HC Deb 08 February 1945 vol 407 cc2231-3
Mr. Arthur Greenwood

May I ask the Deputy Prime Minister to state the Business for next week?

Mr. Attlee

The Business for next week will be as follows:

Tuesday—Second Reading of the Requisitioned Land and War Works Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Wednesday—Second Reading of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution; Second Reading of the Hydro-Electric Undertakings (Valuation for Rating) (Scotland) Bill: and, if there is time, Committee and remaining stages of the Nurses Bill [Lords].

Thursday—Debate on Local Government in England and Wales during the period of reconstruction, which will arise on the Motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health.

[That this House welcomes the intention of the Government to preserve the existing framework of the county and county borough system of local government and the proposals for the establishment of a Local Government Boundary Commission outlined in the White Paper presented to Parliament.]

Friday—Committee and remaining stages of the Colonial Development and Welfare Bill; Second Reading of the India (Estate Duty) Bill [Lords] and of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Further progress will be made with the Police (His Majesty's Inspectors of Con- stabulary) Bill, and Compensation of Displaced Officers (War Service) Bill.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

I understand that an opportunity will be afforded for a Debate on the Burnham scales; will the right hon. Gentleman give any indication when that is likely to be?

Mr. Attlee

We are trying to arrange a convenient date, but I cannot make any statement now.

Sir Percy Harris

Would the Deputy Prime Minister give any indication when major legislative proposals are likely to be introduced, such as the National Insurance Bill? If they are not introduced soon, their chances of becoming law during this Session will be very small.

Mr. Attlee

I cannot say more than has already been announced with regard to this. We shall have to get some of these Bills through first.

Sir H. Williams

Does the right hon. Gentleman think it entirely reasonable that Members should be asked to study five new Bills in one week? Are we not going to produce a lot of very ill-digested legislation, if we have five Bills this week and six next week?

Mr. Attlee

I do not think so. I am quite sure than when the hon. Member has studied these Bills he will see that they are not very large or very controversial.

Hon. Members


Captain Cobb

In view of the great importance of the Debate on Tuesday, it is likely that a great many Members will wish to take part. Will the Deputy Prime Minister give as an assurance that the Standing Order will be suspended indefinitely, and that feeding arrangements will be made by the Kitchen Committee?

Mr. Attlee

The Government did propose to suspend it. I cannot say that we shall suspend the Rule indefinitely, but we shall consider what can be done. I have no doubt that the question of the catering will be considered by those responsible.

Mr. A. Bevan

I note that the right hon. Gentleman has made no announcement of any opportunity next week for discussing the statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to the setting up of finance corporations. As there is very grave anxiety, in South Wales in particular and, in fact, right throughout Wales and, I imagine, in Scotland, lest we should have a repetition of the creation of unnecessary distressed areas by exactly the same agency that caused them between the two wars, may I ask when shall we have an adequate opportunity of discussing the principles behind the establishment of these corporations, before they start their work?

Mr. Attlee

My hon. Friend will remember that this matter was raised and Mr. Speaker, I think, was considering a point of Order in connection with it.

Mr. Bevan

No, Sir—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member had better wait for my answer to-morrow.

Mr. Bevan

But may I speak on a point of procedure? There are two entirely different questions. The propriety of putting Questions on the Order Paper to the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the administration of these matters is a different question entirely from the policy behind the setting up of these corporations. I want a discussion, and so do most hon. Members, on the principles behind the establishment of these finance corporations.

Mr. Attlee

We shall endeavour to find an opportunity for a discussion.

Mr. Rhys Davies

In considering the Business of the House for the next few weeks, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the growing interest of many Members of all parties in the activities of the British Council, and provide an opportunity for a Debate?

Mr. Attlee

We will consider that, and see whether an opportunity can be found.

Mr. Loftus

In view of the importance of, and the interest in, the Debate on Thursday, on Local Government in England and Wales, could we have an extension of one hour on that day?

Mr. Attlee

I will consider that.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Could my right hon. Friend say when the Second Reading of the Water Bill is likely to be taken?

Mr. Attlee

In the near future, but I cannot give a closer date than that.