HC Deb 21 December 1954 vol 535 c2611

House to meet Tomorrow at Eleven o'clock and no Questions be taken after Twelve o'clock.—[The Prime Minister.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That Mr. Speaker shall not adjourn the House Tomorrow until he shall have reported the Royal Assent to the Acts which have been agreed upon by both Houses, but that, subject to this condition, Mr. Speaker shall at Five o'clock adjourn the House without putting any Question.—[The Prime Minister.]

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

This is an unusual Motion to appear on the Order Paper. Does the Leader of the House think that he cannot get a sufficient number of Ministers here to keep the House, if necessary, tomorrow?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

I do not see what this has to do with the number of Ministers present. The point of this Motion is that if, by any chance, the Measure which is being dealt with in the House in another place tomorrow had not been completed at the time of the rising of the House, and the Royal Commission, therefore, was not ready while the House was sitting up to five o'clock, this Motion would allow an extension in order to get the Royal Assent. When the right hon. Gentleman says that this is very unusual, I would point out that I am actually following the precedent of 1947.

Mr. Ede

I do not dispute that at all. But the position is not quite what the right hon. Gentleman says, because if at any time during the day attention is drawn to the fact that 40 Members are not present, Mr. Speaker cannot take notice of that, whether he leaves the Chair and returns when the Commission are ready in another place, or whether he remains in the Chair, knowing that a quorum is not present. There is nothing in this Motion to guide us.

Mr. Crookshank

I think we can leave that difficulty, should it arise, to be dealt with by Mr. Speaker. The purpose of the Motion is to safeguard the Royal Commission.

Mr. Speaker

Perhaps I can assist the House in this matter. If there were no quorum, I should suspend the House until I was told that there was a quorum; and the arrival of Black Rod, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, makes the House.

Question put and agreed to.