HC Deb 21 December 1893 vol 20 cc98-9
MR. R. T. REID&c.) (Dumfries,

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whatsteps the Government are prepared to take towards expediting the progress of the Local Government Bill, in order to allow sufficient time for the promised legislation of next year?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question I beg to ask him whether he has considered the representations which have been largely made by his supporters on this side of the House, that Her Majesty's Government will have their hearty support if they make use of the powers given under Standing Order 25 for bringing the Debate upon a clause or part of a clause to a termination?


I should like to ask whether it has been brought to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman that the President of the Local Government Board has given an assurance that Clause 58 of the Local Government Bill will be fully considered when we come to it?


This is a question of principle and not intended to deal with separate clauses. I have no doubt that that clause as well as others will receive a full and fair consideration. Undoubtedly, a situation has been created for consideration by the Government with reference to the convenience of the House and perhaps with reference to the fair expectation of the country; but I am not prepared to make any announcement on the part of the Government at the present moment. But we shall carefully watch the course of future discussion, with regard to which I cannot but attach importance to the declaration of my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board, who believes that contentious matter will not be found to a large extent in the latter part of the Bill. We shall give our closest attention to the subject from day to day, and we shall take the best counsel which the circumstances of the case may suggest.

MR. E. G. WEBSTER (St. Bancras, E.)

Has the attention of the right hon. Gentleman been called to the fact that of 56 Questions on the Paper to-day 45 are asked by his own supporters? And does not that protract the length of the Session by at least an hour?


I do not see that the casual occurrence of a large majority of questions from this side of the House on a particular occasion tends to protract the Session; especially as these questions are on the average disposed of in less than a minute each.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Closure would be very popular in this part of the House?

[No answer was returned.]