§ Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on proposed New Standing Order (Business in Suppply), as amended [25th April], "That as soon as the Committee of Supply has been appointed and Estimates have been presented, the business of Supply shall, until disposed of, be the first Order of the Day on Thursday, 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.
§ Not more than twenty days, being days before the 5th of August, shall be allotted for the consideration of the annual Estimates for the Army, Navy, and Civil Services, including Votes on Account. The days allotted shall not include any day on which the Question has to be put that the Speaker do leave the Chair, or any day on which the business of Supply does not stand as first Order.55
§ Provided 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, or for any new service not included in the ordinary Estimates for the year, shall not be included in the computation of the twenty days aforesaid.
§ Provided also that, on Motion made after Notice, to be decided without Amendment or Debate, additional time, not exceeding three days, may be allotted for the purposes aforesaid, either before or after the 5th of August.
§ On a day so allotted, no business other than the business of Supply, shall be taken before midnight, and no business in Committee or proceedings on Report of Supply shall be taken after midnight, whether a general Order for the suspension of the Twelve o'clock Rule is in force or not, 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.
§ Of the days so allotted, not more than one day in Committee shall be allotted to any Vote on Account, and not more than one sitting to the Report of that Vote. At midnight on the close of the day on which the Committee on that Vote is taken, and at the close of the sitting on which the Report of that Vote is taken, the Chairman of Committees or the Speaker, as the case may be, shall forthwith put every Question necessary to dispose of the Vote or the Report.
§ At Ten of the clock on the last day but one of the days so allotted the Chairman shall forthwith put every Question necessary to dispose of the Vote then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put the question with respect to each class of the Civil Service Estimates that the total amount of the Votes outstanding in that class be granted for the services defined in the class, and shall in like manner put severally the Questions that the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the Estimates for the Navy, the 56 Army, and the Revenue Departments be granted for the services defined in those Estimates.
§ At Ten of the clock on the last allotted day, the Speaker shall forthwith put every Question necessary to dispose of the report of the Resolution then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put, with respect to each class of the Civil Service Estimates, the Question, That the House doth agree with the Committee in all the outstanding Resolutions reported in respect of that class, and shall then put a like question with respect to all the Resolutions outstanding in the Estimates for the Navy, the Army, the Revenue Departments, and other outstanding Resolutions severally.
§ On the days appointed for concluding the business of Supply, the consideration of that business shall not be anticipated by a Motion of Adjournment, and no dilatory Motion shall be moved on proceedings for that business.
§ 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 some day not later than Two days before the Committee is closed.
§ For the purposes of this Order two Fridays shall be deemed equivalent to a single day of two Sittings.—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ Question, as amended, again proposed.
§ (4.30.) MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
I wish. Sir, to ask if the Amendment which stands in my name would, if now submitted, exclude other Amendments on the Paper referring to an earlier part of the Rule.
§ MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
It is extremely difficult to hear. Sir, but do I understand you 57 to rule both the Amendments of the hon. Member for Dundee and that which stands in my name on the Paper to be out of order?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The House had already decided that no debate on a Vote on Account should go beyond the one day, and in view of that decision I hold that the question ought not to be again raised.
§ MR. CHANNING
said that the object of the Amendment which he now had to move was to eliminate from the Rule the proposal for the automatic or guillotine closure of Votes in Supply. In moving it he wished to guard if possible the rights of other Members who might desire to move Amendments to subsequent words, and he therefore hoped that the Speaker, in putting the Question from the Chair, would do so in such a manner as not to exclude such Amendments.
§ MR. SPEAKER
In regard to what the hon. Member has just said, I will take the course which he suggests, but I am bound to say that his Amendment raises almost the same question as that which was discussed last year when the system was introduced of voting on Classes of Supply. In view of that, I would suggest that there is no necessity for prolonged debate.
§ MR. CHANNING
said he had no desire to prolong the debate, and he therefore would not enter into any lengthy argument with regard to this most important portion of the Rule. Still, he thought the argument ought to be clearly stated to the House once more, before sanction was given to that particular form of procedure. His view of the conduct of business in Supply had always been the same. He had supported the Government in assigning a given quantity of time to Supply, and he had always held that the period allotted was adequate. Still, having watched the conditions under which Supply was discussed, he had come to the conclusion that it would be far better if a more elastic method were adopted in determining the total 58 amount of time to be given to Supply during the session. His theory was that neither the Leader of the House nor the responsible Minister intervened with sufficient frequency in the conduct of business. He felt they ought to use more frequently their friendly and conciliatory powers of closure, which sometimes were more effective than the actual closure itself. He did not suggest that there should be fussy or dictatorial interference on their part, but he would recommend a business-like intervention suggesting that, after there had been a reasonable amount of discussion, the time had arrived for taking a division. He thought that would secure much better progress of business. He had fresh in his recollection the scene which occurred on the occasion of the first automatic closure in 1887, on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill. That seemed to him to be a most disastrous spectacle. He had previously urged his hon. friends from Ireland not to prolong the discussion so as to bring about that automatic guillotine, and he was disgusted with the scene which followed. He was doubly disgusted with the scenes which occurred on the Home Rule Bill of 1893, and when the right hon. Gentleman first introduced this Rule as a sessional Order, in 1896, he said he would never again support a Government in proposing the automatic closure of a Bill. He thought the right hon. Gentleman, and other Members of the House, had frequently pointed out that the only way in which they could secure the proper use of the time allotted to Supply was by the appointment of some representative body which should be able to determine questions of this kind, and which would have the practical assent of all sections of the House. He was sure the right hon. Gentleman must see it was an odious and undesirable form of procedure which this Rule suggested, and that it would be better to revert to the old plan of trying to carry out the business in Supply by some proper distribution of the time, and by the constant interposition of Ministers of the Crown, and of the Leaders of the Opposition, with a view to bringing about a reasonably early termination of discussion, so that all substantial issues could be raised in the course of a session 59 before they arrived at anything like the 5th of August, when the automatic closure was to come in force.
§ Amendment proposed—
§ "In line 35, to leave out from the word 'Report' to the word 'On' in line 53."—(Mr. Channing.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words' At Ten of the clock on the last day but one of the days so allotted the Chairman shall forthwith put every question necessary to dispose of the "stand part of the Question."
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I take it that we are not now discussing whether the number of days allotted to Supply shall be further limited, for it has been decided by the House that twenty-three days shall be the whole period set apart for that purpose. The only question we have before us is the precise machinery by which that principle, already affirmed by the House, is to be carried into effect. I will not, therefore, repeat the arguments which have already been advanced on this point. I take it the hon. Gentleman agrees with the Government that we have allotted a suffcient time to Supply.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
But he proposes to cut out certain words from our Rule—words which are intended to give effect to the Government views. If those words are cut out, what is to put in their place? The hon. Member suggested, so far as I heard, nothing except that the Leader of the House should come down every Thursday, and exercise his powers of persuasion, for whatever they may be worth, at short intervals, to induce the House to better allocate its time to the different subjects under discussion. That would be all very well if it were likely to succeed in practice, but it is quite evident that efforts by the Leader of the House to persuade hon. Members to take a particular course can be of little service. For instance, I have been doing my 60 best to induce the House to arrange its time for discussing these new Rules, and I have failed. My powers of persuasion have proved utterly inadequate, and it has been evident that they have had little or no good effect. I do not say that if representatives of various sections met round a table, and it was understood that not more than twenty-three days were to be given to Supply, they might not very likely come to a common-sense understanding. But I do not know that they would. It appears to me in any case that such an arrangement would be liable to break down on the smallest provocation, and at the will of the smallest body of recalcitrant Members. And, therefore, it seems to me that the hon. Gentleman's method is doomed to failure. Until some alternative proposals are put forward for bringing Supply to an end, it seems to me that the plan before the House needs very little defence.
