HC Deb 30 July 1953 vol 518 cc1533-5
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he can state the business for the week after the Recess, and whether he has any statement to make about today's business?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Yes, Sir. In regard to the progress of business today, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition, a debate on foreign affairs will take place on the Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill until about 7 p.m. Afterwards, a debate will take place on the Motion relating to cotton.

The business for the first week after the Summer Recess will be as follows:

TUESDAY, 20TH OCTOBER—Committee stage: Enemy Property Bill [Lords.]

Second Reading: Auxiliary Forces Bill [Lords], which is a consolidation Measure.

WEDNESDAY, 21ST OCTOBER—Debate on the Report from the British Transport Commission.

THURSDAY, 22ND OCTOBER—Second day available for a debate on a report from a nationalised board. The subject will be announced later.

FRIDAY, 23RD OCTOBER—Committee and remaining stages: Auxiliary Forces Bill [Lords.]

Report and Third Reading: Enemy Property Bill [Lords.]

Afterwards, the Adjournment of the House will be moved and a debate will take place on the work of the Council of Europe.

It is expected that Prorogation will take place during the following week beginning Monday, 26th October, and that the new Session will be opened on Tuesday, 3rd November.

I would remind the House that power already exists, upon representations being made by the Government, to call the House together at an earlier date, if such a course should be necessary in the public interest.

It may also be convenient for me to mention that it is proposed, after the Summer Recess, when the Departments concerned will have been amalgamated, that Oral Questions to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation should be answered on Wednesdays and those to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance should be answered on Mondays. In order to redress the balance, it is proposed that Questions on Defence should be answered on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. This matter has been discussed through the, usual channels and with the authorities of the House.

Mr. Attlee

As food hygiene cannot be debated today, perhaps there could be discussions through the usual channels with a view to finding time to discuss it on our return. I take it that the business for when we return must be considered as necessarily provisional, because events in the world outside may make a discussion of foreign affairs desirable in the first week after we return.

Mr. Crookshank

Yes. We are talking about a long way ahead, and it is somewhat provisional. There will, of course, be opportunities immediately afterwards, when the new Session is opened.

Mr. Attlee

Will the right hon. Gentle-man remember the desire for a day for a debate on Wales?

Mr. Crookshank

I should very much like to arrange a day for a debate on that subject in the second week after we return.

Mr. Assheton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is extremely inconvenient to the House when the Opposition suddenly change their minds and decide to switch business without giving any previous indication whatever?

Mr. Crookshank

My right hon. Friend is not the only person who has been inconvenienced. But the representations were made with such urgency that the Government had to accede to them.

Mr. Harold Davies

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the House has had very little information for many months about the situation in Malaya? Would the Government give time for a short debate on the Malayan situation very soon after the Recess?

Mr. Crookshank

I could not go further than the general programme which I have outlined for that week.

Mr. Davies

But will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the request that some of us—I am sure on both sides of the House—would like more information on that subject?

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, I will bear it in mind. Perhaps the matter could be discussed through the usual channels, in two or three months' time.

Dr. Stross

With further reference to the proposed discussion through the usual channels about a debate on food hygiene after we return, may I ask the Leader of the House whether he is aware that the last time it was debated, two years ago, a whole day was given to it, and a remarkably good debate ensued? Would he bear in mind that three hours is not very long, or even satisfactory? Could we have a full day's debate, if possible, in the week after we return?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot commit myself to anything of that kind, because, after all, this was a debate asked for by the Opposition at the end of a period in which a large number of days were at their disposal. Because they have changed the order of today's debates, I really cannot commit myself to giving days or parts of days to this matter.