§ LORD JAMES OF HEREFORD
My Lords, before we proceed to the business of the day I hope your Lordships will allow me to make a personal explanation with reference to the question which was on the Paper on Tuesday last in the name of the Earl of Dartmouth, as to the action to be taken by the Government on the Report of the Committee on War Funds. The question was addressed to me, and I very much regret that when it was asked I was not in my place to answer it. The question was put to me personally as Chairman of the Joint Committee, and therefore notice of it was conveyed to me only through the Notice Paper of your Lordship's House. I quite admit, that it 646 is the duty of every Member of this House to look at the Notice Paper, and that that obligation rests upon a Minister to a much greater extent than upon an ordinary Member, Indeed, it is my practice to do so; but, being pressed with other business on Tuesday, I omitted to open the Paper, and was therefore ignorant of the fact that the question was to be put. I therefore plead guilty to the well-deserved criticisms which the noble Earl the Leader of the Opposition made as to my absence, and I desire to express my very great regret at any inconvenience which may have been caused by my inadvertence. As the question is not on the Paper today, and as I understand that Lord Dartmouth will repeat it next week, I will defer my answer.
§ EARL SPENCER
I felt obliged to make some remarks on Tuesday with regard to the question not having received an answer, but I cordially acknowledge the courtesy of the noble Lord and accept his explanation.