HC Deb 29 May 1902 vol 108 c897

I have to ask the First Lord of the Treasury what will be the business for next week.


I hope to be able to state to the House on Monday the result of the recent discussions in South Africa; but I cannot be absolutely certain of being in a position to do so, and, until that statement can be made, I think it would be expedient, as I before said, to take the Budget. A phrase dropped from me the other day which has been very curiously misinterpreted. I stated that I did not think we ought to take the Budget while matters hung in the balance. That was absurdly interpreted as referring to discussions and divisions in the Cabinet as to the character of the Budget itself. That is not so. The only point in doubt was whether the House could properly be asked to discuss the Budget until we knew precisely where we stood in the matter of these negotiations going on in South Africa. There being a shadow of a doubt as to whether I shall be able to make a final statement on Monday, I think it inexpedient to announce now that we shall take the Budget on that day. It might only lead to a further change of plan and further disturbance of the arrangements of hon. Members. I therefore propose to take, as originally intended, the Education Bill on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Committee stage of the Budget.