HC Deb 27 February 1901 vol 89 cc1325-57

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [26th February],"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, or of Votes for Supplementary or Additional Estimates presented by the Government for War Expenditure, 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.)

And which Amendment was— In line 16, to leave out the word 'three,' in order to insert the word 'five.'"—(Mr. Dalziel.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'three' stand part of the Question."


I observe with great satisfaction that the First Lord of the Treasury has, according to the Paper, somewhat modified his original proposal to take all the resolutions of which he gave notice yesterday. As far as I personally am concerned, I shall be as brief as possible in giving my reason for supporting the Amendment, because, although I protest against the arrangement of the First Lord of the Treasury for limiting the debate upon this matter, I am anxious that the Eight Hours Bill should be discussed and divided upon this, afternoon. It is rather hard upon those who consider that the question of the time allotted to Supply should be thoroughly discussed to find that if they so discuss it they will prevent the consideration of a. measure which may do something to lessen the loss of life in the mining operations of the country. The hon. Member for the Kirkcaldy Burghs proposes to extend the time by giving five instead of three addi- tional days if necessary. It is absolutely essential that at least this Amendment should be accepted, and I challenge any hon. Member to say honestly that there is anything unreasonable in the proposal. According to the resolution the discussion of Supply is to be limited to twenty days. Can it conscientiously be said that twenty days is sufficient for the discussion of all that is involved in the enormous expenditure of the Government? There are only three days in the whole year intended for the discussion of the total expenditure connected with every part of Ireland. It is a perfect absurdity to suppose that that is sufficient. With regard to the resolution generally, I do not say it is a bad thing in principle that Supply should be to some extent evenly distributed through the session; my objection is that the number of days given is not sufficient. Distribute Supply by all means, but do not make an arrangement by which at the end of the session some of the most important Votes are carried through without a single word of discussion. However, as I am anxious that a Bill of great importance to a large proportion of the working people of tins country should be discussed to-day, I will content myself by asking the right hon. Gentleman to accept the Amendment.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone. S.)

I have always been in favour of this rule, and I think Supply is infinitely better treated under it than under; the old plan, but I rise for the purpose of pressing on the attention of the Leader of the House one fact, and it is because of that fact that I shall certainly support the Amendment. My right hon. friend must be aware that the conditions in Ireland are very different this session to what they have been at any previous time. A great system of local government has been brought into play, and as might be expected a good deal has happened between the Local Government Board and the local authorities in different parts of Ireland. A good deal of friction has been caused, and the result of the decision of the Court of Appeal the other day is a matter of the gravest importance both to the Local Government Board and to the country. I would point out that the mere fact that that great system of local government has been brought into play will necessitate discussion in this House, and the Estimates will be the only occasion upon which it can be discussed. If we are to be allowed only three days for Irish Supply, as a matter of fact nothing but local government and the administration of the land will be or can be discussed, and the—


I would point out to the hon. Member that there is a notice of Amendment on the Paper dealing especially with the number of days that should be allotted to Irish Supply. Perhaps his observations would come rather upon that.


I felt bound to speak upon this point, because if the resolution is carried as it stands it will be very difficult for English Members to consent to Ireland getting six days—if the period is not extended by this Amendment. I rose merely for the purpose of pointing out the difficulty which will arise in regard to Irish Supply unless the time is extended and greater facilities are given for discussions which are absolutely necessary.

* MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone. N.)

I rise simply to say I shall support this Amendment as an Irish Member. Throughout the whole of the last Parliament I found that the most important questions affecting Ireland were guillotined, closured, or whatever you like to call it, under the operation of this rule. There is no doubt that in the present session the rule will press more inconveniently on Ireland than ever, because a great proportion of the allotted time must necessarily be taken up by the Army and Navy Estimates this year, as they will be much heavier than before, and besides which an entire day will be necessary to discuss the Irish Local Government Board. There is one question, for example, which will require ample discussion in reference to the conduct of the Local Government Board—namely, with regard to the medical officer of the North Dublin Union. Nor will Ireland be satisfied without the question of university education for Catholics in that county being adequately discussed. What are we taking up the public time with by debating? Mainly, whether or not two days should be curtailed from the long holiday of this House. If five days are inserted instead of three it merely means that the House may not be prorogued until two days later than it otherwise would be. Surely a question of that sort cannot be put in competition with the great interests of the Empire in general and of the small and insignificant portion of the Empire called Ireland in particular. Therefore I hope this Amendment will be pressed to a division, and that everyone really interested in seeing that the country is not unduly taxed, and that abuses do not exist in the numerous Departments connected with Irish administration, will support the hon. Member in the lobby.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

was understood to say that he felt very strongly that with the rule as it now stood there was very great reason for the Amendment. Since the rule was passed five or six years ago the opportunities of private Members for criticising the Government had been very seriously curtailed, and on that ground, which he thought was a very strong one, he should support the Amendment. On Fridays, under the rule, the House did get very proper and satisfactory opportunities for criticising the Government, and as there were so many important matters to be discussed, the period might very well he extended for twenty-five days, especially as it would still be in the option of the Government whether or not they allotted the extra five days.


