HL Deb 02 December 1931 vol 83 cc249-51

My Lords, may I ask my noble and learned friend the Leader of the House about business for next week? He intimated yesterday that he would take a discussion on India to-morrow. I have seen my noble friend Lord Lloyd, and one or two other Peers who would, I think, prefer to postpone that until after the completion of the Commons discussion, which ends tomorrow night, and I understand also that the Horticultural Products Bill will not be here until the middle of next week. I wonder whether my noble and learned friend could give a day, say in the middle of next week, instead of to-morrow for the India debate, if that would suit the Government as well?


My Lords, after the House rose yesterday I had a communication from my noble friend Lord Lloyd, who intimated to me that some of your Lordships were very unwilling to have the debate on the India. Resolution as early as to-morrow, and did not think that they could be ready to discuss it fully. I should have preferred myself to adhere to the date originally mentioned, but I am very unwilling always to seem even to attempt to rush this House into a decision; and, in view of the fact that Lord Lloyd and those with him, who, I believe, desire to discuss and criticise the Resolution, felt that they would not have time by to-morrow, I do not feel disposed to ask your Lordships to press it on. We have no other business for Tuesday next, as far as I can see, and, if that would be convenient to your Lordships, probably the best plan would be to have the debate on the India Resolution on Tuesday. The Horticultural Products Bill will probably not Come here till Wednesday. I am afraid I shall have to ask your Lordships to deal with it rather hurriedly on Thursday in order to rise on the Friday. But that I am afraid is unavoidable.


My Lords, I do not want to interfere at all with the general convenience of the House, but when the noble Viscount who leads the House told us yesterday that this Resolution was put down for tomorrow it seemed to me appropriate that we should deal with it simultaneously with another place, and that certainly suited the convenience of those who sit with me. But I am perfectly ready to suit our convenience to the general convenience of the House if Tuesday seems to be a more appropriate day. At the same time, I should like some assurance from the noble Viscount that he is not going to spring on us any further legislative or exceptional measures before the end of the Session.


My Lords, I can only assure the noble Lord that I have no idea of there being any other measures beyond that one which is now in another place, the Horticultural Products Bill, and I think one or two minor Bills which have already passed through another place and have either reached, or are in process of reaching, your Lordships' House. I do not think there is anything else which could raise any debate next week so far as I can tell, except this India Resolution and the Horticultural Products Bill which is coming up, I suppose, on Wednesday of next week. It will probably, therefore, come before your Lordships on Thursday. I should like to assure the noble Lord opposite that I consulted one of his colleagues who, I know, is conversant with Indian affairs, before I made the announcement I made just now.


My Lords, could the noble and learned Viscount tell us whether this Horticultural Products Bill is not likely to come before the House on Second Reading on Wednesday next? Was it not generally expected on Wednesday?


I can only tell my noble friend that such information as I have leads me to believe that it will not pass in another place until Wednesday evening, in which case we cannot have the Second Reading until Thursday. I imagine if I give that intimation now that it will be possible for some of your Lordships who, I know, will wish to discuss the Bill, to have a look at it in its House of Commons form so as to prepare for the debate. We might then have a full debate on Thursday. I do not think there can be any question of any Amendments to it in Committee. Therefore, we might, perhaps, be allowed to take the other stages very shortly. Your Lordships will appreciate that it will be a Certified Bill so that there can be very little in Committee.


Could the noble Viscount tell us what will be the business for to-morrow?


To-morrow there is already a Bill about Indian pay, on which I think there will be a little discussion. There is also a Motion by my noble friend Lord Lloyd, with regard to British and Indian civil servants, which I think will also lead to some little discussion. But I do not think that those Orders will take a very long time.


I was only going to ask the noble Viscount whether we might look upon the agricultural debate as definitely fixed for Thursday so far as the exigencies in another place permit, or whether he has any hope that the Bill may perhaps come earlier from the House of Commons, in which case the debate might be on Wednesday.


I am told that we cannot really hope to get the Bill before Wednesday night. That is why I was giving this early intimation and, perhaps, as I have given it, it is more convenient to stick to Thursday.

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