§ MR. J. E. ELLIS
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can give the House any information as to the course of Business at the Sittings during the week?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. E. GLADSTONE,) Edinburgh, Midlothian
The course of Business this week is not at present in that condition in which we can speak of it with perfect confidence. We assume that we shall this evening close the proceedings with the Lords Amendments on the Local Government Bill. Making that assumption, we propose to proceed to-morrow with the Employers' Liability Bill. Beyond that we are dependent upon what will take place in the House of Lords. As to the remaining important subject—namely, the time when we shall be able to proceed, if proceeding be necessary, upon the steps which the House of Lords may adopt when they receive the Local Government Bill, we shall be able to decide when we see what 736 kind of a welcome is given to the action we have taken.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)
The right hon. Gentleman expressed a hope, and rather more—a pretty confident anticipation—that the business on the Parish Councils Bill will terminate to-night. That seems somewhat less probable than it did on Friday night; and though I hope his anticipation will be realised, it is within the bounds of probability that when 12 o'clock strikes there will still remain much important work to be done. I should like to know whether, under those circumstances, the Government intend to deal with the Business in a late Sitting? That would be a course which would not be convenient to the House, and which, I hope, the Government will not ask the House to adopt.
§ MR. W. E. GLADSTONE
As far as I can judge, the House will not be able to form a conclusive opinion upon the question until midnight has nearly been reached. When I gave the notice of the suspension of the Twelve o'Cloek Rule for to-night, it was given in the ordinary sense—to secure that Business carried almost to a conclusion would not be interrupted by the arrival of midnight. There was no intention of keeping the House sitting far into the morning.