HC Deb 30 May 1895 vol 34 cc656-9
MR. R. W. HANBURY (Preston)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, as there were Amendments down on the Paper to the Naval Works Bill, he proposed to make any arrangement for bringing the Bill forward before Twelve o'clock?


I desire to make a statement to the House with reference to these Votes on Account to-night. There are two votes included in the Paper relating to Uganda and the surrounding district. The first vote relates to the administration of Uganda, but there is also another vote for British East Africa. That vote relates to payment, by way of purchase or compensation to the East Africa Company, for the territories to be taken over by them—territories which lie between Uganda and Umbasa. On May 13 I was asked by the hon. Member for the Kirkdale Division (Sir G. Baden-Powell)— whether, having regard to the interregnum in the administration of British East Africa, Her Majesty's Government will forthwith complete the agreement come to with the British East Africa Company, by inviting Parliament to provide the necessary sum of £50,000 by means of a Vote on Account or other method, which will avoid the serious delay incidental to the ordinary course of supply? In answer to that question, I said:— Yes, Sir; the matter will be included in the Vote on Account, which will be taken before Whitsuntide. That will be the proper opportunity for Parliament to express an opinion on the subject. In accordance with this statement I was prepared to include the Vote in the Vote on Account; but as I understood that objection was taken to that course, on the ground that the Vote dealt with new matter, and was not germane to the former Uganda Votes which had been taken, I consulted you, Sir, on the subject, and I found that your view was that this was not sufficiently ejusdem generis with the other Votes upon Uganda. Being anxious to observe the strict rules of the House, especially with regard to financial matters, I at once determined to withdraw this Vote from the Vote on Account. Vote II., in head 5, which relates to the administration of Uganda, will remain; Vote VII., which relates to the purchase from the company of their rights, must be postponed. Of course, if I had been aware of the objection I should have fixed a separate day for the discussion of this Vote. I thought until a short time ago that there would be no objection to including this Vote in the Vote on Account; but there is nothing now to be done, except to say that we shall not wait for the regular course of the Estimates. I undertake to put this Vote down for one day in the week in which we meet after Whitsuntide. That being so, of course, my hon. Friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs will be unable to make the statement which he intended to make with reference to this territory lying between Uganda and Mombasa, and how it is to be dealt with. But we will fix a day for the full discussion of this subject. The hon. Member has asked me what we shall do to night. If the Vote on Account is finished about 10 o'clock or some hour of that kind, we shall be able to go on with the Naval Works Bill, and I hope that we shall pass it through the House to-night.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (Manchester, E.)

The speech of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to Uganda is quite satisfactory. He has clearly explained to the House the reason why the Government have not been able to fulfil the pledge, which they made for the convenience of the House, that the Vote should be taken before Whitsuntide. As the right hon. Gentleman has promised that the Vote shall be taken immediately after Whitsuntide, everybody will be satisfied with the course which the Government have adopted. I should like to know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in a position to give us now a general view of the business during the week in which we meet again.


As regards the first day, the most material thing is to fix some non-contentious measures, and we propose to forward some Bills which belong to that class. For Monday we shall put down the Local Government (Scotland) Bill, the Outdoor Relief (Ireland) Bill, the Light Railways Bill, and the Conciliation of Labour Disputes Bill. For Tuesday we propose to put down the Crofters Bill, the Truck Acts Amendment Bill, and the Coal Mines Regulation Bill. As the first Order, at any rate, on Thursday we shall put down the Uganda Vote. That is as much as I can say.

SIR G. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire)

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Welsh Church Bill will be taken again?


As soon as we possibly can.


There is a rather important Amendment on the Naval Works Bill which will take some time. Would it not be better to postpone the Bill till after Whitsuntide?


I was told on excellent authority that the Report stage would not take more than an hour.


As the right hon. Gentleman says, the Local Government (Scotland) Bill is not a contentious measure, but it excites a very general interest among Scotch Members. Has the right hon. Gentleman forgotten that the Scotch Members cannot possibly be present on Monday, unless they leave Scotland on Saturday? In view of that fact, will he not on this occasion depart from what is becoming the permanent custom, of putting down Scotch business for the first day after the holidays?


The hon. Baronet has asked me that question before, and I must give him the same answer. It must be remembered that I have been rather liberal as to the holidays.