§ Mr. ARTHUR LEE
I presume it is not intended to take Navy Estimates, Vote VIII., to-day, in view of the Prime Minister's announcement?
§ The PATRONAGE SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Joseph Pease)
I put it down merely with a view, if possible, of securing it before 8 o'clock; and if we did that, it would be open to the House tomorrow on the Report stage to move a reduction of the Vote. If we do not secure the Committee stage to-night, the Vote would appear included with all the other Navy Votes, and any reduction moved tomorrow would affect the whole Navy services, and would not be confined to Vote VIII.
§ Sir ALEXANDER ACLAND-HOOD
With reference to the notice in the name of the Prime Minister, what business is it proposed to take to-night?
§ Mr. HALDANE
If we have the opportunity, we want to take the Ways and Means Resolution, the Army and Navy Expenditure Report, the Resolution which we discussed last week, and then the Public Works Loans Bill in Committee.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Is it not unusual to take Bills on Supply days, notwithstanding any Resolution which may be moved, and will the right hon. Gentleman not see his way to meet the Opposition by agreeing not to take any Bills? If he agreed to that, there would be no objection to his having the Ways and Means Resolution and Report of the Army and Navy Vote.
§ Mr. PEASE
We are more or less at the mercy of the Opposition in regard to any appeal we may make for the Public Works Loans (Committee stage). We propose, in any event, to put this Bill down next Friday, and I should like, if we could, to have any observations which any hon. Member desires to make upon it on Friday. The reason really is that there are public authorities in the country requiring Public Works Loans, and it is very important that we should get this stage 1563 of the Bill through this week, if possible, to enable it to go to another place and the Royal Assent to be given at an early date, so that the local authorities may secure their money. If we were allowed to get the formal stage of the Committee to-day, there would be an opportunity on Friday of discussing the third reading.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
The Committee stage is the only one when we can have any discussion which is practically useful on the Public Works Loans Bill. I would therefore ask the right hon. Gentleman whether under the circumstances he could meet the Opposition in this matter?
§ Mr. WATSON RUTHERFORD
On a point of order with regard to procedure, may I point out that there is nothing in Standing Order 15 which prohibits other business being taken, but if it is taken then the day cannot count as a day allotted to Supply.
§ Mr. JOSEPH PEASE
I will be very glad to confer with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Somersetshire (Sir A. Acland-Hood) in regard to the matter of the Committee Stage of the Public Works Loans Bill.