HC Deb 11 February 1902 vol 102 cc979-80
* MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)

, while a number of Members were at the Table signing their names for the ballot for notices of Motion) asked Mr. Speaker if it was in accordance with the practice of the House for one Member to write down the names of a number of other hon. Members as well as his own?


My attention has been called to the practice which has grown up of hon. Members putting down other hon. Members' names as well as their own. I think it is an abuse of the rules of the House; I should not, however, refuse to accept a name so signed except with the assent of the House. May I take this opportunity of pointing out that the practice which is growing up of Members standing at the Table awaiting their turn to sign their names while business is proceeding is very irregular. They ought not to remain standing, and if some arrangement cannot be made to avoid this, it may be necessary to find some other place for signing.

MR. VICARY GIBBS (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

What opportunity can we avail ourselves of to inform you, Sir, of the opinion of the House in this matter? Many of us would like to see this custom stopped, and we should be glad of a chance of bringing it before you so that you may have official cognisance of it.


I have very little doubt as to what is the general sense of the House. I will consider how it can be brought forward.

MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford N.)

I think it is fair to the Irish Members who ballot on these occasions that the hon. Gentleman who has made his accusation should justify it to you, Mr. Speaker. I may say that no hon. Members sitting in this part of the House have signed the Paper in the names of absent hon. Members.


I did not understand that any imputation was made against any members of the Irish Party. In fact I had in my mind occasions when this had been done by gentlemen who are not members of the Irish Party.


The gentleman in consequence of whose action I rose to order is not a member of the Irish Party.


I appeal to you, Sir, whether such an accusation as this should not be made when the House is fuller, and the leaders of the different parties present.


There is no Question before the House. A point of order was raised, and I felt it my duty to answer it.


Will you ask the hon. Member to justify the assertion he has made by mentioning names?


No imputation was made on anybody. A question was put as to a certain practice which had grown up, and I have answered it.

[The matter then dropped.]