HC Deb 05 May 1927 vol 205 cc1769-77

Will the Prime Minister announce the business for next week?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

On Monday: Supply, Committee, Scottish Estimates.

Tuesday, Supply, Committee; Ministry of Transport Estimates.

Wednesday until 8.15 and Thursday, Committee stage of the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill and, if time permit, other Orders on the Paper.


With regard to the business for Monday, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the reports dealing with agriculture and health, affecting Scotland, are not available, and will not be available for Members on Monday. In the circumstances, will not that be a serious handicap in the discussion of these Estimates; and therefore, may I ask him whether he would consent to the continuance of the discussion on the Second Reading of the Trade Unions Bill on Monday? Before the Prime Minister replies to that question, may I also ask him to remember that out of a regular attendance of 500 Members, only 34 Members of all parties have been able to take part in the Debate and, on this side of the House, so far as the Labour party are concerned, there have been only 15 speakers during the discussion up to the present on the Trade Unions Bill?


With regard to the business for Monday, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, that matter is not entirely within our province. The question of the Scottish Estimates was selected by the Liberal party and I do not see how I could, in fairness to them, alter the arrangement. With regard to asking for more time on the Second Reading of the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill, I would make this observation. We have done our best to meet the desires of the party opposite. We have given for the Second Reading within three or four hours of four days. We had originally suggested taking two days, but we were asked to give four. We did our best last night to induce the Members who were successful in the Ballot for Private Members' Motions, to withdraw their claims, but in that we were not successful. We consider we have given the House ample time and, while it is true, I have no doubt, that many Members are desirous of speaking, I have not the same clear evidence that an equal number are desirous of listening.


I hope that in due time and in the proper place we shall have an opportunity of offering some comment upon the argument with which the Prime Minister concluded his reply. May I put to him this fact; that when his party were in Opposition, in the days of the Home Rule Bill, they were given 10 days for the First and Second Readings of the Home Rule Bill; and considering how far-reaching the present Bill is, touching a far greater population than the population of the whole of Ireland, will he not consider giving more days than the four which have been granted?


I would say in answer to that question that I remember the facts perfectly well, but I do not think it would serve any useful purpose to argue the importance of the two Bills. That was before the War and since the War—it may be owing to the fact that speeches, as I think, are rather shorter than they used to be—so far as my memory serves me, I cannot recall any Bill of all the important Bills I remember, in which the Second Reading discussion has been as long as in this case. Although I am quite aware that there has been no agreement—as the right hon. Gentleman knows—about this term, yet it was quite well known what the time was going to be, and we received no request that any alteration should be made until the right hon. Gentleman was courteous enough to send me a note yesterday afternoon.


Arising out of another part of the answer of the Prime Minister in regard to the Committee stage of the Bill, may I ask him to consider the desirability of not taking the Committee stage until after next week, in view of the fact that it has already been announced by the Government that considerable amendment will have to take place on the initiative of the Government themselves, and that due time, therefore, should be allowed to His Majesty's Opposition to consider fairly those Amendments after they appear on the Order Paper?


I always have every desire to suit the convenience of the House in these important matters, but it is only fair to remember that whoever may desire to put down Amendments have had about a month in which to prepare their Amendments, and we are up against time on the one hand and against our own deliberate action on the other hand. We desired to take the Second Reading of the Bill before Easter, but I waived that question, very naturally, in response to the Leader of the Opposition, who had to go abroad, and I postponed the Second Reading till we all had hoped he would be able to be present to take part in the Debate. Most unfortunately, and to the regret of everybody in the House, the right hon. Gentleman has not been able to be in his place. But I am glad to think that, by publishing the Bill as I did before Easter, it has made it quite easy for those who desired to prepare Amendments to do so in ample time for Wednesday.


If it be true that Members have had about a month in which to prepare their Amendments what becomes of the argument that we did not know what was in this Bill until it was printed?


Is the House to understand that the proposal to take Scottish business on Monday next, in the absence of the Reports which will enable that business to be properly discussed, is not at the instigation of the Government but of the Liberal party?


