§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Duke of Northumberland.)
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
My Lords, I have no objection to giving a Second Reading to the Bill which is before us in the name, of the noble Duke, although I cannot, for reasons which have been stated by my noble friends, agree to his proposal to refer both Bills to a Select 754 Committee. I have, however, risen not so much to say this, as to comment on the view of the noble Duke who sits at his side, which seems to be shared by some other noble Lords, that the House ought to receive more definite information on this subject. I do not dissent from that view myself. But the noble Duke in his speech made a number of charges of which no notice whatever had been given to any one sitting on this Bench, to which my noble friend who so ably represents the Munitions Department is not in a position to reply, because he had no notice given to him, and with the details of which no other noble Lord on this Bench necessarily has any familiar acquaintance. I think the proper course would be, when we go into the Committee stage of the Government Bill to which your Lordships have just given a Second Reading, that my noble friend, having acquired the fuller knowledge on the subject to which I referred, should mane a statement to your Lordships' House with such reply as he is able to give, and I am sure it will be a thorough and a good one, to the charges we have heard this afternoon.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a.
§ On Question, Motion negatived.