§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I rise for the purpose of moving the adjournment of the House in order to obtain information for the House upon a subject of the very highest importance. I am struck by the fact that when I have occasion either to originate a Motion or to make a speech in this Parliament it always takes the form of a desire and a demand for information. But usually we have been provided with some obscure, philosophic utterance which requires explanation; it is not so on this occasion. The matter which I shall bring, and which has been brought to-day before the House is perfectly plain, and what we want, and I think what we are entitled to, is a 1054 definite answer to definite questions on matters of fact, and therefore I am glad to say that my part in this debate will be really that of laying before the House the short and simple story of what has occurred.
As matters stand, a statement has been made to-day by the Prime Minister which seems to us, and I think will seem to most people without much further explanation and light, irreconcilable with undertakings given by the Prime Minister and accepted by the country a few months ago. I go back, Sir, to August of last year. Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham brought up the question of our commercial and fiscal relations with the Colonies, and expressed his strong opinion that the subject was ripe for some definite decision on the part of the Government, and a strong desire to learn what information the right hon. Gentleman could give as to the policy of calling a conference. A day or two afterwards the Prime Minister showed his estimate of the position in which the matter then stood by saying that he did not propose to take any steps at the present moment on the subject. So the matter was left at the end of last session. But a very few weeks passed and there 1055 was a change apparently in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman, because early in October, before the usual interchange of amenities between politicians in the autumn commenced, the right hon. Gentleman, to the astonishment of everybody, and as much to the astonishment of his own supporters as to that of anyone else, organised an opportunity for himself in Edinburgh in order to unburden himself of his opinions on the fiscal question. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham was going to speak two days later at Luton. I do not know whether there was any connection between the two occasions, but I noticed that the Member for Birmingham's engagement was of long standing, whereas, as I have said, the right hon. Gentleman—I cannot imagine with the view of forestalling his right hon. friend, but for some reason or other—came in in front of him on this occasion at Edinburgh Now, Sir, that can only have been done—this sudden creation of an opportunity—for the purpose of a serious declaration of policy. I mean that must have been one of the main objects, and it appears to me to be so from the references that are made to what he said, and that he himself has made to what he said on that occasion. I have here in my hand, in order to be sure of being accurate, a publication called "Handy Notes on Current Politics," a monthly vade mecum for Conservatives and Unionists, and a very short passage which I shall read in that speech, the only one which really concerns the question which I am putting before the House, is this—My view, therefore, is that the policy of this Party should be, if we come into power after the next election, to ask the Colonies to join a conference on these lines [which he had described], a conference whose discussions shall be free, but whose conclusions shall not commit any of the communities concerned to any larger plan of Imperial union on fiscal or other lines unless their various electorates have given their adhesion to the scheme.The House will observe that this involved two elections. The next election after the date of his speech and then, if they came into power after that, they were to ask the Colonies, having obtained the assent of the country to that part of the policy, to join a conference on this subject. That was very unmistakable and clear, and it meant, of course, as 1056 I have just said, that the country woulp be consulted before this conference took place, and so it was understood by the right hon. Gentleman, and so, no doubt, a very closer observer of all the words that fell from the Prime Minister understood it, for at Luton, on October 5th, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham welcomed the speech and the sentiment of the right hon. Gentleman on the general question, but he said—I cannot understand what is the necessity for a second plebiscite, involving as it would do two mandates, two general elections on the same subject, coming within a few months of one another.Afterwards he says—I have thought it right to mention that as the only blemish which I see in a plan which in all other respects I heartily welcome.Then I come from October to January, when the right hon. Gentleman was at Manchester and the day after he made the speech in which he read the well-known half-sheet of notepaper, he said—If the scheme which I have many times recommended to the country, and which last night I repeated in a succinct and unmistakable form, if that scheme were carried out, I do not see that the country could be called upon to decide the colonial aspect of this question until not only one, but two elections have passed.That is a confirmation by the right hon. Gentlemen after a couple of months had passed of the impression created by himself universally through the country, and acknowledged by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham. Let us go on to March 8th when the hon. Member for Oldham moved a fiscal Resolution in this House. What did the right hon. Gentleman say on that occasion? He referred again to the speech that he made at Edinburgh, and to the words I have quoted in that speech being as fair and categorical as any words could be. He says—That was one element in the speech which I made at Edinburgh, and what was the other element? It was an appeal to the country in the face of the controversy raging on the fiscal question to discuss our colonial relations in a free conference. I do not believe that my statement on that subject was a bit more ambiguous than my statement on protection. It was clear, it was definite, it was complete, and it was because in my judgment the Resolution moved by the hon. Gentleman on the other side of the House flies in the face of that second part of my speech made in Edinburgh, that in 1057 my opinion all who were good enough to accept the policy I recommended to the country ought to support me this evening.Here again the House will observe, in January, he boasts of the clear and complete and definite language he had used on this Very subject, and I have quoted to the House that clear and complete and definite language, and the House will see that it involved the fundamental principles that there was to be an election and a submission of the case to the country before the conference was held. Now let me move forward to April 11th. On that date there was a debate on the same subject in another place, and on that occasion I think the most instructive thing to quote was what was said by the Duke of Marlborough, he being the official mouthpiece in the other House of the Colonial Office—The policy of the Government," says the Duke of Marlborough, "which had been carefully defined by the Prime Minister was, if they were again returned to power at the next general election, to summon a conference at which representatives of the various self-governing Colonies and of India would be asked to attend.I think that these quotations are almost enough to show that the right hon. Gentleman represented to the country that his distinct decision was to refer this fiscal question to a conference which should be specially called for the purpose, and at all events which should not have the question referred to it until after the people of this country had assented to that course being taken. But I find that on another day, a very short time before the date of the last quotation, my hon. friend the Member for Kincardineshire put a Question to the Prime Minister, and it was in these terms:—Whether,In the event of the Colonial Conference which meets in 1906 taking place before a general election, the question of Imperial unity on a basis of preferential duties on colonial produce will be submitted to it.The Question was—If the conference comes off without a general election preceding it, is the question of Imperial unity on a preferential basis to be submitted to it, and to this the right hon. Gentleman said—The hon. Gentleman is probably aware that we have over and over again stated that 1058 in the course of this Parliament we propose to take no steps.—No steps—With regard to fiscal reform.It will be observed it is "We take no steps in this House in the course of this Parliament." ["We."] Yes, he speaks for the Government. Then my hon. friend the Member for Barnstaple asks the First Lord of the Treasury—Whether the British representatives at the Colonial Conference to be held in 1906 will have power, subject to the subsequent approval of the House, to negotiate a scheme of preferential trading on the basis of taxation of food and raw material.The right hon. Gentleman said he answered that when he replied to the hon. Member for Kincardineshire, so that he gave the "go by" to the Question of my hon. friend the Member for Barnstaple. But my hon. friend came back to the charge, and the Prime Minister replied—We are not dealing with that question.Then my hon. friend the Member for Aberdeen, seeking to clear the matter up, pointed out that the Question referred to the question outside Parliament in the Colonial Conference, and the right hon. Gentleman said—I have over and over again said that in the course of the present Parliament we do not propose to deal with the fiscal question."'Now all this time the country was led to believe, did believe, and was justified in believing, that two elections, one to approve of the conference and the other to approve of the decisions of the conference, would be taken; the policy of two elections and two mandates was the working basis of all the descriptions given us on the subject and was the bulwark against any sudden alteration of fiscal policy. Now the right hon. Gentleman excuses himself by stating, in the course of a rapid cross-examination—it is not easy to bear in mind all that happened, but I have refreshed my memory from the reports in the evening papers—I understand he has excused himself on the ground of forgetfulness, that the meeting was to take place in 1906 escaped the right hon. Gentleman's notice. Well, small blame to him for that. It was quite possible on October 3rd; but months 1059 passed—November, December, January, February, March, April, May—and all that time the right hon. Gentleman leaves the country, leaves his supporters, leaves his opponents under the impression that there were to be two elections, with what the right hon. Member for Birmingham has called a "double mandate"; but although he knew that was an error—I am assuming it as he says—he allowed the country to be deceived, and his friends and those who were somewhat suspicious of his policy to be deceived, by the words he had used and which did not represent what he meant. There was little reason why he should forget it all this time, all these seven months, because on one occasion, February 15th—my right hon. friend the Member for Berwick, speaking here, asked the Colonial Secretary point-blank, not thinking there was any misunderstanding about it, whether what the right hon. Gentleman had called the automatic conference would be held, and the right hon. Gentleman asserted that it would be. Therefore I do not think the Prime Minister can have been for a long period in ignorance, though I make this concession, that at the time he made his speech at the rapidly-organised meeting at Edinburgh he may have forgotten this somewhat important fact; and yet he had ample time to refresh his memory and inform himself; in fact, he could not fail to have been made aware of all that happened; but not until now, May 22nd, do we hear that he has made a mistake after all, that a conference to decide the question is to be held next year without any election.
