§ (Constitution, Officers and Proceedings of the Pacific Cable Board) and Preamble agreed to.
§ Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, considered.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ Mr. MAXTON
Do I understand that it is the proposal of the Government to complete the whole of the proceedings on the Pacific Cable Bill now, at this sitting?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald McNeill)
That certainly was our hope. I had no reason to suppose that any hon. Member objected to that course. I did not understand that there was any real opposition to this Bill. I am sure the hon. Gentleman understands that this is a matter which has been very much desired by the Imperial Governments for carrying out a very necessary work in connection with the cable; and, with the exception of a point that was taken by the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) on the Schedule, which I understood he did not desire to press, and which he did not in fact press, I did not understand that there was really any opposition to this Bill. Of course, if the hon. Member objects to our getting the Bill now, I shall be glad to hear what he has to say, but I hope very much, having regard to the nature and importance of the Bill, and its entire unconcern with any of our personal and party controversies, that he will not persist in refusing to let us have it.
§ Mr. MAXTON
The point I am making is that, as far as I know from the Order Paper and from my knowledge of the arrangements about business, it was agreed that the Committee stage should go through to-night without discussion, but that there would be no suggestion of taking the Report and Third Reading all in one swoop. That seems to me to be a 135 very big demand on the part of the Patronage Secretary. I do not want to be obstructive in any way, but I certainly hoped that we should have a further debate on the Third Reading. If, however, this is the understanding that has been come to through the usual channels, I am not disposed to carry the opposition any further.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.