HC Deb 15 May 1958 vol 588 cc612-5
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Lord Privy Seal 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, 19TH MAY, TUESDAY, 20TH MAY AND WEDNESDAY, 21ST MAY—Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

At the end of business on Monday, we shall ask the House to consider the Motion for an Address relating to the Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Act, 1951; and, at the end of business on Tuesday, the Motions to approve the Pig Industry Development Authority Levy Scheme (Approval) Order, and the Draft Ploughing Grants Scheme, as well as a similar Scheme for Scotland.

THURSDAY, 22ND MAY—Supply [14th Allotted Day]: Committee.

The subject for debate will be announced at the beginning of next week.

It is hoped that we shall be able to adjourn on Friday, 23rd May, for the Whitsun Recess until Tuesday, 10th June. In present circumstances, however, I must ask the House to treat these arrangements as provisional. I will make a further statement as soon as possible.

Mr. Gaitskell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there will be a Government statement on Cyprus early next week?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir, it is our intention to make a statement on Monday.

Mr. Gaitskell

In that case, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while we do not wish to commit ourselves finally on the business for the last day before the Whitsun Recess, it may very well be that we shall wish to debate that statement?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir, I am sure this matter will be considered with the utmost responsibility at the discretion of the Opposition. It is their day and we await their request on the matter.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Would it be possible to arrange for a statement tomorrow, after Questions, on the situation in the Lebanon in view of the fact that 300 British women and children have been evacuated from Tripoli through Beirut, which is by no means a pacific city, and that at the other end of the Mediterranean American units seem to be in a state of instant readiness and have received movement orders?

Mr. Butler

As the House is aware, this is a matter that I must discuss with my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary. I shall convey the result of that discussion to my noble Friend.

Mr. J. Hynd

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether his attention has been drawn to the statement by the Minister of Transport in the debate which took place last Friday on working conditions on the railways and the implementation of the Gowers Report? How soon will the promise made some time ago by the Leader of the House, that legislation will be introduced within the lifetime of the Government, be fulfilled? As the sands are rapidly running out, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when such a debate is likely to be held, if not next week?

Mr. Butler

I read with great profit the whole of that debate, but I can hold out no hope of a further debate, although I express satisfaction that it was possible to air the issue at some length on Friday.

Mr. Diamond

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as he was leaving the Chamber on Tuesday he turned his back on his hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Wight (Sir P. Macdonald), who was asking whether he would find time for a debate on the important statement on the aircraft industry which the Minister of Supply had just made? Will the right hon. Gentleman provide time for his hon. Friend and those of us with important constituency interests—the whole country is interested in this important matter—to debate the question?

Mr. Butler

The wishes of my hon. Friend were brought to my attention. I cannot give an undertaking that such time will be provided before the Whitsun Recess. No doubt this is a matter which may be available to discuss on a further Supply Day.

Mr. Ernest Davies

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is intended to arrange for a debate on a White Paper on the testing of vehicles? Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that it would be advantageous to have a debate before the regulations are laid, so that the views of hon. Members might be taken into account?

Mr. Butler

I should have to investigate the exact date of laying the regulations and the amount of time available before seeing what could be done.

Mr. Osborne

Will my right hon. Friend be good enough to consider whether, in the near future, time can be found to debate the problem of immigration, in view of its urgency and the facts that 100,000 men will be made redundant in the aircraft industry and that, if the railway modernisation plan is to be successful, we shall have to envisage a great deal of redundancy on the railways? May we have time to discuss this problem, since it will affect our people very seriously?

Mr. Butler

That is obviously a matter of growing importance, but I could not promise a day before Whitsun to debate it.

Mr. Dugdale

Further to the question raised by the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) may the rest of the House be informed, or is only the noble Lord to be informed? May the House be informed tomorrow if a statement is to be made about the Lebanon?

Mr. Butler

I cannot give any undertaking that that will be possible, but I shall certainly see that the usual channels are informed as a result of my consultations.