HL Deb 11 December 1934 vol 95 cc243-6

My Lords, before the House adjourns I should like to know whether the noble Viscount opposite can make some statement about the business for the remainder of this part of the Session.


My Lords, the business on the Paper for to-morrow, as of course the noble Lord knows, is the Motion on the subject of India, which is being moved by my noble friend Viscount Halifax. There is an Amendment on the Paper in the name of my noble friend the Marquess of Salisbury. I have ascertained that we can conveniently meet at three o'clock to-morrow afternoon, and having regard to the very considerable number of speakers who have already indicated their desire to take part in the debate, I think it is desirable that that course should be adopted. Tomorrow's meeting, then, will be at three o'clock. On Thursday the debate will be continued on the India Motion. On Monday next the debate will be resumed and it will be continued on Tuesday, and I hope it will be possible so to arrange the course of the debate as to take the Division at a convenient hour before dinner on Tuesday. Possibly we shall be able to see as the debate progresses whether or not it will be necessary to sit at all late on Monday in order to achieve that end. I hope it may not be necessary, but it would give us certain elasticity in the arrangements if it should turn out that there are more speakers than anticipated.

On Wednesday, December 19, there are Motions down in the names of my noble friend Lord Ampthill and my noble friend Viscount FitzAlan, and also in the name of the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull. Those have been postponed for the general convenience, and I hope, therefore, they will be taken on that day. There is also the Committee stage of the Judiciary (Safeguarding) Bill, standing in the name of my noble friend Lord Rankeillour, which I anticipate will only take a very few minutes, because as far as I know no Amendments have been put down.

In addition to that there are two matters of urgency which will come from another place. First, there are the Unemployment Insurance Regulations, made by the Board set up under the recent Act, which have to be approved by each House of Parliament. It is urgently necessary that that approval should be given before we rise for the Recess as it is contemplated that the Board's work shall be fully in operation by the first week in January. Secondly, there is a Bill which is now passing through its various stages in another place setting up Commissioners for the depressed areas. That again is a Bill which I think all Parties in the House will desire to see passed into law as soon as possible. Of course, obviously we should desire that whatever work is to be done should be begun at the earliest possible date. I had thought that perhaps the most convenient course would be to take the Second Reading of the Depressed Areas (Development and Improvement) Bill on the Wednesday, and the remaining stages on Thursday, and to have the debate on the Unemployment Insurance Regulations also on Thursday. I wrote to my noble friend opposite suggesting that plan, because I realise that those are matters on which those sitting on the Benches opposite may wish to make some observations, and I was anxious to meet their convenience so far as this is consistent with the interest of public business. I hope it will appeal to them as being convenient.


I am very much obliged to the noble Viscount for having communicated with me on the subject. It entirely suits our plans. I only asked the question about business now in order that noble Lords generally might know what arrangements had been made.


May I ask when it is probable that the adjourned debate on the Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Bill will be resumed?


I shall have to consult my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack before I can reply to that question. We had hoped to get the Second Reading to-day and the Committee stage and the remaining stages before the House rose. I am afraid the course the debate has taken has rendered that impossible. It will probably be necessary, or it may be necessary, to postpone the Second Reading until the end of January. I will discuss the matter with my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack and see what can be done. As my noble friend Lord Danesfort will appreciate, the time before the House rises is very limited. Quite obviously after the speeches to which we have listened it will be necessary not to take the Second Reading as a formality or at a time when there might not be opportunity for full discussion.