HC Deb 15 February 1900 vol 79 cc103-34

This Sessional Order has been put down this year exactly in the form in which it has been passed by the House at the beginning of successive sessions. It would, therefore, be an impertinence and only waste of time on my part if I offered any explanation or made any defence of the Order. I beg to move, Sir.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, so soon as the Committee of Supply has been appointed and Estimates have been presented, the Business of Supply shall (until it be disposed of) be the first Order of the Day on Friday, unless the House otherwise order on the Motion of a Minister of the Crown moved at the commencement of Public Business to be decided without Amendment or Debate; and the provisions of Standing Order No. 56 shall be extended to Friday. Not more than twenty days, being days before the 5th of August, on which, the Speaker leaves the Chair for the Committee of Supply without Question put, counting from the first day on which the Speaker so left the Chair under Standing Order No. 56, shall be allotted for the consideration of the Annual Estimates for the Army, Navy, and Civil Services, including Votes on Account, the Business of Supply standing first Order on every such day. Provided always, that on Motion made after Notice by a Minister of the Crown, to be decided without Amendment or Debate, additional time,, not exceeding throe days, maybe allotted for the Business of Supply, either before or after the 5th of August. On the last but one of the allotted days, at Ten o'clock p.m., the Chairman shall proceed to put forthwith every Question; necessary to dispose of the outstanding Votes in Committee of Supply; and on the last, not being earlier than the twentieth of the allotted days, the Speaker shall, at Ten o'clock p.m., proceed to put forthwith every Question necessary to complete the outstanding Reports of Supply. On the days appointed for concluding the Business of Supply, the consideration of such business shall not be anticipated by a Motion of Adjournment under Standing Order No. 17;. nor may any dilatory Motion he moved on such proceedings: nor shall they be interrupted, under the provisions of any Standing I Order relating to the Sittings of the House. Provided always that any Additional Estimate for any new service or matter, not included in the original Estimates for the year, shall be submitted for consideration in the Committee of Supply on any day not later than two days before the Committee is closed. Provided also that the days occupied by the consideration of Estimates supplementary to those of a previous Session, or of any Vote of Credit, shall not be included in the computation of the twenty days. Provided also that two Morning Sittings shall be deemed equivalent to one Three o'clock Sitting."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

MR. DUNCOMBE () Cumberland, Egremont

I had hoped when this Sessional Order was proposed to move an Amendment which would enable us at any rate to discuss a proposal which f have every reason to believe would meet with a large amount of support on both sides of the House, but I understand that any Amendment which would alter a Standing Order already in existence would not be in order on this occasion. That being so, of course I am precluded from moving my Amendment, but I would suggest to the First Lord of the Treasury an alternative proposal which I think would improve both the efficacy and the popularity of the Standing Order, and which would not alter the existing days as they nowstand or require the alteration by a single word of any Standing Order. My suggestion would not interfere with any existing arrangements or any arrangements that have been, or are about to be made, on the basis of existing arrangements. It is that there should be added to the first paragraph of the Order some such provision as this: "And that on those Fridays the House do meet at 11 o'clock a.m., and rise at 6 o'clock p.m." That would not in any way exceed the provisions of any Standing Order, because the House expressly reserves to itself the right of deciding at what hours it should meet and rise. There is reason to believe that Members on both sides of the House, and of all shades of opinion, feel that there is a great deal to be said for the suggestion contained in my Amendment. An early rising on Friday would meet the convenience of those hon. Members whose professional and business engagements and business habitude lend to their views on questions which come before the House a weight which this House cannot afford to lose. It would tend to induce such hon. Members to give up a certain portion of their valuable time to attend the House, and would specially suit hon. Members who represent constituencies in the extreme west and north of England, in Wales, and in the kingdoms of Ireland and Scotland. I think such a proposition as this is well worthy of the careful attention of the First Lord of the Treasury. I quite admit that there are some hon. Members of weight who have an objection to the alteration suggested, but I think I should not be out of harmony with the general feelings of the House if I propose, at a convenient and proper time, to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he, on his own behalf and that of his colleagues, would agree to the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the whole question. But for the present I content myself with suggesting to him, and to the House generally—for after all this is a matter which concerns no one but the Members of the House—whether a Sessional Order in the direction I have pointed out would not bring Parliament more into the position of a businesslike assembly of a business nation. I beg to move.

MR. BROADHURST () Leicester

On more than one occasion, since I have been a Member of this House, I have voted for a motion to turn Wednesdays into Fridays and Fridays into Wednesdays, and I have great pleasure in taking this opportunity of seconding the Amendment of my hon. friend opposite—


I rise to a point of order. In as much as the first Standing Order says— "That unless the House otherwise order, the House should meet every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at three o'clock"— I ask you whether an Amendment which would involve an alteration of that Standing Order is in order.


The Standing Order says, "unless the House otherwise order." If the hon. Member had intended to alter the time of the sitting of the House on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday his Amendment would not have been in order, but as the resolution deals with Fridays I think it is competent for the hon. Member to move his Amendment for altering the hours of sitting upon such Fridays. At the same time I think I ought to say that it is very inconvenient to spring an Amendment which affects a Standing Order suddenly upon the House without any notice whatever.


I regret most extremely that I should have sprung this Amendment on the House, but I fail to see what other course I could take.


I entirely agree with the hon. Member that we should on Friday meet at an earlier hour. Some hon. Gentlemen seem to think that it is something out of order and inconvenient to do so. I differ. On occasions during the session an order is made for the House to meet at ten, eleven, or twelve; and clearly it is within the power of the House itself to make this suggestion subject to the approval of the Government or the Leader of the House. I do beg the House to consider this question on its merits, and to have regard to the enormous convenience it would be to a great number of Members of the House to meet once a week at eleven in the morning. There are a great number of legal gentlemen who have to attend the courts, and gentlemen in other professions to whom eleven o'clock in the day may be considered an inconvenient hour; but if we met for Supply only once a week at eleven I do not think those Members of the House so engaged could reasonably find fault. And, indeed, so far as my observation of the attendance at the House is concerned, I think the learned profession, as a rule, mark down Supply days for leave of absence on a very large scale; and therefore it would be no great inconvenience to them, while it would be a great convenience to other Members of the House. I have taken an active part ever since I entered the House in trying for some re-form in the hours and seasons of sitting, and it is only on an occasion of this kind that one has an opportunity of submitting a plea for consideration. I do not suppose my Hon, friend desires to go to a division on the suggestion, or to prolong the discussion; but if the First Lord of the Treasury would give a serious promise that he will go into the matter with a view of meeting this demand, I am sure it would meet with the almost universal approval of the Members of the House. Last session I submitted to him some considerations for the alterations of the period and meeting of Parliament in order that we should avoid sitting here in July and August. This suggestion does not encounter the same difficulties as that one; it is a suggestion reasonable, rational, practical, and wise, and one which, as it seems to me, ought to commend itself to both sides of the House.

