HC Deb 10 May 1956 vol 552 cc1420-3
Mr. J. Griffiths

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

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

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

MONDAY, 14TH MAY—Supply [13th Allotted Day]: Committee.

Debate on Cyprus until 8 p.m.

Afterwards, a debate will take place on the Case of Commander Crabb.

Then, consideration of the Lords Amendments to the Pensions (Increase) Bill.

TUESDAY, 15TH MAY—Second Reading of the Family Allowances and National Insurance Bill; and of the Workmen's Compensation and Benefit (Supplementation) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions.

WEDNESDAY, 16TH MAY—Committee stage of the Death Penalty (Abolition) Bill.

THURSDAY, 17TH MAY—Conclusion of the Committee stage of the Restrictive Trade Practices Bill; and Committee stage of the Slum Clearance [Money] (No. 2) Resolution.

It is hoped that this business will be completed in time to enable the Opposition Prayers relating to Freight Charges to be moved at a reasonable hour before 10 o'clock.

FRIDAY, 18TH MAY—It is proposed to adjourn for the Whitsun Recess until Tuesday, 29th May.

Mr. Griffiths

We are anxious to cooperate in giving both Bills a Second Reading on Tuesday and it would help if the right hon. Gentleman would consider suspending the rule for one hour to give ample time to cover both the Second Readings.

Mr. Butler

If I may say so, the Opposition have been very reasonable in their attitude to these Bills, which are measures of social reform. I think it would be in the general interest if we extended the time for the debate in the manner suggested by the right hon. Gentleman. I will certainly look into that point.

Dame Irene Ward

May I thank my right hon. Friend for finding time for the Bill dealing with family allowances and other matters connected with that Bill as early as this in the Session, having regard to the fact that, first, he said that it would be brought forward next Session? Is he aware that this gives great pleasure to Conservative hon. Members who are concerned with such Bills?

Mr. Butler

I am very much gratified by what my hon. Friend has said. As she and I know, such Bills are very much near the hearts of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself—indeed, of hon. Members of the Government.

Mr. Robens

Has the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs conveyed to the right hon. Gentleman the request made in the House the other day about a debate on the Disarmament Sub-Committee? If so, could the right hon. Gentleman now say how shortly after the Whitsun Recess that will take place?

Mr. Butler

That depends. We have to examine the very agreeable attitude of the Opposition towards Supply Days in matters of this sort.

Mr. Shinwell

Referring to the debate to take place at eight o'clock on Monday on the subject of Commander Crabb, may I ask which Minister will take charge? Is it to be the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, the Home Secretary or the Prime Minister?

Mr. Butler

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that he will not be disappointed in the quality of the person who will take charge.

Mr. Shinwell

I have no doubt at all about the quality. Which Minister will be responsible for taking the debate? That is a quite reasonable question.

Mr. Butler

I said to the right hon. Gentleman that he will not be disappointed. I think it would be as well if he were to exercise a little patience in this matter.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal what has happened to the Road Traffic Bill? is he aware that that Measure received its Second Reading just about a year ago, and has been out of Committee for several months? Are we ever to come to the Report stage?

Mr. Butler

Yes, we are to come to the Report stage. Like all questions concerned with road traffic, there has been a certain amount of jam in the matter. We hope to get out of the traffic jam after Whitsun.

Mr. S. Silverman

On Wednesday's business, can the Leader of the House say whether it is proposed to extend the time for debate on the Dealth Penalty (Abolition) Bill by one or more hours?

Mr. Butler

The proposal we have in mind is to extend the time by two hours, as we did before.


Will the lord privy seal say how soon we can have a debate on automation?

Mr. Butler:

That depends, first on the attitude which right hon. and hon. Members opposite and the house, adopt in general on the Report itself, and secondly, on a convenient time for such a debate. I think that first we had better all study and digest the report and digest the Report and then find time to consider it.

Mr. MacColl

The lord Privy Seal, if I heard him aright, said that on Thursday we are to take Slum Clearance [MONEY] (No.2) Resolution, which is to be sandwiched between the restrictive Trades Practices Bill and the opposition Prayers Is he aware that this Money Resolution raises matters of principle, about which there is very strong feeling indeed on this side of the House and that if we are to have a debate on that as well as on the other matters the Whitsun festivities look like being somewhat postponed?

Mr. Butler

I would only say to the hon. Member that the middle part of a sandwich is usually the most valuable to eat. I hope that we may reach it in good time and digest it properly.

Mr. Harold Davies

May I follow up the question put by my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell)? I sincerely believe that this House, and the nation, is perturbed by the activities of sections of the Civil Service, and maybe of Intelligence, that have power without responsibility. In a complex civilisation it is wrong—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I called on the hon. Member to ask a question, not to make a speech.

Mr. Davies

Mr. Speaker, all intelligent questions have an intelligent introduction. I wish to ask the Leader of the House whether he will tell the House now—and we have the right to know—who is to be in charge of the debate for the Government on Monday at eight o'clock?

Mr. Butler

This is a matter for decision by the Prime Minister, who has already given an answer on this question. The House will in due course be informed who is to reply to the debate. One thing is quite certain: if the Prime Minister feels it his duty to do so, he will do so himself.

Mr. Callaghan

As the Economic Secretary to the Treasury wound up the debate on the Finance Bill last night, and is to wind up the debate on the Coal Industry Bill tonight, could he not be put in to bat again?

Mr. Butler

We think that there are limits to overfull employment.

Mr. Younger

Does the Leader of the House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sing it."] Speaking in my capacity as the Member for Grimsby, may I ask the Leader of the House not to overlook the claims of the Ministry of Fisheries in the matter?