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PARLIAMENTARY. M 0 X D A Y I n the House of Commons on Monday, Mr Ritchie, replying to Mr Stephens, stated that an inquiry would be held without any avoidable delay into the circumstauces of the loss of the DrnIllmomt Castle. The House having gone into Committee on the Education Bill, Mr Balfour rose and said he had to announce that he should propose that the Chairman leave the chair, a motion which would have the effect of destroying the bill for the present session. T11 explanation and justification of the change in the policy of the Goverument, he said that under the plan proposed by the Govern- ment a week ago 53 days would have been avail- able for the passage of the bill before financial exigencies required or suggested a new session. The opposition they had met with, if con- tinued, would have made made 53 days a totally iuadequate time for passing the bill into law. In five days they had only passed two lines and fourteen words of the first clause. He thought he had seen indications of a determination not to allow an amendment to be disposed of except after resort had been had to the closure and it became t apparent that even to deal with the amendments I on tho paper about forty days of eight hours each would have to be sent in walking through the lobbies. The idea of finishing the bill before the new session had to begin was therefore practically chimerical. An autumn session would not have improved the position, and as they could not recom- mend the policy of closure by compartments, they had decided to sacrifice the eleven days already occupied on the bill and begin the subject afresh early next January. The Government considered they were absolutely pledged to aid the Voluntary schools, and to carry that aid to the furthest extent the Imperial resources would permit. They would take steps to ensure that the V oluntary schools did not suffer by the delay in carrying out their plan. Sir \V. Harcourt having strongly defended the attitude of the Opposition towards the bill, a long discussion followed. The Chairman then left the Chair, and the Speaker returned. On the motion for the third reading of the Diseases of Animals Bill, Mr. Smart moved that it be read a third time that day three months. Mr- Cawley seconded the motion. In the House of Lords the Earl of Dunraven moved the second reading of the bill for legalising marriage with a deceased wife's sister. He pointed out that in regard to the law of marriage England stood in a position of insolation-by no means a splendid" one—as compared with all other civilised countries. Lord Percy moved the rejec- tion of the bill, and was supported by the Arch- bishop of Canterbury, who said that the bill would make a ruinous breach in the principle of the marriage law. The House divided, and the second reading was carried by 142 votes against 113 a majority of 29. The Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family supported the bill, whilst twenty prelates voted against it. TUESDAY. In the House of Commons Mr. Dillon and other members asked what the programme ot business for the rest of the session would be.—Mr. Balfour said that after the proceedings on the present stage of the Rating Bill were concluded, the Finance Bill will be proceeded with, and after the com- mittee stage of the Finance Bill they would take the Light Railways Bill. He held himself at liberty however, to take a day for the discussion of the Indian troops resolution, and to find time, if necessary, for the resolution 011 the Uganda Railway before the stages of the Bill he had mentioned were concluded. As to the Irish Land Bill, they might reasonably hope to get the ,bi 11 through if five days were allowed for all tho stages before the measure went to the other House. Those five days he promised, but nothing more. He had every hope of the Mines Regulation Bill being passed now that it had been lightened of what he understood was the only contentions clause in it. He had no hope of being able to proceed with the Employers' Liability Bill this session the Scotch Rating Bill could not be taken until after the Finance Bill, and indeed not until after the Light Railways Bill; the Military Manoeuvres Bill would not be brought on again at present, and as to the Benefices Bill, he could not see. any prospect of being able to find time before the middle of next month for any other than Government business. On the motion that the Agricultural Land Rating Bill as amended in Committee be considered, Sir H. H Fowler asked the ruling of the Speaker on a question on proceedure. The Speaker had little doubt that the intention had been to protect any charge on the revenue by providing that pre- liminary proceedings iu Committee upon recom- mendation of a Minister of the Crown. But whatever were the general intentions of Parliament, he was of opinion that the Standing Order contained certain limiting words that removed this case from the operation of the rule. The consideration of amendments was then proceeded with. Mr Price moved an amend- ment to relieve arable land of three-fourths of its rates and grass land of oue-quarner. This was defeated by 252 votes to 116. A proposal by Mr Stuart to exclude from the benefits of the Act I agricultural land situated in the boroughs, or with- in the metropolitan district, was under discussion when the debate was adjourned. WEDNESDAY.