SIR H.CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
Will the Leader of the House state the course of business for this week.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The Bill of my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be introduced to-night in Committee of Ways and Means. As I have before suggested to the House, I think it would be most convenient to take the discussion on the Second Reading, and if that is understood I will put the Second Reading down as the first Order on Wednesday. It is very important that the House should make progress with the Companies Bill, and I hope that immediately after the resolution has been taken in Ways and Means the House will continue with that Bill tonight and to-morrow until it is finished. After that the Military Lands Bill and the Money lending Bill are the chief 36 measures the House will have to deal with. When I was asked for facilities for private Members' Bills, I said that those which were really wholly unopposed; should be starred according to practice; and become Government measures. I have endeavoured to make out what these Bills are. First, there is the Ancient Monuments Protection(North Wales) Bill. Then there is the Tramways (Ireland) Bill, and if, as I understand, there is not to be any discussion on that Bill, there is no reason why it should not be starred. There; are two other Bills which have not reached their Second Reading—the Diocesan Registration Bill and the Members of Local Authorities Relief Bill. If these Bills are opposed, they will ipso facto be lost, but I have not heard of any opposition to them as yet. Then there is the Copyright Bill, which has been very earnestly pressed upon my attention by gentlemen on both sides of the House, and which I believe is important in connection with certain discussions between Her Majesty's Government and Canada. I should be very glad if that Bill could pass, and if it is unopposed it may have a chance. That Bill has not reached its Second Reading, and it is evident that it is in great peril, but I would not like its chance to be entirely destroyed at this instant.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I believe that a private Bill which will give rise to considerable discussion is to be taken this week. If it is put down for Thursday it would be something between a calamity and a scandal, because Thursday is the last day upon which Supply is to be taken.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
As the House knows, I have no control over the arrangements which the promoters of private Bills think fit to adopt.
MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick)
Will the Town Councils (Scotland) Bill, now before the House of Lords, be starred?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am not aware of the position of that Bill. If it has passed through this House, I think it would be very proper to star it, unless the Lords Amendments are of a kind to convert it into a controversial measure.