HC Deb 04 August 1919 vol 119 cc136-8

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That this House do now adjourn."—[Colonel Sanders.]

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

May I draw the attention of the Joint Patronage Secretary (Lord E. Talbot) to what has-happened in connection with the business of the House this afternoon? The Scottish Estimates were put down. Very little notice was given, and many of the Scottish Members who were away in Scotland were unable to travel back in time for this Debate. Owing to the River Pageant —with the objects of which we all naturally sympathise—the Debate on the Scottish Estimates was suspended for nearly a couple of hours, the result being that some of the later items had to be gabbled through—if I may use that expression. The Vote for the Fisheries Board was only just reached. I hope that every fisherman in Scotland, whether he be employed on a trawler, a steam drifter, a motor boat, or a sailing boat, or whether he be a salmon fisher, will take notice of the fact that owing to the procedure laid down by the Government, their vital interests, affected so deeply by these Votes, have to a large extent been left undiscussed in this House to-day. Speaking in the Debate the Secretary for Scotland said that on two Votes we had had very useful and, I think he said, very practical Debates. That may be so, but if be were to say that the Debate we have had this afternoon was all that Scotland either demanded or considered necessary I feel perfectly convinced that Scotland would rise as one man and tell the right hon. Gentleman that that did not at all satisfy their demands. The Debate we have had this afternoon has been a perfect farce. We have been able to discuss in very short detail some of the affairs that affect Scotland, but we have been quite unable to discuss at length, as we ought to be able to do, very vital interests that affect Scotland at the present time.


I should like to associate myself with the protest of the hon. and gallant Gentleman my colleague in the representation of Kincardine and Aberdeen. It amounts almost to a scandal that the Scottish Estimates should be taken on such a day as this. I wanted most to speak on the Scottish fisheries. I cannot do so on this Motion for the Adjournment. But I reflected, when I heard a Member on the other side of the House representing an inland English constituency discoursing to the House about herrings, that I should have to account to my Constituency for my time, representing, as I do, the two great Scottish herring fishery ports, Fraser burgh and Peter-burgh. There must be many Scottish Members who desired to put forward the interests of their constituencies to-day, who have been deprived of the one opportunity in the year because those Scottish Estimates have been put down on a day which is practically a dies non.

Captain W. BENN

Touching this matter of the business of the House, may I ask the Noble Lord a question? We were informed at Question Time that that very important Bill, the Welsh Temporalities Bill, was to be taken on Wednesday. This Bill embodies a very big question about which many hon. Members feel strongly and about which a good deal of interest is taken in the country. I have inquired twice to-day at the Vote Office, and the Bill is not available. Does the Noble Lord really think it is treating the House of Commons with respect to print a Bill on Tuesday morning—a Bill of primary importance, and a Bill which was a subject of a special pledge in the manifesto of the Coalition Leaders—to print such a Bill on one morning and to propose to take the Second Reading on the next day?

Lord E. TALBOT (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

In answer to the last question of my hon. and gallant Friend, there is no desire unduly, or in a too great a hurry, to take the Welsh Church Bill. The only question is how long the House wishes to sit. It is a question of the general convenience of the House. If the House does not want to take the Bill, we are in the hands of the House. As to the question of the Scottish Estimates being put down for to-day, my hon. and gallant Friend is wrong in suggesting that there was not sufficient notice. The usual notice was given on Thursday last that this Vote would be taken to-day.

Lieut.-Colonel MURRAY

Surely the hon. Member will agree that in the case of the scottish Estimates longer notice—


The hon. and gallant Gentleman has already spoken.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Fourteen minutes after Ten o'clock.