§ 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, 13TH APRIL—Debate on the Middle East, which will arise on a Motion for the Adjournment of the House.
Motions on the Price Stability of Imports Products (Eggs) Order, on the Eggs (Guaranteed Prices) Order and on the White Fish Authority (General Levy) Regulations Confirmatory Order.
TUESDAY, 14TH APRIL—My Right Hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget.
752 At seven o'clock, the Chairman of Ways and Means has named opposed Private Business for consideration.
WEDNESDAY, 15TH APRIL—Continuation of the Budget debate.
Ways and Means Resolution relating to National Health Service Contributions.
Motion relating to Sunday Cinematograph Entertainments in Ilkeston.
THURSDAY, 16TH APRIL—Continuation of the Budget debate.
FRIDAY, 17TH APRIL—Private Members' Bills.
MONDAY, 20TH APRIL—Conclusion of the Budget debate.
§ Mr. Heath
May I put three questions to the Leader of the House? First, with regard to Monday's business on the Middle East, can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an undertaking that the Prime Minister will take part, to deal with the reports in the Press today of the occasion on which he and the Foreign Secretary were overruled by the Cabinet on their proposal that the Navy should intervene between Israel and Egypt?
Second, is he aware that the Ways and Means Resolution included in Wednesday's business puts a further charge of £40 million on industry, which means a further charge in the prices explosion that is now going on, and that the House will want proper time to discuss it?
Third, can he undertake that the Prime Minister will, if the Question is not reached, make a statement next week about the working of the Winter Emergencies Committee, and whether he is proposing to set up an emergency committee to inquire into the failure of the Winter Emergencies Committee?
§ Mr. Peart
There is absolutely no foundation for what has been said in the Press about the Middle East. The right hon. Gentleman should not always believe what he reads. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is issuing a statement on the matter, and I shall be delighted to send the right hon. Gentleman a copy.
I accept what the right hon. Gentleman says about the debate on National Health Service contributions. After consultations, I thought that Wednesday would enable us to have a suitable debate, after we have continued the Budget debate, and this will be done.
753 I will look into the question of the Winter Emergencies Committee.
§ Mr. Heath
Do I understand that the Prime Minister is issuing a statement to the Press about this very important matter of the Middle East? If so, as it concerns his position and that of the Cabinet, why is he not making the statement to the House, where he can be cross-questioned about it? Surely if this is a matter of sufficient importance to warrant a statement it should be made to the House?
§ Mr. Peart
My right hon. Friend was not asked to make a statement. No Government has to answer charges made in the Press which are unfounded. The right hon. Gentleman should know that that would be an absurd procedure for any Government to adopt. I will see that the reply which has been issued is sent to the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Heath
If the right hon. Gentleman says that it is absurd for the Government to answer all charges made against them, I readily concede that they would have a full-time job. But what he has said is that the Prime Minister is making a statement to the Press and my point is a specific one, that if this matter is of such importance and apparently so exceptional that the Government or the Prime Minister must make a statement about it, why is the Prime Minister not making it to the House?
§ Mr. Hooley
On a point of order. May we be told whether this has anything to do with next week's business?
§ Mr. Shinwell rose—
§ Mr. Strauss rose—
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he can say when the Merchant Shipping Bill will come from another place and be debated in this House and whether the Government have taken into account the serious representations made by the National Union of Seamen about the penal Clauses in the Bill?
§ Dame Irene Ward
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since Questions to the Prime Minister took such a long time today, I do not know whether the Prime Minister will come to the North of England, as he has been asked to do? May we have a statement, or a debate next week, so that we may know whether we may expect the Prime Minister, to tell him what we think of him in the North-East?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. In the midst of the battle I call the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short).
§ Mrs. Renée Short
May I ask my right hon. Friend when he expects to be ready to deal with the final stages of the Equal Pay Bill?
§ Mr. Peyton
Is it the intention of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications to make a statement next week on the 7d. post, or are we to have an 8d. one after the election?
§ Mr. Strauss
Can my right hon. Friend say when he proposes to bring before the House the Government's proposals for implementing the Report of the Select Committee on Privileges, which was published over two and a half years ago?
Mr. Edward M. Taylor
Would the right hon. Gentleman reconsider his very flippant answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton)? Is he aware that there is very real concern about the possibility of increased postal charges? Will we have a statement soon about whether there will be a 7d. post?
§ Mr. Brooks
Could my right hon. Friend say when the Hare Coursing Bill is likely to be introduced? Would he agree that since it is an extremely simple, one-Clause Bill it would not take much of the time of the House?
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
The Leader of the House will be aware that the fate of the 6d. was to have been decided by Easter. Now that the Government have taken their decision in this matter, when will the House be informed?
§ Mr. Peter Archer
Since the 25th anniversary of the United Nations is a time when the world will want to discuss its structure and function, will my right hon. Friend give the House an early opportunity of doing so?
§ Mr. Kirk
With regard to the last question put by my hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition, would the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to ask either the Prime Minister or the Minister res- 756 ponsible to look into the matter of winter emergencies? These are still going on all over my constituency, at any rate, and even if the Prime Minister did not want to answer today, someone ought to answer at some time.
§ Mr. Lubbock
Would the right hon. Gentleman remind the House how long it is since the report of the Select Committee dealing with the declaration of Members' interests was published, and say how much longer we are to wait for a debate?
§ Mr. Arthur Davidson
Can my right hon. Friend find time, as soon as possible, for a debate on the Government's decision to go ahead with the siting of the new town in Central Lancashire, which is a matter of tremendous importance throughout Lancashire?
§ Mr. Dance
Has the right hon. Gentleman seen Motion No. 215, signed by 97 Members, dealing with wrong priorities in Government grants?
[That this House deplores the latest stage in the Government's march towards a civilised society in giving priority of grants to the concubines mistresses and illegitimate children of university students while callously disregarding the claims 757 of the disabled, the old-age pensioners, the chronic sick, the war pensioners and failing to meet the reasonable requests of nurses, the police and the farming community.]
Can he say on which day next week the Secretary of State for Education and Science will make a statement?
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker
Can my right hon. Friend tell us when he will provide time for a debate of Rhodesia so that the electors may be aware of the views of hon. Members in all quarters?
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing
Would the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that it is now a year since the Report of the Select Committee on Science and Technology, which looked into defence research establishments, was published and put before the House? May we have time to discuss this rather important matter at the earliest opportunity?
§ Mr. Judd
In view of the importance which the Government have always attached to the United Nations in their foreign policy, and the fact that this is the United Nations 25th anniversary year, will my right hon. Friend give the House an assurance that we will certainly have a debate before the summer is through?
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
As we have not debated the Post Office affairs for nine months, could the right hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that during the next 758 two or three weeks we will have an opportunity to debate the Post Office, particularly telephone charges, and the rumour that there will be a 2d. or 3d. increase in the cost of the letter post?
§ Mr. Gibson-Watt
A fortnight ago the right hon. Gentleman acceded to my request to have a debate on Welsh local government reform. What progress has he made?