HC Deb 18 October 1899 vol 77 cc163-4

I desire to call attention to a matter which I think is of urgent importance to the rights of private Members. Among the notices of motion which stood on the Paper distributed today is one in my name for tomorrow. It reads as follows— To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any steps have been taken to fix the sum due to the South African Republic in payment of the indemnity of the Jameson raid which he expressed himself as willing to submit to arbitration. With that question I put another clause, which I deemed of importance but which has been eliminated at the Table—namely— Whether the declaration of war releases the Chartered Company from their primary indemnity to pay the expenses of the Jameson raid. What I wish to know is under what circumstances it has been eliminated. If you, Sir, have eliminated it, I respectfully bow to your decision, but if it has been eliminated by a clerk at the Table I desire to know under what circumstances a private Member is to be treated in that way.


I have only just learned from the statement of the hon. Member of the existence of this question or that there was any further paragraph to it. If there has been any paragraph omitted it has been done either because it was thought by the clerk irregular or per incuriam. I am quite sure that if the paragraph was omitted by the clerk on the ground of irregularity it is by mistake that the clerk has not communicated with the hon. Member himself. It has always been the practice to do so, where possible, and if the clerk has not done it on this occasion it is an oversight. I will make inquiries.