HC Deb 28 April 1892 vol 3 cc1582-5
MR. H. GARDNER (Essex, Saffron Walden)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House when the Small Holdings Bill will be taken?


I do not think it will be possible to take the Small Holdings Bill before next Thursday.

MR. W. E. GLADSTONE (Edinburgh, Midlothian)

As great interest is felt, I believe, on both sides of the House, and certainly on this side, in the progress of the Small Holdings Bill, and as there is a great desire to see it disposed of after such amount of discussion as may be absolutely required, we should be very glad to know what is the earliest day upon which it can be brought on; and if there is to be delay, what the cause of that delay may be?


Perhaps it would be for the convenience of the House that I should state that when we re-commence the discussion of the Small Holdings Bill we shall go straight through with it. I propose to-morrow to ask the House to give me Morning Sittings on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Monday I shall not be able to carry out my original intention of taking the Second Reading of the Budget Resolutions, because, from what I hear, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be in his place so early. But I think it would be of great advantage if we could complete the Second Reading of the Scotch Equivalent Grant Bill on that day and advance one or two other subsidiary measures, the further stages of which could be taken at a later date, after we had finished such important proceedings as the discussion on the Small Holdings Bill and the Second Reading of the Irish Local Government Bill.


Is there any reason why the Small Holdings Bill should not be taken? There is every desire on this side of the House that that Bill should get through at as early a date as possible. Moreover, there is a great deal of interest and curiosity to know what the Government are going to do with the Bill for the Government of Ireland. We have now had a fortnight's Vacation, and a week after the Vacation has, I may say, been wasted, and we have had neither the Small Holdings Bill nor the Irish Bill; and now, as I understand, the right hon. Gentleman wishes to get rid of next week, and not to bring the Small Holdings Bill on till a week after this date. I would suggest that it would be far more convenient if we could have the Small Holdings Bill next Monday.


Can the First Lord of the Treasury say anything about the prospects of the Irish Education Bill?


I admit that it is a legitimate curiosity for the right hon. Gentleman to seek to discover the intentions of the Government with regard to the Irish Local Government Bill. But I do not quite follow the tone of his criticisms, and I do not agree with him that the Government has wasted the time of the House this week. We have had only one day, that was Monday, and that day we expended with great advantage in getting through almost all the controversial points in Committee on the Indian Councils Bill. I hope to-night will be equally well employed in passing the Second Reading of the Clergy Discipline Bill, and perhaps some other business. With respect to the Irish Local Government Bill, I have already informed the House that it is to be proceeded with as soon as the Committee stage of the Small Holdings Bill is completed. It would be convenient to take an additional stage of one or two relatively small measures before we reach the Small Holdings Bill; but I cannot say anything with respect to the Irish Education Bill.

MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

The Scotch Equivalent Bill, I understand, will come on on Monday?


That is my intention at present.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware, as he proposes to take the Committee on the Scotch Local Taxation Bill, that a Memorandum explaining that Bill has been published in Scotland only for a very few days, and there has been no time for the expression of public opinion about it? We shall, therefore, if it is taken on Monday, debate the Bill under very great disadvantages, inasmuch as we shall not know the opinion our constituents have formed of the measure.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)

I understand that in the absence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer it is not intended to proceed with the Budget Resolutions; but I hope reasonable notice will be given when the discussion is to be taken.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Are the Budget Resolutions to be taken next week, for I understand that Tuesday is taken up.


I only said I would not take the Small Holdings Bill before Thursday; but if the Chancellor of the Exchequer is able to be in his place on that day we shall take the Budget Resolutions. I think the House will be unanimous in wishing to get the matter settled; but I am unable to pledge myself in the matter. Due notice shall be given. I will put it on the Paper.


In the event of the right hon. Gentleman obtaining from the House the Tuesdays and Fridays, we have not yet learned how they would be employed; and I may say that we are under the impression that the time might be very conveniently employed in taking the Small Holdings Bill.


The order of Business which I have sketched out is only a suggestion, for it is impossible to make a final plan. But this is my idea. To-morrow I shall ask the House to give Tuesday and Friday mornings for Government Business. On Monday the Committee stage of the Scotch Equivalent Grant will be taken. On Tuesday we shall probably take the Committee stage of the Criminal Evidence Bill, and some other important but uncontroversial measure. On Thursday I should hope that my right hon. Friend (Mr. Goschen) will be in his place to deal with the Budget Resolutions; but, if not, it would be convenient to begin the Small Holdings Bill and discuss it de die in diem, with the exception, of course, of the Budget discussion, which would have to be interpolated in the unfortunate event of our not being able to take it next Thursday.