§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the statement of the Right Hon. W. H. Smith on the 7th March, 1888, in proposing Standing Order 1G, that it was not intended by the Order to give the Government power to introduce without explanation any Bills of first-rate importance, he will restrict the introduction of measures by Ministers of the Crown under this Order to measures of a non-contentious character.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am not aware it has been the practice to introduce Bills of first-rote importance under this rule, though it may occasionally have occurred. Still less am I aware that when Bills have been introduced under the rule they have been introduced without any explanation. The hon. Gentleman asks me not merely to leave the matter where Mr. Smith left it, but to add new conditions that certainly were never contemplated. I may remind him there is a certain pledge requiring the Government to go through a form that no private Member over goes through, whatever may be the character of the Bill he introduces in the House.