HC Deb 26 October 1908 vol 194 cc1628-9

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether it is not the fact that, in consequence of the course the debate must take, there will be five speeches at least before any member of the Party which brought in and passed the Act, the application of which we have to discuss to-night, will have an opportunity of addressing the House, and whether, in view of that fact, and also the fact that no speeches are adequately reported after an unfortunately early hour, he can see his way to carrying over the debate to another day. I do not ask the right hon. Gentleman to give an answer now, because he will perhaps wait to see how the debate goes before the appeal can receive its full force. But I am so clearly of opinion that one night is not adequate that I shall certainly vote against the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule.


I think the House will agree that the Government have given the earliest possible opportunity for the discussion of this very important matter, recognising, as they do, its urgency. At the same time the House must remember that what we are discussing is not in the nature of a permanent solution, but merely the steps to be taken for the moment to deal with a particular emergency. I think that with the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule adequate time ought to be afforded for the discussion. The Government are really not able to give another day without curtailing the space which they think ought reasonably to intervene between the Committee and the report stage of the Licensing Bill. In these circumstances we must move the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule.