§ SIR CHARLES FORSTER
In laying the Report on the Table I wish briefly to state the arrangements made by the Committee on Public Petitions for carrying out the pledge which I made on their behalf on Monday on the Motion of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Galway (Colonel Nolan). As the House understands, Petitions are supposed to be presented by Members "in their places," though, owing to the great increase in the number of Petitions, this practice has, in a great measure, been superseded by "the bag system," to the great saving of time and convenience of Members. Still the system requires limitation and control, and your Predecessor in the Chair made it a rule that no Petitions should be received after 5 of the clock to avoid the confusion which would otherwise arise from Petitions being passed in during any time of the Sitting, and the consequent setting and re-setting of the printing type. The Committee on Public Petitions are unanimously of opinion that this rule should be adhered to; but when my hon. and gallant Friend spoke of the inconvenience entailed on those hon. Members who came down after 5 in having their Petitions returned, it occurred to me that this inconvenience might be, to a great degree, met by "a supplemental bag," for the reception of such Petitions as might arrive after 5 and before 6, such bag to be cleared on the following day, and the Petitions to be then taken as presented and entered accordingly in the Votes. But I now find that I can go further, and that there is no difficulty, so far as the Journal Office is concerned, in the bag remaining during the entire Sitting, and that the Speaker will give 978 his assent and directions to that effect. The time for the presentation of Petitions will remain as before, up to 5 of the clock; and when the usual bag has disappeared, the "supplemental bag" will take its place, which, to avoid confusion, will be of a different colour. Members must, of course, make their own arrangements with regard to the insertion of the notices of Petitions in the public papers, so as to make the date of presentation correspond with the entry of them in the Votes; but, so far as the Committee is concerned, it will be a source of much satisfaction to them if they have been enabled to promote the convenience of the House without disarranging the Journal Office.