§ Mr. LANSBURY
May I ask the Lord President of the Council what is the object of the Motion on the Paper with regard to Government business?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The object of the Motion to suspend the Eleven O'clock Rule is only to make progress with the Bill now before us, but there is no intention to ask the House to sit unduly late. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to state the business for next week:
Monday: Supply, Committee, 19th Allotted Day—Post Office Vote.
Tuesday: Supply, Report, 20th Allotted Day.—Three Votes will be put down: the Mines Department, the Department of Agriculture (Scotland), and Law Charges and Courts of Law (Scotland).
At Ten o'clock on Monday and on Tuesday the Committee and Report stages, respectively, of all outstanding Supply Votes will be put from the Chair.
Wednesday: Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill, Second Reading.—The subjects of which we have notice are the World Economic Conference and Public Works Expenditure.
Thursday: Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill, remaining stages.—Dominion affairs.
If all outstanding business has been disposed of, including the Third Reading of the Road and Rail Traffic Bill, consideration of Amendments to Bills which 2003 may be received from another place, and a Motion to approve the Milk Marketing Scheme, the Government hope that it will be possible to take the Motion for the Summer Adjournment on Friday, 28th July, until Tuesday, 7th November.
The Motion for the Summer Adjournment will contain the usual provisions to empower Mr. Speaker, on representations being made by the Government, to call the House together at an earlier date, if such a course appears to be in the public interest.
It is the intention of the Government to bring the present Session to a close and begin a new Session as soon as practicable after the date of reassembly in November.
With regard to to-day's business, I am informed by the Chairman of Ways and Means that in order to meet the convenience of Members who object to the Bill, it is not proposed to take the consideration of the Adelphi Estate Bill tonight, but to postpone the Bill until next week. The Road and Rail Traffic Bill must be disposed of before the Summer Recess, and the Government hope to make good progress to-day. We should like to conclude the Report stage at about nine o'clock and begin the Debate on the Third Reading, and it would then seem possible to conclude the Third Reading Debate at about one o'clock to-morrow, and enable us to have time for the consideration of the Motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—War Loan Acts (Twenty-year 5½ per cent. Gold Bonds). I would only make this observation, that of course there is not the slightest desire or intention on the part of the Government to try to force this Measure through. It is entirely a matter for the good will of the House. If the House feels that this business can be disposed of—and I think the House as a whole will think that the business can be disposed of—the Adjournment can take place to-morrow week. If it cannot be disposed of, that must delay the Adjournment, which I for one am not ashamed to confess I should regret.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
On the general question, as I understand it, an endeavour is going to be made to finish the Report stage of the Road and Rail Traffic Bill by about nine o'clock to-night, and if 2004 everybody co-operates we may be able to do it. Then, I understand, it is proposed to start the Third Reading tonight, and finish round about one o'clock to-morrow, in order that we may take what we think is a very important Motion in reference to the debt to America. We are willing to endeavour to do that, although we do not like being squeezed up quite so tightly in this hot weather. We would have preferred very much to have taken the Finance Resolution tomorrow first, but it has been pointed out to me that it would expedite matters to take it last, because that is a Motion which finishes at four o'clock, I understand, automatically, and in those circumstances we agree.
On the general question of adjourning right away until 7th November, until I have had an opportunity of further considering that with my friends, I am not sure whether we do not want to put in another date. It seems a very long time. I agree that we have had an exhausting Session, but to adjourn until 7th November seems too long, looking at it offhand, and I should like to ask the Lord President—I may tell him that, because we may move an Amendment to it—whether it would be possible for us to have the Unemployment Insurance Bill a good time before the House reassembles, so as to give everybody a chance of thoroughly digesting it. It is, I understand, to be the major Bill of the new Session, and we would like to have it in our hands so as to be able to consult with our friends, and so on, in order that we may be prepared properly to discuss the Bill.
Then I want to ask a question, only in order to clear up something, of which we have already given notice, which we consider of very great importance in the time that will be available before the new Session. We want the Patronage Secretary to give us an opportunity to discuss the working of last year's Health Insurance Act. It is extremely important. We wanted to do it now. I am not sure that we are doing quite the right thing in not sitting an extra day in order to discuss the working of the Act up to the present and its effect on people in the very near future. But if we do not do that, I want to stake out a claim for time to discuss this in circumstances which will enable the Minister himself first to make a statement so that the 2005 House can thoroughly discuss it. In our view, the House, when it knows the facts, will want to amend that Act very drastically.
§ Mr. J. WALLACE
Might I ask the Lord President whether it is not the case that Tuesday of next week was originally fixed for Scottish Estimates, and whether he thinks it fair or adequate that the discussion of the remaining Estimates for Scotland should be thrust among other business on Tuesday, instead of giving a full day for the very important matters which Scottish Members wish to discuss?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman opposite will put his first question next week, and I will see that he has an answer. As regards his second question, I do not think there will be any difficulty about what, if I may say so, is a perfectly reasonable claim. With regard to the question of my hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline (Mr. J. Wallace), we must be guided in allotting Supply time by the request of the Opposition, and that is what we have done on this occasion. We understand it was the wish of the Opposition to take the Mines Department Vote.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Will you allow me, Mr. Speaker, to make this clear? We asked for the Mines Vote in order to discuss the coal mines situation, but specially to put our view and to hear the Minister's view as to what they are doing in reference to getting petrol, etc., from coal, and if we can get the discussion through early, the hon. Member will have very good time for Scotland.
§ Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he can say on what day the Milk Scheme will be considered?
§ Mr. J. WALLACE
I regard the matter I have raised as very important, and I should like to give notice that on the first opportunity on the Adjournment of the House, I shall call attention to the neglect of Scottish affairs by His Majesty's Opposition.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I rise only to make certain about a few points. I am in absolute agreement with the Leader of the Opposition in regard to his point 2006 about Unemployment Insurance. understand that a discussion will be allowed on changes in National Health Insurance before we adjourn?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am asking whether there will be any opportunity before the Adjournment to discuss changes in National Health Insurance.
§ Mr. BALDWIN
There will be certainly no opportunity on the Votes I have announced. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to mean when we reassembled, and it was on that understanding that I said I thought an opportunity should be granted.
That other Government Business have precedence this day of the Business of Supply, and that the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House)."—[Mr. Baldwin.]