HC Deb 01 February 1951 vol 483 cc1079-82
Mr. Eden

May I ask the Deputy-Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make on the business for next week?

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

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 5TH FEBRUARY—Completion of the Committee stage of the Leasehold Property (Temporary Provisions) Bill.

TUESDAY, 6TH FEBRUARY—Motion to commit the Alkali, etc., Works Regulation (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Standing Committee; Committee stage of the Livestock Rearing Bill, which we hope to complete by about 8 o'clock. Afterwards, we shall ask the House to take the Committee stage of Supplementary Estimates for the Navy, Army and Air, 1950–51. There are urgent reasons for us to ask the House to pass these Supplementary Estimates and a special Consolidated Fund Bill during the week after next in order to give authority for the issue of the money.

WEDNESDAY, 7TH FEBRUARY—Supply (2nd Allotted Day)—debate on Iron and Steel. Report stage of the Navy, Army and Air Supplementary Estimates, 1950–51.

THURSDAY, 8TH FEBRUARY—Supply (3rd Allotted Day)—debate on the Meat Situation. Motion to approve the draft National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Mariners) Amendment Regulations.

FRIDAY, 9TH FEBRUARY—Consideration of Private Members' Bills.

The debates on Wednesday and Thursday will arise on Amendments to be tabled by the Opposition to the Question, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair"

It may be convenient for me to inform the House that arrangements will be made for debates on foreign affairs and on defence to take place during the week after next.

Mr. Eden

Is it the intention of the Government to suspend the Rule on Monday? We hope that it will not be necessary to sit late; we are prepared to do our best to get the business through. If there is to be a suspension on Monday, I think it will be convenient to know that in advance.

Mr. Ede

I understand that conversations have taken place through the usual channels and it is hoped that a suspension of one hour will be sufficient to enable us to get the Bill through. I hope, in view of what the right hon. Gentleman has said on behalf of Members opposite, that there will be a reciprocal feeling on this side of the House.

Mr. Tom Brown

Can my right hon. Friend say when the legislation dealing with the pre-1924 compensation cases will be submitted?

Mr. Ede

I cannot make any announcement today.

Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

When is it proposed to lay the Order to give effect to the re-organisation of the Ministry of Health?

Mr. Ede

That matter is under consideration, but I cannot give a date at the moment.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

May I ask whether the Supplementary Estimates relating to the Armed Forces, which are to be taken next week, have any relation to the statement that was made by the Prime Minister on Monday? In other words, is the extra expenditure contained in the Supplementary Estimates necessitated to any extent by the new re-armament expenditure referred to in the Prime Minister's statement? May I also ask, in view of the fact that a decision has been taken about the casting of this country's vote at Lake Success and also about re-armament procedure, whether it would not be preferable to take the opinion of the House on both these matters next week rather than the week after?

Mr. Ede

There were some conversations last Thursday on when these two debates should take place. I think it was generally agreed that a fortnight after my right hon. Friend's statement would be an appropriate length of time for the House to give full consideration to the important matters involved. I understand that the Supplementary Estimates relate to money spent this year and not to moneys likely to be spent during the coming year.

Sir Herbert Williams

As we are being asked to get the Supplementary Estimates through in rather a hurry next Tuesday, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when they will be published.

Hon. Members

They have been published.

Mr. Ede

I am surprised that the hon. Member has not found them in the Vote Office, because I am sure that they are there.

Mr. Silverman

I am much obliged to my right hon. Friend for the information he has given. I quite understand that Supplementary Estimates usually relate to money that has already been spent and not to money which is about to be spent; but it sometimes happens that money is spent, especially by the Service Departments, in advance or anticipation of Parliamentary consent, which was why I asked whether effect had already been given in any way to the Prime Minister's statement.

Mr. Eden

Is not this rather an important question? Can we have the position clarified? As I understand it, these Supplementary Estimates relate to decisions taken by the House at an earlier date and not to the Prime Minister's statement.

Mr. Ede

That is the information I have.