§ MR. C. J. O'DONNELL (Newington, Walworth)
asked leave, it being a quarter to four, to put the following Question to the Chief Secretary for Ireland: Whether he was aware that the Convocation of the Royal University of Ireland, representing more than 6,000 Irish graduates, would meet on Tuesday, when several Resolutions condemnatory of the new Universities Bill would be discussed; whether—considering that the city and corporation of Cork had already condemned the subordination of Cork College to the new Dublin University; that the Catholics of Belfast had condemned the proposal to limit the Catholic representaton on the proposed Belfast Senate to one member in thirty-five, though Catholics formed half the total population of Ulster; that the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church had condemned by a large majority the sectarian character of the new Bill; and that the annual congress of the Irish school teachers, representing more than 8,000 schools, had condemned the proposed exclusion of home students from graduation—he would delay the Second Reading until the House had had time to be informed of the results of the meeting of Convocation.
738 The request was met with cries of "No" from the NATIONALIST Benches, and on Mr. BIRRELL rising to reply the objection was renewed, whereupon the right hon. Gentleman resumed his seat.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
The Question of which the hon. Gentleman has given notice is a proper and urgent one, and that is why I called on the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
Without entering into the details of the various matters mentioned in the Question, there is not, so far as I am aware, any substantial reason why this House should not at once proceed to the discussion of the Irish Universities Bill.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
Will you give a ruling, Sir, on the point of order whether a Question on the Paper can be put and answered after the time for questioning has elapsed?
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Yes, if it is urgent, and relates to the business of the day. It is obvious that if this Question had been postponed the time would have gone by for asking it and getting an answer.