§ (4.43.) MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
said he thought the right hon. Gentleman had treated the Amendment rather hardly. It was not so illogical as he seemed to suggest. What had been resolved was that not more than twenty days should be allotted before the 5th of August. He attached a great deal of importance to the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman had argued that the Supply Rule would be no use unless the automatic closure on the last two days was continued, but that was not his (Mr. Lough's) opinion. He, on the contrary, considered that the retention of the automatic closure at the end destroyed the Rule and reduced the whole proceedings of Supply to a farce. The Rule provided that proper arrangements should be made for the discussion of Supply; that a certain time should be allotted to it—that the House should give to Supply one day in each week, and get what discussion they could out of it. That was a great arrangement to make, but unfortunately the right hon. Gentleman was not content with that. The right hon. Gentleman wanted to make his position sure, and therefore had put in that at ten of the clock this automatic guillotine should 61 fall upon all Supply. It was in endeavouring to make his position secure that the right hon. Gontleman had failed.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the House had already decided, rightly or wrongly, that twenty days should be given to Supply, those days to be before the 5th of August, and therefore the argument of the hon. Gentleman was clearly irrelevant.
§ MR. LOUGH
said the right hon. Gentleman had asked what alternative suggestion could be made to the automatic closure of Supply. The answer to that was that the subject was one for investigation by a Committee. The existence of this means of bringing all Supply to an end at a definite hour of the clock had reduced the whole procedure of Supply to a farce. This was a very great change, and the right hon. Gentleman ought to recognise that there was some ground for what had been said in every quarter of the House with regard to it. The present proposal was in such a form that it was impossible to take the opinion of the House upon a single Vote. The Rule provided that each class—Navy, Army, and Civil Service—should be taken, as it were, at a single blow. The Civil Service Estimates amounted to £38,000,000, and were divided into seven classes; but all that was to be put from the Chair was that all outstanding Votes in Glass "1," or whatever it might be, should be taken. It was impossible, even by voting, to express an opinion on anything when the Question was put in that way. The same thing would occur with regard to the Navy and the Army Estimates. This procedure had no sanction of precedent behind; it was not the practice that had been adopted for years past; and for his part, he thought it was the most foolish that had ever been suggested. It was most unfair of the right hon. Gentleman to 62 ask what alternative could be suggested. An alternative could not be suggested in a moment. The clause should be struck out and the whole thing referred to a Committee. The Irish Estimates were closured just in the same way, and the Irish Estimates stood in a somewhat different position. Although the expenditure had greatly increased so far as Great Britain was concerned, the population and prosperity had increased, and the necessities of the country had also increased. But with regard to Ireland, that was not so. There was a great increase in expenditure, as in Great Britain; but everything else had gone the opposite way. In Ireland the expenditure was increasing, but the country, so to speak, was getting smaller: half the population had gone.
§ MR. SPEAKER
pointed out that the question before the House was not the growth of expenditure, but how, after the twenty-three days, the business of Supply should be wound up.
§ MR. LOUGH
said he would, in that case, not pursue them. He thought the automatic closure was the vice of the whole Rule. He was not prepared at this moment to suggest an alternative, but he considered that the Rule as it stood was objectionable, and every Member who had considered the Rule in that way ought to protest against it.
(4.54.) MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
observed that these two paragraphs were in their essence entirely new. Was there any necessity for altering the Rule that had been in operation since 1896, to make it more drastic by the addition of these two paragraphs? He submitted not. Last year the Government, without the slightest difficulty, succeeded in persuading the House to vary the Sessional Order by the adoption for that year of this procedure. Therefore, it had been proved by 63 demonstration and experience that the Government did not require these two paragraphs, because if there were particular pressure in any year they could always do as they did last year. The variation was most disastrous. It resulted in twenty-six Votes being passed by one Resolution; ninety-six Votes being got rid of by ten Resolutions; and £67,700,000 of public money being voted without any discussion whatever. These two paragraphs, if passed, would embody the most outrageous view of Parliamentary procedure. The object of "Supply" was, of course, to discuss the subject of the Votes, and if they were taken in classes that could not be done. Suppose the House were told: "There is no time for discussion; we must call upon you to vote "—then common sense would suggest that they should at least vote upon each subject separately. By one Question being put upon a whole class, Members might be driven, in order to oppose a Vote with which they did not agree, to oppose also a Vote with which they had no quarrel. If they were to take, as was the case in the previous year, ninety-six Votes and swallow them as a whole, why not take all the Votes together and put them in one question from the Chair? He considered these two paragraphs represented a most outrageous attempt on the part of the Government toget rid of the business of Supply by getting a Vote without allowing the House any voice whatever in it. The alternative he would suggest would be to carry out the Sessional Order as it was now, and as it appeared in the Order Book of the House. That was bad enough, but it did allow the House to have a voice. Therefore, if the hon. Member went to a division, he should feel bound to support him. His object was not to prolong the discussion, but, if the House were to have them, to make these Rules as good as possible. If the Government were determined to adhere to the Rule as it stood, the responsibility, blame, and discredit must rest with them and the pliant followers who supported them. The merit of the proposal he had intended making was that it would have made the paragraph identical with the present condition of the Sessional Order; but as he was not at all desirous of 64 multiplying Amendments or divisions, he would take the opportunity, on the present Amendment, of voting for the excision of these two paragraphs.
§ (5.5.) MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
said that the right hon. Gentleman had stated with perfect accuracy that there were only three methods open to him for the purpose of winding up Supply, viz., the taking of all outstanding Votes with or without a single division, the taking of the outstanding Votes in separate classes, or a return to the system which existed from 1896 to last year. Of those three methods, the right hon. Gentleman had chosen the worst. There were two objects the Government should desire to attain—first, to secure the judgment of the House upon each individual Vote, and secondly, to secure that judgment within a reasonably short time. The Leader of the House anticipated that if a division were taken upon each outstanding Vote, the second object would be altogether sacrificed; but it appeared that under the present proposal the opportunity of the House to express its judgment would be sacrificed just as much as it would be if all the outstanding Votes were put together. Under the latter arrangement, Members would at any rate be saved the trouble of marching through the Lobby ten times. Unless each individual question were put from the Chair, the division was certain to be a mere Party vote. He should certainly support the excision of these two paragraphs. The House could then either go back to the position in which they were from 1896 to 1901, or make a new proposal to take all outstanding Votes in one division. For himself, he would have preferred to go back to the old system. During the five years it was in existence, no unreasonable time was wasted in divisions, and Members had an opportunity of expressing an opinion which, while it might be adverse to their own Party, would be in conformity with their own views on the subject. That opportunity would be altogether lost under the present proposal, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman, if his fears as to a protracted period of divisions were serious, to cut the Gordian knot, and adopt the alternative system of taking all the outstanding Votes in one division.
§ (5.7.) MR. CHAPLIN
said that Members must face the facts of the case. The House of Commmons was in such a condition that no Government, however great its majority, or however preponderatingly the sense of the House might be in its favour, would ever be able to get its Estimates through at all unless it had some such, power as was here proposed. The right hon. Gentleman had asked for an alternative. All he would say on that point was that, until means were adopted to stop or control the making of dilatory speeches in all parts of the House, it would be impossible to conduct the business of the House without some stringent Rule such as that now being criticised, and which led to the unfortunate results which all deplored. That being the position, he should support the Government on the present occasion.
§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire. South Molton)
thought nothing struck the coutry more vividly than the fact that so many millions of money were passed without a word of discussion at the close of the session; and when attention was called to the increased expenditure of the country, it was largely put down to the use of the closure. The right hon. Gentleman would be well advised to work out some alternative to this proposal. He had passed over somewhat lightly the suggestion that a Committee should consider this matter, because certainly the present system was the worst possible The Leader of the House had said it was a question cither of having the closure, or of discussing matters until utter weariness supervened. Sometimes, however, wren matters were discussed until the Minister was weary, a concession was made; but even that would now be impossible. He did not agree that the House should go back to the system of voting on each individual Vote. It was intolerable that the House should be called upon to keep passing through the Lobbies in that way, and it was well known that many Members came down simply with the intention of taking part in a number of these divisions in order to secure a decent average of appearances in the division lists. That was not conducting the business of the House of Commons in a proper or respectable way, and he 66 would much prefer that at the end of the session all outstanding Votes should be lumped together, and put at once. An incidental advantage of this plan would be that an additional hour, at least, might be devoted to discussion.
