HC Deb 12 December 1957 vol 579 cc1437-46
Mr. J. Griffiths

May I ask the Leader of the House whether he will state the business for next week?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

Yes, Sir. The business for next week will be as follows:

MONDAY, 16TH DECEMBER—A debate will take place on Welsh affairs.

The debate will arise on a Government Motion to take note of the Report on Development and Government Action in Wales and Monmouthshire and on the White Paper on Government Administration in Wales.

Consideration of the Motions to approve the Draft Pneumoconiosis and Byssinosis Benefit Amendment Scheme, and the Draft National Insurance Regulations relating to Mariners.

TUESDAY, 17TH DECEMBER—Second Reading of the Local Government and Miscellaneous Financial Provisions (Scotland) Bill.

Committee stage of the necessary Money Resolution.

Consideration of the Draft Police Pensions Regulations, and similar Regulations for Scotland; and of the Government of India (Family Pension Funds) (Amendment) Order.

WEDNESDAY, 18TH DECEMBER—Committee stage of the Import Duties Bill.

Consideration of proposed Amendments to the Standing Orders relating to changes in Standing Committees.

THURSDAY, 19TH DECEMBER—A debate will take place on foreign affairs.

FRIDAY, 20TH DECEMBER—It is hoped to adjourn for the Christmas Recess until Tuesday, 21st January, 1958.

Perhaps I might also say that the debate on foreign affairs is arranged on the understanding that the N.A.T.O. conference is finished so that Her Majesty's Ministers may be able to return to take part in the debate. If there should be any likelihood of delay so that this is made impossible, we would initiate immediate talks with the right hon. Gentleman the deputy Leader of the Opposition and his right hon. Friends with a view to making alternative arrangements to suit the House. We should like to have the debate on that day, but I should like to give that warning.

Mr. Griffiths

Does the Leader of the House realise that we are very serious in our request that the Government should make every possible arrangement to enable the House to discuss foreign affairs before the Christmas Recess?

Mr. Butler

That is why I gave the warning. We shall immediately initiate talks if we see any difficulty arising.

Mr. Maude

In view of the extreme importance of the foreign affairs debate and the issues to be discussed, does my right hon. Friend realise that it would be very much appreciated, as only one day is to be given to the debate, if the rule could be suspended so that we might have at least an extra hour?

Mr. Butler

I will certainly consider my hon. Friend's suggestion.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it contemplated that the foreign affairs debate will be on global matters, or is it to be confined to the deliberations of and, presumably, a report about, the N.A.T.O. conference? The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that if it is to be a very wide debate on foreign affairs, covering the Middle East, the Far East, and a variety of other topics associated with foreign affairs, we shall not have time to discuss N.A.T.O.

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. If the debate takes place, for example, on the Motion for the Adjournment, hon. Members will be able to raise any subject they like. The Government are perfectly ready if any subject relating to foreign affairs is raised.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to a Motion on the Order Paper, signed by 138 hon. Members, relating to unestablished service reckoning for pension in the Civil Service?

[That this House takes note of the recent Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service (Command Paper No. 9613) and the observations of the Commission in Chapter XV, paragraph 743, on the subject of the reckoning of unestablished service for superannuation purposes in the Civil Service, to the effect that there is no question of merit or principle outstanding, that it is in fact now common ground that it is right that unestablished service should reckon in full, that Parliament conceded that as regards service after July, 1949, by the Superannuation Act, 1949, that the Royal Commission were of opinion that the Superannuation Act, 1946, afforded a precedent for retrospection and supported the argument that if a certain treatment is right at one point in time it is also right at others, and that in the view of the Royal Commission the sole consideration was that of cost; and this House is of opinion that all unestablished service prior to July, 1949, of civil servants subsequently appointed to established posts should be reckonable in full for superannuation purposes (instead of one-half only) on the grounds put forward by the Right honourable Gentleman, the Member for Monmouth, in his speech to Standing Committee B on the Superannuation Bill, 1949 (Hansard, 10th May, 1949, Cols. 155–158), and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to take the necessary action.]

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that the Government propose to take early action in the matter or will he name a date upon which the House may debate the Motion?

Mr. Butler

I cannot give any day, because all the days before Christmas are now allocated. What I can do is to undertake to discuss the matter with the Minister concerned. I cannot go any further than that.

Mr. G. Thomas

As the White Paper which we are to discuss on Monday will be published in ten minutes' time, does not the Leader of the House think it unreasonable to expect Welsh Members to discuss it, along with the Report about Governmental activity in Wales during the past year, when we shall have had no opportunity between now and Monday of getting together to consider the Report?

Mr. Butler

There are two matters to consider. One is the Annual Report issued on Friday, 29th November, which gave hon. Members time to consider it. This latter matter—to which the Prime Minister referred today and the outline of which must be in hon. Members' minds—Welsh hon. Members will be quick enough to apprehend when they see the White Paper.

