HC Deb 24 February 1896 vol 37 cc950-1

said, that before the House proceded with the Debate on the proposed new Rules of Procedure he wished to call the Speaker's attention to the last paragraph of the rule, which directed that the proposed 20 days of Supply should be allotted so that the business of Supply be concluded before August 5; and to ask whether the pulling down of effective Supply was not a matter absolutely within the control of Ministers; and, whether, in the event of Ministers choosing to defy this rule, if passed, the House, or the Speaker as its officer, would have any means of enforcing that portion of the rule; and whether there was any precedent for the House adopting as one of its governing rules, a Standing Order which could be enforced neither by the House nor its executive officer.


said, he did not feel justified in expressing an opinion on the matter. The hon. Member's question did not raise any point of Order, or construction of any Standing Order. It was matter which might be used by way of argument for the rejection or amendment of the proposed Resolution. It was impossible for him to say that the rule would ultimately stand in the shape it did. But, in whatever shape it stood, he should then be ready to construe it to the best of his ability should occasion arise.


said, that to meet the view of the hon. Member, he proposed to alter the form of the rule to the effect that, unless the Government of the day had given 20 days before August 5, the Closure apparatus provided would not come into operation.