HC Deb 14 April 1921 vol 140 cc1283-5
27. Captain W. BENN

asked the Prime Minister when it is intended that the House shall discuss the Ways and Means Resolutions relating to the Safeguarding of Industries Bill?


In view of the present industrial situation, I regret that it is not possible for me to name a date.

28. Captain BENN

asked the Prime Minister whether, in order that Members may have a clearer view of the intended application of the Ways and Means Resolutions (Safeguarding of Industries Bill), he will circulate as a White Paper the draft of the Bill before the Resolutions are discussed in the Committee?


I have been asked to reply. No, Sir. Such a course would be altogether unusual, and would, in my opinion, offer no advantages.

Captain BENN

May I ask the Prime Minister, arising out of that, whether the full powers granted under the Ways and Means Resolutions will be embodied in the Bill when it is introduced?


I think we will follow the usual course in that respect. As my hon. and gallant Friend knows very well, we may take full powers under the Resolutions, but it does not necessarily follow that the Bill will adhere strictly to the lines indicated by the wording of the Resolutions.


May I ask the Leader of the House why the Bill should not be printed and circulated before the Resolutions are taken?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN (Leader of the House)

I do not know of any occasion on which such a procedure as that has been followed.


If the Bill cannot be printed and circulated, could not a Memorandum be printed and circulated, giving us some information about these industries, the number of people employed in them, the wages paid, and the capital invested, in order that the House might have some real idea about the effect of the Bill?


I think the hon. Member had better wait for the discussion on the Resolutions, when information on these matters can be given. Many Bills—noticeably Finance Bills—have been founded on Resolutions before now, but no such Bill has ever been produced before the House has considered the Resolutions The framing of the Bill is dependent upon the decision which the House reaches on the Resolutions.

Captain BENN

May we take it that the powers conferred by the Resolutions are not wider than the Bill will require?


When you introduce Resolutions on which to found a Bill, the Resolutions may be as wide as you may conceivably wish to make the Bill, but the Bill may be much narrower than the Resolutions. In the imposition of a charge the Bill cannot extend further than the Resolutions, but the Resolutions habitually do extend further than the Bill.