Yes, Sir. The business for the first week after the Easter Adjournment will be as follows:
Remaining stages of the Fugitive Offenders Bill.
If there is time, Second Reading of the Superannuation(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.
WEDNESDAY, 5TH APRIL-In the morning—
Second Reading of the Commonwealth Settlement Bill and of the Merchant Shipping (Load Lines) Bill.
In the afternoon—
Remaining stages of the Marine &c. (Broadcasting) Offences Bill.
Prayers on the Crown Bedding Co., Birmingham, Road Transport Drivers and on Employees of the Birmingham Corporation, Transport Department.
THURSDAY, 6TH APRIL—Second Reading of the Dangerous Drugs Bill.
FRIDAY, 7TH APRIL—Private Members' Motions.
MONDAY, 10TH APRIL—The proposed business will be:
In the morning—
Remaining stages of the Commonwealth Settlement Bill and of the Merchant Shipping (Load Lines) Bill.
In the afternoon—
Second Reading of the Wireless Telegraphy Bill.
Is the Leader of the House aware that a very serious and disturbing situation has been revealed by the Report of the Services Committee on the Catering Department? Will he try to find time for a debate on this matter at an early opportunity? Before he does so, will he place in the Library of the House a full copy of the Treasury Catering Adviser's Report, which was submitted to the Services Committee?
I will certainly have discussions through the usual channels about whether we should have a debate. I should not like the hon. Member to press me too hard on the second point before I have consulted my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer about this Report.
May I draw my right hon. Friend's attention to Motion No. 478, in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mr. Fitt) and 85 of my hon. Friends? In view of the very serious situation caused by the arbitrary use of police powers, especially these powers in Northern Ireland, does my right hon. Friend not think it high time that we had a debate in the House about the effect of the Government of Ireland Act and the delegation of powers to the Northern Ireland Government?
[That this House regrets the convention which prevents hon. Members from questioning the Home Secretary on the activities of so-called Republican Clubs alleged to be carrying on illegal activities by the Northern Ireland Home Secretary; calls upon the Northern Ireland Home Secretary to produce evidence Justifying the banning of these organisations and asks him to take legal action against those individuals alleged to have committed offences or alternatively to revoke his decision; further expresses its concern at the growing arbitrariness of Government action in Northern Ireland; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to take immediate action to ensure democratic government in the six counties.]
I thank my hon. Friend for bringing my attention to the Motion, which I had seen. It appeared on the Order Paper only this morning and I should like an opportunity to refer it to my right hon. Friends. As for a debate, I agree that this might be discussed when we have our annual debate on Northern Ireland affairs.
I think that it was in the last business statement that I said that I was hoping to have a debate on foreign affairs—this would include Vietnam—soon after the Adjournment, but I have to be a little careful in giving a firm promise because of our Budget time.
Will the Leader of the House promise a statement by the Secretary of State for Defence, immediately we return, about the question of the purchase of F111 aircraft? In view of the further most disturbing reports about the cost and performance of the aircraft, will he ask his right hon. Friend whether he can delay any confirmation of an order until a full report has been made?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have this week had a strongly worded protest from the doyen of the Diplomatic Corps about the treatment of one of his nationals? Does he not think it appropriate that a statement should be made today about this matter, or, at the latest, as soon as the House has resumed?
[That this House congratulates Mr. Siaka Stevens on his appointment as Prime Minister of Sierra Leone; regrets the circumstances which have led to the imposition of martial law so soon after his success; and looks forward to the speedy return of normal conditions and the progress of a new government democratically elected.]
Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking that immediately we resume after Easter he will make a statement setting out in detail the burden placed by the result of the morning sittings on the servants of the House—the doorkeepers, the police, the catering staff, the Official Reporters? Is he aware that in the last few weeks some doorkeepers have—
Order. The hon. Member must not misunderstand the Chair. The Chair is probably more sympathetic to the burden placed on the servants of the House at this moment than any other hon. Member. The hon. Member must ask for time for a debate.
As you said, Mr. Speaker, this matter of the burden on the servants of the House is important. I have called the attention of the House to it more than once. All members of the Services Committee, which has a responsibility to the House for this matter, are very much aware of this problem. Certainly, I can consult the Committee and present a report to the House if that is required.
Following the point made about the F111, is the Leader of the House aware that this vital decision must be taken before the House will meet again? If there is a question—as I hope there will be—of possible renegotiation of the contract, could he arrange to make a statement today before the House rises, after he has spoken to his right hon. Friend?
I will certainly talk to my right hon. Friend about this, but I do not think it likely from what I know that he will find any further statement necessary, or that there is anything new to say. But I will certainly ask him.
In view of the fact that the Pearson Committee on the Shipping Industry has reported, may I ask whether the Government intend to introduce a Bill, a merchant shipping Bill, this Session or next, and, if so, whether that Bill will cover fishermen, who have not yet had an inquiry into their terms and conditions of employment?
May I draw attention to Motion 213, calling for a continuation of British Summer Time all the year round? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many people are hoping that last weekend they altered their clocks for the last time? Will the right hon. Gentleman provide an opportunity for discussion?
[That this House, recognising the success of the experimental extensions to the period of British Summer Time and that reversion to Greenwich Mean Time will unnecessarily hamper commercial communication with Europe, urges Her Majesty's Government to bring Great Britain into line with Europe by adopting British Summer Time, mid-European time, throughout the whole year.]
Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that there will be a two-day foreign affairs debate before the Budget is considered and that one day will be devoted to Vietnam?
In view of the uncertainty which is still prevailing in the motor industry, in which workers have been taken on, on the one hand, and laid off in large numbers, on the other, may I ask the Leader of the House, once again, to consider an early debate on this industry?
I will certainly consider the possibility of a debate. I think that things have been improving a good deal in that industry recently, but there would not be a debate before our Budget discussions.
Will the right hon. Gentleman arrange for an early statement on the subject of the oil pollution of our coasts to be made by whoever is by then responsible?
I am perfectly confident that my right hon. Friend will make a statement the moment there is further news and that he feels it to be urgent to make a statement to the House.