The hon. Gentleman who has just spoken has thrown the weight of his authority, in the main, in favour of the rule as it stands at present, but he thinks there ought to be an addition to the number of days allotted to Supply, on the ground that there has been a greater invasion of the rights of private Members during the last five years than during previous sessions. I think the memory of the hon. Gentleman has misled him. No doubt it has been my unhappy lot to come down from time to time and ask the House to surrender, either for the work of Supply or for the work of Government legislation, some of the days commonly given to abstract resolutions, but I do not think that that duty has fallen upon me with greater weight than upon my predecessors. They have done it, no doubt, with great reluctance, as I do, but nevertheless they have done it quite as frequently. It is very easy for Gentlemen to say, "What harm can two days more do?" It is really a question of what proportion of the normal and reasonable session ought to be given to the work of criticism, and how much to the work of constructive legislation. I have endeavoured to make very hastily and roughly a calculation of the number of working days we have in the session, and the proportion which, under the existing system and under the rules which now stand, we give to the work of criticism. A session, roughly, is six months—say, 180 days. Subtract from that twenty-eight days for the two holidays; that leaves 152 days, or, roughly speaking, twenty-two weeks. I take a week as consisting of four and a half days of Parliamentary work. That gives 100 working days in the six months session. How, under the existing rules, do we allocate these 100 days? In the first place, we can put down eight days as the minimum amount during recent years for the Address to the Throne—we have spent rather more than eight days during the present session; there are at least ten non-counting days of Supply before Easter, and twenty-three days after Easter; there are two days before Easter on the Second and Third Readings of the Appropriation Bill, and there are two days in August on the corresponding stages of the second Appropriation Bill. Add all these together, and you will find that the number of days, quite exclusive of motions for the adjournment of the House and other incidental matters of that kind avowedly and openly given to criticism of and attacks upon the Government—criticism as distinguished from legislation—is forty-five out of a hundred. That leaves fifty-five days for private Members' time and Government time devoted to legislation. Can any human being say that that is an excessive amount? I am astonished at the way hon. Members blow hot and cold in this matter. If we propose to take Tuesdays for Supply before Easter they say, "How can you do such a thing as that, and deprive private Members of this or that privilege?" These days are given to Supply. Then when we come to the number of days to be given to Supply they say, "Oh, these are far too few; can we not increase the number?"—always of course out of the time available for Government legislation. This number of twenty-three days was not rashly started in the first instance, nor has it been rashly continued during the five years in which this resolution has been in force. If hon. Gentlemen will look back to the speech I made when originally proposing the rule, * they will find that I based the number of days not upon any arbitrary idea of my own as to the time that should be given for the discussion of Supply, but upon the amount that had actually been given in recent years. Why is this demand made? It is because under the rule now being attacked the days come at so convenient a time of the year that hon. Gentlemen wish the number increased. Under the old system—which is absolutely unknown to many Gentlemen here and is perhaps fading somewhat from the Parliamentary recollection of those who suffered under it—many of the days given to criticism were spent late in August in an empty and tired House, to the utmost inconvenience of the Members who had the courage to stay, and in the absence of a large number who had not the courage and endurance, but who, if they had stayed, would no doubt have added very valuable elements to the discussion.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

The right hon. Gentleman overlooks the fact that we spend now £100,000,000 more than we did.


I do not sec what that really has to do with it. *For discussion on Mr. Balfour's proposals of 1896, see The Parliamentary Debates, Vol. xxxvii., commencing at page 723. Everybody admits that Committee of Supply does not exist now for the purpose of diminishing Government expenditure, nor have I ever heard a reduction moved except for the purpose of either attacking a Minister, criticising his policy, or urging the Government to further expenditure.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. I have myself moved half-a-dozen motions for the purpose of reducing the expenditure.


I do not doubt the hon. Member has moved reductions in the Constabulary Vote, and so on, and he may have put them on the ground of economy, but everybody knows that his reason is not that less public money should be spent in Ireland, but something very different, which it would not be in order now to go into. The amount of money now spent is not relevant to this discussion. The only thing that is relevant is the proportion of our total time which ought to be given to criticism, and which by being given to criticism is necessarily abstracted from other work. If the House seriously think that forty-five days is an insufficient proportion of a hundred days, by all means let them support the Amendment.

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

That is not forty-five days in Committee?


No, it is what I said it was—forty-five days out of a hundred given to criticism as distinguished from private Members' resolutions, private Members' legislation, and the general legislative work of the Government. I am rather exaggerating, because in the legislative work of the Government is included that which is commonly called legislation—namely, Budget work. If the House follow me in taking that broad view of the general working session, they will not think the number of days allotted under the rule too limited in quantity. Under these circumstances I feel bound, in the interests of the House, to oppose the Amendment. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have attacked this rule as though it was a new and untried proposal which had to go through the fire of criticism, as if it had never been employed by the House before. I venture to say that ever since the rule was first introduced it has been growing in favour. The more it has been studied the more it has made converts even among those who originally opposed it. Although I have been and still am most unwilling to put this rule outside our ordinary discussions by making it a Standing Order of the House, if every time it is brought forward as a Sessional Order we are to spend a great amount of time in reviewing the

