HC Deb 07 July 1902 vol 110 cc940-2

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is now in a position to make a statement regarding the future course of business in this session.


I cannot make any detailed statement at the present stage of our proceedings as to the future course of the session; but I am afraid it is tolerably clear—indeed, I think it has been clear for some time past—that an Autumn session in connection with the Education Bill, or arising out of the long debates on the Education Bill, is absolutely necessary. ["Oh, oh!" from the hon. Member for the Central Division of Sheffield.] I can understand my hon. friend's regretting the necessity, but I hardly think that anybody will deny it. The question is how we are to arrange for the business that has to be taken. There are a certain number of administrative Bills which have to be dealt with before the prorogation, but not necessarily before the adjournment, some of which will, I have no doubt, require a certain amount of discussion in this House; but I do not think there is any new general legislation at all of a controversial character which is likely to be brought before the House. I should hope we shall make sufficient progress with the Education Bill to allow us to rise for the adjournment fairly early in August.


Before the 12th!


I cannot fix the date. I presume we shall have to meet about the middle of October; but there again 1 cannot fix a day. I should propose that the main business until the adjournment should be the Education Bill and Supply; but it must be understood that an occasional evening sitting, or an occasional Friday, may, with advantage, be used for other measures, notably the Water Bill.


May I impress on the right hon. Gentle-man the fact, which he has imperfectly recognised, that, however inconvenient an Autumn session may lie, the inconvenience would be enormously increased if coupled with a late sitting in August?

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not consider the most convenient point at which to stop the discussion on the Education Bill until the Autumn session would be at the conclusion of Part 2 of the Bill?


I certainly do not take that view, for one obvious reason, among many, that it would not only be an Autumn session, but a Spring session likewise.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

Is there any intention of taking the London Water Bill this week?

MR. CAINE (Cornwall, Camborne)

Will the Indian Budget be taken before the adjournment?


I cannot give any promise as to that. As regards the Water Bill, I do not think it is likely to be taken this week, but perhaps I may be permitted to withhold any question as to Friday's business until tomorrow. I propose to take the Education Bill on the Tuesday and Wednesday sittings, and on Thursday Irish Supply.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

In regard to that, the right hon. Gentleman is, of course, aware that the time set apart for Irish Supply is very limited indeed under the Supply Rules. I think we are therefore entitled to ask that we shall have the whole time on the nights allotted to it. But I am informed that some very contentious private Bills have been put down for the evening sitting on Thursday, which may have the effect of depriving us of one half-day. That I think would be a fraud on us. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman use his influence so that we may have the whole of both sittings on Thursday?


I will inquire into the matter. It does not rest with me, however. I may remind the House that the general principle which I announced as underlying this particular Rule with regard to the distribution of private Bills at the evening sittings, was that no preference should be given as between one night of the week and another, and that no attempt should be made to protect strictly Government time as against time devoted to Supply, or vice versâ.