§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)
Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:
§ MONDAY, 2ND DECEMBER—Until 7 p.m., Private Members' Motions.
§ Motion on the Import Duties (General) (No. 11) Order.
§ Resumed debate on the Motion relating to the Highway Code.
§ THURSDAY, 5TH DECEMBER—Supply [4th Allotted Day]:
§ Motion to take note of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reports from the Committee of Public Accounts in Session 1967–68, and the related Special Report.
§ Resumed debate on the Prayer Book (Further Provisions) Measure.
§ FRIDAY, 6TH DECEMBER—Private Members' Bills.
§ MONDAY, 9TH DECEMBER—Supply [5th Allotted Day]:
§ Debate on a subject to be announced.
§ Mr. Heath
I am sure that the Leader of the House is aware that there is immense anxiety in the House and in the country about the position of Mr. Anthony Grey, Reuter's correspondent in Peking, and a mounting anger at the revelation of the conditions in which he is being held. Will the Leader of the House therefore ask a Foreign Office Minister—as the Foreign Secretary is still 731 away—to make a statement next week, on an early day if possible, to say what further action the Government are taking to secure Mr. Grey's release?
Secondly, can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that early next week a statement will also be made about Lord Chalfont's visit to the Falkland Islands, which seems to have raised rather more doubts than it has put at rest?
I note what the right hon. Gentleman says. I agree that the treatment of Mr. Anthony Grey has been deplorable, and I think it right that the House should be informed about this matter. I shall certainly convey the right hon. Gentleman's views to my right hon. Friend.
On the question of the Falkland Islands, again, I will convey the views of the right hon. Gentleman to my right hon. Friend and his desire for a statement next week. I understand that the policy is still as was declared on a previous occasion.
§ Mr. Milne
Can my right hon. Friend tell me when we can expect a statement from the President of the Board of Trade on the E.F.T.A. Ministerial Council meeting in Vienna and, arising from that, can he arrange for an early debate on the future of Europe in view of the wide anxiety about E.F.T.A. and the E.E.C. groupings?
This matter has been raised since my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade returned. It was the subject of a discussion, and questions have been put to my right hon. Friend on the matter. I should like to consider the question of a wider debate.
§ Mr. Manuel
With reference to the query of the Leader of the Opposition 732 about Mr. Grey being held in China, would by right hon. Friend recognise that there are other prisoners, and that I am particularly interested in the detention over a long period of Captain Will, who lived in my constituency? We can get no information from the Foreign Office as to where he is or how he is being treated. Will my right hon. Friend associate that case and other cases of prisoners with his representations to the Foreign Secretary?
§ Mr. Sandys
May I draw the right hon. Gentleman's attention to Motion No. 54, entitled "The Pound in the Pocket," which is supported by over 100 hon. Members?
§ [That this House notes that in the economic debate on 25th November, the Leader of the Opposition alleged that the Prime Minister had said that, The £ in the pocket will not be devalued; that the Prime Minister intervened to accuse the Leader of the Opposition of falsification and said: He knows that I did not use those words; and that the text of the Prime Minister's broadcast of 19th November 1967, placed by him in the Library of the House, contains the following passage:
§ From now on the pound abroad is worth 14 per cent. or so less in terms of other currencies. That doesn't mean of course that the pound here in Britain—in your pocket or purse or in your bank—has been devalued;
§ and that accordingly this House calls upon the Prime Minister to retract his denial of the use of the words quoted by the Leader of the Opposition.]
§ Since the Prime Minister's reputation for truthfulness is involved, will the Leader of the House, in accordance with tradition, provide time for a debate?
§ [That this House deplores the fact that the Leader of the Opposition on two occasions within the month of November, 1968, namely, on 1st November and in this House on 25th November, has deliberately, and using quotation marks, has tendentiously attributed phrases to the Prime Minister which he did not use, 733 and, by carefully omitting to refer to the Prime Minister's warning of 19th November, 1967, that 'imports will cost more and that this means higher prices' is trying to perpetuate a false legend; and this House further calls on the right hon. Gentleman to desist from such practices, which are contrary to the established conventions for political interchanges in this country, and to withdraw the false and misleading statements he has made.]
§ I know that views have been expressed on the Order Paper. This is natural, but I do not think, in view of the fact that we had an economic debate recently, that I could make arrangements for a debate next week.
§ Mr. Shinwell
If my right hon. Friend should find time next week, or a little later for a debate on the Motion in the name of the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys), will be simultaneously provide time for my Motion, No. 55, which is, in effect, an Amendment to that Motion, and which refers to the atrocious, mischievous and dis-graceful behaviour of the Leader of the Opposition?
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Was not the right hon. Gentleman's reply to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition about the Falkland Islands somewhat vague? In view of the reports, does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that we are entitled to a statement and possibly a debate next week before the Government's integrity is further impugned and the confidence of the Falkland Islanders further undermined?
§ Mr. Peart
I assure the hon. Member that I was not being vague. I said that I would convey, rightly and properly, the views of the Leader of the Opposition to my right hon. Friend, and I will do so. I said that, so far as I understand it, the Government's views on the Falkland Islands are as were stated previously. There has been no change. I know that there have been rumours and reports. I will convey the feeling of the House on the matter.
