HC Deb 19 July 1962 vol 663 cc642-8
Mr. Gaitskell

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the business of the House for next week.

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

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

MONDAY, 23RD JULY— Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

There will be a debate on Disarmament, until Seven o'clock, and afterwards on Coal Mine Closures, Redundancy and Unemployment in the North East.

Motion on the Greenwich Hospital the Travers' Foundation Accounts.

TUESDAY, 24TH JULY— Progress on the remaining stages of the Pipe-lines Bill [Lords].

Motion on the Exchequer Advances (Limit) Order, 1962.

WEDNESDAY, 25TH JULY— Conclusion of the stages of the Pipe-lines Bill [Lords], and of the Road Traffic Bill [Lords].

Motions on the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations, the Gas Boards and Electricity Boards (Rateable Values) Orders, and the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Income) (South Africa) Order.

THURSDAY, 26TH JULY— Debate on the censure Motion in the name of the Leader of the Opposition.

We propose to facilitate consideration of the Lords Amendments to the following Private Members' Bills:

Lotteries and Gaming Bill, and the Local Government (Records) Bill.

FRIDAY, 27TH JULY— Debate on a Government Motion to take note of the Report of the Iron and Steel Board for 1961.

MONDAY, 30TH JULY— The proposed business will be:

Committee and remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

There will be debates on Southern Rhodesia, and on the case of the former Chairman of the Birmingham (Mental B) Hospital Management Committee, which it is thought may last for half a day, and be followed by subjects which hon. Members may wish to raise.

Mr. Gaitskell

Will the Leader of the House confirm that there will be a debate on the Pilkington Report and the Government's White Paper before the Recess, and can he tell us what form the debate will take? Will it be on a Motion, and, if so, what Motion? Will he also tell us when the next progress report on the Common Market negotiations will be made, and whether in this case also we can now be assured that there will be a debate before the Recess?

Mr. Macleod

Concerning the Pilkington Report, a debate will take place. It will be in the last week before the Recess, either on the Tuesday or the Wednesday. We would propose a Motion simply to take note of the Government's Memorandum. As to the position on the Common Market, perhaps I may give the House this information. The Lord Privy Seal will be in Brussels from the 19th, that is today, until 21st July, and also from 23rd July until about the 30th. My right hon. Friend would like to make a progress report to the House firmly on Monday, 23rd, that is next Monday, and, of course, another one after the next round, and that progress report will probably be on Monday, 30th July. As to the debate, there would be a possible day in the last week before the Recess, but perhaps we might have discussions on that after the first progress report.

Sir B. Janner

May I ask the Leader of the House whether, in view of the very serious statement contained in HANSARD in relation to the crime of genocide and our refusal to accede to the Convention, which we support so heartily, there will be an opportunity of discussing that matter and considering the reasons that have been given, which to many of us are very unsatisfactory? Secondly, in view of the statement on the probation service and the considerable amount of dismay it has caused regarding the rate of increase suggested in their wages— a despicable amount— will he give an opportunity to the House to consider this matter before the Recess?

Mr. Macleod

On the first matter, as the hon. Gentleman well knows because he raised it, my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal dealt with this yesterday and explained the reasons for the position that the Government take in this matter. There is no argument conceivable, of course, as to the objects of this. The question is simply whether it is possible for us to take the action which the hon. Gentleman suggests.

As to time to discuss the probation officers, and, indeed, other matters, there will be opportunities on Monday, 23rd July, and again on Monday, 30th July, when the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill is the business of the House. I would ask hon. Members, if they intend to raise such matters, whether they would be good enough to give notice to the Ministers concerned.

Miss Bacon

Is the Leader of the House aware that the Joint Undersecretary of State for the Home Department stated on Monday night that an Order was to be laid relating to probation officers' salaries and that the Government were going to compel them to accept a 2½ per cent. increase? May I take it that that Order will not now be laid before the Summer Recess?

Mr. Macleod

I am aware of the position concerning the Order, but it is certainly true that on the two occasions to which I have referred there could be an opportunity, if the hon. Lady so wished, to raise this matter.

