HC Deb 19 April 1901 vol 92 cc794-829

In moving that until Whitsuntide the House do meet on Tuesday at Two of the clock, and that the provisions of Standing Order No. 56 be extended to such morning sittings, I may at once say I hope that but few words will be considered necessary in explanation of the motion. Everybody will admit the importance of getting through our financial business, and there is much to be said in favour of morning sittings under these circumstances. No one will seriously maintain that the Government can afford to give the whole of Tuesdays to private Members. I trust the compromise I have adopted will meet with approval from all parts of the House, and that those friends of the Government who are most anxious for the rights of private Members will feel that the Government have done their best to preserve them.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That until Whitsuntide the House do meet on Tuesday, at Two of the clock, and that the provisions of Standing Order No. 56 be extended to such Morning Sittings:"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

I hesitated in rising, because I could not believe that a motion of this kind would be allowed to pass without some protest in behalf of the rights of private Members in this House. I rise, of course, to speak on this question from the purely Irish point of view. If the practice of the Government in taking Tuesdays year after year is to be persisted in, it would be far more honest, far more straightforward, and far more convenient to abolish altogether the supposed right of private Members to have the Tuesdays for the discussion of private Members' business, and to annex Tuesday once and for all as a Government day. Let me say a word on the general question. We are dealing at present with a session of Parliament in which there is practically no legislative programme, and from the very commencement of the session the Government has found it necessary to appropriate private Members' time. I ask the House of Commons to consider seriously what is the probable future before this House, if, in the case of a session where there is no legislative programme, the Government are forced to annex the time of private Members. It means that when a Government comes into office with a legislative programme it will be absolutely necessary for the House of Commons to sit the whole year through, if there is to be any legislation at all. These are serious considerations, which I think hon. Members ought to bear in mind. For my part I do not think the case is as bad as that. My conviction is that if the management of the business of the House were conducted as it used to be in the old times, more in a spirit of conciliation and less by the violent use of the brutal methods of the closure and coercion, it would be possible for the House of Commons, notwithstanding the enormously increased business which has been thrown upon it of recent years, still adequately to fulfil its duties in discussing Supply and to have a margin for a legislative programme. But I leave that part of the question to be discussed by hon. Members who will take part in this debate solely from the point of view of the rights of private Members. I wish to put the case of Ireland.

In the King's Speech the Government promised to introduce legislation dealing with the question of land purchase in Ireland. I say it is discreditable to the Government, having given that promise in the King's Speech, on a matter of such vital importance to Ireland, that they should continue to maintain silence upon it. Before the House adjourned for the holidays I asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he could say, as representing the Government, if he had any real, serious intention whatever of introducing a Bill on this question this session. He would not give a definite answer, but he gave an answer which led everybody to believe that he had no such serious intention at all, and he based his argument, if I may say so, on the ground that there was no time. Now, I would be prepared even to sacrifice my interest in private Members' rights to allow the right hon. Gentleman to get morning sittings on Tuesdays for the rest of the session, if he would undertake to devote the time to redeeming his pledge for legislation; but he will do nothing of the kind. I do not know whether the Government have made up their mind as to what they propose to do on this Irish land purchase question. I do not know whether they have got a Bill ready or not. It seems to me that if they have not made up their mind, and if they have not prepared a Bill, it was a most improper thing for them to have put that statement into the King's Speech. If they have made up their mind, I say it is a discreditable attitude to take up to refuse to disclose their proposals, and in the same breath to ask private Members of the House of Commons to sacrifice their rights on Tuesdays for the rest of the session. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to put the Government Bill on Irish land purchase on the Table of the House, so that we can see what the ideas of the Government are. If the Government are not prepared to pledge themselves to devote sufficient time for the passage of such a Bill, let them produce a Bill so that we may know in what direction the mind of the Government is tending on the question. The right hon. Gentleman has more than once admitted the urgent importance of the question. Scarcely a day passes on which there is not a question from some Irish Member dealing with some phase or other of this land purchase question—showing the urgency and importance of it in every part of Ireland. I say it is monstrous for the Government to come down now and ask for Tuesdays without giving any indication as to how they intend to use that time or any indication that they intend to fulfil the pledge they gave on Irish land purchase. I resent keenly the off-hand manner in which the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Mouse gets up and proposes to annex the whole of the Tuesdays for the rest of the session, and says: "This is a motion, the effect of which will be merely to deprive private Members of all their rights, and therefore it does not require many words to justify it."


The hon. Gentleman is misrepresenting what I said.


I submit that I am giving a fail translation of the right hon. Gentleman's words.


The hon. Gentleman tails to give a fair translation.


If my translation is not a fair one, then I at once withdraw it. But I do assert, and, of course, the whole matter is in the recollection of the House—it has occurred only within the last few minutes—that the right hon. Gentleman proposes this serious motion to take away Tuesdays for the whole of the rest of the session. [An HON. MEMBER: Only till Whitsuntide.] That remark conies from some very inexperienced Member of the House; for anybody who has any experience of the House knows that whatever pressure there may be on the Government to take Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide, the pressure will be overwhelming after Whitsuntide. To take Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide means to take them for the whole session. Well, that serious proposal was made by the right hon. Gentleman in a two minutes speech, and in an off-hand manner, as if the subject did not deserve the earnest consideration of the House of Commons, and as if the proposal ought to be passed without practically any discussion at all and as a matter of course. I say that is a fair translation of the speech and of the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman. I keenly resent these large demands being made on the I time of private Members in this off-hand manner by the Government. I can only speak in behalf of the Irish Members, and so far as we are concerned we resent this keenly, and let me say to the right hon. Gentleman, that it would be more honourable for him in making this proposal to say that if he gets this time he will redeem the pledge given in the King's Speech, and introduce the Irish Land Purchase Bill.

* MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

I have been but a few weeks in the House, but I feel I must rise to join in the protest against the unbusinesslike methods of the Government. We are now at an advanced stage of the Parliamentary year, and there seems no hope of any reason able progress being made with any of the many questions in which hon. Members are deeply interested. I have been a member of other assemblies than this, and those in charge of the business of these assemblies at least use the time which is given to them to businesslike purpose. For instance, on the great question of education, on which we have been trying for long enough to gel a lead from the Government, we had an answer this very day from the Vice-President of the Council to the effect that he is not certain whether his own minutes are legal or not, and practically inviting some—I was going to say—I some junior Member of the Government, but perhaps I ought to say, some prospective Member of the Government, to upset his latest edict on the higher grade school question. Now, I do think it is time that the House made a stand and said it will not give this additional time to the Government unless they say clearly that it is going to be used for some intelligent purpose. For my part I am willing to give a good deal more, time to the Government if it is to be used in pressing forward even the legislative programme set forth in the King's Speech, such as that relating to education and temperance. I submit it is mere foolishness on the part of the House to give them more time unless we are to know how it is going to be used. The Leader of the House only the other day gave an unnecessarily long holiday to the Members of the House—[Cries of "No, no."]—and I know that he has the theory that it is absolutely necessary that the House should rise before the 12th of August. But there are some of us who think that the discharge of public business is of more importance than shooting grouse, and we are getting very impatient indeed. I hope that a strong protest will be made against a suggestion of this kind, seeing that we have practically no Bills before us.

* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

The House is always in a great difficulty in discussing this inroad on private Members' time by Government taking the Tuesdays, because we are not in order in alluding to the better use that might be made of that time. Mr. Courtney, on this motion for taking Tuesdays, threw out the suggestion of giving various sections of the House more power over private Members' time by recognising syndicate motions. We are always in difficulty in debating such suggestions at all efficaciously, and we get little support from either of the front benches when definite proposals are before the House. The House will remember that on several occasions when hon. Members have tried to bring this matter before the House they have been met in the most hostile fashion. The Leader of the Irish party and the hon. Member who has just sat down have asked the Government to tell us a little more definitely than they have yet done what is the use they propose to make of the time they ask for. I think the Irish Members are within their right in pressing for a declaration in regard to the Irish legislation of the Government; and we are equally within our right in pressing, and we are bound to press, for some more definite declaration in regard to proposed legislation on factories and workshops, which affects the whole United Kingdom. The statement of the Leader of the House was extraordinarily vague, much more vague than usual when such a demand is made. He alluded only to financial business, and hardly mentioned at all any other business. The promised Irish Land Purchase Till, and the promised Education Bill have not yet been introduced; and the Government have only shown some desire to go forward with the Factories and Workshops Bill. Everyone who has taken an interest in this question concurs in the view that that Bill is a great improvement on the Bill of last year; but it is a Bill on which we shall have many observations to make in Grand Committee, if it goes there. The Bill, being a considerable improvement on that of last year, forms a most valuable basis for discussion before the Grand Committee. But will the Government tell us whether they seriously mean business with that Bill? Last year we had a Bill of about the same bulk as the present Bill. It contained clauses to which some of us objected, and omitted clauses which we wanted, but last year the Grand Committees were starved and ruined by the mode of conducting business in the House. Now, here is a chance of giving a Grand Committee solid, serious work to do, as it did when we passed the Factories Act of 1895. Do the Government mean business? Will they give a day, or more if necessary, to the Second Reading of the Factories and Workshops Bill, in order that the Grand Committee may be relieved from the process of sterilization which has prevailed for the last year or two? Hon. Members are discouraged when they find that after their solid, heavy, and very hard work on these Grand Committees no good comes out of it, and that their labours are wasted, Here we are, through no fault of our own, but solely because the Government met Parliament too late at the beginning of the session, with no progress made with any measure promised in the King's Speech. I confine my question to the one important Bill which has the slightest chance of passing into law this session—I mean the Factories and Workshops Bill—and I ask whether the Government mean to persevere with that Bill?


I desire to acknowledge the courtesy of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House; but as a private Member I desire to protest against these repeated encroachments against the rights and privileges of private Members. It has been almost impossible of recent years for private Members to do anything whatever; we have been reduced absolutely to voting machines. When I first entered the House private Members' days were never encroached, upon, or very rarely indeed. Up till Whitsuntide we had a chance of bringing on Bills and getting them advanced a stage, or of moving resolutions. I have no doubt that a private Member could get forty of his friends to make a House for him at nine o'clock, but it is an exceedingly difficult thing to do. I candidly confess that I have done it, by asking them to dine with me in the House; but that is a process which one cannot repeat indefinitely; and of course the cost is very great. There is another difficulty in forming a House for a private Member. A count will be moved immediately after nine o'clock, and unless there are forty Members present the House adjourns. Indeed, instances can be quoted where the Government have engineered a count. Now, if the Government ask us to adopt this resolution to-day, will they assure us that they are bound to form a House for private Members at nine o'clock, and not put on private Members the onus and difficulty of securing a quorum? I shall vote against this resolution unless the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House will assist private Members in forming a quorum at nine o'clock on Tuesday nights.

* MR. NORVAL W. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)

I would ask the Government whether they will bring in the Bill promised in the King's Speech in regard to the prevention of drunkenness; and, further to state whether, should the proposal now before the House be granted, they will give an opportunity for the consideration in Committee of the Bill to prevent the supply of drink to young children which passed its Second Reading with such a large majority, made up of Members on both sides of the House, representing the intense interest existing throughout the country. Speaking as a new Member for himself and many around him, here for the first time charged to take some slight share in the business of the nation, I would appeal to the responsible leaders of the Opposition on the Front Bench to voice our wishes and bring such pressure to bear on the Government as will force their hands to bring in the Bill promised in the King's Speech, and also to assist the consideration of the Bill to prevent the sale of drink to young children.


I am sorry to find, on my return to this House, that the Members of the Government are still engaged in the same old task of taking the time of private Members; and that in so doing they are driving another nail into the coffin of this House. The noble Lord the Member for Greenwich the other day solemnly informed us that power was departing from this House, that this House was losing credit with the country, and that power was going from this House to a Cabinet composed mainly of a family whom we all honour! Well, it is so, and the reason is that this House has lacked spirit. On every appeal which a Minister makes for further time for the purposes of the Ministry there is no resistance, but a blind following of the Ministry into the lobby. We have had disorderly manifestations of spirit even this session. Nobody regrets them more than I do. I am shocked when events of that kind occur; but I cannot acquit His Majesty's Government of all blame. If they are determined to exaggerate the holidays, and to call the House together ten days or a fortnight later than it ought to have been called, and to crush into that small amount of time until that fatal 31st March all the amount of work we have got to do, then scenes are certain to occur. As I have said, I regret these scenes; but let me tell the right hon. Gentleman that if he goes on attempting to shut down the safety-valves of the House there will be other explosions. Why does he not try to ride the House like a horseman? I ask, why does His Majesty's Government want these Tuesdays? No reason has been given. Possibly we shall hear of one before the debate is concluded; but let me point out this, that he has already taken our Fridays for Supply. He has got the whole of the session before him, and now he asks for Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide. That, of course, means all the Tuesdays of the session. Why is there this pressure of business? is it because we began our sittings too late, or because we have had too long a holiday? Is it because of some determination on the part of the right hon. Gentleman that, whether the business of the nation is ended or not, we shall rise on the 10th August in order to enable hon. Gentlemen whose nervous tissue is too slack to go to the moors in Scotland by the twelfth? I repudiate all this. There are gentlemen who are moving Heaven and earth in order to get into this House. I should prefer that such persons should not be in the House at all. I should prefer to see the House composed of a smaller number of Members who mean Parliamentary business. Now, as to Tuesdays, it is a very strong demand on the part of the Government to be made so early in the session. The compromise which my right hon. friend suggests is absolutely no compromise at all, because when hon. Members come down to the House at two o'clock, and the Government exhaust the whole of the morning sitting at nine o'clock, not even the hon. Member for Central Sheffield could keep a House except he asked hon. Members to dinner. It is no compromise at all; but this is a motion not merely for the taking of Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide, but to take them with the condition that Standing Order 56 shall apply to Tuesdays. What is Standing Order 56? It is that when Supply is down for discussion the Speaker shall leave the chair "without question put." The old opportunity to raise a question upon the motion that the Speaker do leave the chair is gone from us, and now the right hon. Gentleman asks for Tuesdays. He asks that the same conditions shall apply as apply to Mondays and Thursdays. Why? Is the right hon. Gentleman going to put down Supply for Tuesdays? He puts down Supply for Fridays. He has taken Fridays from us, and now he is going to take our Tuesdays, but unless he means to put down Supply on Tuesdays, Standing Order 56 would have no applicability to the motion.