Amendment proposed—

In line 17, after the word "August," to insert the words "and on such allotted Fridays the House shall meet at 11 a.m. and sit till 6 p.m."—(Mr. Buncombe.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I only rise to intervene at the present moment because I gathered from you, Mr. Speaker, that, in your judgment, this debate,, though in order, is not very opportune, and the very few words I shall say may limit its scope. In reference to my hon. friend's Amendment, it is sufficient to point out that it is impossible for me to accept it; and for two-reasons, both of which I regard as conclusive. The first is that I do not think it possible so to alter the rules of the House as to require the attendance at two-morning sittings during the week of the very large number of professional gentlemen who have other important avocations to pursue. The second reason is that it would still further curtail the time of the House given to Supply, and I doubt whether the House is anxious that such time so given to Supply on the allotted Fridays should be further diminished. While saying that, I entirely agree with my hon. friend the Member for Egremont and the hon. Gentleman opposite that there is a large body of feeling in the House, pointing in the direction of some investigation into the allocation of our time. It would be most improper for me at the present moment to give the pros and cons which may be urged to the various proposals brought under my notice, but I may be allowed to say two-things. One is that I do not know any circumstance in relation to this matter on which the Government should exercise any pressure it may have in its power. It is absolutely a question for hon. Members themselves to decide. The second is that in order that hon. Members may have materials for a sound decision there' should be a preliminary investigation into-a question so bound up with their own comfort. Should that view meet with general acceptance I will take care that a Select Committee shall be appointed for the purpose.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR () Liverpool, Scotland

I think the House generally will be extremely pleased with the statement which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman. Still I should like to reply to some of the arguments he has used. The right hon. Gentleman said that it would largely interfere with and make-demands on the time of business men to-have two morning sittings, land that such a change would diminish the actual time allotted to Supply. With regard to the first objection, I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that his observation does not apply to all professional men, but only to one profession—a most important one it is true—the legal profession; and I really think it is rather unfair that the health, time, and interests of every other Member of this House should be sacrificed to the interests of one particular profession. No doubt it will be said that morning sittings on Fridays will interfere with the convenience of business men, but I would point out that the answer to that is obvious. After all, there are in this House business men other than those who represent London; business men from Scotland, Ireland, and the provinces, who have to reside in London during the Parliamentary session, and when it is said that a morning sitting interferes with the convenience of business men the statement should be properly analysed and considered, and it would then be found that it would only interfere with the convenience of a very small section. With regard to the other argument of the right hon. Gentleman, that this Amendment, if carried, would still further diminish the time allotted to Supply, so far as the actual number of hours is concerned the argument is just and well founded. But there are hours and hours. For instance, the hours from four to six, which, though extremely interesting to hon. Gentleman and right hon. Gentleman on both front benches, do not facilitate Supply: and there is the dinner hour, during which arguments are addressed to empty benches. During the dinner hour, though in session, the House almost ceases to exist. It is true that during that time hon. Gentlemen address their constituents through the medium of the gentlemen of the Press Gallery, but so far as the main body of the Mouse is concerned the House does not exist for three hours after. The result is that we have hon. Gentleman coming down later who, not having heard what has taken place, with charming freshness repeat all the arguments which we have already heard. This House has all the characteristics of the spendthrift, now avariciously now—


Order, order! I would remind the hon. Member of the limited nature of the Amendment. The question is that the House shall sit on the allotted Fridays from 11 a. m. to 6 p.m.


With regard to the proposal itself, it was at first supposed that the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman opposite proposed to substitute Friday for Wednesday, and no doubt if that had been the proposal of the hon. Gentleman it would have met with a certain amount of opposition; but his suggestion is that the Wednesday sitting should remain as it is, and that instead of having a long night sitting on Friday we should have a short day sitting. I think that proposition recommends itself to all private Members, and ought to recommend itself to all official Members of the House. How can we ask those gentlemen to discharge their duties properly if they are compelled to be here from three o'clock to twelve every night? Now that the country is thinking of setting its house in order, I think one of the first necessities is to relieve members of the Government from the long hours which they are obliged to spend in this House.


I am not now going to enter into the arguments raised by the hon. Member, but I would recall the House to the suggestion thrown out by the Leader of the House, that this matter should be considered by a Select Committee. I presume the right hon. Gentleman means that the Committee shall consider not only the question raised by the Amendment, but the general hours of the sittings of the House. I do not think you can consider the one without considering the other. I am very glad to know that a Committee is going to inquire into this matter, because I am not at all sure that our hours of sitting are at all satisfactory. Every man in the House looks upon this question from the point of view of his own personal convenience, and this proposal comes from, and those who raise the question are, gentlemen who wish to got away from town at the end of the week for the purposes either of business or pleasure; who wish to got out of London without waiting for the Saturday trains. They are very worthy persons, no doubt, but I do not think they include among their ranks the hardest working Members of the House. Therefore I am afraid if we come to the constitution of a Committee to inquire into our hours of sitting we shall have to consider in each individual case to which category of members the candidate belongs. I remember a noble Lord, still happily alive, long a Member of this House, saying that it you would tell him the names of the members forming a Committee he would write the Report in each case. In this case I would almost undertake if I saw and analysed the names of the members of this proposed Committee to say on which side their judgment would be cast. I think our hours at present—and I do not think they are satisfactory as at present arranged—do not attract the approval and admiration of the world at large. We are accustomed to them, and therefore the yoke fits our shoulders, but the world at large is astonished. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks anything would be done by appointing a Committee I would welcome its appointment. I certainly think that an inquiry by Committee should precede any action this House might take for the alteration of the hours of sitting.


