HC Deb 15 December 1954 vol 535 cc1913-39

10.21 p.m.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Bute and North Ayrshire and Central Ayrshire) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on lath November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Mr. C. R. Attlee (Walthamstow, West)

I beg to move, That the debate be now adjourned.

I should like to ask the Prime Minister a question about the business before the House, which is of very great importance to the constitution of the House. There has been a considerable debate raising constitutional matters of great importance, and it would be generally considered improper that we should proceed at this very late hour to these Orders, which concern not only the general composition of the House, but, so to speak, the political life and death of many Members. What are the intentions of the Government in this matter?

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

Perhaps I might reply to the Leader of the Opposition on behalf of the Prime Minister. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that these Orders are exempted business. The intention of the Government is not to ask the House to sit late tonight. We thought, on information received, that it would be for the general convenience of the House if we could deal with the Scottish section of these Orders. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will think that a reasonable arrangement to come to. I understand from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that there is apparently only one point at issue on this Scottish business. In point of fact, it was agreed through the usual channels, as I am sure the right hon. Gentleman is aware, that we should take these Scottish Orders tonight. It is not the intention of the Government to proceed further after the Scottish Orders are disposed of.

Mr. Attlee

In view of that explanation, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

On a point of order. During the debate on the Motion which the House has just accepted and while your predecessor was in the Chair, Mr. Speaker, I raised a point of order with him which he thought was prematurely raised. I do not mean to suggest that he thought it could ever be properly raised but he said it was prematurely raised then, and that if there was a proper time to raise it afterwards that time would be now, when we proceed with the Orders. For that reason I venture to submit the point to you.

During the debate on the previous Motion—and there may again be, if debate proceeds on these Orders—various allegations have been made, with some force, though I express no opinion as to their rightness or wrongness, that the Orders are ultra vires the Boundary Commission, of which you are the Chairman. It was said that the effect of the Orders—I do not know that anything was said about the intention—was political bias against the Opposition and in favour of the Government. If the Orders are ultra vires they would, I submit to you, Sir, be out of order.

In any event, until the allegations which I have referred to have been considered and disposed of, in view of the fact that they are allegations of political partiality, which, if they are persisted in, must amount in some sort to a reflection on the Chair, what I wish to submit to you, Sir, is that until you yourself have had an opportunity of considering the allegations that have been made, it would be in every way fitting and proper that the House should not proceed to consider or to vote upon any of these Orders. That is the submission for the opportunity of making which I am grateful.

Mr. Walter Elliot (Glasgow, Kelvingrove)

Further to that point of order. May I respectfully submit to you, Sir, that none of those allegations which were made had any relation to the Report of the Scottish Boundary Commission? Indeed, it was specifically excepted by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on both sides. In that case, and as the Government, I understand, have expressed the intention of not going further than the Scottish Orders tonight, and as it would be an advantage to all of us to read the Report of the debate in HANSARD tomorrow before the House proceeds with any other of the business, I suggest that the reason which the hon. Member has just put forward does not apply to the business which the House is now being asked to consider.

Mr. James Hudson (Ealing. North)

Further to that point of order. Mr. Speaker. I supported my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) when the matter was first raised, and I submit to you that the Scottish Orders do come within the objection which we are submitting to you, because we were given clearly to understand during the debate that, instead of this matter being regarded as entirely above party, and impartially, in the interests of the country and of its Parliamentary Elections, as I am sure you, Sir, would wish it to be regarded, the party opposite had put on, and would put on, three-line Whips to get these Orders approved. [Interruption.] I think that hon. Members opposite are showing that this matter is not regarded impartially, but as a party device by which they hope to win, at the coming General Election, an advantage the Government could not have secured if your advice, Sir, as the impartial Chairman of the Commission, had been followed. I submit, Sir, that you will advantage the House greatly if you will take time to consider the whole matter further before further discussion takes place upon these Orders.

Mr. Speaker

The point of order put to me by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Silverman) is, I gather, that further discussion of this matter is out of order because someone has said that the Orders presented to us tonight are ultra vires the Commission that made them. It appears to me that if the House agrees to them any defect—if there be any, which I do not admit—is cured, because nothing is ultra vires this House. I see nothing else in what has been said to make me rule otherwise. So far as my own part in the Commission is concerned, I must remind the House of the ancient and salutary rule, that any criticism, expressed or implied, of the Chair should be put down in the form of a Motion.

Mr. S. Silverman

While expressing, if I may, my thanks for that Ruling, Mr. Speaker, may I submit to you that it was precisely because the acceptance of an Order by the House would cure the defect if it were in fact ultra vires before, that I advanced to you the suggestion that it was vitally important that the House, before it is asked to accept the Orders, should have the question cleared up whether the Orders, when made by the Boundary Commission, were ultra or intra vires, because obviously the House might well come to one conclusion about the Orders if it were satisfied that the Boundary Commission, in making them, was acting within its statutory powers, and might come to a quite different conclusion if it were not satisfied about that?

Mr. Speaker

The considerations now advanced by the hon. Member as to the powers of the Boundary Commission to make these Orders under the Statute might be a good argument for the House accepting or rejecting the Orders, but beyond that there is nothing whatsoever to prevent this House agreeing to the Orders, if that be its will.

Resolved, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Bute and North Ayrshire and Central Ayrshire) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.

