HC Deb 03 July 1924 vol 175 cc1647-8

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[Mr. Kennedy.]

The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Mr. Clynes)

After Questions to-day, I announced the business of the House for next week, with certain qualifications. With respect to the business announced for Wednesday, it has been represented to us that the subject of the Address for the appointment of two Judges in the King's Bench Division is too contentious a matter to be taken on that day, and we accept that view, as, indeed, it could not very well be completed before the House has to rise, without a very large measure of agreement.

With respect to the business on Monday, it is to remain as announced, that is to say, the Foreign Office Vote. The Government have reached the conclusion that it would not be possible to deal on Monday next with the rejection in another place of the War Charges (Validity—No 2) Bill. The Government took over from their predecessors the obligation of validating the charges incurred during the course of the War under the Defence of the Realm Act. The Commons are the supreme authority on questions of finance. Technically that Bill may not be regarded as a Money Bill, but so many questions of finance are involved in relation to it that it is a subject in regard to which the will of this House ought to prevail. The Third Reading of that Bill passed this House without a Division, and a good deal of our time was devoted to the completion of its different stages. We look now with complete disapproval and with some disappointment upon the state of wreckage to which the decision in another place has reduced the labours of the House of Commons. We hope therefore, to receive later in our labours the support and general approval of all sections of the House in taking such steps as we are able to assert the will of the House over the decision recently reached in another place. The Bill to which I refer was entirely a non-party Bill and treated of questions which we think lie, or ought to lie, solely within the sphere of the House of Commons. For the present we are disabled from moving in the matter but will take an early opportunity, should it present itself or we be able to make it, of making the will of the House of Commons prevail.