Might I ask the Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make about business for today—whether there is any change?
After the business of Supply has been completed today it is proposed that further progress should be made with the Army and Air Force (Annual) Bill and it is hoped that the Bill may be completed. I gave notice of this in the early hours of this morning, during the Committee on the Bill, but as many hon. Members were not present then I think it as well to repeat the statement now.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what his future intentions are about this Bill? There are 20 pages of Amendments and new Clauses on the Order Paper, and by 2.30 a.m. this morning we had completed only the first of the 20 pages. Should not the Leader of the House rearrange Government business so that we may have a series of days in which to consider this important matter, as the Government have no legislation of their own of any importance to bring forward?
Are we to understand from what the Leader of the House has said that it is his intention to ask the Committee to sit until consideration of the Army and Air Force (Annual) Bill has been completed?
No, Sir. All I said was that further progress would be made, and that we hope that the Bill may be completed. We shall have to see how we get along.
Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what he means by that? Is he not aware that there is a very large number of Amendments and a large number of new Clauses set down for consideration, and that it will take a very long time to complete the consideration of this Bill in Committee? Are we to understand from what the Leader of the House has just said that it is the intention to ask the Committee to sit tonight until the consideration of all these matters has been completed?
Is not the Leader of the House trying to make a fool of the House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."—]by pretending that he really thinks that, after finishing only one page of 20 pages of Amendments last night, we are likely to complete the Bill tonight?
I do not see how the right hon. Gentleman could answer that.