I am sorry to find I have to stand almost alone in defence of the rights of those unplaced, unpaid Members who really compose the House of Commons. It is not that I am anxious to introduce Bills. I have never put my name to a Bill since I have been in the House; I consider it my mission rather to criticise, and sometimes endeavour to prevent legislation; but I am sorry to see the House deprived of every opportunity which it possesses for private legislation, and I hope that some rag of spirit will arise, if not among these dry bones, at any rate from some quarter of the House, and put a stop to the continual taking away of private Members' time by one Government after another.


The right hon. Gentleman cannot be surprised at the ebullition of feeling which we have witnessed during the last half hour. It comes with especial strength from my hon friend who has just sat down, who is always conspicuous for standing up for the private Members of the House; but even it all the private Members' time is absorbed by the Government, I think my hon. friend would still find opportunities to address the House with advantage to, the debate and satisfaction to himself, I was more surprised by the importation of a fresh element into this ordinary discussion, with which we are so familiar. That fresh element comes from two hon. friends behind me who are new Members, and who expressed with ingenuousness and frankness the circumstances; they fully expected that, having come into the blouse, they and others like them would have ample opportunity given to them to prosecute those projects of legislation which they have been advocating for many years in the country, and which expectations the Government, for this session at all events, have effectually prevented being realised.

The right hon. Gentleman was able up to Easter to make some sort of case for the strong measures which he put upon us, because he was able to threaten us with the dreadful consequences which would ensue if the financial business was not completed by the 31st of March. We pointed out again and again that even if that state of things with which he threatened us did arise, it was his own fault, because he had neglected to foresee the circumstances. Now he goes on, after a prolonged Easter holiday, in the same perfunctory manner to propose a new inroad into the time of the House, but in this case we expect to hear some new reason. Nothing, however, is said to us. We are told there is certain financial business to be got through, which we understand; but there is no fixed time for that, as before Easter, and something is said about legislative necessity—necessary legislative measures. We want to know what those necessary legislative measures are. The only indication we have received was in the Speech from the Throne. Where are the measures, and what progress has been made with those which have already been introduced, and which could be proceeded with? Those are the points upon which, I think, the right hon. Gentleman is bound to give the House a great deal more information than he has vouchsafed to us.

I was rather astonished when I saw this motion on the Paper, because it is an unusually early time to commence these morning sittings. I am not sure that if we investigated the matter precedents, with which the right hon. Gentle man is so perfectly familiar, would not be found to show that some motion of this sort may have been taken at such an early period of the session as this; but if that be so, it was on the ground of absolute necessity—on the ground that there was such a, mass of legislative business that it was absolutely necessary to take morning sittings. We have had no such assurance upon this occasion, and we ought to have that assurance from the right hon. Gentleman before he can expect us to agree with this proposal.


It is my painful duty, but I am sorry to say a familiar one, to bring forward these resolutions curtailing the privileges of the unofficial Members of the House, and to be abused for an hour or two once or twice during the session for performing my painful part. The present debate has been, perhaps, as vigorous as any to which I have listened upon the subject. My hon. friend behind me, the Member for King's Lynn, has come back with renewed vigour from his foreign tour, but I am unable to say, so far as I can judge, however much the Bay of Biscay has improved his health and renewed his vigour, that it has in any way improved his temper. He spoke upon a familiar theme, upon which we have often heard him before, and upon which, I trust, we shall often hear him again, because I hope he will long remain a Member of this House, and so long as he remains a Member he will speak upon it, either from this or the other side of the House. But I do not think he has ever thrown himself into the part with greater verve than upon the present occasion. I have noticed, and I hope the House has also noticed, the extraordinary inconsistency between the two sets of arguments we have heard on the present occasion. That inconsistency appeared in different speeches of different speakers, and sometimes it appeared in one speech. The Government is abused first of all for not bringing forward legislative measures, and secondly for taking private Members time, [A voice: "Wasting it."] An hon. Gentleman says we are wasting time. We are doing so! I do not assert that time is not being wasted; I do not indulge in so paradoxical a statement as to suggest to the House—to the Members of the House who have sat through our debates since we met in February—that there has not been a waste of Parliamentary time. All I deny is that we have wasted it.

It is the duty of the Government to lay before the House, firstly, the business absolutely necessary for carrying on the Government of the country, and secondly, those legislative schemes they are desirous of passing. Very well, that is admitted: so far we have not done very much towards carrying out the second part of our duty, but nobody will deny that we have done the first. The business we have introduced so far is the business which must be carried through, if the Government of the country is to be carried on at all. The business was financial. If that business has taken too long a time, it is not the fault of the Government. I am, indeed, told that if we had met on the 10th of February instead of the 16th—[A voice: "We met on the 14th."] Well I do not propose to argue that case. I have told the House that the date upon which we met was an appropriate date, and Members will agree with me when I say that during the time between then and Easter, without any undue protraction of the debates, we could have done all the necessary work, and have done also something to carry out those projects of legislation which we are as anxious to pass as any hon. Gentleman opposite.

Is it not rather absurd to say on the one hand that we shall not have Tuesdays, and on the other that we shall bring forward these projects of legislation? The only chance we have of carrying out the schemes which we have indicated to the country in the Speech from the Throne is to get through the financial business of the year. How are we to get through the business unless we get the credits we ask for? Can anything be more absurd than to accuse us in the first place of not getting through these projects of legislation, and on the other hand to refuse to give us Tuesday mornings? Let us remember that the financial business of the session is this year exceptional. You have a most exceptional state of things to deal with—we have a, Budget to deal with which everyone must admit is a Budget of great importance, and of exceptional character, raising questions of the utmost public interest, and we have the Civil List. Are we not to have this privilege to carry out these necessarily difficult matters? And until we know how long those discussions will last is it reasonable to ask us to give a definite pledge as to what we shall do between this and the end of the session? It is the habit of the Opposition to ask how the Government intends to allocate the time of the House. I wish the process could be reversed, and that the Opposition could be asked how long they intend to discuss this or that measure.


