That Mr. Macdona be discharged from the Select Committee on Petroleum.
That Mr. Royds be added to the Committee."—(Sir W. Walrond.)
§ MR. T. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I have observed this Motion with great concern. I cannot understand the reason of the honourable Baronet for discharging from the Committee a Member so eminently fitted to deal with cheap explosives, and adding to the Committee another Member who neither by service to the Church nor any other means has been endowed with any of the necessary qualities. I wish to ask the honourable Baronet what is the reason for this extraordinary Motion, which I am not sure I ought not to divide the House against? I understand, from the ordinary sources of information, that the honourable and reverend Member intends going out to China on behalf of a commercial syndicate. If so, he will be absent from his duties in the House for several months, probably until the end of the Session. If the Motion is carried, will the honourable Baronet ask for leave of absence for the honourable Member for Rotherhithe? I should also like to know whether the honourable Member, during his absence, will retain his post as private secretary to the Secretary to the Treasury?
§ THE PATRONAGE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir W. H. WALROND,) Devon, Tiverton
I made the Motion because such a Motion is usual when an honourable Member desires to absent himself from a Committee for a certain number of weeks. My honourable Friend is correct in saying that the honourable Member for Rotherhithe is going to China. I have given the honourable Member leave to go, and he has paired with another honourable Member who is either in China or on his way there.
§ MR. J. E. ELLIS (Notts, Rushcliffe)
Has the honourable Baronet consulted the constituents of the honourable Member for Rotherhithe?