§ LORD PONSONBY OF SHULBREDE
My Lords, may I ask the noble and learned Viscount the Leader of the House whether he can give us any information about the business for next week; and, further, whether the arrangement that the Tariff Bill is to be taken through all its stages on Monday week still stands, and, if that is the case, whether a longer time could be allowed for the debate in your Lordships' House, which is likely to be an important one and in which many of your Lordships want to take part? I would ask the noble and learned Viscount whether it would be possible for the House to sit on that Monday at a quarter to three o'clock.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (VISCOUNT HAILSHAM)
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Lord for asking me about the business for next week. On Tuesday there are the Sea Fisheries Provisional Order Bill and the Destructive Imported Animals Bill for Second Reading. The noble Lord will remember that the second Bill, at any rate, was introduced to your Lordships' House last summer by his Government. There is also 616 the Committee stage of the Dangerous Drugs Bill, to which a Second Reading was given yesterday. On Wednesday there is a Motion by the noble Lord, Lord Olivier, with regard to the Report of the Joint Committee on East Africa. For Thursday we have not, at present, any business set down. If there should be anything we will give Notice of it, but there will not be any controversial business so far as I know for that day.
With regard to the Tariff Bill, as your Lordships may have read in the public Press the arrangement in another place involves that the Third Reading there will be obtained on the evening of Thursday, February 25, at eleven o'clock. It is important that the Bill shall receive the Royal Assent by the following Monday, which is a very short time thereafter, because, if the Bill is passed, the duties come into force on Tuesday, March 1. In these circumstances I would suggest, for the convenience of your Lordships' House, that the First Reading should be taken at the Judicial Sitting at half-past ten on Friday morning, February 26—that would be, of course, only a formal stage—then, that on the following Monday all stages of the Bill should be taken. Presumably the Bill will be certified and there will be no Committee stage. As the noble Lord has suggested, I have thought it would probably be for the convenience of your Lordships' House if we could meet at a quarter to three on Monday, February 29. I have consulted the authorities concerned with the legal business and I understand that they are able to make an arrangement for that to happen. In that event I should ask your Lordships to meet at a quarter to three on Monday, February 29, when I will move the necessary suspension of the Standing Orders. I hope then that we shall be able to dispose of the Second Reading debate and of the Third Reading within a reasonable time.
I am just told that the Motion standing in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Olivier, is to be postponed. I am afraid that leaves Wednesday next as a blank day for the moment. We shall have to see if we can find anything to occupy your Lordships' attention on that afternoon.