HC Deb 28 October 1948 vol 457 cc235-7
Mr. Eden

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

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

The Business for next week will be as follows:

The Debate on the Address will be continued on Monday, 1st November, and on Tuesday, 2nd November, and brought to a conclusion on Wednesday, 3rd November.

Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you will be good enough to indicate today, for the convenience of the House, which Amendments to the Address you propose to call and the days on which they will be taken.

Thursday, 4th November.—Second Readings of the Wages Councils Bill and of the Recall of Army and Air Force Pensioners Bill.

Friday, 5th November.—Committee and remaining stages of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. It is hoped to obtain the Second Reading of this Bill, which is usually a formal stage, tomorrow. Second Readings of the Colonial Stock Bill; the Debts Clearing Offices Bill; and the Savings Banks Bill; and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions.

Mr. Eden

The right hon. Gentleman will, no doubt, know that some of these Bills have not yet been made available to us. Can we be assured that they will all be available at the Vote Office this afternoon?

Mr. Morrison

I understand that they will be available. I do not think they are very troublesome.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

In regard to the Savings Banks Bill, as Members in all parts of the House are deeply interested in this Bill, will the right hon. Gentleman, even though it is an agreed Measure, provide sufficient time for those who may wish to say something to have a discussion on the Bill?

Mr. Morrison

I think that will be possible.

Mr. Speaker

The Leader of the House has said that I may indicate the days on which the Amendments to the Address may be taken, and perhaps it is as well that I should do so now. I have had some difficulty in the matter, but I understand that the Minister of Defence will be here today, and therefore I propose to give priority to those Members who wish to speak on Defence today—no doubt the Minister of Defence can then give a reply. Tomorrow the Debate will again be general, and also on Monday, when I understand a statement on the Economic Situation will be made, apart from the Amendments which will be moved on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am told that there is some desire for a discussion on food, and if so, I shall try and divide up the two subjects during Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be devoted to the Official Amendment of the Opposition.

Sir Waldron Smithers

May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you propose to call the Amendment in my name on Communism? May I respectfully point out that if Communism is not stopped then all the other Bills go by the board?

Mr. Speaker

I do not propose to call that Amendment.

Sir Ian Fraser

In view of the Government's statement, made it is to be noticed to a private committee and not to this House, that a Select Committee on War Pensions will not meet with their approval, may I ask the Leader of the House whether, if Members on both sides of the House happen to catch your eye tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, he will arrange for the Minister of Pensions to be here to make a statement to this House, a statement which ought to have been made here in the first instance?

Mr. Speaker

I cannot indicate in advance who will catch my eye.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

Do I understand that tomorrow is the only day we shall be able to have a general Debate on the state of the nation and that the other days will be limited to specific issues, such as Defence and the Economic situation?

Mr. Speaker

There will be some time today, all day tomorrow and, I dare say, the greater part of Monday.

Mr. Eden

If I understood you aright, Mr. Speaker, in regard to Defence, it means that you will give a certain preference to Defence speeches today, but I assume that the Debate today is not exclusively on that subject and that any Member who wishes to do so may speak on Defence tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker

Certainly. I thought it more convenient to try and compartment the Debate today.

Brigadier Head

I understand that it is not your intention, Mr. Speaker, to call the Amendment on Defence but to allow the House to deal with the subject today and on other days as well.

Earl Winterton

I presume, with reference to the Question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser) on the subject of the Motion tabled by a number of us regarding war pensions, that we are not precluded from asking the Prime Minister at some later date for an explanation of the circumstances whereby, I understand, through the mouth of a Minister at a private committee he has refused to accept our Motion?

Mr. Speaker

That matter is not, of course, my affair. No Member is precluded from asking a Question about that.