HL Deb 31 August 1914 vol 17 cc571-2

My Lords, I do not know whether the noble Marquess who leads the House is disposed to take advantage of this interval in order to give us some idea of the intentions of His Majesty's Government with regard to the course of business during the next few days.


My Lords, I understand that in another place the Prime Minister is about to propose an adjournment of that House until Wednesday week, September 9, and, if it should be agreeable to your Lordships' House, when we are in a position to move the adjournment to-day we will make a similar Motion. Then, I hope, when we meet again that after such time as may be necessary to conclude business we may be in a position to advise the Prorogation of Parliament. Of course, the question will then arise as to the position, in the altered circumstances which now exist, of the various Bills which are under the Parliament Act. The House will remember that I put down the Government of Ireland Bill for Second Reading on June 30 last. It was not taken on that day because the Amending Bill was then in process of being considered, and we proceeded instead with the Council of India Bill. When we return I shall again place the Government of Ireland Bill on the Paper for Second Reading, that being done in the ordinary course of business. Both Houses will then have to consider, after discussion in the House of Commons and here, what further measure is necessary to ensure that so far as possible the situation is not radically altered by the events which are taking place in Europe. We shall be prepared then to produce our proposals with that object. I wish we could have produced them now, but the House will understand that the pressure of business upon us all has been so heavy of late that it has not been possible to produce them so far, but we shall do so after this short interval. I have no doubt, also, that noble Lords opposite and the Opposition generally will reflect on the whole position and the various possibilities which exist for carrying out the object I have indicated. My noble friend Lord Beauchamp is not able to be here to-day, but what I have said applies mutatis mutandis also to the Welsh Church Bill. I am afraid that that is all the information I can give to your Lordships to-day, but it shows, I think, with sufficient clearness what the course of business is likely to be when we resume our deliberations on Wednesday week.

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.