HC Deb 28 June 1893 vol 14 cc295-7

My right hon. Friend at the head of the Government promised at the beginning of to-day's proceedings that he would announce before their close the words of the Resolution which he will move to-morrow at the commencement of Business. He has asked me to read the words for him— In Committee on the Government of Ireland Bill, the proceedings, unless previously disposed of, shall, at the times hereinafter mentioned, be brought to a conclusion in the manner hereinafter mentioned. The proceedings on the Clauses 5 to 8, both inclusive, not later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 6th; the proceedings on Clauses 9 to 20, both inclusive, not later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 13; the proceedings on Clauses 27 to 40, both inclusive, not later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 20; the proceedings on postponed clauses, new clauses (being Government clauses), Schedules, and Preamble not later than 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 27; and, after the clauses are disposed of, the Chairman shall forthwith report the Bill as amended to the House. Then, at the said appointed times, the Chairman shall put forthwith the Question or Questions on any Amendment or Motion already proposed from the Chair. He shall next proceed, unless and until Progress be moved as hereinafter provided, successively to put forthwith the following questions:—That any clause or Schedule then under consideration, and any of the said clauses or Schedules not already disposed of, stand part of or be added to the Bill. After the passing of this Order no dilatory Motion, nor Motion to postpone a clause, shall be received unless moved by a Minister in charge of the Bill. The question of any such Motion shall be put forthwith. If Progress be reported, the Chairman shall put this Order in force in any subsequent Sitting of the Committee. The proceedings under this Order shall not be interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to the Sittings of the House. I wish to add that my right hon. Friend will to-morrow move that the Twelve o'Clock Rule he suspended for to-morrow's Sitting.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, with regard to the interesting Motion which he has just read, whether the Government pro- pose to take the consideration of it tomorrow, and whether he has in mind that on the occasion in 1887, upon which I think the Government have modelled their present action, both the right hon. Gentleman who has read out the words and the present Prime Minister protested against the very brief period of time allowed for putting down Amendments, although, as I may remind the right hon. Gentleman, the Motion then proposed for the acceptance of the House was incomparably less complicated in its nature than that which has been read? I will put it in the form of a question, and ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not think that the argument which appeared to him to be sufficient at that time is not of as great, if not even greater, cogency at the present time, and whether he will not give us further time for the consideration of this Resolution?


Undoubtedly it was our wish in 1887 that a longer time should be allowed before the stringent Motion was put to the House; but I must point out to the right hon. Gentleman these two things: In the first place, that the judgment of the House was given against us in the most decided manner, and it appeared thereby to be affirmed as the opinion of the House that a Motion of this kind ought not to be kept pending in the air, but ought to be brought to a speedy issue; and, in the second place, we have now reached a period and have gone through a mass of work, and have got such a mass of work to get through, that it has become a question whether this House is or is not to be enabled to discharge the duties with which it has been entrusted. There was, I think, no such question before us in 1887, and no grave or vital difficulty with regard to the proceedings then as a whole. I fully admit the perfect propriety of the manner in which this question has been put, and it is with great regret that on grounds of public duty, to which I have referred, I find myself unable to meet the wish of the right hon. Gentleman.


I beg to give notice that when the Resolution which has been read is proposed I shall move as an Amendment— That, inasmuch as the Government of Ireland Bill proposes to frame and enact a new Constitution for Great Britain and Ireland, under which the Constitutional rights of many of Her Majesty's subjects will be permanently and injuriously affected, this House declines to sanction a proposal which directly interferes with the free discussion of that measure by the Parliamentary Representatives of the people.