HC Deb 27 February 1964 vol 690 cc633-7
Mr. G. Brown

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

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)

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

MONDAY, 2ND MARCH—Supply [8th Allotted Day]: Committee.

Navy Estimates, 1964–65—Vote A.

TUESDAY, 3RD MARCH—Supply [9th Allotted Day]: Commitee.

Air Estimates, 1964–65—vote A.

WEDNESDAY, 4TH MARCH—sProgress on the remaining stages of the Harbours Bill.

Lords Amendments to the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Bill.

Motions on the Local Government Orders.

THURSDAY, 5TH MARCH—Supply [10th Allotted Day]: Committee.

Army Estimates, 1964–65—Vote A.

FRIDAY, 6TH MARCH—Private Members' Motions.

MONDAY, 9TH MARCH—The proposed business will be: Supply [11th Allotted Day]: Committee.

Service Money Votes.

Mr. G. Brown

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think that the business put down for Wednesday, each item of which contains quite a number of serious matters for consideration, is too much for one day? Does he propose, on the Supply days, to put down the customary extension of time Motions?

Mr. Lloyd

On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we will put down Motions to suspend the Standing Orders for two hours, in accordance with recent precedent. There is something in what the right hon. Gentleman says about the business for Wednesday. That is why I said that we would make progress on the remaining stages of the Harbours Bill.

Mr. Stonehouse

When does the right hon. and learned Gentleman expect us to be debating the Resale Price Maintenance Bill and when does he expect it to be passed into law?

Mr. Lloyd

It will not be debated next week, or on the Monday of the following week, but, I hope, very soon thereafter. The other matter referred to by the hon. Gentleman is for the House and not for me.

Mr. C. Johnson

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman recall that both he and the Home Secretary have frequently assured us that the Government proposal for a scheme of compensation for victims of crimes of violence would be introduced? In view of the clear impression created at the last Conservative Party conference that the scheme was ready and would be introduced, have we any hope of seeing the White Paper next week or the week after?

Mr. Lloyd

Not next week.

Mr. Zilliacus

In view of the pledge given by the Prime Minister to support American intervention in South Vietnam, the fact that that policy is now being defeated, and that there is now talk in Washington of invading North Vietnam, which might bring on world war, can we have an early opportunity to discuss the situation?

Mr. Lloyd

I take note of what the hon. Gentleman says. I have already outlined the business for next week.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman explain the mystery of the Whitsun Recess? Is he aware that the Home Secretary has told me that my Titles (Abolition) Bill has been placed on the Order Paper for 28th May, which is during the normal Whitsun Recess? Does that mean that the House will be resuming, after the Recess, during June?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Gentleman must wait and see.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman assure the House that, in the lifetime of this Parliament, there will be a Whitsun Recess?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. Gentleman, also, must wait and see.

Mr. Warbey

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that some of us will want an opportunity of debating the new pledge that the Prime Minister has given to President Johnson on South Vietnam, as this represents a major departure in British foreign policy? Will he also say what opportunity we shall have next week to debate the collapse of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's policy of achieving expansion without inflation?

Mr. Lloyd

I will take note of what the hon. Gentleman has said about South Vietnam, but without accepting his premises. There are opportunities for debate between now and the Easter Recess, which are known to the House.

As for the hon. Gentleman's second question, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make a statement to the House shortly.

Mr. Wilkins

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman explain a little more fully what he has in mind for next Wednesday? The Harbours Bill will take considerable time. Is it the intention that it should go on until ten o'clock and that the House should take the consideration of Lords Amendments to the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Bill afterwards?

Mr. Lloyd

Broadly speaking, yes.

Mr. Lipton

Are we to assume from the reply to the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. Stonehouse) about the Resale Price Maintenance Bill that it is still the intention of the Government to have a Second Reading debate on the Bill sometime?

Mr. Cole

Can my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that the White Paper on Monopolies and Restrictive Practices will be available before we debate the Second Reading of the Bill?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Shinwell

Did I understand the right hon. and learned Gentleman to say that, if the Harbours Bill occupies all the time until ten o'clock next Wednesday, the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Bill will then be considered? Is he aware of the little trouble in another place about a certain item in the Bill? Is this not likely to cause some embarrassment to the Government? What action do the Government propose? Do they propose to test the issue with the other place on the question whether the Navy should be ruled by an Admiralty or a Navy Board? Is it appropriate to take a controversy of that kind involving, indeed, a constitutional crisis, at ten o'clock at night?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not seek to be too rigid in saying that we should stop the Harbours Bill at a precise moment, but I do not think that it would be inappropriate to take the discussion of the Defence (Transfer of Functions) Bill at ten o'clock.

Mr. M. Stewart

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has also put down for Wednesday certain local government Orders. Would he bear in mind that it is possible that discussion on them might be neither brief nor unanimous?

Mr. Lloyd

In these matters I am very much in the hands of the House. We have to see what progress we make. If it appears unreasonable to take the Orders that night, we will not take them.

Forward to