Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Resolution of the Committee on Government of Ireland [Money] may be considered this day as soon as it is reported from the Committee, notwithstanding the practice of the House relating to the interval between the Report and Consideration of such a Resolution."—[Mr. Bonar Law.]
§ Lord EDMUND TALBOT (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)
It was owing to want of foresight on my part that this Committee stage was not put down last week for last night. I do not know that it would have made much difference, but that is the reason.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The Noble Lord has given a reason for this proposal, but it is a Motion which is not to be taken as a precedent.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I suggest that the Government should not press this Motion. At 8.15 o'clock, the Adjournment Debate will take place, and Clause 17, which is that under discussion on the Bill, is in no sense a money Clause. The first Clause in which money matters are raised is Clause 22. Clause 17 deals with the representation of Ireland in this Parliament. I am informed that in one of the previous Bills a Clause on this subject occupied five days of Debate, and on the last Bill one day. I presume the Financial Resolution will take some little time to discuss, and then we shall have only something like three hours and three-quarters to discuss Clause 17. I do not think it is likely we shall get beyond Clause 18. Is it worth while to alter the old financial customs of the House, when with perhaps the exception of civil war in Ireland the financial position is the most important we have to deal with, and especially so when you will gain very little by so doing? I do not think it would be wise even if you were going to gain. In the future this precedent may be quoted. To show the importance of these stages of Committee and Report on Financial Resolutions, does the Leader of the House recollect 2015 that a Government was defeated on the Report of a money Resolution on the last Irish Bill? Now the Committee stage and Report stage are to be jumbled into one, and at 8.15 o'clock we have the adjournment, and possibly hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will all be pushed into a corner and be unable to discuss this Resolution. There is nothing to be gained by it. Supposing we do lose one day, that is the worst that can happen. I do not think the Bill is of such vital importance that the loss of one day need distress us. I do not see any great desire on the part of my hon. Friends from Ireland to hurry on the proceedings by one day.
How would the right hon. Baronet like us to express our desire to hurry on matters? We should be very glad to do so.
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
If my right hon. Friend will allow me, I think that I shall be able to shorten the proceedings. I quite admit that this is a very bad precedent. The only justification for it was that we do attach some importance to a day at this stage of the Session, but my right hon. Friend has convinced me that he and some of his friends have it in their power to prevent us gaining anything by this Resolution. I am a practical man, and therefore I do not propose to proceed with it.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.