter in the light that it is desirable to make the greatest progress with that Bill. Even if we do not finish it, I hope that we shall be able to make a great impression upon it. Under these circumstances, I cannot give any pledge as to any particular hour for moving the Adjournment. We propose if the Purchase Bill should not be finished to put it down for Thursday next, and if hon. Members should find that we do not get within reasonable reach of the termination of the Bill, I hope they will not wish to suspend business at any particular hour.


I think I ought to remind the right hon. Gentleman that a week ago he told us that there would be a Morning Sitting at which the first business would be the Motion for Adjournment. This is the first intimation we have had of any alteration, and hon. Members have made their arrangements to leave London on the faith of the original understanding. I think, therefore, that we have a right to press the Government for an assurance that the adjournment will take place to-morrow at the hour originally fixed.


Before the Chancellor of the Exchequer answers the question of the right hon. Member for Wolver-hampton (Mr. H. Fowler) I wish to remind him that he has not answered my question in reference to the non-delivery of the Manipur Despatches. I at once acquit the right hon. Gentleman of any intentional act of discourtesy; but I think that the question I put was a very proper one, namely, whether he will make inquiry between this and tomorrow as to the reason why the Papers have not been delivered? The right hon. Gentleman resumed his seat without taking any notice of my question.


I can assure the hon. Member that there was no intentional discourtesy on my part, but several questions were put to me, and I regret that I should have omitted to reply to that of the hon. Member. I will cause inquiry to be made; but I must remind the House that it frequently happens that the printers are unfortunately not so prompt as we could wish. But Her Majesty's Government have absolutely no power in the matter, and are often put to great inconvenience in consequence. I can assure the hon. Member that as far as we are concerned there will be no delay in producing the Papers.


Upon this subject I should like, Mr. Speaker, to address a question to you. Who is the authority who has control over the printers, and to whom should an application be made if the printers fail to do their duty?


The best quarter to apply to would be the Office concerned, and in this case it would be the India Office.


But we are constantly informed by the Office concerned that it has no control over the printers.


Of course the ultimate authority would rest with this House.