HC Deb 07 August 1924 vol 176 cc3165-71

I beg to move, That this House, at its rising this day, do adjourn until Tuesday, 28th October, provided always that if it appears to the satisfaction of Mr. Speaker, after consultation with His Majesty's Government, that the public interest requires that the House should meet at any earlier time during the Adjournment, Mr. Speaker may give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall met at the time stated in such notice, and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time, and any Orders of the Day and Notices of Motions that may stand on the Order Book for the 28th day of October or any subsequent day shall be appointed for the day on which the House shall so meet. In moving this Adjournment. I wish to make an announcement on business. I wish to draw attention to the fact that the date in the Motion is the date on which it was originally intended that the House should re-assemble—that is, 28th October. It was made clear yesterday that, in the event of a failure of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to appoint a Commissioner, or in the event of agreement not being otherwise reached, the Government would desire to assemble the House not later than 30th September. I only wish in moving the Motion to draw attention to that condition and to emphasise it as far as I can. In the event of it not being necessary to convene the House until; 28th October, it is the intention of the Government to take, on Tuesday, 28th October, the following business:

Motion in regard to the arrangement of Government Business for the remainder of the Session. That has been customary.

Motion for the appointment of additional Judges, and, if time permit, the Administration of Justice Bill.

Wednesday, 29th: Factories Bill, Second Reading.

Thursday, 30th: Building Materials (Charges and Supply) Bill, Second Reading.

Friday, 31st: Minor Orders to be announced when the House meets.


I want to put a question to the Lord Privy Seal as to the intentions of the Government. Of course, conditions may alter, but do they intend to summon Parliament on 30th September?


Yes; I have said that, in the event of no agreement being reached, and in the event of the Northern Irish Parliament not appointing a Commissioner, it is the intention to summon Parliament on that date.


I beg to move, in line 2, to leave out the words "this day," and to insert instead thereof the word "to-morrow."

It is impossible in the course of the discussion to-day to discuss a number of subjects which Members have a right to discuss. On the other hand if any hon. Member wishes to go away for a holiday there is nothing to prevent his doing so. My Amendment would safeguard the rights of Private Members who wish to raise matters of importance.


I beg to second the Amendment.

It is quite obvious that the few hours remaining to-day will not suffice for the discussion of all the subjects that hon. Members wish to raise, and, as far as the proposal of the Chair is concerned—that the discussion on the Russian Treaty should be limited to two short speeches—with all deference to the Chair I venture humbly to point out that that cannot meet, or might not meet, the general will of Members of the House, because there is a large number of most important points to be raised on this Treaty. There are points affecting property and interests all over the country. There can hardly be a constituency in the land in which there are not large trading interests whose affairs are not involved in the provisions of the Treaty. It is hardly fair to Members representing industrial constituencies to limit the discussion compulsorily and to cut down the number of speeches to two.


I find myself in considerable agreement with the Mover of the Amendment. On the other hand some of us come here from very long distances and we make our arrangements with some degree of certainty of getting home. One cannot start chopping and changing those arrangements at the last moment. If it were in order I would like to move a further Amendment extending the hour of sitting to-day. That would give the time necessary for further debate.


This was the very subject under discussion yesterday, and I notice from the Division list that the last speaker voted against what is now suggested. It is impossible to reopen a matter which was divided upon yesterday with full understanding, because, amongst others I pointed out very firmly that the arrangements suggested would leave only about two hours for debate on the adjournment motion. My words of wisdom were neglected. The hon. Member's blood must be on his own head. It would be ridiculous to rescind the resolution which we passed yesterday.


The division yesterday was not on this issue at all, but on the question whether the responsibility for maintaining a House should rest with the Government or with private Members. I am not talking about the phraseology used on the issue that was involved. As the last speaker knows, the issue involved is usually something entirely different from the language which is spoken. When an hon. Member moves to reduce a Vote by £100 he very often means that he wants to increase the Vote by £1,000,000.


