HC Deb 17 June 1907 vol 176 cc174-5

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been directed to the fact that Lord Rosebery, speaking as Prime Minister at Bradford on 27th October, 1894, said that the House of Commons, in dealing with the House of Lords, could only proceed in the first place by Resolution; and will he say whether the Resolution thus referred to by Lord Rosebery is extant, and, if not, what has become of it; and, in the event of this Resolution or any draft of it being in existence, could a copy of it be laid upon the Table of the House.


Before the Prime Minister answers that Question, may I ask him if he will consider the advisability of laying on the Table a verbatim report of the speech recently made by Lord Rosebery on the subject of the Government's policy towards the House of Lords?


The noble Lord has been a short time in this House, but he must know that such a request could not possibly be granted. Of course it is never done. The statement of my noble friend would appear to have been made at a very elementary stage of the controversy which had then arisen. I am sure that he had a fitting Resolution in his mind, but if it was drafted it must have evaporated, for there is no trace of it in the archives of the Treasury. The Question which my hon. friend asks me is "What has become of it if it is not extant?" It is quite beyond my powers to answer that Question. It might have been possible, although hardly useful, to endeavour to trace its history if it existed, but to follow the after life of a Resolution, thirteen years after it perished, is beyond even the powers of a Public Department.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that in that speech Lord Rosebery said he had put his hand to the plough and would not turn back, and that he also referred to the lessons of 1678.


Order, order ! I do not see that Lord Rosebery's speeches have anything to do with the question.


Nothing at all.


asked whether in view of the fact that the noble Lord described himself as a "croaking raven," they should not disregard his speech.


I must protest against dragging in references to speeches made outside this House, whether by noble Lords or other persons.