Mr. Glenvil Hall (Colne Valley)

Before the Secretary of State for Scotland deals with the first Order, I wonder if I might put a question—

Mr. Speaker

Did I hear the right hon. Gentleman aright? We have passed the first Order. If the right hon. Gentleman has any observations to make on the second Order, I will give him an opportunity to do so, but I must first put the Question from the Chair.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (East Aberdeenshire, West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Mr. Glenvil Hall

It was a point which, if I might, I desire to put to the Leader of the House. I put it earlier to the Home Secretary, who is not in his place. I make no complaint about his absence. After a long period in the House, he is probably seeking refreshment elsewhere. The point is whether we are going to consider these Orders, particularly the English Orders, on their merits, that is, in a non-party spirit, because we are given to understand—I do not know whether it is true or not—that hon. Gentlemen opposite have received a three-line Whip. If that is so, there is little use our discussing these Orders, for the decision on them is foregone before we have begun.

The Home Secretary was good enough to write to my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot) that when we reached these Orders he would view the discussion upon them with an open mind. One cannot have an open mind with a three-line Whip hanging over one. Therefore, we should like to ask the Leader of the House where we stand in this matter. Are we going to discuss these Orders with an open mind, and come to a decision on them in a non-party spirit, and as a House, and not as one party against another? Or are we going to view every Order in a party spirit, knowing all the time that whatever is said and whatever cogent argument is advanced, a decision has been taken before we reach the vote?

Mr. Speaker

I cannot see that that has much to do with East Aberdeenshire, West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South.

Mr. James Griffiths (Llanelly)

Further to that point of order. It will be within the recollection of the House that my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot) read a letter which contained a promise from the Home Secretary. Will it be in order for that point to be raised when we discuss the English Orders?

Mr. Speaker

There may be an opportunity then. If the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot) consults me, I will try to advise him as to the proper time, but I cannot see that that is germane to the question of East Aberdeenshire, West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

I accept your Ruling, of course, Mr. Speaker. I had hoped to make my point before we began on the Orders, but I am afraid that I did not do so in time.

Mr. Speaker

I think that there may be an opportunity to discuss the matter.

Mr. Michael Foot (Plymouth, Devonport)

Is it not relevant to discussion of this Order, and indeed of any of the other Orders, that we should know whether the Secretary of State for Scotland agrees with the view which was expressed by the Home Secretary in the pledge which he gave to me and to other hon. Members in correspondence, which I have already quoted, that he would listen to the debate on each of the Orders with an open mind, and make up his mind on the merits of the case as stated in the debate? Have we not the right to know, in relation to this Order and the other Orders, whether the Secretary of State for Scotland accepts on his own behalf the statement which was made by the Home Secretary?

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)

If I am in order, I should like to reply to the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot), who does not, I believe, represent an Aberdeenshire constituency. The answer is that, of course, I agree with my right hon. and gallant Friend the Home Secretary, and for that very reason each Order is being tabled separately so that each can be discussed, and, if necessary, divided upon, as the House decides.

Mr. W. T. Williams (Hammersmith, South)

It must be clear to hon. Members on the opposite side of the House that the point of view of those of us on this side about these Orders must be determined by whether or not the Home Secretary, when he wrote that letter to my hon. Friend the Member for Devon-port (Mr. Foot), meant that these Orders should be discussed on their merits, with the House acting judicially in this matter. I should be grateful if you, Mr. Speaker, would give us your advice on that.

Mr. Speaker

With the best will in the world, and with the greatest possible desire to assist the House, I cannot bring these representations within the rules of order. If there is some point to be cleared up with regard to the English Orders, it seems to me that the least appropriate place to raise it is on a Scottish Order. There will no doubt be an opportunity for the point mentioned to be raised, but meanwhile I understand that there is only one Scottish Order which is to be debated, and I think it would be in the interests of the House to get on to it and decide it.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

Surely if this is a matter of principle which is to be justified when we are discussing the English Orders, it is equally a matter of principle when we are discussing the Scottish Orders. In actual fact, a promise has been given, the implication of which is that there will be no three-line Whips. I am only dealing with this matter on the basis that if it is proper to discuss this principle on the English Orders, it is equally proper to discuss it on this Order.

Mr. Speaker

The time for that is passed. As hon. Members know, when the House is dealing with Statutory Orders, which is exempted business, the scope of the debate is limited. If some larger issue is to be raised there might be an opportunity for it later, but I cannot allow an Order which deals only with the constituency of East Aberdeenshire and West Aberdeenshire to be made the peg on which to hang a general discussion on the fate of these Orders. I must now put the Question.

Mr. A. C. Manuel (Central Ayrshire) rose

Mr. Speaker

Does the hon. Member rise to a point of order?

Mr. Manuel

Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do. I want to submit to you that the Secretary of State, in reply to the query put by my hon. Friend the Member for Devonport (Mr. Foot), did not answer the substance of the argument because, in effect, while he did say that he would consider the pros and cons of the arguments presented on any one of the Scottish Orders, and leave the House to judge the merits, in actual fact what is going to happen is that a three-line Whip will force hon. Members opposite through the Division Lobby, no matter what we on this side of the House think about the rights and wrongs of the case. I submit that that intention has been created by the letters sent out by the responsible Ministers on the other side of the House, who decide when a three-line Whip shall apply, which means that hon. Members opposite will vote against their own inclinations.

Mr. Speaker

These considerations are quite out of order, and are irrelevant to the Order now before us. I know nothing about Whips; I have nothing to do with them.

