§ 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, 19TH MAY—Remaining stages of the Transport (London) Bill.
Motions on the Import Duties (Temporary Exemptions) (No. 3) Order, the Police Pensions (Amendment) Regulations, the Pneumoconiosis, Byssinosis and Miscellaneous Diseases Benefit Scheme, and on the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) (Amendment) Order.
TUESDAY, 20TH MAY, and WEDNESDAY, 21ST MAY—Committee stage of the Finance Bill.
THURSDAY, 22ND MAY—Remaining stages of the Housing Bill.
FRIDAY, 23RD MAY—It will be proposed that the House should rise for the Whitsun Adjournment.
§ Mr. Heath
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman about the date of presentation of the Industrial Relations Bill? The last that he was able to tell us was that he hoped that it would be presented before Whitsun. We now learn from the Press that apparently an arrangement has been made with the T.U.C. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman could tell us what it is.
Secondly, will the Secretary of State be making a statement later in today's debate about the level of contributions to the insurance scheme which will be necessary as a result of raising pensions, or will he be waiting until next week for another well-timed announcement?
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to Motion No. 200, standing in my name and the names of over 100 right hon. and hon. Members, on both sides, which was inspired by the work of Megan du Boisson, who was killed in an accident this week, as a result of which many hon. Members, on both sides, will feel a sense of grievous loss, because she was always gentle in manner and vigorous in deed? Would it not be appropriate to debate this matter next week?
[That this House applauds the skills and technologies involved in producing the Anglo-French Concorde aircraft and the United States and Russian space programmes, but regrets that the same urgency is not always shown in applying known technologies to assist handicapped and disabled people of all ages to lead a 1650 fuller, more independent and comfortable life.]
My hon. Friend's Motion, which has been signed by many hon. Members, draws attention to the great work done by Mrs. du Boisson for the disabled. Without having a debate, hon. Members who add their names to the Motion are paying a real tribute to her work, and the House appreciates this.
§ Mr. Dean
Has the Leader of the House seen the speech by the Secretary of State for Social Services saying that the increased money from the charges for teeth and spectacles will be used for comprehensive schools? Is he aware that this is clean contrary to what the Secretary of State said on 5th May? In view of this—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member cannot enter into a debate now. He may ask for a debate on the statement made by the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. Palmer
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Select Committee on Science and Technology has recently published a formidable Report on defence research? Will he provide an early opportunity for this important subject to be debated?
§ Lord Balniel
I understood that we had been informed through the usual channels that the Secretary of State for Social Services was not taking part in today's debate. May we have an assurance that he will be taking part?
§ Mr. Dickens
May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to Motion No. 310, standing in my name and the names of over 60 hon. Members on this side, calling for a debate on negotiations with the International Monetary Fund?
[That this House believes that an opportunity should be provided for a debate on the present negotiations with the International Monetary Fund before a Letter of Intent to the Fund is finalised.]
May I explain to my right hon. Friends that the intention behind the Motion is not to have a detailed statement from the Government on the progress of negotiations, but to have a full debate in the House so that the Government can listen to the views expressed by hon. Members on this very important matter?
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the promised debate on the Order increasing the charges for teeth and spectacles will take place? Ought not hon. Members opposite to know quickly when they will be called upon to eat their sacred cow?
§ Mr. Tuck
Has my right hon. Friend's attention been drawn to Motion No. 307, concerning the proposed closure by Hawker Siddeley of the factory at Shakespeare Street, Watford, of S. G. Brown?
[That this House notes with concern the proposed closure, by the Hawker Siddeley Group, of the S. G. Brown factory at Shakespeare Street, Watford, which will deprive the nation of the technical know-how about gyroscopic compasses and make over 500 people, many of them highly-skilled technicians, redundant; and calls upon the Government to take some positive action to avert this closure, either by re-nationalisation, or by aid from the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation or by using the same method as was used in the case of Fairfields.]
As a full debate was held in the House when the Conservative Government proposed to denationalise the company in 1959, and the Conservative Gov- 1652 ernment gave an assurance to the House of continuity of employment for the work-people there, does not my right hon. Friend think that a full debate is called for by the present tragic situation?
§ Mr. Peart
I have noted the Motion in the name of my hon. Friend, who represents Watford. I agree with him that this is a very important matter. He is right to draw my attention to it. I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology is continuing his discussions with the representatives. I will see that he is made aware of what has been said today and that he takes careful note of what my hon. Friend has said.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
Does the Leader of the House recall that last week he undertook to draw the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland to the crisis created by the decision of over 11,000 qualified and experienced teachers in Scotland not to re-register with the General Teaching Council and, consequently, to face immediate dismissal, and to ask his right hon. Friend to make a statement? As we have had no statement, and the crisis continues, can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that we will have a statement from his right hon. Friend before we rise for the Whitsun Recess?
§ Mr. Peart
Since the hon. Member raised this matter, I have looked carefully into it and conveyed his views to my right hon. Friend. I see that there is a Written Question down for answer tomorrow and I believe that the hon. Member himself has a Question down for oral answer on Wednesday. Let us wait for the Answers.