I have no desire to prolong tins discussion, but I should like just to say a few words for myself and other hon. Members who are opposed to any change. My hon. friend who proposed the Amendment before the House hoped to propose a still greater change, but that was ruled out of order. I am very much afraid that if we once begin to change our hours and days of meeting we shall get into difficulties. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition said that every Member looked at this question from the point of view of his own personal convenience; when the House arrives at a decision upon this matter I hope it will consider the officials and the Government and those who are obliged to attend. Another point that I would like to suggest is that it would lead to those Members who sit on Private Bill Committees and sit every day frequently having to interrupt their sittings at most inconvenient times. I can say from experience that when you are busy on some important matter it is extremely inconvenient to have to leave your work to take part in divisions. My right hon. friend the Leader of the House has intimated that he will grant a Committee to consider our Standing Orders. Now I confess that while I thank him for anything he does for the convenience of the House, I do not very much welcome the appointment of a Committee to consider our Standing Orders. I have gone through all the reports of the five Committees that have sat since 1837, and I find that these Committees have been selected from the leading Parliamentary authorities of the day, and they have gone fully into the various questions which are raised now. I am not prepared to say that they have not made recommendations which the House has accepted, but I am prepared to say that the most important changes in the Standing Orders have been made by the House itself on the initiation of the Government, who have thought some change desirable. If I look at the Reports for 1837 and the Reports for 1848 I find, that some of their most important recommendations have ever since that time been ignored by this House. Therefore, I am inclined to think myself, and I should prefer it, that it would have been better had the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House said he would look fully into the matter, and on a future oscasion propose the changes which he thinks, and which the Government think, will be to the advantage of the House. After all, the responsibility for the conduct of the business of the House must rest with the Government of the day. They have a better knowledge of what is required, and a greater experience than a good many of us as to the best mode of carrying through the business. If a Committee should be appointed I would express the hope that it should be a very strong and a very full one. But first let me read one of the chief recommendations of the Committee of 1848, among whose members were Mr. Denison (Chairman), Sir Robert Peel, and Mr. Disraeli. It was one of the most important clauses in their Report— your Committee, however, ventures to express an opinion that the satisfactory conduct and progress of the business of the House must mainly depend on Her Majesty's Government, holding as they do the chief control over its management. I think many of us would be content to act upon the recommendation of that Committee; and if my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury thinks it is desirable that there should be a Committee, then I shall watch its progress, when formed, with into rest, and with some fear lest, by endeavouring to make changes, we may find in the result that it has not answered. The plan of operations with regard to the Standing Orders is a very good one. The general custom observed in altering them has been for some three or four or five years to move the change in a Sessional Order. That gives the House an opportunity of seeing, year after year, that the proposal of the Government answers, and is useful in assisting the business of the House, and the Sessional Order can then be made a Standing Order. Well, it seems to me that we had much better go on on that system; but whether we do or not. L know that I am speaking for several Members of this House when I express their earnest desire that any tampering with our; Standing Orders should be carried out with the greatest care and the greatest; caution. I believe that the work of this House is being well done at this time, and it should not be for the convenience of one section or another section that we should try an experiment which may end in failure.


I have no particular interest in this debate, Sir, but I intervene for a few moments simply because, although I have been for some years a Member of this House, I have never spoken on an academic subject before. The hon. Baronet who has just spoken is a great Conservative, and is exceedingly both to interfere with these Standing Orders; but does know that the late hours in this House are an entirely modern institution, and entirely owing to modern usages? The ordinary business time of the House was formerly from ten o'clock till four o'clock but now we appear to be met together for the purpose of consulting the convenience of the few. It is the gentlemen in the City and those who do business on the Stock Exchange, and who come here after the day's work there is done, whose convenience we are now asked to consult. I think that, having regard to the fact that the great majority of the Members of this House give up their business to attend here, and that the business of the nation will be stifled by studying the interests of a few City Members, I must oppose the main resolution.


I think it is extremely unfortunate that this motion is brought forward now, as nobody is in the least prepared for it; and, therefore, hon. Members have not given it that consideration which an alteration of the Rules of the House naturally involves. I know that there are hon. Members who consider the Standing Orders proper objects for their ambition at any moment for the purposes of experiment; but there are other Members of this House—the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth among them—who are regular Tories in this matter, and who look upon the Standing Orders with veneration, and on the traditions of the House with greater veneration still. I hold that it is impossible to deal at this moment with this resolution, because, in the first place, it affects a part of the whole system of the House. Secondly, I hold that we are not in any way prepared for it. I do not know that my hon. friend who moved the resolution is aware of the amount of time it will take from Supply. As it stands we have twenty days of nine hours a day. This would mean the taking away of two ninths, or more than four days of the time we give to Supply. As regards the argument of my hon. friend opposite, the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool, I cannot consent to it. I say first of all that we have not too many days now allotted to us—that is, days beginning at three and ending at twelve.

And if we have not sufficient even now I should say, from the example we had last year, that to reduce the time still further is a very dangerous experiment. If there is to be a change it should not be upon a small proposal like this. Then I say that to appoint a Select Committee to consider only the question of whether the sitting on Friday should be altered from three o'clock to twelve o'clock appears to me a strange proceeding, and I hope the First Lord of the Treasury will withdraw that. The right hon. Gentleman does not answer—


I was not aware that my hon. friend was appealing to me, but if he had listened to my speech he would have heard me say that I was quite ready to grant a Committee to discuss the distribution of time of the House as between the various days of the week.


Then it only remains to my hon. friend to withdraw his Amendment.


