HC Deb 09 July 1897 vol 50 cc1475-7
MR. R. ASCROFT (Oldham)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Chaff-Cutting Machines (Accidents) Bill, which was before the Grand Committee on Trade on Monday last, was on the following day read the Third time before copies of the Bill as amended in Committee had been supplied to Members; and, whether he will consider the advisability of altering the Standing Orders, so that Members may have a reasonable time allowed to consider Amendments made in Committee before a Bill is read the Third time?


I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that it is inexpedient for the House to discuss the Report of a Bill from a Committee unless the Bill as amended is in their hands—in other words, until the Bill has been reprinted. But let me say that my hon. Friend has only to say "I object" and it is impossible for the Bill to be proceeded with after midnight.

MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)

asked Mr. Speaker what alteration could be made in the Rules of the House to prevent the possibility of such an occurrence again.


I have had some experience with reference to the process of revising the Standing Orders. It generally takes a good deal of time. The right hon. Member asked me what alteration was necessary. I must respectfully decline to draft an amendment to the Standing Orders at a moment's notice.


Perhaps my right hon. Friend will undertake that. [Laughter.]

*SIR H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

asked whether the Speaker could not give directions to the Clerks at the Table not to allow a Bill to be put down for consideration until it had been reprinted. The case that had been mentioned was not the only one. It had occurred already this week. By pure chance he was able to interfere in one case in which a Bill was before a Committee one day and was put down for consideration with a large number of Amendments the next. He thought this abuse of the Rules of the House could be prevented without the necessity of any alteration of the Standing Orders?


I think I should be taking too much upon myself if I gave such directions. It has always been the practice to put down these Bills for consideration as amended on their being reported to the House. They then appear among the Orders of the Day, and if they have not yet been reprinted when the Order is called on, hon. Members have sometimes brought that fact to the attention of the Chair, which generally suggests that the Bill should not be taken until the House has had an opportunity of seeing and considering the Amendments made in Committee. But this is a matter in which the House must take care of itself.

MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)

asked whether, before the House considered the Workmen's Compensation Bill on Monday, the First Lord of the Treasury would have it reprinted with the Amendments that had been made?


said he would consult the proper authorities as to whether that could be done.