HC Deb 12 October 1944 vol 403 cc1944-5
Sir H. Williams

On a point of Order. With regard to the Diplomatic Privileges Bill, which is put down for to-morrow, the Debate was adjourned because of the opposition to it from all quarters of the House. When the Debate is resumed tomorrow, none of the critics, if the Rules are strictly observed, will be permitted to take part in the Debate. It seems unfortunate that those who have taken most interest in it will not be able to make remarks on a Bill which, judging from the Amendments on the Order Paper, is now to be substantially altered.

Mr. Buchanan

In regard to that matter could I press the right hon. Gentleman on the point I have just raised? The Diplomatic Privileges Bill is regarded by some Members as of importance and there is a series of Amendments down to it. The other Bill is a human matter, and I would seriously ask the right hon. Gentleman not to regard a Bill affecting the whole life of our people as of secondary importance.

Mr. Attlee

The hon. Member is quite wrong. There is no question of considering it as of secondary importance. We have a great deal of legislation to get through, but there is no intention of not giving adequate time to it.

Mr. Speaker

In answer to the question put by the hon. Member for South Croydon (Sir H. Williams), of course, the Rule of the House is that one cannot speak a second time in a Second Reading Debate, except by leave of the House, and as the hon. Member says that might be very inconvenient. Possibly the House would give leave to hon. Members to speak again—[HON. MEMBERS: "All?"]—but I do not think that would be quite fair because, after one or two Members had been given leave to speak, there might be some others who had spoken and to whom the House would say "No." I do not think, therefore, that that is really a good answer. If there is to be a Debate on this Bill—and I understand it is possible there may not be—I suggest to hon. Members that if they put down a reasoned Amendment there will be another Question before the House, on which they may have a chance to speak if they catch my eye.

Mr. Stephen

On Business—

Mr. Speaker

We have got on to a point of Order. The discussion on Business is finished now.

Mr. Stephen

On a point of Order. If we are on Business when a point of Order is raised, should we not be able to go back to Business when the point of Order has been disposed of?

Mr. Speaker

I called the hon. Member for South Croydon (Sir H. Williams) when we finished Business questions. We cannot discuss Business questions the whole morning.