matter, I shall have no alternative but on some future occasion to make this part of our fixed and permanent Standing Orders. I hope the Amendment will be withdrawn and the resolution permitted to go through unanimously. as I am sure the rule has secured the general confidence of Members in all parts of the House.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes. 179; Noes, 141. (Division List No. 15.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Finch, George H. Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fred. G.
Allhusen Augustus Henry Eden Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Milton, Viscount
Allsopp, Hon. George Fisher, William Hayes Mitchell, William
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Fison, Frederick William Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Arrol, Sir William Fitzroy, Hon Edward Algernon Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Flannery, Sir Fortescue Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Flower, Ernest Morrell, George Herbert
Bailey, James (Walworth) Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Bam, Colonel James Robert Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Baird, John George Alexander Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute
Balcarres, Lord Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Baldwin, Alfred Goulding, Edward Alfred Myers, William Henry.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Green, Walford D. (Wdnsbry. Nicholson, William Graham
Balfour, Maj K. R. (Christchch. Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds Nicol, Donald Ninian
Banbury, Frederick George Gretton, John Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Groves, James Grimble Parkes, Ebenezer
Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Peel Hn. Wm Robert Wellesley
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Hain, Edward Pemberton, John S. G.
Bignold, Arthur Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Pilkington, Richard
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hare, Thomas Leigh Plummer, Walter R.
Boulnois, Edmund Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Heaton, John Henniker Pretyman, Ernest George
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert
Brassey, Albert Hickman, Sir Alfred Pym, C. Guy
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Higginbottom, S. W. Reid, James (Greenock)
Bull, William James Hogg, Lindsay Renshaw, Charles Bine
Cavendish, Y. C. W (Derbyshire Hope, J. F. (Shef'd, Brightside Richards, Henry Charles
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hoult, Joseph Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r. Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas Thomson
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hudson, George Bickersteth Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Johnston, William (Belfast) Ropner, Colonel Robert
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rutherford, John
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Knowles, Lees Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cranborne, Viscount Law, Andrew Bonar Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Lawson, John Grant Simeon, Sir Barrington
Cust, Henry John C. Lee, Capt. A H (Hants. Fareham Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Dalkeith, Earl of Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets S. Geo. Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S. Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Stock, James Henry
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Macdona, John Gumming Stone, Sir Benjamin
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Maconochie, A. W. Stroyan, John
Doughty, George M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W. Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Malcolm, Ian Thornton, Percy M.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Maple, Sir John Blundell Tollemache, Henry James
Fardell, Sir T. George Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Melville, Beresford Valentine Valentia, Viscount
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Mildmay, Francis Bingham Walker, Col. William Hall
Warr, Augustus Frederick Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney Wilson, John (Falkirk) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C E (Taunto'n Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.
Williams, Rt. Hn J Powell (Birm Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Willox, Sir John Archibald Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath Sir William Walrond and
Wills, Sir Frederick Wylie, Alexander Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Abraham, William (Bhondda) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Dowd, John
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud Hammond, John O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Harwood, (George O'Malley, William
Austin, Sir John Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James
Barlow, John Emmott Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- O'Shee, James John
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D. Partington, Oswald
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. CharlesH. Paulton, James Mellor
Bell, Richard Holland, William Henry Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)
Blake, Edward Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Power, Patrick Joseph
Boland, John Horniman, Frederick John Rea, Russell
Boyle, James Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Reckitt, Harold James
Broadhurst, Henry Jacoby, James Alfred Reddy, M.
Burke, E. Haviland- Joicey, Sir James Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)
Burns, John Jordan, Jeremiah Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Burt, Thomas Joyce, Michael Roche, John
Buxton, Sydney Charles Layland-Barratt, Francis Roe, Sir Thomas
Caine, William Sproston Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Russell, T. W.
Caldwell, James Leigh, Sir Joseph Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leng, Sir John Shipman, Dr. John
Cogan, Denis J. Lough, Thomas Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lowther, Rt. Hn. James (Kent) Soares, Ernest J.
Colville, John Lundon, W. Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Stevenson, Francis S.
Craig, Robert Hunter M'Crae, George Sullivan, Donal
Crean, Eugene M'Fadden, Edward Tennant, Harold John
Crombie, John William M'Govem, T. Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Cullnan, J. M'Hugh, Patrick A. Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Daly, James M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, J. A. (Glam. Gower)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh) M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Markham, Arthur Basil Tomkinson, James
Dillon, John Mellor, Rt. Hn. John Wm. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Donelan, Captain A. Mooney, John J. Ure, Alexander
Doogan, P. C. Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose) Wallace, Robert
Duffy, William J. Murnaghan, George Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Duncan, James H. Murphy, J. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Edwards, Frank Nannetti, Joseph P. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Elibank, Master of Newnes, Sir George White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Ellis, John Edward Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Farrell, James Patrick Norman, Henry Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Fenwick, Charles Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Ffrench, Peter Nussey, Thomas Willans Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Field, William O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Yoxall, James Henry
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Flynn, James Christopher O' Doherty, William Dalziel and Mr. William
Gilhooly, James O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Redmond.

My hon, friend the Member for East Mayo has asked me to move the Amendment which stands in his name. It is with very great regret that we are standing in the way of the discussion of the Miners Eight Hours Bill, which is a measure in which I take personally a great deal of interest. The blame, however, in this matter does not lie with the Irish Members, but with the Government, who have taken the most extra- ordinary course of springing this proposal upon the House. Like every other Irish Member, I feel very strongly in this matter. Year after year we have been coming to this House to ventilate various Irish grievances and to lay before this House and the country the feelings and wishes of our constituencies in regard to Irish administration, and we find, by the way in which the proceedings are conducted, it is impossible for us to discuss these questions properly. The hon. Member for South Tyrone has drawn attention to one matter of very great importance, which unquestionably ought to be largely discussed in the House during the present session, and that is the administration of the Irish Local Government Act. There are many other questions of Irish administration which are similarly circumstanced, and which for years past we have never been able to discuss at all. For these and other reasons I hope this Amendment will be carried, and I simply rise for the purpose of entering my protest against this proposal. I beg to move the Amendment standing in my hon. friend's name.

MR. CULLINAN (Tipperary, S.)

I beg leave to second the Amendment. I wish to point out that during the operation of the Local Government Act in Ireland the representatives of the people have been dealt with in the most autocratic manner by the Irish Local Government Board. In many cases in Ireland the local bodies have not been allowed to exercise the rights and privileges which they are entitled to exercise by the Act.


Order, order! The hon. Member will not be in order in discussing the conduct of the Local Government Board upon this Amendment.


Then I will formally second the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— At the end of the Question, to add the words—'Provided also that not less than six nights shall be allocated for the discussion of Irish Estimates.'"—(Sir Thomas Esmonde.)

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


I beg to enter my protest against the practice of the Government, for it is without parallel in the House of Commons to introduce an important Sessional Order at the tail end of a long sitting of the House. I have never known a Sessional Order or a complicated Standing Order dealing with the procedure of the House which was not put down at the beginning of the sitting under circumstances which would give hon. Members of the House a fair opportunity of discussing it. On the present occasion the House of Commons has been treated in the most contemptuous manner, for the First Lord of the Treasury has not only selected a time which renders it impossible to give it fair and reasonable consideration, but he introduced it sub silentio. Whatever his motive may have been, I notice that the right hon. Gentleman has abandoned the project of carrying this Order without an explanation, for he gave us to-day a long explanation, during which he was frequently interrupted by the Whip of his party.


