HC Deb 16 May 1906 vol 157 cc496-8

, on a point of order, asked whether Amendments to a Bill ought not to be printed in the order in which they were handed in. The hon. Member stated that he was second at the Table, and that at the head of the list of his Amendments was one in the name of the hon. Member for Waterford. But on the list of Amendments that Amendment was eighth, not second.


said that there was always particular difficulty in getting the Amendments handed in the moment after the Second Reading had been given to a Bill, especially if a great deal of interest was taken in the Bill. There were about twenty-five pages of Amendments handed in last Thursday, as soon as the figures of the division were announced. Properly speaking, every hon. Member ought to hand in his own list of Amendments, but if that rule were strictly enforced, it would be impossible for the Members in the "No" lobby to get out, because there would be a string of Members reaching from the lobby down to the Table. The late Speaker, therefore, accepted the practice of one Member handing in the Amendments of his hon. friends. That was what occurred last week. If any injustice were done by that practice, he would do his best, to amend it. But in this case, although the hon. Member for Waterford stood eighth on the list, he would not in any case have stood first; and, therefore, no substantial injustice was done.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

said that if his Amendment had been accepted in the order in which it was handed in, it would have stood second on the list. He asked whether, as his Amendment was undoubtedly handed in second, the Speaker would not direct that it should appear second in order.


I will consider the suggestion of the hon. Member.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

asked whether the Leader of the House still considered it a convenient thing to any Party in the House to take the Education Bill in Committee on Monday. He had not examined precedents, but he must say the interval allowed between the Second Reading and the Committee stage was extremely small. He doubted whether any first-class Bill which had excited so much animated controversy had ever been pressed on after such a brief interval.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said it would be a convenience to Irish Members to know whether it was intended to carry on the Committee discussions right up to the eve of the Whitsun holidays.


asked whether, in the event of any change, the Trade Disputes Bill would be put down for Monday.


I do not think any change is likely to arise. I do not think the time is too short. Although the Bill, as we know, is full of very important points, they are not elaborate, or multiplied, or confused so as to require a very long time for consideration; and I think the time allowed is ample for the purpose. The country as a whole is well seised with the points.


pressed for a reply to his Question.


said the debate in Committee would probably be carried on to the Tuesday before Whit Sunday.


Will the Trade Disputes Bill be taken immediately after Whitsuntide?


No arrangement has yet been made with regard to the Trade Disputes Bill.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

Is there any limit to the number of Amendments which an hon. Member may hand in on behalf of others? To my knowledge a representative of the Government handed in a very big batch. It might happen that a single Member might hand in the Amendments of a whole Party and so secure precedence. Would not that be an abuse of the rule?


said he was not aware that his predecessor laid down any limit. Such a case as this did not often arise—it was not likely to arise more than once in a session, and to adopt any other course might load to great inconvenience.