HC Deb 15 March 1934 vol 287 cc582-9

May I ask the Prime Minister what will be the business for next week; and also whether he can inform the House when the Easter Recess will be taken and when the House will re-assemble, and on what date the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) The business for next week will be as follows:

Monday: Supply, 3rd Allotted Day—Report stage of the Navy, Air and Army Estimates; consideration of Motions to approve the Import Duties Exemptions Order No. 2 and Additional Import Duties Orders No. 6 and No. 4; and, if there is time, the Second Reading of the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill and the Committee Stage of the Overseas Trade Bill.

Tuesday: Second Reading of the Illegal Trawling (Scotland) Bill, and of the Assessor of Public Undertakings (Scotland) Bill; Committee stage of the Land Settlement (Scotland) (Money) Resolution; and consideration of Motions to approve the Draft Order made under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924, relating to Scotland, and of the Scheme to regulate the Marketing of Milk in Aberdeen and District.

Wednesday: Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill. I understand that the subject to be raised will be Unemployment.

Thursday: Remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund Bill. I understand that a Debate on Imperial Defence will be raised.

Friday: Private Members' Bills.

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

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget on Tuesday, the 17th April.

As regards the Easter Recess, we propose that the House shall rise on Thursday, the 29th March, and resume on Monday, the 9th April.


May I ask the Prime Minister, with regard to the Debate on Unemployment on the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill on Wednesday, whether it will be possible for a Minister to be present to give the general policy of the Government with regard to the problem of hard-core unemployment in the distressed areas, as it is the desire of the Opposition to discuss that problem, and not so much the general range of a Departmental question? May I also ask the Prime Minister how far he intends to go to-night in the event of the Motion which stands in his name on the Paper being carried?


I will take note of the request of the hon. Gentleman regarding the presence of a Minister on Wednesday. With regard to the proposed suspension of the Eleven o'Clock Rule, the Government do not propose to go further than the first three items on the Order Paper—Supply, Committee; Ways and Means, Committee; and the Third Reading of the North Atlantic Shipping Bill.


With regard to Monday's business, do I understand that the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill will not be taken at a late hour? Might I suggest that it should be put down on some day, not almost at the end of a long list of Orders, but as the first or second Order?


My right hon. Friend will have-observed that I said that if there is time the Second Reading of the British Sugar (Subsidy) Bill will be taken. That means that we shall not take it at an inordinately late hour—the same arrangement that we made before, namely, that it will not be taken unless it is entered into well before Eleven o'Clock.


Really, I would press the Prime Minister that it would not be right that that Bill should be taken at any hour approaching Eleven o'clock. It will be the first occasion on which we shall have had an opportunilty of raising the whole policy. All of the previous Debates have been of a limited character, and there are various Members in different parts of the House who wish to speak on the matter. I submit that the question is one which should be very fully debated, and that to take it even at Ten o'clock would be too late. I suggest that it should be put down for early consideration on some subsequent day.


I observe that the Prime Minister's statement of business includes no proposal for making further progress with the Unemployment Bill. May I ask him if the attention of the Government has been drawn to the following two Motions which stand on the Order Paper: That, notwithstanding the adoption by the House of a time-table governing the Debates on any Bill, it shall be the duty of the Chairman to make a report to the House regarding any clauses of the Bill which shall have been passed without debate as a result of the time-table, and thereafter the Bill shall stand re-committed with regard to such clauses for so many days as the House shall determine, such a number of days not being in excess of the number already allotted to the Report stage of such Bill."—[Captain Crookshank.] That, in the opinion of this House, the existing arrangements for the drawing up of Time-Table Motions for Bills are unsatisfactory, and for the better ordering of debate in the case of Bills subject to such Motions it is desirable that an impartial and representative committee of this House should be set up with authority to determine in all such cases the number of days to be allotted to each stage of the Bill and the precise allocation of time during those days to the various parts of the Bill."—[Mr. Lewis.] These Motions suggest ways in which the difficulties of the discussion of the Bill might be remedied at a later stage, and I should like to ask the Prime Minister if he will be good enough to see whether an opportunity can be given for discussing these Motions?


I am very much obliged to my hon. Friend for having given me notice that he was going to raise this question. I can only say again what has already been stated, namely, that when we have completed the Committee stage of the Unemployment Bill all the considerations on which opinions have been expressed from any quarter of the House bearing upon the progress of that Measure will receive consideration from the Government; and, further, that when the time comes to allot a number of days for the concluding stages of the Bill, it is our intention to consult the Opposition parties and representatives of supporters of the Government, in order to work out a time-table in the most convenient form for the House as a whole.


Does that mean that the Bill is not to be re-committed?


The House must please take what I have said for the present.


Arising out of the Prime Minister's answer, may I ask him whether, seeing that the Motion which stands in my name and those of other Members recommends a course of action which has been recommended by the Select Committee on Procedure, his answer to the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) to-day means that he is so well satisfied with the working of the Guillotine that he does not propose to introduce proposals such as those outlined by the Select Committee on Procedure itself, and does not desire the House of Commons to have an opportunity of discussing the matter?


