I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he has taken any steps to secure the appointment of a Committee to deal with the order in which Estimates should be taken on Supply days during the session; what will be the terms of reference to such a Committee; and in what manner it is proposed to constitute the Committee so as to make it representative of the various sections of opinion in the House.
I communicated the scheme which I have more than once sketched to the House to that quarter which is generally represented by the Opposition, but I am sorry to say that it found no favour. What I proposed was that there should be a Committee of seven Members, on which the Government and the official Opposition should each have one representative, and on which the Scottish, Irish, and Welsh Members should have one representative each drawn from the Opposition and two from private Members on this side of the House. On a party vote in the Committee the Government would be in a minority of one. The terms of reference which I proposed were:—"To report from time to time as to the order in which it is expedient to take the Votes in Committee of Supply." I think that scheme carried out the intention suggested, but as it has not met with favour in a most important quarter of the House it must stand over for the present. My offer is still firm, and as soon as it is accepted I will deal with it.