§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Derby) rose, amid cheers, at Twelve minutes after Twelve, and said: Mr. Speaker, I am now in a position to state to the House that the Marquess of Salisbury, by Her Majesty's Command, is engaged in the formation of an Administration. ["Hear, hear!"] I understand that it will be convenient that certain Writs should be moved today, and also, I am informed by the authorised channel of communication, that it will be convenient that the House should adjourn after that has been done until Monday next. But it will be necessary—
§ * MR. SPEAKER
I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that a Commission has been fixed for to-morrow.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
I was going to mention that. It will be convenient, for the transaction of business, that the House should adjourn until Monday, but, as a matter of form, a Royal Commission of Assent to the Seal Fisheries Bill, which I mentioned before to the House must receive the Royal Assent this week, will come to the House of Commons to morrow. But, as the House is aware, that will not require the attendance of any number of Members, as the Commission makes a House. It will be a 17 merely formal proceeding. As regards any other proceedings, I understand that it will be convenient to the Gentlemen engaged in the formation of an Administration, that the House should adjourn till Monday next. I shall, therefore, after the Writs are moved, move—I think that will be the proper form—"That the House at its rising to-morrow do adjourn until Monday next," and then that the House to-day do adjourn until to-morrow. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. E. J. C. MORTON (Devonport)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this Motion would interfere with the sitting of the Grand Committee on Trade to-morrow?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
No, Sir; I would follow my Motion up by the Motion usually made on these occasions, that for the remainder of the Session all the Committees have leave to sit, notwithstanding the Adjournment of the House.
§ MR. H. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Will the right hon. Gentleman the Member for one of the Divisions of Kent, in whose hands the conduct of public business practically is, tell us what will be the course of procedure on Monday next? What we want to know is when the General Election will come on? [Loud cheers and laughter.] We are burning with the desire to go to our constituents. [Cheers and laughter.] And we should like, as practical men, to know something about dates. [Cheers and laughter.] As I understand, it will be necessary before Parliament does dissolve that there should be a Vote on 18 Account, and possibly one or two small Votes taken. I do not believe that there is any disposition on the part of hon. Members in this part of the House in any sort of way to oppose this being done; but then, if that is understood, we ought, on the other hand, to learn from the incoming Government what is their course of procedure, and whether we are to understand that next week the Vote on Account will be moved, and that the Appropriation Bill will be passed, and that then there will be a Dissolution. [Cheers.]
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS (Kent, St. Augustine's)
, who, on rising, was received with loud cheers, said: I am afraid that I cannot answer the whole of the question of the hon. Member for Northampton. I will only say, in general terms, that we are most anxious that the Dissolution shall take place at the earliest possible date. [Cheers.] I am delighted to find that the hon. Gentleman and some of his hon. Friends behind him, by their cheers appear to be anxious to co-operate with us in that respect. If there is any further statement I can make on Monday I will do so. [Cheers.]
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Resolved, "That this House, at its rising To-morrow, do adjourn until Monday next."