HC Deb 26 February 1919 vol 112 cc1754-5
Colonel C. LOWTHER

May I ask you, Sir, whether Members who have sat in the House for ten or fifteen years, and established some claim to their seats are to continue to come at half-past six in the morning, and form a queue in order to obtain them?


I am glad the hon. and gallant Gentleman is an early riser. As a matter of fact, it would be no use being here at half-past six because the doors will not open till eight.


I thought it was no use being here at half-past six, but I was here at half-past seven this morning. I saw a big queue, and that is the reason I asked the question. I wish to ask your ruling about it. Is it not your wish that hon. Members who have established a claim in past Parliaments to their seats? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]


I have no wishes whatever in the matter except that hon. Members should be pleased and content with the places they occupy. I do not think it can be said that any hon. Member has entitled himself to a particular place. The rule is, so far as unofficial Members goes, that if an hon. and gallant Gentleman who happens to be a Member of Parliament is thanked for his services in the field, for the rest of his period as a Member he is entitled to retain his place. That is the only rule that I know of; but, under the usual courtesies which pass between Members, it has always been the custom that hon. Members who have distinguished themselves in the House by their assiduous attendance and by the prominent part they have taken in the Debates, should be allowed to retain particular places. Of course, the place must vary according to whether they oppose or support the Government for the time being.


Ours never vary.


I said that the other day. Nationalist Members, as long as I can remember, have always sat on the particular benches they now occupy, and, therefore, I thought they ought to be left to them.

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