§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if ho can make some further explanation of the procedure to be followed in regard to the Navy Estimates on Thursday, and, in particular, if he will state how he proposes to carry out his suggestion that, after the adjournment of the Debate on the Question that the Speaker do now leave the Chair, the House should go into Committee on the Supplementary Estimates.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I understand that there are some technical objections to taking the Supplementary Estimates immediately after the Motion that the Speaker do now leave the Chair on the Navy Estimates has been adjourned. That difficulty could be got over if the House permitted us to get the Speaker out of the Chair, when we could then proceed with the Supplementary Estimates. I do not know whether the House will think that course agreeable; if so, it would be convenient to the Government. If, however, that suggestion does not meet the views of the House, I certainly shall not press it. In that case, we shall go on, with Government Bills. The Food and Drugs Bill will be the first order, the second will be the Water Bill, and the third the Colonial Loans Bill.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON
May I ask whether, if the course suggested by the right honourable Gentleman that the 37 Speaker should be allowed to leave the Chair were adopted, the Amendments on the Paper would not be lost?
§ MR. SPEAKER
No Amendment could be moved to my leaving the Chair if I had already left it upon the Order of the House.
§ SIR C. CAMERON (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
May I ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he is aware that the Food and Drugs Bill was only circulated last Thursday, and was only explained last night; whether those interested in it have only this morning learned the nature of its provisions; and whether, in view of that fact, he will not make the Water Bill, or some other Bill, the first order on Thursday, in case the Navy Estimates should not be proceeded with; and, further, whether he will not allow the adjournment of the Debate on the Second Reading of the Food and Drugs Bill to extend over such a reasonable time as will permit those interested in its details to learn something as to what it means?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I really think the request of the honourable Gentleman rather unreasonable. We had a Debate last night, and not the slightest objection was raised of the character which the honourable Gentleman now raises. He himself, I think, supported the rejection of the Bill in a long and interesting speech. It is, therefore, rather unreasonable to ask us to defer the consideration of the Measure to a subsequent date.