§ SIR J. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether it is within the experience of the right hon. Gentleman that any Member has, up to the present week, given 75 notices in one day of a reduction of Votes for the Navy and Civil Service; and whether he can state the largest number of such notices given by any Member in any Session of the late Parliament?
§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
I have had no notice of the question; but as the hon. Member has gone into precedents, I should like to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he can state in how many previous Sessions three Votes on Account have been asked for, and persistently closured, thus entirely deferring all consideration of the Estimates; and if he can also give a precedent for actually taking a third Vote on Account in the last days of July?
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
It would not be a very regular proceeding if, in answer to the hon. Gentleman, I were to give explanations of a Vote on Account, with respect to which no proposal has yet been made; and, moreover, to answer the question of the hon. Gentleman would require me to enter into a number of other facts to which he has made no reference, and which would give to the answer a colour such as, perhaps, the hon. Member might not altogether like. But with respect to the notices given by the hon. Member, it is not my intention, in answer to my hon. Friend, to claim any sort of jurisdiction, direct or indirect, over the liberty of Members of this. House in giving their notices. Of course, my attention has been drawn to the preeminence attained by the hon. Gentleman, so far as his knowledge goes, in regard to this multitude of notices. I have not, however, considered it very seriously, but, undoubtedly, it strikes me as a thing which is calculated to attract attention; and, no doubt, Members of the House, each for himself, will put their own construction upon the step taken by the hon. Gentleman.