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 Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Woodford 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

Perhaps I might ask the indulgence of the House to reply to the point made by the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison). Of course, an Opposition puts down an Amendment with a number of criticisms, and it is undoubtedly open to the Opposition to complain if any one of those criticisms, or of the points raised for discussion, is not fully or properly or timeously dealt with. That is perfectly right, and everyone must judge for himself when it comes to going into the Division Lobbies. [Interruption.] Do try to begin to have a little courtesy. I say, quite frankly, that I have hardly ever seen this sort of thing before.

I was about to say that I think it is perhaps rather difficult for the road hauliers' matter to be first spoken upon by the Government at the end of the debate. We have no reason to shirk the discussion. On the contrary, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply made a very full speech on steel, and I think that if he had had to make another one on the hauliers' question it would have been very difficult. On the other hand, I see that the Opposition would like to know exactly what the haulage proposals are some time before the Division is likely to be called, and I have asked my right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary whether he will make the speech which he was going to make in winding up before dinner instead of at the end of the debate. We may then find some other Member, either from the Front or the back benches, to make the terminal flourishes which a debate of this importance requires. If that is agreeable, it is a procedure which we will adopt.