HC Deb 24 January 1957 vol 563 cc400-2
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, 28TH JANUARY—Committee stage of the Homicide Bill.

TUESDAY, 29TH JANUARY—It is hoped to conclude the Committee stage of the Homicide Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 30TH JANUARY— tee stage of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Bill.

Committee and remaining stages of the Empire Settlement Bill.

Committee stage of the Money Resolution relating to the New Streets Act, 1951 (Amendment) Bill which is a Private Member's Bill).

Consideration of the Motion to approve the Motor Vehicles (Variation of Speed Limit) Regulations.

THURSDAY, 31ST JANUARY—Second Reading of the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

FRIDAY, 1ST FEBRUARY—Consideration of Private Members' Bills.

Mr. Gaitskell

As this is the first business statement of the new Government, may I inquire whether it is the intention of the Government to present to the House a general statement of their policy and their legislative programme?

Mr. Butler

The policy of Her Majesty's Government remains to seek peace with justice abroad and progress with prosperity at home. The measures to achieve these ends will unfold themselves as the Session goes on. The Government's legislative programme is set out in the Gracious Speech which was delivered on Tuesday, 6th November, 1956, and we stand by it.

Mr. Gaitskell

May we take it from that statement, in phrases so general as to be almost meaningless, that Her Majesty's Government intend to follow the same policy as their predecessors?

Mr. Butler

Her Majesty's Government intend to carry on the policies of the previous Government and to carry them to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Nabarro

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it will be possible next week for a statement to be made on the revised and accelerated atomic energy programme, and whether, shortly thereafter, a debate could take place on this subject and the future of our energy and fuel and power resources?

Mr. Butler

I will discuss that with my noble Friend who is primarily responsible and inform the House at the first possible opportunity.

Mr. S. Silverman

In view of the right hon. Gentleman's surprising and rather optimistic expectation, or hope, that the Committee stage of the Homicide Bill will be concluded next Tuesday, may I ask him whether it is the Government's intention to get rid of the gallows by imposing the Guillotine?

Mr. Butler

The Government are quite ready to adopt any device necessary to bring this Bill on to the Statute Book, but I would say, if I may, in connection with the concluding words uttered by the hon. Member at the end of our sitting last night, that if this is the spirit in which he is approaching the Bill, let us hope that we can avoid such a drastic and decapitating solution. It is our wish to get this Bill as soon as we possibly can.

Mr. Wigg

The right hon. Gentleman will have observed that each of the Service Ministers, in answer to Questions, has stated that public moneys have been expended on the cost of supplies and services to the French forces engaged in warlike operations in the Middle East. The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that this expenditure has not yet been authorised by Parliament. Would he be good enough to tell us when Supplementary Estimates will be presented, so that they can be debated?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. In due course. We have that in mind.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Could the Leader of the House tell us whether the Government's policy would not be more accurately and concisely defined as "error and trial"?