HC Deb 05 March 1953 vol 512 cc563-6
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House if he has a statement to make about the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

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

MONDAY, 9TH MARCH—Supply [7th Allotted Day].

It is proposed to move Mr. Speaker out of the Chair on Army Estimates, 1953–54, and to consider Votes A, 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 and 11 in Committee.

TUESDAY, 10TH MARCH—Report stage:

Iron and Steel Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 11TH MARCH—Conclusion, Report stage:

Iron and Steel Bill, by about 7 o'clock.

Second Reading:

Births and Deaths Registration Bill [Lords], which is a consolidation Measure.

Motion: Members (Travelling Expenses).

THURSDAY, 12TH MARCH—Supply [8th Allotted Day].

It is proposed to move Mr. Speaker out of the Chair on Air Estimates, 1953–54, and to consider Votes A, 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 in Committee.

FRIDAY, 13TH MARCH—Private Members' Bills.

Mr. Attlee

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware of the desire on this side of the House for an early debate on the subject of Central African Federation. Can he say when it will be possible to debate that subject?

Mr. Crookshank

The Government have also been anxious to have a debate on this subject, but I understand that up to now that has not been convenient to the right hon. Gentleman, and that it is only now that it is possible to make it a practical proposition. But I cannot see my way to arranging it next week. As the right hon. Gentleman realises, we are now in the period of the year in which all Governments are pressed with Supply owing to the end of the financial year. If he will be good enough to let the matter be discussed through the usual channels, I am quite sure that we can find a comparatively early day.

Mr. Attlee

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, but would it not be possible to have the debate next week? There are matters which are not of great and urgent importance for financial reasons, such as the Report stage of the Iron and Steel Bill. I understand that there is no immediate need, because of financial reasons, for completing that business, and that day might be very suitable.

Mr. Crookshank

It might be suitable to the right hon. Gentleman, but I do not think it would be suitable to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House. After all the arduous time we have spent on this Bill, I think the whole House will be anxious to see the proceedings on it brought to a conclusion. I cannot hold out any hope that we shall be able to change that part of next week's business.

Mr. Attlee

The right hon. Gentleman will, I am sure, realise that many hon. Members would be rather glad to have a rest from iron and steel. A slight variation in the bowling might be appreciated.

Mr. Crookshank

I recollect that the Opposition asked for eight days in Committee for the Bill and did not take them up.

Sir I. Fraser

In the matter of the proposed amalgamation between the Ministry of Pensions and the Ministry of National Insurance, can my right hon. Friend say whether he will arrange an early day to debate this subject, and particularly whether he will arrange a day before the Budget, so that hon. Members in all parties may have an opportunity of discussing war pensions and making it clear that, apart from the question of amalgamation, what really matters is what is done for these men? Indeed, Ministers should know that it is by their fruits ye shall know them.

Mr. Crookshank

I do not see any prospect of an early debate on that subject. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has just pointed out that the changes will not take place before 1st August, so there is plenty of time to debate the subject, if required, before then. I am quite sure that my hon. Friend and, indeed, all hon. Members, will recollect the Prime Minister's statement last week when he said that the greatest care will be taken to ensure that war pensioners and their dependants are not in any way adversely affected by these changes.

Mr. Rhodes

Can the Leader of the House say when the Government propose to give time to discuss the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement on the Sudan?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir. I could not give any date for that.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Could the right hon. Gentleman say when we may expect to have a statement on the future of the Raw Cotton Commission?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir.

Mr. Hayman

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman when he will be able to find time to discuss the Motion standing on the Order Paper in the name of hon. Members and myself about the Government's refusal to provide television facilities, or permit the B.B.C. to provide television facilities, for Cornwall in time for the Coronation?

Mr. Crookshank

There are quite a number of Motions which have been placed on the Order Paper, but I cannot find time for all of them.

Forward to