§ SIR W. HARCOURT (Derby)
May I ask what business will be taken on Thursday? We have heard a Petition read from the Newfoundland delegates, asking to be heard at the Bar on Thursday against the Second Reading of the Fisheries Bill. That is a prayer which I presume the Government will grant, as it did in the House of Lords. Under these circumstances it is clear, I suppose, that the Newfoundland Bill cannot be taken on Thursday, for the arguments of the delegates would have to be taken into consideration by the Government. I therefore wish to ask what course the Government intend to pursue on Thursday? Unless there is some pressing reason, I would suggest that the Factory and Workshops Bill should be postponed during the absence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella).
§ SIR G. CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
Is the Bill now before the Newfoundland Legislature the Bill agreed upon by Her Majesty's Government, or one brought in as a separate and independent Bill by the Newfoundland Legislature on their own account?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
With reference to the last question, the Bill brought in by the Newfoundland Legislature differs in one important particular from the Bill which the Government would be able to accept —namely, with regard to the time for which they proposed to legislate. As I understand, the Newfoundland Legislature proposed to legislate for one year, and Her Majesty's Government do not think that such a limitation can possibly be accepted, having regard to the engagements which we have towards France. With regard to the question of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, I need not say that this House and the Government will assent to the Petition of the delegates to be heard at the Bar. I have not considered the question as to whether the House will immediately adjourn the Debate so as to take the matter into consideration. I believe that is the course which was adopted in "another place," and I am disposed to think that it might be convenient to do so here. In that case we shall proceed with the Second Reading on Friday. On Thursday we should take the Factories and Workshops Bill; we should regret the absence of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield, who takes a deep interest in the matter, but at this period of the Session we could not risk postponing the Bill when there is a day otherwise convenient for its discussion. We should not be able to find another day for the consideration of the Bill until after the Report stage of the Irish Land Purchase Bill. Therefore I am afraid we must adhere to our Resolution to proceed on Thursday with the Factory and Workshops Bill if the House agrees to postpone the consideration of the Newfoundland Bill.
§ MR. H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman cannot, after what passed last night, take Supply on Thursday? The Opposition have shown every consideration for the Treasury Bench, and I think we are entitled to some reciprocity in the way of some consideration for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Brightside Division.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
Full notice has been given by the Government that this Bill would be taken on Thursday. I have always stated from the beginning that it would be, and a remonstrance was made 1082 at the time by certain Members from Lancashire. I would gladly meet the views of the right hon. Gentleman if I could, but I am afraid I cannot change the Order of Public Business.