§ MR. OSBORNE
said, he wished to put a Question to the First Minister of the Crown in reference to the course of Public Business. The other night it was indicated from the Treasury Bench that there should be an autumn sitting. ["Order!"] He only wanted to put a Question before going to the Continent. He asked respecting the notion about the 1st November?
I never heard of any arrangement as to the 1st November. What took place was this—when the subject was opened on Monday 319 night by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Whitbread), and several hon. Members expressed their opinion upon it, I said that it would be necessary for the Government to have a little time yet for consideration—that we would do what we could to ascertain the general feeling of this House, and also that of the House of Lords, who are interested in the question. The present week has not been a very favourable one for the discharge of that part of the matter; but in the course of a few days—probably on Monday next—I hope to be able to give an answer upon the matter.
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, which of the 39 Orders upon the Paper he intends to proceed with that night, as it was totally impossible that they could go on with all of them?
I have never, in the course of my experience, known such a Question put. I would ask the hon. Gentleman how much time each Order will take, and having learnt that I could give an answer to the Question. Our intention is to proceed with the Orders; and if there is any Order in which the hon. Gentleman has special interest, I will give him the best answer that I can in reference to it.
The practice is to take the principal Orders as long as would be convenient to the House to proceed, and after that to go on with the other Orders.
§ MR. HERMON
asked the Vice President of the Council, as he had given Notice to postpone Clause 18 and other clauses of the Ballot Bill relating to the payment of election expenses, whether he will adhere to those clauses as part and parcel of the Bill, and whether, in the event of his not being able to carry these clauses, he will look upon the Bill as lost. This part of the Bill very much affected the constituencies of the country. He wished to know whether the Government looks upon these clauses as a vital part of the Bill?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, he thought that the first Question need hardly have been asked, because he had already stated as clearly as he possibly could state it, that the Government adhered to these clauses, and would press them upon the 320 acceptance of the House. The hon. Member asked further, whether, if the House should disagree with these clauses, the Government would drop the Bill; and his reply was, that much as the Government would regret the omission of these clauses, they would not in consequence drop the Bill.