HC Deb 28 March 1927 vol 204 cc1010-5

Lords Amendment:

Leave out line 34, and insert thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight.


This Amendment alters the period, and therefore raises a matter of Privilege. If the House agree to waive that Privilege, it can do so.


I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."


The question arose as to what was a reasonable period which the Act should continue in force. It was suggested in another place that a period of less than three years might be reasonable for the consideration of a scheme. The date suggested was to the 31st December next year. The Government accepted that suggestion in the other House, but, on the very clear understanding that if, as I think everyone will agree is practically certain, we cannot expect to be ready with the Bill for Scottish Poor Law Reform by that time, it would be necessary to put these matters into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. Some people may take the view that that is giving an even longer date than 1930, and from any point of view I do not think there is anything material in this. The Government are under pledge to consider the question of Poor Law reform, but it is not a matter which can be settled in a day, and I submit that on this actual question of the date which is to go in here we should waive the privilege of the House.


On a point of Order. There is a question of privilege connected with the Amendment, and you, Mr. Speaker, have put the question that we should agree with the Lords. Ought we not first to decide whether we are going to agree to waive that privilege?


No, there are not two Motions. It is my duty always, where I find a matter of privilege, to draw the attention of the House to it, and the Minister may then move to agree or to disagree. If he move to agree that is, in effect, waiving the privilege, and I cause an entry to be made in the Journal in order to protect our privilege on a future occasion.


But are not the other Members of the House, the Opposition, to have a say as to whether this privilege will be waived or not?


Certainly, on the Motion which I have just put to the House hon. Members can have their say on that point.


There are two questions bound up in the Amendment. There is first the question of privilege, and, secondly, the question of substance, and I am submitting to you that if opposition be taken to the privilege, the House should have the opportunity of determining that point, quite apart from the substance of the Amendment.


A Motion of that kind is never put. There is no such Motion as "That this House do waive the question of privilege." The question is, "That the House doth agree," and that in itself is a waiving of privilege. The hon. Member can discuss the Motion either on its merits or on the question of privilege.


I hope the House will agree with the Lord Advocate's explanation, and allow this matter to go through. We are more concerned about the text of the Bill than we are about the question of privilege—at least I am. As the Lord Advocate has explained that he has power to continue this Bill under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act I think we may very well accept the Amendment and the suggestion made by the Lord Advocate.


I am sorry I cannot agree with my hon. Friend. What is of interest to us is not the question of privilege, but that this House agreed the protection which this Bill provides for the poor people of Scotland should be extended to 1930, and this has been reduced by the House of Lords to 1928. I for one am not prepared to allow those two years to be taken away at this hour of the night by a Lords' Amendment, and if we had been able to stop it on the question of privilege we would undoubtedly have taken that method. Since we cannot do it on the question of privilege we shall adopt the method of voting against this motion in the Lobby. It is not a mere verbal Amendment, and although the Lord Advocate suggests that after the year l928 has expired this Measure would automatically pass into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill we have no guarantee that that would be the case. We must conlude that when the year 1928 is reached this Act will automatically fall into disuse and the protection which it affords to the poor people of Scotland will be absolutely removed. We cannot agree to this proposal and we shall divide against it.


I am sorry that my hon. Friend on the Front Bench seemed to get into such a state of excitement about a Member of his own party not agreeing to waive this point of privilege. I do not think there was any occasion for the dour of sanctity indulged in at his own expense. The hon. Member (Mr. Stewart) is inclined to agree with the party opposite, but I do not agree with them just as readily as he does. Considering how a newspaper can work up an agitation and also considering the position in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to find himself with the big industrialists crying out about the burden of the rates, I am not disposed to agree to the suggestion that we should accept this Amendment. It is an Amendment of substance, and if we believe in the Bill, at least we should try to have it established up to the year 1930, quite apart from the desires of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Without attributing to the right hon. Gentleman any hardness of heart, we have to realise that even a strong, determined statesman like the right hon. Gentleman opposite must find it very difficult in view of the "Daily Mail" and "Daily Record" agitation, to put a Measure like this into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. For the comfort of the Secretary of State

himself I think it would be better that the date of 1913 should remain in the Bill. I feel that we should not waive this matter of privilege and we should look after this business ourselves without depending upon the assistance of Noble Lords in another place.

Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 197; Noes, 34.

Division No. 58.] AYES. [11.10 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Ganzonl, Sir John Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Gates, Percy Moore, Sir Newton J.
Ainsworth, Major Charles Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Moreing, Captain A. H.
Albery, Irving James Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Alexander, E. E. (Leylon) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Goff, Sir Park Nelson, Sir Frank
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Gower, Sir Robert Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K, Grace, John Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Athoil, Duchess of Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Nicholson, O. (Westminster)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Grant, Sir J. A. Nuttall, Ellis
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Oakley, T.
Bainiel, Lord Greene, W. P. Crawford Pennefather, Sir John
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Penny, Frederick George
Beamish, Rear-Admirai T. P. H. Grotrian, H. Brent Percy. Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Betterton, Henry B. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Boothby, R. J. G. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Perring, Sir William George
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Briscoe, Richard George Harrison, G. J. C. Pownall, Sir Assheton
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Price, Major C. W. M.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hawke, John Anthony Radford, E. A.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Raine, W.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P Ramsden, E.
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Remer, J. R.
Burman, J. B. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Burton, Colonal H. W. Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Rice, Sir Frederick
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hills, Major John Waller Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Campbell, E. T. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Russell, Alexander West. (Tynemouth)
Chapman, Sir S. Holt, Captain H. P. Salmon, Major I.
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Clayton, G. C. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hopkins, J. W. W. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Shepperson, E. W.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hume, Sir G. H. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Cone, Major William Hurd, Percy A. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Hutchison, G.A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.) Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Sprot, Sir Alexander
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Jacob, A. E. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Storry-Deans, R.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) King, Captain Henry Douglas Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Knox, Sir Alfred Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Lamb, J. Q. styles, Captain H. Walter
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Looker, Herbert William Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Lttmley, L. R. Tasker, R. Inigo.
Dawson, Sir Philip Mac Andrew Major Charles Glen Templeton, W. P.
Eden, Captain Anthony Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Maclntyre, Ian Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Elliot, Major Walter E. McLean, Major A. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
England, Colonel A. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.) McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Fielden, E. B. Macquisten, F. A. Warrender, Sir Victor
Ford, Sir P. J. MacRobert, Alexander M. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Foster, Sir Harry S. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Margesson, Captain D. Watts, Dr. T.
Fraser, Captain Ian Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Wells, S. R.
Fremantie, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Meyer, Sir Frank Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairympie-
Wiggins, William Martin Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay) Wise, Sir Fredric
Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham) Withers, John Jamas TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Williams, Herbert G. (Reading) Wolmer, Viscount Major Sir Harry Barnston and
Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield) Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater) Mr. F. C. Thomson.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Scurr, John
Batey, Joseph Kelly, W. T. Stephen, Campbell
Bromfield, William Lawson, John James Sullivan, J.
Compton, Joseph Lunn, William Sutton, J. E.
Dalton, Hugh Mackinder, W. Tinker, John Joseph
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Townend, A. E.
Gardner, J. P. Maxton, James Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gillett, George M Naylor, T. E. Wellock, Wilfred
Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Pcthick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Potts, John S. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Hardie, George D. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Hayday, Arthur Riley, Ber TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Kirkwood.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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