HC Deb 30 June 1944 vol 401 cc939-40
Sir Richard Acland (Barnstaple)

A fortnight ago I opposed the Motion to adjourn from Friday to Tuesday. A point of Order developed and you, Mr. Speaker, gave a somewhat strict Ruling. Since then, Sir, you allowed a Debate on a Motion in the same form, which was discussed at great length. May I ask if you have any Ruling to give us on that point?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member, in asking for a Ruling as to the limits of Debate on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House from Friday to Tuesday, has called my attention to two precedents, that of 2nd August, 1939, and that of 9th May, 1940. The Rule of the House on Motions for the Adjournment to a particular day is well known. It is, in brief, that no Amendment may be moved except to substitute an alternative date, and no matter may be raised in Debate except the reasons in favour of such alternative date. In particular, it is out of Order to discuss the merits of any matter which a Member wishes to be able to debate, as a result of the House meeting on an earlier day. Short of this, a Member is entitled to give reasons briefly, to show why the matter he wants discussed is of such urgency that the House should meet earlier to debate it. I have looked at the precedents which the hon. Member mentioned to me. They are not very closely relevant. One was a Motion for the Summer Adjournment; the other a Motion for the Whitsuntide Adjournment. In both cases, the reason put forward was that the general situation was such that the House should adjourn for a briefer period than the Government proposed, whereas the hon. Member wished the House to meet earlier, to debate a particular Motion standing on the Paper. It seemed to me, and it still seems to me, that the argument he was entering upon would have had the result of turning the Motion for the Adjournment into a Debate on the Motion on the Paper, and that would have been quite out of Order.

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