HC Deb 12 June 1969 vol 784 cc1672-9
Mr. Heath

Will the Leader of the House kindly state the business of the House for next week?

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, 16TH JUNE—Supply [21st Allotted Day]:

Until seven o'clock there will be a debate on Agriculture on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

Debate relating to the Report of the Select Committee on Coastal Pollution, and the Observations on it, arising on an Opposition Motion.

Motion on the Television Act, 1964 (Additional Payments) Order.

Motion on the County Court Judges (Maximum Number) Order.

TUESDAY, 17TH JUNE—Second Reading of the National Insurance (No. 2) Bill.

Remaining stages of the Tanzania Bill [Lords.]

WEDNESDAY, 18TH JUNE—Completion of the remaining stages of the Housing Bill.

THURSDAY, 19TH JUNE—Supply [22nd Allotted Day]:

Debate relating to the Dainton Committee Report on National Libraries, Command No. 4028, which will arise on an Opposition Motion.

Motion on the Selective Employment Payments Variation Order.

At seven o'clock, the Chairman of Ways and Means has named opposed Private Business for consideration.

FRIDAY, 20TH JUNE—Private Members' Motions.

MONDAY, 23RD JUNE—Supply [23rd Allotted Day]:

Debate on a topic to be announced later.

Mr. Heath

When will the Government's long-promised Bill on industrial relations be published?

Hon. Members

Not next week.

Mr. Peart

I hope not during Ascot Week. The right hon. Gentleman knows that discussions are going on on this matter. He must wait.

Mr. Michael Foot

Since the Leader of the House announced that no subject has yet been chosen, presumably by the Opposition, for debate on Monday week, would it not be possible for him to make representations through the usual channels that we should debate seriously in this House on that day the subject of race relations, so that the House of Commons may have the opportunity of discussing the views of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and of other hon. Members?

Mr. Peart

I understand my hon. Friend's point of view, but he must appreciate that I am not responsible for a topic introduced by the Opposition. That is a matter for right hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I remind the House that there is a considerable amount of business ahead.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the sympathetic noises made by the right hon. Gentleman on this topic last week, can we now have an assurance that if the result of the Government's favouring the Divorce Reform Bill tonight is to mean the loss of any opportunity for all other Private Members' Measures tomorrow to become law, he will find a day for those Measures?

Mr. Peart

It is true that I gave a sympathetic answer. I said let us wait and see what happens. I repeat that.

Mr. Shinwell

Will my right hon. Friend arrange for his right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary to come to the House early next week to make a statement about the provision by the United Kingdom Government to the Government of Libya of a number of Chieftain tanks while, at the same time, the Foreign Office has refused to implement an undertaking with the Israeli Government for a similar provision of Chieftain tanks? Can my right hon. Friend also arrange for an early debate on the subject?

Mr. Peart

In view of what happened yesterday, when my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) attempted to initiate a debate, I made representations to my right hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend will be answering Questions on Monday, and there could be an opportunity for a Question to be put to him. It is not usual to make a statement on matters like this, but I will certainly convey the strong views to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Amery

Is the Leader of the House yet in a position to say when the Letter of Intent from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the International Monetary Fund will be published and when we will have a chance to debate it?

Mr. Peart

I cannot, say, but as soon as possible a statement will be made and the House informed.

Mr. Hamling

As there is a Motion on the Order Paper today in the name of the right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald) which may be called tonight, and, further, in view of the fact that this is an implied Motion of censure on the Government, will my right hon. Friend see that the Government Whips are on for it?

Mr. Peart

I note carefully what my hon. Friend has said. I am rather surprised at the Motion—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—because one of the signatories was the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd), who was Leader of the House when the Government provided time for the Third Reading of the Divorce (Scotland) Bill [Lords.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. We cannot debate the merits of the Motion now.

Mr. Edward M. Taylor

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the continuing anxiety on Clydeside about the precarious financial position of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders? Will he endeavour to arrange for an early statement on the position to be made?

Mr. Peart

Yes, I will as soon as possible, when the Minister is ready.

Mr. Tuck

Before the Recess, my right hon. Friend gave me hope that there might be time for a short debate on the closure of S. G. Brown's factory at Watford. I appreciate that there has been an Adjournment debate, but only I had the opportunity to make a 15-minute speech and many other hon. Members wanted to make their views known. Will my right hon. Friend reconsider this matter?

Mr. Peart

I am aware of this and I know that my hon. Friend raised the matter on the Adjournment. I accept that it is an important matter for the area concerned. I will continue to look at it sympathetically.

Mr. Dudley Smith

In view of the continued rumours about forthcoming economies and changes in B.B.C. sound radio, will the Leader of the House consider providing time for a debate on this subject, so that there can be adequate parliamentary representation from all sides?

Mr. Peart

I cannot give a promise.

Mr. Luard

On previous occasions, my right hon. Friend suggested that he might be prepared to have a debate on the resources of the sea bed and the discussions now going on at the United Nations on that subject. I wonder whether he can make a further remark about this.