Do not let us confuse two things which are totally distinct; two separate undertakings have been given, one that there shall be no proposal in this Parliament having the effect of departing from free trade, and with that we have no concern this evening. It is not before us; and the other is that a Colonial Conference which would discuss the question of preference and food taxation would not meet in the course of the present Parliament, and not until the country had been consulted and had the opportunity of pronouncing an opinion whether a conference with that 1060 object ought or ought not to be held. That pledge repeated, as I have shown, is a pledge that cannot be disowned; and it seems to me, so far as we are at present able to judge, it has been repudiated to-day. Can it be that the right hon. Gentleman has changed his opinion and his policy? We wish to know what the reason is. The right hon. Gentleman is not altogether to blame for not paying too much attention to the Press; he sometimes receives somewhat sinister advice from the Press. Here is what a leading organ, writing, of the pledge, the Daily Telegraph, says ["Oh, oh!"]—I see the interruption comes from an Ulster Member not initiated in the arcana of tariff reform—A pledge, a like in politics and ethics, must be construed according to the circumstances in which it is given. At the time the Prime Minister gave his undertaking, few believed it possible, not even the right hon. Gentleman himself, that there was any likelihood of the present Parliament completing its normal term of life, but circumstances for which the incompetence of the Opposition"—have hon. Members sunk so low in their own estimation that they are pleased to hear that it is not to their merits, but to the incompetence of the Opposition, that their prolonged existence is due?—For which the incompetence of the Opposition is responsible, have changed the prospect, and what seemed impossible last year becomes not only possible but probable.I do not do the right hon. Gentleman the dishonour of supposing that he followed that advice or used that excuse. I have, as I promised, made a plain and simple statement of the facts, and I make no comment on them; I await the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman. It is an important matter we are dealing with, the fiscal policy of the country and our relations with the Colonies; but it has a far higher importance than that, because if it is proved that the country has been thus misled, what we have to consider is what is the effectual means for preserving the dignity and character of pledges given by the Prime Minister and the honourable traditions of our public life. I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—1061
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON, Warwick and Leamington) rose to address the House, but was received with loud cries of "Balfour, Balfour," "Let him defend himself," "An insult to the House," "Let him defend his own honour," "Sit down," "Take it as read," "He wants to speak when he cannot be replied to," "Order," and "Chair."
§ After some minutes—
I appeal to hon. Members on that side of the House. ["No, no!"] The question of the Colonial Conference surely comes within the province of the Colonial Secretary. ["No," "The Prime Minister's personal honour," and "Order."] I have no doubt whatever the Prime Minister will speak ["When he cannot be answered"], and that there will be an opportunity of replying to him. ["No."] It is a very unusual precedent to prevent the Colonial Secretary speaking.
§ *MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
I rise to a point of order. You have remarked, Sir, that it is without precedent—
§ *MR. JOHN ELLIS
Yes. As you have referred to precedent I desire to ask whether you can point to a precedent of a Prime Minister's honour being challenged when he has not at once risen to reply.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
again attempted to speak, but his words were lost amid cries of "Balfour," "Sit down," "We don't want to hear you," and "Order."
