HC Deb 10 February 1904 vol 129 cc1338-9
MR. CHARLES McARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

May I ask the Home Secretary, as representing the Leader of the House, whether he is aware that a large number of Members who have risen to speak on the Amendment to the Address now before the House have been accorded no opportunity of expressing their opinion (OPPOSITION cheers), and that, in particular, no representatives of the principal commercial or shipping centres, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, or the City of London (cries of "Bradford" and laughter), have yet taken part in the debate, excepting two members of the Government, who represent Divisions of Glasgow and Leeds respectively; and whether, having regard to the great importance of the fiscal question to the mercantile and shipping interests, he will extend the period allotted to the debate in order that reasonable facilities may be given?


I quite sympathise with the desire of many hon. Gentlemen to take part in this debate, but I do honestly think that it has been extended quite a sufficiently long time. Considering the amount of time at the disposal of the Government before the financial year closes, and as representing the Leader of the House, I have to take care that the House is not brought to a deadlock. (Ironical cheers.) Hon. Gentlemen opposite may cheer, but I venture to point out to them that, Leader as I am temporarily—very unworthily (cries of "No")—I have taken unusual care in this debate to secure the convenience of private Members, and, with the consent of the Front Bench opposite, given to my right hon. friend the Member for Leeds, it was arranged that as few Members of the two Front Benches as possible should take part in the debate. In these circumstances I cannot make any departure from an honourable understanding which has been come to between the two Front Benches.

Forward to