HC Deb 08 June 1906 vol 158 cc619-20
SIR A. ACLAND-HOOD (Somersetshire, Wellington)

said that the first vote that day in Committee of Supply was for the salary of the Colonial Secretary. Might he ask the hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies, whether he proposed to close that Vote that day or to leave it open to a later stage of the Session. He was sure that the hon. Gentleman must realise that questions of great importance in regard to South Africa might emerge within the next few months, and it would be far more convenient that these should be dealt with on the Estimates than by Motion for Adjournment.


said he quite recognised the force of what the right hon. Gentleman had said, and he thought it was for the general convenience of the House, and particularly in the case of a Department like the Colonial Office, where so many subjects of more or less general interest might come up unexpectedly to be discussed, that the Vote for the salary of the Secretary of State for the Colonies should be kept open to a later period of the session, especially in a session like the present when Colonial questions were commanding a great deal of attention in the House and in the country. The Government were willing to meet the view of hon. Members opposite in that respect and to adopt a course which would render it most convenient for the House to raise various questions of policy that they might from time to time desire to discuss. But they had already had one whole day's discussion on the salary of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and if his right hon. friend would consult the precedents in the past he would find that one day sufficed for the discussion of that Vote, or rarely two. There was another Vote on the Order Paper—Class 5, Vote II.—which dealt with Sundry Colonial Services, such as the various Protectorates, which involved an expenditure of rather more than a million of money; and, if it was for the convenience of the House, there was no reason why the discussion on the salary of the Secretary of State for the Colonies should not proceed during the earlier portion of the sitting, and by general consent be terminated, leaving subsequent discussion to be taken on Class 5 Vote II. If that arrangement would meet the convenience of the House, he would be very glad to fall in with it. But he thought the Government ought to have one Vote that day.