HC Deb 19 February 1959 vol 600 cc546-8
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 FEBRUARY—Second Reading of the Rating and Valuation Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Committee and remaining stages of the International Bank and Monetary Fund Bill.

TUESDAY, 24TH FEBRUARY—Supply [3rd Allotted Day]:

Report stage of the Civil Vote on Account, which it is proposed to take formally.

We shall then debate two Opposition Motions, the first relating to Legal Aid, until about 7 o'clock, and then a Motion relating to Prison Camp Conditions in Kenya.

WEDNESDAY, 25TH FEBRUARY—Debate on Defence, which will take place on a Government Motion inviting the House to approve the White Paper.

THURSDAY, 26TH FEBRUARY—Conclusion of the debate on Defence.

FRIDAY, 27TH FEBRUARY—Consideration of Private Members' Bills.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that we shall certainly wish to debate Cyprus as soon as possible after the return of the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary from Moscow? Will he find time for that, and not expect the Opposition to provide it?

Mr. Butler

I think that we had better first await my right hon. Friend's statement arising out of this conference this afternoon, and then I will certainly agree that we should discuss through the usual channels the proposal made by the right hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Bellenger

Does not the Leader of the House think that he is being somewhat over-generous in allotting two days to a debate on the Defence White Paper, in view of the paucity of information made available to this House by the Minister of Defence?

Mr. Butler

Whether there is a paucity of information or not, the magnitude of the achievement will require at least two days' discussion.

Mr. Strauss

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he can tell us when we are likely to get the White Paper on the Bowes Committee Report on Inland Waterways, which has been rather a long time in coming forward?

Mr. Butler

I have been in touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and I think the expression often used in this case is "shortly". It really will not be very far away now.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the House has already spent about nine hours discussing 100,000 red deer in Scotland, and that we cannot even get half a day to discuss more than 100,000 unemployed in Scotland? Will he take notice of the Motion on the Order Paper in the names of my right hon. Friend and hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, myself and several others of my hon. Friends, on the need for extending public works in Scotland to relieve unemployment? Will he not undertake that we will at least get half a day on which to discuss this and related matters of vital importance to employment in our country?

[That this House, in view of the latest grave rise in Scottish unemployment, and in view of the fact that there is now a surplus of steel and the Scottish steel industry is operating seriously below capacity, urges Her Majesty's Government to extend immediately the provision of major public works and, in particular, to name an early date for a start to the building of the proposed Tay Road Bridge, believing that this project is now essential both for alleviating local unemployment and for providing the east of Scotland with a modern system of transportation necessary to attract new industry to the area.]

Mr. Butler

I think that the Opposition might have chosen these various matters for the time devoted to Supply. I have the Motion of the hon. Member in front of me, and I can certainly assure him that the matter is of first-class importance and that any discussion which we may have on the use of Parliamentary time must have relation to the situation both here and in Scotland.

Mr. Ross

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, when he is making the arrangements with his right hon. and hon. Friends about Government representation in the debate on legal aid, on Tuesday, he will remember that there is a Committee sitting upstairs and see that we are not deprived of the services of at least one Law Officer of the Crown?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. The hon. Member was disappointed the last time he put the point to me about overlapping difficulties, and on this occasion I will try to see that he is not disappointed.

Mr. Osborne

Since the Budget is likely to be early this year—[HON. MEMBERS: "How do you know?"] because Easter is early, that is why—may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he will see that the Economic Survey, and other economic papers, are made available to us before the Budget debates take place?

Mr. Butler

I will certainly discuss that point with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Meanwhile, I must leave my hon. Friend's observations about the almanack until such time as I am able to announce the right date for the Budget.

Mr. Mellish

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister is making a statement tonight about Cyprus, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can confirm or deny the rumour that Archbishop Makarios is the prospective Tory candidate for East Bournemouth and Christ-church?