HC Deb 14 June 1951 vol 488 cc2519-23
Mr. Eden

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

Mr. Ede

Discussions have taken place in regard to the progress in Committee on the Finance Bill and the Government are prepared, in the general interests of the House, to afford more time for the Committee stage of the Bill on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

The Finance Bill, as the House is aware, must receive the Royal Assent by 5th August and leave this House not later than the early days of July. The Committee stage has yet to be completed, and an interval must be allowed before proceeding with the Report stage and then the Third Reading.

If the arrangement which we propose is generally accepted in all parts of the House we hope that the Committee stage of the Finance Bill will be concluded on Tuesday night, without unduly late Sittings tonight, on Monday and Tuesday.

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 18TH JUNE—Third Reading of the Coal Industry Bill; and Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

TUESDAY, 19TH JUNE—Conclusion of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 20TH JUNE—Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Leasehold Property (Temporary Provisions) Bill; Second Reading of the Telephone Bill; and consideration of the draft Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Dental Goods) Order.

THURSDAY, 21ST JUNE—Second Reading of the Ministry of Materials Bill, which will be presented tomorrow, Friday, and also made available tomorrow (it is also proposed to publish an explanatory White Paper for the convenience of the House); Second Reading of the Rural Water Supplies and Sewerage Bill; and Committee stage of Money Resolutions for both Bills.

FRIDAY, 22ND JUNE—Consideration of Private Members' Bills.

Mr. Clement Davies

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that last week I asked him whether he would consider affording time, as soon as possible, for the consideration of a Motion standing in my name and that of my hon. Friends relating to the banishment of Tshekedi Khama, and asking that the order should be rescinded, or, at any rate, that there should be an impartial inquiry? Has he any further statement to make about that?

Mr. Ede

The right hon. and learned Gentleman will realise that since then we have been very largely engaged in discussions on the Finance Bill and consideration as to its future. I have still got the matter in mind, and perhaps the right hon. and learned Gentleman would renew his question next week.

Mr. Eden

Meanwhile, would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that, although we have put no Motion down, it is a matter many aspects of which we consider ought to be examined by the House as a whole, and we should be grateful if the Government could find time to enable some discussion to take place before too long.

Mr. Ede

Is the right hon. Gentleman alluding to the matter referred to by the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies)?

Mr. Eden


Mr. Ede

I will bear that in mind.

Mr. Thurtle

Does my right hon. Friend assume from the silence of the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) and his supporters that they accept the time-table he has laid down for the Finance Bill?

Mr. Ede

Some questions and answers took place on this matter yesterday, and what happened yesterday gave one reasonable grounds for continuing to hope. I do not think that I can be expected to say more than that at the moment.

Mr. Eden

Perhaps I might just say that the condition of the patient is as well as can be expected.

Mr. C. Davies

The right hon. Gentleman will have observed that there is another Motion standing in my name and that of my hon. Friends asking that a Select Committee be appointed to consider Standing Order No. 31. He will also have observed that in that Motion there is no reflection whatsoever, either implied or expressed, about any decision that has been made from the Chair. It merely asks that a Select Committee be appointed to consider Standing Order No. 31, to see whether any changes are needed and to report to the House.

Mr. Ede

There is also on the Order Paper another Motion in the names of certain other hon. Gentlemen, which I think can be taken as a Motion of censure on the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Chairman of Ways and Means.

[That this House views with concern the decision of the Chairman of Ways and Means so to exercise his powers of selection as to exclude Amendments to Clause 1 of the Finance Bill, which would have permitted the House to debate and pronounce upon specific burdens imposed upon individuals and industries.]

Personally, I should be reluctant to proceed with the general issue until that matter has been disposed of.

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving time for consideration of the Treasury Minute which, I understand, will be laid today. It was announced yesterday by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in reply to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Sir W. Darling), to the effect that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has authorised an increase under the Currency and Bank Notes Act of £50 million in currency issue which, when reflected in bank credits, will mean an expansion of £500 million of the credit basis of this country. As the apparent policy of His Majesty's Government is to stop inflation, and as this is the biggest piece of inflation that has happened for a long time—

Mr. Speaker

What has this to do with the business for next week? I cannot see what it has to do with it. It seems to be an argument.

Sir H. Williams

The Treasury Minute has not yet been published, Sir. It should have been presented forthwith to the House, but there has been two days' delay. There has been only a Written answer and most hon. Members will not be familiar with the point I am raising, and that is why I have indulged in this explanation. Will the right hon. Gentleman provide an opportunity to discuss this vital matter of inflation, which is affecting the whole of the people of Britain?

Mr. Ede

I understand that this matter was discussed in the Budget debate.

Sir H. Williams

No. The Minute was only signed on Tuesday.

Mr. Ede

I am told that this is consequential on something that was said during the Budget debate. The hon. Gentleman will not expect me to answer straight away on the question of finding time for it, but when I see the Minute I will take it into consideration.

Mr. Daines

Can my right hon. Friend so arrange the business of the House that hon. Members who rely on their Parliamentary salary can go outside and buy food at reasonable prices?

Mr. R. S. Hudson

The right hon. Gentleman announced that the last business on Wednesday would be consideration of the Draft Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Dental Goods) Order. I assume that steps will be taken to see that the promised White Paper is published early next week so that we shall have a chance of reading it before this Order is taken, otherwise I do not think it would be quite fair to the House.

Mr. Ede

I understand that every effort is being made to get this White Paper published. It will be published not later than Tuesday.

Mr. Geoffrey Wilson

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the Motion standing in my name and that of 74 of my hon. Friends relating to the withdrawal of the summer train services? Will any time be given at an early date for discussion of that Motion? There is also another Motion signed by hon. Members on both sides of the House in somewhat similar terms.

Mr. Ede

I understand that there are still some 10 Supply Days left, and I should have thought that that was a matter that might very well be discussed on one of those.

Sir Ian Fraser

In view of the fact that the Committee stage of the Finance Bill is running into next week, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he expects that the Report stage and Third Reading will be taken in the week commencing 25th June, as would have been previously expected, or a week later?

Mr. Ede

I think we had better see how we get on with the arrangements that have been announced today.