HC Deb 09 July 1953 vol 517 cc1488-91
Mr. Attlee

Will the Leader of the House now tell us the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

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

MONDAY, 13TH JULY—Third Reading: Finance Bill, until about 8 p.m.

Report and Third Reading: University of St. Andrew's Bill [Lords]; Hospital Endowments (Scotland) Bill [Lords].

Consideration of the Lords Amendment to the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

Report and Third Reading: National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (No. 2) Bill.

TUESDAY, 14TH JULY—Supply [20th Allotted Day]: Committee—

Debate on Scottish Industry, Employment and Well-being.

Second Reading: Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 15TH JULY—Supply [21st Allotted Day]: Committee—

Conclusion of debate on Scottish Industry, Employment and Well-being.

Motions relating to: Draft National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Colliery Workers Supplementary Scheme) Amendment Order; Herring Industry (Grants for Fishing Vessels and Engines) Scheme; White Fish Subsidy (United Kingdom) Scheme.

THURSDAY, 16TH JULY—Supply [22nd Allotted Day]: Committee—

Debate on Colonial Economic Development, the Colombo Plan and the work of the United Nations Agencies for the Development of the Backward Areas of the World.

Consideration of the Motion relating to Greenwich Hospital and Travers' Foundation.

FRIDAY, 17TH JULY—Committee and remaining stages of the Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

Committee and, if possible, the remaining stages of the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission Bill.

Committee and remaining stages of the Post Office Bill [Lords]: and the Registration Service Bill [Lords] which are both Consolidation Measures.

Mr. Attlee

Will the Leader of the House note that, in view of the obvious need for a discussion on foreign affairs before the House rises, we should like to have a two-day discussion in the week after next on foreign affairs.

Mr. Crookshank

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Does the Leader of the House propose to find Government time to debate the British Transport Commission's Report before we adjourn for the summer Recess?

Mr. Crookshank

I do not see any opportunity of finding Government time but as I said the other day, perhaps that could best be discussed through the usual channels.

Mr. Davies

Is it not a fact that the Government refuse to find time because they do not want this very fine report to be discussed?

Mr. Crookshank

That is not the position at all. From now until the summer Recess there are only five days of Government time and we should not like the time of the House to be wasted by not concluding the legislation now before it.

Mr. H. Morrison

The right hon. Gentleman said something about there being no Government time available. He is aware, I presume, that the Government are under an obligation to find three days for the discussion of the affairs of public corporations?

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, but the hon. Gentleman asked for a discussion before the summer Recess. That is quite a different matter.

Mr. Noel-Baker

When in Opposition were not hon. Gentlemen constantly complaining that the reports of the nationalised boards could not be discussed until they were long out of date, and have not the Government allowed nine months to go by without a single discussion?

Mr. Crookshank

There have not been nine months since the publication of these Reports but only a comparatively short time. Perhaps this matter can be discussed through the usual channels.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of the fact that so much time has been generously awarded to Scotland next week, and that English Members will not attend during those debates, would it not be for the convenience of the House if the House met in Edinburgh?

Hon. Members


Mr. Wyatt

When we get to the foreign affairs debate, will the acting Prime Minister speak for the Government? Will anybody in authority be able to speak for the Government, or will special arrangements have to be made to have a committee meeting upstairs to meet the acting-Foreign Minister?

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is it not anomalous to suggest that a discussion of the Report of the British Transport Commission would be a waste of time of the House, in view of the urgency of the subject?

Mr. Crookshank

The hon. and learned Gentleman is surely too learned to try to put words into my mouth which I never used.

Mr. Robens

If I were to mention "Council of Europe" would it strike a chord in the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Crookshank

Certainly, a voice from the past, because I told the right hon. Gentleman the other day that I never see him without thinking of that interesting and absorbing topic. As the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has just said, there are to be two days on foreign affairs, and it might be possible that this subject could be mentioned during those two days.

Mr. Norman Smith

Can the Leader of the House say definitely when the House will adjourn for the summer Recess?

Mr. Crookshank

I should be very glad to do so, but it depends how we get along during the month of July. I could not possibly give a definite date now, but I might possibly express a hope. The hope would be that it will be before Bank Holiday, but it will require some cooperation.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House any information whether we are likely to have an opportunity before the Session ends of hearing and discussing the Government's plans about the continuation of National Service and whether it can be done by Order in Council or whether there has to be an amending Measure? Obviously the matter will have to be dealt with at some time.

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, but it does not have to be dealt with in July, I am happy to say.

Mr. Harold Davies

Can the Leader of the House inform us whether there will be an opportunity before the Recess to discuss the British coal situation, the Government's policy with regard to coal at home and for export, and our relationship to the European Coal Community?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot answer that, because there are still a number of days at the disposal of Her Majesty's Opposition, who might possibly suggest that subject for one of them.

Mr. Mikardo

How is it that, while the right hon. Gentleman does not know when we shall rise for the summer Recess, he does know that there are only five days of Government time now remaining?

Mr. Crookshank

Because the five days to which I referred are based upon the hope.

Mr. Follick

As I am personally interested in the matter, I should like to know if we are coming back after the Recess or not.