HL Deb 21 March 1912 vol 11 c570

My Lords, I should like to ask the noble Viscount opposite, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Lansdowne, whether the Government adhere to the arrangement they have already proposed that the Coal Mines (Minimum Wage) Bill should be put through the House of Commons in all its stages to-morrow and be received here to-morrow night, and that we should hold a sitting on Saturday as proposed originally by the noble Marquess who leads the House.


The noble Earl is well aware that a step has been taken in the House of Commons by Mr. Balfour which gives a new aspect to the situation. It is impossible for us, therefore, until we know what the result of that new action is, to say anything as to the proposed Saturday sitting of this House. The Bill in question may or may not get a Second Reading in the House of Commons to-night. I can only say that we will do the best we can to meet the convenience of this House, and, unless something unexpected happens in another place, the arrangement for a Saturday sitting of your Lordships' House will stand. But if there should be any change I will take good care that the House is informed.


I do not wish to press the noble Viscount beyond what is reasonable, but could he state when he thinks he will be able to let the House know what the final arrangement of the Government is in the matter?


It is impossible for me to tell the House our final arrangements until we know what will happen in another place shortly before midnight to-night. I am sure your Lordships' House would not like to sit till after midnight in order to know our decision. To-morrow at a very early hour we shall be able to say definitely, and the information may be accessible to the noble Earl through other channels of information. But we cannot decide until we know what happens in the House of Commons to-night.