HC Deb 20 January 1949 vol 460 cc336-8
Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he is in a position to make any statement about 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, 24th January—Second Reading of the Landlord and Tenant (Rent Control) Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution; and Committee stage of the Wireless Telegraphy [Money] (No. 2) Resolution.

Tuesday, 25th January—Report and Third Reading of the Wireless Telegraphy Bill.

Wednesday, 26th January—Debate on Palestine on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Thursday, 27th January and Friday, 28th January—Second Reading of the American Aid and European Payments (Financial Provisions) Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

We are advised that the Debate on the Second Reading of this Bill will be somewhat wide. The House may find it convenient, if you agree, Mr. Speaker, for the Debate to range over the subject matter of the recent White Paper containing the United Kingdom, 1949–50 and long term programmes and the Interim Report of the O.E.E.C. on the European Recovery Programme. If, Sir, that could be arranged with your concurrence, I think it would meet the general convenience of the House.

Mr. Clement Davies

Whilst appreciating that two days are necessary for the Economic Debate on Thursday and Friday, may I ask the Leader of the House if he will consider whether it is possible to extend the time of the sitting of the House on Wednesday—as there are so many hon. Members interested in this matter—in case the ordinary sitting does not prove quite long enough for a full Debate?

Mr. Morrison

I will try to ascertain the feelings about that, and I will consider it, but the right hon. and learned Gentleman will appreciate that I cannot, on the spur of the moment, give an undertaking. I will take that request into account.

Sir Waldron Smithers

In view of the importance of this two-day Debate, may I ask the Government whether they will take steps to provide further copies of a book with a blue cover which was issued in Paris and in which was a printed slip? To avoid expense it was issued as a White Paper. Are the Government aware that we cannot get copies in the office, and that that book covers the whole of the European Recovery Plan issued not by the Government, but by the O.E.E.C.?

Mr. Morrison

I understand that a copy has been supplied to every Member of the House, including the hon. Gentleman—he may have mislaid it among his numerous documents of one sort or another—but, in view of what he says, I will see whether anything can be done to meet any possible losses of the copies that have been distributed.

Professor Savory

Will the right hon. Gentleman say when he proposes to give the House an opportunity of discussing the situation which has arisen by the passing of the Republic of Ireland Act and the unilateral repudiation of the Agreement of 1921 registered by the Free State as a Treaty at Geneva?

Mr. Morrison

Well, Sir, I think I had better think about that before I say anything.

Professor Savory

Surely, the matter is urgent?

Mr. Austin

Regarding the subject for Debate next Wednesday, may we take it that, on this occasion, the Foreign Secretary and not the Secretary of State for Air will be present; and, secondly, in view of my right hon. Friend's repeated refusal to suspend the Rule at the request of hon. Members, may I add my small voice to the request made by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) that the Rule be suspended in view of the enormous interest take in this Debate?

Mr. Morrison

On the last point, I have already answered the right hon. and learned Gentleman. On the first point, quite obviously my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be here, and, if I may say so, I do not think it is necessary for my hon. Friend to make a suggestion to the effect that the Foreign Secretary is afraid to face the music.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the Debate on Palestine, is it not the case that it is not so much what is said now as what is done, and will not the right hon. Gentleman seriously consider between now and Wednesday making a statement recognising the Government of Israel, which would settle the whole trouble?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Gentleman says it is not so much what is said as what is done. That is a first-class doctrine, and I recommend him to apply it.

Mr. Nally

As I understand it, it is likely that some time during the next few days we shall have made available to us the findings of the Tribunal over which Mr. Justice Lynskey presided. I am wondering whether my right hon. Friend would agree that it would be to the convenience of the House if he could give us some guidance as to the length of time which the Government propose to allot to the discussion of these findings? It seems to me that in view of the importance of it, and the number of hon. Members who will desire to speak, we ought to be given some indication of the length of time the Government consider appropriate.

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid my hon. Friend puts a difficult point to me. The fact is that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has not yet received the report of the Tribunal. As he has not received it and nobody else has seen it, it is a little premature to consider what comes out of it. I think it would be wiser for my hon. Friend to put that question when the report has been made available and people have had some opportunity of reading it.