HL Deb 12 February 1918 vol 29 cc3-4

My Lords, I think it would be for the convenience of the House if I were now to put a question to the noble Earl who leads it on the subject of business—namely, what he proposes for the immediate future as regards the sittings of the House and the business to be taken?


My Lords, I am not aware that any business is likely to be coming up to us from the other House for some time to come. Therefore, my intention had been, at the close of the proceedings to-day, to suggest that your Lordships should adjourn for a week—until Tuesday next, on which day my noble friend Lord Chaplin, I believe, desires to take an important Motion that he has put down on the Paper. And in the event of there being no further business for your Lordships to transact, we might possibly then have a further adjournment to a day which I need not name for the moment, but which might cover another week.


My Lords, I am sure that none of us would wish to call in question the suggestion which has been made by the noble Earl as to adjourning until next Tuesday; but I think that one ought to enter a word of caution. I do not know that there is any Motion except that of my noble friend Lord Chaplin, to which the noble Earl has referred, which is in prospect, but there might be put down at any moment a Motion of importance. I should not like it to be thought that none of your Lordships could bring up anything in the week beginning next Tuesday, if it should seem fit for them to do so. Consequently I hope that the noble Earl will not make up his mind to adjourn again next Tuesday until we are a little more clear as to what business there may be.


My Lords, may I add that personally, should be very glad to meet the views of the noble Earl with regard to next week. I understand that he proposes, at the conclusion of business this evening, to move the adjournment of the House until next Tuesday. I have already put down a Notice on the Paper for Wednesday of this week, the object of which is to ask whether we could be favoured with the amount—or the approximate amount—of the total cost of the Ministry of Food from the time of its inception to the first day of the present month. I have also handed in a Motion, for the purpose of discussing the whole of the policy of the Food Controller, for Wednesday of next week. If the noble Earl desires it, however, I will, of course, take that Motion on Tuesday, running the risk (whatever it may be) of any Bill coming before it. I should prefer to be certain of getting the Wednesday, because then one can appeal to one's friends to come and give their support on that particular day, and the Motion would be more certain to come on.


My Lords, I do not know whether the noble Viscount expects me to give any reply. I do not think that there is the least likelihood of any Bill requiring the attention of your Lordships next week; and as for the noble Viscounts friends, so confidently can he reply upon them that I am sure they will be equally certain to turn up on the Tuesday as on the Wednesday.


Then I will put that Motion down for Tuesday of next week.