Orders of the Day — Steel Industry and Road Haulage

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1951.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

I know, but I must raise a point with the Government about procedure. This Amendment refers to two industries, iron and steel and road haulage. The House is to spend a day debating the future of both of these industries, iron and steel and road haulage, and it really is putting the House in an impossible situation if the Government are not willing to outline their proposals about road haulage, at any rate, as much as they have done in relation to iron and steel—which was not too much.

It is impossible for the House to continue to debate effectively the road haulage industry unless it has an indication from the Government, at least broadly, if not in detail, of what their proposals are about the road haulage industry. Otherwise, we shall be in the situation that the speaker who will tell us what the Government propose to do will be actually the last speaker in the debate.

I want to ask, if not the Minister of Supply, who could have been briefed, then another Minister, if he wants to come in to tell us, for I am sure we shall give facilities—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Well, we shall not object to another Minister's telling us. What I want to know, either from the Prime Minister or the Leader of the House, as this is for the convenience of hon. Members on both sides of the House, is whether the Government could make arrangements at this point to indicate what their proposals are with regard to the road haulage industry. We are to debate this industry as well as iron and steel, and it is only fair to the House of Commons that the Government should take that course.