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Business Of The House

Volume 148: debated on Wednesday 9 November 1921

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May I ask what Bills will be taken, after the present Bill, to which the Lords are submitting Amendments to this House? May I also inquire whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer intends to make his statement to-day?

The Bills that are to come from the House of Lords in elude the Trade Facilities Bill, the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Bill, and, I think, the National Health (Prolongation of Insurance) Insurance Bill. If the Debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill be finished in sufficient time, and it the Amendments sent down from another place are not of a kind to require prolonged consideration, I hope we may be able to dispose of all or some of them to-night. If not, they will be put down as the first Orders to-morrow. In reply to the other question, I have to say that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to open the Debate to-day.

We understand that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to make a survey of the finances of the country. Will a general Debate be possible in spite of the restricted character of the Consolidated Fund Bill, and will any topic which affects the finances of the country be in order?

I am afraid that my views might differ from those of the Noble Lord on such a question. Clearly, this Bill contains an additional £15,000,000 or,16,000,000 of additional money granted by the House, and that has its relevance to the general financial position of the country. That, I take it, is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to begin the Debate by putting forward his case as to whether the country can afford this additional money. That is as far as I can go.

On a point of Order. I desire to give notice that I propose to raise the question of the Prorogation of Parliament on the Motion for the Adjournment at the end of this Sitting.

On that point, I must warn the hon. and gallant Member that Prorogation is part of the Royal Prerogative and not an Executive action.

Is not the advice given by Ministers to the Crown in favour of Prorogation or in favour of any other act a matter which can be discussed in this House?

That was not the way in which the hon. and gallant Member put his question.