§ 4.6 p.m.
§ EARL FORTESCUE
My Lords, I have to inform your Lordships that the noble Lord, Lord Birdwood, has postponed his Motion which was down for tomorrow to a later date, and Lord Ammon and Lord Killearn have postponed their Questions until Thursday. This House will therefore not meet at all to-morrow.
§ VISCOUNT ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH
My Lords, before we adjourn on that statement, may I say that I think it is rather disastrous that we should be put in a position of having a blank day intervening in our Parliamentary work before Whitsuntide. So far as I can ascertain, the Opposition had no notice of this up till last Thursday evening. Apparently, it was not the special desire of Lord Birdwood to postone his Motion. It has probably been clone because it has been found that to-morrow would not be a convenient time for the matter to be discussed. That reason I can well understand. But surely the Opposition might be consulted before we have a blank day. There are fifteen Motions down in the names of noble Lords, with no date named, and others are probably in prospect. It may be therefore, that later in the Session we shall find it essential to suspend Standing Orders to get Government business put through. It seems to me a pity that in these circumstances we should now have a blank day. It is not the sort of thing that is calculated to evoke very favourable comment about Parliament.
§ EARL FORTESCUE
My Lords, in reply to the noble Viscount I would inform him that we heard from the noble Lord, Lord Birdwood, only at the last moment that he was going to take his Motion off the Order Paper. There was not time to inform the noble Viscount earlier that there was to be a blank day. I apologise to the noble Viscount and I hope that this sort of thing will not occur again.