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Business of the House.

– in the House of Commons on 1st May 1941.

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Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether he will state the forthcoming Business of the House?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

On the first and second Sitting Days a Debate on the progress of the war will take place on the Motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

On the third Sitting Day we shall take the Committee stage of the Liabilities (War-Time Adjustment) Bill [Lords] and, if there is time, the Committee stage of the Public and Other Schools (War Conditions) Bill [Lords].

Photo of Mr Hastings Lees-Smith Mr Hastings Lees-Smith , Keighley

Regarding the Debate on the progress of the war, will the right hon. Gentleman consider, as a number of Members will wish to speak, putting down a Motion enabling the Sittings of the House to be extended, at any rate on the first Sitting Day?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

Yes, certainly. I will consult the Prime Minister on the matter. The desire of the Government will be to give the fullest opportunity to Members.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Would the Lord Privy Seal consult the Prime Minister also to determine whether or not it will be desirable, in view of the very curtailed time that we have for debate now, and the number of Members who try to catch Mr. Speaker's eye, to lengthen the time of the Sittings slightly?

Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse

That is a matter for consideration, but on other Business recently the House has risen quite early.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

In view of the fact that back benchers would like to take part in the Debate, apart from the big guns who take up most of the time, will not the Government consider giving an extension of time?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Would it not be just as effective if Members were to shorten their speeches?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that it does not matter whether the House has been able to rise early, and that the important point is that upon important days the House should have more time for Debate?