HC Deb 09 February 1922 vol 150 cc309-10

May I ask what business the Leader of the House proposes to take next week, and whether he is now in a position to state with certainty that the Geddes Report will be available in the Vote Office to-morrow for the use of Members, to enable them to discuss the Amendment on Monday next?


As regards the Geddes Report, the right hon. Gentleman's notice only reached me a few minutes ago, and I have communicated with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who tells me he believes the Report will be available in the Vote Office to-morrow. I will not undertake to say that it will be available at the opening of the Sitting, but I trust it will be available before the House rises.

As regards the business for next week, we propose, as already announced, to continue the Debate on the Address on Monday and Tuesday, on which day we hope to bring the Debate on the Address to a close.

In that case, I shall propose on Wednesday to take the Motion standing in my name in respect to the time of the House.

On Thursday, and, if necessary, on Friday, we shall take the Second Reading of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill.


If the Geddes Report be not available before the House rises to-morrow, can the right hon. Gentleman see his way to postpone the Monday Debate until Tuesday? Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that if we do not get the Report before the House rises on Friday, country Members who go away on Friday will not see that Report until Monday morning?


My hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury tells me he thinks we can rest assured that the Geddes Report will be available before the rising of the House.


May I ask, with reference to the statement as to the right hon. Gentleman's impending Motion as to the time of the House, whether he is aware that a very serious view is taken by many Members of the House with regard to the proposal to take the whole of the time to the end of the financial year for the business of the Government; and whether, before we proceed to a discussion of the Motion, he can reconsider the question with a view at least to leaving Fridays for the use of private Members who have won their opportunity to introduce Bills?


I dislike very much infringing upon the ordinary rights of private Members at the beginning of the Session, but we have a great deal of financial work which must be got through within certain definite limits. We must have a Consolidated Fund Bill before 31st March, and, under those circumstances, having regard to the urgency, I do not think it is possible for me to modify my Motion, but I think that can better be discussed on the question itself.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman when the proposals for the reform of the House of Lords will be introduced?

4.0 P.M.

Lieut. - Colonel GUINNESS

May I ask whether, in return for the rights of Private Members which have been taken away before Easter, the right hon. Gentleman will give one or two nights between Easter and Whitsuntide for Private Members' Motions?


That matter ought to be debated when we come to the Motion. It will be open to Members to do so.


May I ask you, Sir, for the convenience of Members, whether at the rising of the House to-night it will be possible for you to indicate one or two Amendments which might be more likely than others to catch your eye to-morrow? It would be a great help to Members to know what is likely to be debated tomorrow.


Yesterday I made certain communications through the usual channels, and if they did not reach the right hon. Gentleman, I will see that they do so to-day.