HC Deb 11 June 1953 vol 516 cc450-2
45. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement on the recent meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

46. Mr. Braine

asked the Prime Minister whether he will make a statement concerning the recent meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

48. Mr. Beswick

asked the Prime Minister if he proposes to make a statement about the discussions he has had with other Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

The Prime Minister (Sir Winston Churchill)

I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave yesterday to the Question on this subject by the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut-Colonel Lipton).

Sir I. Fraser

Does my right hon. Friend think it would be fruitful to offer Parliament an opportunity of discussing the conference, not necessarily this week, but soon, particularly to discuss Commonwealth co-operation?

The Prime Minister

That is a question which might be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House when business is being discussed.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Without wishing to press the Prime Minister to make a statement that he does not wish to make, may I ask him to note that we read with particular satisfaction the paragraph in the communiqué about the Middle East and that we earnestly hope that the outstanding questions with Egypt may be soon settled on the basis of the principles to which the Commonwealth Prime Ministers unanimously agreed?

The Prime Minister

I am very glad to know of the satisfaction which the right hon. Gentleman feels at the statement which was made.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Hector Hughes.

Mr. Braine

On a point of Order. Am I not entitled to ask a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is not entitled to do so. In view of the answer given by the Prime Minister I did not think that further cross-examination would be a wise use of the time of the House.

Mr. Braine

With great respect, Mr. Speaker, may I ask whether it is right and proper for you to express such a view before you have heard the supplementary question that I was going to ask?

Mr. Speaker

It is perfectly right and proper.

Mr. Stokes

Are we then to understand, Mr. Speaker, that in future, when a Minister does not want to give the House any information, he has merely to say that he has nothing more to add to what he has already said and then you close the proceedings.

Mr. Speaker

That is not necessarily the case. In view of what was said today. and in view of the Question which the hon. and learned Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes) is anxious to ask and in view of the hour, I thought that this was the wisest use of the time of the House.