I must point out to the hon. Member, who seems to be, if I may say so, under a little confusion on this point, that it has nothing to do with us. When this day was asked for by one of the parties opposite whose turn it was, we had nothing to do but to give that day.


In view of the fact that the reports on agriculture and health are necessary for a well-conducted debate on the Scottish Estimates, will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Secretary of State for Scotland with a view to having those reports printed by Monday next?


Let me put this to hon. Members—I know there is a number of Members in the party opposite who come from Scotland—that nothing is easier than to ask for a Scottish debate when they get a day, and they have two days to the Liberals' one. The Liberals, undoubtedly, having asked for that Vote, have some particular subject which they desire to debate. It is probably not the subject which hon. Members of the Labour party wish to debate, otherwise they would have waited for the publication of the documents.


It is true that the Liberal party asked for the day, but is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that party on one specific subject cannot keep the House going on a whole day? The point I want to put is this, that a number of Scottish Members, including some of his own supporters, will wish to take part in the debate on the other part of the day, and as agriculture is the most important and pressing point, cannot he consult with the Secretary of State for Scotland with a view to having the reports published on Monday?


I think I have explained the matter fully. As it stands, it is outside my power to do anything more. I can only suggest that in the interval between now and when the Labour party are able to put down the Scottish Vote for discussion, the hon. Member should consult with his friends across the Gangway.


Reverting to the Trade Unions Bill, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most of us have sat since Monday on these benches and have not had a chance of joining in this discussion, which is most important to us all? We do not trouble the House very much, but on this occasion I think we ought to have full opportunity, and I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to grant us another day.


In years past I have done the same thing. I have risen 20 times in one afternoon and never been called—it is a thing which happens to most of us—and, if I might say so, I think the less time we consume in debating these matters now, the more time there will be for hon. Members later.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that, notwithstanding the three days that have been

devoted to the Bill already, we are still waiting for a full explanation of the Bill from the Government Benches?


May we take it, in view of what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, that he has no intention on the Committee stage of applying the Closure in any ruthless fashion?

Motion made, and Question put, That the Proceedings on the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill have precedence this day of the Business of Supply."—[The Prime Minister.]

The House divided: Ayes, 289; Noes, 126.