Mr. Herbert Morrison (Lewisham, South)

Further to this matter which has been raised, Mr. Speaker, may I submit this point for consideration? My hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Devon-port (Mr. Foot) referred to a letter which had been sent to him by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. That letter has now been adopted by the Secretary of State for Scotland, who is in charge of the Orders so far as Scotland is concerned. In this letter the right hon. and gallant Gentleman said: I can promise that I will keep an open mind, and that I shall bear in mind what you and J. J. Astor have said in your letters, and will pay careful attention to anything that you or he or anyone else may say in the debate. The point which we would like to be assured about is that in this debate about this Scottish Order—and, of course, it will apply to the English Orders as well—the Government will fairly consider the arguments that are put. Would you kindly rule, Sir, whether the Government ought to consider the arguments that are fairly put, in accordance with this letter, or are we to be in the position that they will not consider the Orders, but will merely rely on a dictatorial three-line Whip in order to get the Orders through?

Mr. Elliot

The question before the House is, I understand, the representation of certain Scottish constituencies. My understanding is that there is no dispute about the rightness or wrongness of this change. There is debate in this House when it is possible to advance arguments, but, as is also proper in these matters, opinion has been sounded on both sides, and opinion in general is in favour of these changes. [An HON. MEMBER: "Which changes?"] The consultations which are essential have resulted—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] If English Members would do their best to be silent while there is an argument on Scottish affairs, we should proceed more quickly. I merely say that when we get to the arguments on these matters we can consider them on their merits, and I am perfectly prepared to do so. [An HON. MEMBER: "Three-line Whip."] I have voted against my party before—[An HON. MEMBER: "A long time ago."]—and I am prepared to vote against my party again. I voted against it on certain Motions which were more popular with hon. Gentlemen opposite than they were with hon. and right hon. Members on my side of the House.

I say that I am perfectly prepared to consider the arguments as and when they come, and I hope very much that we shall be allowed to get on with the arguments on the Motion, which is far more important.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

I must ask the House to bring its attention now to the Question which I have proposed from the Chair. All these considerations do not arise on this Order, and all matters which have to do with engagements by Ministers to consider this and that, and Whips, have nothing to do with me at the moment. No doubt an opportunity will arise for raising them, but they do not arise on this Order. The Question is—

Mr. E. Fernyhough (Jarrow) rose

Mr. Speaker

I have ruled on the point of order, and no more arise upon it.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (East Aberdeenshire, West Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Edinburgh Central and Edinburgh Pentlands) Order, 1954 [copy presented 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Edinburgh North and Edinburgh West) Order, 1954 [copy presented 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Glasgow Bridgeton, Glasgow Provan and Glasgow Shettleston) Order, 1954 [copy presented 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Glasgow Pollok, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Govan and Glasgow Gorbals) Order, 1954 [copy presented on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Glasgow Scotstoun, Glasgow Hillhead and Glasgow Woodside) Order, 1954 [copy presented on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Glasgow Springburn, Glasgow Central and Glasgow Kelvingrove) Order, 1954 [copy presented on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament], approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Midlothian, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles and Edinburgh Fast) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]

Mr. David J. Pryde (Midlothian and Peebles)

I ask the House not to approve this Order. Before the Leader of the House leaves the Chamber, may I ask him whether he will see that the Lord Advocate is present to answer points of Scottish law which will arise on this Order?

Hon. Members

Where is he?

Mr. Speaker

I do ask the House to keep order, and ensure that the hon. Gentleman who is speaking has a fair hearing.

Mr. Pryde

Certain very serious charges will arise out of the discussion on this Order, and I will not accept the interpretation of an English lawyer. I am perfectly justified in asking for the services of a Scottish Law Officer. [Interruption.] If the services of the Lord Advocate are not going to be given to the House, I beg to move, That the debate be now adjourned.

Mr. Speaker

I could not accept such a Motion. The hon. Gentleman must put up with such reply as he gets from the Minister. He is not entitled to demand the presence of any particular Minister.

Mr. Pryde

We are going to get into a very haphazard method of doing business if it is said that Ministers will be here just when they please. I would ask the Secretary of State whether he will answer the questions.

Hon. Members


Mr. J. Stuart

I do not know what questions I am to answer.

Hon. Members

About the Lord Advocate.

Mr. Stuart

I am not aware of any particular legal points arising out of the redistribution of Midlothian, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles. I shall endeavour to do my best to deal with any of the points which the hon. Gentleman raises.

Mr. Pryde

I appreciate the feelings of the right hon. Gentleman, because it is all in common with the treatment which has been meted out to Scotland. I objected to an English hon. Member calling the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for "Scotch" Affairs. Scotland is being treated less than justly in that we have not the Lord Advocate here to deal with the legal points arising from the Order.

When I agreed to the request of the Peebles people to express disapproval of the Order, I told them frankly that if the Government issued a three-line Whip we should be steam-rollered, and their answer was "The Government have no right to intimidate us and bludgeon us." However, I regret to say that that is the treatment that we are facing tonight. I appreciate very much the feelings of Lord Macaulay, who was no stranger to this House, when he wrote: And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods. The Order concerns four counties. There is Midlothian, with 315 square miles, bracketed with Peebles, with 347 square miles. On the other hand, we have Roxburgh, with 666 square miles, and Selkirk, with 268 square miles. That is, with Peebles, a total of 1,596 square miles of hilly country, a solid block of whin, interspersed with some very beautiful rivers, such as the Tweed, and the Yarrow, Ettrick and Jed.

