HC Deb 22 July 1976 vol 915 cc2006-9
Mrs. Thatcher

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. Michael Foot)

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY 26TH JuLY—Remaining stages of the Dock Works Regulation Bill.

Motions on the Acquisition from Crown (Grants) Order and on the Compulsory Acquisition of Public Authorities (Compensation) Order.

TUESDAY 27TH JULY, WEDNESDAY 28TH JULY AND THURSDAY 29TH JULY—Remaining stages of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill.

At the end on Tuesday, remaining stages of the Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

At the end on Thursday, motion on the European Communities (Iron and Steel Employees Re-Adaptation Benefits) (Amendment) Regulations.

FRIDAY 30TH JULY—Remaining stages of the Supplementary Benefit (Amendment) Bill and motion on the Child Benefit and Social Security (Fixing and Adjustment of Rates) Regulations.

Motions on the Consumer Transactions (Restrictions on Statements) Order and on the Mail Order Transactions (Information) Order.

MONDAY 2ND AUGUST—Supply [29th Allotted Day]: The Question will be put on all outstanding Votes.

Subject for debate to be announced.

Mrs. Thatcher

Assuming that the statement we are about to hear will be of considerable moment, does the right hon. Gentleman intend to provide time for a debate before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Foot

I think that we should await the statement. Clearly that matter can be discussed between the usual channels. Other hon. Members may also wish to make representations. We shall consider them and see what we should arrange for a later time.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. I should explain to the House that questions on business will come out of the time that has been allocated for the Rent (Agriculture) Bill. Therefore, I propose to call very few hon. Members, as there is a major statement to follow.

Mr. Powell

Has the Leader of the House yet decided when the motion for the Summer Recess is likely to be moved?

Mr. Foot

I am not quite sure on which day it will be in the last week. I shall be announcing it in the last week. If I can give an earlier indication to the House, I shall do so.

Mr. John Mendelson

Does the Lord President recall that he gave an undertaking a fortnight ago that the Secretary of State for Employment would make a statement on further measures to alleviate unemployment, particularly among school leavers? Does he agree that the figures published this week underline the need for such a statement? Is my right hon. Friend able to give the date when the Secretary of State for Employment will make such a statement?

Mr. Foot

I cannot give a date, but next week my right hon. Friend will certainly make a statement to the House on the subject.

Mr. Thorpe

Does the Leader of the House recollect the undertaking given by the right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) that the Government would publish a White Paper setting out their proposals on devolution for England shortly before publication of the Bill relating to Wales and Scotland? Does that undertaking still stand? If so, when may we expect the White Paper?

Mr. Foot

We certainly hope that a statement or a White Paper will be published in the summer well before publication of the Bill.

Sir Frederic Bennett

The right hon. Gentleman is probably aware that there is a lot of disquiet in Gibraltar following the negative talks which took place recently in London. As, rather unusually, the Secretary of State has not made a statement in the House, but only given a Written Answer, will the Leader of the House have a word with his right hon. Friend to ascertain whether he will make a short statement about the talks before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Foot

I will consult my right hon. Friend about that matter. It may be that, as often happens in nearly the last week before a recess, a number of statements will be made. The House must take that into account. We do not want to take too much of the time of the House with statements. I shall look at the matter that the hon. Gentleman has raised.

Mrs. Jeger

Has my right hon. Friend seen Early-Day Motion No. 399, signed by over 60 hon. Members on both sides of the House, on the question of Cyprus?

[That this House gives a general welcome to the report of the Select Committee on Cyprus; considers it has highlighted some major failings in foreign policy; and believes that Great Britain, as a guarantor power and fellow member of the Commonwealth, has a special responsibility to work for a free and independent Cyprus.]

Is it not time, two years this week after the brutal Turkish invasion of Cyprus, that this House considered in some degree the position of that Commonwealth country?

Mr. Foot

There have been occasions when the situation in Cyprus could have been debated, but I cannot offer any prospect of a debate on that subject before the recess.

Sir David Renton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Drought Bill is much more urgent than any item that has been announced for next week? When will he introduce that Bill? Shall we have it before the recess?

Mr. Foot

The Drought Bill has been introduced in another place and it will be coming to this House. The Government intend that the Bill should be carried through all its necessary stages. We recognise the importance of the Bill.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. I shall allow three more questions.

Mr. Watt

Does the Leader of the House agree that it would be wrong for the House to rise for the Summer Recess without discussing the urgent position regarding the extension of fishing limits? If the Government cannot find time for it, will he urge the official Opposition to give their Supply Day over to this subject?

Mr. Foot

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would have better success in making representations to the official Opposition than I might have. It is certainly open to him and to others to do so. I cannot promise a debate on that subject before the recess, despite our recognition of its importance.

Mr. Peyton

Will the Leader of the House tell us why he did not announce the business in the form of a statement since that would have had the effect of not taking time out of the time allowed for the Rent (Agriculture) Bill?

Mr. Foot

I understand that there were some consultations and that what we proposed was acceptable. We have put down a motion to assist the House. I believe that the motion greatly assists the House in that respect.

Mr. Faulds

When will the Public Lending Right Bill surface through this whirlpool of legislation?

Mr. Foot

I very much hope when the House returns after the Summer Recess. The probable day that I suggest we should return is Monday 11th October. I certainly hope that before the end of the Session that measure, which is supported by the Government and has already gone through another place, will have a good chance of going through the House of Commons.