He never said a word about it.


We have always taken a very considerable interest in the working of this rule, and I thought we were entitled to lay before the House the result of our observations. This Amendment proposes to safeguard the rights of Irish Members by securing that a minimum number of six days shall be given to Irish Supply. I am anxious, like other hon. Members who have already spoken on these benches, not to place any barrier in the way of the discussion of the Miners Bill, but I shall be exceedingly brief. I wish to enter my protest against the rather sharp practice of the First Lord of the Treasury in depriving us of our right to discuss his proposal fully and reasonably. Under the present rule, what is the position of Irish Supply? With the rule as it stands, the Minister can give exactly as much time to Irish Supply as he thinks fit. He may give four days, as he did when this rule was introduced, and he may reduce it to three days, as he did in subsequent years. He may reduce it to two days or to one day, or to no days at all, and we have absolutely no remedy. Is that a fair position in which to place any section of the Members of this House? This is not a question of Irish Members only, for the same discretion applies to every other subject in Supply, and this rule will allow the Minister to become an absolute despot. No Minister ought to have the power to do such a thing, and under this rule a Minister can absolutely abolish discussion upon any branch or section of Supply which he thinks is troublesome, or which he chooses to decide it is not in the public interest to discuss. We heard the other day in the House of Commons with some amazement a Secretary of State deliberately state to the House of Commons as a reason for depriving Members of this House of one of their most cherished privileges that foreign Ambassadors strongly approved of this action. Is there a Member in this House who does not know perfectly well that all foreign Ambassadors would strongly approve of the abolition of discussion on all foreign matters? Is there a single hon. Member who does not know that Irish officials would strongly approve of a similar course being taken? We were told by the present Secretary of State for War—and he used it as an argument in favour and in justification of the abolition of our right to ask supplementary questions—that foreign Ambassadors thought it a good innovation. We shall be having the Chief Secretary for Ireland standing up in this House and saying, "I have consulted all the Irish officials, and they agree with me that the reduction of the number of days for discussing Irish Supply has very much facilitated the working of the machinery for governing Ireland." Why, the only thorn in the bed of roses upon which Irish officials lie is that they suffer from criticism in this House, and the less criticism there is here the more the Dublin officials are pleased. What I contend is, that no matter how good the intentions of the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chief Secretary for Ireland may be, once you place in the power of Ministers the right to curtail and finally do away with the discussion of Irish Estimates, the pressure from behind of the permanent officials in Dublin will drive the Ministers inch by inch until we shall probably be reduced to one day only upon which to discuss the whole of the Irish Estimates. In the discussion which has already taken place we have had various proposals put forward. Several hon. Members have said that this rule gives too much power to the Executive Government, and they propose that in each session so many days should be allotted to each branch of Supply. I remember the First Lord of the Treasury himself in a previous session said he would have no objection to this course being taken. If you ask the House to measure out the time of the session to each Department of Supply without any elasticity, I am afraid the discussion of certain matters will suffer in consequence. What happened in the last session? Owing to the hard and fast rule which is in operation, when we got nearly to the end of the session it was found impossible for the Government themselves to give a day to the discussion of the Colonial Office Vote, and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing by what trick or dodge such a discussion could be allowed. The Government executed a flank movement with this rule, and they took a Wednesday. They set down some bogus Bill in front of Supply, and it was only by that device that we were able to get a discussion upon the Colonial Office at all.


Order, order! The hon. Member is discussing the general working of the rule. I would remind him that the question before the House is that not less than six nights shall be allocated for the discussion of Irish Estimates.


I was trying to defend my position, inasmuch as this Amendment proposes to do what I opposed as a general principle on the main question, namely, to measure out a certain number of days to Supply, which I believe to be a bad thing. It was only for the purpose of illustrating that point that I alluded to the general working of the rule. I have only this to say in conclusion, for I really desire to be as brief as I possibly can—the First Lord of the Treasury to-day has laid down a principle which is enough to make the old economists of this House turn in their graves, for he has stated that for the future the Committee of Supply of this House has nothing to do with checking the expenditure of Ministers.


The hon. Member is mistaken. What I said wag; that that is the practice of Parliament.


The practice of Parliament?


Yes, the accepted practice of Parliament.


If it is the accepted practice of Parliament, all I have to say is that it is one which may lead to the most awful jobbery and waste of public funds, because once you proclaim that no criticism is to take place in Committee of Supply with regard to any expenditure or waste of money, then you open the flood-gates to every form of jobbery, and a more ruinous rule it would be impossible to lay down. The right hon. Gentleman stated that no hon. Members in recent years ever moved a reduction of the Estimates with the honest desire of putting a stop to extravagance of any kind. That is not true so far as my own experience goes. I believe that in recent years, unhappily for the House of Commons, this practice of moving reductions has fallen off, with the result that the whole country is now contemplating with alarm and consternation the frightful swelling of the taxation of the country. Fortunately for the taxpayers of this country, this practice has not entirely passed away, for if it was once admitted that this practice was a thing of the past, and the Committee of Supply was never to be used again to check public expenditure, then I say the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be a very unhappy man, and the tax payers of this country would have to prepare for an absolutely intolerable burden of taxation. We spend most of the time in Committee of Supply in criticising the conduct of Irish Ministers, and we have endeavoured to use our opportunities in Committee of Supply for criticising and condemning the scandalous waste of public money in Ireland, and we have tried to reduce some of the outrageous Irish Estimates. We desire to get fair treatment as regards the financial relations of the two countries, but we do not desire to see money spent in Ireland in a wasteful fashion. I desire to protest on behalf of the Irish Members—and I think there are many Radicals who would like to join in that protest—against this novel doctrine, which I have never heard before announced from the Ministerial Front Bench.

