HL Deb 05 April 1922 vol 50 cc41-3

My Lords, I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India when the Papers relating to Indian affairs which were promised two months ago will be laid on the Table. I need hardly say that, seeing the noble Viscount has that is an entirely different matter. You could detect a deception of that kind, but it is quite impossible to detect by looking at it whether a silver black fox has been bred true through several generations. When it had been bred through several generations you could fix a strain, and with a fixed strain you would have a perfectly good animal to breed from. If it is the result of a first cross you have no guarantee whatever as to what will be the effect of breeding. I cannot really see that it is an unworthy object to try to prevent people in this country having sold to them an article which is not what it is represented to be. If your Lordships will give the Bill a Second Reading, I will do my best to meet any criticism in Committee.

On Question, whether the Motion shall be agreed to?—

Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 9; Not-Contents, 62.

Salisbury, M. Stanhope, E. Erskine, L.
Grey, E. [Teller.] Haldane, V. Hemphill, L.
Leven and Melville, E. [Teller.] Knutsford, V. Raglan, L.
Devonshire, D. Bertie of Thame, V. Harris, L. [Teller.]
Sutherland, D. Chaplin, V. Hylton, L.
Churchill, V. Kenyon, L.
Lansdowne, M. De Vesci, V. Killanin, L.
Linlithgow, M. Devonport, V. Lambourne, L. [Teller.]
Falmouth, V. Lawrence, L.
Airlie, E. Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.) Lyell, L.
Bradford, E. Monk Bretton, L.
Chichester, E. Novar, V. Newton, L.
Clarendon, E. Peel, V. Oranmore and Browne, L.
Dartmouth, E. Ullswater, V. Ponsonby, L. (E. Bessborough.)
Fitzwilliam, E. Redesdale, L.
Fortescue, E. Annesley, L. (V. Valentia.) Rotherham, L.
Lichfield, E. Askwith, L. St. John of Bletso, L.
Lovelace, E. Bearsted, L. Somerleyton, L.
Lucan, E. Cottesloe, L. Southwark, L.
Malmesbury, E. Dewar, L. Stanmore, L.
Midleton, E. Dynevor, L. Strathspey, L.
Morton, E. Fairfax of Cameron, L. Stuart of Wortley, L.
Onslow, E. Gainford, L. Teynham, L.
Stamford, E. Gleuarthur, L. Wigan, L. (E. Crawford.)
Strafford, E. Gorell, L. Wyfold, L.

Resolved in the negative, and Motion disagreed to accordingly.

so recently taken up his responsibilities, I do not desire to press him unduly. I would, however, point out that there are two points with regard to these Papers. The first is that we were promised on the Address in Reply to the gracious Speech from the Throne, two months ago, that certain Papers with regard to India would be laid at once. Therefore, I assume that they were not Papers which the Government felt there would be any difficulty in laying.

I must say, on the subject of Papers generally, that we have been treated very ungenerously by the Government with regard to information on the troubles that are going on all over the world, and the time really has come when on a number of Questions of importance we ought to have authentic information. I may point out in one sentence to the noble Viscount the difficulty in which we are placed. There are endless questions to which we are invited to call the attention of the Government, and if we entrench ourselves, as some of us do, behind the desire solely to move in such questions as those on which we are satisfied there really is a case, we must have official Papers on which to go. If not, it only ends in our being unable to discriminate, in very numerous cases, between those on which there is really a good case and those to which the Government may have a conclusive answer, and which it may be most undesirable to press in public. For these reasons I ask my noble friend to endeavour to expedite, as far as he can, the laying of these Papers.


My Lords, I am very sorry that the noble Earl has suffered from the paucity of Papers, because his general criticism of the Government applies to Departments in general. I quite appreciate the noble Earl's difficulty through not being able to study these Papers, and as regards the particular Paper for which he asks I am sorry there has been this delay about it. I think he will understand that there has been delay about other Papers, owing to the recent changes, but I will do my best to get the Paper expedited and laid upon the Table as soon as possible.