HC Deb 16 March 1922 vol 151 cc2529-30

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Colonel Leslie Wilson.]


I want to inform the House what will be the course of business on Monday. I have received from the right hon. Member for Platting (Mr Clynes) the information that he and those for whom he speaks, think that it is desirable to have a discussion on the dispute in the engineering trade, and the possible extension of that dispute. Accordingly, I propose to move the Adjournment of the House first thing after Questions on Monday, to enable that discussion to be taken, on the understanding that the Motion will be disposed of by General Consent not later than Eight o'clock and that we shall then proceed with the Estimates.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is the policy of the Government being challenged by the Labour party, or what is the case? Are we to have a mere discussion or will the Government be challenged?


I do not think, so far as I understand it, that it is a desire of the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends to move anything in the nature of a Vote of Censure on the Government, though I am not in a position to say that they may not challenge the policy of the Government or may not criticise the position of the Government in the matter. I am convinced that when a demand of this kind comes, so supported, in face of what is nothing less than a calamity to the nation, it would be unwise for one in my position to take up on behalf of Parliament the attitude that we have no time to give consideration to this matter. There are people in this country who would be only too glad to challenge the authority of this House. We must not play into their hands. Personally, I have already said that I am sorry the discussion should be asked for. I am rather afraid that the consequences of the discussion may be harmful rather than helpful, but when it is asked for, and asked for by the Leader of the Labour party, I think that I should put the House and not merely the Government in a false position if, it being in my power to give an opportunity, I refused to do so.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Estimates that will be taken on Monday will be the Agricultural Estimates?


The Estimates will be as I stated at Question time to-day.