Business of the House

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th March 1969.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet 12:00 am, 6th March 1969

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the business of the House for next week?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 10TH MARCH—Supply [10th Allotted Day]:

Navy Estimates, 1969–70, Vote A.

Motions on the Income Tax Transitional Relief (Extension of Period) Orders.

TUESDAY, 11TH MARCH—Second Reading of the Children and Young Persons Bill.

Lords Amendments to the Mines and Quarries (Tips) Bill.

Prayer on a Statute made by the Oxford University.

WEDNESDAY, 12TH MARCH—Supply [11th Allotted Day]:

Army Estimates, 1969–70, Vote A.

Second Reading of the Army Reserve Bill.

THURSDAY, 13TH MARCH—Supply [12th Allotted Day]: Vote on Account of the Civil Estimates and Defence Central Estimates, 1969–70.

Debate on an Opposition Prayer on the Industrial Training Levy (Agricultural, Horticultural and Forestry) Order.

At seven o'clock, the Chairman of Ways and Means has named the Brighton Corporation Bill and the York Corporation Bill for consideration.

FRIDAY, 14TH MARCH—Private Members' Motions.

MONDAY, 17TH MARCH—Supply [13th Allotted Day]:

Air Estimates, 1969–70, Vote A.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us the date on which his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget and. secondly, will the Government provide an early opportunity for a debate on Nigeria and Biafra?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has asked me to say that he will open his Budget on Tuesday, 15th April.

On the right hon. Gentleman's second point, the foreign affairs debate, I think that I should try to find time for it before Easter.

Photo of Mr Jeremy Thorpe Mr Jeremy Thorpe , North Devon

Arising out of the last question to the Leader of the House, may I ask whether he is aware that there is a growing sense of anger and repulsion not only in the country at large, but in this House, at the Government's continued supply of arms to Nigeria and that many of us look at him to give a very early date for the debate, if not next week, then the week after?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I thought that I had given given a sympathetic reply which would be accepted. It will be before Easter.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

Can my right hon. Friend say whatever has happened to the Parliament (No. 2), (No. 3), (No. 4) and (No. 5) Bills—and particularly the (No. 2) Bill?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I was asked for the business for next week. The Government intend to pursue their own course on that Bill.

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

The right hon. Gentleman must know that the House wants a debate on the specific issue of Biafra, and not to have it lost in a foreign affairs debate. That is the assurance we want now—an early debate. I do not see why it should not be next week—especially as the Parliament (No. 2) Bill is in seeming demise. Some of next week's business could be easily pushed forward.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The right hon. Gentleman should accept what I have said. I thought that it was acceptable to the House.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

I am glad that my right hon. Friend is promising that we shall have an opportunity of discussing the situation in Nigeria and Biafra. May I ask whether he will ask the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary to make a statement next week on the representations it is reported that he has made to the Federal Government in Nigeria about the bombing in Biafra, and to tell the House what those representations were and what was the reply from the Federal Government?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I will draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the point.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Now that the Budget day has been announced, could the right hon. Gentleman arrange for a statement next week, or, better still, could he tell us now, what the Government's plans are for taking the subsequent stages of the Finance Bill, and the key debates linked with them?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

It might be convenient to the House if I say that it has been thought that we could have a variation of last year's experiment, when the Bill went upstairs for the whole of the Committee stage. This year, we hope that it will be possible to deal with a number of issues upstairs, while seeking to reserve for the Floor of the House a selected number of topics, say, eight to 10, of a general character and interest.

Photo of Mr Terence Boston Mr Terence Boston , Faversham

Would my right hon. Friend arrange to have consultations about the urgent need for a statement on the timing of the local inquiries announced by the Commission on the Third London Airport, as there is considerable concern that the time before these inquiries is very short indeed, especially as the first one, at Foulness, is due to start on 5th May, when local authorities will be immersed in the local elections?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I am aware of my hon. Friend's point, and I will draw it to the attention of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Photo of Dr Winnie Ewing Dr Winnie Ewing , Hamilton

Has the attention of the Leader of the House been drawn to Motion No. 161, headed "Initiative of Women Members of Parliament", and proposing that an all-party delegation of women M.P.s be sent to Biafra to see whether they can help in the terrible situation there?

