HC Deb 24 January 1957 vol 563 cc406-509

4.5 p.m.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

I beg to move, in page 3, line 5, to leave out paragraph (d).

In inviting the attention of the Government and of the Committee to this Amendment, I must at once say that in view of the course which this debate has so far taken. I cannot understand why this paragraph appears at all. If that sounds a little surprising, I would remind the Committee of the exceptions to the general principle of abolishing the death penalty to which the Committee, by majorities, has already agreed.

For instance, it is sometimes said that an exception ought to be made if a policeman is the person murdered, otherwise evil-minded persons would not be sufficiently discouraged from carrying revolvers. This paragraph is not necessary for that purpose, because we have already agreed that murder by shooting shall be capital murder in any case, whether a policeman or any other person is involved. Therefore, for the purpose which is mainly regarded as the reason for making an exception in the case of police officers, namely, to protect them against being shot in the execution of their duty, the paragraph is clearly unnecessary. That matter is already fully and completely covered.

The other main reason for exempting or excepting from the abolition of the death penalty murders of policemen is that it is said that a murder may be committed during the commission of another offence, or some other offences, and particularly in the course of escaping arrest, or preventing arrest, or escaping from custody. That, too, is completely covered by paragraph (c), which the Committee yesterday declined to remove from the Bill.

Therefore, the two most easily comprehensible reasons that might lead people to accept the desirability of this particular exception are already covered by what the Committee has done. We are, therefore, left with this paragraph (d), which is superfluous if one has in mind the objectives in having this kind of exception at all; and one is left wondering, in view of what the Committee has already done, what the purpose of this further exception can now possibly be. It is not necessary in order to prevent policemen from being murdered while effecting arrests. That is already provided for. It is not necessary for the purpose of making capital murders committed in the course of committing other offences, because the Committee has decided which other offences are applicable—when considering making that kind of murder capital murder—and which are not.

We are left, therefore, only with this. Just as in some of the exceptions a murder is to be capital murder by reference to motive; just as in other cases murder is to be capital murder by reference to weapon—for instance, shooting; just as in other cases murder is to be capital murder according to the occasion on which it is committed; in this case murder is to be capital or not capital according to status—the status of a police officer in the execution of his duty, or another person clothed, as it were, with the same sacrosanctity by reason of the fact that he is assisting a policeman in the execution of his duty.

As to this, no one was more eloquent or more lucid than the Lord Chief Justice in the debates in another place in 1948. I should have thought that after the speech there delivered, no rational person would continue to think that it was a proper thing to exempt murders from the application of the general principle of abolition merely on the ground that the victim was a policeman. It serves no useful social purpose and would be most resented, according to the Lord Chief Justice's argument, in which I respectfully concur, by police officers themselves.

If, however, it is meant to clothe with an exceptional degree of inviolability officers concerned with the administration of justice and those assisting them, why in the first place limit the exception to police officers while engaged upon their duties? Are we going to say to evil-minded persons, "If you wish to kill a policeman in revenge, wait until he is off the beat"? If we are going to say that by reason of his occupation a policeman is involved in greater risks, other than those which he undertakes, and for which we have already provided, in the arrest and custody of prisoners, then it is incomprehensible that we should limit protection to his hours of duty. Clearly if this provision is accepted in this form, we are extending to him no additional protection at all. We are saying to the would-be criminal, "Choose your moment. Choose a moment when your murder will be non-capital, instead of an occasion when it will be capital."

Moreover, if the principle is to clothe with this extra cloak of inviolability those who are engaged in the administration of justice, why only policemen? Why not prison officers? Why not magistrates, bailiffs of the court, and judges of the High Court? Surely all these are as much engaged in the administration of justice as are police officers. If anyone is exposed to a greater risk by reason of that duty laid upon him by society, surely all such persons are—the whole of the machinery—and not merely the police officer.

I repeat that the case would be different if we were saying, "After all, High Court judges are not engaged in the arrest or custody of prisoners, and therefore the exception need not be made in that case," but as I have already, I hope, made sufficiently clear, that is not the case with which this exception is concerned. We have already provided for that. The only possible interpretation of this paragraph is to add a privileged status—I say this without disrespect—and then to apply it to an arbitrary group within that status.

4.15 p.m.

I am content for the moment to leave the argument there, because until one hears more from the Government as to what they really have in mind in putting this exception in this place, and having regard to what the Committee has already agreed in other matters, the argument seems to be as pointless as the paragraph which I seek to remove.

