HC Deb 26 July 1951 vol 491 cc643-8
Mr. Churchill

May I ask the Leader of the House if he has any statement to make on business between now and the end of the Session?

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

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

MONDAY, 30TH JULY—Supply (26th Allotted Day): Report.

Debate on the Middle East.

At 9.30 p.m. the Report stage of all outstanding Votes will be put from the Chair.

Consideration of Lords Amendments which are expected to be received to the:

Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Bill.

Mineral Workings Bill.

Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Bill.

Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill.

TUESDAY, 31ST JULY—Second Reading, Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

Debate on Transport.

Consideration of the Motion to approve the Draft Herring Industry Scheme, 1951.

WEDNESDAY, 1ST AUGUST—Committee and remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

Debate on Equipment for the Royal Air Force until 7 p.m.

Afterwards, debate on the New Valuation Lists.

During the week we shall ask the House to consider any outstanding business, including any further Amendments to Bills which may be received from another place. If all necessary business has been disposed of, it is hoped to adjourn for the Summer Recess on Thursday, 2nd August, and meet again on Tuesday, 16th October.

On Thursday, 2nd August, it is proposed to meet at 11 a.m. and Questions will be taken until 12 noon.

Mr. Churchill

I observe that it is intended to adjourn for the Summer Recess on Thursday, 2nd August. As we are to separate for a long period, I take it that the Government will be prepared, on representations being made to them from responsible Parliamentary quarters, to ask Mr. Speaker to summon the House before 16th October should special circumstances demand it. Naturally, we all hope that such special circumstances will not arise.

Mr. Ede

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, there is now a Standing Order which operates throughout the Recess. Should it be necessary to recall the House that will be done.

Mr. Clement Davies

With regard to business for next week, may I ask if the right hon. Gentleman realises that there is still a considerable amount of dissatisfaction at the treatment that has been meted out to Tshekedi Khama—dissatisfaction which has been expressed' by hon. Members behind him as well as by other hon. Members? Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that when I asked for a debate upon this matter, Mr. Speaker, in refusing my request, reminded me rightly that there would be an opportunity on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill? Would it not be possible for this matter to be raised on Tuesday, or must the whole time be devoted to the question of transport?

Mr. Ede

The Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill is exempted business, and it is possible to have a second matter raised after the first has been disposed of if hon. Members catch Mr. Speaker's eye. It is also possible, of course, for it to be raised on the Adjournment on Thursday.

Mr. C. S. Taylor

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider giving a limited time, say half an hour or an hour, if possible, to debate the Motion in the name of my hon. Friends and myself about the Dean of Canterbury?

[That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Letters Patent granted to Dr. Hewlett Johnson appointing him Dean of Canterbury be revoked on the grounds that he has been guilty of preaching subversive and heretical doctrines.]

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. I do not think that so controversial a subject could be discussed in half an hour.

Mr. H. Hynd

In view of what happened last night, is the House to get an opportunity to continue the debate on the case of Mr. Barkley?

Mr. Ede

It is possible for that matter to be raised again.

Mr. Hynd


Earl Winterton

In view of the fact that there can only be one Report of a Select Committee like the Committee of Privileges, and technically not a minority Re- port as in the case of a Royal Commission, and as there was, in fact, a minority report in the case of Lady Mellor, in the shape of an Amendment which was moved by myself and which was defeated by only one vote, will the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the important principle, as I claim, enshrined in the Amendment, in fairness to the lady concerned, provide an opportunity for a discussion of this matter in the House?

Mr. Ede

Yes, Sir. I hope that it may be possible during the week to arrange for a debate on that Report from the Select Committee. There is also, of course, another matter which has been referred to the Select Committee, on the complaint of my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Mr. J. Lewis). I did not myself attend the Committee on that business because it might have been thought improper for me, as Home Secretary, to take part in the discussions in the Committee since certain matters relating to the Metropolitan Police may have been involved. I do not know whether a Report has yet been agreed on by that Committee, but if that becomes available in time—and I hope that every effort will be made through the Stationery Office to get it ready in time—I would also hope that the House might have an opportunity of considering that during the coming week.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Accrington (Mr. H. Hynd), the Leader of the House said that it will be possible for the question of the Motion in the Home Secretary's name relating to Mr. Barkley to be raised again. Could my right hon. Friend tell the House who will be able to raise that Motion, when it will be possible to do so, and whether he will assure the House that if it is raised he will allow the discussion to continue?

