HC Deb 11 April 1935 vol 300 cc1338-40

I have three questions to put to the Lord President of the Council, and perhaps I had better put them all together. The first is: what is the business for next week; the second, whether the Government will reprint the India Bill, as amended, for the convenience of hon. Members; and the last, when we may expect a statement from the Government as to their intentions in regard to the report on the beet-sugar subsidy?

The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL (Mr. Baldwin)

The business for next week is:

Monday: The Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget.

Tuesday and Wednesday: General discussion of the Budget Resolutions.

Thursday: The House will meet at 11 o'clock; Adjournment for the Easter Recess.

The House will reassemble on Monday, 29th April.

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

With regard to a reprint of the Government of India Bill, we will take steps for a reprint to be issued when we have finished the remaining Clauses of the Bill. The reprint should be ready in ample time for hon. Members to take it with them on their holiday. In regard to the beet-sugar subsidy, as stated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture in reply to a recent question, the report has only just been received, and, in view of the important issues raised, it would be quite impossible to make a statement now or to undertake to make one at an early date. As the right hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware, the Government have already announced the terms upon which it is proposed to deal with the present year's crop.


May I ask whether the report on the sugar-beet subsidy is in the Vote Office now?




Is it proposed to introduce a Bill dealing with this matter at an early date?


I suppose the right hon. Gentleman is referring to sugar-beet—


In regard to the provisions for this year.


I really could not say.


On the question of business, may I ask whether on the Adjournment Motion for the Easter Recess a debate will take place on rearmament and foreign affairs?


I think that question should be directed to Mr. Speaker.

Duchess of ATHOLL

May I ask whether the India Bill will be reprinted before or after the new Clauses have been dealt with?


When I said "clauses," I meant the Clauses in the Bill.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether an announcement will be made fairly soon with regard to the sittings of the House during the week commencing 6th May? Many Members of Parliament are anxious to take part in local celebrations and wish to know to what extent the House may be sitting during that week.


Yes, I will look into that matter and see that a statement is made as soon as possible.


On a point of Order. With regard to the Adjournment Motion on Thursday: It has been suggested that there will be a debate on re-armament. I realise that the conduct of business is entirely in your hands, Mr. Speaker, but the point I wish to raise is this. Will it be possible for hon. Members who desire to raise other and less important questions to catch your eye on that occasion, or is it to be another Parliamentary field day when there will be the usual quota of Privy Councillors' speeches? Further, may I, with the utmost respect, suggest that these Adjournment debates have furnished in the past valuable opportunities to private Members for raising the grievances of their constituents and that there is a danger of that practice being lost. I think I am right in saying that the whole of the Christmas Adjourment debate was monopolised by the very important question of monetary policy. Is it suggested that the Easter Adjournment debate should be monopolised by an equally important subject?


On all occasions of Adjournments for holidays it has been my endeavour to satisfy as many Members as possible and to allow as many questions to be raised as time permitted. I propose to do the same on this occasion. If hon. Members will send to me notice of the various subjects which they wish to raise, I shall try to get in as many as I possibly can.


In view of the statement just made by Mr. Speaker and the great importance of getting an early date for discussing this question of disarmament and of armaments in this country, would not the Government consider giving a whole day immediately after Easter so as to avoid taking up time on the Adjournment Motion with that very large and important question?


If my memory serves me, the Prime Minister made a statement on that subject only the other day. It is obvious that the reasonable time for a discussion will be when our representatives return from Stresa and Geneva.