HL Deb 19 December 1919 vol 38 cc474-5

Brought from the Commons; read 1a.

Moved (Standing Order No. XXXIX having been suspended) That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Somerleyton.)


I have no objection to the noble Lord taking this course, but would be tell us what is in the Bill?


I was quite prepared to do that, but the opportunity did not seem to offer itself. The object of the Bill is merely to extend the duration of the Profiteering Act, 1919, for a further period of three months—to May 19, 1920. The Act came into operation on August 19 for a period of six months and no longer unless Parliament otherwise determined, and would expire on February 19 unless there is a measure for its renewal previously passed. It is most improbable that time for this can be found at the beginning of the next session, and it is, therefore, desirable that the Bill should now be passed into law if it is agreed to, as I understand it is, on the other side of the House.


Does the Bill apply to Government Departments, or does one Government Department balance another?


I am prepared to go further in explaining this Bill if it is desired. The Profiteering Act has the object of preventing private enterprise from making undue profits at the expense of the people of the country at large, and this Bill seeks to continue the powers of that Act. I think that explains it sufficiently.

On Question, Bill read 2a.

House in Committee.

[The EARL OF DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]


Does the noble Viscount wish to raise any question on the only clause in the Bill?


I was rather hoping that Lord Somerleyton would tell us that the Government will balance the loss in one Government Department by the profit in another.

Bill reported without amendment.


I beg to move that the Bill be read a third time.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Bill read 3a and passed.