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Business Of The House

Volume 154: debated on Wednesday 31 May 1922

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That this day Government business do have precedence."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]

This Motion represents a further infringement of the rights of private Members of this House, and, as many of us think that this process of gagging small minorities in the House has gone on long enough, we desire to make a protest against this Motion. We shall divide against it, and, when the next. Motion on the Paper is moved, we shall raise other questions germane to this same issue. I may point out that a ballot is held in the Lobby, and we go through the solemn farce of balloting for the right to introduce private Members Motions. When Members are successful, their Motions are announced or put on the Paper, and then the Government come, quite unnecessarily, and put down a Motion excluding the possibility of those hon. Members' Motions being taken. We represent a very small party indeed. I am speaking of the House of Commons. We are not in the least ashamed of the smallness of our numbers. The duty falls upon us of attempting to protect the rights of minorities. It is conceivable that hon. Members who now enjoy an enormous majority may one day find themselves in a small minority and they will be grateful to us for raising this protest on behalf of hon. Members who have too little opportunity of performing what is after all a useful part of the work of Parliament. I therefore oppose this Motion, and I hope my Friends will support me in the Division Lobby.

The hon. and gallant Gentleman observed that the party for which he spoke was not numerous. At least, I may say for them that their sense of grievance is in inverse ratio to their numbers. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has so fine a nose for a grievance that it is almost impossible to do anything without affording him cause for complaint. But, after all, this is a matter for the House at large, and I put it to the House at large that I have consulted their convenience in the Motion which I have put upon the Paper. We are proposing to adjourn for the Whitsuntide Recess. Suppose the very important discussions which we shall have to-day on the Motion for the Adjournment be not finished at 8.15, are we then to interrupt them to take private Members' Motions? I observe that of the four private Members who have places this evening, the first three have shown that they did not desire to proceed, for they have put no Motion on the Paper.

The fourth alone appears on the Paper, but I do not see the hon. and gallant Gentleman in his place, although, of course, he may be proposing to return at 8.15. I submit that in this matter I am the friend of the majority of the House who, irrespective of party, want to have sufficient time for the very serious discussions we have to take to-day, and when they have had that time, will be glad to adjourn.

The right hon. Gentleman has altogether misrepresented the state of affairs, which is not without precedent from that Bench. Do the Government intend to take any Government business that is on the Order Paper? There are no fewer than 10 starred Orders. The Government, directly these Motions are disposed of, propose to move the Adjournment of the House, in order that the Colonial Secretary may make his long awaited statement. They are not going to take any of those 10 Orders at all. Therefore, it is quite unnecessary, and it is an encroachment on the few limited occasions left to the private Member, to move this Motion. This will become a precedent. The Motion that follows this was established during the War with the assent of all parties. It is now being carried on after the War, with the active assent of at least one party in the House.

The hon. and gallant Member must not debate the second Motion until we reach it.

I was only referring to it as an example how, if once we allow the Government a

Division No. 129.]

AYES.

[11.45 a.m.

Adair, Rear-Admiral Thomas B. S.Cobb, Sir CyrilHannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Adkins, Sir William Ryland DentCohen, Major J. BrunelHarmsworth, C. B. (Bedlord, Luton)
Amery, Leopold C. M. S.Colvin, Brig.-General Richard BealeHarris, Sir Henry Percy
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel MartinCope, Major WilliamHaslam, Lewis
Armstrong, Henry BruceCourthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)
Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir HenryHilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.Curzon, Captain ViscountHolbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Atkey, A. R.Davidson, J. C. C.(Hemel Hempstead)Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)
Baird, Sir John LawrenceDean, Commander P. T.Hopkins, John W. W.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. StanleyEdge, Captain Sir WilliamHopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Elliott, Lt.-Col. Sir G. (Islington, W.)Home, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.Erskine, James Malcolm MonteithHunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)
Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.Hurd, Percy A.
Barlow, Sir MontagueFalcon, Captain MichaelIrving, Dan
Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)Falle, Major Sir Bertram GodfrayJackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.
Barnston, Major HarryFell, Sir ArthurJames, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Barrand, A. R.Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.Jellett, William Morgan
Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund RobertFitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.Jesson, C.
Beauchamp, Sir EdwardFlannery, Sir James FortescueJodrell, Neville Paul
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.Forestier-Walker, L.John, William (Rhondda, West)
Bonn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Foxcroft, Captain Charles TalbotJohnstone, Joseph
Bennett, Sir Thomas JewellFremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-Galbraith, SamuelJoynson-Hicks, Sir William
Betterton, Henry B.Gardner, ErnestKellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George
Biglaind, AlfredGee, Captain RobertKelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)
Blades, Sir George RowlandGeorge, Rt. Hon. David LloydKennedy, Thomas
Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. GriffithGibbs, Colonel George AbrahamKenyon, Barnet
Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.Gilbert, James DanielKing, Captain Henry Douglas
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JohnKinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William CliveGlyn, Major RalphLane-Fox, G. R.
Brittain, Sir HarryGoff, Sir R. ParkLaw, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)
Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)
Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.Gregory, HolmanLewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)
Burdon, Colonel RowlandGretton, Colonel JohnLindsay, William Arthur
Butcher, Sir John GeorgeGriffiths, T, (Monmouth, Pontypool)Lloyd, George Butler
Cairns, JohnGuest, Capt. Rt. Hon. Frederick E.Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.
Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)Gwynne, Rupert S.Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm. W.)Hailwood, AugustineLorden, John William
Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l, W. D'by)Loseby, Captain C. E.
Cheyne, Sir William WatsonHalls, WalterMacdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray
Clough, Sir RobertHamilton, Major C. G. C.Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)