[That this House would welcome a visit of an all-party delegation of women Members of Parliament to both sides in the Nigerian war to report on the plight of the civilian population in general and of women and children in particular.]

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have seen the Motion. I think that there will be an opportunity later to discuss the matter.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Has my right hon. Friend seen Motion No. 171, on the future of world trade?

[That this House applauds the declaration of President Nixon in his Inaugural Address that he seeks an open world, open to the exchange of goods; and urges Her Majesty's Government to examine the possibilities for the creation of a free trade association of countries based on the United Kingdom, Canada, the United Kingdom's partners in the European Free Trade Association, and the United States of America and open for all, including the European Economic Community, to join.]

As the Prime Minister drew attention last week to the importance of the signatories of the Motion as well as to the large number who signed, would not this be much more worth debating than the Parliament (No. 2) Bill?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not think that the Government can ignore the Motion. It is signed, I agree, by many hon. Members. I will draw my right hon. Friend's attention to it, but we cannot have a debate next week.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

Is the Leader of the House aware that the President of the Board of Trade has completed his inquiry into auction rings? Will he tell the House when his right hon. Friend will be making a statement on this subject and when we may expect the report to be published?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot say when, but I will speak to my right hon. Friend about it.

Photo of David Winnick David Winnick , Croydon South

Is the Leader of the House aware that all the attempts made this week to get the Foreign Secretary to make a statement on the representations he has made to the Nigerian High Commissioner have not succeeded? Will he, therefore, bear in mind the pressing need for a statement on the bombing in Biafra to be made next week, if we are unable to have a debate?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Yes, I will bear that in mind.

Photo of Mr John Peyton Mr John Peyton , Yeovil

Will the Leader of the House explain what he meant when he said that the Government intended to pursue their course on the Parliament (No. 2) Bill? So far as most of us are aware, there is not much sense of movement. We would like to know what estimation of progress the Government have made.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I know the views of the hon. Member. He does not want any movement. The Government will proceed with the Bill.

Photo of Mr Will Howie Mr Will Howie , Luton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I am extremely interested in the views of the Opposition Front Bench on the position of the bishops, which is dealt with in Clause 6 of the Parliament (No. 2) Bill? If we cannot discuss that next week, will he tell us when we can?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot say; we shall have to wait to see what progress is made.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

Has the Leader of the House seem Motion No. 196 on the sailing of British container ships from Rotterdam, standing in the names of many hon. Members and myself?

[That this House notes with concern that the first sailing of the first British deep-sea containership, 'Encounter Bay', took place from Rotterdam, and that the container terminal built at Tilbury specifically for this service could not be used, despite the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement with the employees directly concerned and considers that the permanent diversion of this valuable trade would seriously damage the British shipping industry, the export drive and the balance of payments.]

Is the right hon. Gentleman further aware of the remarkable publicity attached to the successful launching of the container service from Japan? Will he therefore consider whether, instead of spending much of our time next week in discussing the cost of defending ourselves against our external enemies, we ought to be considering the cost and manner in defending ourselves from internal economic lunacy?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I will draw my right hon. Friend's attention to the terms of the Motion. I give an assurance that I will personally look at this matter, which is important.

Photo of Mr John Fraser Mr John Fraser , Lambeth Norwood

Will my right hon. Friend consider, rather than devoting six days to a ritual fire dance over defence and the Service Estimates, diverting the time available to more important legislation? Will he consult his right hon. Friends about sending the Estimates to a Select Committee where they can be given much more detailed and constructive examination?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot accept that at this stage.

Photo of Mr John Rodgers Mr John Rodgers , Sevenoaks

May I draw the attention of the Leader of the House to the Motion on the Order Paper which has been signed by well over 100 hon. Members, requesting that the Prime Minister give consideration to the erection of a statue to Sir Winston Churchill?

[That this House, mindful of the great services rendered to his country by the late Right honourable Sir WinstonChurchill, K.G., O.M., C.H., and noting that there is no statue available to the public in the centre of London to commemorate this outstanding leader of Britain, calls on Her Majesty's Government to provide a suitable site for such a memorial.]

