HC Deb 03 July 1939 vol 349 cc931-5
Mr. Greenwood

May I ask the Prime Minister for what purpose it is proposed to move the suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule?

The Prime Minister

We desire to conclude the Committee stage of the Finance Bill to-day. We also hope there will be time to take the Report and Third Reading of the Marriage (Scotland) Bill and the Patents and Designs (Limits of Time) Bill. It is proposed to move the suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule for this purpose.

Mr. R. Gibson

May I ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that many Scottish Members are surprised that the Marriage (Scotland) Bill appears as Item 2 on the Order Paper? There is considerable surprise for the reason that during the Committee stage, when there were very considerable discussions, the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Scotland intimated to the Committee that he would consider whether or not it would be possible to meet certain objections by putting down Amendments.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member may not make a speech on the matter.

Mr. Gibson

I am raising a matter with regard to the Business of the House. There is surprise that, in view of the undertaking given by the Secretary of State, this Bill appears on the Order Paper without there having been any intimation of Amendments or any intimation that there were to be no Amendments. Accordingly, hon. Members are not in a position to discuss this matter to-day.

Mr. Maxton

Further to that point, it seems to me to be rather unfair that the Scottish Members should learn to-day.

without there having been any intimation or announcement when the Business was stated last Thursday, that to-night, at eleven o'clock, an important Scottish Measure is to go through an important stage of the proceedings. It seems to me that as to-morrow is to be a Scottish day, if the Bill has to be taken at eleven o'clock, to-morrow would be the appropriate day on which to do so. I wish to add my protest to that of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. Gibson) about this very haphazard way of doing business.

Sir T. Moore

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that once a Bill has left the Scottish Standing Committee, there is nothing more to be said about it?

Mr. Maxton

I wish to ask whether the Marriage (Scotland) Bill is to be taken to-night, or whether it cannot be postponed until a time when Members can be properly informed of what is taking place?

The Prime Minister

In announcing the business on Thursday I said, as I always do on these occasions, that if time permitted other Orders would be taken. I was under the impression that this was a Bill which Scottish Members were anxious to have passed. With regard to the particular point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. Gibson), I have consulted my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, who says he will be prepared to make a statement in the Debate on the Bill.

Mr. Kennedy

May we assume that the Bill will not be taken at a late hour?

The Prime Minister

Not at a late hour.

Motion made, and Question put, That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House)."—[The Prime Minister.]

The House divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 100.