HC Deb 19 December 1952 vol 509 c1794
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he has any statement to make in regard to business?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Yes, Sir. It may be convenient for me to inform the House that conversations have taken place through the usual channels about the time to be allowed for the Committee and remaining stages of the Iron and Steel Bill.

I am pleased to be in a position to announce that it has been agreed to complete the Committee stage of the Bill in eight and a half days, sitting until 10.30 p.m. each night; the Report stage in two days; and the Third Reading in half a day.

At a later stage I shall propose a Motion to provide that the Ten o'clock Rule be suspended for half an hour on those days when the Iron and Steel Bill is put down for the Committee stage.

The Government welcome this arrangement, which I commend to the House in the general interest. Although this gives more time for the Committee stage than the Government think is perhaps necessary, they are ready to find the extra time in the interests of agreement between the two sides. Voluntary arrangements have been made before in regard to contentious Bills, and with good will and co-operation I have every confidence that we shall be able to pursue our discussions on this Bill in a businesslike manner.

Sir R. Acland

Would it not give the House of Commons just eight and a half days more to discuss many important issues if this Committee stage were sent upstairs?

Mr. Crookshank

There is no question of that.