certain amount of rope, they will try to hang themselves. The right hon. Gentleman points to the fact that three hon. Members who won places in the Ballot have not tabled their Motions. How does he know that that was not in order to give an opportunity to the Motion in the name of the, hon. Member for Bournemouth (Lieut.-Colonel Croft)? Do not the Government wish to have this Motion discussed? Is it not of interest to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury? Is it not of interest to the Prime Minister himself? Hon. Members who wish to preserve in future Parliaments, when they may be in a minority, the rights of private Members should divide against this Motion. I admit that the chances of private Members' Motions coming on to-night are meagre, hut that does not detract from the importance of not allowing the Government to take away still further from the limited rights of private Members. I ask hon. Members to support us.

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 220; Noes, 25.

Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.Rankin, Captain James StuartWard-Jackson, Major C. L.
Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.Rawlinson, John Frederick PeelWard, William Dudley (Southampton)
Mallaby-Deeley, HarryRees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)Waring, Major Walter
Malone, Major P. B. (Tottenham, S.)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.
Marriott, John Arthur RansomeRoberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)Watson, Captain John Bertrand
Mason, RobertRoyce, William StapletonWeston, Colonel John Wakefield
Mildmay, Colonel Rt. Hon. F. B.Royds, Lieut.-Colonel EdmundWheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Mitchell, Sir William LaneSamuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)Wignall, James
Morris, RichardSanders, Colonel Sir Robert ArthurWilliams, C. (Tavistock)
Munro, Rt. Hon. RobertSassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)
Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud
Neal, ArthurScott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.
Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)Seddon, J. A.Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Newson, Sir Percy WilsonSeely, Major-General Rt. Hon. JohnWindsor, Viscount
Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)Sharman-Crawford, Robert G.Winterton, Earl
Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)Shaw, William T. (Forfar)Wise, Frederick
Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)Wolmer, Viscount
Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir JohnSimm, M. T.Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Oman, Sir Charles William C.Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. WilliamSprot, Colonel Sir AlexanderWood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Palmer, Brigadier-General G. L.Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)Woods, Sir Robert
Parker, JamesStephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.Woolcock, William James U.
Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas HenrySueter, Rear-Admiral Murray FraserWorthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Pearce, Sir WilliamSugden, W. H.Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Pennefather, De FonblanqueSurtees, Brigadier-General H. C.Young, E. H. (Norwich)
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)Sutherland, Sir WilliamYoung, sir Frederick W. (Swindon)
Phillpps, Gen. Sir I. (Southampton)Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Phillpps, Sir Owen C. (Chester, City)Thomson, sir w. Mitchell- (Maryhlll)Younger, Sir George
Pinkham, Lieut.-Colonel CharlesTownley, Maximilian G.
Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest MurrayTownshend, Sir Charles Vere FerrersTELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Poison, Sir Thomas A.Tryon, Major George ClementColonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.
Pratt, John WilliamWallace, J.McCurdy.
Raeburn, Sir William H.Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)

NOES.

Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)
Bramsdon, Sir ThomasMalone, C. L. (Leyton, E.)Wintringham, Margaret
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord R. (Hitchin)Mills, John EdmundWood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Mosley, Oswald
Davies, David (Montgomery)Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hayday, ArthurMurray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy and
Hayward, EvanO'Connor, Thomas P.Mr. Foot.
Hogge, James MylesRaffan, Peter Wilson