HL Deb 25 November 1931 vol 83 cc153-4

My Lords, perhaps the Leader of the louse will tell us if there is any alteration in the business for this week, and what he expects will be the business next week.


My Lords, tie first Bill which I want to get through—I do not think it will take more than a few moments—is the Expiring Laws Bill. If the Statute of Westminster becomes law it is important that the Expiring Laws Bill should receive the Royal Assent before the Statute of Westminster, otherwise one of the laws in the Expiring Laws Bill might be affected by tie Statute. I therefore propose to ask your Lordships to pass the Expiring Laws Bill through all its stages to-morrow. I shall put down a Motion for that purpose. We shall then take the Second Reading of the Statute of Westminster Bill, and in that event I would suggest that, if convenient to the House, we should take the Committee, stage on the following Tuesday, which I think would give time for all necessary business. Beyond that I am afraid I cannot say what will be the business on Wednesday or Thursday of that week, because I do not quite know what is coming up from another place. There is, I think, still some legislation to come before your Lordships, but I do not anticipate very much of importance during the rest of these sittings. I am told that there may be three or four small Bills, but I do not think anything substantial. On Wednesday, of course, Motions take precedence. There are several down and I do not propose to interfere with them.


I understand that the Statute of Westminster Bill has to be through all its stages before December 1. May I ask whether it is necessary, under the programme laid before us, to have three Royal Commissions before these sittings terminate?


I am afraid that the answer to that last question is "Yes": one on Monday to dispose of the Expiring Laws Bill; one as soon as the Statute of Westminster Bill has passed your Lordships' House, assuming that it does pass; and one at the end of the sittings to give the Royal Assent to any Bills which are outstanding. As to the other question, the date which the Statute of Westminster Bill incorporates as being its effective date is December 2, and it was desired to get it through by that date, but if unfortunately we cannot get it through before December 3 I do not think that very much matters except from the technical point of view, and I would rather be a day later than rush an important Bill, which I know many noble Lords wish to discuss.