§ MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
I understand that at a very early hour this afternoon the President of the Board of Agriculture gave notice that on Monday next he would move for the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the subject of agricultural depression. I presume we shall have an opportunity of seeing the terms of the Motion, and also, if necessary, of placing Amendments on the Paper. In view of the great interest taken in it by the country, I would ask if it will be put down as the first Order of the Day?
TILE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir W. HARCOURT,) Derby
I understand that my right lion. Friend is now prepared to put the terms of the Motion on the Paper, and they will appear on the Paper in the morning. I am afraid I can give no distinct assurance as to its being made the first Order. Doubtless, however, as the question is important the House will have an adequate opportunity for discussing it.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. H. GARDNER,) Essex; Saffron Walden
The Motion will appear on the Paper on Monday. The proposal that a Committee be appointed has been already affirmed by a majority of 40 on the Address in Answer to the Speech from the Throne.
§ MR. GARDNER
The right hon. Gentleman says certainly not. I would ask the House whether it has not been previously alluded to by the Mover of the Address, and accepted by a majority of 40? That, at any rate, is my opinion, and I cannot conceive for a 1834 moment that further discussion is neces sary. The Reference to the Committee will be on the Notice Paper. It will come before us in the ordinary course on Monday.
MR. CHAPLIN— [Cries of "Order!" and "Spoke!"]
What I wish to point out is that we shall have no opportunity of placing an Amendment on the Paper if it be thought necessary to do so. Tonight we adjourn until Monday, and tomorrow will be the first opportunity we shall have of seeing the terms of the Notice. I think I am entitled to ask of the Government, in a matter of such importance, for an assurance that the Motion will not be taken on Monday.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
I cannot give that assurance. The assurance I can give is that the Government will adopt every means possible to give hon. Members the opportunity of raising objections. That is all I can say. I do hope that the right hon. Gentleman opposite will find, when he sees the Motion, that the terms of the Reference are large enough to satisfy him in every respect. I do not think he will offer opposition to our proposal.
§ *MR. GOSCHEN
We, on these Benches, cannot accept the view that the decision of the House on the Amendment moved to the Address had reference to the appointment of a Committee. The announcement of the Government that they intended to appoint a Committee might have induced some hon. Members to support them, but it cannot be understood that it has been determined by a majority of 40 to appoint this Committee.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
said, the whole tone of the Members on the Front Opposition Bench pointed to a revision of the Twelve o'clock Rule. They seemed to desire to prevent any business being done after midnight.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.