HL Deb 05 August 1918 vol 31 cc463-5

My Lords, I beg to make the Motion that stands in my name. This Motion is in pursuance of an arrangement which I announced to the House in the latter part of last week. We all felt that it was very desirable that the opportunity should not be lost of hearing Lord Inchcape's views. Therefore I ventured—I believe correctly interpreting the sense of the House—to make the rather exceptional arrangement of giving him an hour of the time of your Lordships' House from the commencement of business to-day, on the understanding that he and his friends who wish to take part in this discussion would be willing, at the end of that time, to allow the Report stage of the Education Bill to be taken. I beg to move.

Moved, That, notwithstanding the Order of the House of the 26th of July last which gives precedence to Government Bills and Notices, the Notice standing in the name of the Lord Inchcape this day take precedence of Government Bills.—(Earl Curzon of Kedleston.


My Lords, we are all grateful, I am sure, to the noble Earl for having fallen in with the suggestion which was made a few days ago pointing out the special importance of Lord Inchcape's Motion on the Paper. At the same time I have since been informed that there are several noble Lords who desire to say something upon it, all of whom, so far as I know, are exceedingly well qualified to do so. I have no knowledge at all how long the Report stage of the Education Bill will occupy, but if that Order is likely to be carried through in a comparatively short time there might be something to be said for taking it first and for allowing the Motion of my noble friend to come afterwards, and thereby give more time to those who desire to speak upon it. Of course that would depend on the amount of time which is likely to be taken by the Education Bill. We should all of us desire that my noble friends Motion should come on at a time when both his speech and those of some others who I understand desire to speak should have a good chance of being both listened to and reported.


My Lords, I venture to think that it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the debate for which these special steps are being taken. I should have thought that a great many members of the House would wish to take part in it and express their views. At all events, I am quite clear of this, that it is impossible that justice can be done to the subject within the time that we are now told it is proposed to limit this debate, and I should like to ask when we shall have an opportunity of resuming it upon some other occasion. I think it is very unfortunate if all further discussion of this question is to be postponed until after a recess which we understand is to be of somewhat unusual length.


With all that has been said about the importance of the discussion I entirely agree, but in this case I am bound to remark that it is perhaps a little unfortunate that my noble friend Lord Inchcape did not give notice of his Motion earlier in the day. As regards the amount of time which I ventured to suggest for the debate, my noble friend will bear me out when I say that the suggestion of the debate could be compromised within the space of an hour emanated not from me but from him. I asked him what amount of time he and his friends who at that date he thought were likely to take part in the debate would require for their proceedings, and he told me he thought the discussion could easily be compromised within an hour. That was why I assigned that limit of time. Apart from that, I would call your Lordships' attention to the fact that it is not the Report stage of the Education Bill alone that is to be taken to-night. If your Lordships will look at the Paper you will see that there are a good many Bills which we want to advance to further stages, such as the Aliens Bill, the Trade Boards Bill and others. At the same time I join with the noble Viscount who has just spoken in hoping that when we meet again, even if our vacation is to be rather a long one, full opportunity will be given to many noble Lords in this House who are unable to speak upon the financial situation to resume the discussion which will be so unfortunately curtailed this afternoon.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Moved, That Standing Order No. XXXIX be considered in order to its being suspended for the remainder of this week.—(Earl Curzon of Kedleston.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.