HC Deb 27 October 1943 vol 393 cc258-9

Considered in Committee.

[Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS in the Chair.]

Mr. A. Bevan (Ebbw Vale)

For the convenience of the Committee, might I put one or two questions to you, Mr. Williams, on procedure? We are beginning the Committee stage of this Bill very much later than was originally intended. In view of that, does the right hon. Gentleman propose to complete the Committee stage to-day? [An HON. MEMBER: "The Rule has been suspended."] I know that the Rule is suspended, but we are starting late. In view of the fact that none of the Amendments on the Order Paper raises any issue of—

The Deputy-Chairman

This discussion is irregular except on a Motion to report Progress. Does the hon. Member wish to move to report Progress?

Mr. Bevan

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

My first point is that we are starting the Committee proceedings on this Bill very much later than we expected to do under the arrangement which was made through the usual channels. It was intended that the proceedings on the Scottish Bill should be concluded about an hour and three quarters ago. Secondly, there are no Amendments on the Order Paper which give rise to questions of profound principle, upon which hon. Members and the Government are divided. Therefore, does the right hon. Gentleman propose to put the Whips on for all the Amendments? Is it not a situation in which the Committee ought to be allowed to discuss things on their merits? The third point which I would like to raise, for the convenience of the Committee, is whether the right hon. Gentleman proposes to look favourably upon any of the Amendments. If he could give us an indication on that point, it would facilitate the proceedings of the Committee.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I am not the controller of the time at which the Committee begins its business. I can only say that my wish is to get this Committee stage finished to-day. The sooner this Bill is on the Statute Book, the sooner the many workpeople affected will get benefits from it. I do not think there would be any advantage in postponing the conclusion of the Committee stage. The answer to the hon. Member's second question is that the Government Whips will be put on. The third question is entirely premature. I suggest that we should get on with the Business.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

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