HC Deb 21 April 1955 vol 540 cc346-8
Mr. Attlee

May I ask whether the Prime Minister will state the Business of the House?

The Prime Minister

I am glad to welcome back the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition and I apologise for truncating the proceedings in which he was engaged. I will state the business of the House on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal who, for the first time in this Parliament, is vocally unable to give it.

My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal deferred making a statement until today on the business which it is necessary for us to ask the House to complete before dissolution until we had had an opportunity of ascertaining through the usual channels what measure of agreement could be obtained.

The business to be disposed of is as follows:

All stages of the Finance Bill and the National Insurance (No. 2) Bill.

Report and Third Reading of the Oil in Navigable Waters Bill [Lords].

Amendments which may be received from another place to certain Bills.

Motions to approve the Draft Potato Marketing Scheme; and the Agriculture (Ploughing Grants) Scheme as well as the Scheme relating to Scotland.

Should it be necessary to consider any other Motions to approve Orders or business of an urgent character, we shall inform the House.

As to Supply, before dissolution the public services must be provided for, and agreement has been reached through the usual channels to complete outstanding Supply in four more allotted Supply days. It will be necessary to bring forward a Motion to carry out this proposal, on the lines of those passed in 1929 and 1945, when similar arrangements were made.

We shall also have to pass the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill through all its stages. My right hon. Friend undertook last night to consider affording facilities for the public Service Vehicles (Travel Concessions) Bill, brought forward by the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Short). If it is agreeable to the House, and if the procedure Motion necessary for this Bill is passed, the Government will afford the necessary facilities.

The business for next week will, therefore, be as follows:

MONDAY, 25TH APRIL.—Second Reading of the Finance Bill; and of the National Insurance (No. 2) Bill.

TUESDAY, 26TH APRIL.—We shall ask the House to agree to the Motion to complete outstanding Supply Votes in a reduced number of allotted Supply days.

Supply [11th allotted Day]: Committee.

Debate on Education.

Report and Third Reading of the Oil in Navigable Waters Bill [Lords].

WEDNESDAY, 27TH APRIL.—Committee stage: Finance Bill.

Committee and remaining stages: National Insurance (No. 2) Bill.

THURSDAY, 28TH APRIL.—Supply [12th allotted Day]: Committee.

Debate on National Service.

FRIDAY, 29TH APRIL.—Concluding stages of the Finance Bill, which we hope to obtain by Four o'clock.

Mr. Driberg

Would the Lord Privy Seal try to find a little time to debate the Report from the Committee of Privileges which raises rather wider constitutional questions than the purely Service aspect, which will of course be dealt with by the Secretary of State?

The Prime Minister

I. think that everybody knows that the Report of the Select Committee was a fairly definitive one, but if it were the desire of the House to have a brief discussion on it perhaps the matter could be taken up through the usual channels, and be considered.

Mr. Bowles

Has the Prime Minister seen the Report from the Members' Fund proposing a pension scheme to Members of this House? Many hon. Members may not be standing again, and may find themselves in the well-known awkward financial situation, which is well known to the House. After this week there is only one other week before dissolution. Would the Prime Minister give consideration to the question of an early debate to see whether some view could be expressed before two hon. Members opposite, who are Trustees, leave the House?

The Prime Minister

I have given some thought to that, and had considered that it was perhaps a matter rather for the next Parliament than for this. If the hon. Gentleman feels, on further consideration, that he wants that done, we will examine it. As I say, I would myself have thought it was more for the next Parliament than for us to consider.

Mr. Ede

I did not hear the Prime Minister mention, in the business for next week, the procedural Motion with regard to my hon. Friend's Public Service Vehicles (Travel Concessions) Bill. Is it proposed to take that next week?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, that is so. We shall want to take it in order that the other stages of the Bill may be proceeded with.

Mr. Gibson

Are we to understand that the Requisitioned Houses and Housing (Amendment) Bill and the Rating and Valuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill are lost?

The Prime Minister

No other Measures from another place can be dealt with except those that I have already mentioned.