HC Deb 31 October 1946 vol 428 cc790-2
Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make upon Business?

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

Yes, Sir. The Business for next week will be as follows: Monday, 4th November—Consideration of Amendments to the National Health Service Bill and to the Atomic Energy Bill, which are expected to be received from another place.

Tuesday, 5th November—A Debate on home and overseas trade on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Wednesday, 6th November—Consideration of any Amendments to Bills which may be received from another place.

It is expected that Prorogation will take place on Wednesday, and that His Majesty will open the new Session on Tuesday, 12th November.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Can the Leader of the House hold out any expectation of a day early in the new Session for the discussion of the Curtis Report?

Mr. Morrison

I do not think it would be appropriate that I should give any indication about that at this stage. It is possible that an opportunity will arise on the Address, but it is governed by the date on which the Ministers concerned are able to make a statement to the House.

Mr. Driberg

Although it is not Government Business, could my right hon. Friend be good enough to tell the House when we may expect the Incumbents (Discipline) Measure; and, since that Measure will be the subject of debate, will he give an assurance that there will be a free vote?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. Friend will appreciate that this is not a Government Measure. It moves along like a private Bill, and the promoters settle the time with the authorities of the House, but I understand that it will be put down for Tuesday next. In this case, my hon. Friend is quite right in assuming that there will be no question of Government Whips taking part in the Business.

Brigadier Peto

Can the Leader of the House promise any time for a Debate on the Motion which stands in the names of my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Mr. Hollis) and many others, No. 69 on the Order Paper of 28th October, relating to the acquisition of land by Service Departments?

[That, while appreciating the need for adequate training areas for the forces, this House, in view of the difficulties put in the way both of agricultural production and of rural rehousing by the acquisition of land by Service departments and of the destruction of rural beauty, calls for a public inquiry into the whole policy of Service acquisitions and demands that wherever possible any acquisitions that may be made in the future be under the Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 1945, which permits of a preliminary public inquiry. ]

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid not. I do not think that we can add to the commitments during the terminating days of this Session.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can my right hon. Friend say what will be the form of the Debate on home and overseas trade on Tuesday, and whether it will be in such a form as to enable the House to discuss the statement made by the President of the Board of Trade the other day concerning the reconstruction of the Japanese textile industry, and its effect on the Lancashire textile industry?

Mr. Morrison

The Debate will take place on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House. It is, of course, a matter for Mr. Speaker, but I should have thought that if it were sought to argue that certain happenings in Japan are damaging to the textile industry in Lancashire it would be possible to raise it during the Debate. I ought, perhaps, to say that arrangements in respect of the Debate have been made with the Liberal Members of the House on this occasion.

Mr. Churchill

Will the Leader of the House bear in mind the great importance of giving a long period in the new Session for the Debate on the Address which enables so many topics to be cleared out of the way and which, if used in its full scope, greatly lightens the further Business of the Session?

Mr. Morrison

We should, of course, give proper and appropriate time for the Debate on the Address. Perhaps we cannot undertake to give as long as the right hon. Gentleman himself arranged during the war, when, I think, it went to fairly extensive lengths, which was all right at that time. However, the matter can be discussed through the usual channels, and we will try to agree what the appropriate period should be.

Sir Waldron Smithers

Mr. Speaker, may I ask your guidance as to the procedure you propose to adopt this evening on the six Prayers which appear on the Paper in relation to the cotton industry? Do you propose to take them all en bloc or separately?

Mr. Speaker

Obviously, they all raise the same point and, therefore, they can all be taken together.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

May I ask a question arising out of the right hon. Gentleman's statement on Business? I gather that we have certain Business to dispose of on Wednesday prior to the Prorogation. Is the House meeting at the usual time, and are Questions to be taken on that day?

Mr. Morrison

On Wednesday the House will meet at the usual time, 2.30 p.m., and Questions will be taken as usual. I cannot say what Business there will be after that, nor can I say at what time the actual Prorogation will take place. We may know next week.