For the benefit of the House, I have here bracketed together three of the counties—Roxburgh, Selkirk, and Peebles. While there are six good roads from Edinburgh through Midlothian into Peeblesshire, there is only one road, a tortuous, narrow road, which follows the course of the Tweed and travels from west to east through Peeblesshire into Roxburgh and Selkirk.

I am not going to confine my objections to the Order to the ground of political bias, although when I have finished no doubt certain hon. Members will ascribe the motives of the Commission to that aspect. That is why I want the Lord Advocate here, to deal with that subject, along with other matters relating to the legality of the Order, which will arise.

We contend that this three-county constituency is a political monstrosity, a Loch Ness monster of politics, not with three humps but a thousand humps, for the hills there rise well above 2,500 ft. With the present two-county constituency of Midlothian and Peebles, it is easy at a General Election for all the ballot boxes to be gathered into the Kingsland School, Peebles, for the votes to be counted, for Midlothian has six good roads into Peeblesshire.

I have here a map, the scale of which is 10 miles to the inch. I should like hon. Members to have a look at it. I want the Secretary of State to tell the House where, under the proposed arrangement, there is a central spot to gather in the ballot boxes after they have been filled by the electors. During a winter General Election there will be great difficulty. One of my constituents, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, South (Sir W. Darling) will corroborate what I say. The flooding in the Tweed valley is very serious, and it recently prevented him from getting home on a Friday night, and he had to stay in Peebles.

I was recently called upon to assist in resolving a difficulty which had arisen in relation to one of the Peeblesshire schools, on the northern border. When I arrived at the meeting, the convener of the county council regretfully informed me that the chairman of the education committee and another councillor could not be present because of floods. This is a serious menace, and I hope and trust that the Scottish Office will take note of my words, because there is a real danger in the Tweed Valley. This makes it absolutely impossible to think of bracketing the three counties together, with their three county councils, all possibly holding divergent views.

In Scotland we are used to two-county constituencies right from Cape Wrath to the Mull of Galloway but this is a precedent in history, a three-county constituency. How would English or Welsh Members like it? This, too, I told our people, "I am certain that l could convince the House of the justice of our position, but if the Government put on a three-tine Whip then we have no chance whatever. We shall get Jeddart justice."

For the benefit of English Members let me explain that Jedburgh—Jeddart—is the county town of Roxburgh, one of the counties concerned. In the long past, they had a summary method of dealing with offenders. They executed them first and tried them afterwards. We are giving Peebles Jeddart justice, and that will not redound to the credit of the House.

The people of Peebles are keen politicians and great fighters. I watched the present Provost of Peebles, who was himself a Territorial, lead the men away with the 4th-5th Royal Scots in 1914. I saw their sons, with my son, march off in 1939 with the 52nd Heavy Regiment, the Regiment that helped to blast the Germans out of Normandy. These men know what it is to fight. They are independent. I tell the Government plainly that they will not suffer this affront gladly, because it means that Peebles will be submerged for all time.

It has been urged that there is identity of interest. I intend to disabuse the House of any belief in that assertion. The Commission itself said that it took no notice of anything except numbers. If the mathematical rule were applied all over Scotland there would be considerable difficulty. The Commission admits that there were two constituencies in the same position, but it picked out Midlothian and Peebles to exercise its sinister witchcraft.

On the question of identity of interest, there are in the Peebles area six small weaving mills—very small mills, which are family concerns, which sustain themselves only by brilliant initiative, ceaseless activity, and the skill of their workers, in turning out a superior product that can hold its place in the dollar markets. They are pygmies compared with the giants of Roxburgh and Selkirk.

Everyone can picture the state of affairs if there were just a slight recession in trade. Then we should find the cannibalism of the big ones resulting in them eating the small ones. My people in Peebles know this perfectly well. That is why they are not anxious to have anything to do with a three-county constituency.

The argument as far as identity of interest is concerned falls to the ground. The "Peeblesshire News," which is Tory to the fingertips, but scrupulously fair, says, This experiment is impractical and absolutely unworkable. I showed the proposal to one of my hon. Friends, and he said, "This constituency is no use as far as a seaman and a motor car are concerned; it would take an airman and a helicopter." That is true, literally, in essence, and in fact.

There is a far more marked identity of interest between Peebles and Midlothian. Peebles was added to South Midlothian in 1918, and we fought nine times together until 1950. We got then the whole county of Midlothian, along with the whole County of Peebles. But where the real identity of interest lies is between Roxburgh, Selkirk, and Peebles, and between Midlothian and Peebles, for in agriculture, which is the staple industry, and land ownership, they have identity of interest.

There are the huge estates of the Earl of Rosebery, the premier Earl of Scotland, flowing over the Moorfoot Hills and down the pleasant Leithen valleys, home of James Wilson, prince of sheepdog trainers. There are also the estates of Sir George Clarke, of Pennycuik. So it will be seen that, so far as land ownership is concerned, the names of the people who own the land over the Moorfoot Hills and in the upper Tweed Valley are the same. In land ownership we claim that there is fellowship. In agriculture we claim that there is also—

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)

I think the hon. Member will allow me to intervene, because I am one of his constituents. The picture which he has given the House follows his customary accuracy. Is there coal in Peebles, and is there weaving in Midlothian?