MR. COGHILL (Stoke-upon-Trent)

It seems quite impossible for the right hon. Gentleman to pacify hon. Members opposite. I am sorry I shall not be able to vote for this Amendment; I intend to 'vote against it. I will, however, say that, at all events, Members sitting on the Ministerial side of the House have a grievance with regard to an appointment which took place last year in connection with the Irish Agricultural Department, which is deeply resented by Members on the Ministerial benches; yet that matter could only be discussed on a Vote which was one of the Votes closured. That may be an argument that more time ought to be given for Supply. I think the first business of the House ought to be Supply, and we ought to spend more time on it. The First Lord of the Treasury seems to think that we ought to give nearly the whole of our time to legislation, especially Irish land legislation, which is as bad as it can be. The Order has one fatal defect, and that is the large number of divisions which take place on the last night of Supply. That alone is sufficient for me to take every opportunity of recording my vote against the rule. I confess that in the past I have voted both for the rule and against it. But after what took place last session, and after studying the working of the rule, I feel convinced that hon. Members do not get such a full opportunity of discussing Supply as they did at the time when I first entered the House in 1886. If nothing else can be said against the rule, the fact that we have to have the extraordinary proceeding of walking through the lobbies at the end of the session is sufficient justification for ending the rule. I do not think, however, that the Amendment is quite fair to England, and I must vote against it.

MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)

I desire to remind the House for a moment I or two what the area is which we are expected to travel over in the six days we are asking for. Take, for instance, the Irish Constabulary Vote, which is a very large sum. Then there is the law expenses. Now I think that either of these two Votes might reasonably be given a full day of the time of the House for their discussion. Then there is the Vote which has been mentioned by my hon. friend in regard to the new Agricultural Department. In regard to this there is a widespread idea that the money has not been properly spent, and, as this is a new and important matter for Irish Members, I think it might have had devoted to it at least one day of the time of the House. With regard to education, I think the Irish Members ought at least to have a full day to discuss the different branches of education in Ireland. In the new programme of national education there is a very wide subject for discussion, in which vast changes have been introduced, and it is only reasonable that Irish Members should expect to get suitable opportunities for discussing this immense question. In regard to university education, upon which we have the sympathy of many hon. Members on the opposite side of the House, I do not think it is unreasonable that we should ask for ample time to discuss this subject in view of the strong view held in Ireland as to its great importance. Then there is the question of the Congested Districts, which the Chief Secretary for Ireland himself has admitted to be a pressing subject. We have had no promise in the King's Speech in reference to this. There is also the conduct of the Local Government Board in regard to their dealings with Irish local bodies, the question of the salaries of the Chief Secretary for Ireland and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, all of which are very important subjects. If you are proposing to devote the bulk of the time of this session to Army and Navy reform and to Supplementary Votes for the war, how can you expect Irish Members to be satisfied with six days only for the discussion of all those important subjects to which I have alluded? I think we ought to have at least sixteen days, and I enter my protest against the carrying of this resolution. I heartily support the Amendment of my hon. friend.

SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, if it is in order to move an Amendment to an Amendment?


Yes; that would be quite in order.


I can readily understand why the First Lord of the Treasury, with only twenty-three days allotted to Supply, is unable to give six of those days to Ireland; but I would suggest to my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury that a compromise might be made between six days and three. I appeal to the Government to look the facts fairly in the face. I know that many hon. Gentlemen would be very glad to get rid of Irish Supply and Irish affairs altogether, but I do ask the House to bear in mind that the Government undertake to govern Ireland, and that they must, having undertaken that responsibility, face what it involves. It is quite impossible that this question can be brushed aside as a matter of no importance. This year has presented in Ireland elements for discussion in Supply such as no previous year has ever presented. The Local Government Board Vote alone must take a day. It is quite impossible to discuss that question, with all the friction which has arisen, and which could not well have been avoided. All that must come up and be faced. Again, there is the administration of the Land Act. Nothing could well be worse; and for the Government to say that that cannot be discussed in the House of Commons is to abrogate their functions wholly and entirely. Then the Government have brought a new system of national education into operation, and also a new system of intermediate education into operation, and there are at least a dozen things to be discussed this year in a form in which we have never discussed them before. How can we go back to our constituents at the end of the session—those of us who do go at all—and say that when we asked for an additional day or days to discuss those subjects we were not given this opportunity, and were all closured in the House? I appeal to the Government to come to some reasonable arrangement, and give not six days—we cannot expect six days out of twenty-three—but to give us some reasonable, workable arrangement that will enable us to go back to Ireland and say to the people, "We at all events have been able to perform our duty in this Unionist House of Commons."


I beg leave to move an Amendment to the hon. Member's Amendment on the Paper, which he may possibly see his way to accept, and if he does accept it he may get some support on this side of the House—at all events he will get my support. My proposal is that not less than five nights shall be allocated to Irish Estimates, and not less than three nights to Foreign Office Estimates.


The hon. Member cannot add the last words relating to the Foreign Office, for his Amendment must be relevant to the Amendment before the House.


But the Amendment comes at the end of the new rules.


An Amendment to an Amendment must be relevant to the Amendment itself. I do not say that the latter part cannot be moved afterwards.


Then I will move the second part of my Amendment afterwards.


