Business of the House

– in the House of Commons on 8th September 1942.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

May I ask the Leader of the House to state the Business for the present series of Sittings?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The Business for to-day is as follows: A Motion for an Address of Condolence to His Majesty on the death of Air Commodore H.R.H. the Duke of Kent will be proposed, and a Message of sympathy to H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent. Afterwards the Committee stage of the Supplementary Vote of Credit for War Expenditure will be taken. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will make a statement on the War Situation, and a Debate will take place.

The Government felt that it would be meeting the wishes of the House to allow two days for the War Debate, and, therefore, it is proposed to continue the Debate on the Second Sitting Day. In view of this arrangement we shall sit an additional day during the present series of Sittings.

Third Sitting Day—A Debate on Service pay will take place on the Report stage of the Supplementary Vote of Credit. We shall also ask the House to take the Motions to approve the Purchase Tax (Exemptions) (Nos. 3 and 4) Orders.

Fourth Sitting Day—We shall ask the House to agree to pass the special Consolidated Fund Bill through all its stages. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make a statement on the Second Reading of the Bill. Those Questions already on the Paper for the Fourth Sitting Day will be answered on the Fourth Sitting Day of the present series of Sittings unless Members inform the Table that they wish their Questions to be postponed.

It may be convenient if I inform the House that the Government propose on the next Sitting Day to move a Motion providing for a further Adjournment of the House at the end of the present series of Sittings.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Is there any proposal for any time to be allowed during this series of Sittings for a discussion of the Indian position?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

My right hon. Friend will make a statement on the next Sitting Day. It is not proposed to allot any time for a discussion in this series of Sittings.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Do I understand that the Prime Minister, apart from his general survey to-day, is making a separate statement about India?

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Then there will be no opportunity for discussion. Is that the considered opinion of the Government?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Any Debate on that subject would not be in Order on the Vote of Credit.

Photo of Sir Herbert Butcher Sir Herbert Butcher , Holland with Boston

Will the Government open the Debate on Service pay and allowances?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

It is not proposed that the Government should open that Debate.

Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

Would it not be possible, should the House so desire, that the matter could be raised on the Adjournment on the Fourth Sitting Day?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Any matter can be raised on the Adjournment on the Fourth Sitting Day after the Business has been completed.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman explain to me how it would not be in Order to discuss the Indian question on the Vote of Credit?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I cannot give a Ruling on that matter. It is obviously a matter for Mr. Speaker. I understand that it would not be in Order because the Vote of Credit is concerned with the carrying-on of the war only.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I now turn to you, Mr. Speaker, as the proper authority on these matters. May I ask you whether, on the discussion on the Vote of Credit, it would be quite proper for Members of this House to raise the question of the recent happenings in India?

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

It would no doubt be in Order on an ordinary Vote of Credit, but on a Vote of Credit on a specific matter it would not be in Order to raise some other subject.

Photo of Mr Richard Acland Mr Richard Acland , Barnstaple

Surely, in a Debate on the carrying-on of the war, we can discuss the carrying-on of the war in relation to India, when there is a possibility of fighting in India? Will no portion whatever of that £1,000,000,000 be spent in India?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Will my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer say whether any of that £1,000,000,000 is being expended on military purposes in India?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I should say that it is; but, obviously, I would like to have notice of that Question.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Seeing that no time is to be available in this series of Sittings for a discussion on the all-important question of India, could not the Government arrange that part of the Fourth Sitting Day shall be allocated to a discussion on that subject?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The hon. Member knows that the question of what is taken on the Adjournment is not a matter for the Government, but a matter for Mr. Speaker

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

In connection with the Business on the Third Sitting Day, is it intended to suspend the Rule?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

If the House generally desires it and representations are made through the usual channels, the time can be extended.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

As no time is available during the present series of Sittings for a discussion on the Indian situation, can we have an assurance from the Government that when the House returns a day will be set aside for such a discussion in the first series of Sittings?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I am sure that if the House, desires it the Government will be prepared to give time on the return of the House for a discussion on the Indian situation.