HC Deb 14 February 1957 vol 564 cc1449-56
Mr. Gaitskell

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

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

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

MONDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY—Second Reading of—the Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

TUESDAY, 19TH FEBRUARY—supply [2nd Allotted Day]: Committee.

The following Civil Supplementary Estimates will be considered:

Class II, Vote 9, Colonial Services which contains a Grant-in-Aid for Cyprus.

Class II, Vote 2, Foreign Office Grants and Services.

Class VIII, Vote 2, Agricultural and Food Grants and Subsidies.

WEDNESDAY, 20TH FEBRUARY—The Rating and Valuation Bill will be further considered.

Second Reading of the Public Trustee (Fees) Bill [Lords].

Committee stage of a Ways and Means Resolution and of a Money Resolution required for the Electricity Bill, which is now before Standing Committee.

Report and Third Reading of the Patents Bill [Lords].

THURSDAY, 21ST FEBRUARY—Consideration of the Motor Vehicles (Variation of Speed Limit) Regulations, which it is hoped to obtain by 7 o'clock.

Report stage of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Bill.

FRIDAY, 22ND FEBRUARY—Consideration of Private Members' Motions.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that on Tuesday it is the desire of the Opposition that there should be a full day's debate on Cyprus, and that we should, therefore, wish some of the other Supplementary Estimates to be deferred until a later date? Will he also say when he thinks that the House can debate the Report of the Joint Committee on Private Bill Procedure, to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Glenvil Hall) referred last week?

Mr. Butler

With reference to Tuesday's business, we certainly take note of the wishes of the Opposition. The other Votes were, of course, put down at their request. On the question of Private Bill Procedure, it might be convenient if I make a short statement to the House, with the leave of the House, and in answer to the right hon. Gentleman.

The Report contains recommendations which have engaged the close attention both of the Government and of the authorities of both Houses. Of the 22 recommendations of the Joint Committee all but seven were dealt with, as the House will remember, in a Question answered on 31st July last. One of the remaining seven recommendations is the subject of a Private Member's Bill at present in progress, and Mr. Speaker has made a statement about another. The remaining five points are under consideration by the Government, in consultation with the authorities of the House.

Now we come to the second recommendation of the Joint Committee, that Mr. Speaker should ordinarily declare the Second Reading of a Private Bill carried unless a reasoned Amendment to the Motion for the Second Reading stands on the Order Paper signed by at least six Members. This was not found to be acceptable. I have recently received representations from certain hon. Members opposite who are opposed to the old practice under which Bills may be blocked at the time of unopposed Private Business by the objection of a single Member. In considering this matter, I would wish to consult through the usual channels and with private Members who are interested.

Mr. Gaitskell

Without wishing to enter into the merits of the Report, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not agree that as it was published as long ago as May, 1955, the most sensible course would be to have a debate upon the whole subject as soon as possible?

Mr. Butler

I would rather do what I have said and have a consultation first with the right hon. Gentleman and his friends, and also with hon. Members who are interested. Certain private Members have approached me. I would rather decide about what we should do next after those consultations have taken place.

Mr. Nabarro

As we are approaching the period in the year when it is a regular weekly feature to debate Votes and Estimates, can my right hon. Friend tell the House when we might expect a statement on the vastly expensive atomic energy programme which has been promised almost every week since the beginning of December?

Mr. Butler

I was aware that this question might be asked, but I cannot make any further statement today; nor can my right hon. Friend who is in charge of this matter. But I will note the need for a further statement.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind, in the talks which he has now told us are about to take place between various authorities, that the great hope is that the discussions will result in a lessening of costs and expenses to local authorities and others promoting Private Bills?

Mr. Butler

In some respects the costs would be less to those private interests if some hon. Members, such as the right hon. Gentleman, were less assiduous in their attention to their Parliamentary duties. I suggest that we discuss this matter first—that we do not decide its merits across the Floor of the House—and then decide what it is best to do next.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a Second Reading debate now costs the promoters of a Bill at least £25?

Mr. Short

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the Motion on the Order Paper which refers to the dilemma facing the State of Israel, which has been signed by more than 100 right hon. and hon. Members of all parties? If he cannot find time for a discussion of the Motion, will he be so kind as to bring it to the attention of his right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, and let them know what massive support it is receiving from all quarters of the House?

[That this House is of the opinion that a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the Gulf of Aqaba before adequate guarantees have been given to Israel as to the security of her frontier with Egypt and the freedom of her shipping in the Gulf would not be in the interests of peace in the Middle East.]

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I have the Motion here and I am aware of the support for it. I will certainly mention it to my right hon. Friends.

Mr. Osborne

In view of the immense importance to the people of this country of the proposed free trade area in Europe, and the differences of opinion in industry concerning the proposals, will arrangements be made for a debate to take place in this House as soon as possible after the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Trade have returned from the Paris conference?

Mr. Butler

We have had a general debate on the subject but, naturally, the House would wish to know the latest news. We had better await the return of my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Trade before we make up our minds about a statement.

Mr. Daines

During last Session, a Select Committee was set up, by Resolution of the House, to deal with amenities and accommodation, or the lack of them, in the House, but so far this Session a Motion has not been moved for the setting up of a Select Committee. Is it the intention of the Leader of the House that that position should be maintained, or is a Select Committee again to be set up?

Mr. Butler

I have studied this matter, on which I should like to obtain the considered views of Her Majesty's Opposition. If we could have an opportunity of a discussion with them for that purpose, we might make progress.

Motion made, and Question put:That the Proceedings on the Rating and Valuation Bill be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House).—[Mr. R. A. Butler.]