Let me read from the OFFICIAL REPORT of yesterday's Debate: .…The Measures to be taken to-morrow may take two or three hours with the result that the Motion for the Adjournment may not be reached until three or four o'clock in the afternoon. There will remain only about one-and-a-half hours for discussing that Motion, because at five o'clock the Speaker has to leave the Chair without Question put."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th August, 1924; col. 2942, Vol. 176.] The hon. Member voted for that state of affairs.


The right hon. and learned Gentleman, representing a most learned constituency, is not going to suggest that anyone here votes on statements which are made by those who make speeches. That is even worse than his previous suggestion.


The hon. Member can always trust any statement made by me.


I sympathise with the Amendment and, if it be pressed to a Division, I shall vote for it. This form of procedure contracts the opportunities of Private Members, and especially of Back Bench Members, to ventilate their grievances. Here is a flagrant case in point. This Motion was not even taken at the beginning of the day and a result is that the Debate on the Adjournment can only last two or three hours interrupted by a Royal Commission. If hon. Members are in earnest in wishing to use this House to good purpose for the ventilation of grievances they will support the Amendment. In the last Parliament, I think, the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) suggested holding Mr. Speaker in the Chair. If he is in earnest let him vote with us and let us carry this Motion, and those who wish to attend to-morrow to discuss matters of importance and interest to themselves and their constituents can do so.


May I point out that I do not think there is the least chance of this Amendment being carried.

Captain BENN

How do you know?


Well I do not think there is. If I am right—and I shall be proved to be right—may I point out that hon. Gentlemen opposite, with whom I have every sympathy, are only wasting the time which is available. It would be much better if the mover of the Amendment withdrew it.


Despite the speech which has just been made. I appeal to the House to carry the Amendment unanimously. Nobody will be injured; nobody requires to come here to-morrow who feels that his presence is more urgently needed elsewhere, and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just spoken and the other party Whips are going to act in this way it can only be taken as meaning that private Members are going to be deprived of all their opportunities. I voted in the minority yesterday, but those who voted in the majority are entitled to say that circumstances have changed since that vote was taken. When that vote was taken there was still reasonable opportunity for hon. Members to raise such points as they desired on the Adjournment and the important discussion which has since taken place on Russia was not foreseen. I appeal to the House without any Division to allow such Members as may desire to come here to-morrow the opportunity of doing so.


As one who voted in the minority on this matter I support the Amendment, and I suggest that the Front Benches ought to agree to allow this Amendment to go through and give Members an opportunity of raising some of the many important questions which have been crowded out owing to the unexpected developments which have taken place. Those developments are due to the mishandling of affairs, especially by the Front Benches, and I think they owe it to

the back-bench Members to give them a chance of stating their grievances. I hope by some consultation, through the usual channels, the Front Benches will agree on this point.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Yesterday, with great reluctance and heart searching, I supported the Government Front Bench in the Debate, and I think the least they can do now is to support us in this matter. I appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour to use her influence in this matter, and I promise her that I shall not raise any question affecting her Department, nor indeed any other Department. But I think the Back Bench Members have a fair claim for an additional day if they desire it. It hurts nobody, and it is good for a certain number of people in the precincts of this House who would get an extra day's pay.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 157; Noes, 77.

