HC Deb 08 April 1902 vol 105 cc1277-83

Standing Order No. 2 read as followeth—

"That the House do meet every Wednesday, at twelve o'clock at noon, for private business, petitions, Orders of the day, and notices of Motions, and do continue to sit until six o'clock, unless previously adjourned."

Amendment proposed— In line 1, to leave out the word 'Wednesday, and insert the word 'Friday.'"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'Wednesday' stand part of the Standing Order."


presumed he would be in order in raising the whole question of the merits of Friday as a day for sitting, and as to whether it should be a long or a short sitting.


pointed out that the Standing Order provided for a short sitting on a certain day, and that certain business should be taken at that sitting. The question was whether Friday should be substituted for Wednesday. The hon. Member would be at liberty to propose either Saturday or Sunday instead, but that seemed to be all he could do.


said the House had not decided definitely as to the previous days.


reminded the hon. Member that the House had decided that on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday there should be long day sittings. The Standing Order under discussion provided for a day in the week on which the House should meet at twelve o'clock and certain business have precedence. The only Amendment the Government proposed was that Friday should be substituted for Wednesday, and the only question was whether the day on which the House should meet at noon should be Wednesday or Friday.


was afraid the question was even more restricted since the House had already decided that Wednesday should be a long day.


said that was the reason he had suggested the only course open to the hon. Member was to move the substitution of Saturday or Sunday.


did not propose to suggest either Saturday or Sunday; he simply desired to show that Friday was a bad day on which to meet at twelve o'clock for private business.


said in that case the hon. Member's observations would come in better on the Question "That 'Friday' be there inserted."

Question put and negatived.

Question proposed, "That the word 'Friday' be there inserted."


contended that Friday was a bad day for a morning sitting day, and that it ought to be kept either as at present, or as an afternoon and evening sitting day. The Government had taken from him Wednesday as a day of rest in the middle of a laborious week—a day on which he could recover from Monday and Tuesday, and prepare for Thursday and Friday. [A laugh.] Hon. Members who smiled probably did not know what it was to fight a Finance Bill day after day, and week after week. To those who did the work entailed by such a task, the Wednesday holiday was very important. That rest, however, had been taken from him, and it was proposed to satisfy him with this mess of pottage—this Friday as a morning sitting. But he did not want Friday as a half holiday; it was of absolutely no use. In fact, he preferred that Friday should be a full Parliamentary day, since it was followed by Saturday and Sunday, on which he could rest. The House had lived through many generations of full Fridays. To those who attended to the business of Supply—of whom he was one—Friday was often a very long and fatiguing day, and, consequently, a very fruitful day. It was on a Friday attention was called to the question of remounts, and on the Saturday the War Office acted on the debate by dismissing, or making an attempt to dismiss the officer responsible, or, at any rate, an inquiry was ordered. Friday was an extremely good and useful day. It probably would not be in order to refer to the proposed transfer of Supply from Friday to Thursday, but even if that change were made, the value of Friday as a long day would remain, because the business then to be dealt with would be private Members' Bills. He, therefore, claimed the support of every private Member in insisting that Friday should not be a short day. The Government also ought to join him in keeping Friday as a long day, because they would then be answering the continual complaints of private Members at their time being taken. The Government would probably suffer more than anybody else by Wednesdays being taken, because they would be deprived of the opportunity for compromise and arrangement which Wednesdays always offered, and they would gain nothing. Wednesday having been taken, it was no compensation to offer him Friday. Wednesday was bread, but Friday was a stone; and he should certainly divide against the proposal.


fully sympathised with the views of the hon. Member for King's Lynn as to the serious injury done to Members by the alteration of the Wednesday half-holiday, and the desirability of Friday being a full day. He had always regarded it as a public scandal that even Saturday should be a holiday. The making of Friday into a short day was simply an enlargement of the "week-end" policy. The Irish Members came to discharge the business of their country, and every day in England was a day away from their homes. It was not right that the time they spent in London should be frittered away for the mere personal convenience of certain hon. Gentlemen. Members should attend and discharge their public trust, and not be society loiterers or "week-end" trippers. This proposal was another evidence of the utter heartlessness and contempt shown by the Government towards everything relating to Ireland, and Irish representatives were simply discarded in the House of Commons. This alteration was not for the convenience of the ordinary Members of the House, but for the convenience of Society men. If they allowed the Government to fritter away the time of the House in this manner, they would be little less than fraudulent trustees. He hoped the hon. Member for King's Lynn would press the matter to a division.

