HC Deb 01 July 1943 vol 390 cc1789-91
Mr. Arthur Greenwood

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the Business for the next series of Sittings?

Mr. Eden

The Business for the next series of Sittings will be as folows:

First Sitting Day—Supply (12th Allotted Day), Committee. A Debate will take place on Forestry.

Second Sitting Day— Third Reading of the Finance Bill; Committee and remaining stages of the Foreign Service Bill; Report and Third Reading of the Pensions Appeal Tribunals Bill and, if there is time, Second Reading of the Emergency Powers (Isle of Man Defence) Bill.

Third Sitting Day— Supply (13th Allotted Day), Committee. A Debate will take place on Economic Warfare.

I think it will be for the convenience of the House if I inform hon. Members that in view of the present state of Business, it will, I am afraid, be necessary to sit an additional day in each series of Sittings, beginning with the series of Sittings after the next series until— when we hope, all being well, to take the Motion for the Summer Adjournment.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Might I ask a Question on Business? The Leader of the House will remember that on two previous occasions when consideration has been given to the Royal Warrant that laid the basis for the administration of the Ministry of Pensions, the House has asked that before the Royal Warrant is submitted to His Majesty the House should be given an opportunity of considering it. Therefore, now that the Ministry of Pensions is giving consideration to the whole question and that a Debate is to be arranged, I want again to ask whether the Leader of the House will consider the advisability not only of having a Debate upon the Ministry of Pensions, but that the Royal Warrant, before it is submitted to His Majesty, should be submitted for the consideration of this House.

Mr. Eden

I will certainly give consideration to that or some other means of meeting the point the hon. Member has in mind.

Mr. Mander

When is it proposed to introduce the Education Bill?

Mr. Eden

I am not in a position to make a statement about that.

Sir W. Allen

Has the Leader of the House seen the Notice of Motion which has been put down by my colleagues from Northern Ireland and myself with regard to police pensions, and will the Government consider giving a date for the purpose of a discussion of that Motion?

[That in the opinion of this House the Pensions now being paid to members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who retired before 1919 are grossly inadequate, amounting, in some cases, to not more than £42 2S. 4d. (plus 65 per cent. payable under the Pensions (Increase) Acts) and that steps should be taken at the earliest possible moment to rectify this injustice.]

Mr. Eden

I have seen the Motion, but I am afraid that I cannot, in the present state of Business, undertake to give a date. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member might have an opportunity on the Adjournment on one of the additional days upon which we are to sit.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Can the Leader of the House say whether it is intended to have a Debate on the war situation before the Adjournment?

Mr. Eden

At the present moment no Debate is contemplated. I should have to give a little thought as to whether one is necessary later on.

Earl Winterton

I notice that in the statement on Business which my right hon. Friend made, he said that on the First Sitting Day a Debate would take place on forestry. May I repeat the questions I put to him last week? First, will it be possible—I do not think it will under the Rules of the House—to discuss the Report of the Forestry Commission, as it appears to me that that Report, if implemented, would require legislation? Secondly, will there be any statement from the Government Bench opposite from any Minister in regard to what the forestry policy of the Government is likely to be after the war, or will it be merely a statement by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Rye (Sir G. Courthope), who represents the Forestry Commissioners?

Mr. Eden

The question of Order in Debate in Committee of Supply is a matter for the Chair, but I am advised that a wide Debate, covering the Forestry Commissions Report on Post-War Forest Policy, will be in Order. I understand that under the Forestry Act, 1919, the Commission have already very full powers, including the compulsory acquisition of land and so on. It would seem that the Debate could therefore cover the main provisions of the Report.

Sir Hugh O'Neill

With regard to police pensions, my right hon. Friend has suggested that a Debate might take place on the Adjournment. I think what is required would definitely require legislation, and therefore it could not take place on the Adjournment.

Mr. Eden

I am afraid that even that fact would not provide me with any more time.

Mr. Maxton

Could the right hon. Gentleman tell us, since the House is getting rid of the Finance Bill, and since there are only eight Supply Days outstanding, what are the important matters which necessitate the extra Sitting Day and the very late Adjournment for the Summer Recess

Mr. Eden

We have the Pensions Bill and a certain amount of other legislation to finish. I can assure my hon. Friend that with his co-operation we can finish sooner. He will not find me making any difficulties.

Mr. Lawson

I do not think the right hon. Gentleman answered the question of the Noble Lord the Member for Horsham and Worthing (Earl Winterton). Will the Government at some stage— preferably an early stage— make a statement as to their attitude towards the Forestry Commission's Report?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. I had it in mind that we should first like to hear the views of the House, after my right hon. and gallant Friend has made a statement, but it is certainly the intention of the Government to intervene in the Debate.

Mr. Driberg

Will there be any Questions on the extra day?

Mr. Eden

No, Sir.

Mr. G. Nicholson

Will there be any opportunity for raising matters on the Adjournment?

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir, an extra half-hour will be available.