HC Deb 12 December 1961 vol 651 cc220-1
Mr. Gaitskell

On 7th December the Leader of the House undertook to look again at the business for Wednesday of this week. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has done so, and, if so, with what result?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Iain Macleod)

Yes, Sir.

It is urgently required to obtain before Christmas the remaining stages of the Family Allowances and National Insurance Bill. This applies also to the Orders announced for that day. Accordingly, we shall not seek to make progress tomorrow with the Army Reserve Bill.

Therefore, the business on WEDNESDAY 13TH DECEMBER, will be: Report and Third Reading of the Family Allowances and National Insurance Bill.

Consideration of the Motions on the National Insurance (Married Women) Amendment Regulations, the Electricity (Borrowing Powers), and the (South of Scotland Electricity Board) Orders.

The House will wish to have notice that the debate on Foreign Affairs on Thursday, 14th December, will now arise on a Government Motion on the Congo. This Motion will be tabled tonight.

Mr. Gaitskell

I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the change in business on Wednesday, which follows the lines of my questions last week. As to his further statement about the business for Thursday, 14th December, while we quite understand that there should be a debate now on the Congo alone, and why the Government wish it to arise on a Government Motion, does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the original proposal of the Government was a debate on foreign affairs generally and that the Berlin crisis, apart from anything else, is very urgent?

In view of this, and of the Prime Minister's visit to President Kennedy, will the Leader of the House find time for a debate on Berlin and other aspects of foreign affairs before the Recess?

Mr. Macleod

I realise that the intention of the Government to put down a Motion such as I have indicated will restrict the debate on Thursday from the scope announced in the business statement last week. Although time is short before the Christmas Recess, I should be very glad to discuss the possibility of such a debate as the Leader of the Opposition mentions.

Mr. Shinwell

When does the Leader of the House propose to take the remaining stages of the Army Reserve Bill? Is it proposed to postpone it until after the Christmas Recess?

Mr. Macleod

No, Sir. It is intended to make some progress with the Bill before Christmas.