§ MR. ARTHUR HENDERSON
I bog to ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of recent instances of Members successful in the ballot for private Members' Motions having had their right rendered abortive by Members introducing Bills on similar subjects, the Government will take steps during the discussion of the Procedure Rules to render such action impossible.
§ The following Questions also appeared on the Paper:—
§ MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)
To ask the Prime Minister 378 whether, in continuation of his Motion upon the Order Paper in reference to the Standing Orders of the House, he can see his way to propose a new Standing Order which shall protect an hon. Member who has secured priority by ballot from being deprived of his opportunity of bringing on a Motion in the House by the introduction of a Bill on a similar subject by some other hon. Member.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
To ask the Prime Minister when the Government will introduce the Standing Order, indicated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to put a stop to the practice of setting down blocking Motions and blocking Bills.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN,) Stirling Burghs
Perhaps I may be allowed to answer the Questions standing in the name of my hon. friend the Member for the Appleby Division and the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone at the same time. We shall be very glad if a remedy can be found for the present practice, which is open to serious objection. My right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the last day before the House adjourned for the Easter recess stated on behalf of the Government that we would consider the matter with the view to concerted action on the part of all sections of the House. This particular question does not come within the scope of the scheme of changes in the Rules of Procedure now under consideration, but it can be dealt with as soon as we have made sure that it can be freed from controversy, and that the acceptance of a proposal on the subject by the House would not involve any loss of time.
§ LORD R. CECIL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether any steps have been taken to see whether such an arrangement is possible?
§ LORD R. CECIL
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the fact that the Easter recess has come to an end for some days?
§ MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the unanimous declaration of this House, just before the Easter recess, that the practice referred to is hurtful to the usefulness of the House and an infringement of the rights of Members, does not, in the opinion of the Government, bind the action of Members.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I wish it did. But the Resolution certainly furnishes grounds for hope that .such a desirable result may be attained.