HC Deb 20 January 1931 vol 247 cc30-1

I wish to ask three questions as to the business of the House. I understand notice has been given. If the Prime Minister is unable to answer at the moment, perhaps he can answer later in the debate. I wish to ask whether there has been any alteration in the business for this week announced before we separated for the holidays; secondly, whether he has yet made up his mind how long he proposes to give for the Second Reading of the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, and, thirdly, if he is yet in a position to say when he will make a statement to the House on the work of the Indian Conference?


There has been no alteration in the business for this week. With regard to the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, although I still hold that one day is quite adequate, I am willing to allow a second day for the Second Reading. The first will be this week, but we cannot provide for the second until next week, Thursday, or earlier if the right hon. Gentleman would give me notice. With regard to India, what we propose to do is to publish a White Paper which will contain everything that is essential in the statements that have been made, and I hope—although the House will please not hold me to this—the greater part, if not the whole, of the reports of the sub-committees, if they are not published immediately, will be published. It is only a question whether it is worth while holding up the White Paper so that the House might get that information. I am hoping—again, I hope the House will not hold me to this as a pledge —that the White Paper may appear before this week is out, perhaps during the week-end. In that event, I shall be very glad to provide a day for a debate on the subject next week, but the day will depend on when we can get the White Paper out—it will have to follow on that —so that the House, before the debate takes place, will have the essential information in its possession.


I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his replies. With regard to the last question that I raised, as far as we are concerned, that will be perfectly satisfactory. I expect he realises, as we do, that no longer interval than is necessary should be allowed to elapse, but we perfectly understand that perhaps a few days may be necessary for the preparation of the White Paper. With regard to the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, I am still of opinion that, having regard to precedent and to the very great importance from every point of view of that legislation, longer time will be required, and I purpose pursuing that matter through the usual channels.

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