HC Deb 02 December 1948 vol 458 cc2177-9
Mr. Eden

Will the Leader of the House tell us the Business for next week?

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

Yes, Sir. The Business for next week will be as follows:

Monday, 6th December—Committee and remaining stages of the National Service (Amendment) Bill.

Tuesday, 7th December—Committee and remaining stages of the Pensions Appeal Tribunals Bill.

Motion to commit the Education (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Standing Committee under Standing Order No. 60.

Further progress with the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Bill.

Second Reading of the Railway and Canal Commission (Abolition) Bill [Lords]; and

Consideration of the Motions relating to the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1947.

Wednesday, 8th December—Committee stage of the Cinematograph Film Production (Special Loans) Bill; and

Consideration of the Motion to approve the draft Jewellery and Silverware Development Council Order.

Thursday, 9th December and Friday, 10th December—Debate on Foreign Affairs on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

It may be convenient for me to inform the House that it is proposed to adjourn for Christmas on Friday, 17th December, and meet again on Tuesday, 18th January, 1949.

Mr. Eden

It might be for the convenience of the House if I said that so far as the time of the House lies in our hands, we on this side would like before the Christmas Adjournment, if possible, to have a Debate on food and perhaps also a Debate on the Armed Forces' pay and allowances.

Mr. Morrison

There is a time factor involved, but I would say before finally committing myself, that I should be happy for that matter to be discussed through the usual channels.

Mr. Stokes

With regard to the Debate on foreign affairs on Thursday and Friday, in view of the fact that no doubt a considerable number of Members will want to speak, and as it will be on the Motion for the Adjournment, will my right hon. Friend take the most unusual course of finding out through the unusual channels how many Members desire to speak, with a view to extending the time for an hour or so on Thursday?

Mr. Morrison

I am bound to say that my hon. Friend has not taken an unusual course; he has taken his usual course. Of course we shall keep our ears open but there are, broadly, two days for the Foreign Affairs Debate. The House has been working pretty hard and we are getting towards Christmas. I am not sure that we ought to suspend, but I will keep it in mind.

Mr. Stokes

Further to that point, can my right hon. Friend give us any idea of how much time will be occupied by the two Front Benches?

Mr. Morrison

No, I am afraid not, but I have no doubt that the moral of my hon. Friend's observation will be noted by all the right hon. and hon. Members of all the Front Benches.

Mr. Keeling

Will the Leader of the House say whether the Second Reading of the Licensing Bill, which was introduced some time ago, has been postponed indefinitely owing to the indignation which it aroused in the country?

Mr. Morrison

I do not know that any undertakings were given as to exactly when that Second Reading was to be taken. It will be taken in its proper turn. I think the hon. Gentleman is becoming somewhat imaginative.

Mr. Scollan

Would it be possible for the Leader of the House to make some arrangement whereby the back benchers do not act as spectators in every Foreign Affairs Debate, but are given a chance to get in, with the others taking a back seat for once?

Mr. Morrison

I am quite sure that everybody will do their best to that end, and that everybody on both back and front benches will now seek to keep my hon. Friend's point in mind.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

I want to ask the Leader of the House if, in view of the marked lack of enthusiasm shown by the abstensions from the division on the National Service Bill, it is the intention of the Government to proceed with this Measure?

Mr. Morrison

I do not know about absence of enthusiasm. I think my hon. Friend manifests great enthusiasm on questions of this kind, possibly in the wrong direction, but still enthusiasm.

Mr. Janner

Can my right hon. Friend say when the Rent Bill is likely to be available, and if it is likely to be debated this Session?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid it is not likely to be ready before Christmas, but the Bill is in preparation.