HL Deb 02 December 1929 vol 75 cc769-70

THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (LORD PARMOOR) had given Notice to move, That Standing Order No. XXXIX be considered in order to its being suspended as respects the further stages of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Bill. The noble and learned Lord said: My Lords, I put down this Motion on the Paper for suspending the Standing Order, in the hope that the remaining stages of the Bill, which we are going to deal with in Committee to-night, could be finished to-night, but after thinking the matter over and taking counsel with those who are more cognisant of the methods of business in this House, it seems to me better that I should not move the Motion to-day, but should give Notice to move if to-morrow, in order that if we finish the Committee to-day, we may have the Report, Third Reading and passing of the Bill tomorrow. That, I think, would be sufficient, although, no doubt, we are very anxious that this Bill should be pushed forward, because various matters have to be dealt with before the Bill is brought into active operation. I think, on the whole, that that would be the better method. We began by postponing the Second Reading in order that further time might be given, because we were anxious that it should not be said that we tried to rush a matter of this kind in any way inconvenient to your Lordships. Therefore, I do not propose to move my Motion to-day, but I will put it down to be moved to-morrow in order that we may get all the stages completed and the Bill sent back to another place early to-morrow.


My Lords, I do not know whether you will allow me indulgence to say a word in order to prevent any misunderstanding in this matter. I need not say that I am very much obliged to the noble and learned Lord for saying, perhaps partly in consequence of representations from myself, that he does not propose to move his Motion to-day. I should like to have this opportunity of saying to your Lordships that where a Session is a new Session, with a long history in front of it, the situation is very different from one with which we are very often presented, where the Prorogation is immediately impending, and there is very strong reason for getting legislation achieved before the Prorogation passes a sponge over the whole slate. Of course that is not the ease with a new Session. We have many months in front of us and therefore I feel very strongly that these Motions, which suspend the opportunity of your Lordships really to revise legislation, which is our business, are very inopportune at an early stage of a Session. I hope the noble and learned Lord will forgive me for saying so. With regard to to-morrow, if he moves his Motion, I will confer with my noble friends and see bow far we can accommodate him. I hope he will not think that I am making difficulties when I point out how different the situation now is from the situation in ordinary years.


I am sure the noble Marquess would never put difficulties in the way of carrying out the business of your Lordships' House. At the present moment, we are endeavouring perhaps to do more in this House than has been done in recent years, as the Order Paper shows. There must be times such as the present, of course, when, apart from the particular Session coming to an end, it is of great importance to get a certain matter dealt with, provided there has been proper time for discussion. I will not say more now; the question may arise again.

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