HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 cc2248-52
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal if he will state the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crook-shank)

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 20TH JULY—Supply [23rd Allotted Day]: Committee—

Debate on Science and Industrial Productivity.

TUESDAY, 21ST JULY—Debate on Foreign Affairs.

WEDNESDAY, 22ND JULY—Supply [24th Allotted Day]: Committee—

It is proposed to take Supply formally.

Conclusion of the debate on Foreign Affairs.

Report and Third Reading:

Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Bill.

THURSDAY, 23RD JULY—Supply [25th Allotted Day]: Committee—

Debate on the Added Days' Procedure for Unemployment Benefit until 7 o'clock.

Debate on the Position of Conscientious Objectors.

At 9.30 p.m. the Committee stage of all outstanding Votes will be put from the Chair.

Motions to approve:

Agriculture Act (Part I) Extension of Period Order.

Herring Industry (Grants for Fishing Vessels and Engines) Scheme.

White Fish Industry (Grants for Fishing Vessels and Engines) Scheme.

FRIDAY, 24TH JULY—Report and Third Reading:

Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill [Lords].

Merchandise Marks Bill [Lords].

Second Readings:

Enemy Property Bill [Lords].

Schools Crossing Patrols Bill [Lords].

Committee stage, Money Resolution.

Second Reading: Licensing Bill [Lords].

This is a consolidation Measure and is expected to be received from another place early next week.

It may be convenient for me to inform the House that, if all necessary business can be completed, we hope to adjourn for the summer Recess on Friday, 31st July. The date of the resumption will be announced later.

Mr. Attlee

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Government propose to open the foreign affairs debate with a statement of what has occurred at Washington, and so forth?

Mr. Crookshank

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes to open the debate.

Mr. P. Morris

In view of the serious position revealed in the Report of the Council for Wales and Monmouthshire, which has already been in the hands of the Government for five months, cannot the right hon. Gentleman find time next week, or at least before the House adjourns for the summer Recess, to discuss that Report? Is he aware that hon. Members from Wales are finding it difficult to resist the conclusion that the delay is a deliberate circumvention of the problems of Wales?

Mr. Crookshank

I do not think that there is any ground at all for the latter part of the hon. Gentleman's remarks, but I have no day next week which I can offer. I did have one day in hand, but owing to the desire for a two days' debate on foreign affairs, on which we all agree, I gave away my day for that purpose.

Mr. Snow

Would the right hon. Gentleman indicate what timetable he has in mind for the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Bill on Wednesday? Is he aware that on the occasion of the 1913 Act, the whole problem of our ancient monuments took about eight columns of HANSARD?

Mr. Crookshank

I have no great news about the timetable. I merely announced that we hope to get the Report and Third Reading of the Bill that night so that it might go to another place and take one more step towards getting on to the Statute Book. In view of the general co-operation and friendly feeling about this Bill, I hope that the timetable will allow that to be done.

Mr. Snow

When will it come on?

Mr. Crookshank

It will come on at 10 o'clock, at the end of Supply.

Mr. S. Silverman

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to a Motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of some of my hon. Friends and myself asking for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire further into the case of Timothy John Evans, and, if so, can he promise to afford any time for a debate on that Motion? In considering the matter, will he bear in mind that public confidence in the administration of justice can withstand proof that it is in error but would not long withstand any doubts about its integrity?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot accept all those observations. I have no time to offer for such a debate.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Can the right hon. Gentleman give more time to the question of the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Bill, in view of the fact that while we had very friendly discussions in Committee there are some important Amendments to be brought forward, and it might need further consideration by hon. Members on both sides of the House who are interested in it?

Mr. Crookshank

I am aware of that, but on the other side of the argument is my earnest desire, and, I think, that of most hon. Members, to get the Bill on to the Statute Book. There is no other opportunity unless we can deal with it on that day.

Mr. Beswick

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether, after the merger of the Departments of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Transport, the present Question arrangements will continue, with separate time for transport and for civil aviation? Will he look into that matter?

Mr. Crookshank

I shall be glad to look into it.

Mr. P. Morris

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the position in rural Wales is so acute that a debate on the Report I have referred to is absolutely imperative, and that the reputation of his right hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Welsh Affairs is at stake? If we were to meet the right hon. Gentleman at a social function later in the day, I hope he would hang his head in shame.

Mr. Crookshank

I do not know about hanging my head in shame, but the reputation of my right hon. and learned Friend in Wales is second to none. He is doing splendid work there and that is acknowledged in every part of the Principality. I must remind the hon. Gentleman, however, that there is still a day in the ensuing week available to the Opposition. Perhaps he would like to make representations to his right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Morris

It is the Government's duty to provide time, not the Opposition's.

Major Legge-Bourke

As part of Thursday's business is to consider conscientious objectors, would my right hon. Friend consider asking the Opposition to substitute for that a Motion in my name and that of over 70 other hon. Members of all parties regarding the priority of relief for ex-Service men, who are, surely, of greater concern to us than conscientious objectors?

Mr. Crookshank

I have no say as to what is selected by the Opposition for a Supply Day, but I am sure that the Leader of the Opposition will have noted the point that has been made.

Mr. Gower

When my right hon. Friend is considering future allocations of time for Welsh affairs debates, will he take into account the fact that we in Wales are more than half the population of Scotland and have a larger population than New Zealand, and that we are entitled to more than one day per annum?