HL Deb 01 October 1976 vol 374 cc760-1
The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Lord Peart)

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I should like to make a Statement on business. Business for Monday has been rearranged following consultations through the usual channels. There will be a debate on the economic situation after Starred Questions, and this will take the place of the Education Bill on that day. After the debate is concluded, the House will take the Committee stage of the Race Relations Bill and the Motor-Cycle Crash-Helmets (Religious Exemption) Bill Second Reading, as previously arranged. The Committee stage of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill will be postponed.


My Lords, the House will be grateful to the Leader of the House for that Statement. It would not have been possible for this House not to have debated the economic situation after the events of this week. I recognise that it upsets the appalling timetable which the Government are imposing on this House, and to that extent it must have been disagreeable for the noble Lord the Leader of the House to agree to my request. I am grateful to him.


My Lords, the Liberal Benches welcome the fact that the Government have agreed to have a debate on the economic situation on Monday next. We hope that it will then be possible for the Government to give us some helpful information as to how they are going to defend the pound in very difficult circumstances, and perhaps give more information than they were able to do last time, a few days ago, otherwise I fear that the debate may be extremely short. Perhaps that is a good thing.


My Lords, I merely say "thank you" to both noble Lords for their remarks. As to how the debate continues, and whether it is short, is for those who participate to decide. I agree that this should be an important debate on the economic affairs of the nation.


My Lords, for the convenience of noble Lords who will be taking part in the Committee stage of the Race Relations Bill, when it occurs, has the noble Lord any indication to offer us—without imposing any timetable upon us—when he expects the Race Relations Bill Committee to be likely to be resumed on Monday?


My Lords, it will resume immediately after the economic debate. It depends how long that debate goes. It may well be that debate will go for a long time; it depends on the speeches. But the Race Relations Committee stage will follow immediately.