HC Deb 05 December 1949 vol 470 cc1532-5
Mr. Eden

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will make an opportunity available to debate the action of the Minister of Civil Aviation with regard to the Report on the Civil Aircraft Accident at Prestwick?

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir, the Government are prepared to afford an opportunity on Thursday of this week for a Debate on the action of the Minister of Civil Aviation with regard to the Report on the Civil Aircraft Accident at Prestwick This will involve an alteration in the Business and we shall not now take the Motion to approve the Draft Wool Textile Industry Development Council Order announced for Thursday.

I am informed that the Parliament Square (Improvements) Bill has been reported from the Select Committee. In view of the urgency of this Bill, I hope that it will be agreeable to the House to take the Committee and remaining stages as first order on Wednesday, so that the Bill may be sent to another place as early as possible

It may be convenient, therefore, if I re-state the order of Business for Wednesday and the rest of the week—

WEDNESDAY, 7TH DECEMBER—Committee and remaining stages of the Parliament Square (Improvements) Bill and of the India (Consequential Provision) Bill, and conclusion of the Committee stage of the Justices of the Peace Bill [Lords].

THURSDAY, 8TH DECEMBER.—Consideration of an Opposition Motion on the action of the Minister of Civil Aviation relating to the Report on the Civil Aircraft Accident at Prestwick until about 7 p.m. Afterwards, a Debate will take place on the Eleventh Report from the Estimates Committee on Agricultural Services; and consideration of Motion to approve the draft Calf Rearing Scheme (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) Order.

FRIDAY, 9TH DECEMBER.—Consideration of Lords Amendments to the National Health Service (Amendment) Bill and to the National Parks Bill; and Second Reading of the following Consolidation measures, which have come from another place: Patents Bill, Registered Designs Bill, Vehicles (Excise) Bill, Election Commissioners Bill, and Air Corporations Bill.

Mr. Frank Byers

Is it proposed to take the Development Council Order for the wool textile industry before Christmas or is it postponed indefinitely?

Mr. Morrison

I could not say about that. As a result of this readjustment of Business it was necessary to hold it over, but I could not say firmly what the future of that Order is. It must depend upon the course of Business.

Mr. Maclay

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he has considered the Motion on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. Member for South Aberdeen (Lady Tweedsmuir) in relation to the Debate on the Report of the Transport Commission?

[That in the opinion of this House there has not been enough time allowed by His Majesty's Government to debate the Transport Commissioners Accounts, covering the railways, road transport, docks, inland waterways and many of the hotels and urges that a further day be allotted.]

May I ask, too, whether the right hon. Gentleman realises that, owing to the short time available, there were many aspects of the work of the Transport Commission which were not discussed?

Will he consider at an early date giving us a further opportunity to debate that Report?

Mr. Morrison

I should not have thought it was likely. The whole British transport situation was under review last Thursday, and that included Scotland. I do not think I can find time for a particular part of Great Britain.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

On the Business for Thursday, will the first spokesman for the Government be the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation or the Secretary of State for Air?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Member, in his new position, must not expect to determine what Government speakers go in first. That is a matter for us, and not for the hon. Member, to decide.

Mr. Ivor Thomas

The right hon. Gentleman has read some implications into my remark which certainly were not there. It is a matter of interest to the House to know who is to speak in a Debate.

Mr. Morrison

I dare say it is. It is for the Opposition to choose their speakers and for the Government to choose theirs. [An HON. MEMBER: "It is a matter for Mr. Speaker."] I quite agree. I beg your pardon, Sir. It is for you to call who catches your eye, but, subject to that, it is for each side to choose their own speakers. It is not for the hon. Member, who most definitely sits on the other side, to try to draw the Government's fire first.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Referring to the question and observation by my hon. Friend on the subject of the Motion on the Order Paper relating to Scottish affairs and transport, will not the right hon. Gentleman reconsider this, in view of the fact that time was so short that not only did no Minister mention Scotland, but we were unable within the time to get enough speakers from Scotland called?

Mr. Morrison

On the last occasion I saw the hon. and gallant Gentleman on his feet, he was looking after England and Wales.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Is the Lord President aware that during the transport Debate the opposite side were represented by fewer than a dozen Members throughout the Debate, except during the opening and closing speeches, and how can my right hon. Friend explain this sudden interest on their part in transport?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. Friend is on a perfectly fair point, of which, no doubt, the Opposition will take notice.