HC Deb 17 July 1941 vol 373 cc744-6
Mr. Lees-Smith

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

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Attlee)

The forthcoming Business will be as follows:

First Sitting Day.—Second Reading of the War Damage (Extension of Risk Period) Bill; and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution. Further progress will be made with the National Health Insurance, Contributory Pensions and Workmen's Compensation Bill; and we also hope to take the Report and Third Reading of the Pharmacy and Medicines Bill.

Second Sitting Day.—Committee and remaining stages of the War Damage to Land (Scotland) Bill. Motion to approve the continuation in force of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Acts.

Third Sitting Day.—Supply (16th Allotted Day): Committee. We shall put down the Votes for the Ministry of Supply, the Ministry of Aircraft Production, and, in addition, the Votes for the Ministry of Labour and National Service and the Admiralty. We are advised that these Votes will admit of a wide Debate on the subject of Production. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister informed the House on Tuesday, he intends to make a full and comprehensive statement on the whole position. The House will recollect that the earlier Debate took place in Committee of Supply and, as the Prime Minister will refer to speeches made on that occasion, we are advised by the authorities of the House that the forthcoming Debate should also take place in Committee of Supply.

I have also to inform the House that it may be necessary for us to have two 4th Sitting Days in order to complete outstanding Business. A further statement will be made as early as possible.

Mr. Shin well

As the Government have now decided to impose no restriction upon the Production Debate and as, consequently, a large number of hon. Members will desire to take part in the widened Debate, will the Government agree to an additional day?

Mr. Attlee

We are rather pressed for time.

Mr. Shinwell

Would not my right hon. Friend ask the Prime Minister to give my suggestion consideration, particularly having regard to the fact that the Prime Minister proposes to make a comprehensive statement and that there will probably be a very wide discussion?

Earl Winterton

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that some Members who have pressed, as I have, for a Debate on questions relating to agriculture are perfectly willing to give way if we can have the extra day for the Debate upon Production?

Mr. Attlee

We have tried to meet the convenience of the House. There are many other subjects which hon. Members wish to raise, and a balance must be kept in meeting the desires of hon. Members.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

In view of the great importance of the Debate and of the dissatisfaction which was felt in some quarters that no Cabinet Minister replied to the last Debate, may we have an assurance that a member of the War Cabinet will reply to, as well as initiate, the Debate?

Mr. Attlee

Undoubtedly there will be someone to reply to the Debate, but exactly who it will be I cannot say at the moment.

Mr. Crowder

As I gather that questions of wage rates and overtime may be discussed on the 3rd Sitting Day, will the Lord Privy Seal arrange for a Member of the War Cabinet to be present?

Mr. Attlee

I will convey the question to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Stephen

Why does not the Lord Privy Seal ask the people who are so anxious for all this debating time to put down a Vote of Censure?

Sir I. Albery

I desire to ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether, upon the 2nd Sitting Day, when the Business will include a proposal for some extension of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, the matter will be debatable, and whether it will be possible to raise certain matters contained in a Motion now upon the Paper? I very much regret that I have been unable to give you notice beforehand, but I did not know that this Business was to be taken.

Mr. Speaker

I am not quite sure on what the hon. Member wishes to have my reply.

Sir I. Albery

Perhaps I might make my meaning a little clearer. I believe it is a question of a Humble Address to His Majesty, in pursuance of Section II (1) of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, praying that the said Act, as amended by any subsequent enactment, be continued in force for a further period of one year, etc. If that is so, I want to ask you, Sir, whether that is a subject for debate and whether, in that Debate, we can raise the question of certain Amendments which are desired by certain Members of this House.

Mr. Speaker

The matter to which the hon. Member refers is debatable, but as to the Amendments he mentions, I should like to see them before I could say whether they would be in Order.

Sir I. Albery

In view of that reply, and in view of the fact that the Motion which has been tabled bears the names of many Members of all parties, may I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether the Motion for the Humble Address will be moved at such a time as will enable it to be adequately debated?

Mr. Attlee

I hope so.

Captain Cunningham-Reid

In view of the fact that in the last Debate on Propaganda only a quarter of the number of people who wished to speak had an opportunity to do so, and in view of the dissatisfaction there was at the announcement of the Lord President of the Council, may I ask whether there will be an opportunity in the near future for a further Debate on Propaganda?

Mr. Attlee

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the statement made on the subject by my right hon. Friend.