HC Deb 12 February 1920 vol 125 cc231-3

I desire to ask the Leader of the House what business will be taken next week, and in view of the importance of a number of the Amendments to the Address on the Order Paper, can he inform us if the Debate will be carried over until next week?

Mr. BONAR LAW (Leader of the House)

We have assumed—and I hope accurately—that the Debate on the Address will end to-morrow (Friday), and on that assumption, we propose to take the following business next week:

On Monday—the War Emergency Laws (Continuance) Bill, Second Reading and Committee; and, if time permit, the appointment of a Committee on Increases of Wealth (War), and the Second Reading of the Silver Coinage Bill.

Tuesday—Coal Mines (Emergency) Bill, Second Reading.

Wednesday—Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, Second Reading; and the Public Utility Companies (Capital Issues) Bill, Second Reading.

Thursday—Supply (Army, Vote on Account).


Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the present intention of the Government to finish the debate on the Address tomorrow, whether he will bear in mind the fact that there has been no general debate on the Address such as is usual.


There was the debate on the first day.


That is quite usual, but very often the second day has also been devoted to a general debate, the first Amendment being taken late in the evening. That has been the usual practice. Does not the right hon. Gentleman think, in view of the large number of important Amendments still upon the Paper, that he might give the House another day on Monday for the discussion of two, at any rate, of those Amendments?


The Government have certainly no wish to press the House unduly in this matter, but the House will realise that we have a very heavy programme in front of us, and in view of the early date on which Easter falls and the amount of financial business that has to be done, unless we get the Bills which are referred to in my statement next week the Committees will have nothing to do, and it will be difficult to get the work of the House properly going. I feel, therefore, that in the course we recommend we are acting in the best interests of the House as a whole.

Lieut.-Colonel A. MURRAY

The Prime Minister said that he hoped to introduce the Government of Ireland Bill. Can my right hon. Friend say now when that Bill will be introduced?


My hon. and gallant Friend is under a misapprehension. The statement made at the close of last Session was regarded by us, and I am sure will be regarded by the House, as the First Reading discussion. We propose, therefore, to have the Bill printed and introduced, and later on to take the Second Heading.