HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc1479-81
The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Richard Crossman)

The business when the House reassembles after the Christmas Adjournment will be as follows:

WEDNESDAY, 17TH JANUARY—Supply [6th Allotted Day]: First of a two-day debate on Foreign Affairs, which will be continued on Thursday, 18th January.

It is suggested that the first day should be devoted to the Middle East, and the second day to the Far East.

FRIDAY, 19TH JANUARY—Second Reading of the Consular Relations Bill [Lords].

Remaining stages of the Mauritius Independence Bill.

Second Reading of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Bill [Lords], and of the Capital Allowances Bill [Lords], which are consolidation Measures.

Motion on the House of Commons Disqualification Order.

Mr. Maudling

In view of the serious economic situation, would the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the awaited statement on Government economies will be made during the week that we return?

Mr. Crossman

I think that I had better limit myself to the assurance that we shall make it to the House and not before we return. It will be made to the House whenever it is ready.

Mr. Neave

Would the right hon. Gentleman say when he expects the special Report of the Parliamentary Commissioner on Sachsenhausen concentration camp? Will he give time for a debate on the report after the Recess?

Mr. Crossman

I am glad to hear from the Parliamentary Commissioner that his Report will be published in the Vote Office at 2.30 or 3 o'clock this afternoon. I repeat my pledge that, whatever the findings of the Report—I have not read it myself; I gather that it is long and serious—we shall have to find time to debate it.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not the custom for the Leader of the House to announce the business for the Monday following the week in which we return? In other words, what is the business for Monday, 22nd January?

Mr. Crossman

It is sometimes for the convenience of the House to announce the business for the following Monday and sometimes it is not. This time it happens not to be.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

In view of the very considerable number of firms whose future is gravely affected by the eventual decision, would the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that very soon after we return we shall have a debate on the Report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology, dealing with the nuclear reactor programme?

Mr. Crossman

I mentioned that in my speech during the Christmas Adjournment debate. It is for consideration whether that debate should take place before or after the Departmental reply has been published. I have now been into the matter. I have asked the Minister to accelerate his reply. It would be of value to have a written reply in a Command Paper so that the House can study both the Report and the Minister's reply. I hope that, with my assurance that the Minister will hurry the matter up, the hon. Gentleman will allow me to arrange the debate after we have had the reply.

Mr. Lubbock

If the Government decide to cancel the F111 aircraft, which I am pleased to learn from The Times this morning they are considering, will the House be recalled so that we can hear the good news?

Mr. Crossman

I think that I have made the situation perfectly clear. I repeat the Prime Minister's assurance that the House will receive the report and debate it. It will not be made while the House is in recess. Whether it will include any particular item is a matter for hypothetical speculation.