HC Deb 30 October 1958 vol 594 cc313-6
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Leader of the House to 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:

The debate on the Address in reply to the Gracious Speech will be continued on Monday, 3rd November, and brought to a conclusion on Tuesday, 4th November.

It would be convenient, Mr. Speaker, if you would be good enough to indicate to the House which Amendment or Amendments you propose to call and the days upon which they will be taken.

WEDNESDAY, 5TH NOVEMBER—Consideration of a Motion for an Address relating to the Gift of a Speaker's Chair to the Parliament of Ghana.

Second Reading of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, and of the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

THURSDAY, 6TH NOVEMBER—Consideration of Motions for Addresses to continue in force for a further period certain emergency legislation and regulations, and consideration of the draft Army Act, 1955 (Continuation) Order, and of the Air Force Act, 1955 (Continuation) Order.

FRIDAY, 7TH NOVEMBER—Committee stage of a Ways and Means Resolution relating to Armed Forces Housing Loans.

Second Reading of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Mr. Gaitskell

In view of the fact that the Government's pensions Bill is not, I understand, to be introduced for some time—the Second Reading, in any case, not to take place before February—would the right hon. Gentleman make arrangements for a debate between now and Christmas upon the Government's White Paper?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. It has already been indicated that that would be our view and I confirm that it would be so.

Mr. Speaker

In reply to the question addressed to me, I have looked at the Amendments on the Order Paper and propose to select for discussion that standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition— "but noting with concern that the policies of Your Majesty's Government have led to a fall in industrial production, a continuing increase in unemployment and a failure to make full use of our industrial capacity, humbly regrets the omission from the Gracious Speech of any measures directed towards the expansion of production and employment while maintaining stable prices." It is an Amendment of wide scope which embraces in its contents some of the other Amendments which have been tabled. It is for the House to see how long it wishes to discuss the Amendment, but if the debate should go on for the two days it seems to me to be an Amendment that probably would give rise to a very wide and useful debate.

Mr. S. Silverman

May I respectfully draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to one point in connection with an Amendment to the Address standing on the Order Paper in the name of some of my hon. Friends and myself? "but humbly regret that the Gracious Speech contains no proposals either for solving the urgent problems of the cotton industry of Lancashire or for the provision of additional or alternative industries, so that Your Majesty's loyal subjects in that county may be enabled to earn their livelihood by their labour and thus make their contribution to the well-being of the nation." It was precisely because the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend covers so wide a ground that we thought that it would, perhaps, be useful to have an Amendment to the Address devoted to one very urgent and, if one likes, limited matter which, nevertheless, is causing a great deal of anxiety. We thought that such a subject ought to be discussed which might well be lost in a discussion over the wide range of the economy of the country. It was for that reason that we thought it perhaps right to table the Amendment.

What I wanted to ask you, Sir, was whether you would give some attention to this aspect of the matter before finally deciding whether the Amendment ought to be called or not.

Mr. Speaker

It occurred to me that this was an important subject embodied in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), but that it was really included in the wider terms of the Leader of the Opposition's Amendment. I do not think it is at all likely that the condition of the cotton industry will escape attention in a debate on the economic situation of the country.