Mr. Nigel Fisher (Surbiton)

I am afraid I do not quite agree with the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) in his submissions on this Amendment. It seems to me that if there is a duty upon the Government—and I think there is—to preserve law and order, and if also there is a duty upon the Government to protect the public, which I think there is, there is an even clearer duty upon the Government specifically to protect their own servants whose work necessarily brings them into contact with the criminal classes.

Mr. S. Silverman

Then why should the only exception be of a policeman in the execution of his duty?

Mr. Fisher

I am coming to that point. Policemen, it is generally agreed, are at special risk when in the execution of their duty. If we do not protect them, I suggest we must be prepared to allow them to carry arms in their own defence. I do not think the police would want to do that. I am sure they would not want to carry arms. But if criminals carry and use lethal weapons. I do not see what the alternative could reasonably be.

In my view, to arm the police would be a very bad step to take. I think it would destroy the whole relationship between the police and the public, which in this country is a particularly good and satisfactory relationship, and I have always thought that it is a matter of pride to us that our police do not carry arms. I cannot think that either we or they would wish that they should do so. I am sure most hon. Members are agreed that if the police can be protected in any other way, it would certainly be best for them to remain unarmed.

My own view, being a retentionist, is that the deterrent effect of the death penalty upon the professional criminal is about the only way of protecting the police without arming the police. In this country we do not want the police or criminals to carry arms. I cannot help feeling that it is much wiser to legislate in such a way that criminals do not carry arms than to legislate in a way which might be likely to result in the police being allowed or forced to carry arms.

In any event, even if the police were armed, it would be very small comfort to other people, such as an innocent householder who might surprise a burglar in the act of committting a crime and be killed. It would be very small comfort to a bystander in a street fight or in a shop raid or something of that sort, or indeed to the widow of a policeman killed in the course of his duty, as Police Constable Edgar was.

In a country like ours, where the police are not armed, the death penalty is really the only deterrent which can be said effectively to protect them. It is a far greater deterrent in a country where the police are not armed, like our own, than it is in a country where they are armed. There one might say that the deterrent is that the police might fire back, but here the only deterrent is the fear of the capital penalty in consequence of killing a policeman.

It seems to me that the provisions of paragraph (d) serve a very good double purpose, in helping to keep the Queen's peace, to which reference was made yesterday, and also in safeguarding the lives of the Queen's servants. I, therefore, very much hope that the Amendment will not be pressed to a Division, or, if it is, that it will be decisively defeated.

Mr. George Benson (Chesterfield)

The speech of the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) repeats the statement which is made so frequently, that the death penalty is the only effective deterrent. That is not a matter of knowledge; it is an act of faith. That is what I complain about. Hon. Gentlemen never have adduced any evidence whatsoever that the death penalty is more effective than a long term of imprisonment in any circumstances.

We have some evidence, though not very much, on this matter of the safety of the police. It is evidence which is so to speak, checked. There are some States in the United States which have abolished the death penalty and there are others which have retained it. A little while ago, a Select Committee of the Canadian House of Commons investigated this matter of the death penalty, particularly in its relation to the killing of policemen. The most important evidence given before that Committee was that given by Professor Sellin, who is probably the greatest authority on penal matters in the whole world.

He produced detailed figures from the States where the death penalty had been abolished, and compared them with the figures for States where the death penalty had not been abolished in relation to the shooting of policemen. He took as his basis towns of over 100,000 population and the number of policemen killed per 100,000 population. Without exception, there were shown to be a larger number of deaths of policemen murdered while on duty in the States where the death penalty was retained than in the States where it had been abolished.

Mr. Fisher

Is not the hon. Member overlooking the fact, which I believe to be correct, that in the United States, although the law relating to the death penalty varies from State to State, throughout the United States of America the police are armed? I would ask him to direct his mind to that point, bearing in mind that if the police are armed there is then, of course, another available deterrent.

Mr. Benson

I was, in fact, about to deal with that point.

We have compared like with like, because the police are armed in States where the death penalty is retained and in States where it is not. That is a common factor when we are comparing its effect, and that is what we are considering. We are comparing the murder rate in respect of policemen in the States where there is no death penalty with the rate in States where there is a death penalty; we leave out of account the arming of policemen because it applies to both types of State and is a common factor. The uncommon factor, the factor which is related to the murder of policemen, is the existence or non-existence of the death penalty.