Let us see your measures; we have not seen them yet.


You have seen the Budget. Will the hon. Member give me an indication of how long the necessary financial business will take? If he will, I will give some rough estimate as to the amount of time which will be given to legislative business, It is the practice now, as it was been ever since I came into the House, twenty years ago, to accuse the Leader of the House of not managing the business of the House as he should, but, after all, that matter rests with the Opposition and the critics of the Government.


There never was a Government which had so little regular opposition to deal with.


Then the matter rests with the irregular Opposition! If the irregular Opposition will tell me how long they intend to discuss the Civil List and the Budget, I might be able to satisfy their curiosity on the other questions which have been put. The House will observe that I am only asking this privilege up to Whitsuntide. This motion only relates to the time between this and Whitsuntide. Can hon Gentlemen, regular or irregular, hold out any hopes that after the Budget and the Civil List have been disposed of there will be any leisure for important legislation before Whitsuntide?


Will the right hon Gentleman produce his Irish Land Purchase Bill?


Does the hon. Member propose a bargain across the floor of the House—to let me have the Budget without difficulty or debate it he happens to like the Land Purchase Bill? There are many other persons interested in the Civil List and the Budget, and it is quite clear, and everybody who knows anything about the House knows at all events, that the bulk of the time between this and Whitsuntide must be occupied by financial business, owing to the action of the critics of the Government, regular and irregular, whether legitimate or illegitimate. If my expectations are happily deceived, and the business is got through with great rapidity, the Government will of course proceed with their programme of legislation at once. Those who press upon the Government the necessity for proceeding with that programme are the very persons who ought to give the necessary facilities for getting through the financial business. So I hope the House will not attempt to seriously hamper the Government, and will assent to this motion. The Leader of the Irish party and others referred to the fact that the present condition of business and the apportionment of the time of the House was unsatisfactory. I am not at all disposed to disagree with that statement The result is not, however, due to the action of Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench or on the Front Opposition Bench. It is due to much larger causes. I have no intention of dilating on this theme at present; but if I have the privilege of occupying much longer the position which I now hold I shall certainly have to bring the matter before the House in a substantive form. The matter undoubtedly requires the attention of the House, and I am the last person to say that this enormous amount of time should be taken up by discussions in Supply on matters that must be passed, and that private Members' resolutions and opportunities for legislation should be as much curtailed and diminished as they have been. It is perfectly clear that the present position is not due to anything which the Government have done, or to their having pressed forward too many subjects at once. There must be, and ought to be, further debate on the great financial proposals of the Government; and until they have been substantially dealt with, it is impossible to make great progress with the legislative programme. In order to reach that programme without delay, I ask the House, and especially the critics of the Government, to give the Government the privileges for which we ask.

* SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

I confess I am a little surprised at the tone of irritation which the right hon. Gentleman has displayed at the criticisms and protests against the proposal he has made. The right hon. Gentleman has called his proposal a painful one, and so it is. But when a person is inflicting pain, he should not be surprised if there were some complaint on the part of the sufferers. In former days, happily long gone by, I have stood in the same painful position as the right hon. Gentleman, and have asked for the indulgence of the House. But then I thought i becoming on such occasions to appear in the attitude of a suppliant. I came before the House with a halter round my neck, so that if the House did not support me it might execute me; but the right hon. Gentleman has only scolded those who have ventured for a moment to object to or protest against the taking of all their time. The right hon. Gentleman has no right to expect that the House should go like a lamb to the slaughter— Pleased to the last, he crops the flowery food, And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood. The right hon. Gentleman seems to expect that the whole of the House of Commons except himself should gladly yield to the Government that time to which the House is entitled. What my hon. friend next me asked for is that the Government should give some special reasons for the course proposed, and for the privilege they sought. I never remember a demand of this kind being made to the House without the Leader of the House making his prayer to the House and setting forth the special reasons on which it was to be granted. The right hon. Gentleman has advanced no reason but exceptional financial business. Surely this exceptional financial business was of so popular a character that there would not be the smallest difficulty in passing it. It seems as though the right hon. Gentleman had not the confidence he should have in the Budget of his colleague. The right hon. Gentleman might have told the House without pledging himself to particular measures what were the measures to which the Government attached particular importance. It has always been the habit to give this information. The Government might even have introduced the Bills, so that the House, and the country might have had time to consider them. Therefore, according to my experience and recollection, we have not had such a declaration of the intentions of the Government as we might have expected from them. The hon. Gentleman behind me has spoken of a particular measure passed by a great majority in this House. There is a strong desire that an opportunity should be given for that Bill to pass into law. If all this time is given to the Government we have a right to expect that they should provide such an opportunity. Then there is the measure referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Forest of Dean, a measure which, I am sure, a greaf majority of the House desire to see pass, dealing with youthful labour in mines. I cannot help suspecting that the late period at which the House met after Easter had some connection with the extinction of the hopes of that Bill. The ordinary course would have been for us to meet on the Monday after Easter, and then we should not have lost that Wednesday upon which a Bill of such special importance was down for consideration. I must say, having listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that I think the protest which has been made, though ineffectual, is perfectly justified, and I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman should not have been able to give some satisfactory answer to my right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition as to the legislative intentions of the Government.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I think that these inroads upon the time of private Members are becoming more and more serious, and that we have certainly a right to make some protest. It is quite true that when we do have a certain amount of time it happens in some way or another that the Irish Members get the greater part of it, and as a London Member I think they really get an unfair share of private Members' time. How this is to be avoided I do not know, but certainly there are many points which we London and English Members desire to bring before the House, but have not the opportunity. The question as to why the Government do not let us know some of the measures they intend bringing forward is a very serious one. If the Leader of the House would bring forward some of those measures—whether on education, Irish land, or the temperance question—even though they were introduced under the ten minutes' rule, we should see what they were, and have something to consider and digest. But some of us almost fancy that the Government have not made up their minds upon these questions. I think it is only reasonable that we should know what these measures are, and that if we give this time—reluctantly, because we are compelled to—the Government should give a pledge that the main points upon which they intend to legislate this session should be placed before the House. There are not many questions mentioned in the King's Speech; it is a very meagre fare, but I think it is reasonable we should know what the Government propose to do. We must make a certain protest against our time being taken, and, although it may be of no use we are bound to support our rights to the best of our ability.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

