§ Mr. RAMSAY MacDONALD
May I put a question to the Prime Minister regarding business, on a point of which I have given him private notice, namely, whether, in view of the desirability of placing the fullest possible information before Parliament and the country regarding the situation in China, it will be possible to arrange, say to-morrow, for a part of the sitting to be devoted to that subject; and, if so, wall the Prime Minister then tall us what business he proposes to take from the list that he announced yesterday?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I should be perfectly willing to fall in with what the Leader of the Opposition desires. I think it would be a good thing to have a short discussion, and be able to make a statement on a question that is agitating a good many minds at the present moment. I fear that the Foreign Secretary will not be back, but, of course, I should in that case make the statement myself. I think 516 we can easily arrange it, say, at a quarter past eight and, if it be necessary, discuss it, say, till eleven o'clock. As to the details, perhaps they might be arranged through the usual channels.
With regard to business, I hope that both sections of the Opposition will be willing to allow us to suspend the Eleven o'Clock Rule, for the purpose of taking at any rate most of the business which we had intended to take, that is to say, the Second Reading of the Tithe Bill and the Report and Third Reading of three small and, I believe, non-contentious Bills—two Merchant Shipping Bills and the Roads Improvement Bill. I have cut out, from what I mentioned provisionally yesterday, the Public Health (Scotland) Bill, and I do not suggest taking any other Orders on the Paper.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I am very glad that the Prime Minister is affording an opportunity to the House to discuss the situation in China, and for a statement to be made. I wanted to ask another question. I should like to know when the arrangement which has been entered into between the Foreign Secretary and the French Foreign Secretary will be circulated to the Members of this House? I understand from the Press that it has appeared officially in Germany and France, but I have not yet heard whether any arrangement has been made for communication to Members of this House of the terms of the so-called Pact, or, rather, the arrangement made between the two countries.
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am very sorry I cannot give the right hon. Gentleman that information, but I will get it for him without delay. It is my desire at the earliest possible moment that such information should be circulated, but I am afraid I have been rather busy, and have not looked, in the last three or four hours, at that point.
§ Mr. J. JONES
Surely those of us who sometimes read the "Times," to get to know what the other people did, have a right to ask why it is that the Government of this country cannot do the same as the Governments of other countries, who have published officially to the people what has happened. We have had no declaration yet, and the Prime Minister says himself he does not know what is going on.
§ Mr. BATEY
The Prime Minister has intimated that he wants to suspend the Eleven o'Clock Rule to-morrow. Would it not be possible to forego that claim? I have given notice, on the Adjournment to-morrow night, to raise the subject of the speech delivered by the Home Secretary last Saturday. He said the Socialists and Communists were trying to prevent peace between the coalowners and the miners. Just now there are delicate negotiations going on between the coal-owners and miners. It was a wicked statement for the Home Secretary to make.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Perhaps I can help the hon. Member. If the House be willing to dispose of the business which has been named by 11 o'clock, the hon. Member will still have his chance. Should that not be the case, I will endeavour to find the earliest opportunity for the hon. Member.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The Prime Minister cannot do that. I have said that if tomorrow night be not available, I will endeavour to find a further opportunity.