HC Deb 25 May 1921 vol 142 cc148-9
49. Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

asked the Lord Privy Seal when the Supplementary Estimate for the Minister Without Portfolio will be discussed?


I regret that I am not yet in a position to name a date.

Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

In view of the great interest taken in this question, can the right hon. Gentleman arrange that it shall be taken as first Order on whatever day is fixed?


Certainly, we shall try to do that.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on the previous occasion when the Estimate was down, the undue time taken by the Minister in charge of the previous Vote prevented discussion of this Estimate, and in view of that, will the right hon. Gentleman, in justice to the House, consider the advisability of putting this Vote down on Thursday week?


Without accepting the Noble Lord's suggestion as to what occurred on the previous occasion, or to whom the delay was due, I may say that it is the desire of His Majesty's Government that this Vote shall be taken at a time when it can be adequately and properly discussed and the sense of the House obtained upon it. I cannot undertake to put it down next Thursday or, I think, the Thursday of next week. I am very much in the hands of the House as to what Votes will be taken on a particular day.


May I remind my right hon. Friend that Thursday is a day dedicated to ordinary Supply Votes, and does he agree with me that to take a Vote of this kind on a Supply day would be to deprive the House of its all too limited opportunity of discussing Supply Votes? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree also that this particular Vote is one which is brought in by the Government, and, therefore, outside the scope of the ordinary Supply Votes, and should not take up a regular Supply day?


I am always anxious to agree with my right hon. Friend when I can, but I find it impossible to do so on this occasion. This is Supply. Like all Votes in Supply, it is introduced by the Government on their responsibility, and if the House is not to discuss this kind of vote on a Supply day, I do not know what Supply days are.