Mr. H. Wilson
May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the business of the House for next week?
§ MONDAY, 4TH MAY—Supply [15th Allotted Day]: Committee.
§ Debate on the South East Study and the White Paper on South East England (Command No. 2308).
§ Motions on the Cotton Industry Order and the Iron and Steel Regulations.
§ TUESDAY, 5TH MAY—Debate on a Government Motion on Compensation for Victims of Crimes of Violence (Command No. 2323).
§ WEDNESDAY, 6TH MAY—Supply [16th Allotted Day]: Committee.
§ Debate on a Motion to take note of the Tenth Report from the Estimates Committee of Session 1962–63, on Military Expenditure Overseas, and, if there is time, on the Eleventh Report from the Estimates Committee of Session 1962–63, on the Home Office, together with the relevant Special Reports.
§ THURSDAY, 7TH MAY—Finance Bill: Second Reading.
§ Motions on the Calf Subsidies Amendment Schemes, and on the Fat-stock (Guarantee Payments) Order.
§ FRIDAY, 8TH MAY—Private Members' Bills.
§ Motions on the Winter Keep Amendment Schemes, the Ploughing Grants Schemes, and on the Eggs (Guaranteed Prices) Order.
Mr. H. Wilson
Will the Leader of the House bear in mind the suggestion which we made last week for a fairly early debate on the Southern Rhodesian situation? Would he agree that, while, 592 of course, all questions of what is in order are for you, Mr. Speaker, the debate on the Malawi Independence Bill would not seem to be an appropriate occasion for outlining the issues which we hope to consider when we debate Southern Rhodesia?
§ Mr. W. Yates
Has the Leader of the House noticed the Motion on the Order Paper standing in my name? In view of his assurance last week that he thought that a debate on foreign affairs would be necessary, will he bear in mind that it appears that both Her Majesty's Government and the Arab world are on a form of collision policy? If they are spoiling for another Suez crisis—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] This is very important. I have warned the Government and the country before about this.
Will my right hon. Friend kindly take note that I consider a debate to be both in the country's interests and in the Government's interests so that there can be no possible mistake made when the Jordan water crisis breaks?
[That this House expresses its deep regret that Her Majesty's Government failed to take any diplomatic steps to respond to the courteous message of goodwill communicated to the Foreign Secretary by the hon. Member for The Wrekin from the President and Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Yemen who wished to co-operate with the United Nations and Her Majesty's Government to restore peace and goodwill in South-West Arabia, to which Her Majesty's Government replied by bombarding the Fort of Harib in the Yemen and killing people.]
§ Dr. King
The Leader of the House will have seen on the Order Paper the New Forest Bill, a semi-private Bill, which has been sent from another place. It is a Bill of such magnitude that it cannot get through the House on Second 593 Reading on the nod. Will the right hon. Gentleman seriously consider giving time for consideration of this Bill, which would take only a short time, in view of the fact that the hon. and gallant Member for New Forest (Sir O. Crosthwaite-Eyre) has devoted a tremendous amount of time to its preparation?
§ Sir G. Nicholson
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is very great feeling in the House and, I think, in the country, which will deplore attempts, however well meant, to raise the Southern Rhodesian question before the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference? Whatever the statesmanship shown in Front Bench speeches, there are dangers. Feelings might be aroused in this country and in Africa which would be hard to control.
§ Mr. Lloyd
Obviously, what my hon. Friend has said is a matter to be taken into account. I think that today it would be better for us to content ourselves with what the Leader of the Opposition said in the second part of his supplementary question earlier. I do not think that Friday's business would be a suitable place for such a debate.
§ Mr. Wyatt
Has the Leader of the House read Motion No. 99 in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins)?
[That this House notes that the Prime Minister in replying to a Question by the hon. Member for Bosworth about a speech made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic matters at Barnet on Saturday, 14th March, stated that no such speech was made; directs the attention of the Prime Minister to The Times newspaper of Monday, 16th March, where this speech was reported; and is of opinion that the Prime Minister should verify his references before attributing his own fault to another hon. Member.]
As it is a matter which affects the integrity of that great newspaper, The Times, and of the Prime Minister, who is so anxious to have a reputation for 594 straight talk, will he arrange to debate this matter very early? Half a day would, perhaps, be sufficient.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I am quite happy to accept the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg)?
[Line 6, leave out from "reported" to end and add" to have included a passage dealing with the problems of competition in the modern world of industry and commerce; considers that the Prime Minister's reply must have been intended to suggest either that the Chancellor had not made a speech at all on 14th March or that the speech did not refer to economic matters, and that this reply was, accordingly, evasive and misleading; and is of opinion that the Prime Minister should not have sought to attribute his own inaccuracy to another hon. Member, and that he should now make a personal statement correcting his reply and apologising to the House."]
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think that the hon. Gentleman has been in correspondence with my tight hon. Friend about this matter. It is not for me to comment on the merits in answer to a question on business, but how what my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said on Saturday, 14th March, could be described as a speech on economic matters I fail to follow.
§ Mr. Hocking
Since it is some considerable time since we had a debate on the motor industry, will it be possible to find time to debate the present success of the industry?
§ Mr. Shinwell
In view of the disturbed and somewhat complicated situation in 595 Cyprus—I do not want to go into the details; they are familiar to everyone in the House—will it be possible to have a report before the Whitsun Recess on what is happening in that island?