Division No. 196.] AYES. [1.45 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. William Gardner, J. P.(Hammersmith, North) Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)
Adamson, W. M.(Staff., Cannock) George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd Mills, J. E.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Gibbins, Joseph Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Alexander, Brg.-Gen. Sir W. (Glas, C.) Gillett, George M. Moles, Thomas
Allen, R. Wilberforce (Leicester S.) Gould, Frederick(Somerset, Frome) Montague, Frederick
Ammon, Charles George Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Morel, E. D.
Attlee, Major Clement R. Greene, W. P. Crawford Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Baker, Walter Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Nixon, H.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) O'Grady, Captain James
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Palmer, E. T.
Barnes, A. Harbison, Thomas James S. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Barnett, Major Richard W. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Hastings, Sir Patrick Perring, William George
Batey, Joseph Hayes, John Henry Perry, S. F.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Healy, Cahir Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Hemmerde, E. G. Philipson, Mabel
Blundell, F. N. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Pielou, D. P.
Bondfield, Margaret Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South) Ponsonby, Arthur
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex,Enfld.) Purcell, A. A.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Raine, W.
Bromfield, William Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston) Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel
Bullock, Captain M. Hodges, Frank Raynes, W. R.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Hudson, J. H. Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Church, Major A. G. Isaacs, G. A. Richards, R.
Clayton, G. C. Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford,E.) Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Keens, T. Romeril, H. G.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. King, Captain Henry Douglas Rose, Frank H.
Cove, W. G. Lamb, J. Q. Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington,N.) Lansbury, George Royle, C.
Crittall, V. G. Law, A. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Leach, W. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Lee, F. Savery, S. S.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lowth, T. Scurr, John
Dickson, T. Lunn, William Sexton, James
Dodds, S. R. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Dukes, C. Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Sherwood, George Henry
Edmondson, Major A. J. McEntee, V. L. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Egan, W. H. Mackinder, W. Sinclair, Col.T.(Queen's Univ.,Beifst)
Elliot, Walter E. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Smith, T. (Pontefract)
Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray March, S. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Marley, James Snell, Harry
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)
Spence, R. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Stamford, T. W. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney Wise, Sir Fredric
Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby) Wells, S. R. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South) Welsh, J. C. Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Tout, W. J. Westwood, J. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P. Whiteley, W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Viant, S. P. Wignall, James Mr. Alien Parkinson and Mr.
Wallhead, Richard C. Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby) Warne.
Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley) Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B.(Kenningtn.)
Ackroyd, T. R. Harris, Percy A. Raffan, P. W.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Haycock, A. W. Raffety, F. W.
Becker, Harry Hillary, A. E. Rea, W. Russell
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Hogbin, Henry Cairns Robertson, T. A.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)
Broad, F. A. Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton) Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.
Buchanan, G. Johnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East) Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)
Chapman, Sir S. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Short, Alfred (Wednesday)
Clarke, A. Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Cluse, W. S. Kay, Sir R. Newbald Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Kenyon, Barnet Stephen, Campbell
Comyns-Carr, A. S. Lessing, E. Stranger, Innes Harold
Curzon, Captain Viscount Linfield, F. C. Sunlight, J.
Darblshire, C. W. Livingstone, A. M. Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)
Dawson, Sir Philip Loverseed, J. F. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Dickie, Captain J. P. Lumley, L. R. Thornton, Maxwell R.
Dunn, J. Freeman Macfadyen, E. Thurtle, E.
Dunnico, H. Maden, H. White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Ferguson, H. Mansel, Sir Courtenay Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Finney, V. H. Maxton, James Windsor, Walter
Fletcher, Lieut.-Com. R. T. H. Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Foot, Isaac Morris, R. H. Woodwark, Lieut.-Colonel G. G.
Franklin, L. B. Morse, W. E. Wright, W.
George, Major B. L. (Pembroke) Moulton, Major Fletcher
Groves, T. Murrell, Frank TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Pattinson, S. (Horncastle) Captain Berkeley and Mr. Edmund
Harris, John (Hackney, North) Pilkington, R. R. Harvey.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question again proposed.


Should I be in order in moving to amend the Resolution by putting in a later hour?

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Robert Young)


Resolved, That this House, at its rising this day, do adjourn till Tuesday, 28th October, provided always that if it appears to the satisfaction of Mr. Speaker, after consultation with His Majesty's Government, that the public interest requires that the House should meet at any earlier time during the adjournment, Mr. Speaker may give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the House shall meet at the time stated in such notice, and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time, and any Orders of the Day and Notices of Motions that may stand on the Order Book for the 28th day of October or any subsequent day shall be appointed for the day on which the House shall so meet.