HC Deb 13 February 1919 vol 112 cc279-80
Captain FITZROY (by Private Notice)

asked the Leader of the House whether, in view of the very general desire among Members interested in agriculture, he can give any assurance that adequate time will be provided during the Debate on the Address to discuss the Amendment dealing with this subject?


I fully realise the importance of a discussion on this subject, and I hope that an opportunity may be found in the Debate on the Address, but it is not in my power to choose the subjects for discussion, and my hon. and gallant Friend knows that it is necessary to proceed as quickly as possible with urgent business.


Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to give an extra day for the Debate on the Address, so that other Amendments on the Paper may be taken?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Amendment in regard to agriculture was put down by the unanimous wish of at least 100 Members; and in view of the fact that probably only an hour will be available tomorrow, will he promise us the earliest opportunity after 31st March?


I cannot promise to extend the Debate on the Address as suggested by the hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. Billing). I think it is essential that it should be concluded this week. I think my hon. Friend (Captain Fitzroy) might wait until we have concluded the Debate on the Address. It is possible that more time than he thinks may be available. If not, I feel as strongly as he does that it is in the general interest there should be a Debate on this subject, and I promise to give it as soon as possible.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the same opinion is held in regard to aliens? An application was handed to Mr. Speaker yesterday signed in half an hour by eighty Members, asking for time for a Debate on the Aliens question. As it is not possible to debate it on the Address, will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that a Government Bill dealing with aliens will be brought in at the earliest possible moment?


I can only give the same reply. I can assure the hon. Member that I quite realise the importance of the matter, and if it is not debated on the Address I shall do my best to get some further opportunity.


Could we not sit on Saturday to deal with this important subject?


I admire the enthusiasm of my hon. Friend, but I doubt if in the end business would be expedited by a course of that kind.


Could we not hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the alien question?