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Business Of The House

Volume 149: debated on Friday 16 December 1921

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In order to meet the general convenience of the House, may I ask the Leader of the House whether it is possible for him to make some general arrangement as to the hour when the Amendment to the Address is likely to be put this afternoon?

Of course, that does not rest with me. It is not within my power to fix the hour at which the Debate shall come to an end, but, so far as I can gather, we may hope that a decision may be taken about 4 o'clock. I cannot say definitely. A decision may be taken earlier, or it may prove, on the other hand, that I am over-sanguine. So far as I can forecast the probable course of our proceedings, from certain information which has reached me, I should hope that we may come to a decision about 4 o'clock.

Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to closure the Debate at a particular hour?

No. We are not contemplating the Closure, but I believe that all of us, however strongly we feel and whatever view we take, would like to consult the general convenience of the House, and it is within the knowledge of every Member of the House that it does become a matter of grave inconvenience if we have to sit late on a Friday, and, above all, on a Friday on which, up to a comparatively short time ago, no sitting was expected. I hope, therefore, with the consent of all parties, we may reach a decision at an hour sufficiently early not to cause great inconvenience to hon. Members.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether Parliament will be prorogued to-day or on Monday?

I do not know whether the hon. Member has seen what I said last night on the Adjournment of the House. Perhaps I had better repeat it. We think that it would be undesirable, and that Parliament would not wish to prorogue under any uncertainty as to the result of the discussions now taking place on the other side of the Irish Channel. If, therefore, we do not have the result of those discussions in time for the Prorogation to take place to-day, I shall move that the House do adjourn till Monday.

No, I propose to move the Adjournment till Monday. It is necessary to do that because the Committee of Supply has not been set up. It is necessary to move the Adjournment from Friday until Monday, other- wise the House would have to meet on Saturday.


"That the Proceedings on the King's Speech (Motion for an Address) be not interrupted this day at Five or half-past Five of the Clock."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]