It has been stated that the Government have taken a course which has prevented this rule being discussed fully and reasonably. I do not know whether the House considers that it has been reasonably discussed, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman opposite has discussed it fully. He made very long speech on it to-day. He has risen on this occasion to discuss the wrongs of Ireland, and he says, among other things, that every Irish official would, of course, like to see the discussion on Irish Supply limited or even abolished, and that the result of that would be the smooth working of government in Ireland. But that is not my experience. I think, from the point of view of the Irish Chief Secretary, and those whom he has got to defend, discussions in this House are a most valuable antidote to the mendacious calumnies which are so constantly spread in Ireland against the Irish officials, and certainly it is not on their behalf that I wish to see the discussion of Irish Estimates curtailed. Let us consider this argument more closely. The hon. Member says it rests with the First Lord of the Treasury not only to determine what Department of Supply shall be discussed, but also to determine the amount of time that shall be allocated to it, and he says that it rests with the First Lord of the Treasury to decide this, and that it is also within our power to squeeze out any particular subject of Supply and prevent it being discussed in this House. That was, shortly, the argument of the hon. Member, although he was good enough to say that the present occupants of the Front Bench might not be prepared to take so violent a course. I desire to have the fullest discussion of Irish or any other affairs, and I believe the danger alluded to is perfectly illusory. During the five years in which this rule has been in operation I have done my best to consult the wishes of the House as to the allocation of the twenty-three days. Any lead given by the right hon. Gentleman or any of his colleagues on the Front Opposition Bench is immediately followed by the Government, and any expression of opinion from any large section of the House has always received the fullest consideration from the Government. If the House thinks that any danger exists it could be avoided by having a Committee, not to settle at the beginning of the session how the twenty-three days should be allocated, but a Committee which week by week would exercise discretion in this matter. That Committee, as I myself once suggested, might have upon it, contrary to the ordinary practice of this House, a majority of the Opposition, so that they might be sure of obtaining the opportunity they desired of criticising the Government. I myself suggested that plan—not in any formal shape—and it is a plan which would relieve me of a most onerous and laborious task, which brings me many kicks and no halfpence. I do not think, however, that the proposal has ever met with any favour in any part of the House, and I therefore do not think it desirable to press it further. The hon. Gentleman complained to-day that during the last two or three sessions only three days have been occupied with Irish Supply. It has always been left to the Irish Members themselves to determine the order of Irish Supply to be followed. It is perfectly true that the time at their disposal is not unlimited, but so far as the allocation of the time is concerned they have absolute discretion. I hope they will not think I am saying anything in the least offensive when I say, judging the matter with all the impartiality I can command, that if they were really to economise that time, compress their remarks, and select their ablest representatives to put their views forward, they could in these three days have perfectly adequate discussion year after year. In addition they have opportunities which they feel compelled to take in moving the adjournment of the House, and also on the debates in reply to the King's Speech—opportunities which they have always availed themselves of, and which they have a perfect right to avail themselves of. I myself think that the three days is an adequate amount, but four days have at times been given to Irish Supply, and nothing makes it impossible that four days should in the future, if necessary, be also given to the same subject. We are not now discussing the adequacy of the twenty-three days. We are discussing the propriety of fixing the time as between different subjects by the terms of our Sessional Order. I do not agree with my hon. friend below the gangway in the Amendment he foreshadowed, but I agree with him that if we fix the time to be given to Irish Supply we must also fix the time to be given to other classes of Supply—the Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, and the other great Departments of the State. In that case, as my hon. friend says, the life blood of this Order would be destroyed. Under these circumstances I would suggest to the House that we should come to a decision on the matter and allow hon. Members deeply interested in another question to proceed with its consideration.

MR. H. J. WILSON (Yorkshire, W.R., Holmfirth)

I wish to move an Amendment to the Amendment. It is to substitute "five" for "six." There is a feeling that six nights is too much, and that five nights would better meet the views of hon. Members.

ME. DALY (Monaghan, S.)

seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed to the Amendment— To leave out 'six,' in order to insert 'five.'"—(Mr. H. J Wilson.)


I have nothing to say in disagreement with this suggestion.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

I hope my right hon. friend will have regard to the weighty argument he has just addressed—


My hon. friend misunderstands me. I have only accepted "five" in order to vote against it.

Amendment to the Amendment put and agreed to.

Question put, "That the words 'Provided also that not less than five nights shall be allocated for the discussion of Irish Estimates' be there added."