Mr. Griffiths

May I ask the Leader of the House whether the Motion on Monday will be to take note of the Annual Report of the Council of Wales and Monmouthshire and of the White Paper, so that the House can have a discussion on that basis?

Mr. Butler

Yes, that is so.

Mr. Ross

May I ask a question about Wednesday's business and the proposed Amendments to Standing Orders relating to Standing Committees? May we be told when the Government hope to table their Amendments? If we are to have a proper opportunity to discuss and amend them, we shall not have very much time, because the Government have not even tabled their Amendments.

Mr. Butler

The Government listened to the recent debate and we propose to table our Amendments to the Standing Orders today so that hon. Members will see them as soon as possible. I might give the hon. Member advance information by saying that we propose that the Scottish Standing Committee, for the Committee stage of Bills, should consist of between 30 and 50 Members.

We propose, also, that the Scottish Grand Committee should have two additional sittings for consideration of specified matters relating exclusively to Scotland. These will be in addition to the six days already spent on Scottish Estimates.

The other matters will relate to quorum and the size of Committee, which are not so much connected with Scotland. I have given the hon. Member the outline of the Scottish part of our proposals.

Mr. S. Silverman

Reverting to the answer which the Leader of the House gave about next Thursday's business, has his attention been directed to a Motion on the Order Paper entitled "War and Peace"—

[That this House, having regard to various statements made in anticipation of the forthcoming conference of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation powers, solemnly declares that it will not endorse, ratify or implement any agreement which has in theory or practice the result of divesting the House of Commons of its control of foreign and defence policies or its democratic right and duty to determine for this country the ultimate issues of war and peace.]—

which is signed by a large number of hon. Members on this side, and to an Amendment thereto—

[Leave out from "divesting" to end, and add "Her Majesty of Her prerogative of determining, with the advice of Her Ministers, the foreign policy of this country and the ultimate issues of war and peace".]—

which is to the same effect, but with constitutional amendment of the wording, and is signed by a large number of hon. Members on his own side?

In view of the importance of the present developments and the anxiety and uneasiness in the House, will he undertake, even if the N.A.T.O. conference is not concluded, to ensure that the House will still be able to discuss international affairs next Thursday?

Mr. Butler

I could not undertake that if we had to adjust the date or hour there would necessarily be exactly the same business for Thursday. What I can undertake is to say that we shall have a debate on foreign affairs before we rise. I hope that it will be on Thursday, when all these matters can be ventilated.

Mr. Harold Davies

Would the Leader of the House be good enough to give an assurance that, if perchance, the N.A.T.O. conference has not finished by Thursday and, therefore, a responsible Minister cannot attend the debate, the House will have a chance of debating the conference and foreign affairs generally, even though we have to sit on Saturday in order to

have a responsible Minister present? This matter is one of paramount importance.

Mr. Butler

I do not know whether we should necessarily have to sit on Saturday in such an eventuality. I would undertake that we should like to have a debate of a sufficiently long period, with the responsible Ministers present, before we rise. I hope that it will be on Thursday. If it is not, we shall have to make other arrangements to have a debate.

Mr. Lee

In view of the inconvenience to Welsh Members, as expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), of using Monday next for a debate on Welsh affairs, could I help the right hon. Gentleman by asking whether he would substitute for that debate a discussion of the Motion, standing in the name of about 80 of my hon. Friends, regarding the Governments' attitude towards wage negotiations?

[That this House condemns the actions of Her Majesty's Government in abusing its political power by destructive interference with the established processes of collective bargaining in nationalised industries, and attempting to condition the minds of those who serve on Arbitration Tribunals to refuse applications for increases in wages, irrespective of the merits of such claims; and that it is convinced that a continuation of these policies will result in the breaking down of the negotiating machinery in these industries.]

Mr. Butler

No, Sir. I think that we must adhere to the wishes of the Welsh Members.

Motion made, and Question put:—

That the Proceedings on Government Business be exempted, at this day's Sitting, from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House).—[Mr. R. A. Butler.]

The House divided: Ayes 196, Noes 146.

