Business of the House.

– in the House of Commons on 4th June 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

Will the Leader of the House state the forthcoming Business; and has his attention been called to a Motion on Old Age and Widows' Pensions which appears on the Order Paper in the names of my right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Petnick-Lawrence) and myself; and also is it the intention of the Government to find time for the discussion of the Motion on the Order Paper relating to Family Allowances?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The forthcoming Business will be as follows:

First Sitting Day—Report stage of the Finance Bill, and it will no doubt be agreeable to the House to take the Third Reading immediately afterwards; the Committee and remaining stages of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Bill [Lords]; and, if there is time, we hope to make progress with the Coal (Concurrent Leases) Bill [Lords], and the Marriage (Scotland) Bill [Lords].

Second and Third Sitting Days—A Debate will take place on a Government Motion to approve the coal proposals.

With regard to the other two matters which the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned, I am aware that a Motion appears on the Order Paper in the name of himself and the right hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence), and the Government hope it will be possible to give time for that at a very early date after the next series of Sittings. Similarly, they hope there will be an opportunity to discuss Family Allowances also at a fairly early date.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Is it necessary to make the coal question, which is to come before the House shortly, a matter of confidence in the Government? Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman appreciate that there is quite a considerable division of opinion about this matter, and does he realise also that if I should vote against the Government on this matter, I might find myself in the same unfortunate position as he is, of being expelled from the Labour party?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

It is not appropriate to comment on the misfortunes which may befall the hon. Gentleman, but the Government have decided that in this matter it is better to have a Motion definitely approving the Government's scheme.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Is there on this occasion any guarantee that the Government are really in earnest about the coal proposals, or are we to be faced with a situation similar to that which occurred before, that the Government say the thing must be done and then afterwards throw it over? Is there any guarantee that on this occasion if a certain body meets, the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his colleagues will not run away at the first shout from that body?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I should have thought that the fact that the Government have put down a Motion would be a sufficient guarantee.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

With the right hon. and learned Gentleman's agility of mind and well-known capacity for change from day to day, is there any guarantee in this matter that he will not do the same again? Is there any guarantee that if another body meets—not the workers, for there is never any change because of the workers—and is dissatisfied, the right hon. and learned Gentleman will not change his mind?

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think it is rather a pity that he did not broadcast on this matter a fortnight ago?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare Mr Geoffrey Shakespeare , Norwich

In view of the fact that the post-war organisation of the coal industry must have such an intimate bearing on war-time production, would it be possible for the Debate to range over a wide field?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Will my right hon. and learned Friend consider the form of the Motion to be put before the House? There are two aspects of this matter, fuel rationing and the proposals for the reorganisation of the mining industry. Would it not be highly inconvenient to take the two things together, as they are not even remotely associated? Will there be a composite Motion or two Motions on the proposals?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the Order Paper, he will see that there is a single Motion on it in this form: That this House approves the proposals of His Majesty's Government embodied in Cmd. Paper 6364 relating to coal.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

That is precisely why I raised the matter. As the White Paper includes a scheme for fuel rationing, then, if it is necessary to vote against it, we shall have to vote against the two proposals. Can a reasoned Amendment be put down, if necessary? Cannot we have two Motions? Will the Government reconsider the matter, and allow the House to deal separately with two separate issues?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Anyone can put down a reasoned Amendment in order to make whatever proposals he wishes.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Would it not be much more convenient for the House to consider the proposals for the reorganisation of the mining industry and fuel rationing separately?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

In the opinion of the Government all the proposals to deal with coal come under one single scheme. [Interruption.] That is so in the opinion of the Government; they consider it better to deal with the matter as a total scheme.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

This is very important. Are not the Government laying a silly trap for the House, because if we vote against the Motion we shall appear to be voting against equitable rationing, when, in fact, we want to vote against the other part? Would it not be a much more honourable thing, and would it not be simpler and clearer, to have two Motions before the House for what are two separate issues?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The Government do not so regard it, and, if the hon. Member so regards it, he is at liberty to put down an Amendment.

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that the 1922 Committee is meeting to-day?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Will the Report of the Committee of Privileges on matters remitted to them some weeks ago which affect two Members of this House, be shortly available?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I understand that the Report is now in draft. I cannot say when it will be ready, although I presume it will be ready shortly.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that there is no provision in the Business which he has announced for dealing with the Report, and is it not against the usual practice to keep a matter of this sort hanging over, indefinitely?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I understand that it will not be ready for debate in the next series of Sittings.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

The Lord Privy Seal will remember that there was the most tremendous urgency about getting this matter to the Committee of Privileges, so much so that the ordinary steps to inform those affected were not taken, whereas now it seems that there is unlimited time to deal with the matter from the point of view of the Government.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that it is not a matter for the Government but for the Committee of Privileges. As soon as the Committee make their Report, steps will be taken to enable the House of Commons to deal with the matter.

Photo of Mr Clement Davies Mr Clement Davies , Montgomeryshire

Is it proposed to give early facilities for a Debate on shipping, especially in view of the White Paper which has been issued regarding the allocation of new shipping? Is it proposed to bring in that policy before the Debate or after?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

That is a matter which, as has already been stated, can be debated on the Supply Vote for the Ministry of War Transport.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will the No. 2 Budget be introduced before or after the Recess?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

So far as I know, there is no such thing.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will it not be needed if all the Resolutions of the Labour Party Conference are to be given effect to?