HC Deb 16 December 1959 vol 615 cc1449-51
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will announce the business for the first week after the Christmas Recess?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

Yes, Sir. The business for the first week after the Christmas Recess will be as follows:

TUESDAY, 26TH JANUARY—Report and Third Reading of the Foreign Service Bill, and of the Cinematograph Films Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 27TH JANUARY—Committee and remaining stages of the Coal Industry Bill, and of the Air Corporations Bill.

THURSDAY, 28TH JANUARY—Second Reading of the Payment of Wages Bill.

FRIDAY, 29TH JANUARY—Consideration of private Members' Motions.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Could the Leader of the House assure us that in no circumstances will he wander into the bogs of Ireland during the Recess?

Hon. Members


Mr. Mellish

Has the attention of the Leader of the House been called to the fact that the last time the Minister of Transport answered Questions in the House was on 6th November? Is he aware that today there are over 50 Questions to the right hon. Gentleman, starting at Question No. 51? Bearing in mind the importance of these transport questions, will the Leader of the House take into account the need for an alteration in Questions generally to allow certain Ministers, like the Minister of Transport, to answer orally more frequently?

Further, can the right hon. Gentleman say what is the position on talks about public accountability? Are we getting on with them still?

Mr. Butler

I will look into what the hon. Member has said. I understand that Questions to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport have recently been reached at Question Time, but there was only one Question on the Order Paper. It is always worth looking at this point, but I cannot say more at present.

I cannot say more about accountability at this stage.

Mr. H. Hynd

Can the Leader of the House say anything about the public accountability of those who speak in our name at international organisations like the Council of Europe? I should like to have a debate in the House about what happens at the Council of Europe and Western European Union.

Mr. Butler

I will make a note of what the hon. Member has said.

Mr. Popplewell

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he has taken notice of the Motion, signed by hon. Members on this side of the House, representing constituencies in the North-East, and drawing attention to the serious situation that has developed in the shipbuilding industry on the Tyne, where there is 10.4 per cent. unemployment? Will the right hon. Gentleman make arrangements at an early date in the new Session to debate this urgent problem in the North-East?

[That this House urges Her Majesty's Government to use every incentive to encourage a major industry such as the motor industry, to site its expansion in the north-east, in view of the rapidly increasing unemployment in the engineering and shipbuilding industries there.]

Mr. Butler

I have noticed the Motion and I will discuss the matter with my right hon. Friend who is principally concerned.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will there be a debate on procedure at an early date after the Recess? Are the Government prepared to make a statement on the restoration of private Members' time and other consequential arrangements arising out of procedure?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I hope to make a statement in a few minutes indicating lines on procedure and indicating a debate shortly after we return following the Christmas Recess.

Mr. Lipton

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he has noted the Motion standing in my name and the names of some of my hon. Friends calling for the removal of the Chairman of the Wokingham bench of magistrates? Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that on 3rd December he said: … I should like to examine this Motion."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1959; Vol. 614, c. 1394.] Can he say whether he has examined it and, if so, what he will do about it?

[That this House takes note that, on 19th October last at Wokingham Juvenile Court, Mr. Leonard Hackett, J.P., addressed an accused person in the following terms: "What you richly deserve is such a thorough thrashing that you would be senseless for about forty-eight hours. Very unfortunately this court has no power, and no other court has any power, to order you to be so punished. However, I have no doubt that if you continue in your present way of life this punishment you will receive, and it will not be ordered by a court of law but by other men in whose society you will find yourself"; and this House is therefore of the opinion that Mr. Hackett should he removed from the list of magistrates.]

Mr. Butler

I have nothing further to add on that subject.

Mr. Lipton

But has the right hon. Gentleman examined it?

Dame Irene Ward

May I ask my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House whether, in his reference to discussing unemployment in shipbuilding on the Tyne, he means, quite genuinely, that he will initiate or allow the House to have a debate on this subject, which is of vast importance to all of us?

Mr. Butler

I am aware of my hon. Friend's anxiety, which is shared by other hon. Members who represent that area. I must be permitted, on business questions, to say that I will discuss it with my right hon. Friend who is principally concerned.