The first feature in the present debate is, to my mind, the tone in which the Leader of the House made this motion to-night. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth said, it is the custom on such occasions for Ministers to appear in an attitude of apology at least, and to put forward some special grounds on which they make this large claim on the rights of private Members. On the present occasion the only apology the First Lord offers is for not taking the whole of the Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide. When I heard the right hon. Gentleman I was reminded of an occasion in 1895, when the then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House, the present Member for West Monmouth, ten days after the Address proposed to take Tuesdays up to the 31st March for the necessary financial business of the year. He made that motion in a speech occupying five or six pages of Hansard, giving a long and detailed explanation of the grounds on which he based his claim. What was the result? Although then the private Members still retained their rights to Fridays (which have now been taken from them), no sooner had the right hon. Gentleman sat down, than up sprang the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, quivering with indignation, and delivered a speech extending to ten pages of Hansard, denouncing the proposal. Here is a passage from that speech. He said— But if anyone would examine the series of precedents in this matter he would find that those precedents were growing, he would find that the Government of the day—be it a Liberal Government or a Conservative Government—never went back upon a precedent when once it was made, so that year after year more of the time of the House and more control over the House were obtained by the Government. Now what was the precedent they were asked to establish on this occasion? Within ten days of the termination of the debate on the Address, private Members were to be deprived of any opportunity of bringing forward motions, except after nine o'clock on Friday evenings, and of any chance of having discussions on Hills which they bad introduced, unless they had been fortunate enough to secure the first or second place on the thirteen or fourteen Wednesdays before Whitsuntide. That might be a necessary change in their procedure; circumstances might have arisen which rendered it right and proper to make it. But he was absolutely certain that this resolution, or something more stringent, would again be proposed after Easter, and would practically apply to the whole of the session. That was the grievance complained of with indignation by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1895, in a session when there were large and important Bills to be introduced, and a considerable programme of legislation indicated in the Queen's Speech. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say— What had happened already? When hon. Members were deprived of the opportunities allotted to them by the ordinary rules of the House for bringing forward matters in which they took an interest, they persistently bubbled up on every other occasion. Adjournments were moved, and deflates were started on questions of principle in Committee of Supply, instead of Supply being confined, as used to be the case, solely to questions of finance. The right hon. Gentleman evidently approved of the cause of the then Tory Opposition, and yet the present Leader of the House thinks he is entitled to complain, now that he has drawn the bonds of discipline against the rights of private Members infinitely tighter than they were then proposed to be drawn, if hon. Members "bubble over," and other opportunities are sought for pressing questions in which they are interested upon the attention of the House. To use the language of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol, I ask the House to consider what precedent they are setting this year. Every Tuesday up to the present has been taken by the Government. It is a mockery to talk about giving us nine o'clock sittings; the Government might as well take the whole of the day, as such sittings are almost invariably counted out. Where do the private Members come in? In view of the action of the Government this year, I say it would be more decent and honest to abolish altogether the Standing Order giving private Members any rights on Tuesdays or Fridays.

I have never known a session in which less business was placed before the House by the Government, and yet this is the session in which such a precedent is being set. If the House agrees in such a, session to part with all its Tuesdays, what argument will there be for any private Member against the Government taking the whole of the Tuesdays in a session in which there is legislative business to be brought forward? But that is not all. This is being done in a session when the closure has been used with greater stringency and frequency than I ever remember being the case before. I venture to say that while there will hardly be a statute of importance added to the Statute-book, it will be shown at the end of the session that the closure has been used with more frequency and stringency than at any time in the history of the House of Commons. When a Minister talks of the waste of public time, I want to know what he means by that. The Leader of the House is armed with greater powers than any Minister ever had before for putting an end to discussion, and whenever he thinks that discussion has gone far enough he does not scruple to use those powers, and yet the business of the country is in a state of paralysis. The business of a Minister like the right hon. Gentleman is to conduct the business of the House in a reasonable and a fair way, and it was to my mind a most preposterous position for the right hon. Gentleman to take up, when he said that if there was a difficulty and congestion of business it was entirely the fault of the Opposition. It is an old saying that a bad workman quarrels with his tools, and the real difficulty in this matter is that those upon whom the responsibility for the conduct and management of the business of the House must rest have so managed it that there is congestion, and that public time has been wasted, and when the results are made manifest the Leader of the House, instead of examining his own conscience, turns upon the Opposition and seeks to thrust the blame upon them. When the Leader of the House talks of some measure which he is revolving in his mind, by which the business of the House is to be re-distributed, I warn him that that problem has been tried over and over again. It is the problem of trying to put a gallon into a pint pot. You cannot by any redistribution of the time of the House or by appointing Committees get this House to deal with more business than the time at its disposal is able to allow it to cope with. The only way in which you will solve this problem is by getting rid of some of the business of this House, and letting it be done by those who better understand it. Why is this House in such a state of paralysis that the business of England. Scotland. Ireland, and Wales must be thrown into the background? Why, it is simply due to the policy of Imperialism and expansion. You are not content with doing the business of Great Britain and Ireland, you must undertake to extend this Empire into every part of the habitable globe, and having undertaken to manage the business of all those multitudinous races you have not time to attend to the business at home. The House of Commons cannot manage the affairs of the whole world, and it is this Imperialism and expansion, this abominable policy, that is really responsible for the deadlock in the House of Commons, and until you understand that, and base your remedy upon that understanding, you will never get the machine so adjusted as to do the business of this country satisfactorily.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

