HC Deb 13 July 1950 vol 477 cc1551-6
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:

MONDAY, 17TH JULY—Supply (22nd allotted Day). Committee: Debate on Education in England and Wales.

Committee and remaining stages of the London Government Bill.

Report and Third Reading of the Allotments Bill.

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

TUESDAY, 18TH JULY—Supply (23rd allotted Day), Committee: Debate on the Overseas Food Corporation.

Consideration of Motions to approve the Draft Civil Defence Police Training Regulations and similar Regulations for Scotland.

WEDNESDAY, 19TH JULY—Supply (24th allotted Day), Committee: The subject for debate will be announced later.

Second Reading of the Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

Consideration of Motions relating to the Draft Immunities and Privileges of the Council of Europe Order; the Universal Postal Union Order; and the Transport Controlled Bodies (Compensation to Employees) Regulations.

THURSDAY, 20TH JULY—Supply (25th allotted Day), Committee: Debate on Education in Scotland.

At 9.30 p.m. the Committee stage of all outstanding Votes will be put from the Chair.

Consideration of Motions to approve the Draft Tomato and Cucumber Marketing Scheme; the Agriculture Act (Wool) Order; the Draft British Wool Marketing Scheme; and the Draft Milk Marketing Scheme Orders relating to Banff and Moray and Orkney.

FRIDAY, 21sT JULY—Committee and remaining stages of the Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

Second Reading of the Public Utilities Street Works Bill [Lords] and Committee stage of the necessary Money resolution.

Further progress will be made with the Medical Bill [Lords].

It may be convenient for me to inform the House that, if all necessary Business has been obtained, it is proposed to Adjourn on Friday, 28th July, for the Summer Recess and meet again on Tuesday, 17th October. The House will realise that this is a provisional statement of the Government's proposals. I will, of course, make a further statement next week.

Mr. Eden

With regard to the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's announcement, it is, of course, understood that, as we are only adjourning, the House could be recalled at once, at short notice, should any occasion arise. It is desirable that that should be known to the public.

Mr. Morrison

Certainly. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, there is a Standing Order that enables the House to be recalled and, of course, if it is proved necessary in the public interest, the Government would be willing to consider representations on that matter.

Mr. Eden

I have one question about the Business for next week. Last night the Minister of State told us of the Government's hope to publish the Report of the Colonial Development Corporation so that we might perhaps have a Debate if we wished—and no doubt the House would like to have one—before we rise. Can the Leader of the House tell us what is the position and when that Report will be available? I understood that his right hon. Friend told us last night it would definitely be available in time for a Debate.

Mr. Morrison

I must confess that did not know about this, but I will make immediate inquiries and see what can be done.

Mr. Ellis Smith

If I am correct in understanding my right hon. Friend, he said that the Business for Wednesday would be announced later. In view of the increasing tendency for this kind of thing to take place, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he thinks it is fair to the House, is it in accordance with Parliamentary practice, and can he explain to the House why it should occur?

Mr. Morrison

I appreciate the point made by my hon. Friend. It is desirable that hon. Members should know on Thursday what Business is coming, but this is in the hands of the Opposition and I gather that they have a little further consideration to give to it. That is why I am not in a position to announce it. I am very sorry; I am prepared to do so, but in the circumstances I cannot.

Mr. Eden

We regret if any inconvenience is caused. We will give that information by tomorrow. The House will realise that in the closing stages of the Session, when many important matters have to be fitted in, in an international situation of some delicacy, we have to choose with some care how we allot our remaining days. I am sorry.

Sir Ian Fraser

In view of the Conference of the British Medical Association at Southport this week-end, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he can give a day or half-a-day for discussion of a Motion which stands in my name and in the name of others asking for the small hospital in the small town to be preserved for the use of the local people?

[That, in view of the service to the public which is rendered by small hospitals and parts of hospitals in which general practitioners are able to continue to care for their own patients suffering from conditions which are within the general practitioner's scope, this House is deeply concerned at the reduction and proposed reductions in the number of such general practitioner beds and calls upon the Minister of Health to secure the maintenance and where possible an increase in the number of such beds.]

Mr. Morrison

I am afraid not, Sir.

Mrs. Castle

Can my right hon. Friend tell us when we are likely to get the remaining two days of the three days which he informed us would be devoted in this Session to the discussion of the nationalised industries?

Mr. Morrison

I hope there will be a second day in that respect the week after next and I think—but I cannot be sure that the third day will be during the week in which we come back, before the new Session begins.

Earl Winterton

is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of us in all parts of the House, irrespective of party, would be deeply concerned if this House adjourned without a discussion on defence, in view of the situation? Will he give further consideration to the point which was put to him last week by the Leader of the Opposition?

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Whilst I recognise that there is not much time before the Recess, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he can see any possibility of finding time for discussion of a Motion in favour of a Royal Commission on marriage laws which has been signed by rather more than 100 Members on all sides of the House? If it cannot be before the Recess, can he hold out any hope of finding time for it when the House reassembles?

[That this House requests His Majesty's Government to recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission to investigate and report upon the present state of the marriage laws, and to make recommendations.]

Mr. Morrison

I do not see any prospect of that. I know my hon. Friend is bursting to get into trouble. I am not.

Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre

Can the right hon. Gentleman find time for a Debate on the European Payments Union before the Summer Recess, particularly as the granting of open licences may have a very considerable effect on British agriculture?

Mr. Morrison

I do not very well see that the Government can. I cannot be sure what may come up on Supply, but we are working within restricted limits and I doubt whether I can give a firm undertaking about it.

Mr. Janner

In view of the fact that the Recess is likely to be a long one and that it is very imminent, and in view of the fact that there are so many hundreds and thousands of people affected by the situation relating to leasehold at the present time, will my right hon. Friend consider whether he cannot give some time before we actually proceed to the Recess to deal with a Motion down in the name of over 120 hon. Members, including myself, in order that we might at least have a moratorium in this matter, if nothing else?

[That this House whilst welcoming the Government's announcement of intended legislation dealing with leasehold reform, is of the opinion that pending the introduction of comprehensive legislation immediate steps should be taken to effect a moratorium on all leases now falling in.]

Mr. Morrison

I promise my hon. Friend that this is not going to be forgotten, but I am not sure that there is much point in having a Debate until we have had time to clarify our minds, a process upon which His Majesty's Government are quite properly busily engaged. I think my hon. Friend had better leave it there and let us hope that something will come along.

Mr. Snadden

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we are to get the promised legislation on salmon poaching and illegal fishing in Scotland?

Mr. Morrison

Not this side of the Summer Recess.

Mr. Donnelly

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the extreme urgency of the point made by my hon Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Mr. Janner)?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir; most certainly.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

In view of the very long Recess which has been announced and the extreme urgency of this matter of salmon poaching in Scotland, would the right hon. Gentleman consider reducing the holiday in order that this vital legislation could be introduced?

Mr. Morrison

It is not a holiday. It is ridiculous to call it a holiday. It should not be so described. The hon. and gallant Gentleman must not let the House of Commons down in that way. It is a Recess in which hon. Members must succour themselves, and contact their constituents, and so on. It is not an abnormal Recess at all. It is not excessive in the least, and nobody would be more disappointed than the hon. and gallant Member if I were to bring the House back a month earlier than necessary.