I have not, but I expected the Question.
The business for next week will be as follows:
MONDAY, 2ND JULY—Conclusion of the Report stage of the Finance Bill.
TUESDAY, 3RD JULY—Third Reading of the Finance Bill until about 7.30 p.m.;
Committee and remaining stages of the Festival of Britain (Additional Loans) Bill;
Motions to approve the Draft House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) (Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne) Order; and the several Draft Civil Defence Regulations which are on the Paper.
WEDNESDAY, 4TH JULY—Consideration of a Motion for an Address to His Majesty relating to the gift of a Mace to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia and of a Speaker's Chair to the Parliament of New Zealand. The proposal to make these gifts to mark the historic anniversaries was announced to the House on 6th April last;
Committee stage of the Telephone Bill;
Second Reading of the Dangerous Drugs Bill [Lords], which is a consolidation measure;
Motion to approve the District Probate Registries Order.
THURSDAY, 5TH JULY—Supply (18th allotted Day);—Committee;
Debate on the Argentine Meat Agreement until 7 o'clock;
Afterwards debate on the the Hants. and Dorset Bus Company Dispute.
FRIDAY, 6TH JULY—Second Reading of the Forestry Bill [Lords].
Would the Leader of the House bear in mind that we shall require to have a discussion on the present position of the steel industry in the light of the speech which was delivered by the Minister of Supply a few days ago, and also in view of various facts which have arisen in connection with the Steel Corporation and the Steel Federation? We shall require to have a debate on that, though not to disturb the business of the week in front of us. We shall also require to have a debate on the question of the new rifle, the 280 rifle, some time or another. Perhaps these matters may be discussed through the usual channels.
Can the right hon. Gentleman give us any indication as to when it is intended to introduce the Measure, forecast in the King's Speech as one of the principal Measures of the Session, to carry out and make permanent some parts of the Supplies and Services legislation due to expire on 10th December?
I hope that our silence after the right hon. Gentleman's reply to my last question will not be understood to mean that we are in the slightest degree assenting to his suggestion that both those debates I mentioned should take place on Supply Days, because, possibly, steel may become the subject of a Vote of Censure.
In view of the nationwide concern at the continuing rise in the cost of living, and of the report published today that the T.U.C. may press the Government to hold an inquiry into ways and means of curbing the rising cost of living, is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to give time for a discussion on the Motion in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) and of my name, and of the names of several hon. Members?
[That this House regrets that owing to the continued rise in the cost of living since July, 1945, the real purchasing power of the pound has fallen from 20s. to 15s. 6d., thus causing increasing hardship to all sections of the community, especially low paid wage-earners, pensioners and others with small fixed incomes, and undermining the stability of the National Savings Movement; and further deplores the Government's failure to combat this by effecting economies in national expenditure, by reducing Purchase Tax and by taking all necessary steps to check the rise in prices.]
Further to that reply, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the last three months there have been 40 increases in utility prices permitted by the Government, and that the question of the increasing cost of living is concerning people in the country more than anything except the fear of war? Will he not give us a day to discuss a problem that is causing people almost more trouble than anything else?