HL Deb 04 February 1931 vol 79 cc839-40

My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord, Lord Passfield, can give any information to the House about the Education (School Attendance) Bill? Your Lordships will have seen that the Second Reading of the Bill, which was originally down for discussion on Tuesday next, has now been postponed until Tuesday week, February 17. So far as I am able to ascertain, there is likely to be a considerable number of noble Lords who will desire to take part in the debate, and I should think it would be hardly practicable to conclude the debate in one day. Obviously there can be no great urgency, as the Second Reading has already been postponed for a week. In the circumstances I desire to ask whether it is proposed to give two days for the Second Reading, and whether your Lordships might expect the Division, if there be one, to take place on February 18, instead of February 17. I think it would probably be for the convenience of the House if the Government were able to make any statement about that.


My Lords, I am obliged to the noble and learned Viscount for having raised this question. We had proposed to put down the Second Reading for February 17. With regard to the question of whether a Division will be taken on that day or on the day following, I regret that I do not feel able to answer at this moment, but I will have the matter represented to the Leader of the House, and I will undertake that the noble and learned Viscount and the House shall have early information as to whether two days can be given for the debate. I am not authorised to say anything more than that at present. I hope the noble and learned Viscount will excuse me, in view of the sudden and unexpected illness of the Leader of the House. I take it, as a matter of fact, that if so many noble Lords wish to speak that a second day's debate will be imperative, we on this side of the House have no power to resist such a proposal. But I hope the noble and learned Viscount will allow me to consult my noble friends before giving a definite answer.


My Lords, that seems a perfectly reasonable request, and possibly the noble Lord will allow me to repeat the question on Tuesday next.