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork Co., N.)
had more sympathy with the suggestion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn than with the speech just delivered. It would not be at all necessary for each individual Vote to be divided upon. He certainly had a very strong objection to voting for or against the Votes as a whole. There might be matters of which he was in favour, together with others to which he was opposed; and to give such a vote was utterly illogical and absurd. The system of automatic closure was originally applied to a number of clauses in the Bill in 1893; but, while it was all very well to apply the system to Certain clauses in a Bill which had been discussed on Second Reading, it was quite a different thing, and a much more obnoxious proceeding, to apply it to Votes in Supply which had not been discussed at all. If the right hon. Gentleman desired an alternative, the suggestion of the hon. Member for King's Lynn would meet the difficulty. The automatic closure and the voting of Supply in classes could not be defended in reason or common sense. It was not in accordance with the power which this House ought to have in the last resort, when further discussion was impossible, of offering the only protest they could offer against any particular item without voting against a whole class.
§ (5.16.) MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said this Rule had been in operation for six years, and the present proposal, making a radical alteration, was never in the original Rule, and was never put into force except as an emergency proposal last year. And what was the emergency? On the 7th of August last year, the First Lord of the Treasury said the House was in the extraordinary position that on the following Thursday there would remain ninety-seven Votes which had not been discussed. He said that rumours had appeared in the newspapers 67 that it was the intention of the Nationalist Members to divide upon every one of those ninety-seven Votes, and the right hon. Gentleman calculated that if this course were persisted in, it would interfere with the entertainment at Blenheim. That, from the point of view of the Leader of the House, was an "emergency," and the House spent five hours carrying this proposal through the House. The result was that they had seventeen or eighteen divisions on the Thursday, instead of ninety-seven. There was no foundation whatever for the rumour that the Irish Members intended dividing ninety-seven times, and throughout the working of the Rule the Irish Party had systematically divided only against the Votes to which they objected, and they had never availed themselves of the right to divide against every Vote. That was the true and honest history of the origin of this extraordinary proposal, which never before entered into the mind of a Minister, except as an emergency proposal last year. Under this Rule hon. Members, if they wished to vote against any particular Vote, would be compelled to vote against the whole class, although they might be in favour of every other item in the Vote but one. It would be quite as fair to put the whole balance of Supply not disposed of in one lump sum and vote it in that way; for that would be a more rational course than offering hon. Members the hypocritical pretext of an opportunity of voting upon each class. The First Lord of the Treasury had challenged them to produce some other alternative. He was irreconcilably opposed to the automatic closure. The right hon. Gentleman told them that there were three courses open to them—first, to revert to the old method of voting on each individual Vote; second, to accept his present suggestion; and third, to vote the whole balance of the money of the year in one lump sum. Of all those three courses, the right hon. Gentleman had taken distinctly the worst. He thought they ought to go back to the old method, which would preserve to them the right of giving their judgment upon each individual item of Supply. Failing that, he should much prefer that at midnight on the last Supply day the Chairman should put the whole balance of the Votes in one lump sum, and then they would not be put to the idiotic performance of going through ten divisions which 68 were perfectly meaningless. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford spoke about the necessity of stopping dilatory speeches, but he did not think the right hon. Gentleman opposite, himself, had been behind in that respect. They had no legislation or Votes now which were anything like so contentious and difficult to pass as those which used to be submitted to the House year's ago; and yet the Ministers of those days, with larger schemes to deal with, and greater difficulties in the way of obstruction—for they had no closure—did not need any of these special Rules. He himself once spoke for three and a half hours, but he had not done that in recent times. There was no closure, and no power of bringing speeches to a conclusion, in those days; and yet Ministers did not raise this argument as to the impossibility of getting Supply through, and they did not make these enormous invasions into the rights of the House. He believed those invasions were due not to dilatory speeches, becfause they had enormously decreased, nor to the spirit of obstruction, which had been greatly mitigated; but they were due to the fact that hon. Members were infinitely more anxious for their ease and comfort than those who constituted the House of Commons when he first came into it; and the. Ministers and the Whips of those days would have turned a deaf ear to the complaints which had given rise to the present proposals.
§ MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)
said he wished to corroborate the statement of his hon. friend that the Irish Members had no intention of forcing on the House any vexatious divisions last year. Nothing was farther from their thoughts. He also corroborated the statement that speeches were now a great deal shorter than in former days. There was not now that wish for prolonged debate which previously existed. The Government had already sufficient powers for bringing discussion to a close. If the Government had a majority, they would always be able to attain what they reasonably proposed. If any Government proposed at the end of a session to do by sessional Order what they now proposed to do by Standing Order, their majority would support them. His hon. friend the Member for North Cork had told the House what would happen if they adopted this Standing Order. By the 69 system proposed, the House would be compelled to vote upon a whole batch of questions, some of which they approved of, while they disapproved of others. What was the present state of things with regard to Supply? It was notorious that there were many important Votes which were never discussed. Were they to be told that if the Government did not care to put these down at an early stage of the session, when they could be discussed, they were never to be discussed at all? He thought the Government had failed to make out a case for this Standing Order.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said the question before the House was simply this—which of the two absurdities pro-posed was the more absurd? He would not add anything to the arguments already addressed to the House, but he would feel bound to vote for the Amendment simply as a protest against a scheme which, while professing to retain the control of the House over expenditure, made that control absolutely impossible.
§ (5.33.) Question put.
§ The House divided;—Ayes, 221; Noes, 158. (Division List No. 138.)73
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Denny, Colonel||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hoult, Joseph|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Howard, John Kent, F'versham|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Doughty George||Hutton John (Yorks. N. R.)|
|Arnold-Foster, Hugh O.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Duke, Henry Edward||Johnstone, Hey wood (Sussex)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Kimber, Henry|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Knowles, Lees|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lawson, John Grant|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Finlay, Sir Robert, Bannatyne||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Farehan)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Fisher, William Hayes||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Fitzroy, Hon. Ed ward Algernon||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Forster, Henry William||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fosrer, Philip S. (Warwick. S. W||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Bigwood, James||Galloway, William Johnson||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bill, Charles||Gardner, Ernest||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Blundell, (Colonel Henry||Garfit, William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F.(Middlesex||Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin&Nairn)||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Brassey, Albert||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Calmont, Col. J (Antrim, E.)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Graham, Henry Robert||Malcolm, Ian|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gretton, John||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (D'rbyshire||Guest, Hon Ivor Churchill||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gunter, Sir Robert||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hain, Edward||Milvain, Thomas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Mitchell, William|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Chapman, Edward||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfrd||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsb.|
|Coddington, Sir William||Haslam Sir Alfred S.||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Mount, William Arthur|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Heath, James (Stanbrds., N. W.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray. C|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Heaton, John Henniker||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hehler, Augustus||Murray, Rt Hn A. (Graham) Bute|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Herm on-Hodge. Robert Trotter||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Higgin bottom, S. W.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Myers, William Henry|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Hogg, Lindsay||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Dairymple, Sir Charles||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Parker, Gilbert||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Vincent, Col Sir C E H (Sheffield|
|Pease, Herbert Pike (D'rlington||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Percy, Earl||Scott, Sir S, (Marylebone, W.||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Seton-Karr, Henry||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Purvis, Robert||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Rankin, Sir James||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Spear, John Ward||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Stanley, Ed ward Jas. (Somerset||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath)|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Stroyan, John||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Ridley, Hn. M. W.(Stalybridge||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Thorburu, Sir Walter||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Thornton, Percy M.||Younger, William|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Tritton, Charles Ernest||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Round, James||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Sir William Walrond and|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Valentia, Viscount||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William (Cork. N. E.)||Ffrench, Peter||M'Crae, George|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Field, William||M'Fadden, Edward|
|Ambrose, Robert||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Asher, Alexander||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Koan, John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Flynn, James Christopher||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fuller, J. M. F.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Gilhooly, James||Murphy, John|
|Bell, Richard||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Blake, Edward||Grant, Corrie||Newnes, Sir George|
|Boland, John||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Harmsworth, R. (Leicester)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Caldwell, James||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Dowd, John|
|Cameron, Robert||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Holland, William Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Horniman, Frederick John||Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jacoby, James Alfred||Partington, Oswald|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Joicey, Sir James||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Crean, Eugene||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cremer, William Randal||Joyce, Michael||Price, Robert John|
|Crombie, John William||Kearley, Hudson E.||Priestley, Arthur|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Rea, Russell|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Kitson, Sir James||Reddy, M.|
|Delany, William||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-shire||Lambert, George||Rigg, Richard|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dillon, John||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leamy, Edmund||Roche, John|
|Doogan, P. C.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Russell, T. W.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Leigh, Sir-Joseph||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Leng, Sir John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Edwards, Frank||Levy, Maurice||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Ellis, John Edward||Lewis, John Herbert||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Lundon, W.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Macneill, John (Gordon Swift||Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)||Weir, James Galloway||Young, Samuel|
|Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Thomson, F. W. (York, W. E.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Ure, Alexander||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Mr. Channing and Mr.|
|Wallace, Robert||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Edward Morton.|
(5.48.) MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that he thought there was very considerable substance in the Amendment he now intended to move. It was quite conceivable that only eighteen or nineteen days would be allotted to Supply. The limit was a superior limit, and there was no minimum limit. The words he proposed to add appeared in the sessional Order, and he could not understand why they had been omitted from the proposed Rule. He thought the intention was that the automatic closure should only come into operation where the twenty allotted days had been exhausted; without the words he proposed it seemed to him that the Government would be able, alter sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen days had been allotted to Supply, to bring the automatic closure into force. In fact, it would come into force automatically. He did not think that that was the intention of his right hon. friend. He thought his intention was to give at least twenty days; and his right hon. friend, with his experience, must know that hitherto it had always been found necessary to give the three additional days also. He could not see any objection to his Amendment; the words had always been in the sessional Order, and their omission might have been accidental.
