HL Deb 12 December 1929 vol 75 cc1191-2

My Lords, I would like to ask the noble and learned Leader of the House if he will give any indication as regards business, so far as he can of course, for the remaining days of the sittings?


My Lords, there are two matters I should like to say a word about, to get the opinion and, if I can, the assistance of the noble Marquess opposite upon them. The Unemployment Insurance Bill cannot get to this House till Monday night. I think it would be to the advantage of everybody in the House and certainly to our comfort if we could get the Second Reading of that Bill on Thursday next. If necessary and if it is not finished on that night we could finish it on Friday, December 20. That would only be the Second Reading. Then there would be a long adjournment and any further stage in that Bill would not be taken until we come back after the Recess—that is, not till January 21, as matters now stand. That is one point. I do not know whether the noble Marquess would like to give us his opinion whether he could assist us to that extent in regard to the Unemployment Insurance Bill?


It is very good of the noble and learned Lord to place such reliance upon my judgment in this matter. May I say at once that though it is very unusual, according to the general practice, to take the Second Reading of a Bill of such importance within so small a number of days after its introduction, yet I recognise that in the present condition of the calendar and the near approach of Christmas, it is only fair some exception should be made. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, and I believe I speak for my noble friends in this matter, we should raise no objection to entering upon the Second Reading on Thursday next of the Unemployment Insurance Bill. As regards the length of the debate it is impossible at present to say anything. It may be that so many noble Lords desire to take part in the discussion that it will be impossible to finish it on Thursday, but that we shall see when the time comes.


In the event, as I have stated, of its not being finished on Thursday, then Friday would be open for it. I agree that a Bill of this kind requires full discussion in your Lordships' House. The other matter that I wish to mention is one with which my noble friend Lord Russell is much more acquainted than I am. It is the future of the Road Traffic Bill. I am very desirous, personally, that a Bill of this kind, which depends so much on discussion in Committee, should always be debated at times and on dates convenient to your Lordships. We shall see how far we can get to-night. I think I had better say at once that the next stage will be taken next Monday.


Not the next stage?


I beg your pardon; the continuance of the Committee stage will be taken on Monday. The only other business on Monday is almost of a formal character. Therefore that would give us some time. I should hope we would get a long way in those two meetings so far as the Committee stage is concerned. I do not wish to say any more at the present time. I think that would be the most convenient arrangement.


My Lords, I have no objection to offer to the proposals of the noble and learned Lord, but I should like to ask him to consider the question of sitting after dinner, which I think at this time of the year is not unusual and is also generally convenient.


The noble Earl always does what he can to assist the business. That matter has been considered, but for various reasons it has been suggested to me that it would not be convenient to-night. Perhaps we could adopt the suggestion on Monday.

Back to