§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Edward Short)
The business for next week will be as follows:
§ MONDAY 25TH MARCH—Motions on the Rate Support Grant (England and Wales) Order, and the (Increase) (Scotland) Orders, the Rating of Minor Alterations to Dwellings Order, the Local Government Cemeteries Orders and on the Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations.
§ TUESDAY 26TH MARCH—My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will open his Budget Statement.
§ At seven o'clock, the Chairman of Ways and Means has named opposed Private Business for consideration.
§ Motion on the Agriculture Payments (Extension) (Northern Ireland) Order.
§ WEDNESDAY 27TH MARCH and THURSDAY 28TH MARCH—Continuation of the Budget debate.
§ At the end on Thursday, motion on the Motor Vehicles (Speed Limits on Motorways) (Amendment) Regulations.
§ Motion on the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (Dissolution) Order.
§ MONDAY 1ST APRIL—Conclusion of the debate on the Budget Statement.
§ Mr. Heath
May I ask the Leader of the House whether the Government will 1329 continue the practice of having the relevant Minister make a statement in the House after negotiations in Brussels? In particular, could we be assured that the Minister of Agriculture will make a statement to the House on Monday after his current visit to Brussels?
It may be that the Secretary of State for Social Services will be speaking in the Budget debate. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will also arrange that she will make a statement to the House on any question of social service benefits which may be dealt with in the Chancellor's speech, before she makes her speech in the Budget debate, so that we shall have time to consider the details before she takes part in the debate?
§ Mr. Short
My right hon. Friend will certainly make a statement when he returns from Brussels. I can confirm that the Secretary of State for Social Services, if she catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, hopes to speak on the third day of the Budget debate. I will convey the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion on the other point to my right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. May I make an appeal to the House? We have three statements today and an important debate on Welsh affairs. The business next week is the Budget, and there cannot be much scope today for discussion on that. I hope that hon. Members will try to confine themselves to matters dealing with next week. Next Thursday I will allow rather more latitude about future business.
§ Mr. Pardoe
May I draw the attention of the Leader of the House to Motion No. 15? Is he aware that this deals with the broadcasting of the Budget speech? May I ask him whether he will accept the proposal signed by 30 Members of all parties that the Chancellor's Budget speech might, as an experiment, be broadcast on this occasion?
§ [That, as an experiment, and in order to assist Members to make up their minds on the general issue of the broadcasting of the proceedings of the House, arrangements be made for the broadcasting on television and radio of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget speech on Tuesday 26th March.]1330
§ Mr. Short
Personally I have a great deal of sympathy with this but obviously the motion was put down much too late for anything to be done this year. As I said last week, I very much hope that in this Session there will be an opportunity for the House to decide on the broadcasting of our proceedings generally.
§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the House if and when he proposes to make a statement on the facilities provided for Members and their secretaries in the House and whether he intends to reinstate the Boyle Committee?
§ Mr. Short
I am not proposing to make a statement on facilities for Members and their secretaries next week. I realise that a great many hon. Members are having difficulties in present circumstances. I invite all hon. and right hon. Members who have problems and who wish to come to talk to me to do so. I will see that the Government consider their representations.
§ Sir B. Braine
Bearing in mind the Government's unequivocal declaration during the election that they would kill the Maplin project, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that yesterday's statement, incautious and uncertain, about its future leaves the people of South Essex and Southend in great uncertainty? Can we expect a statement soon to the effect that a firm decision has been made on this project?
§ Mr. Hastings
Can the right hon. Gentleman ensure that we get a full statement next week from the Secretary of State for Industry when he returns after his conversations about Concorde with the French?
§ Mr. Finsberg
Will the Leader of the House, in his capacity as the guardian of back-bench Members on all sides, please set up the Services Committee 1331 next week because Members' interests are being gravely hampered by not having this Committee?
§ Mr. Tebbit
Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether it will be under the Local Government Cemeteries Order or the Rabies Bill that he will honour his pledge to pay the fines of the Clay Cross councillors?