HC Deb 05 May 1966 vol 727 cc1868-73
Mr. Heath

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

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Herbert Bowden)

I shall be as brief as posisble Mr. Speaker. The business of next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 9TH MAY—As already announced, the general debate on the Budget Resolutions and the Economic Situation will be brought to a conclusion.

TUESDAY, 10TH MAY—Report Stage of the Budget Resolutions. Second Reading of the Reserve Forces Bill, and of the Armed Forces Bill.

WEDNESDAY, 11TH MAY—Until 7 o'clock, there will be a debate on the Motion in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition relating to the conduct of the Minister of Aviation.

Afterwards, Second Reading of the Military Aircraft (Loans) Bill.

THURSDAY, 12TH MAY—Second Reading of the Land Commission Bill.

FRIDAY, 13TH MAY—Second Reading of the Public Works Loans Bill.

MONDAY, 16TH MAY—The business proposed is the Second Reading of the Industrial Development Bill.

Mr. Heath

May I put one or two points to the Leader of the House which arise out of the Chancellor's Budget Statement this week and which I hope can be taken into account during preparation of the Finance Bill? We read in the White Paper on the Selective Employment Tax that part of the tax will be dealt with in the Finance Bill and part in a Bill which will be introduced by the Minister of Labour. Could the Leader of the House inquire whether it is actually necessary to have two Bills, because there is a danger that the one to be introduced by the Minister of Labour will severely limit the opportunities of Members to table Amendments? If it is necessary to have two Bills, can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the scope of the Financial Resolution on the Bill to be introduced by the Minister of Labour will be exactly the same as if we were dealing with matters under the Finance Bill?

Mr. Bowden

I am told that it is necessary to have two Bills. We have not seen the Bill to be introduced by the Minister of Labour, nor the Money Resolution in connection with it, but I can give a firm assurance that the Money Resolution will be drawn sufficiently widely to meet the points which the right hon. Gentleman has in mind.

Sir B. Janner

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is proposed to introduce legislation fairly soon to deal with the question of leasehold enfranchisement? Is my right hon. Friend aware that difficulties are being created by landlords, where leases are falling in, due to the delay in introducing a Bill on this subject?

Mr. Bowden

The Leasehold Enfranchisement Bill was contained in the Queen's Speech and will be introduced this Session. I cannot promise that it will be introduced quickly.

Mr. Jopling

Has the Leader of the Housed observed Early Day Motion No. 25, in my name and the names of other hon. Members, concerning discrimination against the agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries? This Motion has already collected 100 signatures. As the last Annual Price Review was agreed to only because of the country's economic crisis, will it be possible to have a debate on the economic crisis in the agricultural industry?

[That this House, bearing in mind the notable contribution which the British agriculture, horticulture and forestry industries have made since the last war to our balance of payments position, also the remarkable increase in productivity of labour in these industries, and bearing in mind the difficulties in recouping extra costs, regrets the discriminatory decision of the Chancellor of the Exchequer under which these industries are now classified as service industries.]

Mr. Bowden

I have noted the Early Day Motion, which, with similar matters arising out of the Budget Statement, would form subjects which would be in order in the general debate on the Bud- get or on the Finance Bill, or on the Bill which the Minister of Labour proposes to bring in.

Mr. William Hamilton

Will my right hon. Friend say when he is to provide time for a debate on the last Report of the Select Committee on Procedure, and whether he will give an undertaking that there will be at least one day before the Summer Recess for a debate on one of the Reports either of the Estimates Committee or the Public Accounts Committee?

Mr. Bowden

On the second point, I cannot give a firm promise. On the first point concerning the Select Committee on Procedure, I said last week that we will have a debate as early as possible on the Fourth Report on Supply. I cannot say when it will be, but it might be convenient to take two or three matters together at that point.

Mr. Farr

In view of the fact that the Price Review was so unsatisfactory, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether it will be in order to discuss that matter during discussion of the Finance Bill?

Mr. Bowden

Yes, it will be in order to put down Amendments to a Schedule which I am told will be in the Bill to be introduced by the Minister of Labour.

Mrs. Renée Short

Has my right hon. Friend seen Early Day Motion No. 16 and the fact that it has attracted over 80 names of hon. Members in all parties? Will he take his courage in his hands and accept the fact that this is a Bill which the House and the nation want, and give time for the House to put such a Bill through?

