Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:
MONDAY, 1ST MAY—In the morning—
Second Reading of the Live Hare Coursing (Abolition) Bill.
In the afternoon—
Supply [18th Allotted Day]
Resumed debate on the Motion on Finance Bills.
TUESDAY, 2ND MAY—Second Reading of the Finance (No. 2) Bill.
WEDNESDAY, 3RD MAY—In the morning—
Second Reading of the Fishing Vessel Grants Bill.
Motions on the Ploughing Grants Schemes and the Fertilisers (United Kingdom) Scheme.
In the afternoon—
Supply [19th Allotted Day].
Prices and Incomes Prayers—
Until 7 p.m., Electrical Contractors in Scotland.
Thereafter, Employees of the Royal Burgh of Rothesay.
Completion of the Second Reading of the Post Office (Data Processing Service) Bill.
THURSDAY, 4TH MAY—Debate on a Motion to take note of the Fourth Report from the Estimates Committee, Session 1966–67, on the Government Statistical Services and the Ninth Special Report relating thereto.
FRIDAY, 5TH MAY—Private Members' Motions.
MONDAY, 8TH MAY—The proposed busines will be:
In the morning—
Remaining stages of the Dangerous Drugs Bill.
In the afternoon—
Supply [20th Allotted Day].
Debate on a subject to be announced.
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when he hopes to bring before the House the Motion of congratulation to be sent to the Canadian Parliament on its centenary?
Secondly, can he say what arrangements the Government have made to inform the House about the basis of their Common Market policy? Can he say when the Prime Minister's speech to the Labour Party tonight will be published in its official form, and whether questions and answers will be attached as well?
On the first part of the question, since my answer on Thursday last I have learned that it would be more convenient if the Motion could be delayed for some days. In consequence, it is now proposed that it should come before the House on Tuesday next.
With regard to information for the House on the Common Market, the right hon. Gentleman will realise that it is a little difficult to talk about this, because the date of the announcement, or an announcement, is still not settled. Every preparation is being made, in the event of an announcement, for two stages. In the first stage, before the debate, it is hoped that all possible material will be got together at relatively short notice. After the debate it will be possible to have a much more massive documentation, which is now under preparation.
The right hon. Gentleman said that the Government would consider publishing the Prime Minister's speech on the Common Market, which would be available, of course, to the House and the public. In view of the tremendous interest in this matter throughout the country, surely the country is entitled to hear the other side of the story from the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) and others who will be called.
I cannot talk with complete confidence about the last days before the Recess, for obvious reasons, but it is unlikely that there will be a general foreign affairs debate before the Recess. The two major controversial subjects have recently been discussed in other debates.
Reverting to the question of the information to be made available before the debate on the Common Market, surely it is very unsatisfactory and of doubtful constitutional propriety that the only material which the Government can put before Parliament should be statements made at private meet- ings of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Would the right hon. Gentleman not think it proper to produce proper material on which the House can make an informed assessment of these problems before the debate?
Apparently, I did not make the Government's position clear to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I was asked a special question about the Prime Minister's speech upstairs, which he had already assured the House would be available to hon. Members. I was also asked about a possible White Paper, on which I said that there would be two stages—one which would take place before the debate, and the more massive stage after the debate. Every effort will be made before the debate to provide information on all the topics relevant to the decision, whatever it may be. On the last occasion when a decision on this kind of subject was taken, there was no such White Paper, so we are trying to do a very difficult job.
I am grateful for what the right hon. Gentleman is saying, but could he clarify the position a little further? Is he saying that the White Paper will be published before the Prime Minister makes his announcement or that the Prime Minister will announce his intention to negotiate, then the White Paper will be published and then the debate will take place?
Will my right hon. Friend, in the coming week, find time for my Motion No. 510, on the withdrawal of railway vouchers to seamen coming home who wish to visit their families, which is a very serious matter?
[That this House is of opinion that for social, family, economic and other reasons the withdrawal by British Railways of the cheap fare railway vouchers hitherto available to seamen and their families is wrong as it frustrates family re-unions, deprives British Railways of fares, diminishes British Railways incomes and now calls upon Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Transport, by legislation or otherwise, to restore to British seamen and their families the relevantfacilities which they have hitherto enjoyed.]
We all recognise the importance of this question. I am glad to say that two Questions have recently been answered on this by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. This subject could perhaps be dealt with directly between by hon. and learned Friend and her.
As I often have to remind hon. Gentlemen, this is a matter for the Patronage Secretary, but I should not be surprised if certain differences of practice occur this afternoon.