Division No. 105.] AYES. [3.47 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Gower, Sir Robert
Albery, Irving James Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Chapman, Sir S. Greene, W. P. Crawford
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool. W. Derby) Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John
Allen, Lieut.-Col Sir William James Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Grotrian, H. Brent
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Clayton, G. C. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Apsley, Lord Cobb, Sir Cyril Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hammersley, S. S.
Astor, Viscountess Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Hanbury, C.
Atholl, Duchess of Cohen, Major J. Brunel Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Harland, A.
A. Balniel, Lord Cooper, A. Duff Harrison, G. J. C.
Barclay, Harvey, C. M. Cope, Major William Hartington, Marquess of
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Couper, J. B. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Crawfurd, H. E. Haslam, Henry C.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Hawke, John Anthony
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Bennett, A. J. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxfd, Henley)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)
Berry, Sir George Curzon, Captain Viscount Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Bethel, A. Dalkeith, Earl of Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Betterton Henry B. Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset,Yeovil) Hills, Major John Waller
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Hilton, Cecil
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Davies, Dr. Vernon Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Blades, Sir George Rowland Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)
Blundell, F. N. Dawson, Sir Philip Holt, Captain H. P.
Boothby, R. J. G. Dean, Arthur Wellesley Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Drew. C. Hopkins, J. W. W.
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Duckworth, John Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universitites)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Eden, Captain Anthony Hore-Belisha, Leslie
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Edmondson, Major A. J. Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K.
Brass, Captain W. Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Briant, Frank Ellis, R. G. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive England, Colonel A. Hume, Sir G. H.
Briggs, J. Harold Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Hurd, Percy A.
Briscoe, Richard George Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth Hurst, Gerald B.
Brittain, Sir Harry Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Everard, W. Lindsay Iliffe, Sir Edward M.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Falle, Sir Bertram G. Jacob, A. E.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Falls, Sir Charles F. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Jephcott, A. R.
Buchan, John Fenby, T. D. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)
Buckingham, Sir H. Fermoy, Lord Kidd, J. (Linllthgow)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Finburgh, S. King, Captain Henry Douglas
Bullock, Captain M. Ford, Sir P. J. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Burman, J. B. Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Knox, Sir Alfred
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Foster, Sir Harry S. Lamb, J. O.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Fraser, Captain Ian Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R
Campbell, E. T. Frece, Sir Walter de Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Carver, Major W. H. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Ganzoni, Sir John Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S) Gates, Percy Loder, J. de V.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Looker, Herbert William
Lougher, Lewis Power, Sir John Cecil Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Lowe, Sir Francis William Preston, William Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen south)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Price, Major C. W. M. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Radford, E. A. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Lumley, L. R Ralne, W Tinne, J. A.
Lynn, Sir Robert J. Ramsden, E. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Rawson, Sir Cooper Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Remnant, Sir James Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Macmillan, Captain H. Rentoul, G. S. Waddington, R.
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Rice, Sir Frederick Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Warrender, Sir Victor
Macquisten, F. A. Ropner, Major L. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
MacRobert, Alexander M. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Makins, Brigadier-General E. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Watts, Dr. T.
Malone, Major P. B. Salmon, Major I. Wells, S. R.
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Sandeman, N. Stewart Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Margesson, Captain D. Sanders, Sir Robert A. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple.
Meller, R. J. Sanderson, Sir Frank Wiggins, William Martin
Meyer, Sir Frank Savery, S. S. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw. Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Wilson, Sir Charles H. (Leeds, Central)
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast) Wise, Sir Fredric
Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Skelton, A. N. Wolmer, Viscount
Murchison, Sir Kenneth Smith-Carington, Neville W. Womersley. W. J.
Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Nelson, Sir Frank Spencer, G. A. (Broxtowe) Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sprot, Sir Alexander Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Nuttall, Ellis Streatfeild, Captain S. R. Wragg, Herbert
Oakley, T. Stuart, Crichton, Lord C. Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)
Penny, Frederick George Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Perkins, Colonel E. K. Styles, Captain H. Walter TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser Commander B. Eyres Monsell and
Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Tasker, R. Inigo. Colonel Gibbs.
Phillpson, Mabel Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Purcell, A. A.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hardle, George D. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Ammon, Charles George Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Riley, Ben
Attlee, Clement Richard Hayes, John Henry Ritson, J.
Baker, Walter Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Robinson. W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Barnes, A. Hirst, G. H. Rose, Frank H.
Barr, J. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Saklatvala, Shapurji
Batey, Joseph Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Sexton, James
Bondfield, Margaret John, William (Rhondda, West) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Broad, F. A. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bromley, J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smillie, Robert
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Buchanan, G. Kelly, W. T. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Kennedy, T. Snell, Harry
Cape, Thomas Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Clowes, S. Kirkwood, D. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, George Stamford, T. W.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Lawrence, Susan Stephen, Campbell
Compton, Joseph Lawson, John James Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Connolly, M. Lee, F. Sullivan, J.
Cove, W. G. Lindley, F. W. Sutton, J. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lowth, T. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Dalton, Hugh Lunn, William Thorne, W. (West Ham, Platstow)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Mackinder, W. Thurtle, Ernest
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) MacLaren, Andrew Tinker, John Joseph
Duncan, C. MacNeill-Weir, L. Townend, A. E.
Dunnico, H. March, S. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Maxton, James Viant, S. P.
Gillett, George M. Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Wallhead, Richard C.
Gosling, Harry Montague, Frederick Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morris, R. H. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Greenall, T. Murnin, H. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Palln, John Henry Wellock, Wilfred
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Paling, W. Welsh, J. C.
Groves, T. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Westwood, J.
Grundy, T. W. Ponsonby, Arthur Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Potts, John S. Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Williams, Dr. J. H.(Llanelly) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Williams T. (York, Don Valley) Windsor, Walter Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Wilson, C. H.(Sheffield, Attercliffe) Wright W. Whiteley.