THE CHAIRMAN of COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF DONOUGEMORE)
My Lords, I wish to make an appeal to the Deputy-Leader of the House in reference to your Lordships' proceedings when we meet after Easter on April 17. Your Lordships are aware, of course, that an important Question has been put down for discussion that evening, and the Government have given me to understand that it would be for the convenience of your Lordships if another important debate on private business—the Croydon Corporation Bill—were postponed from that afternoon. I have been in communication with the parties, and, though I cannot honestly say there is great enthusiasm for postponement, at the same time there is great anxiety to study the convenience of your Lordships. For that reason I would suggest that the Croydon Corporation Bill should be put clown for the-following day, Wednesday, the 18th, subject to this—and this is my appeal to the Deputy-Leader of the House—that if by any chance the Ruhr debate does not conclude on Tuesday evening, and is adjourned until the following day, I hope, nevertheless, that the Croydon Bill may be taken in private business and the debate thereon duly proceeded with on the Wednesday. For reasons on which I need not enlarge—one being the very lamented death of my 529 noble friend the late Lord Plymouth—the Croydon Corporation Bill has had to be postponed, and I am anxious, if it does go on, that it should not be further interrupted by any proceedings such as those I have mentioned.
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY)
My Lords, I think the appeal of my noble friend is thoroughly justified. I am very sorry that it should have been the duty of the Government to ask those who are responsible for the Croydon Corporation Bill to postpone it from Tuesday, April 17, but, as my noble friend has reminded your Lordships, there is a very important, public debate set down for that day, a debate in which probably every member of your Lordships' House takes a very deep interest, because it deals with the situation in the Ruhr. It is a Motion of which Notice has been given on behalf of the Opposition, and in the discussion moon which no doubt the Leader of the Opposition will himself take part. Already it has had to be postponed from the date for which it was originally set down, and we thought it would hardly be in consonance with the importance of the subject if it were postponed again, or if a debate of this kind were to be interfered with by a long prior discussion upon a private Bill. Therefore I am very grateful to my noble friend the Lord Chairman for his intervention which has induced the parties to assent to a postponement of the private Bill. I think that his request, that if it is put down for the Wednesday it should not be further interfered with, is one that should be acceded to.