§ The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)
Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:
§ MONDAY, 13TH MAY—Supply [21st Allotted Day]:
§ Debate on Tourism, on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
§ Prayer on the Fish and Meat Spread-able Products Regulations.
§ TUESDAY, 14TH MAY—Debate on a Motion to take note of the Report from the Select Committee on Agriculture, in Session 1966–67 and the relevant Departmental Observations.
§ Motion on Members' Travel.634
§ Prayer on the Motor Vehicle (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations.
§ WEDNESDAY, 15TH MAY—Supply [22nd Allotted Day]:
§ Debate on the T.A.V.R.III, on an Opposition Motion until 7 o'clock and thereafter on the Problems of the Fishing Industry, on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
§ Motion on the Immunities and Privileges Order.
Procedure Motion on Questions.
§ FRIDAY, 17TH MAY—Private Members' Bills.
§ MONDAY, 20TH MAY—The proposed business will be:
§ Subject to progress of business, we shall propose that the House should rise for the Whitsun Adjournment on Friday, 31st May, until Tuesday, 11th June.
§ Mr. Heath
There has still been no statement about Service pay. Can the Leader of the House tell us when a statement will be made? Secondly, if the Prices and Incomes Bill is published next week, as the Prime Minister earlier said that it would be, when is it proposed to have Second Reading, because he has given us an assurance that there will be plenty of time to study it?
§ Mr. Peart
On the question of Service pay, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, and as I mentioned last week, this is still being discussed with the Prices and Incomes Board, and we must await its report. I am aware that there is feeling that there should be early action on this, and I am in touch with the Ministers concerned.
On the question of the Prices and Incomes Bill, what the right hon. Gentleman says is true, but I am dealing with next week's business and I cannot now 635 make a specific statement about the timing of the Second Reading.
§ Several hon. Members rose——
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. May I remind the House that we have a short debate on an important subject ahead and I hope that we can ration ourselves on business questions.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
Is the Leader of the House aware that the decision of the Government to append to the Transport Bill their proposals for a new Channel Tunnel Planning Council will mean that there is no possibility of any discussion on Opposition new Clauses, or on four Government new Clauses, and that, in failing to give extra time or to introduce these proposals as separate legislation, the Leader of the House has failed in his duty to the House?
§ Mr. Leadbitter
Is the Leader of the House aware that on Tees-side there is increasing concern about the state of employment in the shipbuilding industry? There is also increasing concern about the national position in shipbuilding. Will he tell the House whether there is any possibility of giving some time for a debate on this subject?
§ Mr. Peter Walker
Is the Leader of the House aware that the letter which I have received from the Minister of Transport promises no extra time whatsoever? All he suggests is that this Clause has priority over Opposition new Clauses and the four Government new Clauses.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
On a point of order. I am sorry to pursue this, but it 636 is a point which I put earlier on of which you, Mr. Speaker, had not had notice. Arising out of my hon. Friend's question, quite apart from what the Leader of the House or the Minister leading the Committee wishes, is it in order to have business added to a Bill on which the Guillotine has been applied, in view of the size of the Bill before the addition?
§ Mr. Christopher Price
In view of the savage and sudden redundancies which have been created by the General Electric Company at their Witton works in Birmingham, and as this is the second such incident arising from this important merger, can the Leader of the House tell us how soon we can have a debate on the subject of redundancies arising in this way?
§ Mr. Peyton
Is the Leader of the House aware how very appreciative many of us are of his good nature, helpfulness and courtesy, particularly as we have been quite unaccustomed to receive such things from the previous Leader of the House?
§ Mr. Maclennan
Can the Leader of the House say whether next week there will be a statement made, or some indication given, of the views of the Government on the Report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology, on which we have been promised a debate shortly?
§ Mr. Peart
I can give my hon. Friend and all hon. Members the assurance that I am very anxious that these Reports should be discussed on the Floor of the House. We start with the Select Committee on Agriculture. I will certainly arrange for the Report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology to be debated.
§ Sir J. Eden
Why did not the Leader of the House use the opportunity of his Business statement to inform the House of the very large number of Standing Committees which will be engaging the attention of many hon. Members next week, and explain the widespread disclocation to the services of the House and the order of our business?
§ Mr. Roebuck
Can the Leader of the House say what has happened to the great debate on the Common Market? Has he observed the Motion which stands on the Order Paper in the names of the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ipswich (Sir Dingle Foot), and other Members on both side of the House, suggesting the exploration of some new methods of trading? Would he give the House an opportunity to debate this at an early date?[That this House, taking note of the present state of the negotiations to join the Common Market, believe that Her Majesty's Government should, in the meantime, begin a feasibility study of an open-ended Atlantic Free Trade Area initially comprising the United Kingdom, the European Free Trade Association, Canada and the United States of America.]
§ Mr. Bessell
May I ask the Leader of the House whether, in view of the unsatisfactory reply that he was bound to give to the hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker), he would consider introducing a Motion to alter the Guillotine in relation to the Transport Bill, so that we have a chance to discuss the many new Clauses which were tabled by backbenchers long before the Channel Tunnel Clause introduced by the Minister of Transport?
§ Mr. Abse
Could the Leader of the House tell us when the long postponed debate on prisons will take place, in view of the fact that this will be an occasion when two reports could be discussed? Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree, in view of the public interest, that it is very important that we should have debates touching on Committee work which otherwise will go into limbo?
§ Mr. G. Campbell
Is the Leader of the House aware that by giving priority to the new proposals on the Channel Tunnel the Government have done exactly what I warned him about in my supplementary question last week, and excluded a great many new Clauses from discussion? Is this not outrageous treatment of a Committee at the end of its allotted time under a guillotine Motion and a long time after the Clauses which he mentioned have been dropped?
§ Mr. Archer
Has my right hon. Friend considered Motion No. 271, which has been signed by 86 hon. Members, and which deals with the conservation of the ocean floor for peaceful purposes? Is he aware of the international discussions which are taking place at the moment? Is there any prospect of an early debate on this Motion?[That this House believes the tune has come to declare the deep ocean floor conserved as a common heritage of mankind, and that steps be taken to draft a treaty embodying inter alia the following principles:that the seabed beyond the limits of present national jurisdiction,
- (a) be conserved against appropriation by nations or their nationals so that the deep ocean floor should not be allowed to become a stage for competing claims of national sovereignty;
- (b) be explored in a manner consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations;
- (c) be exploited economically or made use of with the aim of safeguarding the interests of mankind;
- (d) be conserved exclusively for peaceful purposes in perpetuity.]
I have noticed this extremely interesting Motion. This matter is being discussed in the ad hoc committee of the United Nations, but I cannot find time for a debate on it in the House at this stage.