HC Deb 23 April 1953 vol 514 cc1403-6
Mr. H. Morrison

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will be good enough to state the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

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

MONDAY, 27TH APRIL—Second Reading: National Insurance Bill.

TUESDAY, 28TH APRIL—Supply (12th Allotted Day): Committee—

Debate on Foreign Affairs.

1It may be more convenient for Supply to be taken formally and the debate take place on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House, but that can be discussed.

WEDNESDAY, 29TH APRIL—Continuation of the debate on Foreign Affairs.

THURSDAY, 30TH APRIL—Report and Third Reading: Leasehold Property Act and Long Leases (Scotland) Act Extension Bill [Lords].

Following the arrangements made across the Floor of the House on Thursday, 26th March, we hope that the remaining stages of this Bill will be taken formally—I do not think there is necessarily any difficulty about that—and the House can then proceed to debate the two White Papers which the Government have issued on the leasehold problem.

FRIDAY, 1ST MAY—Private Members' Motions.

During the week we shall ask the House to take the Report stage of the Money Resolution relating to the University of St. Andrews Bill [Lords], which has been committed to the Scottish Standing Committee.

Mr. Morrison

Would it not be wiser to allocate Monday and Tuesday to the further consideration of the Lords Amendments to the Transport Bill, as there is no great prospect of concluding our consideration of them this week? Would it not be wise to take them on Monday and Tuesday instead of the National Insurance Bill and the beginning of the debate on foreign affairs?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir, I did not think I would announce that for next week. I thought the right hon. Gentle man was going to ask me about the foreign affairs debate.

Mr. Mitchison

With regard to the—

Mr. Morrison

Without prejudice to what my hon. and learned Friend may say in following up, I still do not know what was meant by the answer to the point that I raised. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would like to supplement it. With regard to the foreign affairs debate on Tuesday and Wednesday, I should like the door to be left a little ajar in case some adjustment requires to be made. Could that be understood?

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, Sir. I was rather under the impression last week that the Opposition wanted the debate next week, but if for one reason or another they would prefer the matter to be left open, I am sure my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who is, of course, very much concerned with it at the moment, would favourably consider putting it into the next week if that should be the outcome of conversations.

Mr. Mitchison

With regard to the Transport Bill

Mr. Morrison

I want to make it clear that I am not sure about it and I am not committing myself. We had rather assumed that if it were next week, which we had desired, it would be on Wednesday and Thursday. However, I under stand, from what has come to me privately, that there are substantial reasons why the Thursday element would not be convenient. That faces me with a little difficulty. If we can leave the door ajar, I shall be much obliged.

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, Sir, we can leave the door ajar to the usual channels.

Mr. Mitchison

Might I now ask the right hon. Gentleman, with special regard to the Transport Bill, when this week ends and next week begins and whether there is any interval between the end of the one and the beginning of the other?

Mr. Crookshank

Great as are the powers of the Government, we have no way in which we can alter the calendar.

Mr. Ross

Can the Leader of the House tell us how he proposes to get what are really two debates into one next Thursday? The Scottish leasehold problem is by no means the same as the English one. Will he also ensure the presence at that debate of a responsible member of the Scottish Office legal department? We have already had the Bill before the House on Second Reading and the Committee stage, but we have not yet had the benefit of the help of the Lord Advocate, or even the presence of the Lord Advocate.

Mr. Patrick Maitland

Can my right hon. Friend be quite certain that, when we debate the leasehold White Paper, there will be adequate provision for considering the Scottish aspect, which, as the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) has said, is completely different from the English one?

Mr. Crooksbank

If the hon. Gentle man says that that is the case, I am sure it is so, but it was earlier suggested that there should be one day for the general consideration of the problem. How the time is arranged within that day had better be left to discussions between the usual channels and the good sense of the House.

Mr. Ross

Will the Lord Advocate be there?

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Labour Party arranged for the Scottish debate to be covered by the ex-Lord Advocate, which will be the procedure in future?

Mr. Shinwell

The right hon. Gentleman is probably aware of the N.A.T.O. conference which is taking place in Paris. A debate may be required later. Will he issue a White Paper about the conclusions reached by the conference to enable hon. Members to decide what course to take?

Mr. Crookshank

I could not undertake to do that without notice, but I will see that the point is considered.

Mr. Gower

As the part of the British Isles which is most affected by the leasehold question is Wales, will my right hon. Friend arrange for the Secretary of State for Home Affairs, who is also in charge of Welsh Affairs, to be in attendance during the debate?

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, Sir. The House can take it that in this, as in any other debate, appropriate Ministers will be in attendance.

Mr. Ross