I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS () Glasgow, Camlachie

Sir, I take exception to the Amendment being withdrawn. The country is not represented in this House by London men only. I happen to belong to a constituency in the country, and I am not at all sorry that the House has begun to consider whether the convenience of the bulk of the Members shall be considered, or merely a section of it. While I am at all times ready to give any suggestion from the First Lord of the Treasury all the weight to which it is entitled, may I point out to him that I have grown up to my present age on the understanding that if there be one way more effective than another of delaying any reform it is referring it to a Select Committee. The First Lord himself has again and again, for the convenience of public business, made larger changes than that proposed to night, and I have voted for those changes. But surely men who come from Scotland, Ireland, and distant parts of England are entitled to some consideration in this matter. Moreover, I do not believe the country approves of business being done after twelve o'clock at night. I have seen the way in which Votes are shot through this House after midnight, and I object entirely to the method. Another consideration is that in far away parts we often have considerable difficulty in obtaining the services as Members of Parliament of the men we should like to have, on account of the difficulty of attending to public duties, the laborious hours, and the inconvenient arrangements which prevail. I can conceive a vast improvement in the arrangements of this House which would make it easier for men of weight and position in the far parts of the country to take part in your deliberations if the hours were somewhat altered. As to the argument of time, I think that has been pretty well disposed of by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division. Between the hours of eleven arid six there are seven hours, all of which would be available for work if you made the provision that no questions or private business should be taken. To compare with that, take a Friday evening under present circum- stances. There are questions and all sorts of interruptions. One comes down to take part in the consideration of some item of the Estimates, only to find that seven or eight o'clock arrives before the question comes on, then follows the dinner hour, and after that the small hours, of the morning. I would further point out that the Government put pressure on their own men to avoid discussion on the Estimates. I do not suppose that that fault is confined to the Government of which I am a supporter, but I have again and again come down to the House with the intention of calling attention to some particular Estimate, but have been stopped at the door. I do not believe this proposal will get much support from the occupants of the front benches, as they are wedded to tradition, from which it is exceedingly difficult for them to free themselves. Instead of the question being referred to a Select Committee, I would much rather that the right hon. Gentleman put himself in the way of hearing the opinion which is very generally held on both sides of the House as to the desirability of some change, and that, after hearing that opinion, he should endeavour on his own initiative to make the changes which are so much desired.


Of course the Leader of the House undertakes that the motion for the appointment of the Select Committee should be put down at such a time that we may be able to discuss it?

MR. DALZIEL () Kirkcaldy Burghs

I should like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will take care that the reference to the Committee shall be wide enough to cover the question of the House meeting half an hour or an hour earlier each day and rising earlier?

MR. J. P. FARRELL () Cavan, W.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to take care that the rights of Irish Members to discuss Irish Estimates are not interfered with? Last session we discussed Irish Estimates only on three occasions; and a great number of Votes were rushed through without any discussion at all.


Order, order! That question does not arise on the motion before the House.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed.


said that when the main question now before the House was introduced for the first time in 1896 it was not the product of any Select Committee but was simply pushed on by the iron hand of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury. On the first occasion this resolution came up for discussion Irish Members were told inaccurately what its effect would be; on the second occasion they had not much to find fault with; but on the third and fourth occasions they complained with justice that they had had no opportunity of discussing various Irish Estimates. The rule was framed in such a way as actually to strangle Irish discussion. It had to be remembered that Irish Nationalist Members were always private Members; they took no office, and recognised no official leader on either of the front benches. Therefore, unless they safeguarded their rights they were compromised and trampled on in an unconscionable manner. The way this rule had worked out was that every Vote the discussion of which was objectionable to the Government was pushed back and so was discussion prevented. In 1896 the Irish Members had nothing to complain of, as they had five days in which they were able fairly and properly to discuss every Estimate of importance to Ireland. In 1897, however, there was a complete alteration. The discussion on the Royal Irish Constabulary Vote was prevented, nor had that discussion been allowed since. In that year altogether 17 or 18 millions of money were voted on Irish matters in a couple of hours without discussion. In 1898, matters became even worse. In 1897, the Chief Secretary's salary, at least, was discussed, but in 1898 and 1899 neither that nor the Royal Irish Constabulary Vote was allowed to come up. The only way in which a Government could be brought in touch with the people was by criticism, and the result of this rule had been to destroy criticism of the Irish Estimates by the Irish Members. After all, it was in the hands of the people, and a Government could only act through the power of the people. There were many reasons why Irish Members should have the fullest opportunity for discussing the Estimates, and it would be their duty to intervene in this discussion—though their intervention in foreign questions was not received with gladness— having regard to the fact that in one way or another levies would be made upon. Ireland in respect to the expenses of a war which the majority of the people considered unnecessary and unjust.

MR. COURTENAY WARNER () Staffordshire, Lichfield

was unable to agree with the views just expressed. This was not to be a great legislative session, but was rather to be devoted to the prosecution of the war and strengthening the defences of the country. Those matters could only be discussed on the Army and Navy Estimates, and having regard to the state of feeling in the country, he thought the House should have ample time to discuss the Army Votes. A great deal more time should be given to them than had been allotted in former years. That was a point on which both sides would agree, and he thought some modification of the rule might be allowed this session.

MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)

said the rule had one great advantage. In the course of the two preceding sessions two-nights had been spent in long promenades through the lobbies. That was not a dignified performance, and might be put an end to by the judicious use of this rule. He hoped that the time allotted would lie so used as to enable the House to discuss the Estimates fully, but not so as to allow obstruction. In his opinion the Government had not applied the closure sufficiently, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury would use the power in his hand to bring the discussion to an early termination.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Water-ford)

I have always regarded #his rule as the most ingenious that was ever framed. Nothing has so facilitated the general business of the House and Government as this rule, and on that point the right hon. Gentleman is to be congratulated on the success of his ingenious plan. But he will at once admit that if this power is not carried out with the most scrupulous care injustice may be done to various sections of the House, like that which was done to the representatives of Ireland. What has happened? In 1897, 1898, and 1899 Votes of the utmost importance to Irish Members were passed over without dis- cussion. That was not due to the fault of the Irish Members. During the last three years we have been prevented from discussing at all some of the most important Votes for Ireland. Our case is entirely different from that of England and Scotland. If Scotch Members found that their most important Estimates had been closured without discussion for three years, I think at the end of the third year they would have a conclusive case for asking for a larger amount of time than in previous years. We have received three days for the discussion of the Irish Estimates in each of the last three years, and in view of the fact that many of these Votes have not been discussed for three years, I submit that this year at any rate the Irish Members should be given more than three days. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he would not think it fair to give five days instead of three for the discussion of the Irish Estimates, and we would be able to utilise these days in discussing those Estimates which have not-been discussed for the last three years. There is one concession I would like to ask of the right hon. Gentleman, and to my mind there will be no difficulty in granting it. This proposal does not preclude the Government from taking other days besides Fridays, and therefore they can take continuous days. It is of importance to the Irish Members that the Irish Votes should, if possible, be taken on consecutive days, as a considerable number of Members come over from Ireland specially for the discussion of the Estimates, and it would be very inconvenient for them to come over one Friday, then go back and have to return on the succeeding Friday. I would ask the First Lord of the Treasury very respectfully to take the Irish Votes on consecutive days, and at such a period of the session as will meet with the views of the Irish Members, and also to give us this year a larger proportion of time for the discussion of the Irish Estimates.


