§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
As I understand that after 12 o'clock to-night English Votes in Supply will be taken, I wish to ask the First Lord of the Treasury to agree that two 129 Votes of great importance shall not be taken after 12 o'clock—namely, the Vote for English Law Charges and the Vote for English Prisons.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Although the Party in this quarter of the House at one time thought that it would be necessary to debate some questions on the Vote for English Law Charges, we have, after consultation, determined not to do so, having regard to the general convenience of the House. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will undertake, in return, not to proceed with the Official Secrets Bill after 1 o'clock in the morning?
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can name the night on which the first two Votes in Class V. will be taken, particularly the Consular Vote?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
Will the Committee stage of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill be taken this evening?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
It is not the intention of the Government, if the House should pass the Motion which stands on the Paper in my name, to proceed after 12 o'clock with .any Irish Votes. If those Votes are under discussion from, say, half-past 4 until 12, we could hardly ask hon. Members who are specially interested in them to stay in their places after that. With reference to the English Prisons Vote I have to say that if it is the opinion of any considerable section of the House that it is undesirable that we should proceed with Vote to-night we will not do so. But I must point out that Votes cannot be indefinitely delayed if the Session is not to be protracted, and I apprehend that a desire prevails in all parts of the House that Supply should be closed this week if possible. It is, I think, the general wish of the House that business should be concluded next week, and that there should be no delay with the prorogation, which could not take place next week if there were further postponement of Votes in Supply. The hon. Gentleman has requested us to consider Class V. We will endeavour to meet his wishes as far as possible, but we are unable always to communicate beforehand what particular business will be taken. We shall endeavour to take these Votes this evening. We will not take the Official Secrets Bill to-night 130 if it is not reached before 12 o'clock. With regard to the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, we should like to take it this evening, but it is desirable to make progress with the Votes which are reached after 12 o'clock. If, however, there is no objection, we shall be glad to take it. The hon. Member will see that there will be another stage, when he will have an opportunity of making any statement which he may desire to make.
§ SIR R. FOWLER (London)
Can my right hon. Friend give the House any idea when the Indian Budget will be taken?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
No, Sir. We must first see our way to the conclusion of Supply. So soon as we can see our way to winding up Supply, then I shall be most willing to consult the wishes of hon. Members.