HC Deb 01 November 1973 vol 863 cc311-3
Mr. Edward Short

May I ask the Leader of the House to state the business for next week?

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. James Prior)

Yes, Sir. The business of the House next week will be as follows:

The debate on the Address in reply to The Queen's Speech will be continued tomorrow and on Monday, and be brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 6th November.

At the end on Monday—Motions on the Weights and Measures (Pasta) and (Salt) Orders.

At the end of Tuesday—Motion on the Assistance for House Purchase and Improvement (Increase of Subsidy) Order.

WEDNESDAY 7th NOVEMBER—Motion to approve the Price and Pay Code (No. 2) Order.

THURSDAY 8th NOVEMBER—Second Reading of the Channel Tunnel (Initial Finance) Bill, which it is hoped to obtain by about Seven o'clock.

Motion on the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965 (Continuation) Order.

FRIDAY 9th NOVEMBER—Debate on a motion to take note of the Departmental Committee Report on The Adoption of Children (Command No. 5107).

MONDAY 12th NOVEMBER—Second Reading of the Local Government Bill.

Remaining stages of the Channel Tunnel (Initial Finance) Bill.

Mr. Short

The Leader of the House will recollect that we agreed not to have a debate on Northern Ireland on the Gracious Speech, but we hope that he will take on board that it ought to take place in the near future. Could he give us any idea when that is likely to be?

Mr. Prior

We shall certainly bear it in mind. The Leader of the Opposition drew attention to it in his speech on Tuesday. We recognise that there will be a debate on Northern Ireland and we are prepared to arrange it for the convenience of the House. My right hon. Friend would like to consult the Opposition about the date.

Mr. Marten

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) on 24th October that the House would have plenty of opportunities to debate the matters on the agenda of the Council of Ministers before they were debated by the Council. What allocation of time shall we have, next week or the week after, to debate the important matters which are pending before the Council of Ministers decides anything?

Mr. Prior

I did not hear my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in his exchange with the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks). A number of issues are perfectly in order to be debated on the Queen's Speech. There will be other opportunities for debates. The House is awaiting the Select Committee's report, the printing of which I understand has now been ordered. This will provide further opportunities for debate.

Mr. Lipton

Will the House be sitting as usual on 14th November, or do we get the day off?

Mr. Prior

No, I shall expect to see the hon. Gentleman in his seat at half-past two on that day.

Mr. David Steel

Is the Leader of the House aware that it would be for the general convenience of the House to have an agreement about choice of subjects for debate on the Queen's Speech on particular days? Would it not be generally helpful if he were to announce this to the House?

Mr. Prior

It was in fact announced by the Chair at the start of business yesterday.

Mr. Cormack

So far in this Parliament we have not had a full day's debate on the arts. Will my right hon. Friend arrange for such a debate some time this Session?

Mr. Prior

We have a long way to go on that yet. The opportunities between now and Christmas are rather limited but I will consider what my hon. Friend said.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Could the Leader of the House arrange, during the ministerial reply on the Loyal Address, for a Government announcement to be made about the alleged supply of jet fighters to the reactionary régime in Chile?

Mr. Prior

I have read the account in the Press and I will refer it to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Sheldon

When does the Leader of the House expect the Expenditure Committee and the Public Accounts Committee to be set up? There is some important and urgent work for both Committees.

Mr. Prior

I hope that both Committees will be set up shortly.

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