HC Deb 03 July 1925 vol 185 cc2947-9

May I ask a question of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury as to the business of the House? I understand that the Unemployment Insurance Bill will be taken on Tuesday. Is it intended to send that to a Standing Committee, or to take it downstairs?

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Commander Eyres Monsell)

To a Standing Committee.

Captain BENN

Is it physically possible for hon. Members to attend upstairs at eleven o'clock on that Bill, and to attend a discussion on the Contributory Pensions Bill downstairs in the afternoon, both Bills relating to exactly the same body of contributors. Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the very great difficulties it would impose, both from the point of view of the quality of legislation and of the physical capacity of Members?


It is nothing new. I do not think we are going to take too much out of Members. As regards the Bill under discussion to day, we are cut going to sit late any more on that Bill. It is nothing new to consider Bills on the Floor of this House and to take Bills in Standing Committee at the same time.

Captain BENN

But has the right hon. Gentleman considered how these two Bills are inter-related? It will be impossible to produce a proper scheme when the two Measures are being taken together, and being considered by the same Members at the same time.


Would it not be better to make arrangements on the lines of the suggestion I made the other day— that we should have alternate days, one day for Standing Committee and the other day for the House? That would be far better than the present system. It is impossible to work under the present system, when a Member wants to be in the House and also wants to be in the Standing Committee. It shows great lack of business organisation. It has resulted in sitting through the night, worrying people all over the House, and not getting efficiency.


Am I in order on putting a question to the Secretary for Scotland regarding the Bill he has presented?


Not unless it is in regard to the business of the House.


Yes, the business of the House. The question I wish to put is this: This Bill has been held up for a considerable time, with the result that the factors in Clydebank are evicting people because they say they are "fed up" with waiting for the Government to act. That is their statement. I would ask the Secretary for Scotland to get into touch at once with the factors, and ask them to desist from evicting people, and to tell them that we will try to get this Bill through, and to make some settlement.

The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)

All I can suggest is that if hon. Gentlemen on the other side will facilitate the passage of this Measure, I think we shall get the solution.