§ MR. DILLWYN
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, When the Government intend to move the Adjournment of the House for the Easter Holidays?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, it is said to be a Scotch practice to answer some Questions by putting others, and really in this matter I am, to a certain extent, in the hands of the House, and must make my Answer depend on the pleasure of the House with regard to the progress of Business. I wish to point out that there are one or two matters upon which we have really no option, for we are bound by time. For instance, with regard to the Mutiny Bills, it is necessary by the Constitution and by Statute that they should be renewed before the expiration of the present Acts on the 25th of April. It is therefore necessary in the present year that we should pass the new Acts before the House rises for the Holidays, otherwise we should be too late, and the Army would be thrown into a state of complete confusion. Then it must be borne in mind that there are certain Supplementary Estimates laid before the House, and, unless they can be got through Committee, and the Bill which will be necessary to give effect to the Vote can be passed before the 31st of March, we should find there would be great financial confusion. Now, this being the position of the House, I have to call its attention to the obligations which we have incurred with regard to particular days. We have fixed a certain day—Thursday, the 21st—for taking the Roads and Bridges (Scotland) Bill, and as that day has been fixed for a considerable time, and Gentlemen interested in the subject have made arrangements accordingly, it would be impossible to change the day. A conditional promise has also been given that the Irish Sunday Closing Bill should have a day—I had suggested either the 25th or 28th of this month; but I am not sure that it would not be more convenient to take Monday in the week following. Under these circumstances, if the House is willing to assist us, and if we are able to get on fairly with Supply and the Mutiny Bills, I hope we may be in a 1292 position to rise on the Tuesday or Thursday in Passion Week—that is, Tuesday the 16th or Thursday the 18th of April, as may be the pleasure of the House. [Murmurs]. I can very easily appreciate the meaning of those murmurs, but the fact is that the Business which we have to deal with is not of a kind which leaves us much option. It is necessary that we should really get on with it. I propose that Thursday, the 4th of April, should be fixed for the introduction of the Budget; and what I would suggest, with the approval of the House, would be to allow the Government to have the use of Tuesday, the 16th, in which case we might rise on that day and adjourn for the Holidays over the remainder of that week, and over the two succeeding whole weeks till Monday, the 6th of May. We shall then have the greater part of three weeks' holiday. I hope the House will help us to carry out that proposal.