§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the noble Marquess the Deputy Leader of the House whether he can give your Lordships any information with regard to the disposal of our time between now and the adjournment?
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY)
My Lords, I am, of course, only responsible for the Government business. I understand that there is to be an important debate on Ireland, initiated by my noble friend the Earl of Midleton, on Monday. With regard to the Government business there remain practically only three Bills of any moment with which we have to deal before the adjournment. There is the Rent and Mortage Interest Restrictions Bill, the Committee stage of which is now fixed for Tuesday next. It will be the first Order on that day, and, if necessary, it will occupy the whole evening. It is proposed to take the Report stage on Thursday, 26th July, and the Third Reading on Friday, the 27th. In regard to this Bill I think I ought to say that it will be almost impossible to delay the programme any longer, because the Bill has to be through both Houses of Parliament by 31st July, and there may be certain Amendments of your Lordships which will have to be considered in another place.
The other Bills are the Agricultural Credits Bill and the Agricultural Rates Bill. The Report stage of the Agricultural Credits Bill is now on the Paper for Monday. There remains the Third Reading stage and that can be taken on any day which will suit noble Lords opposite, either Tuesday or Wednesday. The Agricultural Rates Bill it is proposed to deal with in Committee on Wednesday, July 25, to take the Report stage on the following Friday, and the Third Reading on Tuesday, July 31. That concludes the 1173 important Government business. There are one or two other measures which I believe are actually to be introduced, but I do not suppose that all of them will figure on the Statute Book. We are under a pledge to my noble friend Lord Newton to introduce the Smoke Abatement Bill and the Second Reading of that Bill is to be taken, we hope, on Thursday, July 26. We cannot, of course, enter into any pledge to carry that Bill into law this Session.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, in thanking the noble Marquess for what he has said I hope he will allow me to offer at the same time my congratulations to him upon the way in which the Government business has been brought to this House during the current Session of Parliament. On previous occasions, as many of your Lordships will remember, Government business has been thrown upon us at the last moment without any opportunity of going through it properly. On this occasion, I hope the noble Marquess will not think me too rash if I offer him again my thanks and congratulations for the way in which the Government business has been brought, to us in plenty of time. I have only one little criticism to offer. I understood him to say that the Report stage of the Agricultural Rates Bill would be taken on Friday, July 27, which would, I suppose, involve a sitting on Friday.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
It is not very convenient for every member of your Lordships' House to attend on Fridays, and if we can facilitate things in any way by taking the Bills a little more quickly, no opposition will be offered from this side of the House.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
May I say how very grateful I am to the noble Earl for the kindly words in which he has congratulated the Government on their conduct of the business? I take it as a very kind action on his part in having said so much. In reference to the criticism he made, I will, of course, reconsider that matter. It is quite, possible that there will be no Report stage to that Bill, as your Lordships are aware. If no Amendments are made in Committee 1174 there will be no Report stage, and I do not think it is very likely that any Amendments will be made in the Bill in Committee. Even if there are, I will reconsider what I said in the light of what has been suggested by the noble Earl, and, if possible, will put it down for another day.