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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY I 1TH, HOUSE OF LORDS. The Earl of Dudley moved the second read- ing of the Companies Bill. He explained that it was referred last year to a Select Committee, but the Committee were unable to complete their labours from want of time. A second reading waJ given to the bill, and it was refer- red to the same Committee as before. HOUSE O'F COMMONS. Sir W. Wedderburn asked the Secretary for India why the proposal for the establishment of an agricultural bank made by the Viceroy in Council in 1884 was not sanctioned by the then Indian Secretary. Lord G. Hamilton replied that the reasons which induced the then Secretary of State to withhold his sanction were correctly stated in the Parliamentary papers relating to the sub- ject. When the Poonah scheme was negatived, the Government of India was invited to bring forward a revised scheme, and he was in hopes that a practical scheme for making a beginning with a system of agricultural banks might before long be brought forward. Z, Answering Mr. T. Bayley, Mr. Powell Wil- liams said considerable payments had been made to the War Office by the Chartered Com-, pany on account of the troops lent to suppress the recent rising, but the details could not be given. In addition to that, the Company provided for the sustenance of the Imperial troops employed, besides meeting heavy charges for transport. The whole question of the claims to be preferred against the Company was under consideration, but it was expected to be settled in this years account. Mr. G. Balfour, in reply to Mr. Field, said the Government would be ready to introduce a bill amending the Compulsory Education Act, 1892. as regarded Ireland, provided they re- ceived assurances that such a bill would be treated as non-contentious but if the bill was to be nade the battle ground of lighting the question of excluding the schools of the Chris- 7-. r'lers, it would be impossible for the hovernment to ask the Houfe to spend the time necessary to pass the bill into law. In reply to Mr. Dillon, Mr. A. J. Balfour •said the Commission to be appointed on the financial relations between Great Britain and Ireland would be asked to inquire and report how much of the total expenditure which the State provides might properly be considered to be expenditure common to Eng- land, Scotland, and Ireland, and what share of such common expenditure each country was contributing after the amount expended on local services had been deducted from its true revenue; how the expenditure on Irish local services which the State wholly or in part pro- vides compares with the corresponding expendi- ture in England and Scotland, and whether such Irish expenditure might with advantage be readjusted or reduced; and whether, when regard was had to the nature of the taxes now in force, to the existing exemptions, and to the amount of expenditure by the State on local services, the provision in the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland with regard to particular exemptions ar abate- ments called for any modification in the finan- cial system of the United Kingdom. Mr. Balfour stated, in reply to Mr. Labou- chere, that he did not think it would be an advantage to introduce the bill to aid neces- sitous Board schools before the division on the second reading of the Voluntary Schools Bill. The Board Schools Bill was ready to be brought in as soon as a proper oppor- tuuity' occurred. J Mr. Balfour afterwards moved that the several stages of the Voluntary School Bill should have precedence of the orders of the day and of the notices of motions on every day for which the bill was appointed. He claimed that in taking all the time of the House till the bill was disposed of he was only following the precedents set by every Government in the past. The Education Bill was of so simple a character that he thought its stages need not be very prolonged, and if that forecast proved to be accurate the sacrifice asked from private members would be extremely trifling. If, on the other hand, the Opposition thought they could not fulfil their duty to their constituents without discussing the bill at great length, then it would be obvious that the necessity, for adopting this course had been forced on the Government, not by their own wish, but by the attitude:of the Opposition. Mr. J. A. Pease moved that Wednesday next be excluded from the operation of the resolu- tion. Mr. Paulton seconded the motion. Sir W. Harcourt said the demand now made was far beyond any which a Government had made under similar circumstances. The division they were going to take was a declaration that in order to hurry the Education Bill through the House of Commons before the country had had time to examine its provisions the Govern- ment were resorting to proceedings which had never been adopted before. As an amendment to Mr. Pease's amendment, Mr. Lloyd-George moved to exclude all Wed- nesdays from the operation of the resolution. Mr. Morton seconded the amendment, which was accepted without a division, but the House divided on Mr. Pease's amendment in its amended form, and it was rejected by 256 votes to 129. Mr. Carvell Williams moved to omit the words the several stages,' but this was defeated by 257 votes to 123. Mr. Lloyd-George rose to move a further amendment, when Mr. Balfour moved that the question be put. The Speaker ac- cepted the motion, which was carried by 258 votes to 119. and the original resolution was then passed by 255 to 117. Mr. Balfour then formally moved the second reading ef the bill. I Mr M'Kenna moved as an amendment that no bill will be satisfactory to this House which does not provide for poor board schools as well as voluntary schools.' Mr. Herbert Roberts seconded the amendment. Mr. Mor- ley said they were now engaged upon a most I serious controversy. Underneath all this dis- cussion there were very grave and solemn issues. The bill was simply a skeleton bill, and was framed in a worse spirit than the measure of the last year. 1< The debate was adjourned.





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