HL Deb 11 December 1930 vol 79 cc523-6

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I see the noble and learned Viscount, Lord Hailsham, opposite, and I wish to make a suggestion to him as to the best way of dealing with this Bill under present conditions. Of course there must be an Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. We are all agreed upon that point. If it were not passed, a very considerable number of useful legislative measures would fall through, although there is no intention whatever that that should happen. There is one very important point which arises upon the Bill this year and that is in connection with the Dyestuffs (Import Regulation) Act of 1920. We know that in the other House there was considerable discussion as to whether that Act should be included in the Bill, so as to be continued for a further period, or whether it should be left out of the Bill altogether, in which case it will come to an end in January. 1931. I do not want in any way to diminish the importance of that issue. It is a very important matter—not in the sense of finding fault, but a very important point is raised between the colour users on the one side and the colour makers on the other—and it appears to me that if the noble Viscount opposite thought it convenient we might take the Second Reading of the Bill in a formal way, and have this matter of the Dyestuffs Act discussed on the Committee stage.

If he takes that view then we should want to sit on Monday, and to suspend Standing Order No. XXXIX, so that the subsequent stages of the Bill could be got through on Monday, in order that the Bill may go back to the other House in time to be considered before the Recess. There may possibly be a question of a difference of opinion between the two Houses. I do not, however, want to anticipate that, although it is a possible position to arise. Therefore, if the noble Lord opposite agrees with me we could take formally the Second Reading now, and have the real discussion upon the point at issue on Monday. I do not know whether that will commend itself to the noble Viscount as a matter of procedure. If it does not, I have the information with me and we can go through the matter now, but it must be discussed again in Committee, because obviously it is a Committee point.


My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble and learned Lord for the question which he has addressed to me, because it enables me to inform the House that when the Committee stage of this Bill is taken I am proposing to move an Amendment with the object of continuing the Dyestuffs Act for another twelve months. In another place, at any rate, a discussion on particular measures which were or were not included in the Schedule has repeatedly been ruled out of order on the Second Reading, and the Speaker has always treated it as being a Committee point, because everyone agrees that there should be an Expiring Laws Continuance Act. Therefore I think that the course suggested, to postpone any discussion until Committee, is the correct one in practice and one which will commend itself to the House. I am a little sorry that the noble and learned Lord has got to take the Bill on Monday. I think Tuesday would he a more convenient day for a good many Peers, hut I recognise that we are nearing the Recess.


I am much obliged to the noble Viscount for what he has said. Apart from the question of procedure, I think the suggestion I have made would make for true convenience in getting the matter properly discussed and decided. I am sorry that I cannot give way as to Monday. I am responsible for getting through our business, and I have had a most urgent request from another place that this Bill should go back to them on Monday. All I need do now is to move that the Bill he read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Parmoor.)


My Lords, I was much relieved to hear the statement of the noble Viscount, that he was going to move this particular Amendment, because I feel so strongly myself with regard to the folly of terminating this particular Act that I was prepared to put down a similar. Amendment had the noble Viscount not done so. What he proposes to do seems to me so eminently reasonable that I cannot understand the Government resisting it. So far as I understand the case the noble Viscount is going to put down an Amendment to renew the Act from year to year. If the Government were wise enough to accept this proposal the inquiry which is so much required could be taken easily within the first twelve months. A Departmental Committee, which is the best kind of inquiry, could thoroughly investigate the whole position, and the House would not be committed one way or the other until a decision was arrived at. For this obvious reason I cannot conceive why the Government should resist the Amendment. What I would like to know, before I sit down, is whether my noble and learned friend can give an undertaking that if his Amendment is carried he will stick to his guns and not give way when the Amendment possibly returns from another place.


I should hesitate to differ from the noble and learned Viscount, for whom I have great respect in all matters of procedure and speech in this House. But everything will be discussed when the Amendment is moved. Any undertaking which he may give I can know nothing about. The matter will be in the hands of the House on a question of that sort.


Of course I cannot give an undertaking, but I am proposing to move the Amendment because I think it is a right one. That being so, I am not likely afterwards lightly to ask the House to depart from it, if the House accepts my view.

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.