§ * THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I beg to ask the noble Earl who leads the House a Question of which I have given him private notice—namely, whether he is able to give your Lordships any information as to the course of business in this House during the next few days.
§ * THR LORD PRIVY SEAL AND SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (The Earl of CREWE)
My Lords, I am very much obliged to the noble Marquess for having given me notice of this Question. I am not able to give him an absolutely precise answer, but I think I can give some general information which will be of service to the House. As noble Lords know, the Education (Scotland) Bill is down for Committee to-day, and the Second Reading of the Prevention of Crime Bill is down for to-morrow. That Bill has come up, I think, in a somewhat less controversial form than seemed at one time possible. I do not think, therefore, that it will occupy a very great part of the time of your Lordships. The two remaining Bills of importance 399 which we shall ask the House to consider are the Mines (Eight Hours) Bill and the Port of London Bill. On Monday next my noble friend Lord Morley is to make his statement with regard to Indian Policy, and although I cannot say for certain—I may be in a position to do so to-morrow—I think it is possible that in view of that debate not being likely to occupy any very great period of time, it may be well to put some other business down for that day. Speaking generally, next week will be devoted, if your Lordships please, to the alternate consideration of the two measures I have indicated. There will be no doubt one or two other small Bills coming up from another place, but I do not think anything of a controversial character. I should hope, therefore, that Parliament may be prorogued somewhat earlier than at one time appeared to be likely.
§ LORD NEWTON
I should be much obliged if the noble Earl would give me an assurance that the Mines (Eight Hours) Bill will not be taken next Monday.
§ * THE EARL OF CREWE
If the House agree, I think it would be a reasonable course to take that Bill on Tuesday.
§ LORD NEWTON
I should be very grateful to the noble Earl if he would be good enough to take it on Tuesday. But I would point out that there is some danger of his rather optimistic estimate not being fulfilled. Assuming that Amendments are carried to those two Bills, how will it be possible to prorogue on Friday week?
§ LORD AVEBURY
The Port of London Bill is a very controversial measure, and there are great differences of opinion about it. We shall not have had time really to consider it by Monday, and I hope, therefore, it will not be taken on that day.