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A Monday Sitting

Volume 41: debated on Tuesday 13 July 1920

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My Lords, I desire to put a question to the noble Earl the Chancellor of the Duchy of which I have given him private notice. It is with reference to the business of the House immediately impending. Your Lordships are aware that the Earl of Midleton has a Notice upon the Paper for next Thursday attention to the Hunter Report, and I understand that to-morrow morning another Notice will be on the Paper in the name of Viscount Finlay of a more definite character dealing with the same subject. I understand that Lord Midleton does not propose to proceed with his Notice, but that Lord Finlay had intended to proceed with his upon Thursday next; but it has been intimated to me and others that it would not suit the Government that the Order should be taken upon that day. I have no doubt that my noble friend Lord Crawford will be able to inform your Lordships if that is the case, and, if it be so, then I am sure that it will be for the convenience of your Lordships if he will state to the House what arrangement he would recommend for dealing with this important subject. I may say, from all the information which has reached me, that it is not likely that the debate can be concluded in one evening.

My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Marquess for having given me an opportunity to say that a telegram has just come from my noble friend Lord Curzon, regretting that the prolongation of the Conference at Spa makes it impossible for him to fulfil his hope of being here the day after tomorrow for the Amritsar debate. Lord Curzon is most anxious to be present, and to take part in that discussion, and, accordingly, I would suggest, if it meets with the convenience of Lord Midleton and Lord Finlay in particular, and of your Lordships generally, that the debate should be postponed from Thursday next until Monday. There is, of course, no business on the Paper for Monday, and the whole of the sitting can be devoted to that subject. If, as my noble friend indicates, a second sitting is required, I would suggest that the debate should be concluded on the following day. In that case Lord Parmoor, whom we have approached on the subject, has been good enough to intimate his willingness that his Motion on that day, dealing with the League of Nations, should be postponed, probably until Thursday, July 22. On the whole I imagine that that would best suit your Lordships' convenience.

I do not see my noble and learned friend Lord Finlay in his place, but I think I am not wrong in saying that he would be prepared to fall in with that arrangement.

The sitting, I presume, will be at a quarter past four on Monday?