HC Deb 15 April 1907 vol 172 cc726-8

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the House do now adjourn.—(Mr. George Whiteley.)


asked whether, at the conclusion of the debate on the proposal to substitute four new Standing Committees for the existing Standing Committees at ten o'clock to-morrow night, the existing Standing Committees would be automatically abolished. One of those Standing Committees was dealing with the feeding of school children, and was to meet to-morrow. He would be glad to know what was the position of the existing Committees and of the Bills before them. It seemed to be absurd that a Committee should meet and attempt to do work on the very eve of their demise.


replied that in the Standing Orders there were no words relating to the deposition of Committees. It could only be a de facto supersession, and they might pass resolutions as they liked, but, until the Committee of Selection or some other body had set up these new Committees, there was no de facto abolition of the existing machinery, therefore the old machinery went on.


said these Committees were not formally abolished, but the contemplated effect of the new Standing Order was to abolish them. He would like to have the view of the Speaker as to the actual status of the old Committees, as to how the work of the old Committees could be carried on by the new Committees, and as to how a Bill which had been before an old Committee could be suddenly transferred to a new Committee.


asked the Speaker's opinion whether until the new Committees were de facto set up the old Committees had ceased to exist.


said he was really not in a position to answer the question. I f the right hon. Gentleman would repeat his question to-morrow, he would endeavour by that time to arrive at a solution.


said he should never have thought of raising this question without some previous reference to Mr. Speaker or the Government, but the point was only brought to his attention a few minutes before.


asked whether it would be in order for a Committee to disregard the Order of the House, and whether these Committees would not remain in existence until they had completed the work which had been sent to them by the House.


said there were two Grand Committees now in existence, the Committee on Law and the Committee on Trade, each consisting of eighty members, and yet the Government intended to set up four new Grant Committees which would absorb another 320 Members He would like Mr. Speaker to consider what would be the feelings of Members who were nominated on these new Grand Committees.


said he did not think that question came before him. The question was whether the work of the Standing Committees was to be continued by the new Committees which were about to be set up or whether the Resolution of the House to-morrow would put an end to the old Committees. As he had said, he would consider the matter, and if the right hon. Gentleman would put his Question to-morrow at Question time he would give him the best Answer he could.

Adjourned at a quarter after Eleven o'clock.