HC Deb 08 July 1954 vol 529 cc2344-6
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, 12TH JULY—Report stage of the Address relating to the Gift of a Mace to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Third Reading: Finance Bill, which it is hoped to obtain by about 7 o'clock;

Report and Third Reading: Electricity Reorganisation (Scotland) Bill.

Committee and remaining stages: Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) Bill [Lords], which is a consolidation Measure.

Committee stage: Army and Air Expenditure, 1952–53; and

Greenwich Hospital and Travers' Foundation.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is that all?

Mr. Crookshank

If hon. Members study the business in further detail, they will find that it is not very oppressive.

TUESDAY, 13TH JULY—Report and Third Reading: Town and Country Planning Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 14TH JULY—Supply [21St Allotted Day] Committee:

Debate on Foreign Affairs.

Report and Third Reading: Transport Charges, &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

THURSDAY, 15TH JULY—Supply [22nd Allotted Day] Committee:

Debate on Industry and Employment in Scotland.

FRIDAY, 16TH JULY—Second Reading: Isle of Man (Customs) Bill.

Committee and remaining stages: Gas and Electricity (Borrowing Powers) Bill.

Further consideration: Pests Bill [Lords].

Report and Third Reading: Charitable Trusts (Validation) Bill [Lords].

It may be convenient if I inform the House that a debate will take place on Crichel Down during the week after next—probably on Tuesday, 20th July.

Mr. Woodburn

With regard to the Scottish business next Thursday, since there is to be a continuing debate for two days, will the Government arrange as far as possible to have the following Supply Day as near as they can to the one on Thursday?

Mr. Crookshank

I can only note what the right hon. Gentleman says.

Mr. T. Brown

Will the Government find time to discuss the Motion relating to the social and economic conditions of the old-age pensioners, which has been on the Order Paper for some time?

[That this House, having regard to the increased cost of living in the basic essentials of life, agrees that a substantial increase in old-age pensions is most urgent and necessary.]

Mr. Crookshank

I am afraid that I have no time to offer for that purpose.

Mr. Ellis Smith

In view of the worldwide interest aroused by the visit of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to Washington and the important statement which the Prime Minister is to make on Monday, would it not have been advisable to have had the statement debated so that the opinions of the British people could have been reflected in this House by their elected representatives when the statement was made?

Mr. Crookshank

I am not quite clear what the hon. Gentleman has in mind, but I did say that there will be a debate on foreign affairs on Wednesday, which may suit him.

Mr. Blenkinsop

In view of the "small" amount of business announced for Monday, would is not be possible to squeeze in the Food and Drugs Bill?

Mr. Crookshank

I think that the amount of business for Monday looks longer and more complicated than it will probably turn out to be. The Government hope to be able to find time for the Second Reading of that Bill before we rise for the Summer Recess.

Mr. Edward Evans

Might I ask you a question on business, Mr. Speaker, and that is whether you have yet decided the fate of the Ministers of the Crown (Fisheries) Bill, which had its Second Reading on 25th June and in respect of which you said last week that you would give us a decision this week?

Mr. Speaker

I intend to make a statement about it today after the Prime Minister has made a statement on another matter.

Dr. King

Is the Leader of the House aware that it is now some months since the House unanimously requested the Government to do something for pensioners and others living on fixed incomes? Will he not bring before the House before the end of this month some proposals of the Government to meet the unanimous request of the House?

Mr. Crookshank

I am afraid that that is another matter.

Mr. Harold Davies

In view of the vital importance of the results of the visit of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to Washington, does not the Leader of the House think that we ought to have a two-day debate, as it will be three months before we meet again and in the interim vital and far-reaching decisions may be made?

Mr. Crookshank

That does not rest with me. There are Supply Days. One of the Supply Days has been chosen by the Opposition for this purpose. If they want other days for it, no doubt they will themselves suggest it.

Mr. Bing

Does not the right hon. Gentleman consider foreign affairs to be of sufficient importance for the Government to give a day of their time to it?

Mr. Crookshank

The fact is that we are rapidly approaching the end of July, and therefore the number of Government days is strictly limited—unless there are suggestions that we should sit into August and possibly into September.