HC Deb 08 November 1951 vol 493 cc331-4
Mr. C. R. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will state the business for next week?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Tomorrow, before resuming the debate on the Address we shall ask the House to agree to a Motion giving leave of absence to three hon. Members who are proceeding to Australia and New Zealand with the gifts of a Mace and Speaker's Chair on behalf of this House.

The business for next week will be as follows:

The debate on the Address in reply to the Gracious Speech will be continued on Monday, 12th November, and brought to a conclusion on Tuesday, 13th November.

It would be convenient, Mr. Speaker, if you would be good enough to indicate today which Amendments to the Address you propose to call and the days upon which they will be taken.

WEDNESDAY, 14TH NOVEMBER—Consideration of Motions for Addresses to continue in force for one year:

Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945.

Defence Regulations and enactments having effect under the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1947.

Motions relating to:

Patents Act, 1949.

Registered Designs Act, 1949.

THURSDAY, 15TH NOVEMBER—Consideration of Motions of Thanks to Colonel Clifton Brown on his retirement as Speaker and for an Address to His Majesty.

Committee and remaining stages of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill.

This Bill is being presented today and copies will be made available shortly. We hope it will be agreeable to the House to take the Second Reading of the Bill, which is usually a formal stage, tomorrow [Friday], as well as the Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution. Amendments can then be tabled for the Committee stage.

Second Reading of the Border Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Consideration of Motions to approve:

The Purchase Tax (No. 5) Order relating to Drugs and Medicines.

The Cotton Industry Development Council (Amendment) Order, 1951.

FRIDAY, 16TH NOVEMBER—Second Reading of the Pneumoconiosis and Byssinosis Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Mr. Attlee

We on this side of the House do not intend to raise any objection to taking the Second Reading of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill tomorrow.

Mr. Crookshank

I am much obliged.

Mr. E. Shinwell

May I ask whether, on the proposal to approve the Purchase Tax (No. 5) Order, the Daily Express "has been consulted?

Mr. Crookshank

I believe that the only person who has to be consulted about this Order is my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health.

Mr..J. Rankin

Would the right hon. Gentleman have another look at the order of Questions for next week? If he consults the corrected order issued today, he will see Scottish Questions are at the bottom of the list and that they then proceed to rise by one place until 4th December when they are in the third place. But in view of the volume of Questions already in, it is extremely probable that the Scottish Office, which covers four large Departments, will not be heard in this House until February. I think that that is a shocking state of affairs, unless, of course, it is part of the new plan for the better management of Scottish affairs.

Mr. Crookshank

I think that at the moment it would be better to carry on with the existing order of Questions, and then if it becomes apparent that there ought to be a revision the matter can be considered with the assistance of all concerned; but in the first week I think we had better carry on as they have been printed.

Mr. Rankin

I take it that the right hon. Gentleman is giving those of us who represent Scottish divisions the assurance that before the House rises there will be a chance of Scottish Questions being heard in the House?

Mr. Crookshank

All I said was that we had better carry on with the existing order for the time being until we see how we get along, but if alterations are required the matter can be considered in the light of what happens. There may not always be so many Questions as there are in the first week.

Mrs. Jean Mann

Would the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the last occasion on which we had an opportunity of asking any Questions on behalf of Scotland was as far back as July, and that unless there is some alteration in the rota it would mean nine months without a Question?

Mr. Attlee

May I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that this matter might be further considered through the usual channels?

Mr. Crookshank indicated assent.

Mr. Speaker

In reply to the question addressed to myself, I would say that on Monday I propose to take the first Amendment to the Address standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition—

[But humbly regret that the Gracious Speech contains proposals relating to the iron and steel industry and road haulage which will not assist the national effort but will create anxiety and uncertainty in two vital industries.]

On Tuesday I propose to take the other Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman—

[But humbly regret that the Gracious Speech discloses such an absence of well-thought-out and constructive policy that His Majesty's Government propose to adjourn Parliament for a long period, thus depriving themselves and the nation of the advice and counsel of this House.]

I would request, however, that further consideration be given to the form of this Amendment as I do not think it is quite satisfactory in form at the moment.