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have noted the Motion and will bear it in mind.

Photo of Mr Christopher Mayhew Mr Christopher Mayhew , Woolwich East

Has the Leader of the House seen the Motion on the Order Paper in the names of a large number of hon. Members and myself calling for urgent action in relation to the worsening crisis in the Middle East?

[That this House, reaffirming its support for a peaceful settlement of the Arab / Israeli conflict based on the Security Council resolution of November 1967, calls on Her Majesty's Government to negotiate at the United Nations a four-power agreement on a time-table for implementing the resolution and on an arms embargo to operate against any country not fulfilling the time-table.]

Is it not time that the House discussed this again?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

This is an important matter, but it will not be debatable next week.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

Will the Leader of the House consider altering next week's business if the strike at Dagenham and in the docks gets worse, so that we can discuss these vital matters?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

This is an important matter. I believe that my right hon. Friend, if necessary, would seek to inform the House in the best way possible.

Photo of Mr Stan Orme Mr Stan Orme , Salford West

Despite what my right hon. Friend has said about the Nigerian/Biafran situation, is he aware that there is a large measure of public opinion on this issue outside the House, and that it would be a negation of parliamentary democracy for this House not to debate the issue in the near future?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have given an answer which, I hope, is acceptable.

Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury

Is the Leader of the House aware that he is misinterpreting the temper of the House and of the people by putting off a peace initiative in Nigeria until just before Easter? He must reconsider his decision not to have a debate next week.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have promised a debate.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot be committed specifically to next week, but I will do my best to have a debate as soon as possible. I cannot go further than chat.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Easington

Will my right hon. Friend be kind enough next week to give us the date when the Merchant Shipping Bill will be introduced?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I will have a word with the President of the Board of Trade; it is his responsibility. I know that it is of concern to many hon. Members.

Earl of Dalkeith:

When may we expect the report of the Hunt Committee, and may we have an early debate as soon as it is published?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Very soon. We must await the report first.

Photo of Mr Stanley Henig Mr Stanley Henig , Lancaster

I draw the attention of my right hon. Friend to Motion No. 169, standing in the names of myself and 156 hon. and right hon. Members.

[That this House, deeply concerned about the continued fighting in the Nigerian civil war, calls upon Her Majesty's Government:To make a fresh approach to other countries sending military equipment to the combatants with a view to securing through international action a complete embargo on the supply of arms to both sides; To use its good offices to try to bring about a meeting between General Gowon and Colonel Ojukuwu to discuss an immediate ceasefire; Substantially to increase the flow of food and other forms of economic aid to alleviate the suffering caused by the war in both Nigeria and Biafra.]

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the intense feeling there is on this issue? Will he stop wriggling and give a firm pledge that we will have a debate specifically on Nigeria and Biafra, and that it will not be lost in a general debate on foreign affairs all round the world?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

My hon. Friend should not use the word "wriggling". I am in no way wriggling. I am trying to help hon. Members.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Will the Leader of the House at least guarantee that we shall not waste another day discussing the ridiculous Parliament (No. 2) Bill before we debate Nigeria and Biafra?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have already made my position clear on that.

Photo of Mr Joel Barnett Mr Joel Barnett , Heywood and Royton

The House will have noted that my right hon. Friend has conceded to the Opposition that parts of the Finance Bill in Committee will this year be taken downstairs instead of upstairs. Will he not take too much notice of the filibustering tactics last year, and not concede too much of the Bill to be debated on the Floor of the House?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I would have thought that the programme I have mentioned would have been accepted in a favourable spirit.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

The Leader of the House has said that about eight subjects in the Finance Bill which were of interest to the House could be taken on the Floor of the House. Will he say who will select the subjects and give an assurance that the Committee as a whole will consider what subjects will be taken on the Floor of the House?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The usual channels. I am sure that we can have talks about this.

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby South

While I appreciate my right hon. Friend's assurance of a debate on Nigeria and Biafra as soon as possible, in view of the great danger in the Middle East, will he also consider whether the House will be able to debate that subject before Easter at the latest?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I am aware of its importance, but I have made my statement on that.

