HC Deb 18 June 1953 vol 516 cc1187-90
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal to state the business for next week?

Mr. Crookshank

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 22ND JUNE — Committee stage: Finance Bill.

TUESDAY, 23RD JUNE—We hope to complete the Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 24TH JUNE—It is hoped to complete the remaining stages of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation Bill.

THURSDAY, 25TH JUNE—Second Reading: National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (No. 2) Bill.

Committee stage: Money Resolution.

Report and Third Reading: National Insurance Bill.

FRIDAY, 26TH JUNE—I should perhaps remind hon. Members that Government business will be taken. We are proposing to take the Second Reading of the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill [Lords] and the Merchandise Marks Bill [Lords].

Mr. Attlee

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, if the Committee stage of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation Bill is not concluded today, we could take the Committee stage on Wednesday?

Mr. Crookshank

I expressed the hope last week that we might conclude it today. We had better see how we get along.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can my right hon. Friend say when time will be found to discuss the serious and shocking report on the sinking of the "Princess Victoria"?

Mr. Crookshank

My hon. and gallant Friend will probably have noticed that Questions are down for Monday to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. We had better await his replies before we go into the matter further.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Has the attention of the Leader of the House been drawn to a Motion in the name of a number of hon. Members expressing dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister's statement about the return to Scotland of the Stone of Destiny? Is he aware that these doubts are shared by the leading Conservative newspaper in Scotland? We are not asking for any long debate, but does he think he could give us an hour to persuade the Prime Minister of his error?

Mr. Crookshank

I heard the reply which my right hon. Friend gave yesterday about this matter. I am prepared to leave it at that.

Mr. Marlowe

As there is now to be no more Private Members' time, is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a Motion down for discussion tomorrow relating to officers' retired pay and that this subject was debated in another place yesterday? Having regard to the thoroughly unsatisfactory answer given by the Minister of Defence in another place, will my right hon. Friend provide time for a debate here in Government time as it seems unlikely that we shall have a debate tomorrow because that Motion is second on the Order Paper?

Mr. Crookshank

I cannot anticipate the course of tomorrow's business. Any question about the matter had better be postponed until we see what happens tomorrow.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not somewhat unfair to hon. Members that there should be a debate of this character in another place and that we should be precluded from having such a debate here?

Mr. Crookshank

We are not precluded at all. The Opposition have certain rights in the House, and they have Supply Days when they can raise all sorts of matters about which they have grievances. I do not think that we are entitled to criticise anything which takes place in another place.

Mr. Shinwell

I am not criticising what took place in another place. The other place has a perfect right to do as it pleases in these matters. A Motion on this matter is down for discussion tomorrow, but I understand that there is another Motion preceding the one on officers' retired pay and, therefore, the second one may not be reached. Is this not a matter for the Government to arrange?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir. When there is a Motion on the Order Paper we could not possibly anticipate what will happen to it and promise to have other debates on the same subject.

Mr. H. Morrison

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that there is now an established practice that three days in the Session should be devoted to debates on public corporations. Can he say whether the Government are keeping that in mind and whether, as I presume is the case, they have every intention of honouring that understanding during the present Parliamentary session?

Mr. Crookshank

All honourable understandings are always kept by the Government.

Mr. Morrison

Can the right hon. Gentleman be a little more specific and say that three days will be arranged for debates on public corporations?

Mr. Crookshank

I certainly hope so, so far as it is an honourable undertaking, but I am not tying myself down to any specific dates at present. I was asked only about the business for next week, which seems to me to be fairly full.

Proceedings on the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation Bill exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House).—[The Prime Minister.]