The House divided: Ayes 211, Noes 170.

Division No. 60.] AYES [3.41 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Nairn, D, L. S.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Gower, H. R. Neave, Airey
Alport, C. J. M. Graham, Sir Fergus Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Green, A. Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Arbuthnot, John Gresham Cooke, R. Oakshott, H. D.
Armstrong, C. W. Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)
Ashton, H. Gurden, Harold Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.
Astor, Hon. J. J. Hall, John (Wycombe) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Atkins, H. E. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Osborne, C.
Baldwin, A. E. Harris, Reader (Heston) Page, R. G.
Barber, Anthony Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Barlow, Sir John Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Partridge, E.
Barter, John Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Baxter, Sir Beverley Harvey, John (Walthamstow. E.) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Pitt, Miss E. M.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.) Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Pott, H. P.
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Hesketh, R. F. Powell, J. Enoch
Bidgood, J. C. Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Bishop, F. P. Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Ramsden, J. E.
Body, R. F.
Bossom, Sir Alfred Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Rawlinson, Peter
Boyd-Carpenter Rt. Hon. J. A. Holland-Martin, C. J. Redmayne, M.
Boyle, Sir Edward Holt, A. F. Renton, D. L. M.
Braine, B. R. Hope, Lord John Ridsdale, J. E.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, w.) Hornby, R. P. Rippon, A. G. F.
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Robertson, Sir David,
Brooman-White, R. C. Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Howard, John (Test) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Bryan, P. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Roper, Sir Harold
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hulbert, Sir Norman Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Campbell, Sir David Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Russell, R. S.
Carr, Robert Hyde, Montgomery Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Cary, Sir Robert Iremonger, T. L. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Channon, Sir Henry Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Sharples, R. C.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Shepherd, William
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Cooper, A. E. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Keegan, D. Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Kerby, Capt. H. B. Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Kerr, H. W. Stevens, Geoffrey
Crouch, R. F. Kimball, M. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Langford-Holt, J. A. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Cunningham, Knox Leavey, J. A. Storey, S.
Currie, G. B. H. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Studholme, Sir Henry
Dance, J. C. G. Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Teeling, W.
Davidson, Viscountess Longden, Gilbert Temple, J. M.
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Deedes, W. F. McAdden, S. J. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Macdonald, Sir Peter Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Dodds-Parker, A, D. Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. McKibbin, A. J. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
du Cann, E. D. L. Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Duncan, Capt. J, A. L. Maclean, Fitzroy (Lancaster) Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Duthie, W. S. McLean, Neil (Inverness) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty) Vane, W. M. F.
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Erroll, F. J. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Vickers, Miss J. H.
Farey-Jones, F. W. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Wade, D. W.
Fell, A. Maddan, Martin Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Finlay, Graeme Maitlanrl, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Wall, Major Patrick
Fisher, Nigel Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Marlowe, A. A. H. Webbe, Sir H.
Fort, R. Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Maude, Angus Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Freeth, Denzil Mawby, R. L. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Molson, Rt, Hon. Hugh Wood, Hon. R.
Gibson-Watt, D. Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Glover, D. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Godber, J. B. Nabarro, G. D. N. Mr. Legh and Mr. Hughes-Young.
Ainsley, J. W. Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.) Bowles, F. G.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Benson, G. Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Beswick, Frank Brockway, A. F.
Awbery, S. S. Blackburn, F. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)
Bacon, Miss Alice Blyton, W. R. Brown, Thomas (Ince)
Balfour, A. Boardman, H. Burke, W. A.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Burton, Miss F. E.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Janner, B. Redhead, E. C.
Callaghan, L. J. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Reeves, J.
Carmichael, J. Jeger, George (Goole) Reid, William
Champion, A. J. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn &St. Pncs. S.) Rhodes, H.
Chapman, W. D. Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Chetwynd, C. R, Johnson, James (Rugby) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Clunie, J. Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Collick P. H. (Birkenhead) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefietd) Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, s.) Ross, William
Cove, W. G. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Daines, P. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Short, E. W.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Lawson, G. M. Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Lindgren, G. S. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr) Lipton, Marcus Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
de Freitas, Geoffrey McGhee, H. G. Skeffington, A. M.
Dodds, N. N. McKay, John (Wallsend) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) McLeavy, Frank Snow, J. W.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Mahon, Simon Sorensen, R. W.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Sparks, J. A.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Messer, Sir F. Steele, T.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Mitchison, G. R. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Evans, Edward (Lowestoft) Monslow, W. Stones, W. (Consett)
Fernyhough, E. Moody, A. S. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Finch, H. J. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Fletcher, Eric Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm,S.) Swingler, S. T.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Moss, R. Sylvester, G. O.
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Moyle, A. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Mulley, F. w. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Grey, C. F. Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Thornton, E.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Tomney, F.
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Oliver, G. H. Viant, S. P.
Hamilton, W. W, Oram, A. E. Warbey, W. N.
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.) Oswald, T. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Hayman, F. H. Owen W.J. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Herbison, Miss M. Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) West, D. G.
Hobson, C. R. Pannell Charles (Leeds, W.) Wheeldon, W. E.
White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Holman, P. Parker, J. Willey, Frederick
Houghton, Douglas Paton, John Williams, W. R, (Openshaw)
Howell, Denis (All Saints) Pearson, A. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Hoy, J. H. Peart, T. F. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Hubbard, T. F. Pentland, N. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Plummer, Sir Leslie Winterbottom, Richard
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Popplewell, E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Hunter, A. E. Probert, A. R. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Proctor, W. T. Zilliacus, K.
Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Randall, H. E.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. C. A. Rankin, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Holmes and Mr. Wilkins.