I confess it has always seemed to me that the Irish Members have always had far more than their fair share of the time of the House. They are allowed days of their own for the Irish Estimates, and then they generally come in and assist us with their advice on the Imperial Estimates, which of course they have a perfect right to do.

If there were to be a fair allocation of the time of the House on any intelligible principle, I think hon. Gentlemen opposite would find that they were entitled to far less than they receive.


Closure the Irish Estimates altogether.


I am coming to that, although I do not approve of that course. This is the fifth time in which this Sessional Order has been introduced, and every year it is introduced brings us, I am afraid, nearer to the time when perhaps it will be made a Standing Order. In view of that fact I would point out that the effect of this rule is to deprive private Members—the representatives of the Commons as distinguished from the representatives of the Ministers—of all power. This is called the House I of Commons, but it really is in a fair way to become a den of Placemen, on account of the successive steps whereby: all power is taken out of the hands of private Members and put into the hands of the Government. First of all we have got the closure, and I am very far from wishing to see it applied, either to the hon. Gentlemen for Ireland or to the hon. Members on this side of the House. Then we have the practice whereby the House allows the Government every year to take an enormous proportion of the time which by the Standing Orders—the effect of the wisdom of centuries—is allocated to private Members. By Standing Orders three-fifths of the time of the House belongs to private Members, and two-fifths to the Government. The year before last the Government took nine-tenths of the time instead of the four-tenths to which it was entitled. The fault lies with the House altogether. Let the House consider what this Sessional Order amounts to. When I was first introduced to the arts of Parliamentary life by my hon. friend the Secretary to the Treasury, whom I really suspect to be the author of this Order, what I found was that absolutely the solo engine and weapon which we as private Members had to meet the Government with was discussion of the Estimates. It was by threatening, I will not say obstructive, but adequate discussion of the Estimates, and by the assertion of our right to debate these Estimates fully, that we were able to get anything out of the Government. I have had many things out of the Government, and after consultations behind the Speakers chair I have observed a greater reticence than perhaps I would otherwise have thought fit on the Estimates. When you pass this Order all that power is gone. You give the Government twenty days, and the result is that instead of the Estimates being discussed in the time of the Government, they are discussed in private Members' time. The Government do not care a straw how those twenty days are passed, and if nineteen out of the twenty were given to hon. Gentlemen from Ireland—although then I do not suppose they would be satisfied the Government would not mind—for the twentieth day would guillotine everything left and give them all they want. The result is that the private Member is drawing nearer to the time when he will be deprived of almost his last chance of dealing with the Government. In days gone by the debate on the Address was generally finished before the dinner hour; it now takes about ten days, because private Members, having been driven off the Votes in consequence of this Order, come on to the Address. There are three things in this rule, all independent of each other one is good; the other two are lamentably and entirely to be condemned. The allocation of Fridays for Supply is good though even that filches the days of private Members—but the limiting of the number of days to twenty and the limitation of the period to the 5th August are utterly bad. All hard and fast rules are bad in a House like this, because we may be engaged in important duties when the discussion comes to an end. Twenty days did not suffice even last year. We had last year 151 Votes to discuss; the result was that on the 3rd or 4th August the fatal twentieth day—there were rushed through before ten o'clock nineteen Votes involving 2½ millions of money. I say "rushed through," because it was manifestly, impossible at that last hour to discuss the Votes, no matter what their importance. After ten o'clock forty-six Votes, involving £5,100,000, were guillotined, so that on that evening sixty-five Votes out of the whole 151, involving nearly eight! millions of money, were passed, and therefore nearly half the Votes were not discussed at all, but had their heads cut off under the operation of this rule. Among them were some very important Votes, such as the Vote for Uganda, the Vote for the Treasury, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Mercantile Marine, and for that Secret Service money which we now know was altogether insufficient and the Vote for which, if not guillotined, might have been increased by the familiar process of moving its reduction. This shows that it is very bad to have a hard and fast rule at all. There should be no limit of twenty days, and the time should not end on the 5th August. I have only risen to say that the repetition of this Sessional Order is the repetition of too successful attempts made in the past on behalf of all Ministers, because when a man becomes a Minister he seems to acquire the habits of his predecessors on the Treasury bench, and is anxious to deprive the private Member of all opportunities and all power, and to take the whole of the time for the Government alone. To that extent I think this is an unfortunate rule. This session we are in special circumstances, but these special circumstances require rather more than less discussion, because in all probability some of the very great Imperial matters in which we are now so anxiously concerned will have to be discussed on the Estimates. Still we are in special circumstances, and I am perfectly certain that Members on both sides of the House will feel inclined to diminish discussion as much as possible, and strengthen the hands of the Government for a vigorous prosecution of the war. I think this Sessional Order is a dangerous thing. I fear it more on the fifth time than I did on the first, because it tends more nearly to become a Standing Order. I trust that a stand may be made against it, and that the Government will make it more elastic by leaving' out the limitation as to the number of days, and also the limit of August the 5th as to time.


