Spread-over Holidays (Parlia Mentary Business).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons at on 4 May 1938.

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Photo of Captain Sir Peter Macdonald Captain Sir Peter Macdonald , Isle of Wight

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the agreement in the House as to the desirability of spreading holidays over a wider period of the summer and the desirability of Parliament setting an example in this matter, he will set up an inquiry into the possibility of advancing the financial business of Parliament either by ending the financial year earlier than 31st March, or by other means, so as to make possible the commencement of the Summer Recess earlier than the beginning of August?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

As explained by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 28th April, in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North (Sir N. Grattan-Doyle), any alteration in the present dates of the financial year would cause serious disturbance both to this House and to the business community. In the circumstances, I do not think that any change is practicable in the arrangements of the House relating to financial business which would enable an appreciable advancement to be made in the date of the Summer Recess. It does not appear, therefore, that any useful purpose would be served by instituting a special inquiry into the matter.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

Is there no time from the beginning of April, when the Budget is taken, to the end of June, to deal with the financial business, which takes only three weeks of Parliamentary time and there are three months in which to do it? Cannot the Prime Minister look at the matter from that angle and fall in with the general thoughts in the country on the holiday business?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I am sure that the House, without dislocating its business and without causing great inconvenience to the business community, would desire to do anything to assist in the spacing out of holidays, but if the hon. Member will look at the answer given by my right hon. Friend he will see the difficulties in the way.

Photo of Mr Wilfred Paling Mr Wilfred Paling , Wentworth

I have done my best, and I do not deny that there are difficulties in the way.