HC Deb 23 May 1895 vol 34 cc125-6

THE PATRONAGE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. THOMAS ELLIS, Merionethshire) moved, "That Mr. Blake be a member of the Select Committee on Drafting of Bills."

MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)

asked for some explanation of circumstances which were very unusual, if not entirely unprecedented. This was in no sense a Party or a political Committee, and it was hardly correctly described on the Paper; it was a Joint Committee to meet a Committee of the Lords. The Motion for setting up the Committee had been on the Paper for three weeks at least, but in a different form to that in which it was now moved. The names which were put upon the Paper by arrangement, and with the full assent of the Government, included that of the hon. Member for East Somerset, and he thought it would be felt by the House that no better appointment on such a Committee could possibly be made, seeing that the hon. Gentleman was a very distinguished expert in such matters as the Committee would have to deal with. To-day the Committee was to be moved without any arrangement with his hon. Friend, without any arrangement with the Whips, who generally managed such matters, and another name had been substituted for that of his hon. Friend. He could not but think the proceeding of the hon. Member was very extraordinary, and somewhat discourteous.


said, when appealed to, he was quite willing to place upon the Committee the hon. Member for East Somerset, although that would not give the Government a majority of one, which was usual. On two occasions a double objection was taken to the appointment of the Committee as at first proposed. The first objection was that there was no Member on the Committee representing Ireland; [Mr. CHAMBERLAIN: "There is no Scotch Member"] and the second was that the ordinary rules were broken by the Opposition having a majority on the Committee instead of the Government. He therefore gave notice to his hon. Friend the Member for St. Andrew's District that it was quite clear the Committee could not be carried in the original form. He also gave notice by letter that, in order to have the Committee appointed and the message of the Lords considered, he would place on the Paper the name of the hon. Member for South Longford instead of that of the hon. Member for East Somerset.


suggested that the appointment of the Committee should be again postponed in order that an opportunity should be afforded of arriving at an amicable arrangement.

Motion deferred.