HC Deb 04 October 1944 vol 403 cc945-6
Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

I desire to ask the Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make regarding the Business of the House, for this week and next week.

Mr. Eden

Yes, Sir. We propose to suspend the Rule to-day and to-morrow, so that we may make more progress with the Town and Country Planning Bill. We do not intend to sit unduly late, and, even with the suspension of the Rule, it would seem that we shall need at least another day to conclude this stage. I hope that hon. Members will co-operate with the Government to enable us to conclude the Committee stage on Friday of this week. If this cannot be done, then it will be necessary to sit on Monday of next week. I thought it desirable to let hon. Members know of that possibility, in order that they might make arrangements.

Mr. Pethick-Lawrence

The right hon. Gentleman will realise that it is rather exceptional to change the Business for Friday on Wednesday; but the time is exceptional, and no doubt Members will agree to this proposal. Will the Business which was to have been taken on Friday and which is now being postponed be taken next week?

Mr. Eden

I understand that it is somewhat unusual; but it is desirable that we should make progress, and I think it will be the general desire of the House to do as I have suggested. It is our intention to take the postponed Business next week.

Mr. Bowles

Does this not show that the Recess was rather too long?

Sir Joseph Lamb

If the House sits on Monday, at what time will the Sitting begin? My right hon. Friend will realise that it is very difficult for Members who have to travel long distances to get here on Monday for eleven o'clock?

Mr. Eden

We should not meet until half-past two, and there would not be any Questions.

Mr. Shinwell

Are not the Government to blame for this inconvenience and congestion of business? When it was suggested that seven weeks was too long for the Recess, they refused to accept any alternative proposal.

Mr. Eden

I thought that even the hon. Gentleman would realise that we did some quite good work in the Recess.

Mr. McGovern

Can we take it that the announcement of a Monday Sitting is rather a precautionary one, and that its object is to intimidate hon. Members?

Mr. Eden

The hon. Member is old enough a Parliamentarian to know that nothing is so foolish as to try to intimidate hon. Members. Our only purpose is to tell Members now, for their convenience.

Mr. Reakes

Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House whether we are going to sit on Monday or not? It is a very important matter.

Mr. Eden

It does not rest with me; it depends on what progress we make. All I have done is to give advance notice for the convenience of hon. Members.

Mr. Sloan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that Members travelling from Scotland would, in such a case, need to travel on Sunday night? Does he intend to juggle with times, just to suit Members who live in and around London?

Mr. Eden

There is nothing new in that problem.

Sir Leslie Boyce

On what day will Friday's Business be taken?

Mr. Eden

I will make the usual Business announcement to-morrow.