(for Mr. W. Holms) asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What course he proposes to take with reference to the four General Public Bills for Scotland which have been introduced this Session, but not one of which has yet been discussed in Committee, viz., the Poor Law, Prisons, Sheriff Courts, and Roads and Bridges Bills; and, seeing that the last-named Bill was specially mentioned in Her Majesty's Speech as a measure of importance, what day he would give for its consideration?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The Government are very anxious to proceed with some at least of these Bills, and I can only say that we are anxious to find early days for proceeding with them. But the hon. Gentleman and the House are well aware we are in a difficulty at present because of the strong expression of opinion which was passed by the House that we ought to proceed with the Estimates as quickly as we can. There are also, as I mentioned the other day, two important measures—the East Indian Loan Bill, and the South African Confederation Bill—which it is desirable to proceed with. I will only say, therefore, that we will bring the Bills on as quickly as we can. To the remark of the hon. Member who put the Question, that not one of the Scotch Bills has been discussed in Committee, I must take some exception; because, although the Prisons Bill has not literally been discussed in Committee, an arrangement was made that it should stand over till the English Bill had been discussed, and that it should be reprinted in the form of the English Bill. That has been done, and therefore I suppose the discussion of the Scotch Bill will not occupy much time. The Roads and Bridges Bill has been committed pro formâ in order to introduce various Amendments. It will probably 821 be distributed to hon. Members shortly. We shall proceed with that Bill as quickly as possible, and with the others also.