HC Deb 18 April 1910 vol 16 cc1723-4

moved, "That the Proceedings on the Report of Supreme Court of Judicature [Salaries, etc.] and upon the Supreme Court of Judicature Bill [Lords] be not interrupted this evening under the Standing Order (Sittings of the House), and may be entered upon and proceeded with at any hour, though opposed."


I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether he thinks it in accordance with the custom of the House that on a day like this, when we are to debate a Resolution such as has never been moved before in the history of Parliament, when we have also suspended the Eleven o'clock Rule for the Proceedings on Report of the Vote on Account, we should suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule upon a Bill relating to the Supreme Court of Judicature. I think that even hon. Gentlemen opposite will admit that an endeavour to force all these things through the House at a single sitting is something which would never have been done in the House of Commons as it originally existed before its procedure was spoilt by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who apparently are quite ignorant of what was the ordinary custom of Debate in the old House of Commons. The Prime Minister knows perfectly well that all these things are absolutely new. I think he tries the patience of the House too far when he proposes to keep us up until the small hours of the morning to discuss this particular Bill, after we have already been discussing the Resolution with regard to the Finance Bill, a Resolution absolutely unprecedented in the history of the country, and after that the Report of the Vote on Account, which is an extremely important matter.


It may not come on to-night.


Then why suspend the Eleven o'clock Rule until you see what happens? I think this will be an extremely good opportunity for the Prime Minister to wait and see.


I had hoped that this Motion might have been agreed to by general consent, because I believe the urgency of the Bill is generally admitted on both sides of the House. There was never any intention to take it after eleven o'clock unless it was reached before eleven—that is, unless the Debate was begun before eleven o'clock, it was not intended to proceed with it after eleven. I do not know whether with an undertaking of that kind I could satisfy the hon. Baronet.