HC Deb 08 July 1898 vol 61 cc338-9
SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he can now name a day on which the discussion of the Army Estimates will be resumed?

MR. T. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

At the same time may I ask the First Lord of the Treasury when it is intended to take the Vote for the Privy Council Office; and whether he will undertake that an opportunity to discuss that Vote will be given?

SIR H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

Before these Questions are answered I wish to ask the right honourable Gentleman if he is aware that, assuming that the arrangements to devote next Friday also to the Irish Estimates are carried out, there would only remain six days, including the three extra days, of the time allotted to Supply. I beg therefore to ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he will state to the House now or on an early day his idea as to how the remaining time should be employed, so as to allow of the Votes for such Departments as the Board of Trade, the Local Government Board, and the Post Office being considered?


Will the right honourable Gentleman bear in mind when considering this matter that the time given for Irish Supply this year is entirely insufficient? He must not suppose that one night more will be nearly sufficient for its discussion.

SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

As the right honourable Gentleman is probably aware, there is a strong desire that a day should be allowed for the discussion of the Vote for the Home Office. In reference to the Navy Estimates, I hope that the House will be in possession of the Supplementary Estimates which it is proposed to bring in for the Navy before July 22nd, the day fixed for the consideration of that branch of Supply. I also hope that the right honourable Gentleman will not take the Report of the Foreign Office to-night, but that it will be reserved, at all events, until next week.


I shall be very glad to comply with the request of the right honourable Gentleman not to take the Report of the Foreign Office Vote to-night. With regard to his appeal that the Supplementary Navy Estimates should be laid upon the Table before the discussion is taken on July 22, I shall have to consult my right honourable Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty on the subject, and if a Question is addressed next week, either to me or to the First Lord, we shall give the right honourable Gentleman all the information in our power. With regard to the other supplementary Questions which have been put to me, I think it would be premature at this moment to attempt any allotment of the days remaining for the Estimates, or to give any pledge in regard to Supply. To-day, of course, we are pledged to the Irish Estimates. Next Friday we are also pledged to the Irish Estimates. The Friday after is pledged to the Navy; and it would be impossible for me, and it would not be any advantage to the House, that I should attempt at this moment to deal with the days that remain after those days for the consideration of Supply. I fully recognise, however, the necessity that exists for giving some time to the Home Office Vote, as to which some questions have arisen. I shall have to make a statement on the whole subject at a later date; but I do not think the position at the present time is satisfactory, and I hope the House, agreeing as it does with the propriety of maintaining the new rule in regard to Supply, will do their best to make that rule a success by aiding the Government in rapidly getting through such Estimates as remain for consideration.


I hope that on Monday the right honourable Gentleman may be able to state—as the time has arrived in the Session for such a statement to be made—what are the Bills which the Government intend to proceed with before the end of the Session.


I shall be very glad on Tuesday, which would be a more convenient day than Monday, to make a statement both in regard to the state of public business and Supply.