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Business Of The House

Volume 649: debated on Monday 13 November 1961

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Last Thursday I undertook to reconsider the arrangements for the Committee stage of the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill.

In doing this, I have had to bear in mind the frequently expressed anxiety of many hon. Members that the House should find opportunities for more general debates, and in this respect due regard must be had to the views of the Select Committee on Procedure, that if the House wishes seriously to provide time for other purposes, Bills must be committed to Standing Committees.

On the other hand, I felt bound, as Leader of the House, to take account of the representations on this particular Bill which have been made strongly to me from both sides of the House.

Having thought carefully about these conflicting considerations, I am now able to tell the House that I have decided to propose that the Committee stage of this Bill should be taken on the Floor of the House.

I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for that statement.

While thanking my right hon. Friend very much for that decision, which, I think, will be acceptable to both sides of the House, may I ask him why, if he has days to spare, we cannot have a debate on shipping and ship building?

We cannot, on this business statement, discuss a large number of topics.