The House divided:—Ayes, 141; Noes, 213. (Division List No. 16.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Cogan, Denis J. Field, William
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Colville, John Finch, George H.
Allen, Charles P (Glouc, Stroud Condon, Thomas Joseph Flavin, Michael Joseph
Ashton, Thomas Gair Craig, Robert Hunter Flynn, James Christopher
Atherley-Jones, L. Crean, Eugene Gilhooly, James
Barlow, John Emmott Crombie, John William Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert Jn.
Barrey, E. (Cork, S.) Cullman, J. Goddard, Daniel Ford
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Daly, James Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Bell, Richard Dalziel, James Henry Hammond, John
Blake, Edward Delany, James Henry Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Boland, John Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Harwood, George
Boyle James Dillon, John Hayden, John Patrick
Broadhurst, Henry Doogan, P. C. Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-
Burke, E. Haviland- Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.
Burns, John Duffy, William J. Holland, William Henry
Burt, Thomas Duncan, James H. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)
Caldwell, James Edwards, Frank Horniman, Frederick J.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Ellis, John Edward Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Carew, James Laurence Farrell, James Patrick Jacoby, James Alfred
Causton, Richard Knight Fenwick, Charles Joicey, Sir James
Cawley, Frederick Ffrench, Peter Jordan, Jeremiah
Joyce, Michael O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire
Kitson, Sir James O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Soares, Ernest J.
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington O'Doherty, William Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants
Leigh, Sir Joseph O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Stevenson, Francis S.
Leng, Sir John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Sullivan, Donal
Lundon, W. O'Dowd, John Taylor, Theodore Cooke
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
M'Crae, George O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
M'Fadden, Edward O'Malley, William Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)
M'Govern, T. O'Mara, James Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
M'Hugh, Patrick A. O'Shnughnessy, P. J. Tomkinson, James
M'Kiliop, W. (Sligo, North) O'Shee, James John Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Markham, Arthur Basil Partington, Oswald Ure, Alexander
Mooney, John J. Philipps, John Wynford Wallace, Robert
Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Pirie, Duncan V, Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose Power, Patrick Joseph Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Murnaghan, George Rea, Russell White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Murphy, J. Reddy, M. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Newnes, Sir George Redmond, William (Clare) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Nolan, Col, John P. (Galway, N. Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Roche, John Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Norman, Henry Roe, Sir Thomas Yoxall, James Henry
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Russell, T. W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Nussey, Thomas Willans Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Thomas Esmonde and
O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Shipman, Dr. John Captain Donelan.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Coghill, Douglas Harry Gretton, John
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cohen, Benjamin Louis Groves, James Grimble
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Allsopp, Hon. George Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hain, Edward
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow) Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midrx
Arroll, Sir William Cranborne, Viscount Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hare, Thomas Leigh
Austin, Sir John Cubitt, Hon. Henry Harris, Fleverton (Tynemouth
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Dalkeith, Earl of Hay, Hon. Claude George
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dalrymple, Sir Charles Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dewar, T R (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. Helder, Augustus
Baird, John George Alexander Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hickman, Sir Alfred
Balcarres, Lord Dickson, Charles Scott Higginbottom, S. W.
Baldwin, Alfred Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Hoult, Joseph
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Howard, Capt. J (Kent, Faversh
Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch. Doughty, George Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)
Banbury, Frederick George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hudson, George Bickersteth
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Doxford, Sir William Theodore Johnston, William (Belfast)
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh
Bignold, Arthur Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury)
Bigwood, James Faber, George Denison Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fardell, Sir T. George Knowles, Lees
Bond, Edward Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Law, Andrew Bonar
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lawson, John Grant
Boulnois, Edmund Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lee, Capt. AH (Hants, Fareham
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Fisher, William Hayes Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Fison, Frederick William Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Brassey, Albert FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Long, Col. Charles W. Evesham
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Flannery, Sir Fortescue Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S
Brown Alexander, H. (Shropsh. Fletcher, Sir Henry- Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Bull, William James Flower, Ernest Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Burdett-Coutts, W. Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Macdona, John Cumming
Buxton, Sidney Charles Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Naim) Maconochie, A. W.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby- M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'rgh W
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Goulding, Edward Alfred Malcolm, Ian
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Maple, Sir John Blundell
Churchill, Winston Spencer Green, Walford D. (Wednesday Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Greene, Sir E W (B'ry SEdm'nds Melville, Beresford Valentine
Mildmay, Francis Bingham Pym, C. Guy Tennant, Harold John
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G Reid, James (Greenock) Thornton, Percy M.
Milton, Viscount Renshaw, Charles Bine Tollemache, Henry James
Mitchell, William Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge) Tomlinson, Wm, E. Murray
Molesworth, Sir Lewis Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green) Tufnell, Col. Edward
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T. Valentia, Viscount
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Rolleston Sir John F. L. Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sh'f ld
Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh. Ropner, Colonel Robert Walker, Col. William Hall
Morrell, George Herbert Rutherford, John Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Warr, Augustus Frederick
Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney
Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J. Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Tauntn
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Sharpe, William Edward T. Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u-Lyne
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Shaw-Stewart, M. H.(Renfrew) Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Bi'm
Myers, William Henry Simeon, Sir Barrington Willox, Sir John Archibald
Newdigate, Francis Alexander Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Wills, Sir Frederick
Nicholson, William Graham Smith, James P. (Lanarks.) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Nicol, Donald Ninian Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Orr-Kwing, Charles Lindsay Spear, John Ward Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Parkes, Ebenezer Stanley, Edward J.(Somerset) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Paulton, James Mellor Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.
Peel, Hon. Wm. Robert W. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R, (Bath
Pemberton, John S. G. Stock, James Henry Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B.Stuart-
Pilkington, Richard Stone, Sir Benjamin Wylie, Alexander
Plummer, Walter R. Stroyan, John Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Pretyman, Ernest George Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Sir William Walrond and
Purvis, Robert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Mr. Anstruther.

Main Question again proposed.


I must confess I have been converted by the argument of my right hon. friend the Leader of the House, in which he said it would not do to allocate days to one portion of the Estimates and not to all. Although I am greatly in favour of the appointment of some Committee to meet occasionally to consider the allocation of the Estimates, I do not propose to move the Amendment I mentioned a few minutes ago. I am quite aware the House is anxious to get to the discussion of another subject, and I do not propose to detain it, but I sincerely hope that the Government will allocate more time to the Foreign Office Estimates this session than they did in recent sessions. I do not agree with my right hon. friend the Leader of the House that full time has always been given to the Foreign Office Estimates. I think very important questions such as the question of China have been put on one side, if not burked. They demand greater attention, and I hope my appeal will not fall on deaf ears.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

Although the House is already aware, from the views which have been expressed by hon. Members on these benches, that we have not had sufficient notice or opportunity for the discussion of this motion, we are exceedingly anxious not to stand in the way of the discussion of the Bill which is coming on, and we are therefore not disposed to continue the discussion. We feel that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House has, to some extent, succeeded in the object he had in view yesterday, which was to bring pressure to bear on us to curtail the discussion on this motion for fear it might be said we were standing in the way of the Mines Bill. Notwithstanding that, I hope my hon. friends will now allow a division to be taken on the main question.


I must inform the hon. Gentleman that there is no sort of ground for his allegation, and that the motive he imputes to me has no foundation.


I will not attempt to argue the question, and, of course, if he says he had no such motive I accept, as I am bound to accept, the statement of the right hon. Gentleman. But the evidence on which I made my accusation is before the House, and it can judge for itself. I hope my hon. friends will now allow a division to be taken on the main question, and that an opportunity—although, no doubt, not the full opportunity they ought to have had—will be given to hon. Members to.

bring under the consideration of the House an important question affecting many hundreds of thousands of the working classes of this country.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes,257; Noes, 104. (Division List No. 17).

