HC Deb 07 August 1947 vol 441 cc1646-9
Mr. Eden

May I ask the Leader of the House if he would tell us the Business for the remainder of this week and for next week?

Mr. H. Morrison

The Business for the remainder of this week will be as follows:

Today my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will move the Motion of Thanks to the Civil and Military Services of the Crown in India. Committee and remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill. Afterwards the Adjournment of the House will be moved and the Debate on the state of the nation resumed. We shall also ask the House to consider the procedure Motion relating to the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill.

Friday, 8th August—Second Reading of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill.

The Business for next week will be as follows:

Monday, 11th August—Committee and remaining stages of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill.

Tuesday, 12th August—Consideration of the Special Report from the Committee of Privileges. Debate on Palestine on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Wednesday, 13th August—It is proposed to meet at 11 a.m. and Questions will be taken until 12 noon. Adjournment for the Summer Recess until Monday, 20th October.

Mr. Cocks

Will the Lord President consider as an alternative to sitting on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, that we should sit on Saturday, Sunday and Monday? Could he make arrangements so that members of the staff do not suffer by being compelled to stay here when they have made arrangements to go away on Monday?

Mr. Morrison

I do not employ the staff. Presumably when the House is sitting the staff must be here, as, when the House is not sitting, other circumstances are applied to the staff. But with regard to the idea that we should sit over the weekend, it was briefly considered. I thought that on the whole hon. Members would be happier if they had a break at the weekend and then came back relatively fresh—I say only relatively fresh—on Monday to conclude the Business of the Session.

Mr. J. S. C. Reid

Will the Debate on Tuesday be confined to the Special Report of the Committee of Privileges and not raise issues with regard to the two hon. Members who figure in the two Reports?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, it will be confined to the subject of the Special Report. Whether or not that involves a Debate, I am doubtful, but certainly it will be confined to the Special Report, because I thought it would be better for hon. Members to have an ample opportunity of reading both Reports and dealing with them when we came back.

Earl Winterton

Is it the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to table any Amendment or Motion on the Special Report? What is he going to recommend the House to do?

Mr. Morrison

I shall table a Motion.

Mr. Clement Davies

Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to deal quickly with the second Report, because it seems to me that, whatever conclusions one may have arrived at with regard to the conduct of the hon. Member in question, it is not fair that it should be kept hanging over his head for a period of two months? Would it not be right that we should dispose of that as soon as possible? It is a different case from the first, because the hon. Member there has gone away.

Mr. Morrison

I appreciate the point raised by my right hon. and learned Friend. There is a relationship between the second Report and the item that we are proposing to put down for Tuesday—I admit that. On the other hand, I think there is a very close relationship between the two Reports affecting the two hon. Members, and I think that on the whole it would be tidier if we took the Reports as affecting the two hon. Members together later on.

Mr. Blackburn

In view of the fact that the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill confers on the Executive unprecedented dictatorial powers in time of peace—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—may I ask the Lord President to ensure that full discussion on the Second Reading and Committee and remaining stages of the Bill is not curtailed?

Mr. Morrison

I agree that it is an important Bill but it is a short Bill. I thought if we had the Second Reading Debate tomorrow, when the principles of the Bill can be debated amply, and then had the Committee stage and the remaining stages on Monday, that is giving an adequate consideration. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I am only saying what I think. I may or may not be entitled to an opinion, but I am trying to express it. It is an important Bill, but it is a short Bill and the principle is quite clear. I should have thought that the House could well settle it in that time. Therefore, I hope that my hon. Friend will not get too nervous in the good cause.

Mr. Pickthorn

With apologies for not being quickly enough attentive, may I ask the Leader of the House to repeat what he said about the procedural Motion and exactly when it is to be taken? I refer to the Motion about the suspending of certain Standing Orders, and so on.

Mr. Morrison

It is proposed to take that tonight at the end of the Debate which will start shortly.

Mr. Eden

As I understand it, the Motion on the Paper for suspension of the Rule is for other Business and does not, of course, affect the Debate on the Adjournment which will shortly commence again?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir. The Debate on the Adjournment will: terminate at 10 p.m.

Mr. Beechman

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what arrangements will be made in the event of there being some Amendments from another place to the Bill?

Mr. Morrison

One trouble at a time is enough.

Mr. Wyatt

Reverting to the question of the two Privilege Reports, may I ask my right hon. Friend what objection there is to having both Reports debated next week, as I understand that the second hon. Member concerned has now returned from South Africa? Would it not be better to dispose of both cases at once?

Mr. Morrison

I am a little doubtful whether the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Allighan) has returned from South Africa. Anyway, we can make inquiries through the usual channels whether he has or not. Some of my hon. Friends do not think he has, but, in any case, the first Report was a pretty long Report, taking up a whole volume, and it is not easy for hon. Members, with all the claims upon their time, to master them in the time which has elapsed since it was published. The second Report is not as long, although there is a fair wordage in it, and I think it is desirable that, before the House debates them, it should have time to master these Reports. Therefore, I think it would be better to let it wait.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

The right hon. Gentleman will remember that on Monday last, we had the First Reading of the Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Bill. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is the intention of the Government to proceed with a highly controversial Bill such as this is during this Session or next Session?

Mr. Morrison

This Bill was published in order that the House and the country should be aware of its proposals. It is not proposed to proceed with the Bill this Session.

Proceedings on Government Business exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of the Standing Order (Sittings of the House).—[Mr. Herbert Morrison.]