HC Deb 18 December 1941 vol 376 cc2076-102

Ordered, That, notwithstanding the practice of the House, the Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Bill may be considered in Committee immediately after the Bill has been read a Second time."— [Mr. Attlee.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Proceedings on any Motion for the Adjournment of the House that may be moved by a Minister of the Crown at this day's Sitting be exempted from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House)."—[Mr. Attlee.]

Mr. Shinwell (Seaham)

May I ask, Sir, for your guidance? As I understand, this Motion will enable; my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal to ask for the removal of Strangers and for the House to go into Secret Session. If that is the intention, may I ask whether an opportunity will be given—

Mr. Speaker

This Motion merely provides that, on the Motion for the Adjournment, the ordinary Adjournment Rule will not apply.

Mr. Shinwell

If the ordinary Adjournment Rule does not apply, am I to understand that, the Standing Orders being suspended, the House can proceed in Secret Session, for the purpose of discussing the length of the Recess?

Mr. Speaker

No, the Motion merely suspends the Rule relating to the time of Adjournment if the question under discussion is the Adjournment.

Question put, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That at the next Sitting Day Questions may be taken; and that no Question, of which notice has been given, be taken after the expiration of one hour after the meeting of the House."—[Mr. Attlee]

Mr. Garro Jones (Aberdeen, North)

May I respectfully suggest that when it is necessary in future to put down a Motion of this kind, it should be put down in time to allow Members to put Questions on the Order Paper by the ordinary method of giving a certain period of notice, and not when it is too late for them to do so?

Mr. Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

Does not this Motion, if it is accepted, confer upon Members the right to put down Questions for the next Sitting Day?

Mr. Speaker

The ordinary Rule still applies, and Questions may be put of which notice was given yesterday.

Mr. Silverman

If that be so, what function would be served by the passing of this Motion? It would merely give us the right to do something which we are unable to do.

Mr. Denman (Leeds, Central)

Is it not the fact that a number of Questions have been put down, and that they will now be answered?

Mr. Speaker

Under the ordinary practice of the House, no Minister need attend on that particular day of the week to answer Questions. Under this Motion, the procedure in regard to Questions will be the same as on any other day, and Questions can be put, and will be answered.

Mr. Garro Jones

May I respectfully suggest that the Ruling which you have just given makes quite apposite my request to the Government that in future they will endeavour to give this notice in time to enable Members to put Questions on the Order Paper with the usual period of notice?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

We endeavour to meet hon. Members as far as possible. The hon. Member will realise that there was some question whether we should sit on a fourth Sitting Day, and, therefore, the Motion could not be put down until that question was settled.

Question put, and agreed to.