HC Deb 18 May 1944 vol 400 cc345-7
Mr. Arthur Greenwood

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

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

Yes, Sir, but perhaps I might say a word first on the Business for to-day. As I have said, we propose to give an opportunity at the beginning of Business to-day, for a Debate in Secret Session on the hours of sitting. It is not the first time that we have discussed the subject, and I have some hopes, therefore, that the Debate will not last very long. After that, we should like to get the Second Reading of the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Bill, and the Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution. We shall also ask the House to take the Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill.

The Business for next week will be as follows:

Tuesday, 23rd May—Second Reading of the Finance Bill.

Wednesday and Thursday, 24th and 25th May—Supply (Committee) (6th and 7th Allotted Days). A Debate will take place on Foreign Affairs. I anticipate that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will open the discussion.

Friday, 26th May—Motion for the Adjournment for the Whitsuntide Recess until Tuesday, 6th June.

Mr. Shinwell

As regards the contemplated Debate on Foreign Policy, in which the Prime Minister is to speak, does the Prime Minister intend to say something about the recent Empire Conference, or is that matter to be left over for further discussion?

Mr. Eden

I anticipate that my right hon. Friend will say something about those discussions, in so far as they are related to foreign affairs and the foreign policy of this country and the Dominions, but wider than that, I should think not, at this stage.

Sir Percy Harris

As a number of Members wish to take part in the Debate, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman has decided to suspend the Standing Order (Sittings of the House) on Wednesday?

Mr. Eden

As the House knows, I am always ready to consider doing so but I thought that as there will be two days for the Debate, that might not be necessary.

Sir Irving Albery

Has the attention of my right hon. Friend been drawn to a Motion on the Order Paper, in the names of hon. Members of all parties in this House, expressing their anxiety over the prolonged detention of an hon. Member of this House without trial? Can a day for the discussion of that Motion be given shortly?

[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 Secretary 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.]

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member will understand that I clearly could not give a day for that Motion between now and Whitsun. As regards a later discussion, I shall have to consider the matter.

Sir I. Albery

May I ask my right hon. Friend to consider that the Government will shortly be bringing forward for renewal their Emergency Powers legislation? Is it not important that he should indicate whether a day will be available to debate this Motion before that?

Mr. Eden

I shall have to consider the matter.

Mr. McGovern

Will the right hon. Gentleman respectfully convey to the Prime Minister the desire on the part of some Members to hear, during the Foreign Affairs Debate, information of what is happening in the Balkans and in the countries between Germany and Russia?

Mr. Eden

I have no doubt whatever that my right hon. Friend will deal fully with that subject.

Mr. Edgar Granville

In view of the fact that in the other place there has been a two days' Debate on Civil Aviation, will my right hon. Friend consider that matter, and give it a high priority?

Mr. Eden

My vision does not -go very clearly beyond the Whitsun Recess.