§ Mr. Luard
My right hon. Friend will recall the White Paper on the resources of the sea bed, which was produced under his own guidance. Can he tell us whether he will provide an opportunity to discuss this Report as well as the question of negotiations in the United Nations on control of sea bed resources?
§ Mr. Hastings
When can we expect a further statement from the Foreign Secretary about the case of Mr. Gerald Brooke? May we be assured that the Minister of Technology, who is now in Moscow, will bear his fate in mind, too?
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker
May I return to the question of the Motion concerning the proposed loan from the International Monetary Fund? Does not my right hon. Friend consider that this is the kind of major international question on which the Government should hear the views of the House before they decide on a policy which may be of vast importance to the nation?
§ Sir C. Osborne
As one who signed that Motion, together with many hon. Members opposite, may I press the Leader of the House for an urgent debate on this matter, because hon. Members, on both sides, are concerned lest the Letter of Intent includes conditions that would be generally unacceptable to the people of the country? Before the Letter is signed, surely this House should express its opinion upon it.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
On the question of the I.M.F., will the Leader of the House try to get the Chancellor to make another statement next week to explain why, on Tuesday, he said that no approach had been made to the I.M.F., whereas an official statement was issued from our Embassy in Washington on the same day saying that there was an official approach? May we have a statement from the right hon. Gentleman next week to tell us which of those two is right?
§ Dr. Winstanley
Has the Leader of the House received any intimation from his right hon. Friend the Government Chief Whip of his intention to move for the issue of the writ for the Birmingham. Ladywood by-election next week?
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
Will my right hon. Friend find time next week or in the near future for my Motion on mergers and take-overs, because of the unemployment which is liable to be caused?
[That this House is of the opinion that, in view of the recent growth by the public in the shareholding of companies and of company takeovers and mergers, the Government, in the national interest, should set up a public inquiry into the relevant potentialities of each of the companies to be taken over or merged before such take-over or merger and of the effect of any such proposed take-over or merger on, not only the shareholders, but also on the numbers and kinds of employees in each of the companies and on the British economy.]
§ Dame Irene Ward
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what has happened to the Merchant Shipping Bill, which seems to have disappeared? Is he aware that we in the North of England in the shipping areas want to hear a great deal from the Government on shipping and the Upper Clyde shipbuilders, and heaven knows what?
§ Mr. Peart
The hon. Lady says that the Merchant Shipping Bill has disappeared; it has not yet appeared, but it will.
§ Mr. Peyton
Does the Leader of the House realise that on the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund he is not being asked simply to repeat himself; that would be stupid indeed. He is being asked to give the Government an opportunity to present to the House of Commons their present state of mind, if that is not too indecent.
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing
On Motion 307, on the closure of S. G. Brown, as the hon. Gentleman who made the announcement and initiated the debate in the House, may I ask the Leader of the House to bear in mind that this firm would never have closed if the Government had not slashed the defence orders and aircraft orders?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We are drifting into merit. The hon. Member may ask for a day on which to put his point of view.
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing
I support the suggestion put forward by the hon. Gentleman opposite that there should be an early debate on the merits of the case.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
Has the attention of the Leader of the House been drawn to the Amendment to Motion 296, which was signed by 137 loyal Government supporters?
[Line 2, leave out from 'Party' to end of line 4 and add 'notes how often and easily these decisions have been disregarded; restates the constitutional principle that no British Government can be bound by the decisions of outside bodies; agrees that the sick and disabled who are unable to pay for medical services should have these provided free of charge, but repudiates the idea that these charges should be paid by the American and/or German taxpayer through further International Monetary Fund loans; further notes that the proposed spectacles and false teeth charges by Her Majesty's Government will save only £3½ million in a full year and are less than one hun- 1656 dredth the economies that Her Majesty's Government will have to impose to get the nation out of its current overseas deficit of £419 million per annum; and would welcome details of the other economies needed for the remaining £415½ million deficit'.]
Will he find time to debate the Amendment?
Mr. Edward M. Taylor
Is the Leader of the House aware of the continued anxiety in the homes of 14,000 Clydeside shipyard workers, and is it still his hope that a statement will be made next week?
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
As the Leader of the House promised to give the terms of the Industrial Relations Bill next week, and has now said that this will not be done until an unspecified date after the Whitsuntide Recess, will he say whether the terms of the Bill then will be the same as they would have been had they been announced before Whitsuntide?
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
While I understand the reluctance of the Government to debate the increased charges for spectacles and false teeth, should we not debate very soon, and certainly next week, the interesting statement of the Secretary of State for Social Services that from now on the Health Service is to finance the education service. Should not the serious constitutional implications of this be discussed?
§ Mr. Fortescue
Will the Leader of the House say when we shall have the opportunity to debate the Prayer to annul the Order increasing air navigation charges at certain municipal airports?
§ Mr. Ridley
In view of its constitutional importance, will the Leader of the 1657 House say whether the Prime Minister will make a statement next week about the setting-up of an inner Cabinet and who will and who will not be members of it?
§ Mr. McMaster
Will the Leader of the House provide time before the Whitsun Recess to decide the fate of the 12 British citizens who are held in prison by the Chinese, many of whom have been detained for more than a year, with no British consular access?