HC Deb 11 March 1918 vol 104 cc71-2
The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

I beg to move, "That the Proceedings on Government Business be not interrupted this night under the Standing Order (Sittings of the House), and may be entered upon at any hour although opposed."


I would like to ask what Government business the right hon. Gentleman intends to take to-day, and the order in which it will be taken. Does my right hon. Friend intend to stick to the order in which the business is placed on the Paper?


I would like to ask a question with regard to the Third Reading of the Trustee Savings Banks Bill. I put the point to the right hon. Gentleman as to whether he could not postpone this Order for a week? A large number of the local authorities in Scotland are very interested in Clause 1 of that Bill, and it would be very much to their convenience if the Third Reading could be postponed.


I see that the Navy Estimates (Votes A and 1) are put down before the Vote of Credit. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman to be good enough to say, if these two Votes are passed without discussion now, whether he will give us another opportunity before Easter of discussing the cognate subjects of the submarine menace and the very disquieting state of shipbuilding?


Yes, Sir. When the right hon. Gentleman questioned me on Thursday I was not informed as to the position. This is the Report of the Navy Votes, which on two out of three occasions since the War has been taken without any discussion, and on the other occasion with only a short discussion, and we assume, therefore, that it will go through as a matter of form without discussion now. I shall be glad to promise that another opportunity will be given in Supply of discussing these questions. I do not propose to take the other Bill referred to by the hon. Member for Lanark, and the only Orders we propose to take are the ones I have just mentioned and the Report.

Commander BELLAIRS

I desired to raise a question with regard to the pro- motion of officers on the Navy Vote, but I will not press the matter in view of the desire which has just been expressed.


My hon. and gallant Friend knows that any questions of that kind can be raised either on the Second or Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill.


May I ask whether, having regard to what has just been stated from the Front Bench, anyone speaking on the Report stage will be out of order unless they address themselves entirely to the question of the Government and their relation to the Press?


The hon. Member means the second Order, which is the Report of the Vote of Credit. On that Vote there will be a general discussion possible upon all matters contained in the Vote of Credit.

Question put, and agreed to.