BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE (Hansard, 15 November 1951)
HC Deb 15 November 1951 vol 493 cc1172-4
Mr. C. R. Attlee

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will state the business for next week?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 19th NOVEMBER—Debate on Foreign Affairs on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will open the debate.

TUESDAY, 20th NOVEMBER—Conclusion of debate on Foreign Affairs.

WEDNESDAY, 21st NOVEMBER—Committee and remaining stages of the Border Rivers (Prevention of Pollution) Bill.

Committee stage of Supplementary Estimates for the Ministry of Materials relating to trading services and assistance to industry and strategic reserves.

Supplementary Estimates relating to new Ministerial appointments (contained in House of Commons Paper No. 23).

THURSDAY, 22nd NOVEMBER—Second Reading of Home Guard Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Committee and, if possible, remaining stages of Pneumoconiosis and Byssinosis Bill.

FRIDAY, 23rd NOVEMBER—Second Reading of Public Works Loans Bill.

Second Reading of Judicial Offices (Salaries &c.) Bill, Metropolitan Police (Borrowing Powers) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolutions; and, if there is time:

Second reading of the British Museum Bill.

Mr. Speaker, I have a further statement to make to the House about the Government's proposals in relation to Private Members' time. You may think it best, Sir, to dispose of any Supplementary Questions on business and perhaps you will be good enough to call me again.

Mr. Attlee

I have two questions on business. First, will the Government consider extending the time on the Monday for an extra hour to give an adequate opportunity for hon. and right hon. Members to debate? The second point is that we should like an opportunity to be given in the near future to discuss the statement of the Minister of Food relating to the dropping of the usual increases in the rations for Christmas.

Mr. Crookshank

We would be very happy, if it is the wish of the House in general, to extend the debate for an extra hour on Monday. [An HON. MEMBER: "Two hours."] One hour I should think, but that could be discussed if necessary. On the second point, whether the House should have an opportunity of discussing the Christmas bonus problem, I shall be very happy if that can be discussed through the usual channels and we can see if time can be found for it.

Mr. S. Silverman

While appreciating the response the Leader of the House has made to the request for a further hour on the first day of the Foreign Affairs debate, would he not take into consideration whether, in the circumstances, it would not be well to have a third day for the debate? There are always a great number of people anxious to take part in these debates—far more than there is normally time for. The House is not busily occupied with other things and foreign affairs are being discussed on this occasion at a time very critical for the world as a whole and for this country. Would not a further day therefore be useful to the House?

Mr. Crookshank

I do not think so, if for no other reason than that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has to leave for a conference in Rome on Wednesday, and a debate on this subject in his absence would not be very useful at the present time.

Mr. C. R. Hobson

May I ask whether the Government intend to present to the House shortly a new B. B. C. Charter and licence in view of the expiration of the existing Charter and licence on 31st December?

Mr. Crookshank

I am not in a position to make a statement today, but we are well aware of the position.

Mr. J. Rankin

Has the Minister anything further to add to what he said last Thursday about the position of Scottish Oral Questions on the Order Paper?

Mr. Crookshank

No, Sir. The position about that is that the order of Questions was carried on from earlier in the year and it seems to have been just a misfortune that Scottish Questions happened to be at the bottom of the list. The normal course of moving up the scale is going on.

Mr. Rankin

But as a result of the operation of the normal course, the voice of Scotland will be squashed. That is a point which I understood the right hon. Gentleman promised last Thursday to take into consideration. I gathered that through the usual channels—which I hope have not been silted up in the process—the matter would be given attention and that we might have a favourable answer so far as our position was concerned.

Mr. Crookshank

I have considered it, but I cannot take the matter further today.

Mr. Rankin

Could not this part of the Session be extended by another week?

Sir Herbert Williams

May I, as one who is unambitious to speak on foreign affairs, ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is possible that those hon. Members who did not speak on the Address in reply to the Gracious Speech will have a better opportunity in the debate on Monday and Tuesday?

Miss Elaine Burton

May I ask the Leader of the House whether there is any chance of finding time to debate between now and the Christmas Recess the Motion on the Order Paper standing in my name and in the names of several of my hon. Friends?

[That, in the opinion of this House, further delay in making a start with the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work for women in the public services will weaken the authority of Parliament and undermine public confidence in the repeated affirmations by this House of the acceptance of the principle of equal pay made during the past thirty years. This House therefore calls upon His Majesty's Government to announce a date by which a beginning will be made with the introduction of equal pay in the Civil Service.]

Mr. Crookshank

I do not think so: but when we come back there will be opportunity for Private Members' Motions and that might be a suitable one.