I must appeal to hon. Members to give the right hon. Gentleman a hearing. [NATIONALIST 1062 cries of "Police, police."] Might I be allowed to point out that the precedent would be a very dangerous one. If you make it impossible for right hon. Gentlemen on that side to be heard, it is equally possible for that to be done in the case of right hon. Gentlemen on the other side.
Obviously the result of that would be a very undesirable one and not to the credit of the House. The Prime Minister has intimated that he will speak.
§ MR. CHURCHILL (Oldham)
I am quite sure there would be no indisposition to hear the right hon. Gentleman if the Prime Minister—
The hon. Member, being unable further to make himself heard, left his place below the gangway, and, proceeding to the side of Mr. Speaker's Chair, was understood to say that the House would hear the Colonial Secretary if the Prime Minister would undertake to make a statement himself after the right hon. Gentleman had spoken.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
again unsuccessfully essayed to speak, his opening words being once more drowned by cries of "Balfour," "Play the Game," "Send for the Horse Guards," "Time," "Personal honour," "Are you going to stand there all night?" and "Sit down."
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs) rose.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I do. The Leader of the Opposition having put a Question to the Prime Minister and asked for an explanation of the statement made by him, of his own words, I submit, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, quite respectfully, that 1063 the House of Commons is entitled to an explanation from the Prime Minister.
The hon. Member is perfectly right, and I have not the least doubt in the world that the Prime Minister will give an explanation. ["When?"] There may be other hon. Members who desire to ask Questions of the Prime Minister, and if the Prime Minister answers at once he will be debarred from giving any further answer. ["No."] I would appeal to hon. Members to allow the debate to proceed. ["Balfour."] I would give an assurance, if it were necessary, that the Prime Minister will speak in time for a reply. I heard an observation from one hon. Member that no reply would be permitted. I will give the assurance to hon. Members that they will have an opportunity to reply to the speech of the Prime Minister.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
No Member got up on either side of the House after the Leader of the Opposition. The only Member who did get up was the Colonial Secretary, who presumably did not propose to question the Prime Minister, and I submit— [An hon. MEMBER: That is not a point of order.] May I further say that even if other Questions were asked in the course of the debate, no Prime Minister has ever been refused, by the leave of the House an opportunity of answering any Question put to him?
It is usual that Motions should be seconded. In this case there was no seconder. Owing to the position of the right hon. Gentleman did not think it necessary to ask for a seconder. Still it is quite possible that some other hon. Members may wish to supplement what fell from the right hon. Gentleman. ["No."]
§ MR. LYTTELTON
again rose, but was unable to proceed further than to say, "I am perfectly willing—"
§ MR. J. F. HOPE (Sheffield, Brightside)
On a point of order, Sir, I call your attention to the fact that the hon. Member for Northwich is calling out "Police, police."
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
May I interrupt to make an appeal to both sides of the House to allow the Colonial Secretary to proceed? This is a debate which is of very great public interest. No doubt it affects the declaration of the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister, I have no doubt, will make his own explanation; but it also affects—and in my judgment that is the more important issue—the whole policy of the Government; and I am much more concerned to know what that policy is, and whether the right hon. Gentleman is right in supposing that the Government's policy has been modified. [Cries of "Speech."] I merely wanted to appeal to the Opposition to listen to my right hon. friend. I am anxious to know whether the Government policy has been modified, what the Government policy is, either from the Colonial Secretary or any other member of the Government. The personal question can be dealt with afterwards by the Prime Minister.
§ MR. PIKE PEASE (Darlington)
On a point of order, Sir, may I through you appeal to the Leader of the Opposition to ask his followers to allow the debate to 1065 proceed? [OPPOSITION cries of "Appeal to the Prime Minister."]
§ MR. CHURCHILL
May I through you, Sir, appeal to the Prime Minister to relieve the House from this position by making the explanation that is demanded of him
§ MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)
I had the pleasure of being removed by the police. Is it not the turn now of some of the gentlemen of England to be removed?