In line 45, after the word" day, 'to insert the words not being earlier than twentieth of the allotted days.'"—(Mr. Gibson Bowles.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I am not quite sure that I perfectly apprehend what would be the result of my hon. friend's Motion; but perhaps he will correct me if I am wrong. As I understand it, he wishes to make it obligatory to take twenty days for Supply.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said that his right hon. friend might take any number of days he liked, but if he took less than twenty, the automatic closure was not, in that ease, to come into operation. That was the intention of the words as they stood in the sessional Order.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I should have thought my hon. friend's Amendment was not necessary, because, of course, if the Government finished Supply in eighteen days there would be no question of automatic closure. As the limit would not be reached, the Amendment would not meet that case. The only case I can conceive my hon. friend having in view is the Government not giving twenty days, and trying to closure after eighteen days. That would be a gross abuse, and I confess I should have thought it an impossible point of view to take. I do not, however, see any objection to the Amendment.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he desired to amend the Amendment, it would read better in the following form—,To leave out in line 45 the words 'allotted day' in order to insert 'not being earlier than the twentieth of the allot led days'
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I confess I have not studied this Amendment as I ought to have studied it, but may I ask my hon. friend if he thinks it possible, with these words in the Rule: "At ten of the clock on the last allotted day," that the Speaker can put any other Question.
§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE
said that if the right hon. Gentleman would look at line, he would see it was stated that "not more than twenty days" should be allotted. That did not mean that twenty days should be allotted.
§ MR. BLAKE (Longford, S.)
said it was clear that the allotment was a maximum, and that fewer days might be allotted. The "last allotted day" would be the last of the allotted days.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he would like to move the Amendment in the words as they appeared in the sessional Order, viz. to omit the words "allotted day" in order to insert "not being earlier than the twentieth of the allotted days."
The Amendment as originally proposed, was, by leave, withdrawn, and the following Amendment made—
In line 45, by leaving out the words 'allotted day,' and inserting the words 'not being earlier than the twentieth of the allotted days.'
§ (5.50.) MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
moved the omission of lines 53 to 56, as being now unnecessary. The paragraph anticipated that a Motion for the adjournment, or a dilatory Motion, might be made on the days appointed to conclude the business of Supply. He confessed he could not understand the object of the Government in introducing that paragraph. Why the anxiety of the Government to preserve those last two days should be so great he could not imagine. The hon. Member for King's Lynn drew a distinction between a Motion for the adjournment and a dilatory Motion. Perhaps there was some distinction, and he had no doubt the hon. Gentleman would be able to explain it. The Government had nothing to gain by retaining the paragraph he proposed to omit, because they would get their Supply at ten o'clock, even if the entire sitting up to that hour had been devoted to a Motion for the adjournment or to a dilatory Motion. On the other hand, it would easily be understood that on the very morning of either of the last two days a great public emergency might arise, in which hon. Members on both sides were interested; and it would be ridiculous if hon. Members were prevented, by a Rule of the House, from discussing it for even five minutes. 76 In this matter. Ministers, no matter to which side of the House they belonged, were always apt to consider Motions to be dilatory which were not so intended by those who initiated them, and which were only initiated to attain some useful object. Both these opportunities of discussing important matters were to be swept away. He could conceive no reason why the Government should resist this Amendment, for the Rule would be just as beneficial to the Government without these words as with them. He begged leave to move to omit the words.
In line 53 to leave out from the words; 'On the' to the word 'business,' in line. 56, both inclusive.'"—(Mr. Clancy.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'On the days appointed for concluding the business of Supply' stand part of the Question."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The-words which the hon. Gentleman proposes to leave out were not introduced to facilitate Government business, but simply to meet what were thought to be the general views of the House, and I still think that they carry out a useful object. It would be extremely inconvenient that the last remaining hours of Supply should be interrupted by a Motion for the adjournment. Under the arrangement embodied in another of these new Rules, such a Motion would not come on till nine o'clock, and could only last for an hour, between nine and ten in the evening, and could not serve any useful object. I, therefore, hope the hon. Member will not press his Amendment.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
asked for some explanation of the observation that the Motion for the adjournment of the House could only last from nine o'clock till ten.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
On these particular nights. The closure is at ten, the Motion for the adjournment is made and assented to at three, and comes on at nine.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he thought it was reasonable that on these last days business should not be interrupted by 77 a dilatory Motion. He had an Amendment himself a little lower down, which he hoped would be accepted; if it was not accepted, he thought some explanation should be given of the reason why it was not. He was rather of opinion, with regard to this Amendment, that the Government were entitled to have the last two days without interruption.
§ this. If some question of great public interest arose on the last day of Supply, he did not see why the House should not have its choice between discussing a Motion for the adjournment and discussing Supply.
§ (6.15) Question put.
