HL Deb 13 July 1908 vol 192 cc351-3

House in Committee (according to order). Bill reported without Amendment.

LORD NEWTON moved that the Standing Committee be dispensed with. He wished to make a special appeal to Lord Camperdown. This was an essentially trivial measure, and was the result of an agreement arrived at last year between himself and the Government. Although he had the highest respect for his noble friend's activity in the character of a watchdog, yet there really was nothing objectionable in this Bill, and he saw no reason why he should not be allowed to have his way with regard to it. The reason he asked this favour at the noble Earl's hands was that he would be obliged to absent himself shortly from the House, and he desired, if his noble friend would permit him, to get the Bill through before the end of the week.

Moved, "That the Standing Committee be negatived."—(Lord Newton).


was sure the House would greatly regret the absence of his noble friend (Lord Newton). If the House were to lose him it would be a very great loss, but he must say that every remark he had made with regard to the previous Bill applied equally to this. His noble friend himself said it was a very trivial Bill.


So it is.


said that if it were so there was no reason why it should not go to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee would meet to-morrow, and it would only protract the course of the Bill by one day if it followed the usual course. There were certain rules of the House, and in his opinion, so long as the House chose to have a Standing Committee Bills ought to go to it. He quite admitted that the question of whether there should be a Standing Committee or not was open to argument, and he believed that a great part of the useful ness of the Standing Committee Had gone, but so long as it existed it was absurd to hear noble Lord after noble Lord standing up and saying, "I have got an excessively trivial Bill, and therefore it need not go to the Standing Committee."


You do not object.


Yes, I do object.


Then all I can say is that I shall object to any of the noble Lord's Bills.


I am sorry to say I am not acquainted with the contents of this Bill, and I cannot say, therefore, whether this particular Bill ought to go to the Standing Committee or not. I have not an opinion. I am rather inclined to agree that it has become a rule to negative the Standing Committee without much consideration. We have all, in former days, spent many happy hours in the Standing Committee. I do not know whether, as the noble Earl said, its usefulness has entirely departed. My impression is that it was a more useful body to noble Lords on this side of the House when they were in Opposition. In those days it used to-give occasion for more minute examination of Bills which they would not have received in face of the alarming battalions drawn up on the Ministerial side of the House. I do not know whether the noble Earl will think it necessary to press his Motion on this occasion. We should all be very sorry if the noble Lord was debarred from departing in search of that repose which I am sure he has richly earned, and I should almost advise the noble Earl to withdraw his opposition on this particular occasion.


said that under the circumstances he would withdraw his opposition, but at the same time he would remark that Lord Allen-dale had been very badly treated.


suggested what he considered a better course. The noble Lord had business not only in that House but also on an important-Committee outside the House, but within its precincts, and he would suggest that he might postpone his departure.

On Question, Standing Committee negatived; and Bill to be read 3a to-morrow.