HC Deb 29 May 1952 vol 501 cc1666-70
Mr. C. R. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House the business for the first week after the Recess?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Yes, Sir. Assuming that the Motion for the Whitsun Recess is agreed to, the business for the first week after the Recess will be as follows:

TUESDAY, 10TH JUNE-Report and Third Reading:

Town Development Bill.

Committee and remaining stages:

Customs and Excise Bill.

If there is time, further progress will be made with the Distribution of German Enemy Property Bill [Lords].

WEDNESDAY, 11TH JUNE—Debate on Broadcasting, which will take place on a Government Motion.

THURSDAY, 12TH JUNE—Supply (13th Allotted Day); Committee.

Debate on Agriculture.

FRIDAY, 13TH JUNE—I should remind the House that Government business will be taken on this day. It is as follows:

Committee and remaining stages:

Post Office (Money) Bill.

Second Reading:

Post Office (Amendment) Bill.

Further progress will be made with the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Bill [Lords].

Second Reading:

British Museum Bill.

During the week it is hoped to consider the several Double Taxation Relief Orders and the Import Duties (General Ad Valorem Duty Reduction) Order, which relates to railway sleepers.

Mr. Attlee

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the notices of a number of Prayers relating to National Health Service Orders, relating to very important matters? Will he consider providing time for these to come on, as they are important, before 10.30?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot say that I had actually noticed them, but I was sure that they would be on the Order Paper. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that this might be discussed through the usual channels; and we will see what we can arrange.

Captain M. Hewitson

I should like to draw the attention of the Leader of the House to a Motion on the Paper in the names of myself and 60 of my hon. and right hon. Friends, and to ask whether it is his intention to give any time to the Motion.

[That this House considers that steps should be taken without further delay by Her Majesty's Government, in association with the Governments of the United States and France, to hold a Four-Power conference with the Soviet Government, limited in the first instance to discussing the possibility of free elections throughout Germany and the means by which such freedom could be assured to the German people; declares that in order to satisfy the fourth condition laid down on behalf of the late Government by the then Prime Minister, namely, that before any German re-armament is undertaken there must be agreement with the German people, fresh elections should be held in Western Germany before any commitment is undertaken by the Adenauer Government for a German contribution to the European Defence Community; and further expresses the hope that in the interests of Western European defence, the United States will soon furnish to the French Army the arms and equipment already promised, inasmuch as only if this is done can there be any possibility of satisfying the first condition in the late Prime Minister's declaration, namely, that the re-armament of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation must precede that of Germany.]

Mr. Crookshank

Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member will refresh my memory and say what the Motion is about.

Captain Hewitson

The Motion refers to Germany and to the agreement that has just been signed.

Mr. Crookshank

I think we had better wait until the Foreign Secretary is back and has made a statement on these matters.

Lieut.-Colonel Walter Elliot

Can my right hon. Friend say on what date the Housing (Scotland) Bill is likely to be taken?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir. I am sorry that I cannot oblige my right hon. and gallant Friend.

Mr. Aneurin Bevan

Referring to my hon. and gallant Friend's question, is it not rather deplorable that the Leader of the House is not aware of Motions which are on the Order Paper, signed by so many right hon. and hon. Members of the House? Is it not desirable to have a discussion on that Motion and on the international situation before there is further grave deterioration. Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there is universal anxiety on this matter, which, apparently, has not reached him?

Mr. Crookshank

I am sorry, but there are a great many Motions on the Order Paper and I had forgotten the one to which the hon. and gallant Member was referring—that is all. But as we have only recently had a debate on Germany, and as my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is not at the moment in England, I cannot say anything about a debate on that subject.

Mr. Bevan

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there have been very many important decisions since the last debate on this matter, and that very important documents are in the Vote Office and have been studied by hon. Members in the last few days? Are we to wait until war breaks out before the House intervenes?

Mr. Crookshank

The House is about to rise for the Whitsun Recess. I was dealing with the business for the week after. The Opposition were offered a Supply day during that week, but they evidently preferred to use it for a debate on agriculture. We are only discussing that week.

Major Guy Lloyd

With regard to the business for Friday, 13th June, can my right hon. Friend say whether the reference to railway sleepers refers to wooden sleepers or to human sleepers?

Mr. Crookshank

That business will not necessarily be taken on Friday, 13th June; it might be on one of the other nights.

Mr. Harold Davies

In view of the fact that the House is going into Recess, will the right hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister if he would make a statement, before the House goes into Recess, about the British soldiers who have gone in with fixed bayonets and tear gas into the Koje Island camp? Can we have a full statement tonight or tomorrow?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

I have no official information on the subject. I see it stated in the papers that there were no casualties.

Mr. I. Mikardo

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we are to have a debate on the statement made on Tuesday last by the Minister of Transport on the future of civil aviation?

Mr. Crookshank

No. I cannot say at present but, as it is a matter which does not involve any legislation, it would be quite suitable for a Supply day.

Mr. Herbert Morrison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is, so to speak, a unilateral aggression against public concerns by the Government and that in this case it is really up to the Government to provide time? We did not start this row.

Hon. Members

Oh, yes.

Mr. A. Fenner Brockway

In view of the very unusual circumstances that neither the Government Front Bench nor the Opposition Front Bench had an opportunity to express their views on the Declaration of Human Rights Bill last Friday, will the right hon. Gentleman give an early opportunity for the further discussion of the Bill?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot promise anything of that sort. After all, it is a Private Member's Bill, and Private Members' time is still not exhausted.