HL Deb 17 May 1916 vol 21 cc1061-3

Brought from the Commons.


My Lords, I move that the Bill be read a first time.

Moved, that the Bill be now read la—(Lord Sandhurst.)


My Lords, I do not know whether this would be as appropriate occasion on which to ask the Government what they propose with regard to the future proceedings on this Bill. Apparently there is to be no discussion on the First Reading, as no noble Lord rose to address the House on the Motion being moved. Therefore I should like to ask what is proposed with regard to the Second Reading and the subsequent stages of the Bill.


My Lords, it seemed possible that there might have been some discussion upon the First Reading to-day if noble Lords had so desired, but unless it is the wish of the House to proceed with any general discussion on the subject now my noble friend who is in charge of the Bill proposes to take the Second Reading to-morrow. It will clearly be desirable that some interval should be allowed between the Second Reading and the Committee stage. It is true that the authorities desire that the Bill should be passed into law as soon as possible, for reasons on which it, is needless to dwell; they are obvious from the character of the Bill itself. I think, therefore, that the House will probably be willing to proceed with the Committee stage on Monday next, and then it can be seen whether the Bill can be passed through its remaining stages on that day or whether a day's further discussion is required.


In that case will the Second Reading of the Government of India Bill be taken to-morrow?


I have not had an opportunity of consulting my noble friend who is in charge of that Bill, but it will probably, I think, be desirable to postpone it for a day or two. Although it ought not to occupy a very long time, it is a Bill of no small importance; and probably it will be thought wise to devote the whole of to-morrow's sitting to the Military Service Bill.


My Lords, with regard to the Military Service Bill, the First Reading of which is now before the House, I confess that I was under the impression that the Government were going to move the Second Reading at once, as they passed a Motion yesterday suspending the Standing Order for the week. I am glad, however, that this is not their intention. But I rise for the purpose of suggesting that when the Second Reading is taken to-morrow we should have from the noble Lord in charge of the Bill a sketch of the Amendments which the Government themselves propose to make in the Bill. As far as we can understand from the imperfect reports which have reached us of what happened elsewhere, the Government are under pledges to make certain very important Amendments; and it would be inconvenient that those Amendments should come for the first time to our knowledge when we are submitting Amendments in Committee. Therefore I suggest that the noble Lord who is in charge of the Bill should take the opportunity to-morrow of explaining, not only the scope of the Bill, but the way in which it is proposed by the Government that it should be amended.


I will certainly do my best to meet the wishes of the noble Lord.

On Question, Bill read la; to be printed; and to be read 2a To-morrow (The Lord Sandhurst). (No.34.)