HC Deb 28 June 1905 vol 148 cc473-6

Motion made, and Question proposed; "That the House do now adjourn."—(Sir A. Acland-Hood.)

MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

said that a large number of Orders of the Day were put down every day, which it was certain would not be reached this session, and he wished to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury whether ah announcement could not be made as to which of them could be dropped.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could give them some assurance that he would be able to secure the attendance of a majority of the supporters of the Government on future occasions, and thus make it possible for them to save the time of the House. They were ready on the Opposition side of the House to allow an Amendment to go through at nine o'clock, and owing to circum stances which the right hon. Gentleman was aware of, a full hour was lost owing to the fact that the Government had not got a majority of their supporters present in the House. He wished to know if the right hon. Gentleman would take some further steps to secure the Attendance of the supporters of the Government, and thus afford them more time to discuss this important Bill. If they lost one hour every night whilst the Aliens Bill was before the Committee, it would amount to a very large loss of time in the end, and they would be considering business when they ought to be thinking about going away for their holidays. Could the right hon. Gentleman not bring some pressure to bear upon his supporters, or hold out some hope that their services would be rewarded, so as to get his followers to attend in their places? There were many important Bills to consider and if they went on in this way there would be no hope for the Unemployed Bill.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said he thought his hon. friend was quite justified in making some protest against the way the House had been treated. An Amendment had been under discussion which was not opposed by the Government, and there was no disposition to oppose it on either side of the House, and yet the matter was debated for a long time, mostly by hon. Members opposite. That was not the only case which had occurred of time being wasted that day during the Committee stage of the Aliens Bill. He thought the Home Secretary might endeavour to attend more regularly luring the Committee stage of the Aliens Bill than he had done during the last sitting of the House. It was entirely owing to the Home Secretary's absence and want of touch with what had actually taken place that an incident had arisen which had given rise to a good deal of irritation. He hoped the Government would do everything in their power to carry on the business of the House of Commons creditably and avoid any further^ cause for complaint in this respect.

MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

asked whether the Unemployed Bill and the Workmen's Compensation Bill were going to be altogether shelved until the Aliens Bill was disposed of. He thought they had a right to insistupon some understanding upon this question, because if that was the case it was very evident that the chances of these other Bills were very slight indeed He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he had not found upon his own side of the House, as well as in the country generally, that the feeling was much more pronounced in favour of the Unemployed Bill becoming law than it was in respect to the measure which the House had been discussing that day. He could say, with some assurance, that the information which he had got in his possession fully justified his contention that this was the case. The working classes of the country had expressed no opinion in favour of the Aliens Bill, but they had made many demands to have the Unemployed Bill pushed through without any further delay. Only that day the Prime Minister had stated that he was unable to fix-a day for the Second Reading of the Unemployed Bill. Would the Patronage Secretary to the Treasury give them some indication as to whether the Unemployed Bill would at least be allowed to run side by side with the Aliens Bill so as to obviate the danger which existed of two Bills which, in his opinion, were of infinitely more importance than the Aliens Bill not being passed into law this session. He trusted that they would have some assurance upon this point in order that they might make their arrangements for being present when the Unemployed Bill came on. He hoped the whole time of the session would not be wasted upon a worthless measure like the Aliens Bill.


said he was very glad to find that the legislation introduced by the Government in favour of the working classes was so popular on the Opposition side of the House, and he trusted that they would endeavour to assist the Government to pass those measures into law. The three important measures were the Workmen's Compensation Bill, the Unemployed Bill, and the Aliens Bill. He could not say at the present moment which would start at the shortest price. He would certainly convey to the Prime Minister the view which had been expressed upon these matters. With regard to what had been said by the hon. Member for Rushcliffe in regard to the Orders of the Day, he agreed that it was inconvenient and he would see what could be done in the matter.

Ajourned at twenty-nine minute before One o'clock.