HL Deb 21 September 1931 vol 82 cc95-6

My Lords, might I ask the noble Marquess the Leader of the House a question Can he tell us how he proposes to take the business this evening?


My Lords, in reply to the noble Lord, I may say I have given consideration to this matter in order to consult the convenience of your Lordships. The reason for calling the House together, as your Lordships are now aware, is for the purpose of passing a Bill which is now being introduced and debated in another place, where it is intended to pass it through all its stages to-day. Then it will come to this House, and your Lordships will be asked to pass the Bill through all its stages to-night also, so that it may receive the Royal Assent and become law to-night, as is now imperative that it should. It has occurred to me—always of course subject to your Lordships' view—that it would he highly inconvenient to keep your Lordships waiting until the Bill is passed in the other House. It is impossible to say how long that will be and therefore I could not give any idea how long your Lordships might be kept. The Bill itself is a very simple Bill and can really be described in two or three sentences.

What I propose—but I only make the suggestion in order to see if it meets with your Lordships' approval—is that I should make a statement to your Lordships by moving that a Standing Order be now read. It will become necessary later to move that two Standing Orders be suspended, and I can take the first step by moving that one of the two Standing Orders be now read. Upon that I can make a statement to your Lordships explaining the Bill, telling you in substance what is in the Bill, and giving your Lordships the reasons for the introduction of the Bill. Then the proposal could be debated according to your Lordships' desire. Of course nothing that happens will prevent any further discussion if it is desired when the Bill comes up to us and in the regular course is presented for First and Second Reading and so forth; but it may well be that your Lordships will think, after hearing what is in the Bill and after it has been introduced, that this debate will suffice if that course commends itself to your Lordships I will proceed to move that the Standing Order be now read and upon that make a statement to your Lordships, telling you the contents of the Bill as it is proposed to introduce it in this House and as it has been introduced in the House of Commons. I rather gal her that your Lordships would assent to that course and think it convenient.


My Lords, in any circumstances a Motion would have to be made to read certain Standing Orders in order that they may be suspended for the purpose of passing this Bill. I gather that what the noble and learned Marquess proposes is that the first of these Standing Orders should be read and on that a debate may arise. I entirely concur in the convenience of that course. After the noble and learned Marquess has made his statement I shall desire to put forward our point of view—I will not say in opposition to what he has said, but to explain our attitude towards what he has said.