Mr. Pryde

There is more identity of interest in weaving between Midlothan and Peebles than many suspect. [Interruption.] There is no clash of interest because in the one there is tweed weaving and in Midlothian there is carpet weaving.

Sir W. Darling

Where are the coal-owners in Peebles?

Mr. Pryde

When the Edinburgh Water Trust built a track to a reservoir across a moor the workmen discovered many seams of coal. Sir George Clarke, of Penicuik, exactly 100 years ago, had 145 people working coal on a moor which incorporates part of Peeblesshire. [Interruption.] It is simply awaiting a supply of electricity from the South-East Scotland Electricity Board.

I now proceed to show how we have a very close affinity in agriculture. On the Moorfoot Hills, on Lord Rosebery's estate, there graze—right down the Leithen Valley—prize flocks of the Moorfoot Herd In law, too, we have an affinity. Peeblesshire has its own court—in Peebles—and it is part of the sheriffdom of the Lothians and Peebles.

We are also closely integrated in regard to the police, because our police force is also the police of Peebles. In 1951 we were told that a fresh breeze was blowing through the corridors of St. Andrews House. If that breeze has not blown away all the brains, it will be apparent now to everyone that it would be in the public interest if the police force of the City of Edinburgh were integrated with that of Midlothian and Peebles.

In agriculture, land, the law, and the police, we are closely integrated with Peebles—and the same fire organisation deals with both areas. The two counties have the same planning machinery, the same planning officer, and the same medical officer of health. Where is a closer identity of interests to be found than between Midlothian and Peebles?

What, then, actuated the Boundary Commission to interfere? When its findings were published I came to the House, climbed to the top of the building and interviewed the Secretary of the Commission. I asked him for an explanation of the procedure. He gave me that explanation and I returned to the Floor, and wrote a letter asking for a legal inquiry. The Secretary of the Labour Party in Scotland, at the same time, wrote asking for an interview in order to adduce oral evidence.

My request for a local inquiry was turned down. That was regrettable. I am positive that it would not have been necessary to spend all this time tonight arguing about such a foolish Order if my request had been granted. However, the Secretary of the Scottish Labour Party informed me that his request had been granted, and I was invited to attend the meeting.

I allowed the representatives of Midlothian, Roxburgh and Selkirk to outline the position, and to explain how the Commission's proposals would inflict grievous harm on every citizen in Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peeblesshire. I then proceeded to gather together all the threads and place them before the Commission, but I received a very cold reception. I was told that I was taking up this attitude because I could carry Peeblesshire. I want the Secretary of State for Scotland to tell the House whether or not that was a proper thing to suggest, and I am asking the House to take due notice of it, and say that this Order is ultra vires and cannot be discussed any further.

That is not the only charge which I have to make. Let us consider the Report of the Commission. It says that after those meetings the Labour Party asked for a local inquiry. I do not know whether our secretary in Scotland asked for a local inquiry, but the Commission fails to point out here that previously I had asked for a local inquiry and had been refused. I want hon. Members to ask themselves why such a request was refused. I am not going to say it was due to political bias at all, but I am going to hold that the interests of the Peeblian are going to be better looked after with Midlothian than with Roxburgh and Selkirk.

I have here a return of rates for Scotland. Any hon. Member can go to the Vote Office and secure a copy, and there he will find that Peeblesshire has the highest rateable value per head of population in Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman is credited with examining the set-up of local government in Scotland. Everyone who pays attention to local administration, which the Boundary Commission has failed to do, knows perfectly well that there must be reconstruction of local Government in Scotland. I am suggesting that the interests of Peebles are so closely integrated with Midlothian that it would be a shame and a disgrace for this House to pass this Order, and inflict Peeblesshire on Roxburgh and Selkirk.

I do not want to detain the House, but I do want to say this: the Peeblian is not a demonstrative individual, but he is a great thinker, and knows perfectly well that there has never been any complaint as to how his interests have been served in this House—rather the reverse. If it hinged on it, I could show sheaves of correspondence from both local authority's and individuals in Peeblesshire thanking me for the way in which I have carried out their representation. Why, then, is it necessary to subtract Peeblesshire from this great constituency?

I can be in any part of Peeblesshire within the hour, upon call at any time. By road, and with a good car, it is possible to attend to the interests of our Peebles people personally, as they should be. This constituency, in the words of the Editor of the "Peeblesshire News," cannot possibly be worked from the south. It has an area of 1,281 square miles. I always required to hold fourteen Election meetings in Peeblesshire, and, as the Editor points out, the candidate can only do two meeting a night, so far apart are the meetings. Take Tweedsmuir and Broughton, the two nearest centres where meetings can be held. How far do hon. Members think it is across country from Linton to Jed-burgh and Hawick—and the roads are narrow and tortuous? I am asking the House, after full consideration of the facts, to disapprove of this Order, and to instruct the Boundary Commission to follow the advice I gave them: leave well alone.

I told the Boundary Commission that in 10 years' time—and they admitted it—there would be room for two Members. No one is complaining. "But," said the Chairman, "You are a developing mining county, and you have had such an increase since 1951." I said, "Yes, but think of this: we shall get no more redundant miners from Lanarkshire." I am sure the House has heard the hon. Member from Bothwell (Mr. Timmons) declare that. It is true to say that the National Coal Board recently handed over to the county council in Midlothian 100 houses, because they had been wide in their estimate.

