§ On the Motion for the adjournment of the House,
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
I wish to ask the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury whether he will consider a request that has been made to him, I understand, from several quarters of the House, namely, that in view of the great 903 importance of the subject of the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland, and the number of Members of this House who desire to speak, and have a right to speak, on that subject, he should give two days for the Debate? It is pretty certain that two days at least will be required, and I think, in view of the fact that the Local Government Bill for Ireland has had such a calm passage through this House, the right honourable Gentleman will probably find it would expedite this matter if he accedes to our request. It would give the Chief Secretary, for Ireland another day to regain his strength in order that he may carry on the Bill which he has already piloted through the House with such conspicuous ability.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
When my honourable and gallant Friend some time ago made a request on behalf of himself and other honourable Members for Ireland that we should give an opportunity for the discussion of the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland, I certainly did not contemplate that it would last over one day. But I am, of course, anxious to meet the wishes of my honourable and gallant Friend, and of other honourable Members who desire to take part in the Debate. On the other hand, they must remember the position in which the Government are placed and the necessity of finishing as soon as possible the Irish Local Government Bill in order that it may go up to another place. I understand that this consideration, as well as the imminent termination of the Session, are present to the minds of honourable Members, and I can only say that I am quite prepared to consent to the request of my honourable and gallant 'Friend if an understanding can be arrived at that, if the Financial Relations Debate occupies Monday and Tuesday next, the 4th and 5th July, the Report of the Bill can be finished on the 14th July. That would give six days; and the Third Reading could be taken on Monday, the 18th July. If that arrangement can be adopted 904 I shall be prepared to meet the views of honourable Members, and give them Monday and Tuesday next for the discussion of the financial relations between the two countries.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I am sincerely anxious not to imperil the passage of the Irish Local Government Bill, and I trust that on the date the right honourable Gentleman names that Bill may be sent up to the other House. It is impossible, of course, for me to absolutely pledge honourable Members from Ireland, but as far as I am concerned I can see no reason why the Debate on the Report stage of that Bill should not be closed in six days, and I think I can safely undertake that Irish Members will abide by the understanding suggested by the right honourable Gentleman.
§ MR. M. HEALY (Cork)
I think the offer made by the right honourable Gentleman is a perfectly fair one, and I am sure he will have no reason to complain of Irish Members sitting on this side of the House when we get to the Report stage of the Local Government Bill.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I would remind the right honourable Gentleman that two of the six days he refers to will be Wednesdays. Still, I agree that the arrangement he suggests is a satisfactory one, and, speaking for those honourable Members with whom I act, I think I can promise that we will do what we can to facilitate that arrangement.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I just rise to say that on the Report stage of the Irish Local Government Bill there are several important matters affecting not merely Irish but English interests, which English Members desire to discuss, and the six days he suggests (which include two Wednesday sittings) is by no means too liberal an allowance of time.
§ House adjourned at 12.10.