said it was allowed on all hands that their business was being done under pressure, which was not good for the business or the credit of the House. He believed the explanation was that the business of the House was increasing. The hon. Member for East Mayo had condemned our Imperialism. He did not condemn it at all, but the House of Commons as a gathering of sensible men should consider what it involved. Whether they were in favour of it or not they should, as business men, recognise the consequences it carried with it. It must be obvious to anyone that if we were to enlarge our business we must give more time to the business or do it worse. The Leader of the House had referred to the Civil List and the Budget, but surely the right hon. Gentleman knew quite well before the House met that there would be a new Civil List and a special Budget. Why did not the Loader of the House anticipate this and give more time to do the business? The House had a right to complain of the Leader of the House, who would not look the facts in the face. The right hon. Gentleman had lengthened the holidays instead of shortening them. Reference had been made by the Member for Greenwich to the circumstance that the House of Commons was falling in public credit. He agreed with that, and he would say that it would fall further in public repute unless it did its business better than now. He submitted as a plain business man that the Government had not recognised the fact that the House had more business to do, and had not given proper time to do it.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House stated that the arrangement was required on account of the Budget and the Civil List. But on looking at the Paper to-night I find that the next business after the Budget is the Demise of the Crown Bill. I would like to ask the Government whether we are to take the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as an assurance that none of these Tuesdays will be devoted to the Demise of the Crown Bill. If that assurance was given it might mitigate the hostility we feel to the present motion. Unless the right hon. Gentleman confines his motion to the Budget and Civil List, he must let us see what is in his bag. He says, "If you tell me what the Opposition will do, I can easily tell you what Bills we can and will produce." But surely when the Government brought forward the King's Speech they knew what kind of opposition they would have to face. And yet they put forward in the King's Speech a certain programme of legislation. We wish to know whether it is not a fact that, as a rule by Easter, and certainly by the week after Easter, it has been the constant tradition of the Government to let the House know what their Bills are. But here in this case when we ask the Government what its programme of legislation is, the right hon. Gentleman says, "Tell me how the Opposition will behave." I heard the right hon. Gentleman make a most ferocious attack on the Front Opposition Bench, which has never done any harm. I have begun to realise what is the great antipathy the right hon. Gentleman feels to the Front Opposition Bench, and I will tell hon. Gentlemen what it is. The Government, I fancy, after the speech of yesterday, are extremely anxious to get out of office, and extremely anxious that others should wash up the dish, and every time the Government are anxious to get into a minority the Front Opposition Bench votes for them. The Opposition and the Leader of the Opposition do not want to be forced into office at the present juncture. That is really the present position of affairs. The right hon. Gentleman has asked for these Tuesday sittings, and he has used all this kind of abuse, but I do not suppose that there is anyone more tired of the right hon. Gentleman's Government than himself. We see this unfortunate Government, though they have only normally been one session in office, more weak, limp, and jaded than any other Government I have ever known. Why does not the right hon. Gentleman tell us what his Irish programme is at the present stage? It is not the Nationalists that he is afraid of at all, for he knows perfectly well that we are ready and anxious to further any legislation of a useful character for Ireland. He is afraid of the hon. Gentlemen on his own side, who are never willing to take up useful legislation for Ireland in the month of April. If any such legislation were introduced in April the Orange and landlord party would tear it to pieces, and it is only when this House is thoroughly jaded and tired that you can have Irish legislation brought in, when hon. Members think that the holidays are more important than legislation. Why does the Leader of the House not communicate with the Leader of the Irish Party as to what his plans are? We know that there is only one Bill to be passed for Ireland this session so far as the Government is concerned. Is it not easy to say, "We will bring forward this excellent Bill; here it is. We dare not show it to the Orange party, for we cannot trust them, but we can trust the Nationalists." The right hon. Gentleman has practically admitted that the business of the House is really done behind the Chair and not upon the floor of the House. The real difficulty is that the Government do not take into their confidence that section of the House which was not represented on the Civil List Committee.


said he wished to make his humble protest against what had been proposed by the First Lord of the Treasury, and his reason for so doing was that he belonged to a section of humble Members of this House who did not say much and who did not get much chance of saying anything. Members of the House might be divided into one-column men, half-column men, quarter-column men, and one-line men. On behalf of the one-line men, he protested against the First Lord of the Treasury taking away the only chance they had of making themselves heard. The way in which Bills were brought into the House of Commons reminded him of the American incubator, where they put the eggs in at one end and the chickens came out at the other. When Bills were brought forward the one-column men had their innings, and the one-line men never got any innings at all. In earlier days the First Lord of the Treasury had been only a one-line man, and he ought to look back with some affection to those days and remember that one-line men wanted a chance occasionally. If the right hon. Gentleman required more time, let him bring forward a Home Rule Bill, and let the Irish Members go home to manage their own affairs. So long as they sat in this House they would do their best for their constituencies, and they would do it whether they were closured or not. The First Lord of the Treasury was now proposing to take away about the only chance they had got of laying their grievances before this House in a proper form, and he trusted the motion would be withdrawn.

* MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)

said he did not desire to detain the House more than one or two moments, but he wished, as a new Member, to add his protest against the action of the First Lord of the Treasury upon this question. During this session the new Members had more than once tried to help the Government to carry through the business of the country. The First Lord of the Treasury now asked for all the Tuesdays up to Whitsuntide, and gave no reason at all which appealed to new Members for doing so. A debate followed, and Members on this and on the other side of the House had put specific questions to the right hon. Gentleman. He had been asked whether he would help private Members to keep a House on Tuesdays, and they had very good reason for asking that, because on the last Friday when the private Members got a chance they would remember that the Government walked behind the Chair in order that a count might be taken, and the right hon. Gentleman himself was one of those who walked behind the Chair. Having disposed of the motions, there was a very small Bill brought before the House which endeavoured to give some—


Order, order! The hon. Member is now going into the case of a particular Bill in a manner that is not relevant.


said he had no intention of discussing that Bill, and he was only endeavouring to show why some of them were anxious to keep a House that night. They had very good reason for asking the right hon. Gentleman whether he was going to follow this course again, and whether, after they had come down to the House from two o'clock to seven o'clock to help through the Government legislation they were going to have any help from the Government to keep a House. Were they going to give facilities for the Children's Bill, or for Higher Education, which some of them cared about if the right hon. Gentleman did not? The Member for Forest of Dean had inquired what was going to be done with regard to the Factory Acts. The right hon. Gentleman, in his reply, did not devote a single word to dealing with the questions which had been asked him. He had delivered an adroit and brilliant speech which was everything but what a speech ought to be on such a question from the Leader of the House. He (the hon. Member) knew very little—[Ministerial cries of "Hear, hear."] Would hon. Members opposite kindly allow him to finish his sentence? He knew very little about the Leadership of the House, but there were two duties acknowledged to be foremost among the duties of a Leader: the first was so to arrange the business that the legislation could be carried forward easily and quickly, and he ventured to say that when the Leader of the House endeavoured to do this he always got the assistance of the House. What was the course pursued by a former Leader of the House—the late Mr. W. H. Smith—who had not half the debating ability of the present First Lord of the Treasury? He took the House into his confidence, told them what he wanted to do, and how he proposed to do it. He did not keep up his sleeve the measures he intended bringing before the House, and he got the assistance of the House, The second duty of the Leader of the House was to protect the rights of all the Members on all sides of the House, and he very seriously complained of the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman for the manner in which he walked out of the House the other night. He claimed that private Members ought to have the assistance of the Leader of the House in order to keep a House. The example set by the right hon. Gentleman did more to destroy the rights of private Members than all the polite and courteous speeches which he was always making about his desire to help private Members. He hoped that before they went to a division they would have a statement of the attitude the right hon. Gentleman was going to take up with regard to Tuesday nights. If they found that he was not going to protect the rights of private Members, he hoped hon. Members would take the matter into their own hands and set their faces sternly against the attempt to take the whole time of the House for Government business.


