HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1637-40
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Leader of the House to state the business for the first week after the Whitsun Recess?

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

The business for the first week after the Whitsun Recess will be as follows:

MONDAY, 20TH JUNE—Second Reading of the Building Societies Bill [Lords] and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Consideration of the Motion to approve the Fertilisers (United Kingdom) Scheme.

TUESDAY, 21ST JUNE, and WEDNESDAY, 22ND JUNE—Conclusion of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill.

THURSDAY, 23RD JUNE—Report and Third Reading of the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill.

FRIDAY, 24TH JUNE—Consideration of Private Members' Motions.

The proposed business on Monday, 27th June, will be Supply [16th allotted Day]: Committee. A debate on the proposed transfer of Richard Thomas and Baldwins Limited to private ownership.

Mr. C. Pannell

Is the Leader of the House aware that the Minister of Transport yesterday referred to the non-co-operation of one local authority in refusing to put up any signs of his Department over the Whitsun holiday? As many Members will be travelling along that road and we want to get back in one piece, will the right hon. Gentleman confirm or deny that the offending authority is the County Council of the North Riding of Yorkshire?

Mr. Butler

In answer to business questions, I should have to reserve the position, and consult my right hon. Friend. I will certainly do so in the light of the hon. Member's question.

Mr. Harold Davies

May I ask the Leader of the House, although time is very short, whether any opportunity will be given to the House to discuss the case of Mrs. Hazel Anna Wolf, who is to be deported to this country from the United States, who has not lived here for a very long time and has no relatives or money here, and who will have to be kept out of public funds here? Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether something is being done by the Government to try to dissuade the United States in this matter?

Mr. Butler

I am informed that representations are being made by Her Majesty's Ambassador. In any case, I will undertake to look into the matter myself.

Mr. S. Silverman

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that in another similar case representations were, as promised, made by Her Majesty's Ambassador in Washington, but so great is our influence with the United States authorities that the result was completely negative? If the deportation is to take place, is it not time the House did have an opportunity of discussing these matters?

Mr. Butler

I do not see an easy opportunity of discussing them, but I have undertaken to give this matter immediate personal consideration, which I will do in the light of the questions which have been put.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Leader of the House find time for a general debate on the recommendations of the Simonds Committee on the Powers of Subpoena of Disciplinary Tribunals and the general question of the production of evidence taken by police officers? Will he bear in mind that it is desirable that the House should have an opportunity of a general debate on that Report before considering any Amendments which may be made in another place to a certain Bill which is now under consideration?

Mr. Butler

If Amendments are made in the sense of the answer I gave on the Government's acceptance of the Simonds Report, the House will have an opportunity of considering those Amendments when they come from another place. We have many Supply Days still to fit in at this time of the year, and I cannot give any easy undertaking, but in saying that I do not wish to minimise the importance of this Report.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this is really a matter of Government responsibility and, therefore, for Government time, especially as it seems that the Government are at the point of changing their policy in this matter, and that, therefore, it is important that we should debate the general question and not only amendments which may obscure the general question and make it difficult to raise?

Mr. Butler

There are really two questions, the question of the powers of subpoena and the bodies to which they are given, and the question of the use of evidence, and, therefore, there is certainly a case for an interesting discussion, but all I can do at this stage is to register the right hon. Gentleman's point of view.

Mr. Short

In view of what the right hon. Gentleman said a few weeks ago, that the Public Service Vehicles (Travel Concessions) Act, 1955 (Amendment) Bill was of great merit, and as on another occasion he recognised that there were very important humanitarian principles involved, would he say when we are to have time for the Second Reading of that very important Measure?

Mr. Butler

I am not in a position to do so.

Mr. Ginsburg

In considering whether the Government will have a debate on the Simonds Committee's Report, will the right hon. Gentleman recall his own words of 16th December, when he implied that, before proceeding with the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Bill, the House would have an opportunity of considering what was involved in the Simonds Committee's Report?

Mr. Butler

As I say, there are two aspects to this question. On the aspect of restoring powers which were taken out of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Bill, the House should have an opportunity, if another place decides to restore those original powers in conformity with the Simonds Committee's decision, to consider it when it comes back here. I do not think I can go further on that. On the other question, it is a matter of finding time, which I think will be difficult, but I have undertaken to listen to what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Lipton

Have the Government come to any decision yet about the right of these professional bodies to subpoena police?

Mr. Butler

The Simonds Committee made it quite clear that if these bodies were set up they should not be deprived of any such powers, and that, in general, we have accepted.