HC Deb 16 July 1918 vol 108 cc901-2

May I ask the Leader of the House a question arising out of the business on the Order Paper for to-day? I refer to the Motion standing in the name of the Home Secretary—(Criminal Law Amendment Bill [Lords] and Sexual Offences Bill [Lords]). May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he really seriously intends to proceed with this legislation initiated in another place, in view of the fact that it is most contentious, and that yesterday he announced that he could not even proceed with the Solicitors (Qualification of Women) Bill on the ground that it was contentious. Is he not aware that here we have a larger piece of legislation much more contentious, and that we spent many days upstairs last year and several days down here in the futile endeavour to pass this Bill, which was given up——


The hon. Member is now making the speech which he ought to make on the Motion itself.


May I briefly and respectfully ask whether it is really intended to go on with the Motion?


I think the hon. Member may assume from the fact that the Motion is on the Paper that the answer to his question is in the affirmative.


Then the fact that the Bill is contentious makes no difference?


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what orders it is intended to take to-day, and particularly whether it is intended to proceed with the Statutory Undertakings (Temporary Increase of Charges) Bill?


It has been represented to me since I came into the House that many hon. Members interested in that Bill think that too little time has been given. I have consulted my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and, although I am anxious to get on with the business, as the House will understand, we have decided to postpone it till Monday. We shall take to-day the remaining stages of the Education Bill, the War Loan Bill, and the two Motions standing in the names of my hon. Friend (Lord E. Talbot)—(Emergency Legislation)—and of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Sir G. Cave)—(Criminal Law Amendment Bill [Lords] and Sexual Offences Bill [Lords]).