HC Deb 03 November 1932 vol 269 cc1983-5

May I ask the Prime Minister the business for next week, and at the same time inquire whether his attention has been drawn to the leakage of official information which appears in the Press generally this morning regarding the statistics of unemployment? I suppose that these figures will be published to-morrow or the next day, but I should like to ask whether it is possible for the House to have them in time for the Debate to-morrow?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

Let me deal at once with the last part of my right hon. Friend's question. I am sorry to say that my attention has been drawn to the leakage of certain facts relating to unemployment. In practically all the newspapers this morning some reference is made to these figures. The House, I am sure, will support me when I say that I really cannot take any cognisance of rumours or statements purporting to be official published in anticipation of official statements to be published in the Press; otherwise, the only thing that would be required to be done, in order to force official statements before the time has arrived for their disclosure, would be for a newspaper to make an intelligent, or otherwise, anticipation, and then I should have to get up and give the proper statement. I regret that this leakage should take place. I assure the House that they are not official figures; they have not been communicated by the Ministry of Labour. The figures are in, but Monday night is the date for publication; the regular day for the publication of these figures. At the present moment it is quite impossible to make an official statement regarding them, because they are still under the process of checking, and until this is finished the Government cannot be responsible for the issue of any definite figures.

As regards the business for next week the Unemployment Debate which begins to-morrow, Friday, will be continued on Monday, and concluded at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday. During the remainder of Tuesday's sitting a Resolution approving the Order made under the Irish Free State (Special Duties) Act, 1932, will be considered.

Wednesday; Committee stage of the Financial Resolution relating to the Transitional Payments (Determination of Need) Bill.

Thursday: The day has been allotted to the Opposition for a Debate on international affairs; Transitional Payments (Determination of Need) Bill, Money Resolution, Report stage.

Friday: In view of the Armistice celebrations, the Government will propose that the House shall meet at noon on this day. Consideration of Resolutions approving the Additional Import Duties Orders, Nos. 4 and 5; the Horticultural Products (Emergency Customs Duties) Order; and the Additional Imports Duties Orders Nos. 6, 7 and 8.

On any day, if there is time, others Orders may be taken.


After the explanation of the Prime Minister, I cannot, of course, press him to publish any figures. I think it is to be regretted that the statements have got out. I want to ask when the terms of the Money Resolution relating to the Transitional Payments Bill will be available, and whether it is possible to tell us now when the Bill itself will be ready. Will it be ready immediately after the Money Resolution is passed?


Yes, immediately the Report stage is through. The Resolution itself will be on the Paper at the earliest possible moment.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give us something a little more definite. Will it be to-morrow, or on Monday?


A communication will be made through the usual channels as to the date of publication.


The Chief Whip is always very kind and obliging, and I hope we shall be able to squeeze it out of him. I hope it will be an early date.