HC Deb 28 June 1899 vol 73 cc938-40

On the motion for adjournment,


In moving the adjournment of the House I beg to give notice on behalf of the First Lord of the Treasury that tomorrow he will move the suspension of the Twelve o'clock rule so as to conclude the Debate upon the Clerical Tithes Bill.


I desire in a few words to renew my protest against the way in which Irish Members have been treated in regard to the consideration of the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Bill. It is a Bill of Some importance, of 35 clauses, and of great complexity. We have been kept waiting here three or four days in expectation of that Bill coming on, and as I understand now, it is not the intention of those who control this matter to give us any intimation of when it will come before the House, but to keep this Bill upon the Orders, not in the first or second place, but farther back in the Orders, that they may be able to snap a Second Reading at any moment when it is convenient and when Irish Members may not be present. I am within the limits of accuracy when I say that no considerable body of Members of this House have ever before been treated in this way with regard to a Bill in which they were interested. The Bill was mentioned in the Queen's Speech, and it has always been the invariable custom of the Government to give notice under such circumstances as to when that Bill will be taken. To us that notice has been refused. When I complained to the First Lord of the Treasury he professed that he was very anxious to see the Bill passed, but would give us any promise. I consider that the Irish Members in this matter have been treated with great contempt, and I shall take every opportunity of protesting against the course which has been pursued.

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I desire to support the protest of the hon. Member for Mayo. This is a measure which is mentioned in the Queen's Speech, and it is not fair on the part of the Government to displace this Bill for the purpose of bringing in the Clergy Tithe Bill, which gets first place in the Orders. But I suppose we may protest and protest and continue to protest, but it will be all the same so far as the Government is concerned.

* MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)

I merely rise to join in this protest as an Irish Member. I think it is very hard that some intimation should not be given to us as to when this Bill will come on. Irish constituencies naturally expect that Members should be present on a discussion of a measure of so much importance to Ireland, and the least that the Irish Members can expect from a Unionist Parliament is that the business of this House should be conducted in such a manner as to give them an opportunity of being present when such Bills as this are brought forward. This Bill is a most important Bill, and contains 35 clauses, every one of which will admit of more or less discussion. It deals with extensive interests in Ireland, and large sums of public money, and it should have full and adequate discussion. It is not a Bill on which the Leader of the House when he throws it upon the table, ought to say "There it is, and if you do not like it you can leave it."

* MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

I think a very unfair attack has been made on the First Lord of the Treasury, and it is very unfortunate that it should have been made. The First Lord of the Treasury has declared that he is anxious to pass this Bill, and we all know of the great anxiety of the Chief Secretary for Ireland and the Irish Attorney-General to secure this. A great number of Members are desirous of seeing it passed into law, and I do not think that the attack which has been made upon the First Lord is either right or proper.


May we ask when this Bill will be taken?


Perhaps it would be better to ask the question of the First Lord to-morrow.

House adjourned at ten minutes before six o'clock.