In every case in States where the death penalty has been abolished the murder rate is lower. It is no use repeating this old tale that the death penalty is the only effective deterrent and that in this particular instance it is a special and effective protection for the police.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood (Rossendale)

I have listened with complete approval to what my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) has been saying, and I propose to speak very briefly upon this Amendment. Those of us on both sides of the Committee who have spent several days on this Bill are, I think, becoming a little tired of advancing over and over again exactly the same arguments as each new topic comes up. We always seem to get back to two points of difference. In the first place, hon. Gentlemen who support the Bill say that hanging is a deterrent against crime, while many of us on this side and, I think, on the other side of the Committee, do not accept that view. Secondly, we come up against this problem of whether there can be any sort of line of demarcation.

The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) very properly reminded us of the principle behind the Government's Bill, which is the protection of the Queen's peace. That is all very well for hon. Members of the House of Commons, and it is all very well for lawyers, but I still do not believe that it is the kind of distinction which will commend itself to the public at large. The public will not be long in ignorance of the fact that, shortly before Christmas, we decided not to make murder in the course of rape a capital offence, and yesterday, by a vote of over 300 to 2, we decided not to make homicide by poisoning a capital offence. Now, however, we are proposing, if we allow this paragraph to go through, to make the killing of a policeman a capital offence. The public will find it wholly repugnant that there should be this completely illogical distinction between various types of homicide.

In conclusion, I would like to read to the Committee what the Lord Chief Justice had to say when this very proposal was being considered in another place, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) reminded us, in July, 1948. It is, indeed, not often that hon. Members on this side find themselves in agreement with the Lord Chief Justice, but on this occasion he was, I think, absolutely right. He said: There is also a paragraph put in to protect the lives of the police, and to deter people from shooting the police. I yield to none in my desire to support and protect the police, but I believe, and I am sure that every police officer would think, that the lives of the humblest of His Majesty's subjects are as valuable as the lives of policemen. It seems to me not right that a man who in the height of passion or temper kills a policeman—perhaps not deliberately, in the sense that he aimed a revolver at him—but in the struggle to avoid arrest (a man perhaps, with a long record who is trying to escape), should be told that he is guilty of a capital crime, whereas a man who has taken an axe or a hammer, perhaps to a sick or an ailing wife and has battered her brains out, should be told that he has committed non-capital murder. I cannot believe that that is a right provision to leave upon the Statute Book."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT, House of Lords, 20th July, 1948; Vol. 157, c. 1034–5.] It would be interesting, I think, to hear from the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary why the Government now are disregarding the advice of the Lord Chief Justice on that occasion. I am quite sure that a provision of this kind is a wholly illogical and indefensible attempt to draw a line of demarcation between various types of homicide, and that it will not be very well received by Her Majesty's judges. I think it will have a very bad reception in another place, and I would hope that even at this stage the right hon. Gentleman will consider again, with 'all the freshness he has brought to his new office, whether we might perhaps leave the matter in abeyance a little longer, hoping that a Private Member's Bill will come forward to provide a more satisfactory solution to the problem.

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

I want to make a few observations on this matter, because I think I owe it to the Committee, to the police, and to everybody concerned to state my reasons, not at length, but quite formally. I must ask the Committee to come to a decision on the matter of this Amendment today, and not put the matter off, as was suggested by the hon. Member the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood).

The death penalty is retained in the Bill for murder which strikes at the maintenance of law and order, and murder of the agents of law and order is clearly an offence of that kind. We therefore believe that there is a logical case for including this paragraph. We feel, also, that the Government have a special duty towards those who, on behalf of the community at large, do this work which is often dull but sometimes hazardous—hazardous in the extreme—of maintaining the peace. We should, therefore, be failing in our duty if we did not protect those who run into danger in doing that work.

I must remind the Committee that, between 1900 and 1955, 15 policemen were murdered while acting in the execution of their duty. We owe it to an unarmed and courageous body of men to give them all the protection which the law affords. It is not merely a question of protecting individual policemen. If the law retains this weighty sanction which we propose—

Mr. Frederic Willey (Sunderland, North)

Could the right hon. Gentleman say how many of those crimes would not have fallen within the categories for which we have already made provision?

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Butler

I cannot analyse them all here, although for the purposes of greater accuracy I have brought every single case with me. It would take too long to analyse them. I would rather that the Committee took that as a general observation. Hon. Members can draw their own conclusions after analysing each particular case.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

Is not the short answer, "None of them"?

Mr. Butler

I would not like to say that without analysing them in a more detailed manner than I have been able to do. This is not merely a matter of protecting individual policemen. As I said, if we retain this sanction it is right that we should invoke it in the interests of the guardians of the law.