[That, in view of the desire of a large number of Members of the House of Commons to see a measure of legislation introduced designed to reform the present Abortion law, this House requests the Leader of the House to provide the time required at the earliest opportunity this Session.]

Mr. Bowden

My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that I have taken my courage in my hands by providing four days for Private Members' Bills before 31st July, although what the House does with those days is a matter for hon Members.

Mr. Buck

For the convenience of both sides of the House, will the right hon. Gentleman indulge in a little forward indicative planning and on Thursdays tell us the business for the two weeks ahead rather than one?

Mr. Bowden

Successive Governments have looked at this matter from time to time and not found it possible to go much beyond the Monday of the week following.

Dr. David Kerr

Will my right hon. Friend say when we shall have an opportunity, in view of the radical and satisfactory alteration in the state of the House, of debating the Select Committee's Report on proxy voting?

Mr. Bowden

All these matters arising from the Select Committee on Procedure can be debated at some point. I promise it as early as possible, but I cannot give a date.

Mr. Bryan

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we can expect to receive the findings of the Committee considering the future of broadcasting?

Mr. Bowden

That Committee has not yet been set up in the present Session. It will be set up in the next few days, I understand. I understand that their work is very well advanced and their Report should be out fairly quickly.

Mr. Freeson

May I draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to Motion No. 30, signed by hon. Members of all parties, which reflects the grave concern about failure to implement the Race Relations Act so far? Can we expect to have a debate on that in the near future?

[That this House urges Her Majesty's Government to amend the Race Relations Act 1965 to ensure that adequate powers are available to the law officers of the Crown to enable prosecutions to be instituted against organisations or persons inciting racial hatred.]

Mr. Bowden

I cannot promise a debate. I am very sympathetic to this Motion and give second place to no one in my abhorrence of the action of these four youg men, but I am advised by the Law Officers that the Act is not defective if incitement in fact can be proved.

Mr. Robert Cooke

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we are to debate the Motion on Private Members' Time and the Motion on the Ten Minute Rule procedure?

Mr. Bowden

A Motion on Private Members' Time is on the Order Paper for this evening.

Mr. Mendelson

In view of the opinion of the Law Officers which my right hon. Friend has quoted, and assuming that he has read the report of the exchanges which took place in this House yesterday afternoon, will he bear in mind that there was very strong feeling, expressed in all parts of the House, that this matter needs looking into? While there may not be an opportunity for early legislation, will he provide time for a short debate so that we can have a further explanation beyond the incomprehensible explanations given by the Solicitor-General yesterday afternoon?

Mr. Bowden

I cannot accept that the explanations of my right hon. and learned Friend were incomprehensible. I am not a lawyer, but my information is that if incitement can be proved there is no difficulty under the Act.

Mr. Campbell

Will the Scottish Grand Committee be able to meet on Tuesday and Thursday to consider Scottish Estimates? It is understood that the Selection Committee has not been asked to form that Committee owing, presumably, to incompetence or forgetfulness by the Government.

Mr. Bowden

I understand that there is a Motion on the Order Paper on this matter to be moved within a very few minutes.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

May I ask when we are to have an opportunity for a Ballot for the extremely niggardly allowance of days for Private Members' Bills?

Mr. Bowden

I cannot be absolutely sure about the date, but I think I am right in saying that the date for the Ballot for the increased allocation of Private Members' Time for Bills will be 12th May.

Mr. Royle

In view of the statement prior to the General Election about setting up the University of the Air, detailed in the White Paper, will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House when we shall have a chance to debate legislation on this subject?

Mr. Bowden

Not at this stage.

Sir B. Janner


Mr. Speaker

Order. Unless the House instructs me otherwise, I do not propose to start a second round of questions on business. The hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner) has already asked a question.

Mr. Campbell

On a point of order. The answer given by the Leader of the House to me referred to a Motion about Estimates to be considered by the Scottish Grand Committee. My Question was about the selection of Members to serve on the Grand Committee and the setting up of that Committee which, so far as I know, has not yet been done.

Mr. Speaker

I understand the hon. Member's question. Whether the Leader of the House did so, I do not know.