HC Deb 05 July 1951 vol 489 cc2497-500
Mr. Eden

May I ask the Leader of the House if he can tell us 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, 9TH JULY—Report of the Resolution relating to Gifts to Australia and New Zealand;

Report and Third Reading of the Telephone Bill;

Consideration of Motions for Addresses relating to Double Taxation Relief (Burma) Order; and Shops Act, 1950;

Report and Third Reading of the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill.

TUESDAY, 10TH JULY—Report and Third Reading of the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Bill;

Consideration of Motion to approve the Draft National Assistant (Determination of Need) Amendment Regulations.

WEDNESDAY, 11TH JULY—Supply (19th Allotted Day); Committee.

It was proposed to have a debate until 7 p.m. on Government policy on rifles for the Army. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence will be making a statement on this matter tomorrow, and I understand that negotiations are taking place through the usual channels as to whether, after that statement has been made, it will be desirable to proceed with this subject next week.

After 7 p.m., a debate on arrears of payments to chemists under the National Health Service.

THURSDAY, 12TH JULY—Supply (20th Allotted Day); Committee;

Debate on Scottish Agriculture.

FRIDAY, 13TH JULY—Committee stage of Navy, Army and Air Expenditure,1949–50;

Second Reading of the Tithe Act (Amendment) Bill [Lords]; and Rag Flock and Other Filling Materials Bill [Lords]; and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions.

Mr. Churchill

As at present advised, I cannot see what harm a debate on Wednesday on the policy in regard to the new rifles would have upon any further discussions that may be taking place upon them. At the same time, I think that if that statement is put forward by the Minister of Defence and if that request is made, it is one which we ought to consider, and perhaps, as suggested by the Leader of the House, we may discuss it through the usual channels after the statement has been made public tomorrow. We certainly have got to discuss this matter before Parliament separates.

Mr. Ede

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will feel that there is no desire indefinitely to postpone this matter, but it might be as well, if it does no harm, perhaps on occasions to try to have a debate that would do some good.

Mr. John Hynd

In view of the fact that to the best of my recollection the last time the House had an opportunity of discussing the foreign affairs in general was in January last, and having in mind the very serious happenings since then, will the Government try to find time, if not next week, as early as possible before the Recess. to have a debate on that subject?

Mr. Ede

Yes, Sir. I understand that discussions have taken place through the usual channels with regard to a debate on foreign affairs and that time is being found for it.

Sir Herbert Williams

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Indemnity Bill in connection with Statutory Instrument No. 413 will be introduced and when it will be debated on Second Reading?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir.

Sir H. Williams

It was promised before the end of June, but it has not yet been published.

Mr. Emrys Roberts

Can the Leader of the House say whether a day is to be set aside for the discussion of the Beveridge Report on the B. B. C. and when the Government will announce their decision on that Report?

Mr. Ede

Both those things will be announced shortly and a debate will take place before the Recess.

Mr. Nally

My right hon. Friend will, perhaps, recall that he was kind enough three or four weeks ago to say that he would bear in mind the desirability or possibility of having a general debate on the cost of living. In view of the fact that since he was kind enough to say that, there have been several quite serious announcements that have been made by various Departments, all increasing the cost of living, I wonder whether he could give us some indication as to whether it is the intention of the Government to provide time for such a debate in the very near future?

Mr. Ede

It is a subject that I have in mind, but I do not think that at this stage I can say anything beyond what I said before.

Mr. Gammans

Would the Leader of the House say whether, before the House rises for the Recess, the Government propose to give time to discuss the Colombo Plan? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since that Plan first came out there has been no discussion in the House on ii in any shape of form?

Mr. Ede

I could not promise to find time for it in Government time.

Sir Ian Fraser

Has the Leader of the House seen a notice of Motion in the names of Members of all parties deploring the reduction of railway facilities, especially to seaside resorts, and could he indicate that any opportunity of discussing this matter in the House might arise before this season has passed?

Mr. Ede

I am afraid not.

Sir I. Fraser

Then will the right hon. Gentleman tell the Minister of Transport to do something about it, as we cannot ask Questions on the subject?

Mr. C. S. Taylor

If we have a debate on the rising cost of living, can we be assured that action will not be taken similar to that on 8th March during the debates on the Prayers which dealt with the rising cost of living, and that Members on the Government side will not walk out?