Adjournment (Summer)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th July 1949.

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Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House, at its rising Tomorrow, do adjourn till Tuesday 18th October.—[Mr. H. Morrison.]

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Bristol West

We should certainly not propose to oppose this Motion nor should we seek to amend the date, but we should not like it to be thought that we feel any certainty that it will be possible to postpone the pleasure of our re-union as late as 18th October. Hon. Members in all parts of the House will agree that at the moment the world and national economic situation is very fluid, and it may very well be that before then events will necessitate our return.

I believe that the provisions under which the House can be called back are now part of the Standing Orders and no longer need any special treatment. Recall of the House by Mr. Speaker can only be made on the initiative of the Government, but, of course, it would be the duty and the responsibility of the Opposition, if they felt that the situation demanded an earlier recall, to communicate with the Government. We certainly should not do so in any light-hearted spirit, and I am certain that, if we found ourselves forced to do so, the Government would give proper consideration to the views we then put forward. In these circumstances, we shall allow the Motion to pass.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham East

I do not dissent from the general point which the right hon. Gentleman has made. The House generally will agree that the length of the Recess, all being well, is not excessive. We have had a pretty heavy Session and hon. Members need some holiday; but they also need time for other activities in constituencies and so on, and it is the case—I think it ought to be the case—that provision should be made whereby the House can be recalled if that be necessary. We have elevated that provision into a Standing Order, as the right hon. Gentleman said. Whereas formerly it was in each of these Adjournment Motions for some years, we have now elevated it into a Standing Order.

It would be the case, if the circumstances warranted it that the Government would advise Mr. Speaker to recall the House, and the right hon. Gentleman may be sure that if representations were made to us after consideration by the Opposition in favour of recalling the House, while I cannot say what the result would be, certainly the Government would give them all proper consideration which such representations would undoubtedly warrant. I therefore give the right hon. Gentleman that reply, which is in sympathy with the general point which he has put before the House.

Question put, and agreed to.