HL Deb 03 May 1923 vol 53 cc1081-2

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.


My Lords, I understand that certain members of your Lordships' House desire a little more time in which to examine the provisions of this Bill. Therefore, if it will meet the convenience of your Lordships, I am willing that the Committee Stage of the Bill should be postponed until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.


My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Earl for postponing the Committee Stage of this Bill. I am not, I confess, aware that there is any objection to the Bill, or that any members of your Lordships' House are likely to wish to move any Amendments to it. But we have just had a somewhat unfortunate example in the Petroleum Bill, upon which the noble Viscount, who has successfully carried his Resolution, spoke to us the other day, when he told us that he had not noticed its passage through the House on an earlier occasion. The same thing happened recently with regard to the Dangerous Drugs Bill, when the Committee Stage was put down for the day after the Bill had been given a Second Reading. The noble Earl in' charge of the affairs of the Home Office was, as usual, exceedingly kind in promising to postpone it again in order that we might have a little, time in which to consider our Amendments.

I hope that the noble Marquess the Deputy Leader of the House, who is not in his place at the moment, will allow me to say that, generally speaking, I think it is not a bad thing, unless there is some special reason of urgency, to allow what people now call the week-end to intervene between the Second Reading and the Committee Stage of a Bill. A good many noble Lords do not live in London, and have not always an opportunity of studying a Bill and of consulting those of their friends who are interested in the particular subject. It would be convenient, therefore, generally speaking, if a rule were laid down that, unless there is any reason of urgency, a week at least should intervene between the Second Reading and the Committee Stage of any Bill, however unimportant. Your Lordships would, of course, be always willing to waive such a rule if necessary, but, generally speaking, I do not think it should become the practice of your Lordships' House.

Order discharged.