Mr. H. Wilson
May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the business of the House for next week?
§ Afterwards, Motions on the Horticulture Schemes, and the Fertiliser Scheme.
§ TUESDAY, 16TH JUNE and WEDNESDAY, 17TH JUNE—Debate on foreign affairs, for which the Government will be giving one day, and the Opposition a Supply Day.
§ THURSDAY, 18TH JUNE—Consideration of Private Members' Motions until seven o'clock.
§ Afterwards, Finance Bill: completion of Committee stage.
§ FRIDAY, 19TH JUNE—Private Members' Motions.
§ MONDAY, 22ND JUNE—The proposed business will be: Supply [19th Allotted Day]: Committee.
§ As the House is aware, the Chairman of Ways and Means has set down Opposed Private Business for consideration at seven o'clock.633
Mr. H. Wilson
Will the Leader of the House arrange next week, either by a statement or by some other alteration of business, that the Minister of Aviation makes a statement about the cancellation of the VC.10 orders by B.O.A.C.? Is he aware that the Minister was, most unfortunately, unable to get any information on this matter until he ceased to be top of the list for Questoins for oral answer? Since it is understood that he now has the information, will the Leader of the House arrange for him to give it orally to the House?
§ Mr. Bullard
Could my right hon. and learned Friend say when we are likely to have a debate on agriculture? In case he should give me the reply that this is generally a matter for a Supply Day, will he say what approaches he has had from the Opposition through the usual channels in order that we might have the debate about which we heard so much during the Recess?
Mr. J. Wells
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Could the right hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) say aloud and on his feet what he said sotto voce sitting down?
§ Mr. Gordon Walker
I said that the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not regard agriculture as important enough for a Government day.
§ Mr. Speaker
Observations from a sitting position which do not reach my ear do not merit an answer.
§ Mr. Shinwell
On business for next week, can the Leader of the House give us an assurance that the Prime Minister will be available to answer Questions on Tuesday and Thursday and, if he is 634 unable to answer those Questions addressed to him, will hon. Members be notified in advance so that they may defer their Questions?
§ Mr. Shinwell
But, in the event of the Prime Minister not being available for some reason, good or bad, will hon. Members be notified in advance so they may defer the Questions? That is what I want to know.
§ Sir W. Teeling
Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the Home Secretary considers that the Malicious Damage Bill is likely to be a useful deterrent against "Mods" and "Rockers" going to seaside and other resorts, and is he aware also that the Home Office feels that the Bill cannot be got through much before the end of the Session unless it is brought in very soon? Can the Bill be brought in very quickly; otherwise, it is quite likely that we shall have more trouble in these resorts before it becomes an Act of Parliament?
§ Mr. Grimond
Is it the Government's intention to deal with Cyprus during the foreign affairs debate? Can the Leader of the House say whether there will be a Government statement or a Government speaker dealing with the matter, and, if not, whether the Government will consider making a statement on the present situation in Cyprus on, for instance, the proposal for conscription and the disappearance of Major Macey and Private Platt?
§ Mr. Kimball
May I press my right hon. and learned Friend about the suggested debate on agriculture? We have not had one since the Price Review debate. According to the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), we have a meat crisis upon us at present. If the Opposition are funking this issue, may we have Government time for a debate?
§ Mr. Brockway
In view of the judgment which has been given in the Rivonia trial today at which Nelson Mandela and four others, including a man of white race who holds a British passport, have been found guilty and are subject to the death penalty, and in view of the decision reached by the Security Council which is mandatory upon States that they all exert pressure to secure the liberation of these men, will Her Majesty's Government make a statement either today or tomorrow about what action they have taken?
§ Mr. F. M. Bennett
My right hon. and learned Friend will be aware that next Thursday there will be a debate, chosen in the most helpful spirit possible to the Opposition, on the benefits or otherwise of nationalisation. There are only about three hours for this. Would my right hon. and learned Friend give us the assurance that, if pressure is brought on him through the usual channels by hon. Members opposite, he will give them a little extra time to expound fully their views on this matter?
Mr. H. Wilson
Further to the excellent suggestion of the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. F. M. Bennett), will the right hon. and learned Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the hon. Member's suggestion will receive the widest support from both sides of the House? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman think again and give us the whole day?
§ Mr. Prior
May I follow up the remarks of my hon. Friend the hon. Member for King's Lynn (Mr. Bullard)? Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that many of us are disappointed that we are not to have a debate on meat prices today, as was originally planned? Does he know, through the usual channels, whether the Opposition have cold feet on the subject of meat prices? Has he had any intimation from the Opposition as to when they will ask for a debate on this very important issue?