§ The House divided :—Ayes, 250; Noes, 138. (Division List No 139.)81
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside)|
|Allhusen, Aagustus H. Eden||Dickson, Charles Scott||Horner, Frederick William|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Hoult, Joseph|
|Arrol, Sir William||Doughty, George||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Howard, John (Kent, Faversham|
|Austin, Sir John||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Duke, Henry Edward||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies|
|Balcarres, Lord||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Faber, (George Denison (York)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir. John H.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Horusey)||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Keswick, William|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Kimber, Henry|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Finch, George H.||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Kitson, Sir James|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Knowles, Lees|
|Beaumont, Wentworth, C. B.||Fisher, William Hayes||Laurie, Lieut. General|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Law, Andrew Bornar Glasgow)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Lawson, John Grant|
|Bigwood, James||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Lecky, Rt Hon William Edw. H.|
|Bill, Charles||Forster, Henry William||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Foster, Philip S. Warwick, S. W.||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Galloway, William Johnson||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Brassey, Albert||Gardner, Ernest||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Garfit, William||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bull, William James||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albtns)||Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin& Nairn)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Butcher, John George||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Macartney, Rt. Hn W. G. Ellison|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Gunter, Sir Robert||Malcolm, Ian|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r.||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Midd'x||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Maxwell, W J. H (Dumfriesshire|
|Coddington, Sir William||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Milvain, Thomas|
|Collings Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Mitchell, William|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.)||Montagu, (J. (Huntingdon)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Heaton, John Henniker||More, Robt.-Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Holder, Augustus||Morgan, David J. (Walthamsto'|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh.).|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Higginbottom, S. W.||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Mount, William Arthur|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Round, James||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Valentia, Viscount|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Russell, T. W.||Vincent, Col Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Myers, William Henry||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Warr, Angustus Frederick|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A.C. E (Taunton|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Welby, Sir Charles G.E. (Notts)|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Parker, Gilbert||Seton-karr, Henry||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Shaw-Stewart, H. M. (Renfrew||Whitmoro, Charles Algernon|
|Percy, Earl||Simeon, Sir Harrington||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm.|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)||Wilson, John Glasgow)|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Purvis, Robert||Spear, John Ward||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|Rankin, Sir James||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Stanley, Ed ward Jas. (Somerset)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wylie, Alexander|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Stroyan, John||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Younger, William|
|Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. (Chas. Thomson||Thornburn, Sir Walter|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Thornton, Percy M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Sir William Walrond and|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen|
|Asher, Alexander||Fuller, J. M. F.||Murphy, John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Gilhooly, James||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Newnes, Sir George|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Grant, Corrie||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)|
|Blake, Edward||Griffith, Ellis J.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Boland, John||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hammona, John||Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Brunner, Sir, John Tomlinson||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||O'Bien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Burns, John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Helme, Nerval Watson||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Caine, Willam Sproston||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Caldwell, James||Holland, William Henry||O'Dowd, John|
|Cameron, Robert||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Malley, William|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Joicey, Sir James||O'Mara, James|
|Cawley, Frederick||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Channing, Francis Allsten||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Joyee, Michael||Partington, Oswald|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kearley, Hudson E.||Pirie, Duncan, V.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Kinloch, Sir John (George Smyth||Power, Patrick, Joseph|
|Crean, Eugene||Lambert, George||Price, Robert John|
|Cremer, Willam Randal||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Priestley, Arthur|
|Crombie, John William||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rea, Russell|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Delany, William||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Rigg, Richaid|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Leng, Sir John||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Dillon, John||Levy, Maurice||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, John|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lundon, W.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Dunn, Sir William||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Elibank, Master of||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Ellis, John Edward||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone||M'Crae, George||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||M 'Fadden, Edward||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Fenwick, Charles||M'Kean, John||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Field, William||M 'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Mather, William||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Mooney, John J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Weir, James Galloway||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|White, Luke (York, E. R.)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Sir Thomas Esmonde and Captain Donelan.|
|White, Patrick (Meath, North)||Young, Samuel|
|Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Yoxall, James Henry|
§ (6.28.) MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE moved an Amendment to provide that, on the days appointed for concluding the business of Supply, the business should not be interrupted under any Standing Order. The House would recognise that in the event of the voting not being concluded by midnight, unless it were provided against, there might be an interruption of business, which would be very disastrous.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
thought the Amendment of the hon. Member was an improvement, and was therefore prepared to accept it.
In line 56, after the word 'business,' by inserting the words 'and the business shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order.'
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
reminded the House that an Amendment had already been accepted by winch any new service not included in the ordinary Estimates for the year was to be excluded from the twenty days computation. The paragraph now before the House dealt with the same kind of matter in a somewhat different way. It dealt not only with new service, but also with new matter, and it provided that any additional Estimate for any now service or matter not included in the original Estimates for the year should be submitted for consideration in the Committee of Supply on some day not later than two days before the Committee was closed—by which was meant, he presumed, the last day but one of the allotted days. The House having already provided, in the manner he had described, for Estimates dealing with new services, he proposed to move the omission of the words "service or" from line 56.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
thought he would also have to ask for the insertion of the words "other than one of the 82 allotted days." Such a provision had been made with regard to new services. The effect of that, in conjunction with the Amendment already agreed to, would be that a new service not provided for in the ordinary Estimates for the year would be entitled to a day other than one of the allotted days, and would necessarily fall outside the automatic closure; and nothing the Government could do would prevent its discussion. In the case of something which was, not a new service, but new matter—such, for instance, as the purchasing of a piece of land for a new War Office which would be new matter, but under an old service —he thought it was right that it should be submitted two days before the Committee closed. That would probably be a satisfactory arrangement, though it was a little open to doubt.
§ MR. SPEAKER
pointed out that the House had already decided that new matter, as distinct from new service, should not be excluded from the allotted days. The second part of the hon. Member's suggested Amendment would, therefore, not be in order.
In line 57, to leave out the words 'service or.'"—(Mr. Gibson, Bowles.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. DILLON
strongly objected to the Amendment. The House had discussed the distinction between "service" and "matter," and expressed much doubt as to whether "matter" ought not to be included in the previous concession, and so be exempted from the automatic closure. It would be very unfortunate now to introduce a distinction which might be used to limit the concession already made. He would suggest that the whole of the paragraph should be omitted. It was not only wholly unnecessary, in view of the concession they had obtained, but absolutely ineffective. 83 When the point was granted some years ago, it was thought to be a valuable concession; but when, last year, for the first time, it was sought to be brought into operation in connection with the loan to the Viceroy of Wu-Chang, the ruling of the Chairman of Committees was that, inasmuch as the loan had been placed on the Notice Paper two days before the automatic closure came into operation, it satisfied the provision as to being submitted to the consideration of the Committee, although the Committee had not had an opportunity of saying a word on the subject. By that ruling, the whole effect of the provision was nullified, and the proper course would be to omit the entire paragraph.
§ (6.36.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the history of this paragraph was that the right hon. Gentleman opposite asked the House to put this provision in the sessional Order to prevent some new Estimate being sprung upon the Committee which had never been dealt with at all. This year they had gone a step farther with regard to new services. They deliberately excluded new matter from that special treatment, and he thought, therefore, that they would be going back if they now said that new matter might be introduced without any notice at all. It was in order to preserve "matter" that he thought this paragraph, in the amended form, ought to be retained in the Bill. He thought that in the interests of the House as distinguished from the interests of the Government of the day, anxious to get through the Estimates without friction, it was desirable that the paragraph should remain in, and that the word "matter" should remain. This was a safeguard which was not without its value. The House should not part with that safeguard, and as it was a small matter, as there really were no rights of private Members involved, he thought they might decide it without a division.
§ Question put and negatived.
§ MR. GIBSON BOWLES moved an Amendment to the paragraph providing that two Fridays should be deemed equivalent to a single day of two sittings. The House might desire to have a sitting occasionally on 84 a Saturday. He admitted that it was net a very important point, but as this was going to be a permanent Order, he thought they ought to provide for all the cases which they could fairly foresee.
In line 61, to leave out the word 'Fridays', and insert the words 'days of one sitting.'"—(Mr. Gibson Boweles.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Fridays' stand part of the Question."
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE
said that when the Rules were considered in 1896 there was a most distinct promise made in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that a Select Committee should be appointed to consider the working of this Supply Rule. That Select Committee had never been appointed. The merits of the Amendment he had to submit were clear, and needed no further explanation; and, unless the Government undertook to do something in this direction, he should take a division. He begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.
The Amendment was—
In line 62, after 'Sittings,' to add—'But these Resolutions shall not take effect until the House has adopted a scheme allotting a due proportion of the days for Supply to each of the different classes of Estimates.'
§ MR. SPEAKER
I am afraid, after hearing the hon. Member, that I must rule his Amendment out of order, which proposes to suspend the operation of this Resolution.
§ MR. CHARLES HOBHOUSE
reminded Mr. Speaker that a Resolution very much to this effect was allowed to be considered in 1896, on the 28th of February, and that was the reason why he had proposed this Amendment.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have not referred to that case, and there may be some difference between the two, but I must adhere to my ruling now.
