HC Deb 19 June 1958 vol 589 cc1312-5
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, 23RD JUNE—Report and Third Reading of the Landlord and Tenant (Temporary Provisions) Bill.

TUESDAY, 24TH JUNE—Report stage of the Agriculture Bill.

Consideration of the Motion to approve the Draft Furniture Industry Development Council (Amendment) Order.

WEDNESDAY, 25TH JUNE—Conclusion of the Report stage and Third Reading of the Agriculture Bill.

Consideration of the Motions to approve the Draft Fertilisers (United Kingdom) Scheme and the Protection of Guarantees Orders relating to Cereals, Eggs and Fatstock.

THURSDAY, 26TH JUNE—Supply [17th Allotted Day]: Committee.

Debate on Cyprus.

FRIDAY, 27TH JUNE—Second Reading of the Children Bill [Lords], and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution, which it is hoped to obtain by about 2 o'clock.

Report and Third Reading of the Distribution of Industry (Industrial Finance) Bill.

Mr. Clement Davies

Do I understand that only Thursday is to be allotted for the debate on Cyprus? Inasmuch as the future of this island and its people is bound to raise very widespread interest throughout the House, ought not two days to be allotted for the debate?

Mr. Butler

We have had certain discussions on this subject. While I am always ready to hear ideas, especially from the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I do not think that there will be an opportunity to extend the debate beyond one day.

Mr. H. Hynd

Has the attention of the Leader of the House been called to a widely signed Motion on the Order Paper, on the state of the cotton industry?

[That this House is deeply concerned by the continued decline of the British cotton industry brought about by adverse world conditions and the unlimited import of textile goods, many of which are produced by sweated labour; and that this House deplores the spread of unemployment and short-time working amongst Lancashire textile operatives and calls upon Her Majesty's Government, as emergency measures, to take steps to limit these imports and by legislative, and other action to establish civilised standards of labour in Hong Kong.]

and a fairly widely signed Amendment to it.

[Leave out from "industry" to end and add "and the spread of unemployment and short-time working amongst Lancashire textile operatives and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to do everything possible to support the efforts of the Lancashire textile industry in their negotiations with producers in India, Pakistan and Hong Kong for a rational limiation of cloth imports to the ultimate benefit of themselves as well as the Lancashire industry".]

Is he considering allocating time for a debate on that subject before the Summer Recess?

Mr. Butler

I cannot give any such undertaking today, but I have the Motion before me.

Mr. S. Silverman

While we cannot ask him for an answer today, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman at least to bear in mind that, without distinction of party at all, throughout Lancashire there is deep and grave anxiety about the position in the cotton trade; and that Parliament ought to have an opportunity to consider the matter—whatever decision it may ultimately be thought right to take—before we adjourn at the end of July for the long vacation?

Mr. Butler

Parliament is certainly the proper place in which to ventilate grievances, especially those of so important a county. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman an undertaking—he did not ask for one—but I will note what he has said.

Mr. Willey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the proceedings in Committee on the Agriculture Bill were finished only this week and that it is rather unfair to take the Report stage next week? As no one wants this Bill, could not the right hon. Gentleman arrange for the Report stage to be taken later?

Mr. Butler

I realise that the time between the two stages is not very long, but we have given two days for the concluding stages of the Bill, which is more than we had wished to give. I hope that this concession will indicate the liberal frame of mind in which we are.

Mr. Donnelly

Last week, the right hon. Gentleman was giving consideration to the prospect of a debate on the Wolfenden Report. Can he tell us how far he has progressed in his thinking about this?

Mr. Butler

I often think about it, but I have not yet found time for a debate.

Dame Irene Ward

May I ask whether my right hon. Friend has studied the all-party Motion on the future of the Hampton site and whether he can give his great mind to the future development of that site in the national interest?

That this House, having noted that the vacant, Hampton, site, on the north side of Trafalgar Square, will not be required for use by the Canadian Government, and conscious of the opportunity now available to complete the development of Trafalgar Square as a unique centre of the Commonwealth, urges Her Majesty's Government to acquire the site in order that such further extension of the National Gallery, as will certainly be required in the future, may be safeguarded.

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I have also discussed it with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We are not in a position to make a statement about it yet.

Mr. Benn

Is the right hon. Gentleman proposing to tell us whether it is the intention of the Government to make a statement about British policy towards the Lebanon, in view of the rapid increase in the number of British forces in Cyprus?

Mr. Butler

That is a matter which must be put to my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary.

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