HC Deb 06 July 1950 vol 477 cc641-6
Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Lord President of the Council whether he has any statement to make on Business?

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

Before announcing the Business for next week, I wish to refer to the Business for Tomorrow (Friday):

Before the Debate on the Reports from the Kitchen Committee, we shall ask the House to take the Second Reading of the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Bill, which has come from another place. This is a consolidation Measure which has been examined by the Joint Select Committee on Consolidation Bills. There is some urgency for us to proceed with this Bill because it will be necessary to bring before the House for approval a draft Order in Council to give effect to the provisions of a general agreement on the privileges and immunities of the Council of Europe, which I think the House will agree it is more convenient to make under the provisions of the Consolidation Act than under existing Acts.

The Business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 10TH JULY—Third Reading of the Finance Bill until about 8.30 p.m.;

Committee stage of the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Bill;

Third Reading of the Cinematograph Films Production (Special Loans) Bill;

Committee and remaining stages of the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) Bill [Lords];

Committee stage of the Navy, Army and Air Expenditure, 1948–49.

TUESDAY, 11TH JULY—Supply (20th allotted Day), Committee: Debate on Education;

Consideration of the Motion to approve the draft Census Order.

WEDNESDAY, 12TH JULY—Supply (21st allotted Day), Committee: Debate on Colonial Affairs;

Consideration of Motions to approve the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment Order, and the Seasonal Workers Regulations.

THURSDAY, 13TH JULY—Debate on the Report and Accounts of the National Coal Board for 1949;

Committee and remaining stages of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill;

Consideration of Motions to approve the Draft Census of Distribution Order, and the Fertilisers (Charges) Order.

FRIDAY, 14TH JULY—Report and Third Reading of the Maintenance Orders Bill [Lords];

Committee and remaining stages of the Colonial and Other Territories (Divorce Jurisdiction) Bill [Lords];

Remaining stages of the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Bill;

Second Reading of the London Government Bill;

Committee stage of the Medical Bill [Lords];

On Wednesday, at the beginning of Business, a Motion will be proposed to refer the Allotments (Scotland) Bill, which is expected to be received from another place today, to the Scottish Grand Committee for Second Reading.

Mr. Churchill

In view of the incident which has taken place during Question Time today, it may be necessary that further discussion should take place through the usual channels as to whether the Debate on education should have first priority in the Supply discussion, set down for Tuesday, 11th July.

Mr. Janner

Now that, at long last, the Report has been received from the Leasehold Committee, can my right hon. Friend give an indication when we are likely to have some kind of legislation on that subject?

Mr. Morrison

Not at the moment, Sir. The Report is naturally engaging the urgent and careful attention of the Government, but I am not in a position to say when the legislation will be introduced.

Colonel Clarke

When is there likely to be an opportunity of debating the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Population?

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid I do not know, Sir.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

When are we likely to have time given for the discussion of salmon poaching in Scotland?

Mr. Morrison

I understand that this matter is engaging the attention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, but I am not in a position to say what the outcome of that consideration will be.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there will be no salmon left if we do not hurry up?

Mr. Morrison

I am fully aware that these capitalist depredations are going on.

Mr. Joynson-Hicks

In view of the fact that the Lord President is hardly able to find sufficient work for the House to do next Monday, is that an indication that the House will rise in the following week. or will he give us some indication?

Sir Herbert Williams

In view of the announcement that on Wednesday we are to take the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Order, and as, to my knowledge, that Order was moved last night and carried, but is not recorded in the Votes and Proceedings owing to the disorder at the time when hon. Members were leaving the Chamber, may I ask that there should be a pause of two or three minutes upon occasions when a Division has taken place on Government Business, so that the resumption of Business is not interfered with by the congestion of the Chamber and the approaches to the Chamber?

Mr. Speaker

I see no reason for that. It is the duty of hon. Members to be here. Yesterday, I find on inquiry, they had ample opportunity. Mr. Deputy-Speaker looked round and called the names one after the other, and the hon. Members were not present. Well, that is their fault. After all, when they know that the Lord President, say, is winding up the Debate, it is up to hon. Members concerned to be here and to be quite certain that they are here at the end. We sat here for five years in the last Parliament and we never had any difficulty whatever.

Sir H. Williams

May I with great deference, suggest that those who sit in the Chair cannot be acquainted with the appalling congestion which takes place in the narrow entrances. Are you aware, Mr. Speaker, that two hon. Members were within the precincts but were not in a position to get to the Chamber because of the congestion They could not actually get to their seats because a Division had been anticipated and, because they wanted to be available for the Business which immediately followed, they had proceeded to the Lobbies in order to get out quickly? [Interruption.] I am not quite certain why this should meet with such disapprobation from hon. Members opposite. Surely it is the duty of this House to conduct itself in such a way that Business can be transacted, and as last night, to my knowledge, the Minister of National Insurance moved a Motion and the Motion was put from the Chair and carried and does not appear in the Votes and Proceedings, surely that is a clear indication that the present arrangements are unsatisfactory?

Mr. Speaker

I am afraid that I do not agree with the hon. Member. We all know that there is great difficulty behind the Chair in getting into the House, but we have had that all this Parliament anyhow and hon. Members must make their own arrangements. As regards the last statement, I regret that it was not noticed that there was a Motion before the House,"That this House do now adjourn." That Motion had been moved and any further proceedings which might have taken place afterwards are out of order. They could not take place, and, therefore, nothing was carried because it was out of order.

Sir H. Williams

Further to that point, Mr. Speaker, for excellent reasons you were not present last night, but to my knowledge a Motion was proposed by the Minister of National Insurance before the Motion"That this House do now adjourn" was moved. [HON. MEMBERS:"No."] Certainly it was.

Mr. Speaker

It may be, but it was highly irregular. It certainly was not carried because there was another Motion before the House, namely,"That this House do now adjourn."

Sir H. Williams

The Motion"That this House do now adjourn" had not been moved. [HON. MEMBERS:"Yes."] I was one of the few hon. Members in this House who at that time appeared to be conscious, and I observed the whole proceedings. When there was a pause from the Chair it was actually on my suggestion that the Minister moved his Motion.

Mr. Speaker

I am assured that the Motion for the Adjournment of the House was moved by one of the Whips on the Government Front Bench.

Mr. Niall Macpherson

Is not the mere fact that, despite the natural courtesy of hon. Members in this House, the Minister of National Insurance had great difficulty in getting to the Box at all and in moving the Motion, which she did move—there is no question that she did move it—an indication that that moment was not a suitable moment at all to transact the Business of this House?

Mr. Speaker

It was not a moment when we could transact Business because the Question before the House was"That this House do now adjourn." That really was the Question. If anything happened, I admit that it was not regular, but it cannot be said—unless hon. Members would like to take that Motion without any discussion—that the Motion was carried.

Sir H. Williams

With great respect, Mr. Speaker, you were absent and I was present, and I should like to assure you that the Motion was moved before the Motion for the Adjournment. [HON. MEMBERS:"No."] As the majority of the hon. Members who are interrupting were not present in the Chamber I do not take much notice of their interruption.

Mr. Speaker

I was not present, but I am assured that the Adjournment Motion was moved before the other. I think we must leave it at that because we cannot settle it.