§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether he proposes to withdraw the Supplementary Civil Service Estimate recently presented.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I may remind the Home that this Question was put down at my request. As appeared by yesterday's debate, the bulk of the Members were not aware of the proposed change in the form of the Civil Service Supplementary Estimate, though that method was part of our general scheme of dealing with the Estimates. Under those circumstances, I think it is desirable that a formal opportunity should be given to the House for expressing its assent to this part of our plan. Whether that should be done in the form of a separate Motion, or in the form of an Amendment to the Supply Rule, I have not absolutely decided, but I think probably the latter course would be the most convenient. Under these circumstances, I shall be prepared to reprint the Estimates for this year and introduce them in their former shape, if there is a general understanding, as I am sure there will be, that no unreasonable obstacle will be placed in the way of their passing, and also that no objection will be raised on the ground that hon. Members may not have them in their new shape on Friday morning. I may say, as regards the discussion yesterday, the hon. Member for Waterford has given a very distinct and specific intimation, so far as he and his friends are concerned, that there will be no undue or prolonged discussion. I do not ask for a pledge from other parts of the House. I feel I do not wish any Gentleman to go to the trouble of volunteering pledges. I think I may say it is understood that, if the Government so far meets the views of the Members of the House, the House will, in its turn, consider the general convenience by the brevity of the discussion.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
May I ask whether "prolonged" discussion and "unreasonable" discussion are not very different terms.