Only on Sunday, I had a report from the Secretary of the Midlothian Trades Council about auxiliary industries for our womenfolk of Midlothian. We were told by the Board of Trade that we were not to get what we asked for because we had lost 4,000 population this year. Is it not true that there will not be any great accession of population until 1965? As to the position in the coalfields, where coal has been mined by charter since 1210—the oldest charter in Scotland—the old coalmines are becoming exhausted. In the summer holidays, 100 men were declared redundant in the centre of the coalfield at Rosewell. These men did not go out of the coalfield; they were absorbed into other collieries. We have in process of sinking three large, new collieries, but they will require no new labour. The labour from the old, exhausted collieries will gather round the new unit.

I ask that, in face of all these cold, concrete material facts, the House will say "The status quo."

11.17 p.m.

Commander C. E. M. Donaldson (Roxburgh and Selkirk)

We are all grateful to the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) for bringing to the House some of the refreshing breezes and delightful air that we enjoy in our part of Scotland. We have been refreshed by the things that he had to say, but I must take exception to one or two of them.

The hon. Member made a remark about some of the constituents of the present burghs of Roxburgh and Selkirk. There will be a stir in those parts of Scotland when the people see that they have been classed as cannibals by the hon. Member in the earlier part of his speech. I see visions not only of sailors in motorboats but of commandos and paratroopers if this sort of comparison goes on. The hon. Member is entitled to draw a comparison or to show the affinities of Midlothian and Peebles. There is no doubt that the basis of the comparison is agriculture, but the hon. Member must be as aware as I am that the basic industry in Midlothian is mining.

At this late hour I do not wish to anticipate the reply that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland will undoubtedly make to the specific questions of the hon. Member. Suffice it to say that the hon. Member has undoubtedly served his present constituency well. He has referred to the reasons on which the Boundary Commission based its findings, which are contained in page 4, paragraph B at the bottom of the page. He made particular reference to the numerical increase in Midlothian. I am sure he will agree that when the Boundary Commission anticipated that by 1960 the electorate in that constituency will grow to 68,000, it must have been faced with some evidence on which to reach that figure. I think the basis of this boundary change is reasonable. I shall not detain the House with quotations from the Report. It has been available to all Scottish Members, who are the most interested in it. I am sure the hon. Member will need time to apply himself to the increasing number of his constituents, but I am sure he will apply himself proficiently.

He referred to the difficulties of the roads. I agree with him about those, but the east-west road to which he referred is one that can be traversed with considerable ease and no political organisation is going to hold a meeting at Innerliethen followed immediately by one at Hawick, or at Jedburgh followed by one at West Linton. It would not be good planning or political sense. I am sure that the hon. Member, sincere though he is, is mistaken in urging the House to resist this Order. The Commission made an ample inquiry, its conclusions are lucid, concise and to the point, and I, for my part, commend the Order to the House and hope that it will approve it.

11.21 p.m.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

I have one point to make, and one only. This is the first Order to be contested in a long series of Orders. The Secretary of State has it in his power to set the tone of the future debate. We have heard two speeches by Members taking different points of view, but they did not inject any party spirit into their remarks. Surely it is not too much to ask the Secretary of State, before he sets out his case, to be prepared to rest on the free decision of the House on this Order. I ask him to set the tone of the debate for the future and to rid us of the indignity into which the House was dragged by the squabbles we had tonight. I ask him to free his hon. Friends of the shackles of whatever three-line Whips there may be. Let us have a free vote on these matters.

11.22 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. James Stuart)

I must apologise to the House and to the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) for setting an improper tone earlier tonight. I certainly have every intention of answering this debate properly to the best of my ability. It is perfectly natural for the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde) to raise this matter, and I perfectly understand his point of view. I know that he has worked hard in his area. There is no political motive in the action proposed by the Boundary Commission, and no political motives have actuated the Government in placing the Report before Parliament in a perfectly proper manner for Parliament to decide upon it. I should like to deal with the points the hon. Member raised. It is also natural for my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Roxburgh and Selkirk (Commander Donaldson) to intervene, because he is the other interested party.

If hon. Members will refer—I am sure the hon. Members concerned have done so—to the Report of the Commission, they will find that since 1947 the electorate in the constituency of Midlothian and Peebles has been going steadily upwards. I do not want to detain the House with figures, but as a matter of interest, at 1st December, 1952, the electorate was 64,866; at 1st December, 1953, it was 65,319, and that after the transference of nearly 1,000 electors in Mussel-burgh to the Edinburgh, East constituency. The Commission was advised, as appears in the Report, that that upward trend in the electorate of Midlothian and Peebles, that is in the present constituency, was likely to continue.

Mr. Pryde

Is it not true that, according to the Board of Trade, which is a Government institution, we have lost 4,000 of our population this year? These figures cannot possibly take that into consideration.

Mr. Stuart

I can assure the hon. Member that we have been into that point, and I am really not aware of any such statement being made. On the contrary, I am aware that the advice tendered to the Commissioners was that this upward trend in the electorate of Midlothian and Peebles is likely to continue, owing to mining and other industrial developments, and that in 1960 the electorate may well be round the 68,000 mark, with a prospect of a further increase during the following decade. The Commission takes the view, to use its own words, that …an electorate of the order of 68,000 or more is much too large for a Scottish county constituency. I agree with the hon. Member that the distances are considerable. I do not know the area which we are discussing so well as some others, but I have asked about the distances and I am assured that 85 per cent. of the population of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles is within 20 miles of Galashiels with, in the main, perfectly good road communication. This information is confirmed by the Registrar-General for Scotland.

