HC Deb 24 March 1948 vol 448 cc3015-8
Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Lord President of the Council and the Leader of the House of Commons whether he has any statement to make on public Business?

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

Yes, Sir. The Business for the first week after the Easter Recess will be as follows:

Tuesday, 6th April, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget.

Wednesday and Thursday, 7th and 8th April.—General Debate on the Budget Resolutions and the economic situation.

Friday, 9th April—Committee and remaining stages of the Army and Air Force (Annual) Bill and, if there is time, Report and Third Reading of the Industrial Assurance and Friendly Societies Bill. As the House knows, there will be a resumption of the Debate on the Budget and the economic situation in the following week.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is possible to find time to debate a Motion standing in the name of myself and the names of some 200 hon. Members of this House on the subject of petrol for purposes of blood sports, or better still will he make such a Debate unnecessary by talking to his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture like a Dutch uncle and showing him the way out of the difficulty?

[That, in the opinion of this House, it is undesirable in present circumstances, when most owners of motor cars and motor cycles are unable to obtain petrol, that petrol should be allocated for purposes of stag-hunting, fox-hunting and other blood sports which cannot be regarded as being conducive to good agriculture, the effective use of manpower, or the efficient extermination of vermin.]

Mr. Morrison

I confess I cannot catch up with all these signatures which are happening day by day in the House. I am afraid I cannot find special time for this Motion, but I will convey the observations of my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has now been briefed in the matter of the emoluments of the Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Would it be in order to suggest that somebody should be sacked?

Mr. McGovern

May I ask whether there is any intention shortly of introducing legislation to deal with the eviction of shopkeepers in Glasgow, or whether it is true that the Government as a whole are responsible for holding back legislation on this subject?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Member knows the doctrine of Ministerial responsibility to the House and I do not need to give him explanations about it. I dealt with this last week, and I am afraid I cannot add to it. The matter is engaging the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr. Edward Evans

May I ask my right hon. Friend when he proposes to introduce legislation to deal with protection against coast erosion, as promised by the Prime Minister in January, 1947?

Mr. Morrison

Not in the week under review, Sir.

Mr. Osborne

In the Budget discussions will hon. Members be able to raise matters arising out of the Economic Survey, or shall we be limited?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, certainly—subject to Mr. Speaker's Ruling, that is the intention.

Mr. Carmichael

Arising out of a previous answer, may I ask whether we may take it that the entire responsibility for delay in regard to legislation for the shopkeepers in Scotland rests on the shoulders of the Secretary of State for Scotland and not on the Cabinet as a whole?

Mr. Morrison

If I may say so, that is not a fair question. The Departmental Minister must be answerable to the House and, in answering in the House, he is, of course, speaking for the Government. That is the doctrine, and I think it would he wrong from the point of view of Parliamentary Government to make this distinction between Ministers and the Government as a whole.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

May I ask you, Sir, in reference to the Budget Debate, whether you would like to make a statement now, or later, on the conduct of the Debate as to whether there will be any differentiation in the treatment of subjects as between the first three days and the last two?

Mr. Speaker

The noble Lord asks me to make a statement. May I remind him I know nothing about the Budget or the conduct of the Debate on it. We shall be in Committee of Ways and Means.

Mr. Scollan

Referring to the question of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael), if it is the case that the Secretary of State for Scotland is not responsible for the legislation, are we to take it that the Government have definitely made up their minds they are going to do nothing in this matter?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a question on the Business for the next week, or on the Business of the House, but a matter of policy.

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