§ Main Question, as amended, again proposed.85
§ (6.48.) MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottingnmslire, Rushcliffe)
said that before this Rule was finally passed he wished to say a few words. The first paragraph allocated a particular day to Supply, and he agreed with the fixing of a particular day in each week for Supply. Indeed so far back as 1892 he moved a Resolution which contained a recommendation to that effect. But when they came to the second paragraph, which allocated a certain number of days for Supply and the carrying of a large number of Estimates by closure at the end of that period, his opinion of the Rule was a very different one. He had watched the operation of this Rule since it came into operation in 1896, and he felt that it had lowered the character of the House and had not conduced to efficiency in the discharge of its business. In all respects he believed the operation of this limitation and closure part of this Rule had been disastrous. The Government had been relieved of that incentive and motive which every Government used to have, and ought to have, of seeing to the proper conduct of the business of Supply. It mattered little or nothing to the Government under this Rule how the time in Committee of Supply was occupied, because they knew that at a certain moment they would get all their Votes automatically. Nobody would deny that this was having a very serious effect upon the character of discussion in Supply. The whole merit and efficiency of the Rule from the point of view of the House depended upon the minute and constant attention given to its working by the Leader of the House.
The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury had several times suggested that a Committee should be appointed to consider this question of allocating the Votes to be considered, upon which should sit a majority of Members of the Opposition. He was entirely opposed to that course, for the Government of the day must retain the whole responsibility for all the Supply they brought forward and for the days and the manner in which Supply was brought forward. This Rule had certain elements of success in it, if the Leader of I the House gave his mind to the matter, and was careful that each session the various items of Supply had their proper 86 chance. He was one of those who had watched the application of Standing Order No. 25 to the business of the House with the greatest jealousy. The closure was a kind of thermometer of the incapacity of the Minister who was conducting the business of the House. He believed it only irritated the House. But another most grave objection to the Rule existed. This proposal came to them in a form which would not have been dreamt of a year or two ago. Towards the end of the session each class of Votes was to be put to the House en bloc. The different Votes in each class varied to a most remarkable extent, and the putting of them in that form reduced the thing really to a perfect farce. But, after all, the House had a great deal of human nature in it, and it was not by Rules of this kind, not by drastic arrangements, with regard to business, that the business of the House could be conducted. It was to the tact and temper of him on whom was cast the onerous responsibility of arranging the order of business-and conducting it through the House that they must really look for the successful conduct of business. The desire should animate all Members of the House to facilitate business. He was one of those who held that any man who willingly in any way lent himself to proceedings which unduly delayed business in this House was guilty of a high Parliamentary offence. He had never done that himself, and never would think of doing it. On the other hand, such a Resolution as they were now about to pass, in his opinion, offended against the greatest and dearest privileges of the House as to the full freedom of debate in examining the great financial questions which came before them.
§ (6.55.) SIRHENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
I think that grave questions are raised by the Rule now under consideration with reference to the responsibility which it devolves on the Leader of the House, not personally but officially. I, for one, hold that it is impossible to devote more of the time of the House to Supply than is already devoted to it. Last year the House was in Committee of Supply thirty-six days, and I cannot conceive that anybody will 87 reasonably maintain, unless he is pre-pared to abandon legislation altogether, that the House can afford to give a greater amount of time than thirty-six days to the operation of this Rule. But the real friction that has arisen about this Rule, and think the bulk of the dissatisfaction that has been expressed with regard to it, have arisen from having no system, no scheme, no regulation as to the allocation of the time—I am not blaming anyone in the matter—for Votes to which it would have boon desirable last year that an amount of time should have been given. Great questions, which deserved the fullest and amplest consideration, have been overlooked altogether by the pressure of this inexorable closure. Since the First Lord proposed this Rule to the House he has in every way endeavoured to meet the convenience of the Opposition, and of Members in every part of the House. If he has erred at all, he has been, perhaps, too facile in endeavouring to comply with the wishes of individual Members, and it would have been better for him, perhaps, to have assumed a sterner attitude, having regard to the other Votes before the House. I hold that the view which the right hon. Gentleman pressed upon us again and again that this was a matter which he should devolve to some extent on the Opposition—which was a fair minded attitude for him to assume is absolutely impracticable. I hold that the Leader of the House is responsible for the conduct of the business of the House, and during my experience I have never known any Leader abuse that trust. Whatever Party may have been in office, and whatever may have been the irritating circumstances of the moment, that duty has been fairly discharged with due regard to all interests. I think the right hon. Gentleman was perfectly correct when he said the other evening that he did not anticipate that the principle which has hitherto guided the Leader of the House would be varied by any of his successors. But with that trust also devolves a responsibility.
Now, nobody knows better than the Leader of the House what the business is that is to be brought before the House, and that is one reason why he should be trusted with the arrangement of the work the House has got to do. The House, in twenty-three days, and a 88 large number of additional days which are not included in the twenty-three, has to pass something like 150 Votes, outside of the Supplementary Estimates from the preceding year. Well, of course, the time allotted seems a very small amount to be allocated among so many Votes. I am going to make a suggestion to the First Lord of the Treasury. I am going to ask him to undertake the duty of allocating the time to be given to the different branches of Supply himself believe the right hon. Gentleman will do it with perfect impartiality. Let him submit, either for the residue of this session, or at the commencement of this session, a scheme to be in operation for next session, and that session only, as the scheme, not in the form of a Resolution or Standing Order, on which he proposes to proceed in Committee of Supply. Now let me put an imaginary case must give figures, of course, to make the case intelligible to the blouse; but I wish it to be understood that they are imaginary figures, to show how this might be dealt with. There are three great divisions—the Military, the Naval, and the Civil Services of the country. I am now speaking with reference to time of peace, and not of time of war. In time of peace the necessary provision for both the Naval and the Military Services, I think, must take the first place in the allocation of Supply. Suppose that the Army should have four days and the Navy four days allotted to them. In addition to that, on the Motion for the Speaker leaving the chair there would be two days devoted to them for a general survey both of the Army and Navy. I think it is an unfortunate thing when a portion of that time is devoted to the consideration of some not very important Amendment affecting one or ether of those services, and which by chance obtains a precedence to which it is not entitled. I know that last year a great many more days were necessary, and the Government provided them from time to time, as the occasion arose. That would dispose of eight days out of the twenty. I take as coming next, as having the first claim on the Government, the case of Ireland. I think that under our system of the government of Ireland at the present day, it is our 89 duty—and the First Lord of the Treasury himself has recognised it—that Ireland should have a larger share of time than proportionately she would be entitled to, and certainly a larger share than Scotland. Suppose that four days were given to: the Irish Estimates and three days to the Scotch Estimates—I am only putting imaginary figures—that would absorb fifteen days, leaving five days for the Civil Services of the country in addition to the general discussion on the Speaker leaving the Chair and on votes, on account. The First Lord would, in addition, have a reserve in his bank, so to speak, of three extra days, to be allotted from time to time according to special emergencies which might develop in the course of the session.
