HC Deb 26 April 1951 vol 487 cc573-5
Mr. Eden

May I ask the Leader of the House to tell us the business for next week?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 30TH APRIL—Second Reading of the Coal Industry Bill, and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Report and Third Reading of the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Bill.

TUESDAY, 1ST MAY—Supply (14th Allotted Day), Committee.

Debate on raw materials.

WEDNESDAY, 2ND MAY—Committee stage of the National Health Service Bill.

THURSDAY, 3RD MAY—Second Reading of the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Bill, and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

FRIDAY, 4TH MAY—Consideration of Private Members' Bills.

Mr. Eden

As regards Tuesday's business, we should like to table a Motion. I hope it will be ageeable for us to take Supply formally, as we have done on other occasions, and allow a debate to take place on the Motion.

Mr. Ede

It is an Opposition day and we are quite willing that it should be arranged to suit their convenience.

Mr. H. Hynd

With regard to Friday, as the Leader of the House will be aware that all hon. Members have been invited to participate in the Royal Opening of the South Bank Exhibition on that date, has he considered adjourning the sitting of the House for that occasion and providing another day for Private Members' Bills?

Mr. Ede

We had some conversations about that but we understood that there were a large number of hon. Members who would have objected to that course being followed.

Mr. Duncan Sandys

Can the Leader of the House say when the Government will take the Bill to indemnify them for the overspending of Festival Gardens Ltd.? Would it not be desirable to get this matter over before the official opening of the Exhibition?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. I do not think it would be a very good thing to take it in the week when the opening takes place.

Mr. George Thomas

Will the Leader of the House indicate when the Government hope to fortify themselves and their consultations with the Dominions on the question of the Far East ex-prisoners of war by allowing the House to debate the matter and give its opinion?

Mr. Ede

The consultations are going on and we understand that a Supply Day will be allocated to the subject. We are quite willing to have conversations now about when that should be.

Mr. Eden

To revert to the question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys), the right hon. Gentleman said that he did not want to take the Bill next week, but can he give any indication when the Bill will be taken? It has been put off now week by week, and it is not a satisfactory position that this money should be spent without the authority of the House.

Mr. Ede

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Works informs me that he is expecting the report to which we have previously alluded any day now and we should hope to take the Bill as soon after that as possible.

Mr. Blackburn

With reference to the Motion that the late right hon. Ernest Bevin be buried in Westminster Abbey, may I ask my right hon. Friend if he will take the sense of the House through the main political parties in order to discover whether, in view of the great services of the right hon. Gentleman not only to this country but to all humanity, it would be right that he should be buried in Westminster Abbey? Would it not be a good thing for the trade union movement to have for the first time a representative accorded the great national honour of being buried in Westminster Abbey?

Mr. Ede

This is a very delicate matter and I do not think it can usefully be discussed here. After all, the wishes of the family have to be considered.

Air Commodore Harvey

Reverting to the Festival of Britain, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the opening in 1851 the House adjourned for two hours?

Mr. Ede

As far as my hon. Friends are concerned, we are quite willing to reach any accommodation which is suggested to enable a substantial number of hon. Members who wish to attend to go there.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Can the Leader of the House give us any idea when we can anticipate having a debate on the Beveridge Committee Report on the B.B.C.?

Mr. Ede

I am afraid that it will not be just yet.

Mr. Grimond

Arising out of the question by the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), will the Leader of the House bear in mind that the claim of the Far Eastern ex-prisoners-of-war is becoming more and more urgent and perhaps particularly urgent in view of the consultations with the Dominions on the matter?

Mr. Ede

The conversations are being carried on and I have intimated that if a day can be found we shall be ready to have it discussed.

Professor Savory

Is the right hon. Gentleman in a position to state the date of the Whitsuntide Recess in view of the necessity for booking cabins and seats in aeroplanes?

Mr. Ede

I hope to be able to make an announcement on that very shortly