HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 cc311-4

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether the Government intend to proceed this Session with the Attendance of Children at School (Scotland) Bill?


This Bill will not be taken in the course of the present Session. As we are approaching the end of the Session, and as I am going to ask the House to sit on Saturday—a very inconvenient course, I am aware, and only justified by the fact that it is the least inconvenient course open to us—I may perhaps indicate the Bills which will now be proceeded with. The Measures which—I think the House will agree with me—we can pass, and ought to pass, are the Local Taxation (Scotland) Bill, the Teachers' Superannuation Bill, the Irish Outdoor Relief Bill, and a very small and, I believe, wholly uncontroversial Bill—the Kingstown Harbour Bill, which I believe will not be opposed. These Bills are still at the Second Reading stage. At the Committee stage, there is the Seed Supply Bill; at the Report stage the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund Bill, on which no discussion is anticipated; and at the Third Reading stage there is the Vaccination Bill, about which I shall say a word directly. We have to consider the Lords' Amendments to the Benefices Bill and the Local Government (Ireland) Bill, the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and the Public Works Loan Bill; and there are two private Bills which I believe tire likely to raise no discussion, and which are in an advanced stage, and they, I think, with propriety might be starred and brought within the range of Government business—the Nonconformist Marriages Bill and the Trusts (Scotland) Bill. I understand that no opposition is likely to arise in connection with the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill, and I entertain the hope to pass that Measure also. That completes the list of the Bills which I hope to pass, and I do not think that in any quarter of the House it will be regarded as an extravagant programme. The other Bills on the Order Paper I think we must abandon all hope of passing. As to the allocation of time to these Bills, I think it will render it possible—I do not say certain—to get away a day earlier than we otherwise could if Monday be given up to Supply. But Monday can only be given up to Supply if Saturday can be devoted to some other work which would otherwise have to be done on Monday. What I propose to do on Saturday is to take the Vaccination Bill and, I hope, the Second Reading of the Local Taxation (Scotland) Bill, which I think has been fully discussed at an earlier stage, and which ought not to take much time. I should be glad also, if possible, to take a Bill which must be passed in the course of the present Session—I mean the Irish Outdoor Relief Bill. If I could get that without lengthened discussion on Saturday, I should be glad; but I recognise how inconvenient it is to have a prolonged sitting on Saturday, or to do anything which would make a long sitting obligatory upon us. Monday would be given to Supply; Tuesday in the main would be given to the West India Vote, and on Wednesday my hope would be to take the Lords' Amendments to the Benefices Bill and the Irish Local Government Bill, and the Nonconformist Marriages Bill on the same day. That is as far as I can go at present in sketching our prospects; but, if the House deals with the limited programme in a businesslike spirit, there is no reason why we should not get away a little before the end of the week after next.

MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

Can the right honourable Gentleman say whether the Local Taxation (Scotland) Bill will be in the hands of Members before Saturday?


May I ask whether there is any chance of the Government including the Parliamentary Deposits Bill in the programme?

MR. WARNER (Stafford, Lichfield)

I quite recognise the concessions made by the Leader of the House, but I should like to say there will be a good deal of opposition to the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill, and the probability is that it will take a good deal of time.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

What Supply will be taken on Monday?


I think it will be better to wait until to-morrow before answering that question. It depends on the progress made to-night and to-morrow. I may say, however, that my idea is to take the Law Charges, Class III., but I do not wish to regard that as a pledge, but merely as an indication of my intention. With regard to the question of the honourable Member for Lichfield, I may say that if opposition to the Customs and Inland Revenue Bill is of the kind indicated by the honourable Member, then it cannot be passed; but I entertain a hope that means will be found to reconcile all opponents to the Measure. With regard to the appeal of the honourable Member for Preston, I fear the Mea- sure he refers to has not reached a sufficiently advanced stage to make it desirable for the Government to star it; but I am prepared to consider the matter, though I cannot hold out much, hope that I shall be able to meet his wishes. The House must remember that the privilege of starring should be sparingly applied, and only to those Bills which are far advanced. I think we could not conduct public business on the principle of starring great masses of private Members' Bills, however excellent they may be.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanark, Mid)

When will the Public Works Loan Bill be introduced and printed?


I understand that it is down for to-morrow. I believe also that the Local Taxation (Scotland) Bill, as to which the honourable Member for Kincardineshire asked, will be in the hands of Members before Saturday.

SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

The right honourable Gentleman has made no mention of the Colonial Loans Bill.


No. If I thought that it was likely to get through without discussion I should be glad to bring it forward; but I fear there is no chance of that.

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