In view of the very welcome announcement of the President of the Board of Trade yesterday that the Government are at last getting down to the question of the advertising industry and the effect on the public and consumers, will my right hon. Friend say when we can have a debate on the whole issue?
I will certainly consider that. It is an interesting subject. We will bear it in mind, but I can give a categoric assurance that a debate will not take place next week.
In the event of a debate on the Common Market, will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Prime Minister so that we may have information on the next occasion that he answers business questions, to ensure that, when and if a debate takes place, we can have a free vote on a matter which is of vital importance to the country?
Would the right hon. Gentleman find time for an early debate
on Motion No. 519, in the names of a number of my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself, which notes
… the grave disruption of the lives of the workers at the Royal Mint which would result from its removal from London …
and says that the
appropriate place for this great national institution is the capital …
deplores the decison of the Government to remove it …".
"That this House takes note of the Report of the Brambell Committee, congratulates them on the thoroughness of their investigation into the welfare of animals kept under intensive livestock husbandry systems, and urges Her Majesty's Government to arrange for an early debate on their recommendations."?
Mr. Brian Harrison:
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has given time for a Bill on live hare coursing, would he assure us that he will give equal consideration to one about children, such as that introduced by the hon Member for Eton and Slough (Miss Lestor) last Monday?
In view of the tremendous historic importance of the decision of the House on whether or not to join the European Economic Community, would my right hon. Friend reconsider his assessment of the necessity to give only two days to the subject and, instead, give a full week, so that the points of view of all sides may be very fully put and debated?
It may be that I am too hardened a Member of the House, but I have a suspicion that those who have been here as long as I have would view the prospect of a full week's debate with something approaching horror. I have made no statement about the length of the debate, and I would not like to until and unless a firm decision is taken on the subject.
I should not have thought that last suggestion worthy of the hon. Gentleman. We had better wait and see what kind of pronouncement is made before making up our minds on this issue.
As for the length of the Recess, the hon. Gentleman is right. It is just slightly longer than the average time for the Whitsun Recess—one day longer. This is for the convenience of hon. Members, because I thought that travelling on a Bank Holiday would be inconvenient, so we will start again on Wednesday rather than on Tuesday. If the hon. Gentleman begrudges us that, let him say so on the Adjournment Motion.
As it involves no party political point, will the right hon. Gentleman please consider further his reply to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. Grieve) about the future of the Royal Mint? Would he consider whether, before any irrevocable decision is taken, we may have a debate, particularly bearing in mind that all the points which the Chancellor gave as having led to this decision can be produced in the opposite sense?
Could my right hon. Friend now give a public reply to my private request for an urgent and early debate on the Suez affair of 1956, in the light of the very damaging revelations which have appeared in book form today and will start running through The Times from Saturday morning onwards, and as these allegations concern the personal conduct and honour of right hon. Members of the House?
As for the privacy of my hon. Friend's communication I was, of course, glad to read it in The Times before it reached me.
On the serious question, those of us who no longer have the anticipation which goes with being book-reviewers had better have a chance of reading the book to see whether what appears in it is worthy of debate or not.
Would the right hon. Gentleman look again at the series of answers which he has given on the question of supplying the House with information about the Common Market? Since the Government have been perfectly ready to table what they call a Green Paper on a lunatic suggestion to make regional employment premiums—
I do not want in any way to mislead the House by underrating what we are trying to bring out in time for a debate which may or may not occur. Everything possible will be done to summarise the major points in the way the hon. Gentleman suggests if the debate takes place. I added that the massive documentation which I think the nation deserves must be postponed to somewhat later, but a considerable job is now being done to help the hon. Gentleman in the way he wants.
Does my right hon. Friend recollect his past assurance about the House debating the Report of the Ministry of Overseas Development? When will we be given time for a discussion of this very important subject of overseas aid?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the apprehensions expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) about the deterioration of Anglo-American relations are widely felt on this side of the House, that many of us hold that it is the attitude of his hon. Friends to the American effort in Vietnam which is—
In view of the exceptional facilities which the Government are giving the Live Hare Coursing (Abolition) Bill, will the right hon. Gentleman assure us that no Private Member's Bill dealing with the relief of hardship to animals will suffer as a result?
I would not dream of giving an assurance that anything will suffer or not suffer as a result of the debate on the Live Hare Coursing Bill on Monday morning, but I will assure the hon. Gentleman that I will take each Bill on its merits. That is the only way in which we can look at the vast number of Private Members' Bills and judge which of them we try to help through to fulfilment and which we do not.
