May I ask the Leader of the House if he will make a statement on the Business for next week?
The Business for next week will be as follows:
Monday, 22nd October—Second Reading of the Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Bill. A Debate will take place on Demobilisation.
On Tuesday, 23rd October, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget.
Wednesday and Thursday, 24th and 25th October—General Debate on the Budget Resolutions.
Friday, 26th October—Committee and remaining stages of the Consolidated Fund (No. 1) Bill. A Debate will take place on conditions in Europe.
During the week we shall ask the House to approve the Government of Burma (Temporary Provisions) Order.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Government have come to any decision in regard to the setting-up of the Select Committee on National Expenditure?
Yes, Sir. It is not proposed to set up the Select Committee on National Expenditure. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has decided that next year Estimates shall be presented on pre-war lines, and that there shall be no Votes of Credit after 31st March next. In the circumstances, we propose to appoint a Select Committee on Estimates to examine the annual Estimates when they are published. We shall do our best to ensure that Estimates are presented as long as possible before the beginning of the next financial year.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will consider granting an early day for a discussion on cartels, national and international, and the Government's policy thereon?
I do not think so. The matter might be raised through the usual channels, and we might find some suitable early opportunity in the course of Business, but it would be difficult to provide a special day.
Can the Leader of the House indicate when the House is likely to have an opportunity of discussing the two White Papers which have been circulated, the one dealing with conditions on the scientific side of the Civil Service, and the other dealing with the pay of the higher posts in the Civil Service?
It was not intended by the Government when they published the White Papers that they would be debated, and on the face of it I cannot see any great need for a Debate, unless there is a widespread and general wish in the House. They, of course, can be discussed on Civil Estimates in one form or another.
May I ask the Leader of the House whether, in view of the experience we had on Tuesday night when the Scottish Supplementary Estimates were rushed through with little discussion, he will, when he is discussing through the usual channels, include a representative of the Scottish Members, as it is about time we got some consideration?
I shall be very much surprised if there is not a representative of Scotland to be found somewhere in the "usual channels."
May I ask the Leader of the House whether in regard to today's Business he is proposing to move the suspension of the Rule?
No, Sir, not to-day. I remember what the hon. Gentleman said yesterday, and I thought it was time that he had a concession.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he proposes to give facilities for discussing the Motion standing in the names of about 150 hon. Members of this House on old age pensions?
It is not proposed to give time for the discussion of that Motion.
May I ask a question on the Business to-morrow? The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will probably remember that, during the Committee stage of the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Bill, he undertook to put down an Amendment to Clause 2, the terms of which he would consider in the interval. I have his speech here and I have read the Amendments which have been put down, and I cannot find an Amendment to Clause 2. As the House is to discuss this to-morrow, can the right hon. Gentleman tell us something about it?
I have considered the Clause as printed in the Bill, and I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to include any Amendment that would meet the point raised by the Opposition. But I shall be quite willing to discuss it with any Members of the Opposition to see if we can come to some arrangement whereby the general convenience might be met. I cannot say more than that at the moment.
I am bound to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he does not remember that, in his statement, he did go a little beyond that, and said that something would be put down. If nothing has been put down, our discussion is likely to be a trifle abortive.
If it can be suggested in the course of the discussions, and if I can be satisfied, that an Amendment is necessary, I will put it down and it will then appear on the Order Paper to-morrow and Mr. Speaker can consider it; or, if the Opposition still think the point ought to be met, they can put an Amendment on the Order Paper. I admit that the time is very short, but I will endeavour to conduct these negotiations in a reasonably conciliatory spirit.
In view of the great interest taken in the Inshore Fishing Bill and its importance to some parts of the country, can the Leader of the House give us an assurance that adequate time will be allowed for the discussion of this Measure to-day?
I am, of course, in the hands of the House, but I am hoping that the Statutory Orders (Special Procedure) Bill, whilst, no doubt, it will be debated, will not occupy too long, and that adequate time will remain for discussion of the Inshore Fishing Bill.