* The consideration of the Agricultural Land Rating Bill as amended in Committee was con- tinued iu the House of Commons on Wednesday, when Mr. Kearley resumed the discussion on Mr- Stuart's amendment to the first clause to the effect that land within county or municipal boroughs should not be included in the operation of the bill. Sir G. Trevelyan said there never was a more dis- tinct pledge made across the table of the House than that in which, only on the 19th of May, Ir. Chaplin accepted the principle of this amendment. On that day Mr. D. Thomas moved an amendment to exempt accommodation land, and, Mr. Chaplin then admitted that there was much to be said in favour of the amendment. He said the difficulty was in the matter of definition, but he accepted the principle of the amendment, adding that he would do his best to produce a definition that was satis- factory. Mr. Chaplin said he had laboured hard to fulfil the terms of his promise, but up to the present he had absolutely failed to produce an amendment that would be generally satisfactory. lr. Asquith hoped some more satisfactory reply would be given by tho Government. Did the the Government, or did they not, recede from the admission formally made by Mr. Chaplin that in principle land ought to be discriminated according as it did or did not require relief ? Sir. R. Webster denied that the Government had ever given any pledge such as Mr. Asquith had suggested. They never said they could discriminate between land distressed and land not distressed. What Mr. Chaplin said was that if a satisfactory definition could be arrivtd at as to what was to be treated as accommodation land he would endeavour to exclude that land from the bill. Eventually Mr. Balfour moved the closure, which was carried by 222 votes to 131, and Mr Stuart's amendment was defeated by 236 votes to 131. An amendment moved by Mr II. Lewis, that the relief granted should be one-fourth insead of one- half, was rejected by 234 votes to 116. Mr Balfour then moved that the clause as a whole should be put, but the Speaker declined to accept the motion. Mr Lloyd-George proposed an amendment with the object of providing that the exemption from half the rates should only apply in the case of rates existing when the bill passed. This was rejected by 250 votes to 117. Mr Balfour again moved the closure, which was carried by 245 votes to 111. and the motion that clause 1 stand part of the bill was carried by 243 votes to 134. The House then ad- journed. THURSDAY. In the house of Commons, Mr P. Stanhope asked whether the Government had received any confir- mation of the terrible reports appearing in the papers as to the operations of the Turkish troops in Crete. Mr Curzon replied that the reports from the Consul at Crete gave a general confirmation of the statements that had appeared. The representatives of the six Powers, who were acting in entire accord, had made representations to the Porte with regaid to the measures necessary for the restoration of order. Mr J. Ellis asked what those measures were. Mr Curzon replied that they were the nomination of a Christian governor, the revival of the Halepa constitution, the convocation of the Assembly, and a general amnesty. Mr Ellis also asked whether Lord Salisbury's attention had been called rc the report of the Commissioner of the Armenian Relief Fund respecting his visit to the province of Kharput, and the terrible devastation of that province by fire and sword. Mr Curzon said attention had been directed to the report, and strong representations had been made to the Turkish Government. Mr Ellis was asked whether the Government intended to do nothing more than make these" strong representations." Mr Curzon replied that the Government mnst wait and see what weight those representations had. Sir Wm. Harcourt asked when tho searching inquiry into the origin and circumstances of the invasion of the Transvaal by forces under the control of the Chartered Company was to be instituted. Mr Chamberlain replied that the House was aware that the Government had promiseed to make proposals for a further inquiry to the House as soon as the trial of Dr Jameson was concluded. As he was very anxious that the inquiry should be divested of any- thing approaching a party character, he proposed to take the usual means of finding out the general feel- ing of the House in regard to the m atter, in the hope that a unanimous agreement might be arrived at both in regard to the form of of the inquiry and the terms of the reference. In reply to lr. J. H. Roberts, Mr. Chamberlain said he had received a telegram from Sir F. Carrington stating that Lieutenant Bremner, of the 20th Hussars, was reported to have been killed by the Mashonas at Maiandellas, 60 miles south of Salisbury. A patrol to the Beatrice mine had met with severe opposi- tion on its retirement, two natives having been killed, and four whites wounded. A force of 203 Imperial troops had been ordered to proceed from Mafeking to Macloutsie. Mr. W. Redmond asked why the Matabele were always spoken of as "rebels," when they were merely fighting for the protec- tion of their own country. No reply was given. The consideration of the Agricultural Land Rat- ing Bill as amended in Committee was resumed. Mr M'Kenna proposed to omit certain words in the second clause, on the ground that they were unnecessary, misleading, and contradictory, but the amendment was rejected by 199 votes to 127. Mr. Lloyd-George moved that the payment from the Exchequer in aid of agri- cultural land should not exceed £1,300,000 a year. The amendment was negatived by 229 votes to 131. Mr. E. Griffith proposed that the spending authority should not be entitled to receive from the Local Taxation Account in respect of any one year a sum exceeding the amount derived in that year by such spending authority from the local rates in respect of agricultural land. This was defeated by 251 votes to 148. Mr. J. A. Pease moved the omission of sub-section three, which provides that the Inland Revenue Commissioners shall, under the direction of the Treasury, pay to the Local Taxation Account out of the proceeds of the estate duty derived i. England from personal property the annual sum required to be paid to that account. This was negatived by 263 votes to 138. A number of other proposed amendments to the clause were disposed of, and clause 4 was then considered.




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