HC Deb 11 May 1933 vol 277 cc1706-13

Will the Prime Minister tell us the business for next week, and may I at the same time ask how far the Government intend to go to-night?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

The Eleven o'clock rule is being suspended in order to obtain the Second Reading of the two Scottish Bills and the Financial Resolution relating to Administration of Justice (Scotland). The Motion to approve the Scottish Milk Marketing Scheme, which will be taken tonight, is exempted business.

The business for next week will be:

Monday, and until 7.30 on Tuesday: Report and Third Reading of the Rent Restrictions Bill. There will also be taken on Monday the Third Reading of the Exchange Equalisation Account Bill.

After 7.30 on Tuesday: Consideration of Motions approving the Irish Free State (Special Duties) (No. 2) Order. 1933, and Additional Import Duties Orders Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 8 of 1933—these orders are now in the Vote Office—the remaining stages of the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill, and the Second Reading of the Education (Necessity of Schools) Bill, which has come down from another place.

Wednesday: Second Reading of the Finance Bill.

Thursday: Supply (5th Allotted Day).

The Vote to be discussed will be announced later.

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

It may also be convenient if I remind the House that Friday will be the last of the days set apart under the Standing Orders for the consideration of private Members' Bills.


May we know in regard to the Exchange Equalisation Bill whether any modification is to be brought forward? I understand that we did not take the Third Reading last night in order to give the Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity—[Interruption.] The question I wish to ask is whether it is intended to meet the almost unanimous desire of the Committee last night that some modifications should be made in regard to the powers of the Auditor-General. If not, there is likely to be very considerable discussion on the Third Reading, and will it be fair to the House on so important a matter to take it after Eleven o'clock? The Prime Minister was not here last night. If he had been present he would have found that Members in all parts of the House desired the alteration, and I do not think that they will have altered their minds by Monday. I am not at all sure that the Government should ask for the whole of the business put down for Tuesday. I am aware that the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill and the Education (Necessity Schools) Bill are non-controversial, but the Irish Free State (Special Duties) Order and the Import Duties Orders may prove to be very controversial. They are matters which the House has a right to discuss at some length. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us another day for the discussion of the Finance Bill. We have had an opportunity of seeing the Bill, and there is a very important portion of the Bill, which has not yet been before any Committee or before the House, dealing with the Post Office and the allocation of the funds of the Post Office, which, I should think, will take up a good deal of the time of the discussion. Therefore, I ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us another day.


As regards the Business last night—and I am always very sorry when I cannot be in the House—the situation was reported to me. The reason why we could not go further last night was that this is a Money Bill each stage of which must be taken on separate days. Obviously, there can be no change in the Bill on the Third Reading, so that the Bill which will be brought forward for the Third Reading will be the Bill as it left the House last night. It is not quite my business to say that I agree with regard to the suggestions concerning the Business on Tuesday, but let us see how we get on. As to the Business on Wednesday, it has been the rule, almost without any break—although I agree that there have been breaks when the Finance Bill has contained matters of very great importance—that not more than one day has been given for the Second Reading, and I should hope that the Bill will get its Second Reading on the first day. The point which my right hon. Friend raised, for instance, about the Post Office is pre-eminently a Committee point, and again I say, let us see how we get on. I would like to conserve as much time as possible. There are the usual channels through which to make any reasonable request regarding Business.


I certainly think that we ought to press for and have a second day for the Second Reading of the Finance Bill. There is another matter which I think we shall hear something about on the Second Reading, and that is the proposal to tax the co-operative societies. I can hardly imagine that.by Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not have something to say, but I have no choice but to accept the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that we may possibly get an extra day. On the Exchange Equalisation Bill I would press the Chancellor of the Exchequer as strongly as I possibly can to give us time before eleven o'clock to discuss the Third Reading of the Bill. We, and, I believe, many Members in the House, think that the public ought to know all that there is to know about the Bill and about the fact that the Government are to be entrusted with an enormous sum of money, almost without any check being placed upon them even months after their operations.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the fact that it was ruled out of order last night, to amend the Exchange Equalisation Bill and that it was not definitely stated that it would not be possible to incorporate such an Amendment in the Finance Bill, whether he will bear in mind the wishes expressed to him so well by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition when we come to the Finance Bill and consider the question of an Amendment being incorporated in the Finance Bill?


I would remind the House that the point which has just been raised has nothing whatever to do with me. It has to do with the Chairman of the Committee. The question of a Co-operative tax, or anything else, must be subject to a special Resolution and cannot be discussed, I think, on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill. It can only be embodied in the Finance Bill if a Resolution has been moved and a full discussion has taken place.


May I ask the Prime Minister whether the Government have considered dropping the legislation against the Irish Free State having regard to the impending World Economic Conference and the Tariff Truce arrangement?


I think that when I announced the business for next week it showed that we have not decided to drop it.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think, having regard to the effect it might have on the World Economic Conference, that it would be worth while considering the dropping of these duties?


With regard to the Exchange Equalisation Account Bill, although an Amendment would be out of order on the Bill, may I say that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer could

give some assurance that the point which was raised last night would be met in some other way, say in the Finance Bill, it would make the Third Reading of the Bill no longer controversial?