I shall reply very briefly to the speeches made by hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House, most of them, I am afraid, in a spirit hostile to the rule. My hon. friend who has just sat down made a startling revelation of the methods he was in the habit of adopting in the days before this rule came into force, and he indicated what I confess shocked my innocent mind, that it had been his practice, under threat, I will not say of obstruction, but at all events of able and eloquent discussion, to induce the then occupants of the Treasury Bench to make all sorts of surrenders and compromises. He regrets that happy time, and thinks that the privileges of private Members are seriously curtailed because they have now no opportunity of driving these surreptitious bargains behind the Speaker's chair. But I can hardly believe, even if such were the habitual procedure in days gone by, that my hon. friend would seriously desire that those days should be restored. I will point out this to him. He enumerated the number of Votes passed without any discussion under the automatic closure at the end of the session. I think if such transactions as my hon. friend refers to did take place, precisely the same thing occurred in those days, and equally important Votes were passed through with equally marvellous rapidity. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent said the closure was not sufficiently applied during the course of the Estimates last year. The closure is really very imperfect. I always desire to work it in harmony with the general feeling of hon. Gentlemen engaged in the discussion. There are times, no doubt, when it has to be applied, but very often the result of such an operation is to irritate temper and prolong discussion, and so far from turning the stream of the debate into useful and fertilising channels, it turns the discussion into a wrangle in which there is more temper than wisdom shown. I can assure my hon. friend that I am most anxious to see the time of the House allotted as fairly as possible between the different Votes, but it is impossible for that to be done solely on the initiative of any Minister. Only by the co-operation of the House and also by the co-operation of bodies of Members such as the Irish Members with reference to Irish Votes, and the Scotch Members with reference to Scotch Votes, is any satisfactory allocation of time between the Votes in any way possible. Two hon. Gentlemen from Ireland complained of the beggarly allowance of time given to the Irish Estimates, and they complain, as I understand, of the distribution of that time between the Irish Votes. Let me remind hon. Gentlemen that the allocation of time between the Irish Votes is left entirely to the Irish Members. When I am told that this Vote or that was not brought on at a convenient time last year on the days allocated to the Irish Votes, I can only reply that it was the fault of the Irish Members themselves. I am always ready to place Votes in the order in which the main body of the critics of the Government are desirous of seeing them. The arrangement of the Votes is not so much for the Government as for the critics of the Government, and if I have been obliged to be the actual person responsible for the arrangement of the Votes I have been always ready to take the advice of hon. Members concerned. The first year this rule was brought in I said I should like to see the order of the Votes and the days on which they were to be taken settled by a Committee, of which, unlike all other Committees, the majority should belong to the Opposition. I frankly admit I still have a strong leaning to that plan; it would relieve me from a very serious and disagreeable responsibility, and I cannot help thinking that it would be found to work well. But I am I well aware that the change is rather contrary to the general spirit of our proceedings, and that there would be difficulty in getting the House to accept it. I think, therefore, the Government have an unanswerable case with reference to the arrangement of the Votes. I now come to the time given to the Votes. It is, of course, open to argument whether the twenty days allocated are sufficient. The twenty days were, if I remember rightly, fixed on after a consideration of the average time taken in previous sessions for Supply. That seems to me to have been a fair arrangement, and my opinion is that the House would be sorry to see the period increased. The time seems to be sufficient, but if the House thinks otherwise I shall not regard it as an infringement of the rule if the number of days is increased; but I should have to get a much stronger expression of opinion in favour of the increase. I do really think that the Irish Members have a very adequate slice of the period allocated for Supply given to them. The hon. Member for Waterford threw out a suggestion that instead of taking Fridays for Irish Votes we should take successive days so far as it was possible. If that be the general view of the Irish Members it is an arrangement which I should be very glad to consider. The hon. Member for Lichfield wished a special exception made this year in favour of the Army Estimates, but I would point out to him that we are discussing day after day at the present time Army affairs in a manner which does not trench on the twenty days for Supply, and that a very convenient opportunity is given on the Speaker leaving the chair on the Army Estimates to raise Army questions, and, further, that the elasticity our rules of Supply still possess will be found not insufficient to meet the necessities of the case. These are all the points which have been brought before the House, and I hope we will now proceed to a division.

MR. STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

The Army Votes this year will require very careful consideration, and I would accordingly move to add the word "two" after the word "twenty" in the Order, so that we may have better opportunity of discussing them. The Under Secre-

tary for War told the House that we have not had sufficient time in recent years to discuss the Militia or the Volunteer force. If that is so there is all the more reason why we should discuss them this year, and the two extra days which I propose to add would enable us to discuss very important questions dealing with the defence of this country. I beg to move, Sir.

MR. CHANGING () Northamptonshire, E.

seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In line 8, after the word 'twenty,' to insert the word 'two.'"—(Mr. Strachey.)

Question put, "That the word ' two' be there inserted."