Photo of Mr Peter Hordern Mr Peter Hordern , Horsham

Is the Leader of the House aware that four weeks is far too long to wait for a debate on the Nigerian situation? Will he therefore undertake to hold such a debate either next week or the week after?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot add to what I have said. I hope that hon. Members will not ask me to repeat it.

Photo of Mr William Molloy Mr William Molloy , Ealing North

Will not my right hon. Friend agree that the questions put to the Prime Minister show that the issue of Britain's relationship with Europe is of great importance, particularly as we now seem to have given the cold shoulder to our E.F.T.A. partners and our other allies in Europe? Should we not have a full debate on the European situation?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I know that this is an important matter. Hon. Members have pressed me to have full foreign affairs debates on many subjects. I have stated my intention, but we cannot have it next week.

Photo of Sir John Hall Sir John Hall , Wycombe

The Leader of the House can be under no illusion about the feeling on both sides of the House on the necessity for a debate on Nigeria. I am sure the House accepts his assurance that there will be a debate, but would it not meet the wishes of hon. Members if he announced on Monday the date for such a debate? Would it not also meet the wish of the House if it were to be on that date?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

It is not easy to do this. I will consider it sympathetically, but J do not like to be tied.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

Will my right hon. Friend consider referring to the Select Committee on Procedure the question whether the Ten Minutes Rule procedure should continue in its present form? Is he aware that many hon. Members think that that procedure is misleading to the general public, who do not understand it, that it is ineffective as a means either of legislation or of raising a grievance? It tends to occupy——

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. The hon. and learned Gentleman must not discuss in a business question the merits of what he would like to have discussed by the Select Committee.

Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the only effect of this procedure is to empty the Chamber before we begin our main debate?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have some sympathy with that, though this is the first time that my hon. and learned Friend has brought it to my notice in the House. I will look into it.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

The Leader of the House was kind enough to respond to my initial question about a debate on Nigeria, but he will have noticed the very strong feeling about the matter on both sides of the House. Can he, therefore, assure us, first, that there will be a debate not on foreign affairs generally, but on the specific point, and, secondly, can we consider through the usual channels how this can be done as soon as possible, because I am sure that it is the will of the House generally?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I accept that. If we can have talks in the usual way, I will be pleased to do it.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

Referring to the reply of the Leader of the House to my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Mr. Royle) on auction rings, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Committee stage of the Auction Rings Bill will be coming up on Wednesday? In view of that, can he assure the House that his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will make his statement before Wednesday so that we can take account of his findings in this matter?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

That is a valid point. I will have a word with my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Russell Kerr Mr Russell Kerr , Feltham

May we know when we may expect the Government's reply on the last Report of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries?

Photo of Mr Lawrence Orr Mr Lawrence Orr , South Down

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Agriculture Price Review has been further delayed? If so, when may we expect to have the report?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not think that there has been any delay. As one who has had to deal with four Price Reviews, I think that it is proceeding.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is true that the Prime Minister is considering transferring responsibility for aircraft noise from the Board of Trade? May we have a debate on Motion No. 149, so that the House can discuss which Department would be appropriate to receive responsibility?

[That this House believes that aircraft noise would be more effectively controlled if responsibility for its limitation were transferred from the Board of Trade to the Department of Health and Social Security; and requests the Prime Minister to examine this proposal with a viewto the introduction of the change without delay.]

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot accept this for business next week.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

Can the Leader of the House say whether we can still expect the Annual Price Review to be made next Wednesday and, if not, why not?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot make any further statement on that.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

As Scottish affairs are conspicuously absent from next week's business, will my right hon. Friend give time next week for Motion No. 192, on the Scottish Economy?

[That this House, realising the uneven distribution of trade, industry, commerce, and employment in Scotland which are mainly concentrated in the South of Scotland, calls on the Government to make better use of modern scientific methods which are now available in this technological age, in order to improve national and external facilities and communications throughout Scotland and in order to attract to and establish in North North-East and North-West Scotland more industries and employment than at present exist there for the benefit of Scotland's internal prosperity and exports particularly to northern parts of Europe and America in relation to which Scotland stands geographically in an especially favourable position.]

