HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc55-6

I wish to make a statement to the House with reference to the course of public business. There stands on the paper for to-night the Civil Service Supplementary Estimates and the Vote on Account for the Civil Service. I have been informed that it is not probable that the Vote on account will be taken in a single night, and in these circumstances, as we have some important Supplementary Estimates to consider this evening, which, however, ought not to occupy the whole of the evening, it will be my duty to move to-morrow at 2 o'clock that Supply for these services take precedence of all other Notices of Motion and Orders of the Day until it be concluded. We are under the necessity of concluding the Vote on Account at the latest on Thursday, in order that it be included in the Financial Bill for the current year. As I stated in the House a few days ago, grave irregularity would occur if the provision for the Civil Service were not included in the Statute passed before the end of the financial year, and that view has been since confirmed by the remonstrance of a high financial authority, the Controller and Auditor General.

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

I beg to say, in consequence of the notice which has been given by the right hon. Gentleman, and in view of the fact that the Navy Vote for money was delayed by the action of the Gentleman's own supporters on Thursday evening, I shall oppose his Motion and take a Division upon it.


Will the hon. Gentleman say how it was delayed?


I was present when the Vote on the Navy Supplementary Estimates was taken unchallenged; and I was present when the Vote for the men was taken unchallenged; and I was present when the Vote for money was delayed by four speeches from the Conservative side; I was present when they were made—before any kind of opposition was made on this side of the House.

*THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square

I, too, was present, and after 11 o'clock, when there was plenty of time to have proceeded, Member after Member rose below the Gangway opposite. Hon. Members will remember the protest that I made. [Interruption.] I am replying to a challenge made by the hon. Member for Northampton—


Well, the right hon. Gentleman—


I must remind the House that there is no Question before the House.