Mr John Wheatley: asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether his attention has been drawn to the speech, of which details have been sent to him, made by the chairman of the South East Scotland Electricity Board to the Dunfermline Rotarians on 26th November, 1953, in which he discussed and appeared to disclose the principles of the proposed Government Bill to deal with the reorganisation of the electricity...
Mr John Wheatley: Without making any assumptions as to the source from which the chairman received his knowledge, may I ask whether we can get a categorical answer as to whether this gentleman was consulted about the proposed contents of the Bill? Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the speech contained reference to many points of detail, which could be known only to a person who was intimately connected...
Mr John Wheatley: Then may we take it that the Minister approves of the procedure whereby a person who is consulted in relation to the contents of a Bill which has not been laid before Parliament should make a speech in public in which he discusses those proposed contents?
Mr John Wheatley: Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in addition to disclosing the proposed contents of the Bill, the chairman of the Board made a speech of a political nature in which he made various criticisms of the nationalised industries? Does the Minister approve of that procedure from chairmen of nationalised boards?
Mr John Wheatley: On a point of order. In view of the disclosure made by the Parliamentary Secretary in his answer, that this speech was made by a gentleman who was consulted about the proposed contents of the Bill, does it not amount to a breach of Privilege that such disclosure should be made about the proposed contents of a Bill by a person who was consulted by the Department before its presentation to...
Mr John Wheatley: We are talking about building.
Mr John Wheatley: Could the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what are the practical difficulties, what steps have been taken to overcome them, and if anything is to be done in the immediate future in relation to this problem?
Mr John Wheatley: Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise that in recent legislation that form of jurisdiction has been departed from in certain cases, and will he look at this matter again to see whether, if that is the only difficulty, the precedent which has been followed lately cannot be followed in this type of case?
Mr John Wheatley: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mrs. Mann) is very important in relation to the new Bill for Scottish housing? Will he try to obtain figures for use during the debate on that Bill?
Mr John Wheatley: In so far as these machinery Regulations follow the pattern that has already been established in this sphere, I just wish to say that we on this side of the House give them our full support.
Mr John Wheatley: Did the hon. Gentleman do the same thing in respect of the statute altering the law of rectorship?
Mr John Wheatley: There is no Report stage.
Mr John Wheatley: If the right hon. and gallant Gentleman felt strongly on the point on which my hon. Friend sought to have an Amendment called on Report could not he have indicated quite clearly his views and those of his hon. Friends by putting his name to the Amendment?
Mr John Wheatley: That is not the point. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman was expressing his sympathy with certain views expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson). I was merely suggesting that he could have expressed that sympathy in tangible form by putting his name to an Amendment which was on the Order Paper albeit it was not selected.
Mr John Wheatley: Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that it would have been more courteous to hon. Members if they had had this explanation in the opening speech of the Secretary of State, and before hon. Members had made their contributions, because they are now precluded from commenting upon the remarks of the hon. Gentleman?
Mr John Wheatley: Will the hon. Gentleman say something about the appointment of the principal and when that will take place?
Mr John Wheatley: The hon. Gentleman said in his speech that it would take place soon and he referred to other appointments that would be made near October. Can we hear from him whether the appointment of principal will be made before October or when he proposes to make the appointments once the Bill has received the Royal Assent?
Mr John Wheatley: asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of the 677 houses built by private builders in Scotland in 1952 for letting were let in pursuance of a contract of service.
Mr John Wheatley: Was there any provision for a break at 5,000 years?
Mr John Wheatley: We have had a very wide and interesting debate, and many facets of the problem have been canvassed and different approaches discussed. The arguments on this side of the House have ranged from the social and moral justification for leasehold enfranchisement to the more detailed criticism of the Government's proposals; while, on the other side, the arguments have ranged from, in my opinion,...