MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent Thanet)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether his attention has been called to the assurance given upon 24th February 1888 by the then First Lord of the Treasury, that it was only upon extraordinary occasions, with a view of affording opportunity for the closing of a great Debate, that it was intended that a Motion should be made for the suspension of the Twelve o'clock Rule, and that he could hardly suppose that a Minister of the Crown could desire to prolong Debates beyond the period decided for the closing of business?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I have looked into the quotation of my right hon. Friend, and find it is correct. I also find that Mr. Smith had the same quotation brought to his notice by the Member for Northampton, and he explained that it was not a fair interpretation which was put upon it by the hon. Member; but I may say, with reference to this subject, that, as I understand that the suspension of the 12 o'clock rule to-night is not looked favourably upon by some gentlemen interested in Irish land on this side of the House, and as I am given to understand from the ordinary sources of information that the Leader of the principal section of the Irish Party opposite does not propose to support it, I shall not put the House to the trouble of a Division. [Loud cheers]