HC Deb 30 June 1960 vol 625 cc1557-692
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 (Mr. R. A. Butler)

Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 4TH JULY—Supply [19th Allotted Day]: Committee.

A debate will take place on the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference.

Consideration of the Motion to approve the Agriculture (Threshers and Balers) Regulations.

TUESDAY, 5TH JULY—Report stage of the Finance Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 6TH JULY—Conclusion of the Report stage of the Finance Bill.

Consideration of the Motions to approve the Anti-Dumping (No. 1) Order, 1960, and the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices (Imported Hardwood and Softwood Timber) Order.

THURSDAY, 7TH JULY—Supply [20th Allotted Day]: Committee.

A debate will take place on Beach Pollution by Sewage, until Seven o'clock.

Afterwards, a debate will take place on an Opposition Motion relating to the Colonial Development Corporation.

Consideration of Motions to approve the National Health Service (Superannuation) (Amendment) Regulations and similar Regulations for Scotland.

FRIDAY, 8TH JULY—Third Reading of the Finance Bill.

MONDAY, 11TH JULY—The proposed business will be Supply [21st Allotted Day]: Committee.

A debate on the Economic Situation.

Mr. Gaitskell

In view of the reports in the Press that the negotiations on Cyprus have been concluded, when may we expect a statement? Is it proposed to introduce early legislation dealing with the independence of Cyprus?

Mr. Butler

The negotiations have not been finally concluded, but we trust that they will be. When they have been, I will certainly discuss with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister the possibility of making a statement. It is our intention and wish that following the successful conclusion of the negotiations, the necessary legislation will be in time to pass, through the House.

Mr. Gaitskell

Does the right hon. Gentleman expect that the negotiations will be concluded and the legislation introduced in time to pass through both Houses of Parliament before the Summer Recess?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. That is our hope. If things go according to plan, that should prove possible.

Mr. Gaitskell

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect the report of the Stedeford Committee on the Railways?

Mr. Butler

I can give no date in the immediate future for receiving the report

Mr. P. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that on 1st June, a summary of the recommendations of the Chandos Committee was reported to the House? This is an important series of recommendations and reports for the future of the British shipping industry and, more particularly, the Cunard Line. Can my right hon. Friend give any assurance that this matter will be debated before the Summer Recess?

Mr. Butler

I cannot at the moment make a further statement on this matter. The best thing that I can do is to note the wish of my hon. Friend.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the grave disquiet in the country on the question of the price of land? Can he give an undertaking that this question, which is becoming a major scandal, will be debated, if not next week, before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Butler

This is, naturally, engaging the intelligent attention of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government. Whether a statement will be made, I cannot say.

Mr. C. Osborne

In view of the fact that many of us on the back benches find it difficult to get into economic debates, and as the debate on Monday week will be the last time that we will be discussing economics before the long Recess, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the possibility of giving us an extra hour for that debate?

Mr. Butler

We have not got as far as considering that yet, but I will note what my hon. Friend says so that as many hon. Members as possible may be heard.

Mr. Donnelly

In view of the number of important changes which have taken place in the Government's defence policy since the Blue Streak debate, and of the transitory nature of defence, is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the importance of having a defence debate before the summer Recess? Can he tell the House something about this?

Mr. Butler

I cannot discuss the merits or demerits of the question in answer to business questions. It does not, however, look very likely, in view of the pressure of business, that there will be time for such a debate.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the Leader of the House aware that there is disquiet about the report that a very large sum of money is to be handed over to Archbishop Makarios for expenditure in Cyprus? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that, before doing this, he should consider spending some of that money in Scotland?

Mr. Butler

The needs of Scotland have been already approached by the new legislation introduced into the House this Session. As regards the alleged money granted to Archbishop Makarios, there is no difference from the general plan envisaged throughout of certain grants and moneys made available for the future of Cyprus, which has been under discussion for many months.

Mr. Short

Reverting to the Public Service Vehicles (Travel Concessions) Bill, is the Leader of the House aware that recently the Scottish T.U.C. passed a unanimous resolution asking for this legislation? Will the right hon. Gentleman now put into practice some of the humanitarianism about which he so often speaks and give us time for this Bill?

Mr. Butler

If the hon. Member, with his usual pertinacity, would follow that up by sending me a copy of the resolution or views, I shall be glad to study them.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Assuming that the Government cannot possibly have it in mind that we should adjourn for the Summer Recess without a debate on Britain's relations with Europe, can the right hon. Gentleman say when it will take place?

Mr. Butler

No, I cannot give a date, partly because this depends upon the evolution of policy and partly because it depends upon the discretion which may be displayed by hon. Members opposite in choosing different subjects of debate.

Mr. Wigg

While I have every sympathy with the Government in seeking to avoid a debate on defence, surely the right hon. Gentleman must have slipped a little in saying that it will be impossible to find time before the Summer Recess. He can find time if he wants to facilitate a debate, even if only on the Appropriation Bill. Can he not do that?

Mr. Butler

There are indefinite possibilities, including the possibility of hon. and right hon. Members opposite choosing this as a subject for debate. Certainly, on any occasion on which it is chosen, the Government case will be found to be resounding and effective.

Mr. Paget

The Leader of the House has used the word "evolution" concerning policy. May we take it that he recognises that this is a purely fortuitous process without application of human intelligence?

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