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have noted the Motion standing in my hon. and learned Friend's name, but he must remember that many of the Estimates affecting defence matters affect Scotland.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

When the Leader of the House replied to my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Mr. A. Royle), he said that a statement would be made about auction rings next week. May we have an assurance that the report will be published next week?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I cannot promise that. As I have already undertaken, I will have a word with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Photo of Mr Eric Ogden Mr Eric Ogden , Liverpool, West Derby

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the increasing concern at the Government's inability to provide time for the Merchant Shipping Bill and that the reply which he gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) is almost exactly the same as that given six weeks ago?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

That is quite true. There is no Bill as yet.

Photo of Mr Paul Hawkins Mr Paul Hawkins , South West Norfolk

Would the Leader of the House arrange a debate, not later than next week, on the recent Report of the Select Committee on Agriculture, so that the influence of this all-party Bill can be fully brought to bear on the present Price Review negotiations?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not think that I could do that. That would be bringing undue pressure to bear. I think that hon. Members should read the Report, which came out only the other day.

Photo of Sir Harmar Nicholls Sir Harmar Nicholls , Peterborough

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. Is it in order to say that the setting of a Parliamentary date is bringing undue pressure to bear?

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. The hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) must allow the Leader of the House to answer Questions in his own way.

Photo of Mr James Wellbeloved Mr James Wellbeloved , Erith and Crayford

Further to my right hon. Friend's reply in respect of the Roskill Committee's timetable for local inquiries into alternatives for the third London Airport, will he provide time for a debate on the matter, bearing in mind that the Stansted lobby had several years and numerous Parliamentary occasions to oppose the proposal for an airport at Stansted and that, in common justice, the other people require the same?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I note what my hon. Friend has said, but not next week.

Photo of Mr James Dance Mr James Dance , Bromsgrove

Has the Leader of the House seen Motion No. 185, which refers to the disastrous effect of the present policy on overdrafts on the private sector of the economy? Will he give time for a debate on this very important subject?

[That this House, believing that the future prosperity of the country is dependent on the free and full development of private enterprise and believing that the practice of the present Government of attempting to enforce undesirable policieswithout any legal authority is unconstitutional and wrong, deplores the handicaps sought to be imposed by the Government on the private sector of the economy by restricting bank overdrafts.]

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not doubt its importance, but not next week.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

May I press the Leader of the House a little further about his reference to a statement by the President of the Board of Trade on auction rings? It is vital to have this report published before we are asked to discuss in detail the Committee stage of the Bill.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I have already promised to have a word with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

In view of the fact that net farming income probably dropped by £40 million last year, may we have a statement on the Price Review by next Wednesday?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The hon. Gentleman knows the procedure. I think that he must await the statement of my right hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

Will the Leader of the House assure us that, when he discusses with his right hon. Friends the apportionment of the Finance Bill proceedings, he will consult back bench hon. Members on both sides so that there is agreement as to which parts should be considered in Committee upstairs and which parts in Committee on the Floor of the House?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I always like to hear the views of back bench Members. When the time comes, no doubt they will be conveyed to me.

Photo of Mr John Farr Mr John Farr , Harborough

In view of the evasive replies of the Leader of the House, and the fact that delays are reported in concluding the Agriculture Price Review, may we have an early opportunity of debating this important subject?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I am not being evasive. When my right hon. Friend completes his negotiations, he will inform the House in the usual way.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

In view of the apparently conflicting explanations from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister on the latest rise in the Bank Rate, now that the Parliament (No. 2) Bill has blessedly disappeared from view for a time, may we have an early debate on the Government's monetary policy, coupled with the Basle Agreement?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

No, I do not think so. We shall soon be having the Budget debate, in any case.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland

May we have a promise that we shall have a statement on the Price Review next week, in view of the widespread rumours of trouble in the negotiations and the reported resignation of the Minister of Agriculture?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

The hon. Gentleman should not pay attention to rumours.