§ MR. DILLON
Why is not the same treatment good enough for you which was good enough for us? [Cries of "Send for the police"]
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
May I appeal to you and ask you whether, for the credit of the House of Commons, the time has not come for putting in force the new rule for the suspension of the sitting. Unless that is done the duty devolves upon the Prime Minister, for the credit of the House, to at once respond to the appeal which has been made to him to speak [OPPOSITION cheers and MINISTERIAL laughter]; and if he does not respond to it, the responsibility for this discreditable and regretful scene rests upon him. [OPPOSITION cheers and MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh, oh!"]
The point which the hon. Member has raised as 1066 to the adjournment of the House has occurred to me, but I am anxious not to put that rule in force. The House has met to-night for a particular purpose, which has not yet been arrived at. But, if I may say so, it is an unusual thing for the Opposition to dictate to the Government the order in which speeches are to be made; and surely, if hon. Members will reflect, it is a very dangerous weapon to employ. If used on one side to-night, it may be used by the other side another night. [An HON. MEMBER: It has been used already.] As the Prime Minister has indicated [OPPOSITION cries of "He has not," "When?" and "Why does he not face it now?"] He said that he will [Renewed OPPOSITION cries of "No," "When did he say it?" and "He said nothing of the kind."] I certainly understood him to say that he would reply. [Cries of "When, when?"]
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,
who was received with Ministerial interruptions and cries of "Divide, divide," said: Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I venture to make an appeal to the Prime Minister as the Leader of the House. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no!" and "Order, order!"] I think the Leader of the House must see that it will be impossible for this debate to proceed unless he, in the first place, makes a statement [Loud MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no" and OPPOSITION cries of "Order, order," and "Name, name"] on a subject—
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
Appeal to your own side.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, Worcestershire, E.)
Yes, keep them in order. [Renewed MINISTERIAL cheers and NATIONALIST cries of "Suspend the Chancellor of the Exchequer" and "Send for the police."]
The right hon. Gentleman has risen with a view of appealing to the Prime Minister and to the House. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No."]
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
That is not in order. [MINISTERIAL cheers and OPPOSITION cries of "Order."]
Other hon. Members have risen to make an appeal, and I think it is right that the Leader of the Opposition also should make an appeal. [OPPOSITION cheers.] He must feel, as deeply as I feel, that it is desirable that this scene should come to a conclusion. He may say something that may lead to that conclusion being arrived at. [MINISTERIAL laughter and cries of "No, no!"]
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I wish to make an appeal to the Prime Minister on the ground that the question before the House is one upon which no one can make reply except himself. It is his speeches at various times and what he has said to-day at Question time which are in question, and no speech by the Colonial Secretary can touch that point. Therefore I would appeal to him, as the sole cause of any disorder [loud and prolonged cries of "Oh, oh!" "Name, name!" and "Divide" from the MINISTERIAL Benches]—
I am afraid that last sentence of the right hon. Gentleman has spoiled the effect of his appeal.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Let me finish the sentence, sir. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No" and "Withdraw."] What I was about to say is that as the sole cause of disorder is the fact of his not speaking, the disorder would cease if he now replied in debate.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I rise to a point of order. Shall I be allowed to reply to the last speech of the right hon. Gentleman without losing my subsequent right to reply to the first speech?
