HC Deb 15 February 1901 vol 89 cc179-80

In moving the resolution which stands in my name, I may say that although, as it appears on the Paper, it is proposed to make it a Standing Order I do not in the least desire to press that if hon. Members think we have not had sufficient experience of the rule to make that course desirable. It would not be worth while having a discussion on it.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That no Bills, other than Government Bills, be introduced in anticipation of the ballot, and that all Members who desire to ballot, whether for Bills, or motions for the first four Tuesdays of the session, do hand in their names at the Table during the sitting of the House on the first or second day of the session, and that a copy of such notices be handed in at the latest during the sitting of the House on the third day of the session. That the ballot for the precedence of the said Bills and motions be taken on the third day on which the House sits, at a convenient time and place to be appointed by Mr. Speaker, and that the introduction and first reading of Bills on the fourth sitting day be taken before Questions and as soon after Three o'clock as Mr. Speaker may deem convenient."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of making a different use of Fridays in the future?


Order, order! That is a totally different matter.

Question put, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this Order be a Standing Order of the House."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)


said he had no desire to oppose the motion, but he would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman might go a little bit further. Fifteen years ago a recommendation was made by a Standing Committee that the absurd custom of bringing in Bills by first asking permission and then being called from the bar to the Table, and all that sort of humbug, might be abolished. Surely the First Reading was sufficient in itself.


That is not relevant to the question before the House. It has been decided to adopt a certain Sessional Order, and the point is now whether the Order, worded as it is, shall be a Standing Order.


But if we now make it a Standing Order we shall defer our hopes of reform on this point. So long as it is merely a Sessional Order we can raise the question every session in the hope of inducing the Government to introduce a change which is certainly most desirable. You, Sir, must realise its absurdity when you have to call a hundred members to the Table.


I must stop the hon. Member. The subject is quite irrelevant to the question before the House.


After the expression of the opinion of the hon. Member, I do not wish to press the motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.