HC Deb 12 February 1924 vol 169 cc745-6
The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. J. Ramsay MacDonald)

I beg to move, "That Mr. Robert Young be the Chairman of Ways and Means."

The House will remember that a Resolution moved by the late Government that two hon. Members of this House should be the Chairman of Ways and Means and the Deputy-Chairman respectively was withdrawn for the convenience of the House. Since then I have been trying to see whether it was possible to withdraw those two offices a little further than they have been hitherto from mere party nomination. I have not been quite successful. I think it is necessary that the Chairman of Ways and Means should belong to the party responsible for the Government, because he has a great deal to do with the arrangement of business, and it is necessary that there should be co-operation between him and the Government in respect to the arrangement of business.

But there is another very good principle which I hope the House will support mein trying to carry out, and that is that every party in the House should have at least one Member who has experience of the Chair. I think that is a very sound business rule to lay down. Therefore, I have instructed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Spoor) to approach the various parties to see if we cannot come to an accommodation on those lines. To-day, I think it would be convenient that we should give you a Chairman of Ways and Means, because you, Sir, require to vacate the Chair every now and again, but until some sort of agreement has been come to regarding the Deputy-Chairman I do not propose to move anyone for that office. I shall con- tinue, if the House be agreeable, my attempts to find a Deputy-Chairman who will meet the requirements of the suggested rule which I have laid down. In the meantime, I propose moving a Chairman of Ways and Means, and the name I suggest is that of one who has already had some experience as a member of the Chairman's Panel. I refer to the hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Robert Young).

Question put, and agreed to.