The speech which fell from the right hon. Gentleman was in the nature of an appeal, and I am sure that the House would permit the Prime Minister to reserve what he has to say to a subsequent stage.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
What I am now saying is merely in the nature of a personal observation and does not touch the general substance of the debate, and on that I have to say that, in my opinion, it would be highly improper for me immediately to follow the right hon. Gentleman. The debate which he has chosen, by an unusual but no doubt a perfectly justifiable course, to initiate is one which deals no doubt largely with myself, and also deals with my colleagues [OPPOSITION cries of "No"]—I am quite willing to take it that it deals solely then with myself. The right hon. Gentleman is not, I understand, the only speaker in the House. I have never yet in the 1069 whole course of my experience known a debate on the adjournment concluded in two speeches; least of all a debate which deals with a subject which arouses such vehement passion as the present one. It appears to me it would be absurd to attempt to anticipate all the subsequent attacks that may be made upon me by replying to the first attack that has been made; and never in the whole course of my Parliamentary experience have I known the House refuse to listen to a member of the Government dealing with a subject which concerns the head of the Government, nor have I ever known an Opposition who thought it their function to suggest the order in which the Front Bench opposite to them ought to deliver their speeches. I am bound to say the precedent to-night, if followed, will absolutely ruin the House of Commons.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
And as you, Sir, have most truly pointed out, and as must be obvious even to the right hon. Gentleman, if a Secretary of State is to be silenced by clamour simply and solely because Gentlemen opposite desire to hear somebody else [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh"]—well, I will put it differently—desire to anticipate by an hour or an hour and a half the pleasure of hearing somebody else ["Hear, hear!"], then I do not see how the dignity of this House is to be preserved. [Cries of "It has not got any" and "Move the closure."] I should, of course, take care—I should endeavour to rise at a time which would give any hon. Gentleman opposite the light of replying to any observations I 1070 might make; but never yet did I hear it suggested that it was consistent either with the rules of this House or with common justice that the criminal in the dock—for I understand that is the position I occupy—is obliged to make his defence before he has heard the whole accusation.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
then attempted to continue his speech, but he was again received with disorderly cries from the OPPOSITION, such as "Divide," "Police," "Go to the Old Bailey," and laughter. He was proceeding to refer to the circumstances which governed the calling together of the Colonial Conference amid loud MINISTERIAL cries of "Pirie," when—
§ MR. J. F. HOPE,
who rose amid OPPOSITION shouts of "Order" and pointed to the benches opposite: On the point of order, Sir, the hon. Member opposite—[Loud OPPOSITION cries of "Order" and MINISTERIAL cries of "Pirie."]
I thought it was understood, after the appeal of the Leader of the Opposition and the reply made by the Prime Minister, that the House was prepared to listen ["No"] to the Colonial Secretary, the Prime Minister having stated that he would reply. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."]
§ MR. LYTTELTON
again endeavoured to address the House, but owing to renewed interruptions the only words which were audible were "I intend to stand here"—
§ SIR GEORGE BARTLEY (Islington, N.),
amid cries of "Order," said: I beg, Sir, to move that the debate be now adjourned. [MINISTERIAL cheers and OPPOSITION cries of "Oh."]
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER and MR. DILLON rose together
Mr. Dillon shouted out, "On a point of order, Sir," and was greeted with loud MINISTERIAL cries of "Name," "Name." The Nationalists retaliated by crying out "Police," "Send for the police," and by cheering the hon. Member for Mayo, who remained standing, though unable to gain a hearing. Ultimately he resumed his seat.
The Motion for the Adjournment of the debate would not be in order. The Motion before the House is that the House do now adjourn.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
again rose, but the interruptions were renewed. "I am endeavouring to tell the House" were the only words which could be heard. The right hon. Gentleman stood at the Table of the House, awaiting a cessation of the interruptions, and was greeted with cries of "Time," "Time," by Mr. Dillon. Mr. Kilbride shouted across the floor of the House, "We cannot hear one word you are saying," while Mr. Reddy called out, "This is a proclaimed meeting."
§ MR. LYTTELTON
refused to give way to Mr. Joseph Walton, but made no progress with his speech. There were continuous cries of "Go on" and "Time," while Mr. Dillon shouted out several times, "Call in the Irish Constabulary," and another Nationalist Member demanded, that "The Horse Guards be sent for." The Colonial Secretary was heard to say, "I have been invited to continue," but calls for "Long," and renewed cries of "Time," rendered inaudible the remainder of the sentence. The disorder continued, and a few minutes before 10.30,
§ MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER rose and said: It is perfectly obvious that this scene cannot go on. It has now lasted for nearly an hour. In these circumstances it comes, I take it, within the words of Rule 21—namely, "that in case of grave disorder" the power rests with the Speaker to adjourn the House without Question put. That power I now exercise, and I declare that the House stands adjourned.
§ Adjourned accordingly at half after Ten o'clock.