10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 3

One hundred and twenty-two amendments had been set down to

the Coal Bill at the beginning of this week and the resources of the Opposition are not yet exhausted. On Monday a whole parliamentary day was spent in the dis- cussion of a Labour amendment to empower the proposed Coal Commission to carry on "any operations for coal- mining purposes and the treatment of coal " and to control and manage such premises as they might acquire. In other words- private enterprise was to be supplanted by public management. For the miners' members a debate on nationalisation is like a trip to the seaside, and they romped happily while the long day wore on. The amendment was called at 3.53. At 6.42 Mr. Holdsworth, who in his dealings with Socialists is renowned for vigour rather than tact, suggested that as every- one had by now made up his mind the discussion should be brought to a close. This proposal was received with indigna- tion by those Labour members who had not yet caught the Speaker's eye and it was not until ii o'clock that the end came. Strange as it may seem, a debate of this kind at the outset of the Committee stage of an important Bill is not without its uses. Speeches are got off chests. Rival theories are well aired. Then, with the feeling that honour and their constituents are satisfied, members get down to the actual details of the measure before them. - * * *