(5.17.) The House divided:—Ayes, 192; Noes, 112. (Division List No. 88.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Anson, Sir William Reynell Flower, Ernest
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Galloway, William Johnson Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Garfit, William Parkes, Ebenezer
Arrol, Sir William Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Pease, Herbert Pike (D'rlington
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Pemberton, John S. G.
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Penn, John
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Percy, Earl
Bailey, James (Walworth) Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(S'lop Pilkington, Lieut-Col. Richard
Bain, Colonel James Robert Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Baird, John George Alexander Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Purvis, Robert
Balcarres, Lord Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Goulding, Edward Alfred
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Randles, John S.
Banbury, Frederick George Greene, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Reid, James (Greenock)
Bignold, Arthur Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Remnant, James Farquharson
Bigwood, James Gunter, Sir Robert Rickett, J. Compton
Blundell, Colonel Henry Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge
Bond, Edward Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Boulnois, Edmund Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Roe, Sir Thomas
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Harris, Frederick Leverton Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Round, James
Brigg, John Haslett, Sir James Horner Royds, Clement Molyneux
Broadhurst, Henry Hay, Hon. Claude George Rutherford, John
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Helder, Augustus
Brotherton, Edward Allen Henderson, Alexander Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Brymer, William Ernest Higginbottom, S. W. Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Bullard, Sir Harry Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Butcher, John George Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Hoult, Joseph Sharpe, William Edward T.
Houston, Robert Paterson Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Cavendish, R. E. (N. Lancs.) Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Simeon, Sir Barrington
Cavendish, V. C. W. (D'rbyshire Hudson, George Bickersteth Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tyneside
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hughes, Colonel Edwin Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Spear, John Ward
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Chaplain, Rt. Hon. Henry Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Chapman, Edward Kearley, Hudson E.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Knowles, Lees
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lawson, John Grant Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Toiler, Gerald Walter Erskine Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S) Thomas, JA (Glam'rgan, Gower
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lowe, Francis William Thornton, Percy M.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Tollemache, Henry James
Cranborne, Viscount Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Cripps, Charles Alfred Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Tritton, Charles Ernest
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Crossley, Sir Savile Macdona, John Cumming Valentia, Viscount
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Walker, Col. William Hall
Dalrymple, Sir Charles M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Wason, John Cathcart (O'kney)
Dickson, Charles Scott M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Dixon-Hartland, Sir F'ed Dixon Markham, Arthur Basil Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Milvain, Thomas Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Morgan, David J. (W'lthamstow Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath)
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Mount, William Arthur Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Muntz, Philip A. Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Younger, William
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Finch, George H.
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Nicholson, William Graham
Fisher, William Hayes Nicol, Donald Ninian TELLERS FOE THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Gilhooly, James O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Allan, William (Gateshead) Goddard, Daniel Ford Paulton, James Mellor
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Ambrose, Robert Harwood, George Pickard, Benjamin
Atherley-Jones, L. Hayden, John Patrick Power, Patrick Joseph
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Price, Robert John
Bartley, George C. T. Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Priestley, Arthur
Bell, Richard Helme, Norval Watson Rea, Russell
Black, Alexander William Holland, William Henry Reckitt, Harold James
Blake, Edward Horniman, Frederick John Reddy, M.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jacoby, James Alfred Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Burke, E. Haviland- Joicey, Sir James Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Burns, John Jordan, Jeremiah Robson, William Snowdon
Caine, William Sproston Joyce, Michael Russell, T. W.
Caldwell, James Lambert, George Schwann, Charles E.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Lough, Thomas Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lundon, W. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Causton, Richard Knight MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Channing, Francis Allston Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Clancy, John Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Strachey, Sir Edward
Cogan, Denis J. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sullivan, Donal
Craig, Robert Hunter M'Crae, George Tennant, Harold John
Crean, Eugene M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Cremer, William Randal Mansfield, Horace Rendall Wallace, Robert
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Mather, William Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Delany, William Mooney, John J. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Moulton, John Fletcher Weir, James Galloway
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Murphy, John White, Luke (York. E. R.)
Donelan, Captain A. Nannetti, Joseph P. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Doogan, P. C. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Whiteley, George (York, W. R,)
Duncan, J. Hastings Norman, Henry Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Dunn, Sir William Nussey, Thomas Willans Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Edwards, Frank O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk. Mid.
Elibank, Master of O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Ellis, John Edward O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Emmott, Alfred O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Ffrench, Peter O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Gibson Bowles and Mr. M'Kenna.
Field, William O'Dowd, John
Furness, Sir Christopher O'Malley, William