Mr. Ede

That particular Motion, as a matter of fact, is inapt because, being moved early in the morning, it alluded to "this day" when quite clearly, in normal circumstances, it should allude to some other day. Of course, if there is a general wish that that should be considered I shall have to try to find time for it.

Mr. Clement Davies

It may be a matter of convenience to the Leader of the House to know that the Committee of Privileges has agreed upon their Report. [HON. MEMBERS: "Most improper."] I thought it might be convenient to the right hon. Gentleman to know that that has happened and that the Report is in the hands of the printers. It may help on business.

Mr. Ede

It is a very great help and it is to my convenience. I hope that the printers will be able to present it in time for us to discuss the matter.

Mr. Frank McLeavy

Will the Leader of the House find time at any early date for us to debate the Motion standing in the name of myself and other Members of the House?

[That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying that he will be graciously pleased to direct that the powers and functions of the Lord Great Chamberlain and other functionaries in so far as they relate to the administration, management and staffing of the Palace of Westminster be transferred to and in future exercised by a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament.]

Mr. Ede

It will not be possible to have that matter debated this side of the Recess.

Brigadier Head

In view of the recent statement by the Minister of Defence that he was about to publish a White Paper on Service pensions, can the Leader of the House say whether that White Paper will be available to the House before the Adjournment?

Mr. Ede

I cannot answer that question, but I will make inquiries of my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Pannell

May I ask whether the Government contemplate bringing in any legislation at an early date to amend the House of Commons (Offices) Act, 1812, by a more modern form of legislation which will guarantee the rights of the lower paid staff to have trade union representation, and put an end to patronage?

Mr. Ede

There is no intention of introducing legislation on that matter during the current Session.

Mr. Peter Thorneycroft

Reverting to the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion that Tuesday's debate on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill might in some way form a mixture of Tshekedi Khama and the Transport Commission, might I remind him that we only get one day a year for debating transport? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] There is only one day a year which can be devoted to transport. It would really be extremely difficult to mix it with any other subject.

Mr. Ede

I think the hon. Gentleman did not quite follow the suggestion that I made. On occasions the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill discussions cover more than one subject, but they are not mixed. As I understand it, by some process of divination Mr. Speaker knows which Members want to talk on the first subject, and they talk. When that has been disposed of, Mr. Speaker seems to End people who wish to talk on the second subject. I would point out that there is no limit to the time on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill. It is exempted business, and, generally, when such a situation as I have described arises there is an arrangement between Members who wish to participate as to the time to be allotted.

Mr. Churchill

I trust that there is no danger of these other topics which may be introduced getting in the way of the Motion to approve the Draft Herring Industry Scheme?

Mr. Ede

I should like to reassure the right hon. Gentleman, and also the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Mr. Boothby), that we will see that that matter gets its proper consideration.

Mr. Boothby

I am much obliged.

Sir Herbert Williams

I should like to put partly to you, Mr. Speaker, and partly to the Leader of the House a question relating to the mechanism of calling Parliament together in the event of an emergency. My mind goes back to 24th August, 1939, when Mr. Speaker at that time, on representations from the Government, published a notice in the "London Gazette," although, in fact, we were recalled by an announcement on the B.B.C. If an emergency does arise, the mechanism to be adopted in order that Parliament may re-assemble is of importance to every hon. Member. The notice on that occasion went out at 11 o'clock in the morning, and at 2.45 p.m. 400 Members came here, which was a very remarkable achievement. I think we ought to be told—because this is a rather difficult year—what steps would be taken—what mechanical steps—to ensure that hon. Members are aware of the fact that an emergency Session of Parliament has been called?

Mr. Ede

As the hon. Gentleman said, this is, I believe, a matter for Mr. Speaker and it appears to have worked very well on the occasion to which he alluded. I have no doubt that every modern means of getting in touch with Members would be used.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of the uncontroversial nature of the matter, could the Leader of the House not give further consideration to giving time to the Motion by six hon. Members opposite for the dismissal of the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Hon. Members

The Dean of Canterbury.