HC Deb 09 May 1899 vol 71 cc221-3

rose to move— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying her to withhold her assent to a Minute of the Committee of Council on Education, dated 27th day of April, 1899, providing for the distribution of the sum available for Secondary and Technical (including Agricultural) Education, under Section 2, Sub-section 4, of the Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act, 1898.

MR. BANBURY (Camberwell, Peekham)

objected to the motion being proceeded with at that hour.


, on a point of order, submitted that this was a Minute under the provisions of the Act passed last year, in which it was provided that the money should be distributed in accordance with the conditions on which the Minutes of the Scotch Education Department were submitted to Parliament.

He wished to know whether the Minute did or did not come under the Standing Order of the House and within the definition of "proceedings made in pursuance of an Act of Parliament or Standing Order."


The proceeding which the honourable Member is proposing to take is to move an Address. That is not, ordinarily speaking, a procedure under an Act of Parliament. When it is provided by a Statute that an Address shall have a particular effect if it be moved within a certain number of days, moving such an Address has been held to be a proceeding under the Statute; but whether that is not a somewhat strained construction of the Standing Order I will not now inquire. This is not such a motion. The Statute says that certain Minutes shall be laid on the Table, and there is nothing providing that an Address moved within a certain time shall have a particular effect. It is simply stated in the Minute itself that it shall not take effect until forty days have expired. It would, therefore, be going beyond the clear meaning of the Standing Order if I were to say that the Address which the honourable Member proposes to move is a proceeding under an Act of Parliament.


said that on 27th February, 1893, an Address was moved in exactly similar circumstances. But, in view of the Speaker's decision, he would appeal to the First Lord of the Treasury. The last paragraph of the Minute declared that no action should be taken on it until it had been laid upon the Table of both Houses for one calendar month. That showed that the Department had done all it could to give the House an opportunity of discussing the Minute.


Is not the hon. Member contravening your ruling, Mr. Speaker, in arguing the matter?


I should have stopped the honourable Member if I had thought he was doing so. I understand he was making an appeal to the Minister.


, in reply to the appeal made, said he would tell the House what he had already told the honourable Member privately—that, knowing that unless objection was taken within a month the Minute would become law, he had secured from the First Lord of the Treasury a day for the consideration of the Scotch Estimates within the statutory period. Objection, however, was taken to the day fixed—last Friday—by the Leader of the Opposition, and therefore honourable Members opposite had to thank that right honourable Gentleman for being deprived of an opportunity of raising the question. The whole matter, however, could be raised upon the Vote for the salary of the Secretary of the Scottish Education Department.


explained that they were utterly ignorant that this motion was out of order.