HC Deb 06 August 1913 vol 56 cc1670-1

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.


It seems to me we might have a statement from the Government now as to how far they intend to proceed with the Bills on the Paper. The same reasons which actuated the Government in not proceeding with the Third Reading of the Insurance Amendment Bill bear with increased force on the other Bills which stand later on the Paper. The first is the Mental Deficiency (Scotland) Bill, which will not detain the House very long when we get the Amendments to it that we desire. The Highlands and Islands Bill will not take much time, nor will the Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Bill, my Amendments having been withdrawn. I hope the Government will be content with these three and not press the rest. The Industrial and Provident Societies Bill has got a considerable amount of opposition to it. The Public Health Bill is also a controversial measure. If the Government insist on trying to force these Bills through the House there will be more time taken up with the first three Bills than would otherwise be the case. There is opposition to the Revenue Bill, which will probably lead to that Bill being withdrawn on Monday, so that there will be more time for the discussion of these other measures. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury said awhile ago that it had been arranged to take the Revenue Bill first on Monday, but he could not have been aware of the new phase which has overtaken the Revenue Bill, the proposal to withdraw the Valuation Clause owing to the opposition from these Benches, which I understand will be fatal to the Bill. Therefore there will be the whole of Monday to deal with these other measures. I hope we may have peace and not a sword. Speaking for myself, I am quite content to let the first three Bills through without discussion.


I am glad to see that the hon. Member is willing to allow us to get the three Bills about which I think there is no contention at all; but there are three other smaller Bills, the Misdescription of Fabrics Bill, the Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Bill, and the Public Health (Prevention and Treatment of Disease) Bill. I hope he has no objection to these.


I have a great objection to one of them. It seems to me unnecessary to force them through tonight.