I really cannot add anything to what I have said. The question that is exercising the mind of the House is how the Bill can be dealt with on the Committee Stage in such a way as to give general satisfaction.


There is a Motion which has been on the Paper for a day or two in the name of the Secretary of State for Scotland dealing with the question

of housing—"That the draft of the Order proposed to be made by the Minister of Health and the Department of Health for Scotland with the approval of the Treasury, under Section five of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924, as amended by Section forty-three of the Housing Act, 1930, which was presented on the 28th day of February, 1934, be approved." A serious situation has arisen, particularly in Glasgow and the surrounding districts. I gave notice that I would raise the question on the Adjournment some time ago, but the Adjournment seems to be closed these days. I was wondering if we could be allowed to discuss the matter on the Consolidated Fund Bill.


The course of the Debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill does not rest with me.


I notice that one day has been granted presumably to the official Opposition, and I imagine the second to supporters of the Government. That is quite in accordance with precedent and we are not objecting to it, but I would ask the right hon. Gentleman if out of the two days some time can be found for the discussion of the point put forward by my hon. Friend.


That is for Mr. Speaker to decide. It is not within my power.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will recall the admirable advice that he himself gave to a Select Committee, that there should be an impartial committee appointed to assist in drawing up time-tables, and enable the House to give effect to that advice?


At the moment that question does not arise.

Motion made, and Question put, 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, 245; Noes, 36.

Boothby, Robert John Graham Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Pearson, William G.
Borodale, Viscount Hall, Capt. W. D'Arcy (Brecon) Petherick, M.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd) Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)
Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald Hammersley, Samuel S. Pickering, Ernest H.
Brats, Captain Sir William Hanbury, Cecil Pownall, Sir Assheton
Broadbent, Colonel John Hartington, Marquess of Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Rea, Walter Russell
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd) Reid, David D. (County Down)
Bullock, Captain Malcolm Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Reid. James S. C. (Stirling)
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Remer, John R.
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Hore-Belisha, Leslie Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Hornby, Frank Ropner, Colonel L.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Horsbrugh, Florence Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Runge, Norah Cecil
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.) Hurd, Sir Percy Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. (Blrm, W.) Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring) James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Christie, James Archibald Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields) Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Clarke, Frank Kerr, Hamilton W. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Phillp A. G. D.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger Savery, Samuel Servlngton
Conant, R. J. E. Knight, Holford Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Cook, Thomas A. Law Sir Alfred Shute, Colonel J. J.
Cooke, Douglat Leckie, J. A. Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Cooper, A. Dull Leech, Dr. J. W. Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)
Copeland, Ida Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)
Cranborne, Viscount Levy, Thomas Smithers, Waldron
Craven-Ellis, William Lewis, Oswald Somervell, Sir Donald
Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Locker-Lampion, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n) Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galntb'ro) Loftus, Pierce C. Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Crossley, A. C. Lumley, Captain Lawrence R. Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Spencer, Captain Richard A.
Culverwell, Cyril Tom MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Davison, Sir William Henry McConnell, Sir Joseph Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)
Denman, Hon. R. D. McCorquodale, M. S. Stevenson, James
Dickie, John P. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham) Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)
Doran, Edward MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Dower, Captain A. V. G. McKie, John Hamilton Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel McLean, Major Sir Alan Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Duggan, Hubert John McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Macpherson, Rt. Hon. Sir Ian Thorp, Linton Theodore
Eden, Robert Anthony Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter Magnay, Thomas Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Maitland, Adam Tree, Ronald
Elliston, Captain George Sampson Making, Brigadier-General Ernest Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Eimley, Viscount Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Mander, Geoffrey le M. Turton, Robert Hugh
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Manningham-Butter, Lt.-Col. Sir M. Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Ersklne-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Marsden, Commander Arthur Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Martin, Thomas B. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Watt, Captain George Steven H.
Everard, W. Lindsay Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Wayland, Sir William A.
Fermoy, Lord Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k) Weymouth, Viscount
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Fleming, Edward Lascelles Mitcheson, G. G. Whyte, Jardine Bell
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Ford, Sir Patrick J. Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr) Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Fox, Sir Gifford Moreing, Adrian C. Wills, Wilfrid D.
Fraser, Captain Ian Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Fremantle, Sir Francis Morrison, William Shepherd Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Fuller, Captain A. O. Most, Captain H. J. Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Gluckstein, Louis Halle Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld) Worthington, Dr. John V.
Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd. N.) North, Edward T. Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Nunn, William
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro, W.) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Grigg, Sir Edward Patrick, Colin M. Mr. Womersley and Major George
Grimston, R. V. Peake, Captain Osbert Davies.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Cape, Thomas Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)
Attlee, Clement Richard Cocks, Frederick Seymour Dobbie, William
Batey, Joseph Cove, William G. Edwards, Charles
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Daggar, George George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)
Buchanan, George Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Grundy, Thomas W.