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South African War—Peace Negotiations With General Botha

Volume 91: debated on Monday 25 March 1901

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I beg to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House in order to call attention to a definite matter of urgent public importance—namely, the recent negotiations between Commandant Botha and Lord Kitchener.

I think I ought not to submit the question to the House, and for this reason:—There is on the Paper for to-day the Report of the Vote on Account, which, I admit, is not a very favourable opportunity of raising such a question, but technically it is one. There is also fixed for to-morrow the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill, on which the subject can properly be discussed. When the absence of urgency arises from the existence of other opportunity for immediate discussion it must necessarily be dealt with by the Chair, and, in dealing with this question now as I am doing, I am simply following precedent.

I wish to call your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that the Report of the Vote on Account is the last of the Paper, and it cannot possibly be reached until a late hour, and with regard to to-morrow, by a long-standing engagement it has been settled that there shall be, on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill, a discussion on the Irish Local Government Vote, which will undoubtedly occupy the greater part of the sitting.

I cannot go into details as to the length of time a debate may last on a particular question, but I am bound to follow the rules of the House.