HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1942-4
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, 12TH FEBRUARY—Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund Bill.

Debate on Foreign Affairs, which will take place on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

TUESDAY, 13TH FEBRUARY—committee and remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund Bill.

Consideration of the Lords Amendment to the Festival of Britain (Sunday Opening) Bill.

Third Reading of the Livestock Rearing Bill.

Conclusion of the Committee stages of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, and of the Leasehold Property (Temporary Provisions) Bill.

Consideration of the various draft House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Orders.

WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, 14TH AND 15TH FEBRUARY—Debate on Defence which will take place on a Motion to be tabled by the Government.

FRIDAY, 16TH FEBRUARY—Consideration of Private Members' Motions.

At the end of business on Wednesday we shall ask the House to consider the Motion to approve the Purchase Tax (No. 1) Order (Stationery and Office Requisites).

It is hoped that the House will agree to pass the various stages of the special Consolidated Fund Bill formally on Monday and Tuesday.

Mr. Eden

With regard to the business for Tuesday, the right hon. Gentleman seems to have put down a pretty heavy list. Is it proposed to put down a Motion to suspend? If so, I rather hope that the right hon. Gentleman will limit the suspension to an hour. So far as this side is concerned, we have no particular desire to detain the House.

Mr. Morrison

We shall certainly consider that point. I think on this question of the suspension, and possibly on something else, there will be conversations through the usual channels. We were a little optimistic. I know that the right hon. Gentleman did his best the other night on the Leasehold Bill with the one hour's suspension, but we did not succeed in getting through. I am not allocating the blame between one side of the House and the other; I am perfectly impartial on this matter. It is disappointing, however, and if I am a little cautious the right hon. Gentleman will follow me.

Mr. Eden

May I ask one other question? It is on the business for Wednesday and Thursday. It may be that the Leader of the House will consider suspending the rule on Wednesday to give an extra hour. I understand that there are a large number of people who wish to speak. May I also ask him when we shall have the terms of the Government's Motion which he tells us is to be tabled?

Mr. Morrison

With regard to a suspension on Wednesday, I think that that, too, had better be discussed through the usual channels. There might be a slight relationship between the two which is not obvious on the surface but will be understood by the usual channels. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] What are usual channels for if not for negotiations? The Motion on defence which it is proposed to put down is in the following terms: That this House approves the policy of His Majesty's Government relating to defence contained in Command Paper No. 8146.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

As the Iron and Steel Bill does not come into operation until 15th February, is there not time for the Leader of the Opposition to put down another Vote of Censure?

Major Guy Lloyd

In view of the frightful issues involved in foreign affairs at the present juncture, does the Lord President think that he will satisfy the opinion of the House when only one day is to be given to these vital matters? May I ask him to consider the feelings of many hon. Members, I am sure on both sides of the House, that, in view of the importance of the whole issue of foreign affairs at the present juncture, we should be allowed two days to debate it?

Mr. Morrison

We have done our best, after discussions through the usual channels, to meet the general wish of the House. It must be remembered that, although the later two days are on defence, it is almost inevitable that certain aspects of foreign affairs will come into it. I think we have done pretty well in all the circumstances.