Mr. Pryde

Then he has never been on that road.

Mr. Stuart

I confess that I did not ask him that question. The hon. Member may be right. I know part of the country myself. I was up there the other day.

I assure the hon. Member that no administrative difficulties are involved in this redistribution. He spoke of the sheriffdom and so on, but there are no administrative changes. I am perfectly well aware that representations were made on this subject. That is apparent in the Report of the Commissioners. With all respect to the hon. Member and to representations such as those made by the Liberal Party, I do not think that any practicable alternatives were presented to the Commission, if we accept the view which the Commissioners took, that an electorate of over 68,000 is too much for a Scottish county constituency.

Therefore, on those grounds the Commission decided that it should propose in this review a reduction in the electorate. It came to the conclusion that the best way was to transfer Peeblesshire to the neighbouring constituency of Roxburgh and Selkirk, and I suggest that both geographically and otherwise there are grounds for what seems to me to be a comparatively simple operation. If we are to be governed by mathematics—which I resisted in certain scattered areas—it works out very satisfactorily, because Midlothian County, less the burgh of Musselburgh, will form a constituency of 55,188 electors, while Roxburgh and Selkirk with Peebles will form a constituency of 57,146 electors.

Since, as the House is well aware by now, one of the duties laid upon the Commissioners was to try to achieve some sort of balance in numbers, I suggest that what they have arrived at is a fair and reasonable decision, although I sympathise with the hon. Member for Midlothian and Peebles. I do not think that any of us like being pushed around unnecessarily. I do not like in the least being pushed around by hon. Members opposite. One of the objects of building this beautiful edifice was to do just that. We have to take it occasionally, and I think that the Commission has done the best it could to meet this awkward problem.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Thomas Fraser (Hamilton)

The Secretary of State concluded his remarks by saying that he did not mind being pushed around by anybody.

Mr. Stuart

I said that I did not like being pushed around.

Mr. Fraser

He did not mind but he did not like it.

Mr. Stuart

"I did not like it."

Mr. Fraser

I wondered what the Secretary of State said, and now that he has told us I apologise for having made a mistake and thank him for correcting me. But if he does not like being pushed around by anybody, I wonder if that is his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross), who asked if the Members of this House, having listened to the debate upon this Order, are to be permitted judically to form an opinion about it. Is that the right hon. Gentleman's reply? He has not told us whether the House is going to be allowed to decide this matter judically or not.

Mr. Stuart

If the hon. Member wants a reply, my reply is that if and when a Division is called hon. Members must exercise their rights by voting.

Mr. Fraser

That seems to be saying that there will, in fact, be a free vote, if there is any meaning at all in what the Secretary of State has said just now.

I am bound to say that, when I read the Report of the Boundary Commission, I was inclined to think that it was right in its recommendation. But I listened with great care to what my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian & Peebles (Mr. Pryde) had to say. He has told us about his request for a local inquiry because of the kind of representations that he had made, and how that was refused. We have heard no more about that from the Secretary of State. My hon. Friend also told us about his interview with the Boundary Commission and that when he was making representations he was told he could carry Peebles. That seems to be a most improper thing to say. We have heard nothing at all about that from the right hon. Gentleman.

My hon. Friend impressed the House by what he told us about the identity of

interests between Peeblesshire and Midlothian. There is indeed a close identity of interest, unless, of course, my hon. Friend has been deceiving the House. The Secretary of State did not say that my hon. Friend had deceived the House. The right hon. Gentleman's silence on that aspect of the matter must be assumed by the House to be an admission of the correctness of what my hon. Friend has asserted. In the circumstances, it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman ought to withdraw this Order and let the matter be considered a little more judically. Then he could make it clear that the issue would be decided by a free vote of the House.

11.34 p.m.

Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

I would ask the Secretary of State to reconsider this Order. His speech was really no reply to the reasonable points put by my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian and Peebles (Mr. Pryde). Let me remind the House of those points. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am not going to refer to all of them. I want to draw attention to the fact that this will create a vast constituency of 1,596 square miles. It will involve a great deal of travel, certainly much more than any other hon. Member will encounter in the course of his campaign.

I will cut short my remarks and will merely urge the Secretary of State to try to treat this as a matter of justice and fair play and let the constituency of the hon. Member remain as it is today.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 203, Noes 164.

