HC Deb 10 August 1914 vol 65 cc2297-8
The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

I beg to move, "That this House, at the rising of the House this day, do adjourn till Tuesday, 25th August."

5.0 P.M.

I am sure that every one of us is anxious, so far as it can be done, without any sacrifice of principle or of position, that we should continue as a House, and as a country, to speak and act without discord in the face of the great risk and responsibility which confront us. When ten days ago the Second Reading of the Government of Ireland (Amendment) Amending Bill was postponed, both the Leader of the Opposition and myself pointed out that that postponement must be without prejudice to the domestic and political position of any party. To what was then said and assented to I adhere both in the letter and in the spirit. The Government have most anxiously considered the situation—I purposely use very few words—and our advice, after very full consideration, to the House is to adjourn after to-day for a fortnight to the 25th of this month, when we trust we shall be in a position to wind up the business of the Session. When I say that, I mean that we are not without hope that in the interval we may be able to make proposals in regard to dealing with that business which may meet with something like general acquiescence.


I shall imitate the right hon. Gentleman in using the fewest possible words. I understand the statement we have just heard to mean that the House will now adjourn for a fortnight, and that when we meet again the House, and the Government, will be free to take whatever course then seems best. I need only add that I share to the full, and so far as I can I shall gladly help to realise, the hope expressed by the Prime Minister that some way may be found to prevent controversial debate in this House, which, at such a time, would in my belief be a national calamity.