HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc511-3
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state 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, 15TH DECEMBER—Second Reading of the House Purchase and Housing Bill, and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

TUESDAY, 16TH DECEMBER—Report and Third Reading of the Emergency Laws (Repeal) Bill,

Committee and remaining stages of the Adoption Bill; the National Debt Bill; the Manoeuvres Bill; and the Slaughter of Animals Bill, which are consolidation Measures and have been received from another place.

It is hoped to obtain the Second Readings of these Bills at the end of business that night.

Committee stage of the New Towns Money Resolution.

WEDNESDAY, 17TH DECEMBER—A debate will take place on the Unemployment Situation.

THURSDAY, 18TH DECEMBER—It is proposed to meet at 11a.m.

Questions will be taken till 12 noon and the House adjourn at 5 p.m.

Adjournment for the Christmas Recess until Tuesday, 20th January, 1959.

Mr. Gaitskell

Do I understand that the debate on Wednesday will be on the Motion for the Adjournment?

Mr. Butler

So far as I am aware, that is the arrangement. We can settle it through the usual channels.

Mr. Grimond

Do not the Government intend to give a day out of their own time for a debate on Cyprus?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a statement yesterday which I think the House accepted in the spirit in which it was made. The reasons were conveyed by my right hon. Friend, one of which I can now stress, namely, that the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey will be present with our Foreign Secretary when we are discussing the matter at N.A.T.O., and it would probably be better for us not to have a debate here, but to allow these constructive discussions to take place.

Mr. Gaitskell

May I explain that when we asked the Government for a debate on Cyprus they pointed out that the Foreign Secretary would not be present and, in the opinion of the Government, there were other difficulties about such a debate? With some reluctance we then agreed not to press for a debate on Cyprus, provided that we could debate a subject which seemed to us equally important. That is why we are having a debate on the unemployment situation.

Mr. Butler

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for the attitude which he has adopted in this matter.

Mr. J. Hynd

I do not think that many hon. Members heard the answer by the Leader of the House to the question by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition about the business on Wednesday. May we be told what is the subject of the debate?

Mr. Butler

As I read out originally, the subject for Wednesday's business is a debate on the unemployment situation. That is at the request of the Opposition and will take place on the Motion for the Adjournment.

Mr. H. Hynd

May I ask the Leader of the House whether his attention has been drawn to a Motion on the Order Paper in my name, and signed by hon. Members on both sides of the House, referring to the question of supplementary pension for railway superannuitants? Can the right hon. Gentleman find time for a discussion of that Motion at an early date?

[That this House, being of opinion that exceptional hardship has resulted to British Railways superannuitants, many of whom are not in receipt of National Insurance benefits, in a period of declining money values, calls upon Her Majesty's Government to bring forward proposals for the alleviation of this hardship.]

Mr. Butler

There will be no chance to discuss it before we adjourn for the Christmas Recess. I have the terms of the Motion before me. It is a subject which the Opposition might choose to debate on a Supply Day.

Mr. W. Yates

Has the Leader of the House seen the Motion in my name on the Order Paper, concerning Malta? Can he tell us when we may expect a statement or the present discussions on Malta, or when we may have a debate as a result of them?

[That this House, having taken note of the promise made in the Gracious Speech, namely, to co-operate with the United Nations and the countries of the Middle East, now calls upon Her Majesty's Government firstly to propose at the United Nations that international status under United Nations guarantee be offered to the Island of Malta, and, secondly, to invite compliance with the previous United Nations resolution for the international status of the Holy City of Jerusalem in order to provide permanent bases for the police and peace forces of the United Nations.]

Mr. Butler

The statement on Malta must depend on the development of negotiations, so no exact time can be given.

Mr. Chetwynd

As there will be trade discrimination between the countries of the Common Market and O.E.E.C. before the House meets again in January of next year, and if it is not possible to have a debate on the subject before the Christmas Recess, may we be assured that a White Paper will be laid?

Mr. Butler

That, again, depends on the way that the discussions turn. I can say that the House will be given information when there is full information available because, clearly, hon. Members on both sides of the House are interested in the latest information.