HC Deb 15 December 1955 vol 547 cc1393-6
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal whether he will be good enough to state the business for next week?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Yes, Sir, but before I do I hope that I may be allowed, on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friends, my hon. Friends and myself, to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the great honour which his party has done him and to say that we wish him every good fortune in his new duties. Of course, the good wishes which go to him from this side of the House are, naturally, coupled with the hope that the particular duty of asking this question on Thursdays will be with him for a great number of years to come.

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER—Consideration of the Motion to approve the White Fish Subsidy (United Kingdom) No. 2 Scheme, which it is hoped to obtain by about 8 p.m.

Second Reading of the Criminal Justice Administration Bill [Lords].

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

TUESDAY, 20TH DECEMBER—Debate on the Report and Accounts of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and the British European Airways.

WEDNESDAY, 21ST DECEMBER—It is hoped to adjourn for the Christmas Recess until Tuesday, 24th January, 1956.

As is customary we shall propose that the House shall meet at 11 a.m., take Questions until 12 noon and adjourn at 5 p.m.

Mr. Gaitskell

I should like to thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kindly, if guarded, words about myself.

On Tuesday's business, may I ask him whether the debate will take place on a Government Motion and, if so, whether he will give us an assurance that the Motion will be sufficiently widely drawn to enable us to discuss the subject of aircraft production as well as the operating of the aircraft by the airways corporations?

Mr. Crookshank

If I may say so, I think that that would be a very sensible thing to do and would probably meet the general convenience of the House. I cannot say what will be in order, but we will put down the same Motion as in 1952, when it was in order, that is to say, That this House, in reviewing the progress of Civil Aviation, takes note of the Reports….

Mr. Woodburn

I take it that the right hon. Gentleman has seen the Motion deploring his and the Secretary of State for Scotland's refusal to divide the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill into two. Is he aware that our protest has already been justified by proceedings in the Standing Committee on the Bill this morning? From the point of view of facilitating the convenience of both English and Scottish Members, will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider this question and allow Scottish Members to discuss the Scottish part of the Bill in the Scottish Standing Committee?

[That this House regrets the decision of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Leader of the House to refuse the request of Scottish Members of the Opposition that Part II of the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill should be passed to the Scottish Standing Committee for its Committee stage and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to reverse this decision and so afford Scottish Members adequate control over Scottish affairs.]

Mr. Crookshank

I have nothing to add to what I told the right hon. Gentleman on the subject on Thursday, although I have had the pleasure of seeing him since then.

Mr. Donnelly

What consideration has the Lord Privy Seal given to the Motion on the Order Paper about Privy Councillors? Does the right hon. Gentleman know that it would be a good thing to make a statement about this, so that his right hon. Friends are not kept in suspense?

[That this House, whilst recognising the desirability that the accepted spokesmen of political parties and Privy Councillors with special experience relevant to the matters under discussion should have some preference in debate, deplores the practice of the House that has grown up whereby all Privy Councillors have preference in debate and at Question Time over all other honourable Members.]

Mr. Crookshank

I do not think that I can make a statement, on a matter which is to do with the custom and practice of the House, further than Mr. Speaker did the day before yesterday. I dare say that right hon. Gentlemen will note this demonstration in force led by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Ross

As the Lord Privy Seal has decided to stand by his decision not to give the Scots an opportunity of discussing their part of the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill an the Scottish Grand Committee, will he afford the House an opportunity of discussing the principle embodied in the Motion in the name of my right hon. Friend and other Scottish Members? There is very urgent need to do this in view of the insulting treatment which we had in the Standing Committee on the Bill this morning.

Mrs. L. Jeger

In view of the great anxiety of many hon. Members about conditions in Cyprus, and the regret with which we would disperse without further information, would the right hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary about the possibility of at least giving some further news to the House next week about the position there?

Mr. Crookshank

I will certainly pass the hon. Lady's message on to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Rankin

Reverting to my right hon. Friend's Motion dealing with the Teachers (Superannuation) Bill, which I hope the Leader of the House has studied closely, is he aware that as a result of the proceedings in the Standing Committee this morning there is a very real danger that the Minister of Education for England and Wales may begin to assume that he has the right to talk for education in Scotland, which would be a real disaster? Will the Lord Privy Seal seek to avoid that by referring Part II of the Bill to the Scottish Standing Committee for consideration?

Mr. Crookshank

That seems to be putting the same question as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) put. I have nothing to add to what I said before.

Mr. Elliot

Will my right hon. Friend take note of the great need for reorganisation of the Scottish Grand Committee into at least two sub-committees, so that it may adequately deal with the business already before it?

Mr. Crookshank

That raises another topic, and a very interesting one, which, I hope, may be considered by all concerned.