Business of the House.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 30th March 1922.

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Yes, I am sorry to say that I have again to ask the indulgence of the House for a change in the business which stands upon the Order Paper for to-day. The Bound Table Conference at the Colonial Office is still proceeding, and, though caution is imposed upon everyone in dealing with the Irish question, I am not without hope that that Conference may lead to results materially conducive to peace. But it is not concluded yet, and it would certainly be inadvisable and practically impossible to proceed with the discussion of the Lords1 Amendments to the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill pending the conclusion of the Conference. I would therefore ask to postpone the first Order until to-morrow, when the Amendments to that Bill will be taken as the first Order, and when my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary hopes to be in a position to make a full statement to the House of the results of the Conference.

In order that the Royal Assent may be given to the Bill to-morrow, I propose to put upon the Notice Paper a Motion to suspend the Four o'clock Rule in respect of any further proceeding that may arise, if there be a second Message from the House of Lords to this House, after we have considered and dealt with their first Amendments. It may be that both Houses may be agreed, and that no-further reference may be necessary; but, should the matter have to come back to us, we should desire to proceed with it, and complete it to-morrow if the hour of four o'clock had been reached.

As regards next week, we propose to take the Motion on the Genoa Conference on Monday.

On Tuesday, we shall move to get Mr. Speaker out of the Chair on the Civil Service and Revenue Departments Estimates.

On Wednesday, we shall take the East India Loans Bill, the Representation of the People (No. 2) Bill, the Juries Bill from the House of Lords, and other Orders on the Paper.

On Thursday, we shall take the Ministry of Labour Vote.

Friday is allotted to Private Members' Bills.

In the circumstances of the announcement that I have just made, I do not propose to move the suspension of the Eleven o'clock Rule to-night.