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Business Of The House

Volume 414: debated on Thursday 25 October 1945

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May I ask the Leader of the House if he can tell us the Business for next week?

Monday, 29th October—Second Reading of the Bank of England Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Tuesday, 30th October—Consideration of a Motion of Gratitude to the Services on the Victorious Conclusion of the World War. Second Reading of the Water (Scotland) Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Wednesday, 31st October—Report stage of the Budget Resolutions, and Motions to approve the three Purchase Tax Orders which are on the Paper.

Thursday, 1st November—Conclusion of the Report stage of the Budget Resolutions, if not previously concluded, and Second Reading of the Police Bill.

Friday, 2nd November—Committee stage and Third Reading of the British Settlements Bill. Second Reading of the Chartered and Other Bodies (Resumption of Elections) Bill [ Lords] and Motion to approve the Government of Burma (Temporary Provisions) Order.

If the Debate on the Report stage of the Budget Resolutions is not concluded at an early hour on Thursday, will the Leader of the House arrange to continue the Debate on the Police Bill on Friday, if necessary?

We are hoping that, as there will have been a fair amount of discussion at earlier stages on the Budget Resolutions, they may be taken quite rapidly on the day of the Police Bill. I hope they will, but if that should prove not to be so, we shall consider a readjustment in the Business in regard to the Police Bill.

I venture to ask for information on two points. I would draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the Inshore Fishing Industry Money Resolution, which is on the Paper. He will see an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Maclay) and other hon. Members, to which we attach very great importance. Will the right hon. Gentleman give us a little time to consider this matter? Secondly, with regard to the Scottish Water Bill, I think all Scottish Members agree that we have had extraordinarily little time to consider it. We have had no time to consult local authorities. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider postponing the Bill until we have had further time for consultation.

With regard to the Inshore Fishing Industry Money Resolution, I understand that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is conferring with certain hon. Members this afternoon. I hope that may facilitate business in the Committee stage. Consideration is rather held up, until the Money Resolution is through, and therefore I hope that some accommodation can be reached, especially as my right hon. Friend has already made two attempts to get the Money Resolution. With regard to the Water (Scotland) Bill, that was presented, I think, on the 10th of this month, so that about a fortnight has elapsed.

I do not know about that. If it is so, I am sorry. There was a White Paper, of course, in the last Parliament, and the English Bill had some relation to the Scottish Bill. Therefore, it has been known for some time. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland tells me that he is very anxious to give local authorities every opportunity of expressing their views, but the effective stage, from that point of view, is really the Committee stage. Therefore, he is arranging that instead of the Scottish Grand Committee taking the Committee stage at an early date, it will be somewhat delayed, in order to give local authorities a chance to communicate with Scottish Members.

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that Ministers responsible will have a chance to study the Bill, in order that they may be able to answer questions on the subject?

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman when he is likely to consider the Report of the Select Committee on Procedure?

The Select Committee have just reported. I am sure that I, and the House generally, are grateful for the expedition with which, under the chairmanship of my hon. Friend the Member for Newton (Sir R. Young), the Committee has worked. The Report is now under the consideration of the Government, and we hope to communicate our views at an early date, when the necessary arrangements for a discussion will be made.

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman a question about civil aviation? We understand that next Thursday the Minister of Civil Aviation is making a statement in another place. Is it intended that the Parliamentary Secretary shall make a statement at the same time in this House?

I do not know. There is a Debate, I understand, although I am not sure, in another place on Thursday, but no arrangements have been made for a Debate here. That will depend upon whether it is a full speech or is capable of being given in a statement to the House, and until I know the line of argument taken and the amount of argument the Noble Lords will put forward in another place, I cannot answer that question.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult with his colleagues in an effort to protect the interests of this House, and see whether a statement can be made on Thursday on this long-awaited subject?

I will consider that, but I cannot accept the doctrine that if something is said in their Lordships' House, something has got to be said in this House too. However, I will see that the matter is given consideration.

May I ask the Leader of the House about a Motion which has been put down by my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) and myself, for the publication of the memoranda issued by the Select Committee on National Expenditure? Can the right hon. Gentleman possibly consider giving a time for its discussion, or will the Government, perhaps, publish the memoranda without any further discussion?

[ That all memoranda addressed by the Select Committees on National Expenditure in Sessions 1939–40 to 1944–45, inclusive, to the Prime Minister for consideration of the War Cabinet, be laid on the Table of this House.]

I am sorry, but I do not know anything about that matter. This is news to me. I can only plead ignorance and ask to be excused from making a statement at the moment.

I wish to bring my right hon. Friend back to civil aviation. Pending the speech, debatable or otherwise, in the other place, will my right hon. Friend consider publishing a White Paper in regard to the policy of the new Government with reference to this matter, which is of such vital importance?

I do not know that I am going to add to the already considerable collection of White Papers of the late Parliament.

Further to the point raised earlier about memoranda of the Committee on National Expenditure, may I ask my right hon. Friend, when he considers the matter, to bear in mind that one of those reports deals with no less than the waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds on the manufacture of tanks which are useless?

Will my right hon. Friend amplify what he meant when he said that the Under-Secretary of State would delay the proceedings of the Committee on the Scottish Water Bill? Is it not the undoubted privilege of the Chairman to decide on the date of the meeting of any Standing Committee?

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman is quite right, and, of course, any arrangement made for the convenience of Scottish Members and the Scottish local authorities would have to be discussed between my hon. Friend and the Chairman of the Committee. I agree that the word of the Chairman goes, and not the word of the Under-Secretary of State, or even that of the Leader of the House.