My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
The Question was as follows:
To ask Her Majesty's Government upon what date they intend to bring into force the Easter Act 1928.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Harris of Greenwich)
My Lords, my right honourable friend does not think it right to bring the Act into force until the full concurrence of the Churches can be secured. We continue to hope that progress can be made towards this end and that agreement will eventually be reached. For their part, the Government will take what initiatives are open to them to forward that agreement.
My Lords, are Her Majesty's Government aware that there is not a word in the Act about obtaining the agreement of the Churches, but only that regard shall be had to any opinion officially expressed by any Church or other Christian body?
§ Lord HARRIS of GREENWICH
Yes, my Lords, the noble Lord accurately quotes that section of the Easter Act 1928, but my right honourable friend does not consider it right to move in this matter until he has the support of an overwhelming number of Churches in this country.
My Lords, in view of the failure of Her Majesty's Government and their predecessors to implement this Act, will they now introduce a new holiday on the second Monday in April, or the Monday next following the second Saturday in April?