HC Deb 18 August 1893 vol 16 cc532-4

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will take any measures within the power of the Government to bring to an end the Report stage of the Government of Ireland Bill, and so reduce the interval when the House might adjourn for a much required holiday?


I am glad to answer this question, because it gives me an opportunity of answering it in the form of a notice to this effect—that on Monday I propose to submit to the House a Resolution which, if adopted, will have the effect of securing the close of the proceedings upon the Report stage of the Irish Government Bill on Friday next, August 25. The terms of the Resolution will, I hope, be deposited on the Table within an hour or two.

MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)

I beg to give notice that when my right hon. Friend proposes that Resolution I shall move the following Amendment:—"That the proposal of the Government to curtail—"

MR. MANFIELD (Northampton)

I rise to a point of Order. [The rest of the hon. Member's remarks were drowned in cries of "Order!"]


My Amendment will be— That the proposal of the Government to curtail Debate on the Irish Government Bill is calculated to degrade the House of Commons to the position of a voting machine, and to deprive the British majority in this House of its Constitutional right to discuss a policy by which British interests will be seriously and injuriously affected; that this House, recognising no necessity for the course proposed by the Government, and believing that it is dictated by motives of Party expediency, calls upon the Government to withdraw their Resolution and to advise Her Majesty—

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

To send for you.


To dissolve Parliament at the earliest opportunity in order that the opinion of the electors of the United Kingdom may be taken on the merits of the Bill for the Better Government of Ireland, all the details of which were studiously concealed from them at the last General Election.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

The right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister, in the notice which he has just given, has, no doubt, informed us of the vital and essential particulars of the Resolution he intends to bring before us—namely, that we are not to be allowed to discuss the remaining 36 clauses of the Bill; but it would be a great convenience to the House if he would toll us the mode in which that Resolution is to be drawn. I do not mean the exact words, but 1 presume the Government hive decided on the general principle on which they intend to act.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he could tell the House who is the Leader of the Opposition?

*MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

When some evenings ago the Prime Minister promised to insert some Amendments in the 29th clause, it was pointed out that it would be necessary to re-commit the Bill for the purpose. I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any arrangement will be made for carrying out the pledge of the Government in this matter? While the right hon. Gentleman is about it, will he also tell us who is the Leader of the House?


I am sure I shall not be expected to answer that question in view of the terms with which it concluded. As to the question of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. A. J. Balfour), he has had a good deal of experience himself in drawing Resolutions of this nature. The Resolution will provide that at a certain hour on Friday the matter shall be brought to an issue. It will be the same measure as has been adopted on former occasions.


No compartments?


There are no compartments. The House sees that the right hon. Gentleman is well up in the matter of procedure.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

asked whether the Third Reading of the Bill was to be taken on Friday night?


I suppose the hon. Member means to ask whether the Resolution includes a specification of the day for the closing of the Debate on the Third Reading of the Bill. It does not include that.