The House divided:—Ayes, 136: Noes, 230. (Division List No. 13.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Flavin, Michael Joseph Moulton, John Fletcher
Allen, William (Gateshead) Flynn, James Christopher Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Ambrose, Robert Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbt. J. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. H. Henry Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Griffith, Ellis J. Oldroyd, Mark
Barlow, John Emmott Gurdon, Sir William B. O'Malley, William
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harwood, George Parnell, John Howard
Beaumont, Wentworth C.B. Hayden, John Patrick Pease, J. A. (Northumberland
Billson, Alfred Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Birrell, Augustine Hazell, Walter Pilkington, Sir G.A.(Lancs, SW
Blake, Edward Holland, William Henry Power, Patrick Joseph
Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex Horniman, Frederick John Price, Robert John
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Joicey, Sir James Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Redmond, William (Clare)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U Reid, Sir Robert Threshie
Burt, Thomas Kearley, Hudson E. Rickett, J. Compton
Caldwell, James Kilbride, D nis Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow) Kinloch, Sir John George S. Robson, William Snowdon
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Kitson, Sir James Schwann, Charles E.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Langley, Batty Scott, Charles P. (Leigh)
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Clark, Dr. G. B. Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Sinclair, Capt. Jn. (Forfarsh.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leng, Sir John Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Crean, Eugene Lewis, John Herbert Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Lloyd-George, David Souttar, Robinson
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Lough, Thomas Stevenson, Francis S.
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) MacDonnell, Dr MA (Queen's C Sullivan, Donald (Westmeath)
Dalkeith, Earl of MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, AY.)
Dalziel, James Henry M'Arthur, Wm. (Cornwall) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Cartan, Michael Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, K.)
Donelan, Captain A. M'Crae, George Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)
Doogan, P. C. M'Ewan, William Trevelyan, Charles Plilips
Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark) M'Ghee, Richard Tully, Jasper
Dunn, Sir William M'Leod, John Wallace, Robert
Emmott, Alfred Maddison, Fred. Walton, Joseph Barnsley)
Engledew, Charles John Mandeville, J. Francis Watson, Eugene
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Wedderburn, Sir William
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorg'n) Montague, Sir S.(Whitechapel Weir, James Galloway
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Moore, Arthur (Londonderry) Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fenwick, Charles Morley, Rt. Hon. J. (Montrose) Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund Moss, Samuel Wilson, H. J. (Yorks, W.R.)
Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.) Woods, Samuel TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Ktrachey and Mr. Courtenay Warner.
Wilson, John (Govan) Young, Samuel Cavan, East)
Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough.) Yoxall, James Henry
Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd
Acland-Hood, Cap. Sir Alex F. Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D. Lucas-Shadwell, William
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Archdale, Edw. Mervyn Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J (Manc'r) Macdona, John Cumming
Arnold-Foster, Hugh (). Field, Admiral Eastbourne) MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Arrol, Sir William Finch, George H. Maclean, James Mackenzie
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Maclure, Sir John William
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Fisher, William Hayes M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Flannery, Sir Fortesene M'Killop, James
Baird, John Geo. Alexander Flower, Ernest Malcolm, Ian
Baldwin, Alfred Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Marks, Henry Hananel
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man.) Foster, Harry S. (Suffblk) Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Banbury, Frederick George Fry, Lewis Melville, Beresford Valentine
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Galloway, William Johnson Middlemore. J. Throgmorton
Barry, Rt. Hon. A. H. S. (Hunts Gartit, William Milward, Colonel Victor
Bartley, George C. T., Gedge, Sydney Monckton, Edward Philip
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol Gibbons, J. Lloyd Monk, Charles James
Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Giles, Charles Tyrrell Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants
Bethell, Commander Gilliat, John Saunders Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Biddulph, Michael Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Bill, Charles Gold, Charles Morrell, George Herbert
Blakiston-Houston, John Goldsworthy, Major-General Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, Hon. John Edward Muntz, Philip A.
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orine Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Goschen, Rt. Hn. G.J. (St. Geo. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Brassey, Albert Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Broadhurst, Henry Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley Myers, William Henry
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Brookfield, A. Montagu Gretton, John Nicol, Donald Ninian
Brown, Alexander H. Greville, Hon. Ronald O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Butcher, John George Hall, Right Hon. Sir Charles Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hilsey, Thomas Frederick Parkes, Ebeuezer
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Penn, John
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh Hardy, Laurence Phillpotts, Capt. Arthur
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Haslett, Sir James Horner Pierpoint, Robert
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Helder, Augustus Pilkington, Rich (Lanes Newt'n
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Henderson, Alexander Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Hill, Sir Edw. Stock Bristol Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Chelsea, Viscount Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Pretyman, Ernest George
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hobhouse, Henry Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Purvis, Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Houston. R. P. Pym, C. Guy
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Howard, Joseph Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Howell, William Tudor Rentoul, James Alexander
Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford) Hozier, Hon. James Henry C. Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T.D. Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlepool)
Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies Kidley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Jeffreys, A. Frederick Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Jenkins, Sir John Jones Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Johnston, William (Belfast) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W.
Curzon, Viscount Kenyon, James Round, James
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Royds, Clement Molyneux
Denny, Colonel Keswick, William Russell, Gen. F.S. (Cheltenham)
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Knowles, Lees Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield Lafone, Alfred Rutherford, John
Dixon-Hartlaud, Sir F. Dixon Laurie, Lieut.-General Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawrence. Wm. F. (Liverpool) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lecky, Rt. Hon. Wm. E. H. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.
Drage, Geoffrey Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Savory, Sir Joseph
Drucker, A. Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Seton-Karr, Henry
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lorne, Marquess of Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dyke, Kt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Lowe, Francis William Simeon, Sir Barrington
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Tennant, Harold John Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Smith, Abel H. (Christehurch) Thorburn, Sir Walter Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)
Smith, James Parker (Lanarks) Thornton, Percy M. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath
Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-
Stanley, Ed. James (Somerset) Tritton, Charles Ernest Wylie, Alexander
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter) Wyndham, George
Stone, Sir Benjamin Webster, Sir Richard E. Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Strauss, Arthur Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Whitmore, Charles Algernon TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Sutherland, Sir Thomas Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Talbot, Rt Hn J.G. (Oxf'd Univ. Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)

