§ MR CHAMBERLAIN
said, that, in accordance with the pledge that had been given, he begged now to move the adjournment of the House?
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Chamberlain.)
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, he should oppose the Motion. He thought the most selfish body of men in existence was a Government. Hon. Members were expected to make every kind of sacrifice of their time and convenience on any day of the week, in order to help the Government to carry their Bills; but the moment the Government got their Bills carried, they put their foot down, and would not allow any private Member to carry any Bill whatever. However good the Bill might be, however thoroughly Liberal it might be, however much it might have been approved by the House at former stages, however much desired by the country, still they would not be moved by any such considerations. As regarded the particular Bill in which he was most interested—the Cruelty to Animals Acts Amendment Bill—he got the second reading on the 7th of March by a majority of 195 against only 40. Out of those 40 opponents only two had persisted in opposing the Bill since, and through their persistent opposition it had been absolutely impossible to get any other stage. The Government kept up that absurd half-past 12 Rule in nearly its full intensity; and therefore there was no other way of getting a further stage of the Bill except at a Saturday Sitting. He hoped the President of the Board of Trade, having performed the duty in accordance with the foolish pledge given, would be content gracefully to retire, and not carry his Motion to the vote, but allow the House to go on with the measures before it. To deny them that opportunity was really very bad indeed, he thought. As regarded his measure, although he admitted that there were other measures as important, there were special horrors and cruelties going on under it. [Cries of "Order!"]
§ MR. ANDERSON
said, he had been only about to remark that those who voted for the Adjournment, those who supported the Government on this occasion, would be responsible in the future for those horrors and cruelties.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
, said, he considered, in the first place, that this was an occasion on which independent Members had a right to show their independence of the Government; and, in the 1592 second place, he thought the Conservative Members should take the opportunity of inflicting a defeat on the Government. If they would only adopt an attitude of benevolent neutrality, they would be able to add another to the many defeats which the Government had already experienced. With regard to the Irish Conservative Members, he hoped they would not take upon themselves the responsibility of defeating a measure—the Labourers (Ireland) Bill—which did not contain any principle that they could object to, and which met the evils of a class in favour of whom these Gentlemen had themselves spoken.
§ MR. DAWSON
remarked, that if the Opposition supported the Government they would seriously injure their own prospects.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, that the Government had entered into a distinct pledge that only Government Business would be taken; and, so far from the suggestion just made by the hon. Member that the Conservative Members should take the opportunity of defeating Her Majesty's Government, he conceived it would be their duty to give them their most cordial support.
MR. O'CONNOR POWER
said, that the Government were not under any obligation to vote for the Motion they had brought forward, the Prime Minister having himself said that the question of adjournment rested for decision with the House itself.
§ MR TOTTENHAM
, as one of the Irish Conservative Members who had been appealed to, would say that he was so satisfied of the desirability and propriety of enabling Her Majesty's Government to keep their pledges sometimes, that he should certainly support the Motion for Adjournment.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 52; Noes 66: Majority 14.—(Div. List, No. 260.)