§ Miss Herbison
In view of the decision taken at the conference across the road yesterday, has the Leader of the House decided to provide the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance with time to introduce legislation to get rid of the earnings rule for widows and widowed mothers and at the same time, in that legislation, to give a rise to retirement pensioners? If he has made that decision, I can assure him that everyone on this side of the House will facilitate the business.
§ Sir C. Osborne
On future business, will my right hon. and learned Friend see whether he can find time to debate the question of the supply of natural gas from Holland, which it is estimated will supply half of our requirements at a much lower price than the price of the coal gas being produced by 637 the National Coal Board? Can we have time to discuss this possibility and the effect that it may have on the Board's capital requirements in the next ten years'?
§ Mr. Shepherd
Can my right hon. and learned Friend indicate when he can afford time to discuss the White Paper on mergers and monopolies, to which many of us on this side of this House attach a very great deal of importance?
Mr. H. Wilson
Is the Leader of the House aware that we have been waiting for over 15 months for action on the Report on Lucas's and electrical components, which took six years to produce? In view of the delay of over seven years since the original reference, would the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether it is likely that we may have a statement next week on the Government's intentions about implementing that Report?
§ Mr. Rankin
On next week's business, and every other week's business, may I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he is aware that the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee is supposed to answer Questions commencing at No. 45? Does he realise that there is 638 practically no chance of an hon. Member getting an answer to his Question? I know that because of what has happened over the last two months. Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider the position on the Order Paper of Questions to the Chairman of the Kitchen Committee and bring the Chairman nearer to the grasp of those hon. Members who want to ask him Questions and consider starting his Questions at, say, No. 40?
§ Mr. Awbery
In view of the inconclusive result of the referendum in Malta, the postponement of the day of independence, the fact that we have not yet had a report from the observers in Malta and the promise of the Colonial Secretary to make a report, will the Leader of the House provide time to discuss the position in Malta at present?
§ Mr. Manuel
Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman recognise the great improbability of the House having an opportunity to discuss the Malicious Damage Bill? Would not this be a very suitable subject for a lecture to the Tory women's conference, and will the right hon. and learned Gentleman arrange for the Leader of the Opposition to deliver it?
§ Mr. Thorpe
May I press the Leader of the House on the question of the Rivonia sabotage trial? Is he aware 639 that this is a matter of very great urgency? There are six men whose lives are at stake. Does he recollect that last October Her Majesty's Government voted among the 109 nations calling for the abandonment of this trial and the release of political prisoners? Will he bear in mind that one of the accused, Mr. Goldberg, is in possession of a British passport? On those two grounds, Her Majesty's Government have a close interest in this trial. [Interruption.] Although some hon. Members may think that it is somewhat amusing that Mr. Goldberg's passport should be in this country, he is unlikely to require to use it for a very long time indeed as a result of this trial. If we cannot have a debate on it next week, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman try to arrange to have a statement made in the House tomorrow outlining the representations which Her Majesty's Government will make?
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
In view of the great losses which all classes in Aberdeen have suffered from the outbreak of typhoid fever there, will the Leader of the House provide time to discuss means of providing compensation to employers and workers and all people who have suffered loss in this epidemic, either by way of extending an Act of Parliament, which I think is called the Contingency Act, or otherwise, so that this House may recognise the great losses which the people have sustained and compensate them?
§ Mr. Speaker
In the common interest, on business questions, we must confine ourselves to business and not to questions of policy.
§ Mr. Hughes
On a point of order. I was asking the Leader of the House whether he would find time for a debate about this subject. Surely, Mr. Speaker, that is in order.
§ Mr. Hughes
Further to that point of order. Other hon. Members have been held to be in order, Mr. Speaker, when they asked the Leader of the House whether he would find time to discuss a specific topic. I asked the Leader of the House whether he would find time to discuss that specific topic, and yet you have invidiously, if I may say so, ruled me out of order.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. and learned Member's distress is due partly, I think, to the fact that he did not hear what I last said. I said that I had not heard him asking for time, and it was on that basis that I thought that what he was asking for was out of order. I apologise to the hon. and learned Member for my mishearing.
§ Mr. Hughes
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I should like now to put my question. The Leader of the House is well aware of the important matter which I have put to him. Will he find time to discuss it?
§ Mr. Hooson
Is the Leader of the House able to find time to enable the House to discuss the recently-published Depopulation Report on Mid-Wales, and particularly to enable the Minister for Welsh Affairs to make his important statement on that Report orally to the House of Commons and not by letter to any outside body?
§ Mr. M. Foot
To save time next week, can the Leader of the House tell us whether the speech currently being delivered by the Prime Minister represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government, and, if so, who wrote it?