Mr. Peart

I know of my hon. Friend's deep interest in this matter. The development of the sea bed and matters arising from oceanography are important. I will bear it in mind.

Dr. Winstanley

Since the answer given by the Leader of the House last week to questions about tomorrow's private members' business, which he has just described as sympathetic, consisted of the words, "Let us wait to see what happens", does not this mean that he must know what will happen? Will he not let us into his confidence?

Mr. Peart

I do not know what will happen; neither does anybody else

Mr. Ogden

Has my right hon. Friend seen Motion No. 327 and the Amendment thereto, relating to transplant surgery?

[That this House believes that transplant surgery has a vital and increasingly important part to play in the saving of many hundreds of lives now being lost annually because of the lack of a sufficient number of donors; calls on Her Majesty's Government to initiate the establishment of a national register of donors as a matter of urgency; and invites hon. Members to give a lead by signifying their own willingness to bequeath their own bodies for the purpose of this type of surgery.]

[Line 1, leave out from 'That' to end and add 'the present law in regard to transplant surgery is inadequate and unable to provide protection for either potential donors or potential recipients, places upon the public and the medical profession unnecessary responsibilities and difficulties; is in need of urgent reform; therefore calls upon Her Majesty's Government to publish a White Paper of its proposals for urgent legislation for transplant surgery'.]

In view of the information which is now available about the conduct of transplant operations in recent weeks, does not my right hon. Friend agree that there is need for an urgent debate?

Mr. Peart

It is important, but there are even more important subjects. I will note it, but I cannot promise time.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

In view of the badly-drafted legislation which tends to emerge from all-night sittings, as the Abortion Bill has shown, will the Leader of the House undertake that he will not in future seek to have these controversial social matters discussed late at night and into the early hours of the morning?

Mr. Peart

I cannot give that assurance.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

My right hon. Friend has made a long statement on the business for next week. Is he aware that details of this were given on the 8 o'clock news this morning by the B.B.C.? Can he not, therefore, arrange for the business announcements to be posted up either on a Wednesday evening or a Thursday morning? This would let hon. Members know and would save a lot of the time of the House. It would save us having to impose upon the Leader of the Opposition the task of getting up each Thursday to ask for details of business for the next week.

Mr. Peart

I think that the arrangements are quite satisfactory. I am always glad to hear the view of my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis).

Mr. Biffen

In view of the increasing unlikelihood that there will be any meaningful legislation on industrial relations during the current Session, can the Leader of the House state whether we may expect a statement next week that the Government will now recommence progress on the Parliament (No. 2) Bill?

Mr. Peart

No, I cannot, and the hon. Member will understand why.

Mr. Rankin

Does my right hon. Friend recollect his promise to provide time for a debate on the increase in airport navigational charges? Can he say when it will be held?

Mr. Peart

My hon. Friend knows that I said that I would look at this carefully. He will find an opportunity.

Mr. Frederic Harris

As the Government say that they are neutral about the Divorce Reform Bill tonight, cannot they possibly, therefore, find time to discuss the Motion of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald)?

Mr. Peart

I have given my view about that. This is not a matter which affects the Bill as such, but one affecting the timetable of the House. On the merits of the legislation affecting divorce, the Government are neutral.

Mr. Arthur Davidson

Can my right hon. Friend arrange for his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs to make a statement next week on those areas which are to receive help under the Government's proposals arising out of the Hunt Report? There is great concern in Lancashire and elsewhere about this.

Mr. Peart

A statement has already been made. Consultations are going on. I cannot find time next week.

Mr. Crouch

Can the Leader of the House say whether I would be wise to plan to go on holiday on 1st August?

Mr. Peart

I hope that the hon. Member will have a good holiday. Let us wait and see.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will the Leader of the House, at long last, find time to discuss my longstanding humanitarian Motion about improving the conditions of cars for disabled persons?

[That this House is of opinion that Clause 12 of the regulation relating to disabled persons' cars, which provides that when the child or children of the disabled person reaches the age of 14 years or ceases to depend on the disabled person the car will not be replaced, by substituting a later age which will enable the disabled person to continue his or her care of the relevant child or children.]

Mr. Peart

I applaud my hon. and learned Friend's diligence on this matter, I know that he feels deeply about it, but, I cannot find time next week.

Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when a statement can be expected on Armed Forces' pay, which is long overdue?

Mr. Peart

Very soon.

Mr. Fortescue

The right hon. Gentleman has just said that he told the House that he would look carefully at the question of air navigational charges. In fact, he said that we could have a debate. He promised me this before the Recess. Has he revised his view?

Mr. Peart

In reply to my hon. Friend, I repeated this promise. We shall find time.

Mr. Ridley

Can we have a debate on the Report of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries on Ministerial control, together with the Government's answer, during the current Session? If so, when is it likely to be?

Mr. Peart

I cannot give a precise time. A statement has been made, but it would be difficult to find time for a debate.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

When does my right hon. Friend plan to have debates on Rhodesia and Biafra?

Mr. Peart

We have had debates on these subjects. We cannot have them next week.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker