§ MR. BOWRING
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he is prepared to advise Her Majesty not to prorogue Parliament until ample time has been given to the House of Lords for the fullest consideration of the provisions of the Ballot Bill, which, after Seventy Divisions in its favour in this House, is about to be submitted to their Lordships?
§ MR. DISRAELI
I rise, Sir, on a point of Order with reference to this Question. It is not the custom of the House of Commons to describe the House of Peers as "their Lordships," and I very much object to the language in which the Question is put.
§ MR. BOWRING
said, that the words "in another place" were originally inserted in the Question. No objection to those words was raised when he handed it in to the Clerk at the Table.
Sir, I am unwilling to interfere with the discussion of the grave point of Order raised by the right hon. Gentleman opposite, particularly as I do not perfectly well understand it. But with regard to the Question itself what I have to say is this. We are about to proceed to the third reading of the Elections (Parliamentary and Municipal) Bill, and it is supposed that that will be disposed of to-day, and the Bill sent to the House of Lords. The state of business in Parliament is now such as to enable us to form approximately some idea of, though not to state with certainty, the time at which the Prorogation will take place. At any rate, it is such as to enable the Government to form an idea of the minimum period which must elapse before we can advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament, quite without reference to the reception of the Elections Bill in the House of Lords. I may say 1093 in answer to my hon. Friend that I see no likelihood whatever that we can advise Her Majesty in the present state of business to prorogue Parliament until ample time, so far as we are able to judge, has been given to the House of Lords for the fullest consideration of the provisions of the Ballot Bill. When I use the expression "ample time," of course I have no means of judging what time is likely to be required, except that which the public have; but it seems to me quite sufficient after observing from the records of the House of Lords the time which they have generally thought it necessary to spend on Bills which in importance and difficulty may fairly be compared to this.