§ Sir DONALD MACLEAN
Will the Leader of the House state what business it is proposed to take to-morrow, and what business will be taken next week?
To-morrow is private Members' day, and the Government do not fix the business.
On Monday next, we shall take the Motion for the allocation of time for the remaining stages of the Safeguarding of Industries Bill.
Tuesday has already been allotted to the Colonial Office Vote.
On Wednesday we propose to take the Second Reading of the Unemployment Insurance Bill.
On Thursday we shall take the Committee stage of the Finance Bill.
Friday I hope to devote to a debate on the agenda of the Imperial Conference, for which time has been asked.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the proposal to put the Safeguarding of Industries Bill in Committee under the guillotine will excite the deepest resentment of the Opposition?
I am sure that my right hon. Friend will show all the indignation of which he is capable, but I have fortified myself with precedents from the time when the party he represents was in power, and those, I think, will satisfy the House that the course we are taking is the right course.
§ Captain W. BENN
Can the right hon. Gentleman say when it is proposed to set up the Estimates Committee?
I hope at once. I believe that it has been delayed only because of the widespread desire to serve on the Committee, and the consequent difficulty of adjusting its exact composition.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Will the House have an opportunity, on the Motion to set up the Estimates Committee, of discussing whether or not the purview of the Committee is sufficiently wide to check expenditure?
I cannot under take, for reasons which I think will become apparent when I make my statement on the Motion set down for Monday, to find time for the discussion of the powers of this Committee. If it be not accepted by the House, it will be in the power of anybody to block it. At this stage I cannot find time for a discussion on the Committee.
§ Captain BENN
Is not the right hon. Gentleman under a pledge to the House to set up such a Committee?
I am under a pledge to propose to the House to carry out the recommendations of the gentlemen whom I invited to confer with me on the subject. I will submit that Motion to the House, but should the House not accept it, I cannot undertake to find time.
§ Captain BENN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is considerable difference of opinion as to whether the form of the Motion is in accordance with the agreement arrived at, and does he not think, in view of its immediate importance, that he should put down an Order which might be briefly debated?
I am not aware of the first allegation made by the hon. Member, and I have every reason to believe he is misinformed. I do not think any Member of the Committee which was good enough to assist me would suggest that the Motion does not carry out the decision of the Committee, subject always to the fact that my right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) dissented from the majority of his colleagues on one important matter.
§ Mr. N. MACLEAN
In view of the importance of the discussion which is set down for Friday, and the importance of the subjects which are to come before the Imperial Conference, will the right hon. Gentleman not undertake to allow a full day's discussion of this matter instead of a Friday afternoon?
I have great difficulty, as naturally anybody in my position must have, in reconciling the wishes of the House for discussions on many subjects with the conduct of the necessary business. I hope to be able to devote Friday to this subject, and believe, if able to do so, that I shall satisfy the prime movers in this matter, and those who have shown the most interest in it.
§ Earl WINTERTON
As I moved in the matter of asking for a day for the discussion of the Imperial Conference agenda, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the day granted in reply to that request entirely satisfies those who moved in the matter, and that they are most grateful to him?