HC Deb 03 June 1915 vol 72 cc13-4

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he can give us any information as to what will be the business for next week?


Upon Monday next the Prime Minister hopes to make a statement with regard to the position of Italy and the War.

To-day I shall ask leave to introduce a Bill to make temporary provision rendering unnecessary the re-election of Members of the House of Commons on acceptance of office. We are anxious that Ministers should take their seats here at the earliest possible moment. Therefore we hope that the House will agree to pass this Bill through all its stages to-day. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no!"] I shall also ask leave to introduce a Bill to establish the Ministry of Munitions of War.

Upon Monday next, we shall take the Second Reading of that Bill, and upon Tuesday the other stages. With regard to the business for Wednesday and Thursday, the Prime Minister will make a statement on Monday.


May I ask the. Home Secretary in reference to his statement that he means to introduce a Bill to-day as to the re-election of the new Ministers, whether he can hold out hope that we shall have some other opportunity of discussing an event of very vital importance to Ireland—I mean the disappearance of the Home Rule Ministry, and I also desire to ask the Home Secretary whether, having regard to the inconvenience and apparent opposition to this particular Bill and also having regard to the fact that most of the representatives of Ireland are absent, I presume owing to the absence of any notice of this Bill, he will be able to give us some assurance that we will have without delay some more convenient opportunity for discussing an event which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman must feel cannot be allowed by us to pass by without some comment, and that without, any unnecessary hostility to the Coalition?


It will be clear to the House that the question now put by the hon. Gentleman is one which it will be proper for the Prime Minister to deal with himself in the name of the Government and as Leader of the House. I do not think that the Bill for obviating the necessity of the re-election of Ministers is a Bill which is really in any way inconsistent with the most important question the hon. Gentleman put being dealt with on its own merits at the earliest opportunity which the Prime Minister thinks possible to give.


I beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will be good enough to explain to the House what he has said about meeting on Monday in view of the notice on the Paper to meet on Tuesday next, and also whether the Bill he proposes to introduce to-day represents the joint opinion of the Coalition Government?


The House will only meet on Monday if at the end of our business we adopt a Resolution so to do. If we adopt that Resolution then that result will follow. The Bill which I am about to ask leave to introduce is a Bill presented in the name of the Government as a whole.


May I ask if that Bill has been printed and distributed to Members, and, if not, whether it is in order to present and attempt to pass through in one day a Bill which none of the Members of this House, except perhaps on the Front Bench, have seen?


The hon. Member had better wait until the Bill is introduced, and then any questions of order can be raised upon it.


With all respect, this Bill is proposed to be introduced by an unconstitutional body.


We can discuss that when we reach the Bill.