HC Deb 31 July 1956 vol 557 cc1243-4
The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

May I be allowed, Mr. Speaker, to make a statement?

Since I announced, earlier today, the arrangements for tomorrow's debate on the Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill, Mr. Dulles, the United States Secretary of State, has arranged to come to London for talks tomorrow.

In view of the fact that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary will wish to be free to take part in these talks, it is now proposed, with the agreement of the Opposition, that the debate on Suez should be deferred until Thursday.

Questions on that day will, therefore, begin at 11 a.m., and it is proposed that the debate on Suez should follow and continue until 5 o'clock. The usual debates on the Adjournment, already arranged by Mr. Speaker, will start immediately afterwards, and will continue until 10 o'clock.

The debates on the Third Reading of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill tomorrow will be on the administration of the Seychelles and the position of Seretse Khama.

Mr. Clement Davies

Naturally, it is right, Mr. Speaker, that the debate on Suez should not take place tomorrow, but is it right that such an important matter should be taken on the last day in this way, merely from 12 o'clock to 5 o'clock? Surely the House will be willing to sit on Friday and allow that day to be used for debating various subjects on the Adjournment.

Mr. Speaker

I am afraid that the intervention of the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) was irregular. The intervention of the Leader of the House to make his business statement was remotely relevant to the subject that we are discussing, defence. But if this argument about business goes on, I fear that even my sense of what is relevant will be too much stretched. We ought to get on with the debate.

Mr. Shinwell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May we know when the Motion for the Adjournment will be moved? Will that be on Thursday night, or on Friday? Will it come on at 10 o'clock? That is, not the Adjournment of the House, but the Adjournment Motion for the Recess. When will that be moved?

Mr. Speaker

I imagine that will be tomorrow. It is usually the day before we adjourn that the Adjournment Motion for the Recess is moved, that is, the Motion, "That at its rising Tomorrow the House shall adjourn"—until such and such a date. That is tomorrow.

Mr. Shinwell

In that event, will it be permissible tomorrow to debate whether we adjourn on Thursday night or on Friday?

Mr. Speaker