HC Deb 17 April 1969 vol 781 cc1334-8
Mr. Heath

Will the Leader of the House kindly give us the business for next week?

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 21ST APRIL—Conclusion of the general debate on the Budget Resolutions and the economic situation.

Remaining stages of the Army Reserve Bill.

Second Reading of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Bill (Lords) which is a Consolidation Measure.

TUESDAY, 22ND APRIL—There will be a debate on Welsh affairs, which will arise on a Motion to take note of the Report on Wales, Command No. 3930.

Motion on the Family Allowances (Qualifications) Regulations, 1969.

WEDNESDAY, 23RD APRIL—Supply [17th Allotted Day]: There will be a debate on the situation in Anguilla, which will arise on an Opposition Motion.

Remaining stages of the Customs Duties (Dumping and Subsidies) Bill [Lords].

At Seven o'clock opposed Private Business has been put down by the Chairman of Ways and Means for consideration.

THURSDAY, 24TH APRIL—Second Reading of the Air Corporations Bill and of the Overseas Resources Development Bill.

FRIDAY, 25TH APRIL—Private Members' Bills.

MONDAY, 28TH APRIL—Supply [18th Allotted Day]: Debate on a topic to be announced.,

Mr. Heath

We have asked during the last two days for a statement by the Secretary of State for Social Services on the proposed increase in contributions as a result of the increased pensions that are to be paid. Will the Leader of the House assure us that this statement will be made before the end of the Budget debate?

Mr. Peart

Yes, I will do my best on this, and I will convey the strong views of many hon. Members on this matter.

Mr. Heath

As the Leader of the House will realise, the statement will have to be made on Monday, so I hope that he can be specific about this.

Mr. Peart

I have said that I will convey the feelings of hon. Members. I cannot say at this stage, but I think that my right hon. Friend should make a statement.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I would remind the House that we have the third day's debate on the Budget before us, many hon. Members wish to speak and I hope that hon. Members will be fairly generous in cutting down their questions.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Does the announcement which the Leader of the House has made of the business for next week and the following Monday mean that the Parliament (No. 2) Bill has at last been given its due priority?

Mr. Peart

That question is not on next week's business. My right hon. Friend will be making a statement.

Mr. William Hamilton

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will give time to debate Motion No. 261 on the pay and conditions of nurses, which are thoroughly unsatisfactory in a profession which has wide support on both sides of the House?

[That this House deplores the fact that nurses in National Health Service hospitals are now called on to pay for all meals consumed on hospital premises, as a condition attached to the pay increases recently recommended by the National Board for Prices and Incomes and accepted by Her Majesty's Government resulting in many student and other nurses being worse off than they were previous to the award being granted, with likely adverse effects on nurse recruiting; and therefore calls on Her Majesty's Government to take urgent steps to ensure that the nursing profession gets remuneration Commensurate with its responsibilities and with the magnificent service which it renders to the community.]

Mr. Peart

I cannot promise to give time next week, but I will convey the views of my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Peyton

Will the Leader of the House be more forthcoming than he was to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and give an absolute assurance that a statement will be made before the end of the Budget debate remedying the extraordinary omission of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor to say how much the pensions increase will cost and how it will be levied?

Mr. Peart

I have replied to that question, and I hope that my reply will be accepted.

Mr. McNamara

Will my right hon. Friend say when the Merchant Shipping Bill will be dealt with, and also the reorganisation of the industrial ports?

Mr. Peart

I think that my hon. Friend should wait for the statement of the Prime Minister.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that controversial Private Bills have been set down for consideration on Wednesday, involving Wolverhampton, Walsall and West Bromwich. Would not it be better for each Bill to be taken on a separate day, so that hon. Members who wish to express views on each of them will have adequate time to prepare their speeches?

Mr. Peart

This is a matter for the Chairman of Ways and Means, as the hon. Member knows.

Mrs. Renée Short

Will my right hon. Friend be able to find a day to discuss the care of subnormal patients arising from the reports on the Ely and South Ockendon Hospitals, and will he bear in mind that this would give an opportunity also to discuss the report of the Estimates Committee on special hospitals?

Mr. Peart

I am aware of my hon. Friend's interest in this. My hon. Friend must be aware that my right hon. Friend is meeting regional bodies on this matter, and I think we should wait until we have a statement from him on that.

Mr. Emery

Will the right hon. Gentleman have words before Tuesday of next week with his right hon. Friend the Chief Patronage Secretary about the mess caused by the existence of too many Standing Committees upstairs, to the extent that the Government were unable at any time today to maintain a quorum in the Standing Committee on the Development of Tourism Bill?

Mr. Peart

I will look into this.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will the Leader of the House at last find time for Motion No. 134 about the dire consequences that will follow from the closing of the locomotives works in Inverurie and unemployment in North-East Scotland in general?

[That this House is shocked by the unnecessary and untimely threat by British Railways to close the railway locomotive works at Inverurie thereby increasing unemployment in North-East Scotland, increasing the already injurious trend south of workers and their families, the further concentration of workers and population in South-West Scotland and requests the Government to set up a Royal Commission to devise means of spreading population and industry and employment more evenly throughout Scotland, of improving communications between Northern Scotland and Europe and the United States of America and thereby increasing British export trade and Scottish prosperity and happiness.]

Mr. Peart

My hon. Friend has stressed this very often, quite rightly from his point of view, but I cannot find time next week.

Sir C. Taylor

Further to the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Honiton (Mr. Emery), may I point out to the Leader of the House that this morning at no time could the Government provide a quorum in Committee E dealing with the Development of Tourism Bill, and on four occasions the Government were defeated on Divisions.

Mr. Speaker

Questions should be questions.

Mr. Peart

I have already answered that question.