§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL AND SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (THE EARL OF CREWE)
My Lords, in making the Motion that Lord Balfour of Burleigh be appointed to take the Chair in all Committees of this House until Easter, I know that the whole House will regret the reason for which this Motion has to be made—namely, the continued ill-health of our noble friend the Lord Chairman. We hope that there may be warrant for believing that Lord Onslow may be able to take up his duties again later in the Session, and therefore this Motion is made provisional and holds good only up to Easter. Before that time we shall, no doubt, have received a communication from Lord Onslow which we trust will be of a favourable character. I know there is a universal feeling of regret in the House at his absence from those duties which he performed so faithfully and efficiently. I may add that during the recess I have been in communication with the noble Marquess opposite, and I am sure he will confirm me in saying that there is no one more qualified to fill the gap left by the temporary absence of the Lord Chairman than my noble friend Lord Balfour. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Lord Balfour of Burleigh be appointed to take the Chair in all Committees of this House until Easter.—(The Earl of Crewe.)43
§ THE MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE
My Lords, I feel sure the House will readily concur in the Motion which has just been made by the noble Earl the Leader of the House. We shall certainly concur with him in the regret which he expressed at the reason for which this temporary appointment is necessary. Lord Onslow has been a great sufferer for some time past, and I know that it was with the utmost reluctance that he found it necessary to give up, for the p esent at all events, the hope of being able to attend to the duties of Lord Chairman, which, as the noble Earl has told the House, he discharges with so much ability and satisfaction to your Lordships. We all of us earnestly hope that he may be quickly restored to health. There can be no question that no more adequate substitute for Lord Onslow could be found than my noble friend Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and, indeed, I think the House is greatly indebted to Lord Balfour for the readiness which he has shown to step into the gap at this moment. I am afraid that there are reasons which will render it impossible for Lord Balfour to accept the appointment of Chairman for more than a limited time. But what matters most is that we should have some provisional arrangement which will enable the business of the House to be carried on in an efficient manner, and such an arrangement will, I think, certainly be the result of the proposal which the noble Earl has laid before the House.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to, nemine dissentiente.