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Business Of The House

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1952

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May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on a matter concerning Private Business tonight? You will note that there are three notices of Motion down, all of them starting with the words "After Second Reading" and then giving instructions to the Committee on the Bill. Could you tell us whether, if the Second Reading commences at seven and continues, for argument's sake, until 10, it would mean that these instructions could not be debated? If that be the case—and I see you nod—would it be right to say that as the majority have no intention to deny the B.E.A. the Bill's Second Reading but are anxious to debate the instructions, the Second Reading could be given on the nod quite early—almost at once at seven o'clock and then—we could move on to debate these instructions.

I do not know whether this is a proper time to give a Ruling on the matter, but I have considered it. What I would suggest, if it fell in with those proposing these instructions, would be that we should have a debate on the Second Reading of the Bill, bringing in the points which are to be argued on the instructions, on the distinct understanding that when the Bill is read the Second time there will be no second argument on the instructions but merely a Division if it is wanted. But that will require the co-operation of those responsible for these Motions, and perhaps between now and seven they can consult and come to some agreement on it.