HC Deb 06 April 1905 vol 144 cc661-2
MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)

I desire to ask the First Lord of the Treasury a Question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether it is in accordance with precedent for the office of Junior Lord of the Treasury to be held by any other than a Member of this House, and, if not, what 'steps the right hon. Gentleman proposes to take with regard to this office in view of the fact that Mr. Gerald Loder has I not been elected to a seat in this House.


It certainly is usual that the Junior Lord of the Treasury should be a Member of this House, though I suppose there is no constitutional reason why it should be so. I do not remember in my own personal experience, but I have read that Mr. Gladstone was Secretary to the Colonies for six or seven months though he was out of the House and unable to obtain a seat in this House—having, in fact, been turned out of the House on accepting office.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Junior Lord of the Treasury has any duties whatever except those connected with the business of this House?


The duties of the Junior Lord of the Treasury under the Constitution are as well known to the right hon. Gentleman as to myself, and I do not think any detailed exposition of the character of those duties would add to the knowledge of either side.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this is not the second member of his Administration who has been rejected at the polls quite recently, and whether he is still of opinion that his Ministry retains the confidence of the country?


The hon. Gentleman asks me a Question of fact and a Question of opinion. On the Question of fact, it is the case that the Solicitor-General for Scotland failed to obtain a seat in this House after he had taken office, and it is true that the Junior Lord of the Treasury has just failed to keep his seat. But when the hon. Gentleman asks me what I think the opinion of the country is, I imagine that that can only be judged by a general election.