Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:
MONDAY, 8TH JUNE—Remaining stages of the Public Libraries and Museums Bill.
Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Police Bill.
TUESDAY, 9TH JUNE, and WEDNESDAY, 10TH JUNE—It is hoped to complete the Committee stage of the Finance Bill.
THURSDAY, 11TH JUNE—Supply [17th Allotted Day]: Committee.
Debate on the Hospital Service in the United Kingdom.
Motions on the Import Duties Orders.
MONDAY, 15TH JUNE—The proposed business will be: Second Reading of the Fishery Limits Bill, which it is hoped to obtain by eight o'clock.
Afterwards, Motions on the Horticulture Schemes, and the Fertiliser Scheme.
Mr. H. Wilson:
In view of the widespread interest in the Education Bill, will the Leader of the House make it clear that enough time will be provided to debate this without the debate being shortened for the purpose of Lords Amendments to the Police Bill?
Secondly, in view of the statement of the Prime Minister this afternoon, in which he endorsed the statement of his noble Friend Lord Blakenham that budgetary provision has been made, for further pension increases, can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether a Treasury Minister or some other Minister will make a statement in the House next week giving details of his budgetary provision? Alternatively, will he lay a White Paper so that the House can study it?
I certainly do not think that it is the wish of the Government to curtail discussion unnecessarily on Monday. I think that we should see how we get on on Monday, and perhaps we may have to use a portion of the time on Tuesday to complete the business set down for Monday.
I have no doubt that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will take note of the right hon. Gentleman's second question.
In addition to noting this, which is very important in view of the House's traditional control over Government expenditure, is it not desirable that, where budgetary provision is made, the House should be told about it at once? If it is only communicated in a speech made in the country by a Minister who is not a Member of this House, but a Member of a House whose duties in financial matters are well known to have been curtailed some years ago, should not the Government take early steps to make sure that this budgetary provision, which seems to have slipped through somehow or other without this House noticing it, is drawn to the attention of the House of Commons?
I do not want to enter into controversy with the right hon. Gentleman about what my noble Friend actually said. It might perhaps be embarrassing if one reminded the right hon. Gentleman of some of the things that he has said in the past, but I have no doubt that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will also note what the right hon. Gentleman has added to his former question.
The Leader of the House will, I hope, recall that on four occasions before Whitsun I and other hon. Members suggested that perhaps it might be interesting to have a debate on foreign affairs as one way of passing the time of the House.
In view of the fact that the Commonwealth and the people of India have suffered a tragic loss through the death of the Prime Minister of India, and also because of the changing events both in the Middle East and the Far East, when will my right hon. and learned Friend permit the House to enjoy a debate on foreign affairs?
I shall not comment on the motives which lead my hon. Friend to intervene in debates on foreign affairs, but I hope very much that we shall be able to have a debate on foreign affairs during the week beginning 15th June.
In view of the statement made by the Home Secretary this afternoon, and the questions put to him about hooliganism, may I ask the Leader of the House whether he is now prepared to have an early debate on the implementation of the Albemarle Report? Does not he think that that is of considerable importance, so that the House can express its views about what still remains to be implemented in the light of that Report?
My right hon. and learned Friend said that it was hoped to obtain the Fishery Limits Bill by eight o'clock on Monday, 15th June. May I ask him not to limit time so strictly, as this important issue affects the lives and earnings of fishermen, fish merchants, skippers and trawler owners, in my constituency, and in all fishing ports? It is an extremely important Measure. Will my right hon. and learned Friend give us plenty of time in which to consider it?
In view of the continuing serious news from Aberdeen, can the Leader of the House say whether arrangements have been made for a statement to be made next week by the Secretary of State for Scotland, both about what further steps are being taken to contain the typhoid outbreak and also further information about the promised inquiry?
[That it be an Instruction to the Committee of Privileges to consider so much of the article published in the Sunday Express of 31st May, 1964, under the name of Cross-Bencher, as relates to the matter of the complaint made by the hon. Member for Dudley and referred to the Committee of Privileges on 24th March, and, in particular, to consider that part of the article which suggests that members of the Committee of Privileges will not discharge their duties in an impartial and honourable manner.]
I do not think that it is necessary to discuss that Motion, because I am informed that, in view of the Resolution of the House on 30th October, 1947, it is competent for the Committee of Privileges to take this matter into account without specific instructions.
Perhaps I may speak in another capacity—I must be careful, of course, for I am also Chairman of the Committee of Privileges—and say that I would be surprised if the Committee was not aware of the right hon. Gentleman's Motion.
I recognise that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, on this issue, is wearing two hats. I am not quite certain which hat I should attack. But, as Chairman of the Committee, how can he be assured that it will take cognisance of the contents of this article? Has it discussed the matter? [HON. MEMBERS: "Order."] I am in order. In any event, if Mr. Speaker regards what I have just said as a transgression of the rules, he will so advise me.
I would not have asked that question, Mr. Speaker, but for the obvious and inescapable fact that the right hon. and learned Gentleman assured the House that the Committee will take this matter into consideration. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] It is surely within the recollection of the House that the right hon. and learned Gentleman assured us—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—that this matter was within the cognisance of the Committee and that he was assured that it would take notice of it. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Very well, then. If the Leader of the House wishes to correct me and use appropriate language to satisfy hon. Members, I am quite prepared to listen.
Can we be assured that no disclosures will be made meanwhile by any member of the Committee of Privileges about the preparation of a dossier by the Secretary of State for Education and Science, the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), to which reference is made in this article, and which appears to indicate that some information has been disclosed, apparently by a member of the Committee?
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that if the Committee were to make a report to the House without delay there would be less opportunity for incidents like this to arise? When does he think that it will report?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the statement by the Leader of the House that he has just been making a guess, may I direct your attention to the article in question? You are aware that I notified you that I intended to raise this matter and I ask you now for your guidance as to whether the content of this article indicate a breach of privilege, since it reflects on the objectivity and suggests absence of impartiality among members of the Committtee of Privileges?
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. You are aware that the reason that your attention was not directed to the article immediately an opportunity offered itself—namely, on Monday last—was because it was thought that, as the contents of the matter were already before the Committee, it was unnecessary to do so. The opportunity was, therefore, taken by me to put this Motion on the Order Paper to enable the Leader of the House to say whether we would be permitted to instruct the Committee to look into the contents of the article.
With respect to the right hon. Gentleman, I must tell him that he is assuming knowledge that I did not have. But had I had it it would not make any difference on the material point. The right hon. Gentleman is out of time for seeking my views about this.
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] It is all very well for hon. Members to interject and try to impede another hon. Member from doing his duty. I am trying to protect members of the Committee of Privileges, irrespective of the party to which they belong. That is my sole purpose and, since an hon. Member opposite has quite rightly directed attention to the article in question, and has declared it to be a pack of lies, surely this is a matter for the consideration of the Leader of the House.
Has the Leader of the House's attention been drawn to a Written Answer, given by the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations yesterday, indicating an allocation of about £50 million out of public funds to Kenya and to an announcement by the Secretary of State outside the House about more millions of pounds of public money for the University of Southern Rhodesia?
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman consult the Secretary of State and seek an assurance that if, next week, he intends to allocate these substantial sums of public money, which have been a matter for discussion in the House, he will do hon. Members the normal courtesy of making a statement to the House?