§ Mr. Burden
Will the Government afford time in the near future for a debate on the Littlewood Committee's Report, which was made three and a half years ago? There have been various promises at various times which have never been honoured. Would the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that time will be found for a debate in the near future?
§ Mr. C. Pannell
Reverting to the inquiry of my hon. Friend the Member for Middleton and Prestwich (Mr. Coe), is my right hon. Friend aware that it is over three years since a statement was made of the Government's intentions over the Whitehall development plan, the Martin-Buchanan plan, which, of course, includes provision for that Parliamentary building? Since there is a Question down for the Minister of Public Building and Works next Tuesday, may we have a declaration of Government policy then?
§ Mr. Clark Hutchison
Apart from arranging for a statement on the Falkland Islands next week, will the right hon. Gentleman arrange also for copies of any agreement or understanding between this country and the Argentine concerning the Falklands to be made available to hon. Members?
§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Children (Performances) Regulations, which legalise cruelty to children, will soon come into effect and that the House has not had an opportunity to consider them? Would my right hon. Friend therefore consult the Deputy Leader of the House with a view to giving the House an opportunity to consider the Regulations and pronounce on them, and to ask itself whether a grievous mistake has not been made, before they come into effect.
§ Mr. Peart I will note carefully what my hon. Friend says and will look into the point. Perhaps he will have a word with me afterwards.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Before deciding to reject the request of my right hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) for time for a debate on Motion No. 54, did the right hon. Gentleman consult the Prime Minister? Is the House to infer that the Prime Minister is not eager to seize the earliest possible opportunity to defend his reputation in the House——
§ Mr. Bidwell
Has my right hon. Friend noticed that there are now 142 signatures to Motion No. 39, entitled "Racialism"?
§ [That this House condemns the speech made by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, at Eastbourne on 16th November, and welcomes its immediate repudiation by the Leader of the Opposition; and further calls upon the leaders of the three major parties of state to emphasise yet again in clear and unmistakable terms their commitments to the cause of racial tolerance.]
§ Will he arrange for an early debate, so that the right hon Member for Wolverhampton, South West (Mr. Powell) can subject his racialist fairy stories to the critical examination—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member may ask for time, but he cannot make the speech which he would wish to make if he got time.
§ Mr. R. Carr
In view of the decision of the Prices and Incomes Board, announced this afternoon, in the case of the building and construction industry pay claim, will the right hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend the First Secretary to make a statement on this matter early next week, in view of the obvious danger to industrial peace involved in forcing workers to accept a reduction in wage rates which they are already receiving?
§ Mrs. Ewing
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there will be a debate on the composition of the Commission on the Constitution before the appointments to that Commission are made?
§ Sir R. Russell
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he must have misunderstood the question of my hon. Friend the 737 Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Clark Hutchison), which was, would he make available any agreement or understanding reached between this country and the Argentine over the Falkland Islands?
§ Mr. Arthur Davidson
Would my right hon. Friend find time shortly for a debate on monopolies and mergers? Many of us had looked forward to the debate which was due to be held in Opposition time last Monday although we appreciate why they wished to replace it with a slightly more controversial debate.
§ [That this House, taking note of recent disturbances in the world monetary system which may threaten the growth of world trade, urges Her Majesty's Government to explore with other Governments tie practical possibilities of monetary reform and of the development of an open-ended free trade association of countries with easy access for the products of developing nations.]
§ This is signed by many hon. Members from both sides of the House and deals with the urgent need for a proper debate and review of the Government's policy on monetary reform and their general trading policy, which quite clearly is misdirected.
§ [That this House deplores the fact that the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity is proposing to refer to the National Board for Prices and Incomes the first freely negotiated pay agreement reached by the Joint Negotiating Council for the Banking industry despite the consequences to the critical staffing situation which is threatening with 738 collapse this vital service of national un-importance.]—
§ which deals with the bank employees' pay agreement? If his right hon. Friend is to make a statement on the building workers' claim next week, can she also make a statement on this reference to the Board?
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
In making arrangements for proper time for the Paymaster-General to answer Questions in future, will the Leader of the House ensure that her role as Paymaster-General is not subordinated to her position as Minister for the Civil Service? Is he aware that yesterday a Question which had been No. 1 on the Order Paper for three weeks, on the day on which she was due to answer, materialised as Question No. 51, and was not reached?
§ Mr. Michael Shaw
Would the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether he has considered the difficulty in which we shall be placed next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday's business, in collecting Amendments from various branches of industry? Is he aware that at best it looks as though the Amendments will be available only in a starred form for the two-day debate?
§ Mr. Maudling
What are the Government's intentions about introducing legislation relating to the House of Lords?
§ Mr. McMaster
If there is to he a statement or a debate next week on the position of Mr. Anthony Grey, will the right hon. Gentleman make sure that it is wide enough to consider the case of George Watt and 12 other British subjects, victimised, and held in prison by 739 the Chinese, without even the benefit of a visit from a member of the British Mission?