HL Deb 29 May 1923 vol 54 cc251-3

My Lords, I beg to ask the noble Marquess the Deputy Leader of the House whether he has any information to give us with regard to the course of business.


My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Earl. In regard to The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Bill, which stands for Second Reading to-day in the name of my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor, I am sure that your Lordships will be sorry to hear that he is detained by indisposition from the service of your Lordships' House. In the circumstances I propose to postpone the consideration of that Bill until Tuesday next. The Rent Restrictions (Notices of Increase) Bill does not present any difficulties and I propose to proceed with that Bill as it stands upon the Paper.

In addition to that, I am informed that it is likely that the Restoration of Order in Ireland (Indemnity) Bill will pass through another place in the course of to-day's sitting and will be in your Lordships' House to-morrow. That is a Bill which ought not to be unduly delayed if your Lordships will be good enough to consent to expedite its passage. I should propose, therefore, with the consent of your Lordships, to take the First and Second Readings to-morrow; but only if your Lordships are perfectly willing to take that course. I do not desire to suggest that it would be right to suspend the Standing Orders of your Lordships' House to that extent except with the general consent of the House. But I judge from the speech which was delivered by the noble Viscount the Leader of the Opposition upon a previous occasion, just before the Recess, that the Second Reading of the Bill is not likely to receive any opposition. In those circumstances I suggest that that course might be pursued. Then, with the consent of the House, we would take the remaining stages of the Bill on the next day and so deal with it completely in the present week. But that also is for your Lordships to decide. If it is thought that that would mean dealing with the Bill in too great a hurry, and there was any substantial opposition to the Bill, or any desire to amend it, the Government would reconsider their attitude in respect of the Bill.


My Lords, I can speak only for a small number of your Lordships, but the arrangement which is proposed by the noble Marquess seems to me to meet the case. It is obvious that the Indemnity Bill is one which ought to be pushed through the House and there is no reason why we should delay dealing with it to-morrow on First and Second Readings. In regard to the Motion which has been placed upon the Paper by my noble friend Viscount Grey of Fallodon—namely, to move to resolve, That this House affirms the long established principle of the Constitution that the Executive should not without the previous and special authority of Parliament exercise the power of arrest without bringing to trial by due process of law—it must be obvious to the noble Marquess that we should be delighted if, when we came to discuss the Bill either on Second Reading or during the Committee stage, we knew that that Resolution, which arises out of a discussion upon a similar question, was likely to meet with the approval of His Majesty's Government.


My Lords, I have just been informed that there may be some difficulty in taking the Rent Restrictions Bill to-day. The difficulty would not have arisen but for the sudden indisposition of my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor, and perhaps we shall not be able to take that Bill after all at this sitting.