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Business Of The House

Volume 773: debated on Friday 22 November 1968

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The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(Mr. Fred Peart)

With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should now like to make the further business statement I referred to this morning.

In view of the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the business for Monday and Thursday of next will be as follows:

MONDAY, 25TH NOVEMBER—Supply [3rd Allotted day]:

Debate on Monopolies and Mergers, followed by consideration of a Ways and Means Resolution relating to Import Deposits.

Motions on the Hire Purchase (Amendment No. 9) and (Amendment No. 11) Orders.

THURSDAY, 28TH NOVEMBER—Second Reading of the Customs (Import Deposits) Bill, after which the House will be asked to approve a Motion on a Surcharge on Revenue Duties Order, which is being tabled today.

Is it intended by the Government that these Measures should be discussed piecemeal, as appears to be the case from what the right hon. Gentleman said? Surely we should discuss these matters in the round?

On Thursday the Customs (Import Deposits) Bill, which will have its Second Reading, will automatically be exempted business. The Bill will be very short; only two Clauses and a Schedule. I appreciate that it is natural that there should be some anxiety about this.

The regulator Order will be tabled today, to appear on the Notice Paper tomorrow. This, too, will be exempted business for one-and-a-half hours. It will be put in place on Thursday as an effective Order with the Bill, in the expectation that the House will find it convenient, subject to the views of Mr. Speaker, to discuss the two together. I think that it should be a reasonable debate.

At first sight, what the right hon. Gentleman has described seems an extremely unsatisfactory way of proceeding.

Would the Leader of the House make it clear, in connection with Monday evening's business—which he says is exempted for one-and-a-half hours—that private Members may carry on the debate for an indefinite length of time on the Order, having regard to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is imposing additional taxation of not less than £250 million? Is he aware that I protest mightily at being confined to a discussion of only 90 minutes in the House when £250 million—

The Question having been proposed at Four o'clock and the debate having continued for half an hour, Mr. Speaker adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at half-past Four o'clock.