Orders of the Day — Clause 4. — (Annual Duties (Continuation).)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1952.

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Mr. Glenvil Hall:

I think the right hon. Gentleman has done a wise and reasonable thing in moving this Motion. I hope he will not feel aggrieved that we have carried this debate on tonight. For obviously very good reasons he was not able to be in his place, but the Financial Secretary will tell him that we have had a very useful debate and have covered matters which should be covered. The mere fact that this Bill frequently goes through more or less formally is all the more reason we should look at it in greater detail now and again, and for the reasons given by my hon. Friends, all have gone to show that it was time we really examined this Bill in more detail. Therefore, I make no apology.

I know it is close to the end of the Session, and the right hon. Gentleman has had perhaps a very gruelling time, but he has brought some of it on himself. As I said earlier on Clause 2, we had only been discussing it about 20 minutes, and had had only one speaker from this side followed by the Financial Secretary when the Lord Privy Seal moved that we report Progress. I ask him to remember his own days in Opposition and how he personally, as well as his friends, would have reacted if someone had treated them in that scurvy fashion.

Tonight we have had a more reasonable debate and have been accorded what we ought to have had from the beginning, that is a more reasonable time in which to discuss these important matters which ought to be looked at from time to time, if not necessarily every year. The bulk of my hon. Friends are delighted that the right hon. Gentleman has moved this Motion, and we shall accept it. If any of his hon. Friends object and would like to go on speaking I can assure him of our support in the Lobby.