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Business Of The House

Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

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I will, with permission, make a statement about a debate on the European Economic Community.

In view of the importance of this subject, the Government have decided to give two days for this debate.

As already announced, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will make a statement on Monday, 31st July, and arrangements will be made for the debate to take place on Wednesday, 2nd and Thursday, 3rd August, on a Government Motion.

As a consequence, we shall ask the House to take into consideration on Friday of this week, should there prove to be time, Amendments to the Licensing Bill, which are expected from another place.

It is hoped that the House will adjourn for the Summer Recess on Friday, 4th August.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there will be a general welcome for his announcement that two days is to be given to the debate on the European Economic Community, but can he explain why he has changed his mind? Does not he recall that last Thursday he said that we had better wait to hear the statement by the Prime Minister and that, after we heard it, perhaps one day would be enough? Are we to understand that the Government's policy has now been changed and that, in consequence, we are having two days for the debate?

No, Sir. The policy has not been changed. On listening to the views of the House, including those of the right hon. Gentleman, the Government thought it right for two days to be provided for the debate. I recommended, in my own way, to the Government that that was the wish of the House. Accordingly, that has been decided.