HC Deb 02 August 1904 vol 139 cc521-2

To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he can state the date when the Royal Commission to inquire into Trade Disputes was appointed; how many sittings has it held and the total number of hours of such sittings; how many witnesses have been examined; and when is it likely to conclude its inquiry and report.

(Answered by Mr. A., T. Balfour.) The Question of the hon. Member amounts to a Motion for a Return as to the day-to-day proceedings of a Royal Commission. It must be remembered that a Royal Commission does not owe its appointment to Parliament, and conducts its pro- ceedings wholly without reference to the Government of the day. Beyond answer as by the courtesy of the Chairman I sometimes am enabled to do, some Question as to the probable date of a Report, I should not consider it to be a wise precedent to call for all the particulars set out in the hon. Member's inquiry in the case of this or any other Royal Commission.