HC Deb 17 December 1908 vol 198 cc2152-3
MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of the entire absence of opposition to the Hops Bill, except from a few of his own supporters, he will give the House an opportunity of discussing the Bill in Committee, as it is non-contentious from a Party point of view.

MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)

May I ask whether the opponents of this Bill are not to be found in every quarter of the House, and, therefore, it cannot properly be described as non-controversial?

MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the fact that all the Amendments to the Hops Bill upon the Order Paper stand in the names of his own supporters; whether, in view of this fact, he will proceed with the Bill; and, if not, what steps he proposes to take to carry out the pledges given in July last to a deputation of hop-growers by Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Trade.


I have nothing to add to the statement I made yesterday in Answer to similar Questions. In view of the Amendments on the Paper the Hops Bill cannot be regarded as coming within the category of measures which there is any likelihood of passing into law.


Does the right hon. Gentleman intend that the opposition of a few of his supporters shall prevent this House remedying an admitted grievance? Will he undertake to take the first stages of this Bill at an early period next session?


The Question of the hon. Gentleman does not actually represent the situation. It is not a question whether the Hops Bill is right or wrong, but whether it has universal assent in all quarters of the House. I am satisfied it has not. With regard to next session, I cannot give any pledge.


Will the right hon. Gentleman reply to the last part of my Question?


We have taken all the steps we can.