I am afraid that my right hon. Friend cannot give any assurance of that character.


Has the Prime Minister yet considered making any announcement on the question of Unemployment Insurance, as he will be aware that the present Act expires on the 30th June, and that it is possibly the most important problem which the House can be called upon to face in the interests of the care and well-being of the unemployed. In view of the great anxiety in regard to the matter, is he in a position to make any announcement as to future plans? If not, can he give us any idea when an announcement on this matter which has been held out to us for so long is likely to be made?


I am afraid that at the moment I cannot make any statement as to when an announcement will be made, but my hon. Friend knows that no Ministry can forget the 30th June.


In view of the great anxiety and the large number of people affected, will the right hon. Gentleman see that an early announcement is made as to whether it is the intention of the Government to carry on the Act as it is, or to make vital Amendments? Will he see to it that an early announcement is made?


Certainly, an announcement will be made at the earliest opportunity.

Motion made, and Question put, 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)."—[The Prime Minister.]

The House divided: Ayes, 265; Noes, 37.

Division No. 164.] AYES. [3.51 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Balllle, Sir Adrian W. M.
Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M. Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley
Albery, Irving James Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Barclay-Harvey, C. M.
Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Beaumont, Hn. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Hales, Harold K. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Palmer, Francis Noel
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd) Patrick, Colin M.
Bernays, Robert Hanley, Dennis A. Peters, Dr. Sidney John
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Pownall, Sir Assheton
Borodale, Viscount. Harbord, Arthur Procter, Major Henry Adam
Boulton, W. W. Harris, Sir Percy Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Hartington, Marquess of Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Hartland, George A. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Boyce, H. Lesile Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Ramsbotham, Herwald
Brass, Captain Sir William Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Ramsden, Sir Eugene
Broadbent, Colonel John Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Ray, Sir William
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Rea, Walter Russell
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks.,Newb'y) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division) Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-
Burghley, Lord Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Reld, James S. C. (Stirling)
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Holdsworth, Herbert Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Burnett, John George Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Robinson, John Roland
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Hore-Belisha, Leslie Ropner, Colonel L.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Hornby, Frank Rosbotham, Sir Samuel
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Howard, Tom Forrest Ross, Ronald D.
Carver, Major William H. Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hume, Sir George Hopwood Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Runge, Norah Cecil
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Hurd, Sir Percy Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romford) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Blrm., W) James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Jamieson, Douglas Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Janner, Barnett Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Clarry, Reginald George Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan) Savery, Samuel Servington
Clayton, Dr. George C. Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West) Scone, Lord
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Kerr, Hamilton W. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey Kimball, Lawrence Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Knight, Holford Shuts, Colonel J. J.
Cook, Thomas A. Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Cooke, Douglas Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A.(C'thness)
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Law, Sir Alfred Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Crooke, J. Smedley Lees-Jones, John Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smithers, Waldron
Crossley, A. C. Levy, Thomas Somervell, Donald Bradley
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Lindsay, Noel Ker Soper, Richard
Curry, A. C. Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Lloyd, Geoffrey Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Davison, Sir William Henry Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Dlckie, John P. Lyons, Abraham Montagu Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)
Donner, P. W. Mabane, William Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Dower, Captain A. V. G. MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)
Drewe, Cedric McCorquodale, M. S. Stones, James
Duckworth, George A. V. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Strickland, Captain W. F.
Duggan, Hubert John McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) McKeag, William Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.
Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E. McKle, John Hamilton Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton Sutcllffe, Harold
Elliston, Captain George Sampson McLean, Major Sir Alan Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)
Elmley, Viscount McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Macmillan, Maurice Harold Thompson, Luke
Ersklne, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Magnay, Thomas Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Maltland, Adam Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen) Maklns, Brigadier-General Ernest Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Everard, W. Lindsay Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.) Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Flelden, Edward Brocklehurst Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Meller, Richard James Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Milne, Charles Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Fox, Sir Gifford Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Weymouth, Viscount
Fraser, Captain Ian Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Ganzoni, Sir John Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Moreing, Adrian C. Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Gledhill, Gilbert Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Glossop, C. W. H. Morrison, William Shepherd Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Moss, Captain H, J. Womersley, Walter James
Goff, Sir Park Muirhead, Major A. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Munro, Patrick Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Granville, Edgar Murray-Philipson, Hylton Ralph Worthington, Dr. John V.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Grlmston, R. V. Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Normand, Wllfrid Guild Sir Frederick Thomson and Sir
Gunston, Captain D. W. Nunn, William George Penny.
Guy, J. C. Morrison Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Attlee, Clement Richard Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Banfield, John William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mainwaring, William Henry
Batey, Joseph Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maxton, James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Owen, Major Goronwy
Brown. C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Hirst, George Henry Parkinson, John Allen
Buchanan, George Jenkins, Sir William Price, Gabriel
Cape, Thomas John, William Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Thorne, William James
Daggar, George Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Tinker, John Joseph
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Kirkwood, David Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Edwards, Charles Lawson, John James
George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Lunn, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Groves and Mr. C. Macdonald.

Bill read a Second time, and committed to a Standing Committee.