said he had often heard a similar motion made in this House from the Government Benches, but never one made in a more cavalier manner than the motion made by the First Lord of the Treasury that evening; and he was not surprised at the manifestations of impatience which had been exhibited by hon. Gentlemen on the Conservative side of the House, because the example had been set them by their own chief. He would like to discover how many hon. Gentlemen opposite had humbugged their constituents by pretending they were going to produce legislation, and who had introduced large numbers of Bills to which they had referred at public meetings in their constituencies, and which they were presently going to prevent from being proceeded with by voting for the motion before the House. Of course the usual excuse would be forthcoming, that but for the Irish Members the measures would have been passed. He would next day take out from the division lists the names of all those Members who had so humbugged their constituents. The First Lord of the Treasury had stated that but for the Irish Members, the irregular opposition, the Government would have had time to pass the necessary financial business of the session. Why was not Parliament called together before? Why were the holidays so long? and why all this waste of time? In all our great colonies there was no trouble, and there was no necessity to take private Members' time. In the colonies one seldom hoard of all-night sittings. Why? Because they conducted the Legislature on business lines, and met at a reasonable hour in the morning, and the hours at which the Parliaments met were not arranged merely for the convenience of Members who liked to be up late at night and sleep till late on in the day. He hoped when the right hon. Gentleman took this matter in hand, as he had threatened to do (and he hoped he would do it on a nearly day), that he would say that this House should meet at a reasonable hour—9–30 or ten o'clock in the morning—like men engaged in any other work, and that the House should cease its labours at a reasonable hour, so as to give an honest and plain interval to Members of the House to feed.


Order, order! The question before the House is not what interval shall be allowed for dinner.


said he would not suggest any further alterations; he would merely say that the impatience manifested in the House, with the most surprising regularity, between 7–30 and nine, was not due to any burning interest which the Members took in the matter under discussion in the House on which they desired to vote. It was not because on the present occasion they were most anxious to destroy the only chance they had of passing Bills which they themselves had introduced—it was for quite a different reason, the same reason that had caused him to intervene. It was due to the fact that the hours of the House were so wrong, and the Rules so incongruous and absurd, that Members could not go home to their dinners without feeling that something dreadful would happen in their absence. He quite conceived that this was a motion which the First Lord of the Treasury should be called upon by the country to explain. If the motion was carried, it would in all probability kill the Bill for the purpose of prohibiting the sale of drink to young children, and the Eight Hours Bill for miners, and if the time of the private Members was to be taken, then it should be made clear to the people of the country that it was done by those who voted for it for the express purpose of killing legislation. Let hon. Members be honest, and say they did not believe in legislation, and were prepared to let the Government have as much time as they pleased. If they took that straightforward and honest course, he ventured to hope that when the next General Election came round a great number of them would be relieved from attendance at the House of Commons for evermore.


rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put. "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 198 Noes, 147. (Division List No. 130.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Gibbs, Hon. A G H (City of Lond. Nicholson, William Graham
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Nicol, Donald Ninian
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Allsopp, Hon. George Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Parkes, Ebenezer
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Gordon, Maj Evans- (T'rH'ml'ts Pemberton, John S. G.
Arnol, Sir William Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Percy, Earl
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Pilkington, Richard
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Goulding, Edward Alfred Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Bailey, James (Walworth) Graham, Henry Robert Plummer, Walter R.
Baird, John George Alexander Grenfell, William Henry Purvis, Robert
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Groves, James Grimble Randles, John S.
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Gunter, Colonel Reid, James (Greenock)
Banbury, Frederick George Guthrie, Walter Murray Remnant, James Farquharson
Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor) Hain, Edward Rentoul, James Alexander
Bartley, George C. T. Halsey, Thomas Frederick Renwick, George
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Richards, Henry Charles
Beckett, Ernest William Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Bigwood, James Harris, Frederick Leverton Robertson, Herbert (Hackney
Bill, Charles Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Robinson, Brooke
Blundell, Col. Henry Haslett, Sir James Horner Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Bond, Edward Hay, Hon. Claude George Ropner, Colonel Robert
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Round, James
Boulnois, Edmund Heath, J. (Staffords, N. W.) Rutherford, John
Brassey, Albert Henderson, Alexander Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hickman, Sir Alfred Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Brookfield, Col. Montagu Higginbottom, S. W. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Bull, William James Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead) Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Bullard, Sir Harry Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'ld Brightside Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Butcher, John George Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Gl'sg'w Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Carson, Rt. Hon. St. John Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Johnston, William (Belfast) Smith, H C (North'um. Tynes'de
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Kenyon, Jas. (Lancs., Bury) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Spear, John Ward
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Law, Andrew Bonar Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Lawson, John Grant Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Chamberlain. J. A. (Worc'r) Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Charrington, Spencer Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Stone, Sir Benjamin
Churchill, Winston Spencer Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S. Stroyan, John
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Lonsdale, John Brownlee Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Thornton, Percy M.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison Valentia, Viscount
Cranborne, Viscount Madona, John Cumming Wanklyn, James Leslie
Cripps, Charles Alfred Maconochie, A. W. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Denny, Colonel M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wason, John C. (Orkney)
Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cams. Webb, Colonel William George
Dickinson, Robert Edmond M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Welby, Lt. Col. A. C. E. (Tauntn
Dickson, Charles Scott Malcolm, Ian Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Dorington, Sir John Edward Molesworth, Sir Lewis Williams, Rt Hn J. Powell (Bir.
Doughty, George Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Wills, Sir Frederick
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Morrison, James Archibald Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Mount, William Arthur Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Finch, George H. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne Muntz, Philip A. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Fisher, William Hayes Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Fison, Frederick William Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Sir William Walrond and
Forster, Henry William Newdigate, Francis Alexander Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herb. John O'Dowd, John
Allan, William (Gateshead) Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud) Grant, Corrie O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Ambrose, Robert Griffith, Ellis J. O'Malley, William
Asher, Alexander Hammond, John O'Mara, James
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydv'l O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Shee, James John
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hayden, John Patrick Philipps, John Wynford
Bell, Richard Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- Power, Patrick Joseph
Boland, John Healy, Timothy Michael Priestley, Arthur
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Helme, Norval Watson Rea, Russell
Boyle, James Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H. Reddy, M.
Brigg, John Holland, William Henry Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jacoby, James Alfred Redmond, William (Clare)
Burke, E. Haviland- Jameson, Major J. Eustace Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)
Burt, Thomas Joicey, Sir James Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Jones, William (Carnarvons.) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Caine, William Sproston Jordan, Jeremiah Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Caldwell, James Joyce, Michael Robson, William Snowdon
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Kennedy, Patrick James Roche, John
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lambert, George Schwann, Charles E.
Cawley, Frederick Lay land-Barratt, Francis Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Channing, Francis Allston Leamy, Edmund Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Clancy, John Joseph Leng, Sir John Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Cogan, Denis J. Lough, Thomas Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lundon, W. Soares, Ernest J.
Colville, John MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sullivan, Donal
Craig, Robert Hunter M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Cremer, William Tandal M'Crae, George Tennant, Harold John
Crombie, John William M'Dermott, Patrick Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Cullinan, J. M'Govern, T. Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Daly, James M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower
Dalziel, James Henry Markham, Arthur Basil Thompson, E. C. (Mouaghan, N
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Mather, William Tomkinson, James
Delany, William Minch, Matthew Tully, Jasper
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mooney, John J. Ure, Alexander
Dillon, John Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose Wallace, Robert
Doogan, P. C. Murnaghan, George Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Murphy, J. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Duffy, William J. Nannetti, Joseph P. Weir, James Galloway
Duncan, J. Hastings Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.) White, George (Norfolk)
Dunn, Sir William Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst. Norman, Henry White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Nussey, Thomas Willans Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Farrell, James Patrick O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)
Field, William O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Captain Donelan.
Gilhooly, James O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)