In the few speeches which have been made, hon. Members have already raised the question whether it is right or wrong to give the policeman more or less protection than the ordinary citizen and reference has been made to the observations of the Lord Chief Justice in 1948 in another place on the Clause on this subject and on this ground. It has been suggested by the hon. Member for Rossendale himself and by others that the subsection would be wrong in principle because the policeman ought not to be given any greater protection than any ordinary citizen; and people may take the view—and I believe that some hon. Members do—that policemen should not be pampered or particularly protected by the law in exception to other people.

We do not take that view in the Bill. The Bill protects both the policeman and the ordinary citizen at the point at which he is in danger. For example, to take up the argument put so succinctly and so admirably by the hon. Gentleman, the citizen may be in danger in a number of circumstances. He may be in danger when he encounters a burglar. He may be in danger when he is fetching his firm's wages or when, as a public-spirited person, he is trying to arrest a man whom he believes to have committed a felony. He may be in danger when he goes to assist a policeman or when, by sheer coincidence, an ordinary citizen is a passer-by in a shooting affray. If, in any of these situations, he is murdered, the murder is capital.

The danger in which the policeman acting in the execution of his duties stands is not limited to situations of that sort. A policeman, for example, may encounter a criminal in the course of his duty; the criminal may not be committing crime and the policeman may not be attempting to arrest. A policeman may, for example, stop a man in the street or hold him up on traffic duty and the man, having reason to fear police attention, may kill him. This case is not entirely academic, because it is broadly the situation in which P.C. Edgar met his death. In circumstances in which a policeman is not put in danger by the nature of his duties, he is given no more protection than the ordinary citizen.

I will also deal with the second argument which was put by the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) and answered by my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) in the course of this short debate. It may be said that there is evidence from the United States of America that there is no reason to think that more police officers are killed in States which have abolished capital punishment than in those which have retained it.

In the short interval since I have assumed my duties, I have read the evidence submitted by Professor Sellin, to which the hon. Member for Chesterfield drew attention, evidence given, as I understand, to the Joint Committee of the Canadian Senate and House of Commons. This evidence is very interesting but there are two factors, to one of which my hon. Friend the Member for Surbiton drew attention and to the other of which I shall draw attention, which seem to me to make a difference in approaching this matter from the point of view of United Kingdom legislation and the point of view of legislation on the North American Continent. Important as that evidence given by Professor Sellin is, I doubt that it throws much light on what might happen in this country. I certainly do not think we ought to adopt the same conclusions, for the two reasons which I will give.

The first reason is that the police in America are armed. They are armed both in abolitionist and in death penalty States and it may well be that the most effective deterrent against shooting at a police officer is the certainty that he will shoot back. That may well be the case. I am only putting it forward as a possible proposition. The most important fact in the criminal's mind may be that there is an immediate prospect of death if he fires at the police. What we have to weigh is the prospect of being executed at some fairly distant time if he is caught and convicted and the possibility of being shot back at by an armed policeman.

In this country, a criminal may shoot at the police with impunity in so far as his immediate safety is concerned. In a country in which the police are not armed, therefore—that is, a country like ours—the death penalty has greater importance as a deterrent than in one in which the police are armed. As it is not the Government's wish or intention—certainly, it is not my intention—that the police in this country should be armed, I think that we should have great regard to the death penalty as a deterrent in a country, such as ours, where the police are not armed and where it is not the Government's intention that they should be armed.

The difference in enforcement of the law also between the United States and/or Canada and ourselves is very different. That derives not from the first factor to which I drew attention—namely, the arming of the police—but from the geographical situation of the country and the compact character of the population. In this country, a person who kills a police officer is fairly certain speedily to be caught and speedily tried. Law enforcement is comparatively simple—I say "comparatively" on purpose; it is never absolutely simple, but it is comparatively simple—in a smaller country with a homogeneous population and good communications, as ours; and our law does not allow of delay in appeals and retrials. The consequence is that for killing a police officer the death penalty is likely to be quickly exacted and is, therefore, a risk which must be clearly present in the mind of the criminal.

In the United States, for example, because of the vastness of the country, it is easier to evade detection and capture in the first place and even if a murderer is caught there can be a great deal of delay between conviction and execution. Therefore, if the evidence to which I am rightly attaching importance, owing to its gravity and interest, is cited—and in this I am answering the hon. Member for Chesterfield—in the United States the death penalty is less certain and more remote and may be a less effective deterrent on the criminal than it is believed it will be here. Those are the two reasons—the arming of the police and the geographical character and density of the population of the country—why it is essential that we should adhere to this subsection in the Bill and why I think it would be equally wrong to arm the police.