Division No. 20.] AYES [3.54 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Balniel, Lord Bingham, R. M.
Aitken, W. T. Barber, Anthony Bishop, F. P.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Barter, John Bossom, Sir Alfred
Alport, C. J. M. Baxter, Sir Beverley Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.
Ashton, H. Bennett, Dr. Reginald Braine, B. R.
Atkins, H. E. Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Bidgood, J. C. Brooman-White, R. C.
Baldwin, A. E. Biggs-Davison, J. A. Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)
Campbell, Sir David Hobson, John (Warwick & Leam'gt'n) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Cary, Sir Robert Holland-Martin, C. J. Partridge, E.
Channon, Sir Henry Holt, A. F. Peel, W. J.
Chichester-Clark, R. Hope, Lord John Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Hornby, R. P. Pike, Miss Mervyn
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Cole, Norman Horobin, Sir Ian Pitman, I. J.
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Cooke, Robert Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Pott, H. P.
Cooper, A. E. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Powell, J. Enoch
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Corfield, Capt. F. V. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Profumo, J. D.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Redmayne, M.
Cunningham, Knox Joseph, Sir Keith Rees-Davies, W. R.
Currie, G. B. H. Kerby, Capt. H. B. Remnant, Hon. P.
Dance, J. C. G. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Renton, D. L. M.
Davidson, Viscountess Kimball, M. Ridsdale, J. E.
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kirk, P. M. Robertson, Sir David
Deedes, W. F. Lagden, G. W. Roper, Sir Harold
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lambert, Hon. G. Russell, R. S.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Langford-Holt, J. A. Sharples, R. C.
Drayson, G. B. Leavey, J. A. Shepherd, William
du Cann, E. D. L. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Duncan, Sir James Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Duthie, W. S. Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. (Kelvingrove) Lindsay, Martin (Solihull) Speir, R. M.
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Linstead, Sir H. N. Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)
Errington, Sir Eric Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Erroll, F. J. Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby Stevens, Geoffrey
Farey-Jones, F. W. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Finlay, Graeme McAdden, S. J. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Fisher, Nigel Macdonald, Sir Peter Storey, S.
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Studholme, Sir Henry
Garner-Evans, E. H. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster) Summers, Sir Spencer
Gibson-Watt, D. McLean, Neil (Inverness) Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Glover, D. Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Teeling, W.
Glyn, Col. Richard H. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Godber, J. B. Maddan, Martin Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Goodhart, Philip Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Gower, H. R. Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Thompson, Lt.-Cmdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Graham, Sir Fergus Marlowe, A. A. H. Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Green, A. Marshall, Douglas Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Gresham Cooke, R. Mathew, R. Vane, W. M. F.
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury) Maude, Angus Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Mawby, R. L. Vickers, Miss Joan
Gurden, Harold Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Wade, D. W.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Medlicott, Sir Frank Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Moore, Sir Thomas Wall, Major Patrick
Harris, Reader (Heston) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Whitelaw, W.S. I.
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesfd) Neave, Airey Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Nicholls, Harmar Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Nugent, G. R. H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Oakshott, H. D. Colonel J. H. Harrison and
Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Mr. Hughes-Young.
Hirst, Geoffrey Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Corbet, Mrs. Freda Hale, Leslie
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Cove, W. G. Hamilton, W. W.
Benson, G. Cronin, J. D. Hannan, W.
Beswick, Frank Crossman, R. H. S. Hastings, S.
Blackburn, F. Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Healey, Denis
Blyton, W. R. Davies, Harold (Leek) Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)
Boardman, H. Deer, G. Herbison, Miss M.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Diamond, John Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)
Bowles, F. G. Dodds, N. N. Holman, P.
Boyd, T. C. Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Holmes, Horace
Brockway, A. F. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Howell, Denis (All Saints)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Hoy, J. H.
Burke, W. A. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hunter, A. E.
Burton, Miss F. E. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Hynd, H. (Accrington)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Callaghan, L. J. Fletcher, Eric Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Irving, Sydney (Dartford)
Champion, A. J. George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then) Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)
Clunie, J. Gibson, C. W. Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)
Coldrick, W. Greenwood, Anthony Johnson, James (Rugby)
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Griffiths, William (Exchange) Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Pargiter, G. A. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Parker, J. Sparks, J. A.
King, Dr. H. M. Parkin, B. T. Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Lawson, G. M. Paton, John Stonehouse, John
Ledger, R. J. Peart, T. F. Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Plummer, Sir Leslie Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Popplewell, E. Swingler, S. T.
MacColl, J. E. Prentice, R. E. Taylor, John (West Lothian)
McKay, John (Wallsend) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Macpherson Malcolm (Stirling) Probert, A. R. Usborne, H. C.
Ballalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Proctor, W. T. Viant, S. P.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.) Randall, H. E. Warbey, W. N.
Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Rankin, John Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Mason, Roy Redhead, E. C. West, D. G.
Mellish, R. J. Reid, William White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Messer, Sir F. Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Willey, Frederick
Mikardo, Ian Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Mitchison, G. R. Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm, S.) Ross, William Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Moyle, A. Royle, C. Winterbottom, Richard
Mulley, F. W. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Short, E. W. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Oliver, G. H. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Oram, A. E. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Zilliacus, K.
Owen, W. J. Skeffington, A. M.
Paget, R. T. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Palmer, A. M. F. Snow, J. W. Mr Wilkins and Mr. Rogers.
Pannell, Charles (Leeds W.) Sorensen, R. W.