Dame Irene Ward

Can my right hon. Friend say when the new Superannuation Regulations will be taken, and whether my Motion on Danger to Children's Lives—

That, in the opinion of this House, the failure of the Minister of Transport to support by any practical means the efforts of the Minister of Education to obtain from the Northumberland County Council a safe access by road provision for 1,600 school children to the new Whitley Bay Grammar School not only runs counter to the undertaking given by the Leader of the House on 7th May to the honourable Member for Tyne-mouth in accepting her Motion on Co-ordination, but in failing to act to give a first priority in road safety to children where the Northumberland County Council repudiates its legitimate responsibility, accepts a grave personal liability; and this House is further of opinion that if parliamentary Government has to expose school children to unnecessary road hazards the time has come for a re-examination of the relationship between Parliament and local authorities which permits such a happening to exist—

will be taken a week on Monday on the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

Mr. Macleod

I am not quite clear what my hon. Friend means by "Superannuation Regulations". If she is referring to the statement made by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury a day or two ago, it covers a very wide field. In due course it will involve the House in legislation, and there will be consequential action in many ways.

Dame Irene Ward

May I give my right hon. Friend information about this? I refer to the new Superannuation Regulations which require an affirmative Resolution of the House. It is on the Order Paper.

Mr. Macleod

I am still not clear as to which Regulations. In any case, they do not come into the business for next week. On the second point, it would be in order to raise such matters.

Sir B. Janner

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask your guidance? Is it in order for me, in view of the remarks which have been made by the Leader of the House, to give notice that I propose, subject to your approval, to raise the two questions to which I have referred on the occasion of our defeating the consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member can give notice. How much this governs the matter, I cannot say.

Sir B. Janner

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker, I do not quite understand, and perhaps I may have your guidance, how I am to give notice in view of the statement made by the Leader of the House. Do I give notice to him or to whom?

Mr. Speaker

I will talk to the hon. Member about it afterwards and think out the best way of assisting him. We must get on.

Mr. Turner

May I ask whether there will be a statement on Greater Malaysia next week and, if not, before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Macleod

I do not think that there will be a statement next week, but it is possible that there will be one before the House rises for the Summer Recess.

Mr. Diamond

Is the Leader of the House prepared to give time for consideration of a matter which has now become urgent, namely, the final stages of the Redundant Workers (Severance Pay) Bill? He will remember that it is a very short Bill providing monetary compensation to those who lose jobs through no fault of their own. Is the Leader of the House aware that there is a considerable area of unrest, and that those who have the good fortune to be holding down jobs at the moment do not know how soon they may be out of work? Will he be prepared to give very urgent consideration to this matter?

Mr. Macleod

I cannot, I am afraid, promise to facilitate any Bills beyond the two I have included for Thursday, 26th July.

Sir C. Osborne

In view of all the suggestions for debates in the next fortnight, is it to be assumed that the rumoured economic debate will not now take place? Further, can my right hon. Friend say on what day the House will rise?

Mr. Macleod

I have announced the business up to and including Monday, 30th July. There are then probably three days, not counting the day for the Summer Adjournment debates. One of those days is known to the House to be earmarked for a debate on the Pilkington Report, and another for a Welsh Affairs debate. There is, therefore, the possibility of a third day, but, as we know from what the Leader of the Opposition has said on Common Market and other matters, there are a number of claims for that one day.

Sir C. Osborne

When do we rise?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Do the Government propose next week to issue the writs for Dorset, South, Chippenham, and the other constituencies, or are those voters not to be allowed to express their opinion on political events until Christmas?

Mr. Macleod

Anyway, not next week.

Mr. Hamilton

May I ask the Leader of the House whether there will be a free vote next Thursday? [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. My voice is not powerful enough to prevail. I ask for less noise.

Mr. Pavitt

Has the Leader of the House noticed that, of the 140 Early Day Motions now on the Order Paper, the Motion in the name of the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead), my own name and the names of hon. Members on both sides, has gained most support? Will he consider having a debate before the House rises on the Early Day Motion which has the most support, namely, the Motion dealing with the review of salaries of those in professions supplementary to medicine?

[That this House is concerned at the grave shortage of qualified audiological technicians, dieticians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, and remedial gymnasts in the National Health Service and its effects on the national economy; and calls upon the Minister of Health to appoint an independent committee to review and report upon the present arrangements for recruitment, retention, grading and remuneration of members of these professions in the National Health Service, and to make any recommendations considered necessary.]

Mr. Macleod

The hon. Member will recognise from what I have said that all this competition is really for one day's debating time. Quite clearly, in view of what has been said by the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the Common Market, I could not respond to the claim the hon. Gentleman has made, but I must again remind him that there are two opportunities when these matters could well be raised.