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Business Of The House

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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May I ask the Leader of the House to make a statement on Business for the next series of Sittings?

The Business will be as follows: First Sitting Day.—Second Reading of the Finance Bill and Motion to approve the Purchase Tax (Exemptions) (Haberdashery, etc.) Order.

Second Sitting Day.—Supply (8th Allotted Day): Committee. A Debate will take place on the Refugee problem, and my right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department will open the Debate with a statement on the conclusions of the Bermuda Conference.

Third Sitting Day.—Second Reading of the Pensions and Determination of Needs Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Is it intended to complete the Second Reading discussion of the Pensions Bill on the Third Sitting Day? I assume so, because the right hon. Gentleman talked about the Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution. As there is likely to be a large number of people who desire to speak, would it not be advisable to make provision for a second day?

I hoped that one day would suffice if the Rule were suspended—[HON. MEMBERS: "No "]—but I have since understood that there is a demand for further time. I cannot make any further announcement now, as I want to consider the position, but if the House will agree, I propose to make a further statement when the House meets on —

Will the Government follow the precedent which has been followed before when the Regulations were debated, and debate them on a draft document in the light of the discussion on which the final Regulations will be published?

That is the very point I wanted to consider, and it struck me that that might be a way of meeting the demand for extra time.

Will Parliament have an opportunity of expressing to the officers and men its appreciation of the magnificent and complete victory of our arms in North Africa? I think there are precedents for it, and it ought to be done at an early date.

Yes, Sir. Apart from the statement which the Deputy Prime Minister will make in a moment or two, that matter is being looked into.

In order to facilitate the asking of Supplementary Questions on Business, would it not be convenient if all Members of the House were supplied with the right hon. Gentleman's statement on Business in the same way as the right hon.- Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood)?

Will my right hon. Friend make a speech at the end of the Debate on refugees?

Has the Leader of the House given consideration to the representations made through the usual channels that the third Sitting Day is a very inconvenient day to many Conservative Members who wish to take part in the Debate on the Pensions Bill in view of what is taking place elsewhere on that day?

I try to do everything to meet everybody's convenience, but every day is inconvenient to somebody. Perhaps the announcement I shall make on—will show those who prefer one attraction to another that they will have later opportunities.

Arising out of the undertaking which the right hon. Gentleman gave last Thursday in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Lonsdale (Sir I. Fraser), may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is in a position to say whether the Government are prepared to give time for a Debate on a Select Committee on pensions?

The matter is under consideration. I have been in communication with my hon. and gallant Friend, and I propose to answer a Question by him shortly.

In considering the question of the House expressing its thanks to the Forces for their great victory, will my right hon. Friend consider the desirability of waiting for the Prime Minister to return, so that we may express our thanks to him for his great services?

When is it intended to take the Settled Land and Trustee Acts (Court's General Powers) Bill, which was postponed last week? When it is taken will my right hon. Friend give ample time for it and not push it to the end of the day?

I have in mind the point my hon. Friend makes, and I will make an announcement later about it.

The Leader of the House has twice referred to the first Sitting Day by naming the day. Does this mean an end of the mumbo jumbo about when we are sitting?

I have considered that matter and I have the same desire as my hon. Friend but I am informed that we must stick to the practice we have been following.

With regard to the Business for the first Sitting Day, my right hon. Friend will recollect that he, like many of us, was under a delusion as to the possibility of suspending the Rule at a later hour yesterday. In view of the fact that a large number of people wanted to speak and could not and will want to speak on the Finance Bill, will he consider suspending the Rule on that day?

With regard to the use of the name of the Sitting Days, will my right hon. Friend be consistent and make arrangements that there will not be on sale to-morrow morning in London a document which anybody can purchase which will announce to the world when we shall be Sitting? Is it not a farce that the Stationery Office should publish every Friday when we shall be Sitting?

I have been into this question but I must be guided by what are regarded as security reasons.