HC Deb 28 July 1949 vol 467 cc2673-8
Mr. Eden

Will the Leader of the House tell us what is to be the Business for the week after the Summer Recess?

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

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

Tuesday, 18th October—Committee and remaining stages of the Overseas Resources Development Bill;

Report and Third Reading of the Sea Fish Industry Bill;

Second Reading of the New Forest Bill [Lords] and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Wednesday, 19th October—Report and Third Reading of the National Health Service (Amendment) Bill and the Coast Protection Bill [Lords].

Thursday, 20th October—Second Reading of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill [Lords] and the Nurses (Scotland) Bill [Lords], and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions.

Friday, 21st October—Second Reading of the Local Government Boundary Commission (Dissolution) Bill.

Mr. Eden

Will the Lord President give us an early day after our return in the autumn for a discussion of the Master-man Report, and could he, in addition, give the House an undertaking—I hope that he will be able to do so—that no restrictions will be enforced until the House has had an opportunity to discuss that report?

Mr. Morrison

The Government are considering the representations made by the Staff Side at a meeting of the National Whitley Council held on 22nd July. Meanwhile, it has been agreed that no action will be taken to put the Committee's recommendations into effect until another meeting of the National Whitley Council takes place. In the circumstances I think that the House will agree that any Debate at this stage would be inappropriate, and it would perhaps be wiser to wait and see what the result of those discussions are.

Mr. Eden

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman has in mind what I was anxious to safeguard. There is to be this further meeting of the Whitley Council. I should like to be assured that no action will follow that meeting until this House has had a chance to examine and discuss the report.

Mr. Morrison

I will consider that. My mind will be partly influenced by the result of those discussions, but I shall keep in mind the point made by the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Bing

Will my right hon. Friend consider the possibility of giving time after the Recess for a Debate on the Motion about tied public houses standing in the names of many of my hon. Friends and a few of my right hon. Friends and in the names of Members of other parties and of Independent Members?

[That this House condemns the Tied Public House system, as at present operated, in that it deprives the customer of his freedom of choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages alike, tends to restrict the provision of food and accommodation, increases by monopolist practices the price of refreshments to the customer and does not furnish sufficient security of tenure to the publican; and that therefore this House calls upon His Majesty's Government to inquire into the Tied House system and other restrictive practices of Brewers and to introduce, where necessary, remedial legislation.]

Mr. Morrison

I am glad to hear of my hon. Friend's representative character. We shall give the point consideration, but I think we shall have a fair amount of Business when we come back, and my hon. Friend must forgive me if I do not make a firm promise. We shall keep the point in mind.

Mr. Eden

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman about the Auxiliary and Reserve Forces Bill, which he may remember was given a Second Reading on 2nd June? That is quite a while ago. May we know when the Government propose to take the further stages of that Bill?

Mr. Morrison

I hope fairly early after we return.

Mr. Edgar Granville

In view of the fact that scores of East Anglian villages have no water, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will treat as urgent the question of giving us an opportunity after the Recess to discuss the supply of water in rural areas? Further, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman can tell the House when it is intended to take the Adjournment Motion, and if it is the intention of the Government to make a statement on any arrangements for the recall of the House during the Summer Recess if there should be a crisis emergency?

Mr. Morrison

The Adjournment Motion will be taken tomorrow, and the Government will, of course, give proper assurances on the point which the hon. Member has mentioned. With regard to water, I think we had better wait until our return. It may be that we shall have a heavy rainfall by then, which would, I think, be welcomed by all.

Brigadier Head

Does the Lord President recall with regard to the Auxiliary and Reserve Forces Bill, that the House had only a week to consider this very long Bill because it was said to be of considerable urgency? Has something arisen to lessen that urgency, or was the House unnecessarily hustled with the Bill?

Mr. Morrison

It was desirable to get the Second Reading of the Bill, and I agree that there was complaint at the time that we had taken the Second Reading rather early. It will be remembered that although that was so, and I admitted it, I did say that there would be a reasonable pause between the Second Reading and Committee Stage which would wipe out the grievance about the early Second Reading. In accord with our usual friendly and obliging character we have met that request.

Sir Ian Fraser

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Bill to amend the Parliament Act will be introduced?

Mr. Morrison

It is being presented today; everything is in order.

Mrs. Leah Manning

In view of the urgent need to recruit women to the nursing profession, is it intended to take the Bill, which has gone through all its stages in another place, early in the next Session?

Mr. Morrison

I think that my hon. Friend may take it that that will be so.

Earl Winterton

In view of the favourable answer which the right hon. Gentleman gave to one of his supporters about an all-party Motion, will he give an equally favourable answer to a Motion down in the name of the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Hastings) and myself on a subject which is very important, and in which this House takes great interest?

[That consideration should be given to an alteration of the law regarding cruelty to children, with a view to the increase of the maximum penalty as well as provision for instruction and assistance for parents or guardians of children where cruelty or indifference arises from ignorance or environment conditions.]

It cannot be discussed on the Adjournment, because it involves legislation. Will he give favourable consideration to that, because there was only a partial Debate the other day, excellent as was the speech of the hon. Lady the Member for North Hendon (Mrs. Ayrton Gould).

Mr. Morrison

I thought that the House covered the ground pretty well and did not even use up all the time available. I am afraid I cannot hold out any likelihood of legislation or a further Debate on this subject.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving facilities for the final stages of the Pet Animals Bill which secured a Committee Stage?

Mr. Morrison

I gather, Sir, that this is one Bill that did not survive.

Sir T. Moore

It did. It got through its Committee Stage fully and now we are only waiting the final stages of Report and Third Reading?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. and gallant Gentleman really should not come this—I am sorry, I nearly said "blarney." If the Bill did not get through, it did not get through—

Sir T. Moore

It did.

Mr. Morrison

If it did not get a Report and Third Reading it did not get through and I am afraid that there it is, poor little thing; it is stuck and dead.

Mrs. Ayrton Gould

May I ask my right hon. Friend to give further consideration to the request of the noble Lord on the subject of the neglected and ill-treated children. May I urge that it is a very important question, in view of the large number of children that are unable to be touched by existing legislation, and also by the fact that the home of the neglected child is recognised to be the breeding ground of juvenile delinquency, which is becoming increasingly the concern both of this House and of the country?

Mr. Morrison

I must confess I find the combination of my hon. Friend and the noble Lord almost irresistible, but I honestly do not see how I can provide facilities for the further discussion which is suggested.

Mr. Granville

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will answer the second part of my question, which was if he could tell the House when it is intended to have the Adjournment Motion, which I understand is the day before the actual Debate on the Adjournment; and if the normal arrangements are to be made and Mr. Speaker empowered to recall the House in the case of an emergency?

Mr. Morrison

I told the House all about this in response to the question of the hon. Member. Unfortunately he was talking to some one next to him at the time and he did not hear. We shall take the Adjournment Motion tomorrow and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we shall give the appropriate assurances on the point he has raised.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

May I ask the Lord President whether it is intended that the House shall rise this Saturday for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Morrison

So far as I know, yes.

Sir Waldron Smithers

May I ask the Leader of the House whether, before we adjourn, he can give us the date of the next General Election?