Mr. Bob Brown:
Animal lovers throughout the country will applaud the Government's decision to provide time for the Live Hare Coursing (Abolition) Bill, but will not my right hon. Friend reconsider the cruel reply which he gave in respect of the Brambell Report?
I did not think that my reply was cruel. I was asked a question about Motion No. 39. I think that that Motion was tabled before I became Leader of the House. I said that I was not prepared to answer at the moment.
As for the Brambell Report and its future, I think, if my memory is not wrong, that we ought now to expect legislation on this subject and that we are expecting a debate to take place on the legislation; but if that is considered unsatisfactory, I shall be perfectly glad to reconsider the matter.
I do not think that I have anything to add to what I said last week on this subject. It is for the Leader of the House to carefully weigh what business he puts down. I have looked at this matter closely since I was questioned about it.
I should have thought that, for example, the Sheffield Order, which I put down for morning business, was highly controversial in one sense—it aroused deep feelings among the people living in Derbyshire and Sheffield—but not controversial, by my definition, from the point of view of party controversy.
Equally, I should have thought that the Order dissolving the Ministry of Aviation was cortroversial in one sense, but did not involve direct party controversy. I could give a number of important examples of subjects which have been discussed in the morning and which are controversial in a way which does not violate certainly the intention of the statement which I made—which, by the way, was complemented by a further statement in which I said that, broadly speaking, we would take in the mornings the kind of business that we had been taking after 10 o'clock at night. That business is, mostly, as I have described—controversial, but not major issues of party controversy.
Reverting to the question of the Brambell Report, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many hon. Members would like to debate this subject before legislation is introduced?
Concerning business conducted at morning sittings, will the right hon. Gentleman now answer a question which, last week, he specifically invited me to ask him, namely, on what principle are the Government working in giving time for a Bill to which the House had not yet given approval in principle?
I think I am right in saying that the Bill was put forward under the Ten Minute Rule and was not opposed, and that it was the subject of an early-day Motion, which a large number of hon. Members supported and which no hon. Members opposed. I do not quite understand, therefore, the meaning of the hon. Gentleman's question.
In the light of the continued presence of the Minister without Portfolio in Aden and of the recommendations which, presumably, he is about to make, coupled with the fact that murders are still taking place there at the rate of one per day, may we be assured that a statement on Aden will be made—and, if possible, a debate held —before we rise for the Whitsun Recess?
In regard to the proposed debate on the Common Market, will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the information which will be given to hon. Members and the public will be that contained in a private speech made by the Prime Minister in a Committee room upstairs? If so, is he aware that this is a method which has been described by the Committee of Privileges as "a gross breach of confidence"?
I seem to recall that the hon. and learned Gentleman made the same point last week to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. The information which we are giving is the factual information about such subject as agriculture and the mobility of labour—the main topics on which decisions must be taken. That is the information being collected. In addition to that information, the Prime Minister said that, because Members were so interested in these two particular speeches of his and of the Foreign Secretary, they would be made available to the House. But the hon. Gentleman should not confuse that with the information that is being given in the White Paper.
Would the Leader of the House bear in mind that if the decision the Prime Minister announces is to apply for membership of the Common Market, then a debate which lasts for only two days would be entirely inadequate and inappropriate, remembering that we think it appropriate to allow four days to debate the Budget and since our decision in this matter will affect our future for a very long time?
I will certainly bear in mind the views that have been expressed by hon. Members on this subject. This is a hypothetical question. We will have to consider this when we know what sort of statement is being made.
Having announced the date for the Whitsun Recess, would the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not it will remain the Government's hope in future always to beam the Recesses in this way—backwards from the new Whit-sun holiday?
This is a point which should be discussed through the usual channels. It is entirely a matter for the convenience of hon. Members. I am aware of the conflicting interests that exist, particularly in relation to school holidays. I should be able to give a considered view about this after there has been more consultation between the two sides of the House.
Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that the Secretary of State for Scotland held out to us the expectation that there would be a debate this month on the First Annual Report of the Highlands and Islands Development Board? As we do not appear to be having that debate—we have not even had the Report yet—will the Leader of the House ask his right hon. Friend to make a statement on the reasons for the delay?
Mr. Edward M. Taylor:
As next week will be a busy one for the House, would the right hon. Gentleman consider saving a whole day on Wednesday by trying to persuade his right hon. Friends to withdraw the two Instruments which deprive electricians and local government officers of equal and fair wages in Scotland?