Orders of the Day — Parliament Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st October 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury 12:00 am, 31st October 1949

This is the third time that this Bill has come before this Chamber for Second Reading. Like other hon. Members who have taken part today, I have previously spoken on this subject. The Home Secretary and other hon. Members who spoke from the other side made play of the fact that all the arguments that could be brought to bear on this subject have been produced already. I make no excuse, however, for bringing forward arguments which, taken in their context, are most important arguments against the Second Reading of this Bill.

This Debate is not the same as the Debates we have had on previous occasions. It is certainly true that, every time we have a financial crisis, up pops the Parliament Bill, but no hon. Member opposite can surely suggest that the circumstances which we face today, nationally and internationally, are the same as those which faced us on the last occasion. I was very interested when the Home Secretary opened this Debate today to hear one argument which the right hon. Gentleman used. He seemed to justify the introduction of this Bill on the ground that there was no opposition to it in the country. I was always under the impression that the onus of proof, as it were, was upon the Government, that it was the Government's duty to prove its case to the satisfaction, not only of the House of Commons, the Opposition and their own supporters, but to the whole country—