HC Deb 06 July 1909 vol 7 c1009

Mr. JOSEPH PEASE moved for the issue of a writ for the election of a Member of Parliament for the County of Derby (High Peak Division) to fill the vacancy caused by the acceptance by Mr. Oswald Partington of the office of one of the Commissioners for executing the office of Treasurer of Great Britain and Lord High Treasurer of Ireland.


Before this Motion is put, I desire to ask whether any intimation of the vacancy and the intention to servo the writ to-day has been given to the Whips of the Labour Party? You may, Mr. Speaker, remember that on a recent occasion, when a similar Motion was made from this side, I took exception, and on that occasion the chief Whip of the Unionist party gave what, I understood, to be an undertaking that in future notice would be given when it was the intention on either side, or at least on his side, to move a similar Motion. I desire to ask has that been done now, and, if not, is there any understanding that in future it will be done, so as to give the parties interested an opportunity of considering whether or not they shall contest the business?


On both sides of the House, no matter which party was in power, it has always been the custom to give 24 hours' notice to the Opposition of the intention to move for a writ on the following day. This practice was observed yesterday. No request has ever been made from the Nationalist party in Ireland for notice of that kind, nor am I aware that any such request has been made from the Labour party. But if it is pressed I shall bring the matter before the Prime Minister; but I cannot undertake myself at the present moment that we shall depart from the usual custom.

Motion agreed to.