I should not regard arming the police as in any way a satisfactory solution to our problem and I hope that I can carry the Committee with me at least on that. I feel sure that my predecessors in this high office have felt the same thing. It would alter the whole character of the relationship between the police and the public. It would alter the whole character of the police themselves and I do not believe that it is a solution.

If capital punishment were abolished altogether, the matter might come up for consideration whether in some places and in some cases the police should go armed, but to arm the police, even on a limited scale, would, I believe, be detrimental on their relations with the public. It is not a thing which, I understand from my experience, the police would themselves welcome. Moreover, the object of the Government must be to reduce the use of lethal weapons. It is better to ensure that criminals are unarmed than to ensure that, if a criminal shoots, a policeman can shoot back. That is the general approach to the problem that we have. Armed policemen would be little comfort to the householder or watchman who was killed before he could summon help, or to the peaceable citizen killed in a struggle between the police and gunman, or even to the widow of a policeman who might be killed in some such encounter.

It is for these reasons that we believe that this portion of the Bill is necessary and that this Amendment should be resisted. I wanted to intervene to indicate the importance that the Government attach to that, and to throw the whole weight of my office behind my belief that we should leave this paragraph in the Bill in the interests of the police and of making the criminal law as good as we can.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

I should like to ask a question on interpretation. Is it right to say that if a policeman stops a miscreant, and the miscreant is of an excitable nature and draws a knife and kills the policeman, the miscreant is then to be guilty of capital murder; but that if, on the other hand, he is of a more deliberative and collected type, and merely says to the policeman," I will do you, you so-and-so, when I come out," and after three months in prison comes out and does the policeman by stabbing, that is not capital murder? Would that be a right interpretation?

Mr. Butler

I should not like the trial before receiving the evidence in detail. I would rather not give the hon. Gentleman a detailed answer on that without consideration.

Mr. Paget

I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question, too, because I am a little confused about this problem of armed and unarmed police. The position at present, is it not, is that the police do not ordinarily carry arms, but that there are arms in every police station available for use as and when required? Is not that the position progressively in almost every European country, that the police have arms not normally worn but available as and when required?

Mr. John Paton (Norwich, North)

I do not want to delay the Committee for more than a moment or two. I have listened with very great interest indeed to the argument which has been put before us now by the Home Secretary, an argument which I think to be an extremely ingenious one, about the position of the police in the United States and their carrying of arms and the consequent effect on the murder rate of policemen. However, it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman stood the argument on its head.

It is the general conclusion, I think, of all students of this problem, in the United States and elsewhere, that the arming of the police is always followed by the carrying of arms by the criminal, and that, so far from the arming of the police being an aid in protecting the police, its effect, according to the conclusions of, I think, all penologists who have studied this matter, is to increase the dangers of the police.

I am sure the Home Secretary himself, if he will again look at the evidence of Professor Sellin, will notice the significance of the paragraph regarding the City of Chicago. In Chicago the police are known there to be quicker on the draw than in any other city of the United States. The use of firearms by the police in Chicago is far more frequent than anywhere else, and it is precisely in the City of Chicago, where the police use their firearms so frequently, that the murder rate of policemen is higher than anywhere else in the United States.

Indeed, the Home Secretary, in the second argument he adduced, himself supplied the answer to the first argument. He was pointing out, was he not, that it would be extremely undesirable in this country to arm our policemen, to make it the practice for our British policemen to carry arms? He was pointing out that it is the opinion held by many students of this matter that to do so would be to disturb the singularly friendly and good relations now existing in Great Britain between the average citizen and the policemen.

Of course, there is another reason why the arming of the police in this country is opposed by great sections of the police themselves, by, I think, the whole of the headquarters of the police forces in this country, and it has nothing to do with the disturbing of relations between the citizens and the police. It is that they know that if our police habitually carried arms it would inevitably have the consequence, observed in every other country in the world where that is the case, that the criminals themselves would habitually carry arms.

4.45 p.m.

It is because of the well-known fact that to arm the police would, so far from increasing their protection against murderous onslaughts by criminals, probably tend to increase their danger, that in this country the police themselves are against that practice. I think, therefore, that the two arguments put forward by the Home Secretary were inconsistent with each other.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, South)

As an abolitionist but one who supports the Bill because it seems to enshrine the principle of the preservation of public order, I am naturally very apt to look through the Bill for departures from that principle. We have one or two to come, and we have disposed of one or two already. In this subsection I think I discern a possible departure from the principle which may land us in considerable difficulties, and if the Attorney-General will be good enough to give the Committee a further reply I wonder if he will deal with it.

Are not the words or of a person assisting a police officer so acting likely to cause very grave confusion in the courts, if those words are passed in their present form? I can see case law developing of a voluminous and enormous nature from those words, and I wonder if the Government ought not to look at them before Report to see if they are capable of being more exact so as to result in less confusion following in the courts than, it is apparent to me, will now be the case.

I personally do not hold with the principle of the deterrent to the capital crime —I have made that clear on a number of occasions—but the Government and the majority of my hon. Friends do, and the Bill certainly enshrines that principle, because public order is singled out as a special aspect of our public life which must be retained with the full penalty of the law, the full penalty being that difference between what happens to a murderer languishing in prison and what happens to a murderer on the gallows.

The Government have great regard to the principle of the deterrent. Therefore, the murderer must know what the deterrent is when the crime is committed, and not only know what the deterrent is but realise what will happen to him according to whom he murders. It is quite clear that the murderer will know there is a police officer acting in the execution of his duty, because the police officer will probably be in uniform and certainly will be very present at the time.

But was the person assisting the police officer so acting? It might very well be a plain-clothes man, physically alongside a policeman in uniform, and in that case the murderer will realise that if he murders him he will be hanged. But all sorts of people assist the police in various aspects and in various geographical locations. One might have a plain-clothes man standing at a corner of the street looking like an ordinary citizen. To prove their case the Government must show that the murderer at the time that he fires the revolver from the roof knows that he is going to hang.

What about the sort of case that developed the other day when those men with axes were at large? The whole population of the country were mobilised to assist the police, through television and other modern apparatus, and a good woman in a cottage—

The Temporary Chairman (Sir Norman Hulbert)

The noble Lord must not pursue that case. It is sub judice.

Mr. Paget

Further to that point of order. I feel that we ought to clear this question up. To say that one cannot refer to any matter which may be or is the subject of a trial is quite wrong in my submission. What we are precluded from doing in the House of Commons or in this Committee is precisely what the ordinary citizen is precluded from doing outside the House, that is, to say things which might prejudice the fair trial of the case, whatever it may be.

If it were said outside, people could be brought before the court and punished if they had said something which could affect the fair trial of the action. It would be contempt of court. Without a clash of the authority of Parliament and the courts we could not be challenged and brought before the courts for saying those sorts of things here. Therefore, by an act of self-abnegation we refrain from doing so, but, in my submission, it is quite wrong. It is an idea which to some degree has spread of late years, but it is one without foundation, that we are in any different position from any journalist. What he might say about the case, being something which would not affect the fair trial of the action, is printed every day in the newspapers. We are no more precluded than he is.

One can read in a newspaper that a house has been invaded and that a lady has been paid £500 reward, say by the Daily Mirror. Are we to be precluded from saying what the Daily Mirror can say? Are we precluded from referring to this private offer of a reward if it arises? Are we precluded from referring to these facts? Not unless the reference may affect the proper trial of the action. I know the passage in Erskine May, but one wants to look at the authorities behind that passage. It is upon the basis that what is said may affect a fair trial. It is quite absurd to say that we are precluded where the Daily Mirror is not.

The Attorney-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)

Further to that point of order. Surely there is a great difference to be drawn between something that is reported in the Press before a charge has been preferred and any kind of comment after the charge has been preferred. Once a charge is preferred, comment is made outside with some degree of peril but, as far as the House of Commons is concerned, the rule has always been that one does not comment on any matter that is awaiting trial and any case that is sub judice. It is important that it should be adhered to, otherwise something might be said that would prejudice a fair trial.

Mr. S. Silverman

Further to that point of order. I hope that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) will not mind if in submitting comment to you. Sir Norman, on this matter, I should say that for once in the whole course of these controversies I do not share his view. It seems to me that if we were once to permit ourselves to refer, however innocently, to a trial which is pending, we cannot prevent someone who hears us in the course of debate and perhaps disagrees with us commenting upon what we have said, and there might be discussion going on further and further. It is impossible to see how, if we permitted ourselves freedom of debate of that kind, with the risk of an occasional report in the newspapers outside, one can possibly avoid prejudicing a fair trial.

