HC Deb 30 January 1934 vol 285 cc198-9

The following question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Brigadier-General Sir H. CROFT:

"31. To ask the Prime Minister whether he will grant a day for the discussion of the Motion standing in the name of the honourable and gallant Baronet the Member for Bournemouth, with reference to the redistribution of the population of the Empire."— That this House is of the opinion that the time has arrived when active steps should be taken to consider schemes for the redistribution of the population of the Empire, and therefore urges the Government to consult with the Dominions and Colonies with a view to the promotion of organised Empire settlement.
Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Before I ask this question, I should like to say that it refers to a Motion which was on the Paper yesterday, but which has since been removed for technical reasons. Otherwise, several additional names would appear.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

As my hon. and gallant Friend is no doubt aware, an opportunity will occur to-morrow for a Debate on this subject on a Private Member's Motion, which is to be moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Park (Sir A. Shirley Benn).


After the reply of the Prime Minister, may I ask him if he is aware that this Motion is supported by a very large majority of the back-benchers who support the Government, and actually by a majority now of the Members of the House of Commons, and, in view of the totally inadequate time of 3½ hours for a Private Members' Debate, would he consider giving an opportunity for ventilating the whole subject before the Easter holidays?


I cannot go any further than I have gone in answer to this question at the moment.

Captain GUEST

May I ask if it is too late to reconsider the request of the hon. and gallant Baronet, in view of the fact that the Motion which stands in the name of the hon. Member for the Park Division of Sheffield (Sir A. Shirley Benn) for to-morrow covers a much wider subject than is included in the Motion of the hon. and gallant Baronet, which is supported, I believe, by more than 300 supporters of the Government and other Members of Parliament?


I think that we had better wait until this Debate takes place to-morrow. The ground covered by both Motions has so much in common that the hon. and gallant Baronet will have to have his Motion removed before the other can be debated.