New Clause. — (Provisions applicable in are of either House of Commons not being properly constituted.)

Postponed Clauses. – in the House of Commons on 29th October 1920.

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(1) If the Lord Lieutenant certifies that the number of Members of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland validly returned at the first election of Members of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland is less than half the total number of Members of that House, or that the number of Members of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland who have taken the oath as such Members within fourteen days from the date on which the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland is first summoned to meet is less than one-half of the total number of Members of that House, His Majesty in Council may, by Order, provide—

  1. (a) for the disolution of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, as the case may be, and for postponing the issue of a Proclamation for summoning a new Parliament for such time as may be specified in the Order;
  2. (b) for the exercise in the meantime of the powers of the Government of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, as the case may be, by the Lord Lieutenant with the assistance of a Committee consisting of such persons (who shall be Members of the Privy Council of Ireland) as His Majesty may appoint for the purpose, and of the powers of the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, as the case may be, by a legislative assembly consisting of the Members of the said 2175 Committee, together with such other persons as His Majesty may appoint for the purpose;

and the Order may make such modifications in this Act in its application to the part of Ireland affected as may appear to His Majesty to be necessary for giving effect to the Order and may contain such other consequential, incidental, and supplemental provisions as may appear necessary for the purposes of the Order, and any such Order shall have effect as if enacted in this Act, but may be varied by any subsequent Order in Council.

(2) The person holding office in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and of Northern Ireland corresponding to the office of Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom shall, at the expiration of the said period of fourteen days from the date on which the Parliament of Southern Ireland or Northern Ireland, as the case may be, is first summoned to meet, send to the Lord Lieutenant a list containing the names of the Members of the House who have taken the oath as such Members, and for the purposes of this Section a Member shall be deemed not to have taken that oath unless his name is included in a list so sent.

(3) Where at the expiration of the period mentioned in any such Order in Council a Proclamation is issued summoning a new Parliament to meet, this Section shall apply in like manner as it applies in the case of the first election and first summoning of Parliament.—[Sir L. Worthington-Evans.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

I am very sorry to have prevented my hon. Friend (Mr. Hogge) from speaking just now but I move this Clause formally in order that he may not feel any sense of grievance, and that he may be able to make the speech that he wants to make.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

I have no desire in the world to fire off a speech. All that I wanted to do was to make a suggestion with regard to the way in which the matter should be dealt with. I appreciate as much as anyone that my right hon. Friend has withdrawn the discussion of the Clause in Committee, and has suggested that it shall be discussed on Report. As a matter of fact, however, on Report no hon. Member can speak more than once. It is not that that matters, because I do not think we on this side can be accused of having made too many speeches upon this Bill; but, in any case, the disadvantage of Report is that you cannot get the explanations to which you are entitled from the Minister. If the Government have reached a stage in the Bill which they did not anticipate reaching to-day, that obviously means, having regard to the time that they have already apportioned for it next week, that the discussion on the whole Bill is quite likely to finish on Wednesday night. In view of that, I am not sure that the Government would not be doing the right thing if they reported Progress now, because the same objection obviously would arise in regard to several other of these new Clauses, which nobody anticipated would be reached to-day. A great many hon. Members who are interested in them may be absent, though, of course, that is their own fault. I do not desire to excuse them for that reason, but only to suggest that the Government having taken a certain amount of time in anticipation, and it being perfectly obvious now that they will not require all tint time, they might be serving a good purpose by reporting Progress now.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

That is the worst of making any concession; one is immediately pressed to make a still further concession. I thought that my Noble Friend (Earl Winterton), in regard to this big Clause, had made out a really good case of surprise; but there are many minor Amendments—cleaning-up Amendments—which we can usefully take to-day.

Photo of Mr Worthington Evans Mr Worthington Evans , Colchester

That is what I am proposing to do. I am proposing, not to press for any of these big Clauses, but to take the others which relate to matters of detail. Accordingly I beg to ask leave to withdraw this Clause.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.