HC Deb 10 July 1952 vol 503 cc1524-8
Mr. Attlee

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

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

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

MONDAY, 14TH JULY—Supply (20th Allotted Day)—Committee.

Debates on:

Closing of Museums and Art Galleries, until 7 o'clock.

National Parks and Access to the Countryside.

Motion to approve:

National Assistance (Adaptation of Enactments) Regulations.

TUESDAY, 15TH JULY — Second Reading:

Civil List Bill.

It is hoped to complete this by about 6.30 p.m.

Report and Third Reading:

Pensions (Increase) Bill.

Committee and remaining stages:

Customs and Excise Bill.

This is largely a consolidation Measure.

Second Readings:

Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

Prison Bill [Lords].

Costs in Criminal Cases Bill [Lords].

The two last named are consolidation Measures.

Motions to approve:

Agriculture Act (Part 1) Extension of Period Order.

Agricultural Lime Schemes (Extension of Period) Order.

WEDNESDAY, 16TH JULY—Supply (21st Allotted Day)—Committee.

Debate on Civil Aviation.

THURSDAY, 17TH JULY—Supply (22nd Allotted Day)—Committee.

Debate on Colonial Affairs other than the Question of Central African Federation.

FRIDAY, 18TH JULY—Private Members' Motions.

This is the last of the days set apart for Private Members' Bills and Motions.

Perhaps I may be allowed to add this. The present Session has nearly run its normal length and the Government hope that the House can adjourn for the Summer Recess, after essential business has been completed, at the end of the month or early in August.

The Transport Bill has only just been published and hon. Members will wish to have adequate time to consider its detailed proposals. It is not intended, therefore, that it should be read a Second time this summer.

It is considered preferable and for the convenience of the House that Committee stage should follow Second Reading after a normal interval, and not nearly three months later. The Government will therefore proceed with the Transport Bill next Session, when it will be the first business to be dealt with in the autumn immediately after the new Session is opened.

Mr. Attlee

I am sure that everyone will be glad that the Transport Bill is not to be proceeded with this month. May I, however, ask the right hon. Gentleman if he has read the extremely good leading article in "The Times" on this, and if so, whether it would not be for the convenience of the House and the country if he dropped this deplorable Bill?

Mr. Crookshank

I think that is one of the most partisan observations I have ever heard.

Mr. Attlee

I always understood that "The Times," whenever it can, gives general support to the Government of the day. It cannot in this case.

Sir D. Savory

Can my right hon. Friend find time for the consideration of a Motion, signed by a large number of hon. Members on both sides of the House, requesting the Government to support the United States delegation to the United Nations in asking that the unanimous verdict of a special committee of the House of Representatives on the Massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest be brought before the General Assembly? This committee's report shows, on irrefutable evidence, who are the authors of the Katyn murders and the massacres at Kharkov and on the White Sea. Would he not, out of sympathy with the relatives of the 15,000 murdered Polish officers, provide an extra day for the consideration of this Motion?

Mr. Crookshank

I noticed the Motion, but I am sorry that there is no Government time that I can give for it.

Mr. S. O. Davies

May I support the appeal made by the hon. Member for Antrim, South (Sir D. Savory)? I hope that the Government will be able to find time not only to discuss the Motion which appears on the Order Paper but the Amendment to it in my name. I am sure that many hon. Members on this side of the House will wish to ventilate the question of atrocity-mongering behind which the Government's foreign policy finds occasion to hide.

Mr. Speaker

We cannot debate it now; that is evident.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is proposed, as suggested in usually well-informed organs of the Press, to publish shortly a White Paper on the steel industry and the changes which the Government propose to effect in that industry?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir. I could not say.

Mr. Strauss

Does that mean that the Government have not made up their mind whether to publish it or that no such White Paper is in contemplation? Can we have a little more light on the subject?

Mr. Crookshank

No. Sir.

Mrs. Braddock

Keep it dark.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it intended to make any statement on military operations in Korea before the Recess?

Mr. Crookshank

I will make inquiries about that. I am not informed at the moment.

Mr. Shinwell

That is hardly satisfactory. Does the Leader of the House understand that it has been customary in the past 18 months or two years to have regular statements on military operations in Korea, which were demanded by the then Conservative Opposition, and that we are entitled to have a statement before the Recess? I hope he will agree.

Mr. Crookshank

All I said was that I did not know, that I was not informed at the moment; but I will see—and I am sure that my right hon. Friend will take note of this—that what the right hon. Gentleman has said is considered in the proper quarters.

Air Commodore Harvey

Will my right hon. Friend discuss through the usual channels whether time can be found as part of a Supply Day to discuss the Motion on the Order Paper suggesting the removal of the Dean of Canterbury from his office?

Mr. Driberg

Would the right hon. Gentleman handle that matter with very great caution, since, by putting down the Motion on the Order Paper, the hon. Members concerned have, in their innocence, blundered into an important constitutional point affecting the relations of Convocation with this House?

Mr. Speaker

We cannot debate Motions which are on the Order Paper under the guise of supplementary questions on business. I ask hon. Members to confine their inquiries strictly to matters of business.

Sir R. Acland

As it was, I think, in December last that the right hon. Gentleman indicated that there would be value in discussing the situation in Malaya, and as it is certainly not more settled now than it was then, is there any chance of its being discussed before the Recess?

Mr. Crooksbank

I do not know what will be discussed on Thursday when the Vote of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies will be put down.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Can my right hon. Friend say whether, in the event of the House having to sit beyond 4th August, it is intended to sit on the following Monday which, it may have escaped his notice, is a Bank Holiday?

Mr. Crookshank

I realise that there is a Bank Holiday early in August. I cannot go further than to say that we hope to complete business either at the end of the month or early in August.

Mr. J. Hudson

When the Leader of the House referred to the completion of essential business, did he mean to include all the Bills now going through their various stages on the Floor of the House or upstairs? Is everything included in the term "essential business"? What did he mean by that?

Mr. Crookshank

It means what is considered essential at the moment.