HC Deb 08 June 1944 vol 400 cc1519-22
Mr. Arthur Greenwood

May I ask the Leader of the House to state the Business for next week?

Mr. Eden

The Business will be as follows:

Tuesday, i3th June—Committee and, if agreeable to the House, the remaining stages of the Food and Drugs (Milk and Dairies) Bill.

Wednesday, 14th June, and Thursday, 15th June—Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

Friday, 16th June—An opportunity will be provided for debating the operation of Regulation 18B and the detention of a Member of this House, concerning which Motions now stand on the Paper.

[That this House having acquiesced in the detention of an honourable Member without trial or charge, in view of the authority conferred upon the Home Sec- retary by Regulation 18B, is now of the opinion that such detention for a period of over four years threatens the ancient and well established right of the House to the service of its Members, constitutes a dangerous precedent damaging to the prestige of the House and ought now to cease unless justified to the House, if necessary, in secret session.]—[Sir I. Albery.]

[That this House is of opinion that Me time has come for reconsideration of Regulation 18B and of the practicability of bringing to trial those now in detention on the sole responsibilty of the Home Secretary.]—[Mr. Manningham-Buller.]

The Government do not want to restrict the Debate by dealing with this question on a limiting Motion. It had occurred to me that we might deal with it on the Home Secretary's salary, but I will be in a position to announce to the House, perhaps early next week, how we actually mean to deal with it.

Sir Irving Albery

Would my right hon. Friend consider whether it will be possible to take a Supply Day formally and then proceed with the Motion on the Paper?

Mr. Eden

I think that a very good way, if it were agreeable to the House.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that the whole of the stages of the Food and Drugs Bill will be taken on Tuesday?

Mr. Eden

I said if it proved to be agreeable to the House.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

With regard to the Debate on Regulation 18B, do I understand that an opportunity will be provided for a Debate not only on the Motion in the name of the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir I. Albery) but on the general operation of that Regulation?

Mr. Eden

That is what I had in mind when I said that I did not want to limit the Debate.

Miss Ward

When will the Government be in a position to state their decision with regard to increases of dependants' allowances? The Secretary of State for War said that he hoped an announcement would be made shortly, but he did not define his meaning of "shortly."

Mr. Eden

I do not know that I can better define "shortly" than my right hon. Friend—not now, anyway.

Mr. Higgs

Is it anticipated that the Committee stage of the Finance Bill will be completed on Wednesday and Thursday?

Mr. Eden

I hope so. It is the same amount of time as we allowed last year.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

May I ask my right hon. Friend to give further consideration to the question of having the Debate on Regulation 188 on Friday? This is an important matter touching closely this House and its Members. The difficulty about having Debates on Fridays is that the Government are unable to suspend the Rule on that day for obvious reasons. Would it not be preferable that a Debate of this character should take place when there was the greatest possible opportunity for Members to take part in it? Will my right hon. Friend, therefore, have that Debate on Thursday and the second day of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill on Friday?

Mr. Tinker

We object to that.

Mr. Eden

By having the Debate on Friday it cuts both ways. There are no Questions on Friday so that we are no worse off for time. I think that it is a reasonable day.

Mr. Tinker

Stand by your arrangement.

Sir Herbert Williams

Will my right hon. Friend communicate to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the possibility that there will be less interest in Clauses 1–31 of the Finance Bill if the attitude of the Chancellor towards retrospective legislation in Clause 32 is sympathetic?

Mr. Eden

As my right hon. Friend has already explained, we are in constant touch.

Sir A. Southby

On a point of Order. When I asked a question just now the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) objected and called out to the right hon. Gentleman "Stand by your arrangement." Are we to understand that an arrangement has been come to with the other side?

Mr. Eden

My hon. and gallant Friend must not jump to any rapid conclusions. It was the arrangement I announced a few minutes ago, and I do not think the hon. Member for Leigh had the least idea what the arrangement was before I announced it.

Mr. Tinker

The arrangement I meant was the arrangement which the right hon. Gentleman announced in his statement on Business, and I want him to stand by it.

Sir Waldron Smithers

Is the Leader of the House aware that two days for the Committee stage of the Finance Bill are quite inadequate? Are we to assume that it is exempted Business and that we can go on to any hour we like?

Mr. Eden

I am afraid that it is exempted Business. We can only see how we get on, and perhaps it will not be as bad as my hon. Friend fears.

Sir W. Smithers

It will be.

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