HC Deb 25 April 1956 vol 551 cc1789-935

Order for Committee read.

Mr. Speaker

I should say, before leaving the Chair on the Order for Committee, that the two Instructions to the Committee in the name of the right hon. and gallant Member for Leicester, South-East (Captain Waterhouse) are unnecessary, because the Committee has power to do the things enjoined in the Instructions. Therefore, being unnecessary, they are out of order.

Bill considered in Committee.

[Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]

The Chairman

The first Amendment is not selected.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

On a point of order. Would you be good enough, Sir Charles, to indicate at this stage the course which the Chair proposes to follow with regard to the numerous Amendments on the Order Paper, some of which overlap?

The Chairman

Certainly. The first to be called is in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Gloucester (Mr. Turner-Samuels), that is, the second Amendment on the Notice Paper. The next to be called will be that in the name of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke), that is, the fourth in page 2712. The next will be that at the top of page 2713 in the name of the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) with the last but one on that page, which is also in his name, and the Amendment at the top of page 2714 in the name of the same hon. Member.

Captain Charles Waterhouse (Leicester, South-East)

On a point of order. Do I understand that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) is not selected?

The Chairman

I said that it was being called. With the Amendments I have just mentioned will go the one on the bottom of page 2714. I shall also call the last but one Amendment in page 2715, which is in the name of the hon. Member for Westbury (Sir R. Grimston); in page 2716 the Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for New Forest (Colonel Crosthwaite-Eyre) and the one immediately below it in the name of the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. J. Eden); in page 2717, the top one in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Major Anstruther-Gray) and the next one in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. Simon), and the last but one in that page in the name of the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Hyde). The first three new Clauses are out of order and the last two will be called.

Mr. Kenneth Thompson (Liverpool, Walton)

On your decision not to select the first Amendment, Sir Charles, may I seek enlightenment about what course is open to us to discuss that issue? A very important question is raised. I have no doubt that the most compelling reasons led you to your decision. As I understand, one of the most urgent matters in the public mind is that the public has not been consulted, and the purpose of the Amendment—

The Chairman

Order. That is a very clever device. I shall not have the Amendment discussed by that method.

Mr. Thompson

I assure you, Sir Charles, that I am not seeking to use any device at all, but to ask you whether an opportunity will arise for discussing this question.

The Chairman

It will not arise here.

Sir Robert Grimston (Westbury)

I should like to seek your guidance, Sir Charles. Will it be possible for the Committee to divide on other Amendments without discussion? You are calling one Amendment covering several points raised by a number of others. Will it be possible for the Committee to divide on the Amendments, subject to there being no discussion?

The Chairman

Yes, it certainly will be. I will say what they are when the case arises. It will be much too complicated to indicate them now. I have in mind various Divisions which will be allowed when several Amendments are linked. If any hon. Member has a particular case in mind, I will indicate my views on it. Has the hon. Member any case in mind?

Sir R. Grimston

I have several in mind. For example, there is the one at the top of page 2716.

The Chairman

I propose to have a Division on that one and on the next for that matter, if that is required.

Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth (Hendon, South)

It is possible that an earlier Amendment on which debate could take place will not be called because an hon. Member will not wish to move it. That may happen in the case of an Amendment in my name. In that case, will you be willing, Sir Charles, to call an Amendment linked with the earlier one which is not called?

The Chairman

Certainly. If an Amendment is not moved, I shall be willing to call one which goes with the series.

Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr)

May I assume that, as you have ruled that the first Amendment is out of order, that will also apply to my Amendment in page 2717, Sir Charles?

The Chairman

I did not rule it out of order. I said that I had not selected it and the same applies to the hon. Member's three Amendments to Clause 2.

Sir T. Moore

While I would not for a moment criticise or dispute your Ruling, Sir Charles, it is within your recollection, as it is within mine, that on many occasions there has been a Clause in a Bill to specify the precise date on which that Bill should come into operation. Generally, if it was a matter of a dramatic change in national policy, the date was put rather far forward, presumably to accustom people to the change. May I therefore submit that my proposals are merely to put back the date of the coming into operation of the Bill in order that the public may become acclimatised to this dramatic change in national policy?

The Chairman

I realised all that when I did not select the hon. Member's Amendment.

  1. Clause 1.—(ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY.) 56,231 words, 2 divisions