HC Deb 23 June 1910 vol 18 cc487-8

asked the Prime Minister if he can see his way to give the House an early opportunity of discussing on Second Reading the Bill for the Parliamentary Enfranchisement of Women?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

The Government have considered this matter, and recognise that the circumstances of the case are exceptional, from the fact that under the conditions which govern private Members' proposals the House of Commons has never had an adequate opportunity of discussing so momentous a change. They are, therefore, prepared to give time, before the close of the Session, for a full Debate and a Division on the Second Reading of the Bill which has been introduced. In dew of the exigencies of other Parliamentary business, and their own announced decision not to prosecute contentious legislation, they cannot afford any further facilities to the Bill this Session. The Government recognise that the House ought to have opportunities, if that is their deliberate desire, for effectively dealing with the whole question, and the course of the Debate may be expected to throw instructive light on Parliamentary opinion both in regard to this Bill and to other proposals.


Will the Prime Minister state if he is yet in a position to announce the mind of the Government on the Trade Union Law Amendment Act?


I must have notice of that question.


Does the right hon. Gentleman still adhere to his announced undertaking not to take contentious business during this Session, and is he not aware that this Bill is one of the most contentious Bills that has ever been introduced in the House of Commons?