Mr. Paget

I find myself in entire agreement with the Attorney-General. The point quite simply is that before a charge is made references may be made here or in the Press to events, and comments can be made on those events. When a charge has been made, comment is precluded. It is precluded in the Press and it is precluded here, but that does not preclude reference to the case. We are perfectly entitled, as the Press is perfectly entitled, to say that there is a charge pending in which such and such is alleged. That can be said in the Press and it can be said here.

We can put Questions to the Attorney-General and ask about cases which are pending. They are accepted at the Table. They must be factual Questions which do not call for any kind of comment. One can ask whether a prosecution has been brought and where the case will be tried. There have been cases in which the prejudice has been so strong that the House of Commons has acted by introducing special Bills to change the venue of the trial. There have been Bills specially referable to a particular case. Really we are at cross-purposes here. The point is that when a charge has been preferred one is precluded from comment. One is not precluded from referring to non-controversial facts.

The Temporary Chairman

The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General anticipated the Ruling which I was going to give. The noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) was referring to two men who were alleged to be terrorising the countryside. Since they were alleged to have done that, charges have been preferred against them. Therefore, I must rule that it will be out of order to discuss anything to do with that case.

I think that the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) erred at the beginning, as he will now appreciate. There have been many precedents in the House, and Erskine May says, on page 437, that Matters awaiting the adjudication of a court of law should not be brought forward in debate (except by means of a Bill…).

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

When hon. Members were checked yesterday it was in the course of references to a poisoning case and I thought that they were referring to the case of Dr. Adams. I have never referred to that case in debate. I did not realise that these two homicidal maniacs, and I think that I can safely call them that—

Mr. S. Silverman

When the noble Lord refers to a man as a homicidal maniac it is difficult to show that he has not commented on the very matter that is to go before the courts.

5.0 p.m.

The Temporary Chairman

Order. I think the noble Lord should now deal with the Amendment.

Mr. Paget

Further to that point of order, Sir Norman. Surely what the noble Lord can do is to refer to two ex-patients of Rampton Hospital, but to say that they are homicidal maniacs is to comment on them.

The Temporary Chairman

I have no knowledge of whether a homicidal maniac has been detained. Lord Hinchingbrooke.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Surely, Sir Norman, the noble Lord should withdraw that allegation? It is most improper.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

If ordered to do so by the Chair, I will certainly withdraw it. But I maintain that I have the right to refer to them in those terms, because they were committed to that institution in a previous case and were serving sentence.

The Temporary Chairman

I have no details of that case and I have no evidence that these men are, or at any time have been, detained as homicidal maniacs. The noble Lord should now continue his argument on the Amendment.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

If it gives offence, Sir Norman, I withdraw the term. If I had realised they had been charged, I would not have referred to them.

To conclude my argument on the point, which I think the Committee appreciates by now, it is conceivable that a series of murders may be committed by a man or men at large, and that the police may turn to all kinds of persons to assist in apprehending them. They might even turn to organisations such as the Automobile Association and the Royal Automobile Club to patrol the roads and to watch for escaped men. If the agents and servants of such organisations who assist the police surprise a malefactor and are murdered, is the murderer to know at the time he commits the murder that he will hang instead of being committed to prison for life?

If the Government insist on the principle of the deterrent, as they clearly do, it behoves them to limit the application of these words so that the law is not brought into contempt, as I think it will be by the present words, in subsequent court proceedings.

Mr. Wiley

I support the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) in his general argument but I should not like to adopt his reasons. I think he is right in saying that this is widening the scope of Clause 5 too much by bringing in persons who might be assisting police officers in whatever they may be doing in pursuance of their proper duties.

I want to return to the contribution made by the Home Secretary. It was attractive and interesting, but I do not think that it helped us very much in our consideration of this Amendment. The failure of the Home Secretary to deal with the 15 cases to which he referred demonstrated the inherent weakness of his argument. I do not know, but I rather suspect, that if we had the particulars of those cases they would support the case made out by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) that those cases would have been covered by the previous provision of this Clause.

I have heard no reply yet to the simple point made by my hon. Friend, namely, what cases have the Government in mind that would not be covered by the foregoing paragraph of the Clause? If they have any cases in mind, they ought to tell us what they are. I agree wholeheartedly with the Home Secretary when he said that if we are to accept, for the purposes of argument, that capital punishment is a deterrent, then it is much more a deterrent if it is certain to follow the execution of the crime.

