§ THE MARQUESS CURZON OF KEDLESTON
My Lords, I desire to ask the noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack whether, in view of the circumstances which passed in another place yesterday evening, he is prepared to make to your Lordships' House an announcement as to the intentions of His Majesty's Government.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT HALDANE)
My Lords, the Prime Minister had an audience of the King this morning, and the Sovereign was graciously pleased to direct an immediate Dissolution of Parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Writs will be issued to-night, and, according do the ordinary law, the General Election should be over by the 29th of this month. Then some days must elapse before the proceedings are complete, because the new Parliament has to be sworn. The result of the Election in Orkney and Shetland will come later perhaps, but the Election will be substantially over by the date I have mentioned. Then we shall be in a position to meet Parliament and see what steps shall be taken.
§ LORD BUCKMASTER
My Lords, may I ask the noble and learned Viscount what is the explanation—I may say the justification—for this extreme haste with the Election? To-day is the 9th of October and the Election, we are told, is going to be over within twenty days. What is the reason for that?
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
The reason for it is that there is nothing more disturbing to the country than a prolonged and protracted General Election, and we are assured that it is the desire of the commercial community and of the general community to get rid of the Election, which is not of our creation, as soon as possible.