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Parliament—Business Of The House—Precedence Op Orders Of The Day

Volume 217: debated on Wednesday 30 July 1873

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Observations Question

said, he rose on a point of Order. A Bill, of which he had the charge, had been placed No. 21 on the Paper, while the Bill of the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella) had been placed No. 4, and he wished to know from the Speaker, Whether that precedence was in accordance with the Resolution of Monday last, by which the Government were allowed precedence for their Orders on that day?

read the Standing Order, and said that the proper construction of the Order was that the Government had not only power to place their own Orders, but those of private Members, according to their pleasure, and therefore the Bill of the hon. Member for Sheffield properly had precedence that day.

asked the Prime Minister, Whether it was to be considered that the Bill of the hon. Member for Sheffield had been adopted by the Government?

said, it did not follow because the Bill referred to had been placed No. 4 on the Paper that therefore the Government were going to support it, or make it a Government measure. They might just as well say that any Motion implying a Censure, or a Vote of Want of Confidence in the Government, to which the Government gave precedence, was necessarily adopted by them—a proceeding which would be simply absurd. In reply to the hon. and learned Member for Boston, he might say that the Government had proceeded in accordance with the spirit of his (Mr. Gladstone's) declaration the other evening; but he was not, at the time when he made that declaration, aware of the large power which the Standing Order gave to the Government. He knew that it was the desire of the House that the Session should not be prolonged, and also that the Bill of the hon. Member for Sheffield should be discussed, and therefore he took upon himself to give it precedence that day.

pointed out that the Standing Orders ought to be revised, it appearing that the Government had not only the power of giving precedence to Bills of private Members, but of displacing the Bills of other private Members. He regretted that the Leader of the Opposition had not taken a more active part during the discussions upon the subject, and hoped that next Session independent Members would exert themselves to obtain a revision of the Standing Orders.

asked the Prime Minister, Whether what had been done was in accordance with the spirit of his declaration; because he (Mr. Lowther) understood that precedence should be given only to Government Orders?

said, it appeared to him that he had already answered the Question. His intention was to use all the power which he legitimately possessed; but he did not know at the time referred to how considerable that was.

Marriage Of Hrh The Duke Of Edinburgh—Report

Resolutions reported from the Committee on the Message from Her Majesty [28th July];

  • (1.) "That the annual sum of Ten Thousand Pounds be granted to Her Majesty, out of the Consolidated Fund of Great Britain and Ireland, towards providing for the Establishment of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, the said Annuity to be settled on His Royal Highness for his life, in such manner as Her Majesty shall think proper, and to commence from the day of the Marriage of their Royal Highnesses, such Annuity to be in addition to the Annuity now enjoyed by His Royal Highness under the Act of the twenty-ninth year of Her present Majesty."
  • (2.) "That Her Majesty be enabled to secure to Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, in case she shall survive His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, an annual sum not exceeding Six Thousand Pounds during her life, to support her Royal Dignity."
  • Resolutions agreed to:—Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. BONTHAM-CARTER, Mr. GLADSTONE, and Mr. CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER.

    Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 272.]