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Business Of The House

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 28 April 1949

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

Yes, Sir. The Business for next week will be as follows:

Monday, 2nd May, and Tuesday, 3rd May—Iron and Steel Bill; 3rd and 4th allotted days, respectively, of the Report stage.

Wednesday, 4th May—Report and Third Reading of the Mid-Northampton-shire Water Board Order Confirmation (Special Procedure) Bill; and

Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Water (Scotland) Bill, and the Special Roads Bill.

Thursday, 5th May—Supply (12th allotted Day); Committee, Debate on the situation in China and attacks on H.M. ships.

Friday, 6th May—Second Reading of the Consolidation of Enactments (Procedure) Bill, which is expected to be received from another place today; and

Second Reading of the British Film Institute Bill and Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

There is one point which I should like to make about Business. The right hon. Gentleman will notice that Thursday is taken out of the Opposition's time. We have agreed to that, although the Prime Minister had offered a day himself. We have done that because we realised that the right hon. Gentleman wanted the Debate soon, and that it might be difficult to find a day out of Government time. In return for this, I feel that I am justified in asking the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether he could not perhaps find another day for the Report stage of the Iron and Steel Bill.

The right hon. Gentleman will remember what happened yesterday on the new Clauses. I was not here myself; I was engaged on non-controversial business elsewhere. The only two new Clauses which were at all adequately discussed yesterday were the Government's new Clauses, and all the six others—three Liberal and three from this side of the House—were not discussed at all. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman will consider that a very happy state of affairs if it is to be continued for the remainder of the Report stage, and I hope he will answer my very reasonable plea.

I was getting ready to be nice and accommodating and reasonable, because I thought that what the right hon. Gentleman was leading up to was that, having agreed to a Supply Day for the Debate on China next week, it strengthened the hands of the usual channels on his side of the House in the negotiations for other special day Debates. I was going to be nice about it, and I really had no idea that he was coming to the question of the Guillotine on the Iron and Steel Bill, which stiffened me up somewhat.

I did not think we had been ungenerous about the Report stage. [Interruption.] Actually, it is a day more than was given to the Report stage to the longer, and as I think rather more complicated, Transport Bill of an earlier Session, and I did not think we had done badly. If I might respectfully suggest to the Opposition what would be advantageous to them, it is that they might see their way to make more economical use of the time that is available. As the House knows, I deplore the Guillotine; I do not like it, but it has got to be. Honestly, I did not think myself that the time allocations under this Guillotine, either in Committee or on Report stage, in the circumstances of the case were unreasonable.

Can the Lord President say when it is proposed to introduce into the House the North Atlantic Treaty for Debate and ratification?

That will not be next week, but I shall see to it. The hon. Gentleman can take it that it will be quite soon.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that those of us who represent mining areas find that the local authorities greatly appreciate the publication of the report on mining subsidence, and, in view of that, will be give an undertaking that he will consider the early implementation of that report?

Certainly; the Government will, of course, consider the report. I understand that hon. Gentlemen representing mining constituencies wish to have a talk with Ministers and I am trying to arrange that as soon as possible.