Division No. 12.] AYES [11.35 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Davidson, Viscountess
Allan, R. A. (Padddington, S.) Boyle, Sir Edward Deedes, W. F.
Alport, C J. M. Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Digby, S. Wingfield
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Braithwaite, Sir Gurney Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Amory, Rt. Hon. Heathcoat (Tiverton) Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Browne, Jack (Govan) Donner, Sir P. W.
Arbuthnot, John Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P G. T. Doughty, C. J. A.
Armstrong, C W. Bullard, D. G. Drayson, G. B.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Butcher, Sir Herbert Drewe, Sir C.
Astor, Hon. J. J. Campbell, Sir David Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Baldwin, A. E. Carr, Robert Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)
Banks, Col. C. Cary, Sir Robert Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Barber, Anthony Channon, H. Errington, Sir Eric
Baxter, Sir Beverley Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Erroll, F. J.
Beach, Maj. Hicks Cole, Norman Fell, A.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Colegate, W. A. Finlay, Graeme
Bennett, William (Woodside) Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Fisher, Nigel
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Birch, Nigel Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Bishop, F. P. Crouch, R. F. Fort, R.
Black, C. W. Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Galbraith, Rt. Hon. T. D. (Pollok) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C. Russell, R. S.
Glover, D. Longden, Gilbert Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.
Godber, J. B. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. Mackeson, Brig, Sir Harry Sharples, Maj. R. C.
Gower, H. R. McKibbin, A. J. Shepherd, William
Graham, Sir Fergus Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Maclay, Rt. Hon. John Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Maitland, Cmdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Snadden, W. McN.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Maitland, Patrick (Lanark) Soames, Capt. C.
Hare, Hon. J. H. Manningham-Buller Rt. Hn. Sir Reginald Speir, R. M.
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Marlowe, A. A. H. Spens, Rt. Hon. Sir P. (Kensington, S.)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Marples, A. E. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Heath, Edward Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin) Stevens, Geoffrey
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Maude, Angus Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Higgs, J. M. C. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Mellor, Sir John Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Molson, A. H. E. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Hirst, Geoffrey Moore, Sir Thomas Summers, G. S.
Holland-Martin, C. J. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Sutcliffe, Sir Harold
Hollis, M. C. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Holt, A. F. Neave, Airey Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hopkinson, Rt. Hon. Henry Nicholls, Harmar Teeling, W.
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.) Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Nield, Basil (Chester) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.) Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) O'Neill, Hon. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J. Osborne, C Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Hurd, A. R. Page, R. G. Tilney, John
Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Partridge, E. Turner, H. F. L
Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Perkins, Sir Robert Turton, R. H.
Hylton-Foster, Sir H. B. H Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Vane, W. M. F.
Iremonger, T. L. Peyton, J. W. W. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Pickthorn, K. W. M. Vosper, D. F.
Jones, A. (Hall Green) Pitman, I. J. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Kaberry, D. Pitt, Miss E. M. Wall, Major Patrick
Kerby, Capt. H. B. Powell, J. Enoch Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Kerr, H. W. Raikes, Sir Victor Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Lambert, Hon. G. Ramsden, J. E. Wellwood, W.
Lambton, Viscount Rayner, Brig. R. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Langford-Holt, J. A. Redmayne, M. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Rees-Davies, W. R. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Remnant, Hon. P. Wood, Hon. R.
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Renton, D. L. M. Woollam, John Victor
Llewellyn, D. T. Ridsdale, J. E.
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Roberts, Peter (Heeley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral) Roper, Sir Harold Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith and
Lloyd-George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Mr. Wills.
Albu, A. H. Delargy, H. J. Holmes, Horace
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Dodds, N. N. Houghton, Douglas
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Donnelly, D. L. Hubbard, T. F.
Awbery, S. S. Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich) Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Bartley, P. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Benn, Hon. Wedgwood Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury) Jeger, George (Goole)
Bing, G. H. C. Fernyhough, E. Jeger, Mrs. Lena
Blenkinsop, A. Fienburgh, W. Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Blyton, W. R. Finch, H. J. Johnson, James (Rugby)
Boardman, H. Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.) Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Bowden, H. W. Foot, M. M. Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Forman, J. C. Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Brockway, A. F. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Keenan, W.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Gibson, C. W. King, Dr. H. M.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Glanville, James Lawson, G. M.
Burke, W. A. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Burton, Miss F. E. Greenwood, Anthony Lever, Harold (Cheetham)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Grey, C. F. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Carmichael, J. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) MacColl, J. E.
Champion, A. J. Griffiths, William (Exchange) McGhee, H. G.
Coldrick, W. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) McInnes, J.
Collick, P. H. Hall, John T. (Gateshead, W.) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Collins, V. J. Hannan, W. Mann, Mrs. Jean
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hargreaves, A. Manuel, A. C.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hayman, F. H. Mayhew, C. P.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.) Mellish, R. J.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hobson, C. R. Mikardo, Ian
Deer, G. Holman, P. Mitchison, G. R.
Monslow, W. Pryde, D. J. Thornton, E.
Moody, A. S. Rhodes, H. Turner-Samuels, M.
Morley, R. Robert, Rt. Hon. A Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewitham, S.) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Wallace, H. W.
Moyle, A. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Warbey, W. N.
Mulley, F. W. Ross, William Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Nally, W. Shackleton, E. A. A. Weitzman, D.
O'Brien, T. Short, E. W. Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Padley, W. E. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Wells, William (Walsall)
Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley) Skeffington, A. M. West, D. G.
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke-on-Trent) Wheeldon, W. E.
Palmer, A. M. F. Slater, J. (Durham, Sedgefield) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Pannell, Charles Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Parker, J. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Wilkins, W. A.
Parkin, B. T. Steele, T. Willey, F. T.
Pearson, A. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Williams, David (Neath)
Peart, T. F. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Plummer, Sir Leslie Sylvester, G. O. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Popplewell, E. Taylor, John (West Lothian) Yates, V. F.
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Probert, A. R. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Mr. Oswald and Mr. Clunie
Proctor, W. T. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (Midlothian, Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles and Edinburgh East) Order, 1954, a copy of which was laid before this House on 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.

Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) (West Stirlingshire and Stirling and Falkirk Burghs) Order, 1954 [copy presented 18th November, 1954, in the last Session of Parliament] approved.—[Mr. J. Stuart.]