I am only putting that as a skeleton scheme by which the House at the commencement of the session would know what would he the time allotted to the ordinary business of the House, always subject to the emergencies which might arise. These would arise again and again, according as the judgment of the House would decide. What the House wants to know is how the time is to be allocated; we want a sort of time table, we want to know how much time is to be given to this service or to that service. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] I am stating my opinion. I have had some experience of the working of Supply in this House, and I am quite sure that part of the evil which has arisen, and which ha; caused the breakdown of the existing Rules—and they have broken down when £50,000,000 or £60,000,000 have to be voted without discussion—is because there has been no previous allocation of time for the purposes of Supply. I do not wish to press the First Lord of the Treasury to be bound by any cast-iron Rule. I think the Leader of the House should undertake the responsibility for this regulation of the business of the House. The House would very soon see how it would work, and would have opportunities of expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the scheme. I think a scheme based on these principles would secure what is really the first duty of Supply, namely, control of the Executive. I do not consider that much money is ever saved actually in Supply. I have seen a Return, which was issued a few 90 years ago, showing that during a large Portion of the century very small reduction has ever been made on the Estimates in Committee of Supply. I have a Return, which has been presented to the House, with respect to the last ten years. I find that the only reductions carried in the House were three sums of £500, each on the buildings and offices of the Houses of Parliament and the celebrated charge of cordite, the reduction of the War Office expenses by £100, which terminated the existence of the late Government. I think their successors re - voted that £100 so that the Secretary for War should not be punished. But the scrutiny and control of Supply is to pre-vent extravagance. It is the fear inside of the offices and of the heads of Departments as to what the defence will be in respect of any increase of expenditure, and how the Minister in charge will be able to justify it, which is useful. I take it that the most frequent question put by the Parliamentary head to the permanent head of a Department with reference to any increase is How am I to defend that in the House of Commons? That is the real control which the House of Commons has over expenditure. The House of Commons is always proposing increases of expenditure. I think Mr. Childers made a calculation, and, taking 500 proposals made in Supply during the time he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, a very small number, certainly not twenty, were for reductions, and all the rest were in favour of increases of expenditure. Therefore, I do not attach very much importance to our discussing expenditure by dealing with separate items, but I attach enormous importance to the control of expenditure by the House of Commons, and the control of the administrative acts of the various Departments. Our only wish is to secure that they shall be brought under the review of the House of Commons. You cannot review every Department every year, but it would be one of the duties devolved on the right hon. Gentleman to see that two years did not elapse without all the great Departments in their turn being subjected to the control of the House. If there has been a thoroughly exhaustive discussion of a Department one session, it is not necessary that it should be repeated the next session, having regard to the other matters which claim precedence. I have not taken much part in the discussion of 91 this Rule, because I think a specific day set apart for the discussion of Supply has been a very great improvement on what took place in the past. My recollection of what took place twenty years ago amounts to this: that there was very little discussion during the session at all, and then it was piled up in a huge agony at the end of the session, and if it was not voted by means of the closure, it was voted by means of the determination of Members to get Supply finished and when the House is in the mood for voting money, it is marvellous what an amount of business it can transact in a short space of time. I do not quarrel with the principle of a weekly discussion of Supply, but I do think that a great deal of the dissatisfaction which has undoubtedly arisen on both sides of the House with reference to the working of this Rule has been due to the absence of a controlling hand.
§ (7.12.) MR. BLAKE
said he believed the proposed crystallisation of the system which had been adopted during the last few years was the absolute abrogation and abolition of a most important function of the House of Commons. He thought that at a time like this those who had the public interest at heart should see that the old system which had fallen into desuetude should be revived. The most important duty of the House of Commons was in reference to the granting of money for Supply, but now the only right which was to remain was simply that of demanding the redress of grievances in Committee of Supply, and there would not be even power to do that efficiently. He agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton that it was important to maintain the effective right of the House to discuss details of expenditure as a means of checking the extravagance of public Offices and Ministers. It was important to maintain the effective right of the House of Commons to discuss details. In the old days they had a day for effective Supply when details might be discussed and another day for non-effective Supply when grievances might be brought up, but they had only the latter day now. What was going to happen when they finally removed the check which existed 92 upon permanent officers of public Departments and Ministers? What was going to happen if they did not give the watchdog an opportunity to bark?
The House of Commons as a whole had never been very fond of economy. Why was it that no Votes could be proposed by an individual Member, and that every Vote had to be proposed upon the responsibility of the administration of the day? It was because, if each individual Member was permitted to propose a Vote, there would be Votes proposed all the time, there would be log-rolling, and economy would become absolutely impossible. But there used to be a small body of economists who did good work. [Cries of "Divide, divide!"] The worst thing in this Rule was that they were stereotyping and determining a Rule for putting an end to the function of that economical section of the House in ventilating the details of expenditure, and he maintained that this was not the time when such action should be taken. The function of the economical section of the House would be put an end to by the carrying of this Rule. Their utility was not to be measured by the few cases in which estimates were reduced on motion. The dread of criticism used to prevent extravagant estimates; but now that criticism was to he permanently discarded the check would disappear. This, above all others, was not the time at which to do this thing. It was true that in one sense expenditure depended upon policy, and if they had a great system of imperial expansion they would have expenditure upon a large scale. The more expansive the policy the greater would be the demand upon the Treasury, and the more important, therefore, that the details should be scrutinised; for extravagance in details would render still more burdensome the execution of large Imperial schemes. They could not waste at bunghole and spigot both. But by the system now proposed they rendered it impossible for the details of that expenditure to be scrutinised. He wished in a word to see revived the old system of voting public money.
The House at the present moment did not vote public money in any intelligent sense. They had a debate upon the reduction of a Minister's salary, but none at all in reference to the 93 money which had been spent; and this system was in operation at a time when the public expenditure was doubling, and when it stood at a figure which ten years ago would have been thought quite impossible and incredible. He would not enter further into this subject at the present time. In his view he could not overstate his opinion of the mischief which was done by the system of automatic closure. He belived that the business of the House of Commons would never be well done under a system of extensive closure. The ordinary business methods on the part of those who conducted the business were the only methods by which they could succeed, and automatic closure and the use of closure in other ways might be an instrument by which a Minister for a time might drive, but it was an instrument by which he never could lead the House of Commons. An instrument like this in the hands of Ministers made them neglectful of those considerations which conduced to the good conduct of business. He had seen Ministers who led the House and Ministers who drove it. There was one Minister who was well known to be averse to the using of the closure, and when he brought forward his measures this fact was recognised on all sides of the House, and it conduced to the progress of business. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, with all his charms of leadership and his desire to lead the House in the sense and spirit he had indicated, had for years wanted to throw the conduct of the business in Supply upon his opponents. The right hon. Gentle man knew very well that twenty-three days would end the matter as far as he was concerned. He fully recognised that at the end of that time he would get all his money, and he practically said to the Opposition, "I have no interest in this matter, and you can arrange it amongst yourselves." But the right hon. Gentleman was not only responsible to the whole House, including his own followers as well as the Opposition in this regard, but he had a much higher responsibility in regard to the country at large.
It was clear that even the present Rule was bad, since the House had heard 94 a suggestion from the right hon. Member-for East Wolverhampton that there should be a scheme for further sub-division of business under a time-table. By adopting this suggestion, the Government would make the business of the House as confusing as the pages of "Bradshaw." His opinion was that they ought to preserve what measure of elasticity remained. It was the function of the Leader of the House, as occasion arose, to take certain responsibilities which devolved upon him. He had obtained from the House the limitation of twenty-three days, but his responsibility to the House and to the Country could not be carried out by allotting four days to one great subject, and five days to another, and so on, for the allocation of time ought to be made having regard to the particular circumstances of the case. Opposed as he was to any other method of conducting the business than that which he had tried to describe, he argued that even when they had established a system of automatic closure there must be some system as elastic as possible. He spoke with special feeling upon this subject, because the country he represented was the very poor partner of a very rich neighbour. Ireland regarded with the greatest alarm those enormous increases in the expenditure which it had to share in a degree far beyond its resources. In conclusion he regretted that the House of Commons should be asked that night to abandon for ever its prerogative of scrutinising the national expenditure with a view of checking extravagance in the administration of the country.
§ (7.30.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Three hon. Gentlemen have spoken on this Rule as a whole, and, while they all agree that the time allocated to Supply is not too small, they are all dissatisfied with the manner in which that time is allocated to the different Votes, and they all differ as to the way in which the present allocation should be reformed. The right hon. Member for East Wolverhampton asks me to draw up a time-table for Supply; but he forgets that though the Leader of the House has power to say when the discussion of a subject should begin, he has no power to say when it 95 should end. I would undertake, if I were given that power, to make an excellent allocation of the time given to Supply, and to take care that the twenty-three days were used to the best of my judgment to the public advantage. But when it is only given to the Leader of the House to say when a discussion shall start, and not when it shall close, it is obvious that the blame cannot be put upon him if the time for Supply is not properly distributed. Then it is said that this closure by Departments is bad and never ought to be put in force, but that by the exercise of tact and temper everything desired could be done; that when the Leader of the House considers that the discussion has gone on quite long enough an appeal to the House, properly made, would always bring it to a close. I propose immediately to put that theory to a test. I do earnestly appeal to the House in this matter. In the debates on this Rule the same issues have been raised again and again. I do not believe there is anything to be said on this Rule which
§ has not been said. I am quite sure I have no argument to advance upon it that I have not already advanced, and I doubt whether the fertility of my hon. friend behind me could find anything new to say upon it. With all the tact and temper with which Providence has endowed me, I make this appeal—which I am told is all that is necessary that this debate should now be brought to a close, and that we should go on to the other business—those other Rules which in the interests of the House I think ought to be passed without delay, in order that our new scheme of business shall come into operation in the near future. It will be something in the nature of a Parliamentary scandal if we cannot in the next few days finish this block of Rules on which we are engaged.
