§ *MR. SPEAKER
I shall not call upon the honourable Member for Carnarvon to move his Instruction, as I understand that the Committee has already reported the Bill to the House. Neither can I, for the same reason, call upon the honourable Member for Bolton.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon) Boroughs
I rise, Sir, to a point of' order. I understood when I came down to-day that this Bill had been passed through the Committee stage on Friday last. II submit to you, Sir, that that is a very unusual proceeding—even if it is 1115 not against the rules of the House; but I should like to get your ruling upon that point. There were two Instructions down which were placed on the Paper on Wednesday. They were on the Paper on Thursday, and the promoters of the Bill knew perfectly well that they were on the Paper. An appeal was then made to the honourable Member for Marylebone, who is in charge of the Bill, as to whether he would postpone the discussion upon the two Instructions until Monday—that is to-day. He very readily assented to do so, and he exhibited the utmost courtesy in the matter. In the meantime—and I trust without the knowledge or consent of the honourable Member for Maryiebone—the promoters of the Bill have passed it through Committee; in the face of the fact that these Instructions were down for discussion, they passed it through Committee as an unopposed Bill. I submit, Sir, that the action is contrary to precedent, that it is against the rules of the House, and, in any event, I venture to characterise it as a thoroughly disreputable trick which is only possible to, and is generally associated with, ecclesiastical proceedings in this House.
§ MR. BOULNOIS (Marylebone, E.)
I desire to say that I have had nothing whatever to do with the Bill since it was read a second time in this House. Of course I have no control over the forms of the House, nor, indeed, should I have attempted to have done anything to hurry the Bill through out of the ordinary course. I must confess, however, that I am surprised at the language of the honourable Member with regard to the course the Bill has taken, which I understand to be the usual and natural course.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
I should mention that I quite understood that the honourable Member for Carnarvon was not referring to any Member of this House.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Certainly, Sir. I expressly disclaim any intention whatever of referring to the honourable Member.
§ MR. BOULNOIS
I must remind the honourable Member that the Instruction was put down on Thursday's Paper, but not having been on the Paper before, it 1116 could not, of course, be taken on that day. In the ordinary course it would have been taken on Friday, and it was by the desire of the honourable Member himself that the Instruction was deferred from Friday till to-day. I can only say that, so far as I am personally concerned, I look upon it as simply deplorable that this Bill should be obstructed in the manner in which it is being obstructed at almost every stage, and I should like to ask the House to allow the Bill to proceed in as rapid a manner as is possible, having regard to the rules of the House.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea, District)
I entirely acquit my honourable Friend the Member for East Marylebone of having had anything to do with this proceeding.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
That is a matter of private arrangement, and has nothing whatever to do with the question as to whether these Instructions can be moved now. It is quite clear that they cannot be moved now, because the Committee has reported on the Bill. As regards the alleged private arrangement made between the honourable Member for Carnarvon and the honourable Member for Marylebone, I can only say that if there has been any misunderstanding it is unfortunate, and if the honourable Member considers that he has a grievance in this respect there is no other way of bringing the matter again before the House except by moving to re-commit the Bill on the Third Reading. He may have that opportunity, if he chooses to avail himself of it.
§ MR. BOULNOIS
Is the Instruction standing in the name of the honourable Member for Bolton in order?
§ MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)
I shall give notice myself to move to re-commit the Bill on that Instruction.