§ Mr. P. Williams
My right hon. Friend referred to the possibility of a foreign affairs debate. Will he recognise that this is of supreme importance in view of the problems affecting so many different parts of the world? If there is time to spare, there should be at least two days—preferably three—given to this matter so that we can consider the situation in different regions of the world in turn.
§ Mr. Rankin
I gather that the Leader of the House said that we would have a debate on the Report on the Home Office next week. Does he realise that this is a most important Report and that I had a hand in shaping it? Why will we be able to debate it only if time permits? Why apply that condition?
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett
Last week, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House conveyed a welcome hint to some of us that we might soon expect a debate on nationalisation as a general topic. Could he give us any encouragement today, since many of us are very anxious to break through some of the shyness on the subject on the part of hon. Members opposite?
§ Mr. C. Pannell
In the time that remains to this Parliament, will the Leader of the House consider discussing not only the future development of the House itself, but the future control of the Palace of Westminster with a view to ending the rather medieval control of this place and bringing its control into a modern setting?
§ Mr. Driberg
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, who has some duty to the whole House, to consider seriously the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Bosworth (Mr. Wyatt) and my Amendment to it? If he cannot arrange a half-day debate next week, will he ask the Prime Minister to make a personal statement, which we are surely entitled to? Does the right hon. Gentle-man really think it right that the Prime Minister should get away with deliberately misleading and deceiving the House?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think that what the hon. Gentleman has said is quite inaccurate. I do not think that my right hon. Friend has deliberately misled the House at all, or that anything that I said was inconsistent with my duty to the House. I have read the Amendment, but I do not see how my right hon. Friend's speech could be described as a speech on economic matters.
§ Dame Irene Ward
On a point of order. Is it not against the Rules of the House, Mr. Speaker, for the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) to make that grossly inaccurate statement against the Prime Minister?
§ Mr. Speaker
If the hon. Lady is not, she is much "wronger" than I thought she was. If she will look at the terms of the Motion, in my belief the allegation which has been made is precisely in the terms of the Motion to which reference has been made. This clearly creates a different situation.
§ Mr. Willis
Can the Leader of the House say whether it is still the Government's intention to proceed with the Divorce (Scotland) Bill?
§ Mr. Pavitt
Will we be having a statement next week from the Minister of Health on the results of the working party on general practice in the National Health Service? If not, are we likely to get it before Whitsun?
§ Mr. Swingler
Is the Leader of the House aware that since early February, the Secretary of State for Industry and Trade has had before him a report on the structure and trading practices of the film industry, which has been published as a White Paper? In view of the widespread anxiety in the industry about American take-over bids, the continued tendency to monopolistic practices and future prospects of employment, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman sympathetically consider providing time for the House to debate this important White Paper?
Mr. H. Wilson
While the urgency of a decision on a report which has been in the Government's hands since February this year is undeniable, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us whether the same Secretary of State is yet in a position to make a statement to the House about his decision on the Monopolies Commission's Report in the case of Lucas and restrictive practices in connection with car batteries and components, which has been in his hands since a year last February, having taken seven years to produce?
§ Mr. Crosland
May I bring the Leader of the House back to the true priorities facing the nation in the middle of the 1960s? Has he noticed the proposal by British Railways to withdraw almost all the fish trains from Grimsby? When will the right hon. and learned Gentleman provide a day to debate the subject?
§ Mr. Speaker
I wish to revert to what I said a few moments ago, because I now have a copy of the Motion and Amendment in question. My recollection of them was wrong, which alters the position and causes me to apologise to the hon. Lady the Member for Tyne-mouth (Dame Irene Ward) because I was wrong in my recollection. It means, 598 also, that the allegation of deliberately misleading is out of order and I must ask the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) to withdraw it.
§ Mr. Driberg
With great respect, Mr. Speaker, in view of what you say, I will naturally withdraw that word, which I had thought to be the less unflattering of the two words which I might have used. If you instruct me, Mr. Speaker—[An HON. MEMBER: "Humbug."]—to substitute the word "accidentally", which really means that he did not understand what he was saying, of course I will do so.
§ Mr. Speaker
I was asking the hon. Member not to substitute any other word, but merely to withdraw the offending one—which he has done.
§ Mr. Rankin
I should like to return to a point which I put to the Lord Privy Seal on the two preceding Thursdays and in which I have no personal interest. In view of the fact that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has just said that the Government have more business than they thought they had, does this mean that the Whitsun Recess will be shorter?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I spoke not so much of the Government as of the House itself in view of the various requests for debates which have been made to me today and previously. Obviously, there is heavy pressure on the Parliamentary programme. I hope, however, to be able to relieve hon. Member's anxieties next week.
§ Mr. Wyatt
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that in his letter to me the Prime Minister said that he preferred the report of the local Press to that in The Times? While I am in favour of local newspapers, is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that I have checked this matter with The Times, which is quite satisfied that its reporter was correct?
Although the Prime Minister, in his letter to me, referred to it as being a social occasion, the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not remember what he said on a social occasion does not necessarily mean that The Times reporter was wrong.
Ought we not, therefore, to go into this matter, because the Prime Minister 599 asserts that a speech was not made when it was and is endeavouring to get away from answering questions on the point?
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
In view of the attachment of the hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Wyatt) to The Times, do we now know who a so-called Conservative was?
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member has difficulty in acquiring the knowledge in connection with next week's business.