Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 24th November 1931.

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Photo of Mr John Withers Mr John Withers , Cambridge University

After having been an active opponent and critic of this Bill, I cannot help thanking the Government for the way in which they have allowed these Amendments to be considered, but I must protest again against the mode in which this Bill has been introduced. It is a Bill of immense importance to the Empire, probably the most important Bill I shall ever see passed through Parliament. It has been introduced in a period of enormous national crisis, after a General Election in which it was never mentioned, on a Friday afternoon without practically any introduction to the House of Commons at all. Certainly, under protest, we have been given time to consider these Amendments, but, after all, one Friday afternoon and the following Tuesday is very little time to give to the British House of Commons to consider a Measure which is going to regulate the whole arangements of the Empire, as I hope, for centuries. I protest against it and hope it will not occur again.