HC Deb 14 May 1953 vol 515 cc1414-7
Mr. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House to state the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

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

MONDAY, 18TH MAY—Supply [15th Allotted Day]: Committee:

Debate on the National Health Service.

Lords Amendments: Town and Country Planning Bill.

Motion, standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Blaydon (Mr. Whiteley), relating to the House of Commons Members' Fund.

TUESDAY, 19TH MAY AND WEDNESDAY, 20TH MAY—Beginning of Committee stage: Finance Bill.

THURSDAY, 21ST MAY—Second Reading: Valuation for Rating Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

FRIDAY, 22ND MAY—Adjournment for Whitsun and the Coronation until Tuesday, 9th June.

During the week we shall ask the House to consider any Amendments which may be received from another place to the White Fish and Herring Industries Bill and to other Bills; and the Motion to approve the Draft Canterbury Probate Sub-Registry Order.

Mr. Attlee

Has the right hon. Gentleman any statement to make about the Select Committee on the Palace of Westminster?

Mr. Crookshank

Yes, Sir. I have had representations made to me, asking the House to set up a Select Committee with regard to accommodation and other matters in this House, and a Motion will appear shortly on the Order Paper to that effect.

Mr. Powell

Will my right hon. Friend consider the desirability of providing time for a debate on the National Coal Board's Report?

Mr. Crookshank

That is a matter which will no doubt have to be considered in due course, but certainly not next week.

Mr. Pannell

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me why it is necessary to bring in the Valuation for Rating Bill next week, bearing in mind that the Bill affects every ratepayer in the country and that local authority opinion has not had time to advise hon. Members and to crystallize its views? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that when we are discussing the local arrangements of the Central African Territories we appear to give the inhabitants of that country far more time to discuss their affairs than we give natives of this country to regulate their local government?

Mr. Crookshank

The reason, of course, is that we want to get on with this Bill. After the Bill has had a Second Reading—as I hope—it will go upstairs to a Committee. As a matter of fact, by the time we take the Second Reading debate the Bill will have been before the House for a fortnight, less one day.

Mr. Nicholson

Can my right hon. Friend say, as a matter of all party interest, which day new Members will take their seats?

Mr. Hale

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is on the Order Paper a Motion, widely signed by hon. Members opposite, making what appear to be wholly unjustified reflections on the character and conduct of my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan)?

[That this House deplores the conduct of the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East, during the course of debate on 22nd April, 1953 [Hansard, column 1215], in quoting words from a pamphlet and representing that they expressed the views of Mr. Gibson Jarvie, whereas the immediate context of the quoted passage showed clearly that Mr. Gibson Jarvie was, in fact, reprobating such views; regrets that the hon. Member has failed to withdraw his imputation, although invited to do so; and considers that his conduct constitutes an abuse of Parliamentary Privilege and is contrary to the acceped traditions of fair and responsible debate in this House.]

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether any Member who took the responsibility of signing that Motion has asked that it be discussed, to enable my hon. Friend to reply to it, or whether this was merely another abuse of the privileges of the Order Paper?

Mr. Crookshank

I should not like to go into a matter which is on the Order Paper now, but I should have thought that any Motion which possibly might reflect on an hon. Member was a matter on which that hon. Member himself might first wish to give an explanation to the House.

Mr. Callaghan

Has not the right hon. Gentleman had any representations from the Minister of Transport? The Minister invited an explanation during the course of the debate on the Lords Amendments, when I indicated that I was not ready to take advantage of this procedure because my statement would be highly controversial and I asked the Minister of Transport if he would convey to the Leader of the House that it was my desire that, as soon as the Motion was on the Order Paper, it should be debated. Is the right hon. Gentleman not ready to provide time or, if not, to advise his hon. Friends to take the Motion off the Order Paper? For myself, I prefer it to be debated.

Mr. Crookshank

It is not for me to advise hon. Members to take off Motions which they have put on the Order Paper. As regards having time for debate, I regret that at the moment that is not possible.

Mr. Attlee

Can the right hon. Gentleman let us know whether any representations were made to him by the Minister of Transport?

Mr. Crookshank

To the best of my recollection I was here at the time.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Is it not most unusual and out of accordance with the traditions of the House that when a Motion stands on the Order Paper reflect- ing on the honour of an hon. Member, the Leader of the House should deliberately refuse facilities for its discussion?

Mr. Crookshank

I have not refused facilities. I have only said that there was no time at present.

Mr. MacColl

If we give a Second Reading to the extremely technical Bill on valuation for rating on Thursday, so that we can consider it in Committee, can we be given an assurance by the right hon. Gentleman that we shall not be accused of obstruction and be guillotined if we try to make it a reasonable Bill?

Mr. Speaker

That is a hypothetical question.

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