HC Deb 07 July 1922 vol 156 cc761-5

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

Major Sir B. FALLE

The Home Secretary assured me that the five or six last words of the second Clause should be omitted, and he asked me to raise it on the Third Reading. The point was raised in Committee, first of all on the Preamble, and secondly on the first Clause. The Home Secretary said he would change it, but when the amended Bill was brought before the House, the matter had not been changed. There is no necessity for these words. It is customary, when an Act of Parliament which mentions the Channel Islands is passed, to send it to the islands by Order in Council, and it must be sent by Order in Council whether the House order it or not. The whole point, of course, is that the islands have a Legislature of their own, which is anterior to this Parliament, and their affairs are managed through His Majesty, not by the direct orders of this House.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)

It is not now possible to move any Amendment. The only way now to effect a change in the Bill, which I understand comes from another place, would be to move its re-committal. Perhaps the better plan will be to move the Adjournment of the Debate, to consider the position.

Captain W. BENN

I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

It is rather an unusual position. Apparently the Government gave a pledge that they were going to move an Amendment.


No; I said I would accept one, but it was not moved.

Captain BENN

The Home Secretary was not present at the Report stage to accept the Amendment. The hon. Member wishing to move it did not move it, and now the time has passed for the redemption of what was tantamount to a pledge.


I beg to second the Motion.


I hope the House will not adjourn this Debate. The Government are not in fault in this matter in the slightest degree. It is a pure matter of sentiment whether these words be taken out or not. The reason for the words is that it may be advertised in the Channel Islands that this is the law. I knew they did not matter more than that. I know the average person in the Channel Islands wants these things advertised and I said to my hon. Friend, "If you really care about this at all, I will not oppose it. I will accept your Amendment if you put one down." No Amendment was put down and I, not unnaturally, concluded that he cared no more about it than I did. I hope the House will not adjourn the Debate and so delay the passing of the Bill, which is most important.


The right hon. Gentleman's memory and mine do not agree at all. We were in Committee, and I was trying to ask that the Channel Islands should not be mentioned at all, inasmuch as they govern themselves. They have a law of their own, and do not require this one.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is now speaking to the merits. The question is whether the Debate should be adjourned or not.


I was promised that these words should be deleted in Committee, and I see no reason why I should not have what was promised carried through. I should not have allowed it to go through Committee without a protest. This is not a matter which is only being urged before you. It has been urged for a considerable time.


That is not the point. The whole point is not whether this law should apply to the Channel Islands or not. I should never have dreamt of giving a pledge on that point. Had I been asked to give a pledge that the law should not apply to the Channel Islands, I should have flatly refused.


I do not ask for that.


The whole point is whether certain words should be omitted which simply enact that the new law shall be advertised in the Channel Islands. Really the matter is not of the least importance, and I hope the House will not delay the Bill merely for the sake of an unimportant matter of that sort.


These words are of the greatest importance to the Islands. I have a pledge that they should not be put in, and I must certainly hold the Government to it. These things are customarily done by Order in Council, and they must be done by Order in Council.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman is again speaking to the merits, and not on the question of the Adjournment.


I hope my hon. and gallant Friend will not persist in the Motion for the Adjournment. The Bill is most urgently needed by industrials and by agriculturists, and if the matter be delayed, in view of the condition of the Government programme, it will cause very great concern and much uncertainty in industrial areas. The holiday season is now commencing, and it has a bearing on the holiday season for the workers. They have not the opportunity of choosing their time for recreation, but are compelled, by the customs of the towns and cities in which they reside, to take their holidays at a certain period.


The hon. Member is debating the merits. The Question is that the Debate be adjourned.


I hope the Motion will be withdrawn, because the matter is so urgently needed on all grounds.


The hon. Member has suggested that agriculture is very anxious that this Bill should come into operation. I join issue immediately on that point. I am not prepared to support the Motion for the Adjournment, but I certainly wish, in the name of agriculture, to protest wholeheartedly against the extension of the period of Summer Time. In Scotland especially, September is of importance to agriculturists. It is not a matter of sentiment. The men who have to make their living by agriculture know that a very great injustice is being perpetrated by the continuance of the Summer Time Bill during September. Having made this protest, I am content.


If the Motion to adjourn the Debate be withdrawn, I find that I can move to leave out the word "now," and to move that the Rill be re-committed to a Committee of the whole House The Committee of the whole House can then sit, and consider the Amendment straight away. We can then proceed to the Third Reading and get the Bill through.

Captain BENN

I am quite prepared to withdraw the Motion "That the Debate be now adjourned," if the hon. and gallant Member for Portsmouth North (Sir B. Falle) agree. This shows what comes of Cabinet Ministers ignoring the House of Commons, and not being in their place at the proper time.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Question again proposed, "That this Bill be now read the Third time."


I beg to move to leave out the words "be now read the Third time," and to insert instead thereof the words "be re-committed to a Committee of the whole House."

Amendment agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Resolved, "That this House will immediately resolve itself into Committee on the Bill."—[Mr. Shortt.]

Considered in Committee.

[Mr. JAMES HOPE in the Chair.]

  1. Clause 1 (Advance of time during certain period) ordered to stand part of the Bill.
  2. c765
  3. CLAUSE 2.—(Application to Channel Islands and Isle of Man.) 106 words
  4. cc765-7
  5. Clause 3 (Interpretation, short title and duration) ordered to stand part of the Bill. 802 words