§ (7.33.) Question put.
§ The House divided :—Ayes, 222;Noes, 138. (Division List No.140.)99
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Gardner, Ernest|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Garfit, William|
|Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin&Nairn)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Arrol, Sir William||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Austin, Sir John||Cranborne, Viscount||Green, Walford D (Wednesbury|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Guest, Hon. Ivor (Churchill|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hamilton, Ht Hn L'rd G (Midd'x|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Dalrymple, Sir (Charles||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Davenport, William Bromley||Han bury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Balfour, Kenneth B. (Christch.||Dewar, T. R (T'r H'mets, S. Geo.||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Dickson Charles Scott||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir. M. M.||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Doughty, George||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Bigwood, James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.|
|Bill, Charles||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Heath, James Staffords, N. W.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Duke, Henry Edward||Hedler, Augustus|
|Brassey, Albert||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Henderson, Alexander|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Faber, Edmund B. Hants, W.||Higginbottom, S. W.|
|Bull, William James||Faber, George Denison (York)||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Hope, J. F. Sheffield, Brightside|
|Butcher, John George||Fergussou, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hoult, Joseph|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Finch, George H.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Howard, Jno. (Kent, Faversham|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Hozier, Hon. (M. James Henry Cecil|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fisher, William Hayes||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Forster, Henry William||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Mount, William Arthur||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Muntz, Philip A.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Kimber, Henry||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Stock, James Henry|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Knowles, Lees||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Stroyan, John|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Myers, William Henry||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Lawson, John Grant||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Pemberton, John S. G.||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Leveson-(Gower, Frederick N. S.||Percy, Earl||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Plummer, Walter R.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Lader, Gerald Waller Erskine||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Trition, Charles Ernest|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Pryee-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Purvis, Robert||Wauklyn, James Leslie|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portmouth||Rankin, Sir James||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Ratigan, Sir William Henry||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)|
|Macdona, John Cummig||Reid, James (Greenock)||Whiteley, H (Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Maconochie A. W.||Remnant, James Farquharson||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm.|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Renwick, George||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Richards, Henry Charles||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Ridley, Hon. M. W (Stalybridge||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wilson, J. W, (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)|
|Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Ropner, (Colonel Robert||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Milvain, Thomas||Round, James||Wortley, Rt. Hn.C. B. Stuart-|
|Mitchell, William||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wylie, Alexander|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Younger, William|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Skewes-Cox. Thomas|
|Morgan, David. J. (Walth'mstow||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.||Smith, HC (North'mb, Tyneside||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Spear, John Ward|
|Abraham, Williams (Cork, N. E.)||Elibank, Master of||Levy, Maurice|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Asher, Alexander||Evans, Sir Francis H (Mailstone||Lloyd-George, David|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Evans, Samnel T. (Glamorgan)||Lundon, W.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Earquharson, Dr. Robert||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Bell, Richard||Fenwick, Charles||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Blake, Edward||Ffrench, Peter||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Boland, John||Field, William||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Bowles, T.Gibson (King's Lynn||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Crae, George|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Flynn, James Christopher||M'Fadden, Edward|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Burke, E Haviland-||Gilhooly, James||M'Kean, John|
|Burns, John||Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Grant, Corrie||Mooney, John J.|
|Caldwell, James||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Morgan, Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hammond, John||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Murphy, John|
|Cawley, Frederick||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hayden, John Patrick||Newnes, Sir George|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Brien, K'ndal (Tipperary Mid|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Hobhouse, C. E. H (Bristol, E.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Crean, Eugene||Holland, William Henry||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Jones, William (Carn'rvonshire||O'Connor, James (Wicklo' w, W.)|
|Crombie, John William||Joyce, Michael||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Delany, William||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||O'Dowd, John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Dillon, John||Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leamy, Edmuud||O'Malley, William|
|Doogan, P. C||Leigh, Sir Joseph||O'Mara, James|
|Dunn, Sir William||Leng, Sir John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Partington, Oswald||Russell, T. W.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Schwann, Charles E.||Weir, James (Galloway|
|Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||White, Luke (York. E. R.)|
|Pickard, Benjamin||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Reddy, M.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Young, Samuel|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Soares, Ernest J.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Reid, Sir R. Thireshie (Dumfries||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Rigg, Richard||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Sullivan, Dona||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)||Mr. John Ellis and Mr. Lough.|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Roche, John||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
§ The new Standing Order (Business in Supply), as finally adopted, is as follows :—
§ That, as soon as the Committee of Supply has been appointed and Estimates have been presented, the business of Supply shall, until disposed of, be the first Order of the day on Thursday, 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.
§ Not more than twenty days, being days before the 5th of August, shall be allotted for the consideration of the annual Estimates for the Army, Navy, and Civil Services, including Votes on Account. The days allotted shall not include any day on which the Question has to he put that the Speedier do leave the Chair, or any day on which, the business of Supply does not stand as first Order.
§ Provided that the days occupied' by the con sideration 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, or for any new service not included in the ordinary Estimates for the year, shall not be included in the computation of the twenty days aforesaid.
§ Provided also that on Motion made after notice, to be decided without Amendment or debate, additional time, not exceeding three days, may be allotted for the purposes aforesaid, either before or after the 5th of August.
§ On a day so allotted, no business other than business of Supply shall be taken before midnight, and no business in Committee or proceedings on Report of Supply shall be taken after midnight, whether a general Order for the suspension of the Twelve o'clock Rule is in force or not, 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.100
§ Of the days so allotted, not were than one day in Committee shall be allotted to any Vole on Account, and not more than ort" silting to the Report of that Vote. At midnight on the close of the day on which the Committee on that Vote is taken, and at the close of the silting on which the Report of that Vote is taken, the Chairman of Committees or the Speaker, as the case may be, shall forthwith put every Question necessary to dispose of the Vote or the Report.
§ At Ten of the clock on the last day but one-of the days so allotted the Chairman shall forthwith put the Question necessary to dispose of the Vote then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put the Question with respect to each, class of the Civil Service Estimates that the total amount of the Votes outstanding in that class be granted for the services defined in the class, and, shall in like manner put severally the Questions that the total amounts of the Votes outstanding in the Estimates for the Navy, the Army, and the Revenue Departments be granted for the services defined in those Estimates.
§ At Ten of the clock on the last, not being earlier than the twentieth of the allotted days, the Speaker shall forthwith put every Question necessary to dispose of the Report of the Resolution then under consideration, and shall then forthwith put, with respect to each class of the Civil Service Estimates, the Question, That the House doth agree with the Committee in all the outstanding Resolutions reported in respect of that class, and shall then put a like Question with respect to all the Resolutions outstanding in the Estimates of the Navy, the Army, the Revenue Departments, and other outstanding Resolutions severally.
§ On the days appointed for concluding the business of Supply, the consideration of that business shall not be anticpated by a Motion of adjournment, and no dilatory Motion shall he moved on proceedings for that? business, and the business shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order.101
§ Any additional Estimate for any new matter not included in the original Esttmate for year shall be submitted for consideration in the Committee of Supply on some day not later than Two days before the Committee is closed.
§ For the purposes of this Order, two Fridays shall be deemed equivalent to a single day of two sitttings.