HC Deb 06 October 1942 vol 383 cc1069-70
45. Mr. Bernays

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to state when a day will be given for the discussion of the Motion in the name of the hon. Member for North Bristol, relating to Organisation and Training of the Army?

The Lord Privy Seal (Sir Stafford Cripps)

A suitable opportunity for discussing the subject matter of my hon. Friend's Motion will arise on the Debate on the King's Speech. The Secretary of State for War will hope to speak on the general question of Army administration in the later part of the Debate on the Address. It will, of course, be practicable for my hon. Friend and those associated with him to raise specific points if called upon by Mr. Speaker, and it would probably be convenient if this could be done before my right hon. Friend deals with the more general question in open Session. If the House desires, the Debate could take place in Secret Session, though the Government would not themselves propose to discuss the matter in secret.

Mr. Bernays

While thanking my right hon. and learned Friend for his answer, may I ask him two questions: first, whether the Government will give sufficient time to a Debate on the Address to enable a day to be given for a Debate on Army matters apart from the question of pay and allowances, the importance of which I in no way minimise; and, second, whether he would consider receiving a deputation of some of the signatories to this Motion in order that they may state the reasons which have prompted them to ask that this Debate should take place in Secret Session?

Sir S. Cripps

With regard to the first Supplementary Question, it is the intention of the Government to give full time on the Address for a discussion of all matters which the House desires to discuss. With regard to the second Question, that is a matter I must consider.