§ COLONEL HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works if he has observed that large numbers of hon. Members are daily unable to find seats from which they can take part in the proceedings of the House, and that when a Division is called there is a crowd of several hundred Members so jammed together at the Bar as to be unable to hear or understand what is taking place; and if, under such circumstances, the Government still persists in refusing to appoint a Committee to consider the enlargement of the present Chamber? Is it not also a fact that at 3 o'clock this afternoon there was not a vacant seat on these Conservative Benches?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. SHAW LEFEVRE,) Bradford, Central
I think the hon. Member has rather overstated his case. On Monday last, the first day of the Committee of the Home Rule Bill, the House was certainly most inconveniently crowded during its whole Sitting, more so than on any other day since Easter; since then, however, during the remainder of the week, although very large numbers of Members have been in the precincts of the House, and have taken part in the Divisions, I have not observed that the House has been filled except during the few minutes preceding Divisions, and there has seldom been a time when 30 or 40 more Members might not have found seats in the body of the House. I am rather confirmed by this in my view that it would be wise to wait for further experience as to the normal requirements of the present Parliament before appointing a Committee.