HC Deb 07 May 1906 vol 156 c1001

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether it is intended to pass the Plural Voting Bill during the present session; and whether it is his purpose to follow the constitutional practice and recommend His Majesty to dissolve Parliament immediately following the passage of a measure which would effect a fundamental change in the system of electoral representation.


I am sorry to say anything which would disappoint the hon. Member of the fulfilment of his obvious desire that after the passing of this Bill there should be the earliest possible appeal to the country. But I can really see no reason for adopting the course that he suggests. No doubt in the case of the passage of large Reform Bills it has been the practice to dissolve Parliament purely as a matter of Parliamentary convenience. Important though it is, the Plural Voting Bill it hardly a Reform Bill of the first magnitude, and even if it were I am not aware of any constitutional understanding or usage tending to prevent Parliament from continuing its labours after the Bill had passed. From the point of view of Parliamentary convenience I cannot help thinking that the dissolution which the hon. Member so ardently desires would be generally regarded as undesirable.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the importance of getting the Bill through the House before the Dulwich election? It would be very helpful.

[No Answer was returned.]