HC Deb 06 August 1896 vol 43 cc1751-4

Considered in Committee.

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER, CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS, in the Chair.]

On the Question, "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill,"

MR. H. C. F. LUTTRELL (Devon, Tavistock) moved to report progress. The Bill before them was full of contentions, and there were a large number of Amendments to it, and he thought that to ask the Committee to commence the consideration of such a Measure at that hour of the morning was somewhat unreasonable.


said he quite sympathised with the desire of the hon. Gentleman to go to bed—a desire which he shared—but he thought the hon. Member would feel that the Committee might make a little exertion to get through the Bill. It was put down in accordance with the understanding that they would be allowed to take the Third Reading of the Scotch Rating Bill and this stage of this Bill. He was not suggesting for a moment that it was a breach of faith, but there was a discussion last night across the floor of the House as to the general course of business to-night, and he certainly was given to understand that they should be allowed to get tonight the Third Reading of the Scotch Bill and the West Highland Bill. There was certainly an informal view expressed which justified the Government in hoping they would get the Bill to-night.


said there were Amendments on the Paper in the names of three or four hon. Members, and not one of those Members were consulted with regard to the suggested understanding. He put it seriously to the right hon. Gentleman whether at this time of the morning it would not be wise to adjourn. There were many points of contention, and if they divided on all the Amendments they would be sitting at five o'clock. He should not think it fair for the Government to overload their programme so that they had to keep Members at the House all day and all night. He would much rather extend the Session another fortnight than be called to sit up so late night after night. He was sure that if the right hon. Gentleman met them now they would not be unreasonable when the Bill was put down on another occasion.


said his impression was that it was arranged there should be no opposition to the Third Reading. There was considerable opposition to the Railway Bill, but he understood the opposition to the Scotch Votes would not be very prolonged.


said he hoped they would make some little progress, otherwise he was afraid they must have a Saturday sitting.


said it would be better to have a Saturday sitting than to rush the Bill through at that hour of the morning.

MR. T. P. WHITTAKER (York, W.R., Spen Valley)

also objected to the Bill being discussed at that hour.


said the Scotch Members had been kept there for the convenience of the Government. They had dealt with one Bill, and now they were asked to go on with another.


who was heard with difficulty amid ironical cheers and cries of "Divide," objected to the Bill being taken as it affected English as well as Scotch Members, and a considerable number of the English Members had had to go away from sheer exhaustion. He did not think it was fair to ask them to take these Amendments, which would take a considerable time to discuss.


said the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer which had been referred to would practically abolish the whole Bill. It was a most contentious point, and he did not think it was fair to ask them to enter upon a prolonged discussion at that hour.


hoped they would be able to make a satisfactory arrangement. He suggested that they should take the non-contentious Scotch Votes instead of proceeding with this Bill. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment to the Bill were reached, they would have gone a good way towards getting the Bill.


hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to accept the suggestion of his hon. Friend. The Amendment which had been referred to was an extremely important one.


said that he should prefer to take certain Scotch Votes rather than the West Highland Railway Guarantee Bill, and, therefore, on the understanding that those Votes would be passed, he would consent to the Motion to report Progress. ["Hear, hear!"]

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Saturday.

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