HC Deb 09 March 1950 vol 472 cc467-9
Mr. R. A. Butler

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will 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, 13TH MARCH—After consideration of the Opposition Amendment relating to housing, the Debate on the Address will be brought to a conclusion.

TUESDAY, 14TH MARCH—Supply (1st Allotted Day).

Motion to move Mr. Speaker out of the Chair, to which an Amendment will be proposed by the Opposition relating to the Civil Supplementary Estimates.

WEDNESDAY, 15TH MARCH—Supply (2nd Allotted Day).

Committee stage of the Civil Estimates and Estimates for Revenue Departments, Vote on Account, 1950–51;

A Debate will take place on the Control of Engagement Order.

THURSDAY, 16TH MARCH—Supply (3rd Allotted Day).

Report stage of the Civil Vote on Account.

The Opposition have agreed that the business of Supply should be taken formally in order that the usual opportunity may be given for a Debate on the White Paper relating to defence. The Debate will take place on a Government Motion inviting the House to approve the White Paper.

FRIDAY, 17TH MARCH—Second Reading of the Diplomatic Privileges (Extension) Bill and the Post Office and Telegraph (Money) Bill; and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions.

Mr. Butler

As the Opposition have been glad to facilitate the opportunity for a Debate on defence, which is to take place on a Supply Day on Thursday, will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that we have given this day on the understanding that the Government will make good the time to the Opposition later?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, that is the honourable intention of the Government at the moment.

Mr. Fenner Brockway

It was difficult to hear the words of the Lord President. Did I understand him to say that there would be a Division today upon the Address?

Mr. Morrison

I did not actually say so, but I understand that there will be a Division on the Amendment to the Address proposed by the official Opposition.

Mr. Brockway

May I ask, in view of my right hon. Friend's answer, whether in the view of the Government, if this Amendment were carried, it would be regarded as a vote of censure involving the resignation of the Government?

Mr. Morrison

I think that it is the case that an Amendment to the Address is a first-class occasion, and, therefore, clearly everyone must understand that it does involve an issue of confidence so far as the Government are concerned.

Mr. Blackburn

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the answer which he gave to me a little earlier in the year, that he appreciates the fact that this House did not debate last year either the Soviet conquest of China or the development of the atomic bomb by the Soviet Union; and in view of the fact that the Leader of the Opposition chose to make an important statement on this matter to the country and not to the House of Commons, does not my right hon. Friend feel that it is only right and fair that, at the earliest moment, he should give time to a specific Debate on foreign affairs, so that we may find out what is the attitude of the Opposition as well as of people on this side of the House on that matter?

Mr. Morrison

I am sorry, but I am afraid that I have no days to give. It is true, as my hon. Friend says, that the Leader of the Opposition raised this important matter during the election. If, of course, he thinks that it is of importance to follow it up, it would be up to the Leader of the Opposition and his friends to use a Supply Day for that purpose.

Mr. Butler

Perhaps it will be of some consolation to the hon. Gentleman and to the Lord President to be reminded that the Leader of the Opposition has already stated that it is our intention, at an early date, to try to arrange for a Debate on foreign affairs. There will be further, an opportunity, I presume, in the Debate on defence to air some of the matters about which the hon. Gentleman is anxious.

Major Guy Lloyd

Is it not strange that the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) should be uncertain as to whether there is to be a Division tonight at all, and is not that in effect a vote of censure on the Patronage Secretary?