Question put accordingly, "That until Whitsuntide the House do meet on Tuesday at Two of the clock, and that the provisions of Standing Order No. 56

be extended to such Morning Sittings."

The House divided:—Ayes, 192; Noes, 145. (Division List No. 131.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Baird, John George Alexander Bond, Edward
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Boulnois, Edmund
Allsopp, Hon. George Banbury, Frederick George Brassey, Albert
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Brookfield, Col. Montagu
Arrol, Sir William Beckett, Ernest William Bull, William James
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Bullard, Sir Hairy
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy Bigwood, James Butcher, John George
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bill, Charles Campbell, Rt Hn. J. A (Glasgow
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Haslett, Sir James Horner Randles, John S.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Hay, Hon. Claude George Reid, James (Greenock)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanl'y Rentoul, James Alexander
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. Renwick, George
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Henderson, Alexander Richards, Henry Charles
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hickman, Sir Alfred Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Higginbottom, S. W. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'ld, Brightside Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Charrington, Spencer Howard, John (Kent, Faversh. Robinson, Brooke
Churchill, Winston Spencer Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Ropner, Colonel Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Round, James
Colomb, Sir, John Charles Ready Johnston, William (Belfast) Rutherford, John
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Cranborne, Viscount Keswick, William Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Cripps, Charles Alfred Law, Andrew Bonar Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Denny, Colonel Lawson, John Grant Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'ml'ts, S. Geo. Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Dickson, Charles Scott Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Smith, Abel H (Hertford, East)
Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tynes'e
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Doughty, George Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E. Spear, John Ward
Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Macdona, John dimming Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Maconochie, A. W. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton M'Arthur, Charles (Liverp'l) Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Camb. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Finch, George H. M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Stroyan, John
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Malcolm, Ian Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Fisher, William Hayes Max well, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Fison, Frederick William Molesworth, Sir Lewis Thornton, Percy M.
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Valentia, Viscount
Flower, Ernest More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Wanklyn, James Leslie
Forster, Henry William Morgan, David J. (Walthamst. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Morrison, James Archibald Webb, Col. William George
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C E (Taunton
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Mount, William Arthur Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Gordon, Maj Evans (T'rH'ml'ts Muntz, Philip A. Williams, Rt Hn J Powell- (Birm
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute Willox, Sir John Archibald
Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wills, Sir Frederick
Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)
Graham, Henry Robert Newdigate, Francis Alexander Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Grenfell, William Henry Nicholson, William Graham Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Groves, James Grimble Nicol, Donald Ninian Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Gunter, Colonel Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Guthrie, Walter Murray Parkes, Ebenezer Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Hain, Edward Peel, Hon. Wm. Robert W. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Halsey, Thomas Frederick Pemberton, John S. G. Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Percy, Earl
Hamilton, Marq of (Lond'nd'ry Pilkington, Richard TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sir William Walrond and
Harris, Frederick Leverton Plummer, Walter R. Mr. Anstruther.
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Purvis, Robert
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Brigg, John Colville, John
Allan, William (Gateshead) Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Condon, Thomas Joseph
Allen, Charles P (Glouc. Stroud Burke, E. Haviland- Craig, Robert Hunter
Ambrose, Robert Burt, Thomas Cremer, William Randal
Asher, Alexander Buxton, Sydney Charles Crombie, John William
Ashton, Thomas Gair Caine, William Sproston Cullinan, J.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Caldwell, James Daly, James
Bartley, George C. T. Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Dalziel, James Henry
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Bell, Richard Cawley, Frederick Delaney, William
Boand John Channing, Francis Allston Dillon, John
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Clancy, John Joseph Doogan, P. C.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Cogan, Denis J. Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark),
Boyle, James Coghill, Douglas Harry Duffy, William J.
Duncan, James H. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Remnant, James Farquharson
Dunn, Sir William M'Arthur, Wm. (Cornwall) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone) M'Crae, Georye Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) M'Dermott, Patrick Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Govern, T. Robson, William Snowdon
Farrell, James Patrick M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Roche, John
Field, William Mather, William Schwann, Charles E.
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Minch, Matthew Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Furness, Sir Christopher Mooney, John J. Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh'e
Gilhooly, James Murnaghan, George Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Goddard, Daniel Ford Murphy, J. Soares, Ernest J.
Grant, Corrie Nannetti, Joseph P. Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R (Northants.
Griffith, Ellis J. Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N. Sullivan, Donal
Hammond, John Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil Norman, Henry Tennant, Harold John
Harmsworth, R. (Leicester Norton, Capt. Cecil William Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.
Hayden, John Patrick Nussey, Thomas Willans Thomas, David Alfred (Merth'r
Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Md Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gow'r
Healy, Timothy Michael O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.
Helme, Norval Watson O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Tomkinson, James
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W. Tully, Jasper
Holland, William Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Ure, Alexander
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Dowd, John Wallace, Robert
Jameson, Major J. Eustace O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Joicey, Sir James O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) O'Malley, William Weir, James Galloway
Jordan, Jeremiah O'Mara, James White, George (Norfolk)
Joyce, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Kennedy, Patrick James O'Shee, James John White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Lambert, George Philipps, John Wynford Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Power, Patrick Joseph Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Leamy, Edmund Rea, Russell
Leng, Sir John Reddy, M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Lough, Thomas Redmond, John K. (Waterford) Sir Thomas Esmonde and
Lundon, W. Redmond, William (Clare) Captain Donelan.
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Reid, Sir K. Threshie (Dumfries)

Resolved, That until Whitsuntide the House do meet on Tuesday, at Two of the clock, and that the provisions of Standing Order No. 56 be extended to such Morning Sittings.

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