HC Deb 24 July 1941 vol 373 cc1063-6
Mr. Lees-Smith

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether he will state the forthcoming Business of the House?

Mr. Attlee

The forthcoming Business will be as follows:

First Sitting Day—Supply (17th Allotted Day); Committee. Debate on Production.

Second Sitting Day—Supply (18th Allotted Day); Committee. Debate on Scottish Estimates for the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Public Education.

Third Sitting Day—Supply (19th Allotted Day); Committee. Estimate for the Ministry of Pensions will be considered.

Fourth Sitting Day—Supply (20th Allotted Day); Report. Debate on the Secretary of State's Statement on the Administrative Changes in India.

At the hour appointed on the third and fourth Sitting Days, the Committee and Report stages, respectively, of all outstanding Supply Votes will be put from the Chair.

During the week we shall ask the House to consider the draft Regulations proposed to be made after the Financial Powers (U.S.A. Securities) Bill has become law. Any other outstanding Business will also be considered.

Mr. Shinwell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government propose to suspend the Rule on the first Sitting Day and extend the time for the Debate?

Mr. Attlee

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

May I ask whether the Leader of the House has considered the suggestion which I put to him yesterday that a day be allowed for an explanation on the part of the Government and a discussion on the very important White Paper on Price Stabilisation and Industrial Policy which has just been issued by the Government?

Mr. Attlee

I think that at this stage of the Session it would be impossible to provide a special occasion. There will be opportunities of raising the matter, as the hon. Member knows.

Mr. A. Bevan

Can the Lord Privy Seal say what Votes will be put down on the first Sitting Day?

Mr. Attlee

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. I understand that this will permit of a wide discussion.

Earl Winterton

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether, in the event of its not being contrary to the public interest to do so, he can on a very early date tell us whether it is proposed that the House should rise in August, and what is to be the likely length of the Recess?

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

Can the Lord Privy Seal say whether there will be any statement made on the war situation or any opportunity for discussing the war situation before the House rises for any possible Recess?

Mr. Attlee

I think that it is quite likely that a statement of that kind may be made on the Appropriation Bill. The announcement with regard to any Recess will be made too.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the Lord Privy Seal bear in mind that the publication of this White Paper has prejudiced normal negotiations that take place in industrial life; and in view of the fact that there are other factors that ought to be in that White Paper, will he take steps to see that an agreement is reached as far as possible outside, or, if not, that an early date is given for a Debate, so that ideas can be ventilated in this House?

Mr. Attlee

I will certainly take note of what my hon. Friend says.

Colonel Arthur Evans

Do I understand the Lord Privy Seal to say that the Board of Trade Vote will also be put down, so that the production of coal can be discussed on the first Sitting Day?

Mr. Attlee

No, Sir.

Colonel Evans

Will the Lord Privy Seal reconsider that, because the production of coal has an important bearing on production generally?

Major Vyvyan Adams

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the answer that has been given to the hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Henderson Stewart), as this White Paper affects everybody without exception in the whole country?

Mr. Levy

Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the question of the production of coal and put down a Motion so that coal supply can be debated, because there is nothing more serious or vital to the country at the present moment?

Mr. Attlee

It must depend upon the amount of time available.

Mr. Levy

Is it not of vital importance, and ought not time to be found to discuss the serious situation that may arise throughout the whole of the country?

Mrs. Tate

Surely, it is impossible for this House to adjourn for the summer Recess until there has been a Debate on the production of coal, considering its effect upon every industry in the country?

Sir Irving Albery

Can the Lord Privy Seal say whether it is the intention of the Government to make a statement in this House in the near future concerning all the duties of the two Ministers who have recently been appointed to duties overseas?

Mr. Attlee

Perhaps my hon. Friend will put that question down.

Mr. Lindsay

In view of the overwhelming importance of the question about the White Paper, will the Lord Privy Seal reconsider the request for a Debate?

Mr. Attlee

I have already pointed out that there are other opportunities to raise that matter. My reply was that it was impossible to find time for a special day.

Mr. James Griffiths

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it may not be desirable to have a Debate before those who are deeply concerned have had time to consider the matter; and may it not be wise to postpone any Debate for some time?

Mr. Attlee

That is one of the points to be considered. I think it would be ill-advised to rush into a Debate before the issues in the White Paper have been discussed.

Mrs. Tate

May I have an answer to my question as to whether we may have an assurance that there will be a Debate on coal production before this House adjourns for the summer recess?

Mr. Attlee

We cannot find a special day, but there might be an opportunity on the Adjournment.