HC Deb 16 May 1898 vol 57 cc1383-4
MR. YERBURGH (Chester)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can arrange to take the Foreign Office Vote on the First Friday after the Whitsuntide Recess?


In answer to my honourable Friend, I can do little more than repeat what I have before stated, which is that it is not very easy, or, perhaps, very expedient, to allocate particular Fridays much more than a week in advance. I ought to say, in reference to the Foreign Office Vote, that I understand my honourable Friend and the right honourable Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, who has a Question down to me for next Friday on the same subject, are not quite in agreement as to the topics they wish to discuss when the Foreign Office Vote comes on. My honourable Friend, I understand, desires to deal with the policy of the Government in China. The right honourable Baronet has a wider ambition, and desires to prove the general incompetence of Her Majesty's Government on all questions connected with foreign affairs. Well, we are, of course, prepared to discuss either the larger or narrower issue whenever it suits the House, but, considering that we have had two days' debate upon the Chinese question, I confess I think the other aspect of the question, perhaps, has a certain claim for preference, though it is not for the Government so much as for the House to determine what topic shall be taken when the Vote comes on.

SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

But there is an aspect of the question to which the right honourable Gentleman has not alluded. There is a new foreign policy. What I think the House and the country desire to discuss is the Birmingham Foreign policy.

Subject dropped.