HC Deb 24 October 1940 vol 365 cc1149-50
Mr. Lees-Smith

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal to state the future Business of the House?

Mr. Attlee

The business to be considered when the House meets again is as follows:

First Sitting Day—Committee stage of the Supplementary Estimate for Supplementary Old Age and Widows' Pensions.

Second Sitting Day—Committee stage of the following Supplementary Estimates: Further Grant-in-Aid to the Central Committee for Refugees; Grant-in-Aid for the British Association for International Understanding and for Camps. A statement will be made later with regard to the business to be taken on the third Sitting Day.

Mr. Mander

Will an early opportunity be afforded for a discussion on the organisation of the Home Guard, if representations are made through the ordinary channels?

Mr. Attlee

If representations are made, they will certainly be considered.

Earl Winterton

I understand, from what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, and from what I have learned through the usual channels, that it is not yet possible to promise definitely a day for the discussion of Colonial and Indian defence. In view of the importance of the Delhi Conference, can we have an assurance that the matter is under active consideration?

Mr. Attlee

Yes, Sir. It is under active consideration. It is hoped to arrange for a day shortly.

Mr. Hore-Belisha

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake that if an event of importance occurs Parliament will be assembled at once? That was not done in the case of the Dakar episode.

Mr. Attlee

Certainly; if there is need for it, Parliament will be called earlier.

Sir A. Southby

In view of the speed with which events are moving in the Near East, will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Prime Minister as to the advisability of making another statement to this House on the course of the war at the present time?

Mr. Attlee

I will bring that to the Prime Minister's notice.

Mr. Shinwell

When will a statement be made about the functions of the newly-appointed First Commissioner of Works?

Mr. Attlee


Mr. Shinwell

What does my right hon. Friend mean by "immediately"?

Mr. Attlee

As soon as my hon. Friend sits down.

Mr. Bellenger

Is it proposed to prolong the present Session indefinitely, or to start a new one in the near future?

Mr. Attlee

It is not for me to make a statement on that matter.

Colonel Arthur Evans

May we have the promised statement from the War Office on the organisation of the Home Guard at the earliest possible time?

Mr. Attlee

The statement will have to be made before we can have a Debate on the matter.