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Kitson, Sir James
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doughty, George Knowles, Lees
Allsopp, Hon. George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Law, Andrew Bonar
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lawson, John Grant
Arrol, Sir William Duncan, James H. Lee, Capt A H (Hants, Fareham
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington
Ashton, Thomas Gair Edwards, Frank Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Austin, Sir John Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Leng, Sir John
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Faber, George Denison Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.
Baird, John George Alexander Fenwick, Charles Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Balcarres, Lord Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'uth
Baldwin, Alfred Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Macdona, John Gumming
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r. Finch, George H. Maconochie, A. W.
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Calmont, Col H. L. B. (Cambs
Balfour, Maj. K R (Christchurch Fisher, William Hayes M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)
Banbury, Frederick George Fison, Frederick William M'Crae, George
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Fitzroy, Hon Edward Algernon M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Flannery, Sir Fortescue M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fletcher, Sir Henry Malcolm, Ian
Bignold, Arthur Flower, Ernest Maple, Sir John Blundell
Bigwood, James Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Melville, Beresford Valentine
Bond, Edward Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby- Milton, Viscount
Boulnois, Edmund Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Mitchell, William
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Goulding, Edward Alfred Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Brassey, Albert Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Green, Walford D (Wednesbury More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Greene, Sir E W. B'ry S Edm'nds Morgan, Hn. F. (Monmouthsh.)
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Gretton, John Morley, Rt. Hn. J. (Montrose)
Bull, William James Groves, James thimble Morrell, George Herbert
Burdett-Coutts, W. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morris, Hn. Martin Henry F.
Burt, Thomas Hain, Edward Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Halsey, Thomas Frederick Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Caldwell, James Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Causton, Richard Knight Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Myers, William Henry
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Hare, Thomas Leigh Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.) Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'uth Nicholson, William Graham
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc. Hay, Hon. Claude George Nicol, Donald Ninian
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Nussey, Thomas Willans
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir A. D. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Parkes, Ebenezer
Collings, Rt. Hn. Jesse Helder, Augustus Partington, Oswald
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hermon-Hodge, Robert T. Paulton, James Mellor
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Hickman, Sir Alfred Peel, Hon. Wm. Robert W.
Colville, John Higginbottom, S. W. Pemberton, John S. G.
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hogg, Lindsay Philipps, John Wynford
Corbett, A Cameron(Glasgow) Holland, William Henry Pilkington, Richard
Craig, Robert Hunter Hope, J. F. (Shef'ld, Brig'htside Pirie, Duncan V.
Cranborne, Viscount Horniman, Frederick John Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Crombie, John William Hoult, Joseph Plummer, Walter R.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Pretyman, Ernest George
Dalkeith, Earl of Hudson, George Bickersteth Purvis, Robert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Johnston, William (Belfast) Pym, C. Guy
Dewar, John A. (Invemess-sh. Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rea, Russell
Dewar, T R (T'rHmlets, St. Geo. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. Reid, James (Greenock)
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh) Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Dickson, Charles Scott Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury) Remnant, James Farquharson
Renshaw, Charles Bine Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge Stewart, Sir Mark J. M Taggart Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green Stirling- Maxwell, Sir John M. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Stock, James Henry Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stone, Sir Benjamin Whiteley, H (Ashtonund, Lyne
Ropner, Colonel Robert Stroyan, John Williams, Rt. Hn J Powell-(Bir.
Russell, T. W. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Willox, Sir John Archibald
Rutherford, John Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wills, Sir Frederick
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Taylor, Theodore Cooke Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Tennant, Harold John Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J Thomas, David A. (Merthyr) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Thornton, Percy M. Wilson, J. W. (Worcester. N.)
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tollemache, Henry James Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.>
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Simeon, Sir Barrington Tufnell, Col. Edward Wylie, Alexander
Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Ure, Alexander Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Smith, James Parker(Lanarks. Valentia, Viscount
Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Vincent, Col Sir C E H (Sheffield) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Walker, Col. William Hall Sir William Walrond and
Spear, John Ward Wallace, Robert Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Doherty, William
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Flynn, James Christopher O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud Gilhooly, James O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Dowd, John
Barlow, John Emmott Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hammond, John O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harwood, George O'Malley, William
Bell, Richard Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James
Blake, Edward Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Boland, John Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Shee, James John
Boyle, James Jacoby, James Alfred Power, Patrick Joseph
Broadhurst, Henry Joicey, Sir James Reddy, M.
Burke, E. Haviland- Jordan, Jeremiah Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Burns, John Joyce, Michael Redmond, William (Clare)
Caine, William Sproston Leamy, Edmund Roche, John
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leigh, Sir Joseph Roe, Sir Thomas
Carew, James Laurence Lundon, W. Shipman, Dr. John
Cawley, Frederick MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Soares, Ernest J.
Cogan, Denis J. M'Fadden, Edward Stevenson, Francis S.
Coghill, Douglas Harry M'Govern, T. Sullivan, Donal
Condon, Thomas Joseph M'Hugh, Patrick A. Thomas, Alfred(Glamorgan, E.
Crean, Eugene M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomas, JA (Glamorgan Gower
Cullinan, J. Markham, Arthur Basil Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Daly, James Mooney, John J. Tomkinson, James
Dalziel, James Henry Murnaghan, George Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Murphy, J. Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Delany, William Nannetti, Joseph P. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Newnes, Sir George White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Dillon, John Nolan, Col. John P (Galway. N.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Donelan, Captain. A Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Doogan, P. C. Norman, Henry Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Duffy, William J. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Yoxall, James Henry
Ellis, John Edward O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Farrell James Patrick O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Ffrench, Peter O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thomas Esmonde and Mr.
Field, William O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Henry J. Wilson.

Resolved, 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 understanding Order No. 56, shall be allotted for the consideration of the Annual Esti- mates 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, or of Votes for Supplementary or Additional Estimates presented by the Government for War Expenditure, 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.