§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I would ask the Prime Minister whether he will give a day for the discussion of a Motion, which will be placed on the Paper in the course of this evening, calling attention to and complaining of "The action of certain members of His Majesty's Government who have accepted official positions in an association which has formally declared its adhesion to a preferential fiscal policy involving the taxation of food."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Of course, it is not for me to judge as to whether the subject of the vote of censure which I understand the right hon. Gentleman 293 proposes, is wise or unwise, in accordance with practice or the reverse. I raise no objection to that. Such Motions must obviously be in favour of the side which is least divided on matters of important policy. While I am not at all puzzled as to whether I should or should not accede to the right hon. Gentleman's request, I am a little puzzled as to the method in which I can most conveniently carry it out in the present position of public business. I think it is in the highest degree important that we should finish the Licensing Bill so as to send it up to another place by the 26th inst. at the very latest. It is necessary that the Budget should be passed by the House of Commons on the 29th, and even if it passed its last stage on the 29th, that would involve a Saturday sitting on the part of the House of Lords.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It would involve a Saturday sitting on the part of the House of Lords in order that it might become law before 1st August, which is necessary. We must also take two days in Supply in the course of the present fortnight. I do not see how I can take Thursday in this week for that purpose; it will have to be devoted to other business, and it will therefore be necessary to take two days for Supply in the course of next week. If the right hon. Gentleman will consider all these facts together I think he will see that I am driven to one of two alternatives. If the House will consent to finish the Committee stage of the Budget Bill to-night ["Oh"]—it is but a hypothesis—then I could give Thursday for the vote of censure. But I am afraid, if the Committee does not take that course, I see no alternative but to put off the vote of censure till the first week of August.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
asked whether, before the vote of censure came on, the Prime Minister would circulate the memorandum with reference to dear food which he laid before the Cabinet.
§ [No Answer was returned.]