HC Deb 07 June 1917 vol 94 cc371-2

Can the Joint Parliamentary Secretary tell the House what business is going to be taken next week?

Lord EDMUND TALBOT (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

On Monday we shall take the Representation of the People Bill (Instructions to Boundary Commissioners);

Tuesday, the Representation of the People Bill in Committee;

Wednesday, the Corn Production Bill (Financial Resolution), and the Military Service (Convention with Allied States) Bill in Committee, and probably other measures;

And on Thursday, Supply (Board of Trade Vote).


Can the Noble Lord say whether it will be possible to give a day for the discussion of the salary of the Secretary of State for War, in order to discuss the scandal of the re-examination of discharged and rejected men?


Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question next week.


Will the Noble Lord represent to the Leader of the House that this is an urgent matter, as it is going on every day all over the country, and therefore the discussion should take place at once?


Can the Noble Lord say whether the Government will be prepared with a statement on the British Trade Corporation, and can he assure us that the White Paper will be issued in time to be considered?


I understand that the White Paper will be issued early next week.


Would it not be better to take the discussion on the salary of the Secretary of State for War if you are not ready with this?

Ordered, "That the Proceedings on the Representation of the People Bill and Companies (Particulars as to Directors) Bill have precedence this day of the Business of Supply."—[Lord E. Talbot.]

Motion made, and Question proposed. "That this House do sit To-morrow."—[Lord E. Talbot.]


I notice that the Motion on the Paper does not specify the hour of meeting. In view of the fact that there are three Bills of the first importance either in Committee or awaiting the Committee stage—namely, the Representation of the People Bill, the Corn Production Bill, and the Finance Bill—I would like to know whether the Government is disposed to reconsider the practice of having a partial sitting on a Friday, which appears to be merely a legacy of peace times for the convenience of private Members, and to have instead a longer sitting, in order that substantial progress can be made with the urgent business which the Government desire to get through at the earliest possible time? May I point out that the taking of serious and urgent business on Fridays would not involve, in the case of the Bills I have mentioned, any great draft upon the time of Ministers, because it would only involve the attendance of those Ministers who are directly concerned with the Bill under consideration; Is it not advisable that we should realise the situation in which the House finds itself, adapt our procedure to the exigencies of the case, and give up this partial sitting on a Friday, whereby substantial progress with serious business is practically impossible, and have a really business sitting so that progress may be made with the measures before the House. May I ask whether the House is to sit to-morrow at 12 o'clock as usual and adjourn at 5 o'clock, or whether the right hon. Gentleman will consider the desirability of having the kind of sitting that I have indicated?


The House will sit to-morrow at the usual time. My hon. Friend has made a proposal which would involve a very serious disturbance of the usual course of business in this House, and he will not expect me to say more than that the suggestion will be conveyed to the Leader of the House, but I cannot hold out any hope of its adoption.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House do sit to-morrow.