HC Deb 03 December 1943 vol 395 cc641-3
Mr. Arthur Greenwood

May I ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he can make any statement about the Business for the next series of Sittings?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The House will have understood from the Business statement made yesterday that we expected the Debate on the war situation and foreign affairs to take place on the third and fourth Sitting days of the next series of Sittings. I have to inform the House that we are unable to do so, and therefore it will be necessary to rearrange Business for the next series of Sittings as follows:—

Second Sitting Day.—Conclusion of the Debate on the Address.

Third Sitting Day.—Remaining stages of the Expiring Laws Continuation Bill and of the Local Elections and Register of Electors (Temporary Provisions) Bill; Motion to approve the Supplementary Pensions and Unemployment Assistance (Determination of Need and Assessment of Needs) Regulations.

Fourth Sitting Day.—Second Reading of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Bill.

Two days will be set apart later so that the House will not lose any time and will get a full opportunity for the Debate on the war situation and on foreign affairs which was promised. It is necessary that we should conclude the Debate on the Address. The House will understand that the reasons are beyond our control. We should have wished to have had that Debate during the next series of Sittings, but circumstances make it impossible.

Sir Percy Harris

Will my right hon. Friend make quite clear to the House that Members will have an equal opportunity in time to discuss the subject they would have discussed on the Address if we had continued to discuss the Address for the remainder of the next series of Sittings?

Mr. Attlee

Yes, that is what I said. There will be no time lost whatever. There will be a full opportunity.

Mr. Shinwell

Would my right hon. Friend make it clear—I was not quite clear—about the point as to whether the Debate on the Address will conclude on the second Sitting Day and that the proposed war Debate will be entirely apart from the Address, presumably on the Adjournment?

Mr. Attlee

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Pickthorn

Has any definite decision been come to as to whether it is desirable there should be a Debate on the announcement made yesterday by the Minister of Labour?

Mr. Attlee

No. No decision has been come to about that yet.

Sir Alfred Beit

With regard to the second Sitting Day, will there be any further Amendment called, or will it be a continuation of the general Debate?

Sir Irving Albery

When the right hon. Gentleman made his statement he did so rather in a manner as though he was well aware of what he was saying and that the House was, but I am not quite sure now in what form the subsequent Debate to which he has referred will take place.

Mr. Attlee

Unless there is a request for a different method, it will take place on the Adjournment. The point I was dealing with was the point of time. Hon. Members will not be deprived of time. They will have full opportunity.

Mr. Rhys Davies

I would like to be clear on this point. Some of us have Amendments on the Order Paper. We were under the impression that if any of these Amendments were called, they would be called during the last two days of the Debate. Am I to understand that that will still prevail and that the two days Debate will come on later? In any case may we take it for granted it will be before Christmas?

Mr. Attlee

Yes. I think the hon. Member is mistaken. The days that are postponed were days on which we were to revert to the general Debate, not to dealing with Amendments.

Mr. Bowles

Will the Debate take place before Christmas?

Mr. Attlee

Yes, Sir.

Miss Rathbone

Are Amendments to be taken on the second Sitting day? I think, Mr. Speaker, you said yesterday that that would be announced to-day. You dealt yesterday with the Amendment on the first Sitting Day but not with the Amendment on the second Sitting Day.

Mr. Speaker

I promised that I would make a further statement to the House to-day about the Amendments which I have selected for the second Sitting Day of the next series of Sittings. The first one I shall call is that standing in the names of the hon. Members for Barnstaple (Sir R. Acland) and Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton): But humbly regret that the Gracious speech indicates that Your Majesty's Ministers do not realise that private ownership of all substantial resources must now be supplanted by common ownership if future wars and poverty are to be eliminated and human brotherhood more nearly approached. Then I shall call the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North Newcastle-on-Tyne (Sir C. Headlam) and other hon. Members: But humbly regret that there is no mention of any national policy for a better location of industry, designed to prevent so far as possible a recurrence of the unemployment which prevailed in the period between the two wars, in areas mainly dependent on the heavy industries. Finally I shall call that standing in the name of the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton): But, while welcoming in particular the references to the training and employment of disabled persons and the reinstatement in their civil employment of persons discharged from the armed forces, humbly regret that the Gracious Speech does not announce the principles upon which the demobilisation of the armed forces at the conclusion of hostilities will be based. I understand the House will be asked to agree to a limited suspension of the Standing Order, so as to give adequate time for debate on these three Amendments.

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