HC Deb 11 August 1896 vol 44 cc557-9

moved: That the Government Business be not interrupted to-morrow at half-past five or six o'clock, and may he entered upon at any hour though opposed. Hon. Members, he said, hoped that the end of the Session was in sight. In order that their hope might be fulfilled it was very necessary that the Lords' Amendments to the Irish Land Bill should be considered at the earliest possible moment, so that there might be sufficient time before Saturday for completing the negotiations with reference to the Bill. The matter was in their hands. To make sure that the Amendments of that House to the Lords' Amendments should go to the House of Lords without delay, they must make provision for the prolonged sitting to-morrow. He did not anticipate that the Lords' Amendment would take very long, but it was desirable to provide for possible contingencies.


said that it would be convenient if notice could be given in the Order Paper tomorrow of the Lords' Amendments which the Government intended to agree with and of those with which they proposed to ask the House to disagree.


asked whether the Appropriation Bill would have the first place on the Order Paper? It was an almost unbroken custom that the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill should be the first Order on the Paper. On occasions when that custom had been departed from, it was stated that it would be sufficient if the Third Reading of the Measure were set down as the first Order. Before sitting down, he wished just to refer to the extent to which the House had been overworked during the past few weeks. The hours during which the House had been kept at work were, he believed, unprecedented. ["Hear, hear!"]


admitted that the hours of work had been longer than he had anticipated they would be when he asked the House to suspend the Twelve o'clock Rule. He did not, however, think that the fault lay with the Government; but he would not go further into that question. In reply to the hon. Member for East Mayo, he said he believed it was not usual to give notice of the intentions of the Government with regard to Lords' Amendments before they were considered. He would, however, see what could be done to meet the views of the hon. Member. On the whole, he thought it would be more convenient if the Appropriation. Bill were put down as the second Order to-morrow. If it were given the first place it would be in the power of any hon. Member who desired to make a long speech on the Bill to prevent the House from dealing with the Land Bill, which was a pressing subject. He undertook to consider whether he could give a pledge that the Third Reading of the Bill should be set down as the first Order for Friday. His decision, however, depended upon events which he could not fully foresee and over which he could exercise no control.

Motion agreed to.