HC Deb 13 July 1922 vol 156 cc1464-6

In asking for a statement of business next week, may I inquire, in view of the reported breakdown of The Hague Conference, the collapse of the mark, and the bearing of these two things on the whole problem of reparations, whether the Government can provide an opportunity for an early discussion in this House, and accordingly put down the appropriate Vote with reference to it?


I am afraid it would be difficult, if not impossible, to have a discussion next week, for reasons which have been explained to my right hon. Friend, but in the week after next the appropriate Vote will be put down, by arrangement, on which both these questions could very conveniently be discussed. I hope that will meet the convenience of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen in the House.

With regard to the business for this evening, to-morrow, or next week, if anytime is available this evening or tomorrow I shall propose to proceed with minor Orders on the Paper, such as the Post Office (Pneumatic Tubes Acquisition) Bill, the Public Works Loans Bill, and, if further time be available, the Second Readings of the Education (Scotland) (Superannuation) Bill and the Allotments (Scotland) Bill, which have come down from the House of Lords.

With regard to next week, the business will be:

Monday (July 17th).—Honours Debate, and, if time permits, other Orders on the Paper.

Tuesday.—Supply: Navy Votes.

Wednesday.—Second Headings of the Scottish Bills—Education (Scotland) (Superannuation) Bill and Allotments (Scotland) Bill, if not taken before: Milk and Dairies (Amendment) Bill; Naval, Military and Air Force Canteens Bill, and Reports from Standing Committees upstairs.

Thursday.—Supply: Scottish Estimates.

Friday.—Report and Third Readings of various Bills.


Arising out of the first part of the question of my right hon. Friend the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes), can the Prime Minister give any information as to what has occurred at The Hague?


I have already answered a question with regard to that. I cannot give any information to the House beyond what has appeared in the papers, but I am afraid there is a deadlock. I have not, however, yet had any official information that there is a breakdown, but I promise that if any news comes in the course of the evening I will inform the House of it on the Adjournment to-night.


Will the House be in a position to get all the questions put to the Russian Delegates and their answers?


There must be some method of informing the House officially of what took place, but until my hon. Friend's return from The Hague I cannot say what is the exact form in which that information can be supplied.


Will it be possible to get the questions put to the Russian Delegates, and their replies? Surely that is a very simple matter.


I am sure that is an essential part of any information that is conveyed to the House. The House must have the information that will enable it to judge, if there is a breakdown, at what point the breakdown came.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Can the Prime Minister say at what time the Debate on the Resolutions for the Reform of the other Chamber will be held in this House?


As soon as they come down from the House of Lords.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Were not the discussions to be simultaneous?


Oh, no! Sir DONALD MACLEAN: With regard to the list for to-night, I presume the phrase "if there be any time to spare" means before 11 o'clock?




Before the Debate on Monday, will the Prime Minister circulate a Paper showing the average number of honours conferred annually during his administration and during preceding administrations?


And the amount paid.

Commander BELLAIRS

With regard to the Honours Debate on Monday, and the decision of the Government to treat it as a matter of confidence, may I ask the Prime Minister whether the Government intends to negative the Resolution or to meet it by a reasoned Amendment? Is he aware of the great strain he will place on many of his supporters—


I think I had better not make a statement in reference to the course which the Government is going to pursue until the Debate on Monday. I think my hon. Friends need not apprehend any strain upon their loyalty. Before they make up their minds, I am sure they will listen to what the Government has to say. A good deal has been said on the other side.

Captain BENN

If the Government have not yet decided what course they are going to pursue on Monday, how can they have decided to make it a question of confidence?


In order to relieve his followers of the strain which they think is going to be put upon them, will the Prime Minister leave the matter to the open vote of the House and take the Whips off?


That has been answered already.

Ordered, "That the Proceedings on the Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Bill be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House).—[The Prime Minister.]

Ordered, "That the Proceedings on the Finance Bill and on the Unemployment Insurance (No. 2) Bill have precedence this day of the Business of supply.—[The Prime Minister.]