HC Deb 17 May 1961 vol 640 cc1375-8
Mr. Gaitskell

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

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

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

TUESDAY, 30TH MAY—Committee and remaining stages of the North Atlantic Shipping Bill, and of the Human Tissue Bill.

Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Flood Prevention (Scotland) Bill.

At seven o'clock, as the House is aware, the Great Ouse Water Bill has been set down for consideration.

WEDNESDAY, 31ST MAY—Supply [15th Allotted Day]: Committee.

The subject for debate will be announced later.

THURSDAY, 1ST JUNE—We shall make further progress in Committee on the Finance Bill.

FRIDAY, 2ND JUNE—Third Reading of the Land Drainage Bill.

Second Reading of the Police Pensions Bill [Lords].

Committee and remaining stages of the Patents and Designs (Renewals, Extensions and Fees) Bill [Lords].

MONDAY, 5TH JUNE, and TUESDAY, 6TH JUNE—The proposed business will be Report and Third Reading of the Licensing Bill.

Mr. Gaitskell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in view of the Private Business which will come on at 7 p.m. on 30th May, it will obviously be difficult to get through the business which has been set down for that day?

Mr. Butler

We will just see how we get on.

Mr. P. Williams

Can my right hon. Friend give any further undertaking on a debate on shipping and shipbuilding matters? He will be aware that he has made a number of helpful statements on this matter, but that something much more definite is needed in terms of a debate before the Summer Recess. The House would be perfectly reasonable in pressing my right hon. Friend to give a specific undertaking on this matter today, if possible.

Mr. Butler

My hon. Friend has already seen me on this subject and I am aware of his interest and that of other hon. and right hon. Gentlemen in the matter. I cannot, at this stage, before the Whitsun Recess give a definite day. I can only reassure my hon. Friend of the interest and importance of the subject.

Mr. Darling

Can the Leader of the House tell us when he hopes to introduce the Weights and Measures Bill into the House, so that we may get it through during this Session?

Mr. Butler

I have no statement to make at present.

Mr. Jay

Does that answer mean that the Government not merely do not know whether they are proceeding with their main Bills, but do not even yet know when they will be able to tell us?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. The Government will make a statement when they choose to do so.

Mr. Shinwell

How does the right hon. Gentleman assume that he can get the North Atlantic Shipping Bill through its Committee stage by seven o'clock? If he does not get it through by seven o'clock—and I warn him that he may not, unless we get satisfactory answers from the Government, which is most unlikely—what will happen after ten o'clock?

Mr. Butler

As I said, we must see what progress we make.

Dame Irene Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that hon. Ladies like myself, and not only right hon. and hon. Gentlemen, are interested in shipping, shipbuilding and shiprepairing?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. According to the Interpretation Act, "hon. Gentlemen" covers hon. Ladies, also.

Mr, Ross

In view of the trouble that the right hon. Gentleman might now well anticipate over the North Atlantic Shipping Bill, will he consider the position of Scottish Members? We do not like being here late at night. Will the right hon. Gentleman promote Scottish business on 30th May to the first item instead of the last?

Mr. Butler

I cannot accept that.

Mr. Gaitskell

In response to the powerful representations which have been made from both sides concerning the North Atlantic Shipping Bill, will the Leader of the House at least give an undertaking that he will not continue with discussion of the Bill after ten o'clock?

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. I can give no such undertaking.

Mr. G. Thomas

While in no way wishing to embarrass the Leader of the House, may I ask whether he is aware that he now has an opportunity at one blow of pleasing Wales in two directions, that if he were to substitute a debate on leasehold in place of his licensing proposals he would be received with acclamation in the Principality? Will the right hon. Gentleman give further consideration to the question of a discussion on leasehold?

Mr. Butler

I must give licensing precedence for the time being over leasehold.

Mr. Rankin

Are we to assume from the right hon. Gentleman's answers concerning the North Atlantic Shipping Bill that he intends to proceed with it on the day of our return after the Recess and to complete the Committee and remaining stages in the one day?

Mr. Butler

I cannot give any undertaking about what progress we shall make. We shall simply do our best.