Business of the House

– in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Greenwood Mr Arthur Greenwood , Wakefield

Will the Leader of the House state the Business for the next Sitting Days?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

The Debate on the Address will be continued.

First Sitting Day.—The Amendment relating to the Organisation and Training of the Army in the British Isles standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for North Bristol (Mr. Bernays) will be considered. At the express request of the hon. Members interested in this subject, the Debate will take place in Secret Session.

Second Sitting Day.—The Amendment on Equal Compensation standing in the name of the hon. Lady the Member for Frome (Mrs. Tate).

Third Sitting Day.—The Amendment relating to Colonial Development standing in the name of the hon. Member for Altrincham (Sir Edward Grigg) will be considered.

Photo of Reverend James Barr Reverend James Barr , Coatbridge

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that for the open Debate last year six Sitting Days were allotted, and, if I am correct in interpreting what he has said, only five, including to-day, are to be allotted this year? Why should we not have six open Sitting Days when any subject may be raised, instead of five?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

It was felt that by allotting three extra days over and above the total of eight last year the desires of the House would be met, and, as a number of specific questions had been put down by way of Amendments, it was felt that it would be better to group Members who wished to speak on those subjects on special days for the greater convenience and concentration of debate. As a result the six Sitting Days have been allotted for the consideration of those specific matters which hon. Members have expressed their desire to raise by putting Amendments on the Paper.

Photo of Reverend James Barr Reverend James Barr , Coatbridge

The general body of Members who may not be interested in these matters will not be allowed to raise special questions which they have been entrusted to present. There is a general desire among rank and file back benchers to raise them.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I gather from inquiries that have been made that hon. Members particularly desire to discuss the questions to which days have been allotted for Amendments, and there is a very general desire that there should be a wide discussion on them, particularly on the Amendment dealing with reconstruction matters, which will be discussed in the following series of Sittings. I think there is still a day of general debate to come. We had better see how it proceeds.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will there be any opportunity for the Amendment with regard to the Civil Service being discussed?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

That is not a matter for me but for Mr. Speaker, who made a statement yesterday on the Amendments he proposed to call.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

According to the right hon. and learned Gentleman's statement, he is making a very generous allocation of time to the supporters of the Government to give them opportunities of voicing their grievances against the Government. Will any time be available for the Opposition?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

If the hon. Member is referring to his party in the last phrase, that was dealt with yesterday by Mr. Speaker, and it is not a matter with which I am competent to deal. I think that Mr. Speaker in what he said held out prospects that the hon. Member might find an opportunity of raising the question he wants to raise.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I understood from Mr. Speaker that when all other issues had been exhausted and when all the Government supporters had adequately expressed their discontents, he would have no objection to calling the Amendment which my hon. Friends and I have put on the Paper if the Government authorities were prepared to allot the necessary time.

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I think that the hon. Member took an unduly depressed view of what Mr. Speaker said, if I may say so, and I think we had better wait and see how it develops.

Miss Rathbone:

If any three malcontents of the Government form themselves into a party, will they receive equally generous treatment for their Amendments?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

Perhaps the hon. Lady will address that question to Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

I wish to address this question to you, Sir. Is the hon. Lady's expression a legitimate Parliamentary expression? If it is, is it not more applicable to Members who sit in other places than to my hon. Friends and myself?

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Devizes

Does the statement of the right hon. and learned Gentleman mean that when there is a discussion on planning during the next subsequent series of Sittings there will be a statement by the Paymaster-General?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I have not announced the Business for the series of Sittings after the next, but it is generally understood that there will then be two days allotted to that subject.

Miss Ward:

During the next series of Sittings may we expect the promised statement by the Prime Minister on the manacling of prisoners?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

That question was answered by my right hon. Friend the Dominions Secretary yesterday, and perhaps the hon. Lady will be good enough to look at it. I cannot add to it.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

As the Debate on postwar reconstruction will take place during the series of Sittings after the next, does that mean that we shall have the Beveridge Report issued before the Debate?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

That has also been dealt with in an answer.

Miss Ward:

If we do not have a statement on the manacling of prisoners in the next series of Sittings, will my right hon. and learned Friend consider making a statement in Secret Session, because we have waited a very long time?

Photo of Sir Stafford Cripps Sir Stafford Cripps , Bristol East

I think that that is a hypothetical question.