Main Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 303; Noes, 02. (Division List No. 14.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Coghill, Douglas Harry Goddard, Daniel Ford
Allan, William (Gateshead) Cohen, Benjamin Louis Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Allhusen, Angustus Hnry Eden Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gold, Charles
Anson, Sir William Reynell Colomb, Sir John C. Ready Goldsworthy, Major-(General
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Gordon, Hon. John Edward
Arnold-Foster, Hugli O. Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Arrol, Sir William Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T.D. Goschen, Rt. Hn. G.J. (St.Geo's.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Courtney, Rt. Hn. Leonard H Goulding, Edward Alfred
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbt. Henry Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cripps, Charles Alfred Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Cross, Hbt. Shepherd (Bolton) Gretton, John
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cubitt, Hon. Henry Greville, Hon. Ronald
Baird, John George Alexander Curzon, Viscount Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)
Baldwin, Alfred Dalkeith, Earl of Gurdon, Sir Wm. Brampton
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Banbury, Frederick George Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardign Halsey, Thomas Frederick
James, Frederic Gorell Denny, Colonel Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George
Barry, Rt Hn AH Smith-(Hunts Dikinson, Robert Edmond Hanbury, Rt. Hn Robert Wm.
Bartley, George C. T. Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Hardy, Lawrence
Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Harwood, George
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Dorington, Sir John Edward Haslett, Sir James Horner
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale
Bethell, Commander Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Hazell, Walter
Biddulph, Michael Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Helder, Augustus
Bill, Charles Drage, Geoffrey Henderson, Alexander
Billson, Alfred Drucker, A. Hill, Sir Edward Stock(Bristol
Birrell, Augustine Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)
Blakiston-Houston, John Dunn, Sir William Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Hobhouse, Henry
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Egerton, Hn. A. de Tatton Holland, William Henry
Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex) Elliot, Hon. A. R. Douglas Horniman, Frederick John
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Emmott, Alfred Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Brassey, Albert Farquharson, Dr. Robert Houston, R, P.
Broadhurst, Henry Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Howard, Joseph
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Fenwick, Charles Howell, William Tudor
Brookfield, A. Montagu Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J (Mancr Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil
Brown, Alexander H. Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Finch, George H. Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies
Bryee, Rt. Hon. James Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Firbank, Joseph Thomas Jenkins, Sir John Jones
Burt Thomas Fisher, William Hayes Johnston, William (Belfast)
Butcher, John George Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex
Buxton, Sydney Charles Flannery, Sir Fortescue Joicey, Sir James
Caldwell, James Flower, Ernest Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt Hn Sir U
Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Kenyon, James
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Fry, Lewis Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbys.) Galloway William Johnson Keswick, William
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Garfit, William Kinloch, Sir John George S.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Gedge, Sydney Kitson, Sir James
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.) Gibbons, J. Lloyd Knowles, Lees
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Giles, Charles Tyrrell Lafone, Alfred
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gilliat, John Saunders Langley, Batty
Chelsea, Viscount Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John Laurie, Lieut.-General
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Parkes, Ebenezer Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Ed. H. Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Stevenson, Francis S.
Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Penn, John Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Stone, Sir Benjamin
Leng, Sir John Pickersgill, Edward Hare Strauss, Arthur
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Pierpoint, Robert Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Lorne, Marquess of Pilkington, Rich. (Lancs N'ton) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Lowe, Francis William Pilkington, Sir G.A (Lancs. SW Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Platt-Higgins, Frederick Talbot, Rt Hn J.G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Lucas-Shadwell, William Plunkett, Rt. Hn. H. Curzon Tennant, Harold John
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Macdona, John Cumming Pretyman, Ernest George Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Pryce-Jones. Lt.-Col. Edward Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)
Maclean, James Mackenzie Purvis, Robert Thorburn, Sir Walter
Maclure, Sir John William Pym, C. Guy Thornton, Percy M.
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Hasch, Major Frederic Carne Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray
M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Reid, Sir Robert Threshie Trevelyan, Charles Philips
M'Ewan, William Rentoul, James Alexander Tritton, Charles Ernest
M'Killop, James Richardson, J.(Durham, S.E.) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Maddison, Fred. Richardson, Sir T. (Hartle'pl) Wallace, Robert
Malcolm, Ian Rickett, J. Compton Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Marks, Henry Hananel Ridley, Rt. Hon, Sir Matt. W. Wason, Eugene
Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Webster, Sir Richard E.
Melville, Beresford Valentine Robertson, Herb. (Hackney) Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Robinson, Brooke Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Robson, William Snowdon Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Milward, Colonel Victor Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Monckton, Edward Philip Round, James Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Monk, Charles James Royds, Clement Molyneux Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants) Russell, Gen. F.S. (Cheltenham Williams, J. Powell (B'ghm.)
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh.) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carm'rthen Rutherford, John Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)
Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose) Ryder, John Herbert Dudley Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Morrell, George Herbert Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E.J. Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Moss, Samuel Savory, Sir Joseph Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R (Bath
Muntz, Philip A. Schwann, Charles E. Woodhouse, Sir JT(Huddersf'd
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Scott, C. Prestwich (Leigh) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Murray, Col. Wyndharn (Bath) Seton-Karr, Henry Wylie, Alexander
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham Sharpe, William Edward T. Wyndham, George
Myers, William Henry Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Newdigate, Francis Alexander Simeon, Sir Barrington Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Nicol, Donald Ninian Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Sinclair, Louis (Romford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Oldroyd, Mark Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Abraham, W. (Cork. N.E.) Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Power, Patrick Joseph
Ambrose, Robert Flavin, Michael Joseph Price, Robert John
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Flynn, James Christopher Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Barlow, John Emmott Griffith, Ellis J. Redmond, William (Clare)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hayden, John Patrick Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Blake, Edward Kearley, Hudson K. Souttar, Robinson
Burns, John Kilbride, Denis Steadman, William Charles
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow) Lewis, John Herbert Strachey, Edward
Cameron, Robert (Durham) Lloyd-George, David Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Channing, Francis Allston MacDonnell, Dr MA (Queen's C Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Clark, Dr. G. B MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Tully, Jasper
Condon, Thomas Joseph M'Cartan, Michael Wedderburn, Sir William
Crean, Eugene M'Ghee, Richard Weir, James Galloway
Cress, Alexander (Glasgow) M'Leod, John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Mandeville, J. Francis Wilson, Jos. H. (Middlesbrough
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Moore, Arthur (Londonderry) Woods, Samuel
Dalziel, James Henry Moulton, John Fletcher Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Yoxall, James Henry
Donelan, Captain A. O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Doogan, P. C. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Thomas Esmonde and Mr. Courtenay Warner.
Engledew Charles John O'Malley, William
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan Parnell, John Howard

Ordered, That so soon as the Committee of Supply has been appointed and Estimates have been presented, the Business of Supply shall (until it be disposed of) be the first Order of the Day on Friday, unless the House otherwise order on the Motion of a Minister of the Crown moved at the commencement of Public Business to be decided without Amendment or Debate; and the provisions of Standing Order No. 56 shall be extended to Friday.

Not more than twenty days, being days before the 5th of August, on which the Speaker leaves the Chair for the Committee of Supply without Question put, counting from the first day on which the Speaker so left the Chair under Standing Order No. 56, shall be allotted for the consideration of the Annual Estimates for the Army, Navy, and Civil Services, including Votes on Account, the Business of Supply standing first Order on every such day.

Provided always, that on Motion made after Notice by a Minister of the Crown to be decided without Amendment or Debate, additional time, not exceeding three days, may be allotted for the Business of Supply, either before or after the 5th of August.

On the last but one of the allotted days, at Ten o'clock p.m., the Chairman shall proceed to put forthwith every Question necessary to dispose of the outstanding Votes in Committee of Supply; and on the last, not being earlier than the twentieth of the allotted days, the Speaker shall, at Ten o'clock p.m., proceed to put forthwith every Question necessary to complete the outstanding Reports of Supply.

On the days appointed for concluding the Business of Supply, the consideration of such business shall not be anticipated by a Motion of Adjournment under Standing Order No. 17; nor may any dilatory Motion be moved on such proceedings; nor shall they be interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to the Sittings of the House.

Provided always that any Additional Estimate for any new service or matter, not included in the original Estimates for the year, shall be submitted for consideration in the Committee of Supply on any day not later than two days before the Committee is closed.

Provided also that the days occupied by the consideration of Estimates supplementary to those of a, previous Session, or of any Vote of Credit, shall not be included in the computation of the twenty days. Provided also that two Morning Sittings shall be deemed equivalent to one Three o'clock Sitting.