If we widen the Clause by including cases in which we all know that capital punishment would not be inflicted, then we are again making uncertain the infliction of capital punishment. The argument is that the purpose of this Clause is to make it reasonably certain in its infliction upon persons who commit murders within this Clause. So it seems to me, from the point of view of the Government, that they are defeating their own purpose in widening the Clause by paragraph (d). That is the first argument which was cogently advanced against this paragraph, and to which so far we have had no reply from the Home Secretary. There has been a discussion about arming the police, but again I feel that that is irrelevant, because we have made express provision for murder by shooting.

I recognise, and willingly concede, that there is nothing improper in considering the special position of the police, because the police officer is called upon to perform certain duties, and we should pay special regard to his position. We are not arguing the case, for the purposes of this Amendment, on the deterrent effect of capital punishment, which we are bound to accept within the context of the present discussion. We can concede that the police are in a special position but, if we do that, we should pay regard to and legislate for the circumstances of the particular crimes.

That is what we have done hitherto. We have provided for the death penalty for shooting and we have provided for murder committed in the course of arrest. But, if we go beyond that, we are doing something which I should think people generally would regard as offensive, that is, to adopt here, in the course of the same Clause, a different test, and to say that we are not now judging the crime by the circumstances of the crime but by the status of the person murdered. If the Government were attempting to approach this matter in defence of the police, I should have thought that they would have been compelled to be logical about it and to legislate for the circumstances in which a policeman was entitled to special protection.

Having said I concede that we should pay particular regard to the position of police officers, again I should have thought that there has been a failure to answer the second point made by my hon. Friend, namely, that if one approaches the problem in that sense, then one would have to pay regard to all the people who come within a special category or occupy a special position in the maintenance of law and order. Yet that is not done in this case as there is no special protection for the Home Secretary. Indeed, I should have thought that the first step to be taken for that to be an argument for the provision that is being made, would be to provide special protection for the right hon. Gentleman. [An HON. MEMBER: "And the Attorney General."] I should be willing to support protection for the Attorney-General as well. But that is not being done.

We are limiting this protection to police officers only. We recognise that the scope of the duties of police officers is being widened every day, and I should have thought that that fact was largely behind the argument advanced by the noble Lord.

I hope that before we dispose of this Amendment we shall have a further statement from the Government and a reply to the points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne. Unless we have some satisfying reasons that there are circumstances in which the Government believe that a police constable might be murdered, and in which it would be proper to make that murder analogous to shooting or avoiding arrest, we have to say to the Government that they are defeating their own purpose by further widening the law in making this provision.

Mr. Paget

First, I want to say a word or two in agreement with what the noble Lord has said. It seems to me that the words: … or of a person assisting a police officer so acting"— that is to say, acting in the execution of his duty—have an extremely mischievous effect, because they take the decision as to what case shall be capital and what case shall not be capital out of the control of Parliament, out of the control of the law, and they hand it as an executive decision to the police.

By calling upon assistance of any widening scope, the police, by their action and by their decision, broaden the scope of the death penalty by an executive action. Let us take the case—it is purely hypothetical—of two dangerous men escaping from a mental institution. That is a danger in the surrounding area. A police demand may be broadcast, and everybody is asked to assist the police. By that action, is not everybody in the district brought within the scope of this provision?

Mr. S. Silverman

Will my hon. and learned Friend bear in mind that the allegation need not be true? The mere statement of a police officer that something of that kind may have happened equally widens the area of help from the public and makes those members of the public all police assistants whether the alleged crime has been committed or not.

Mr. Paget

I hope that the Attorney-General will give us some assistance on this, because it seems to be a difficult and, constitutionally, highly important question. When a man of violence is concerned, no matter from where he may be escaping or what the circumstances may be, can the action of calling upon the public to assist create a situation in which any killing by that man becomes a capital offence? This may be a decision simply taken, executively, by the police, and based, as my hon. Friend says, upon a fact which may be true or false. That does not seem to be the way in which we ought to legislate in this matter.

The Committee will be extremely grateful to the noble Lord for having drawn attention to this aspect. I hope that some of his hon. Friends will express their views upon it, because I feel that that may be more effective with the Government than what we have said from this side of the Committee. What has been said from this side has seemed to us to be cogent in argument and logic, but the Government seem to have a closed mind on the issue. One cannot help feeling that the Government are committed by some external agreement which makes it impossible for them to pay very much attention to what is said in the House of Commons, but it may be that they will not be so iron-minded to what comes from their supporters as they have been to everything that we have been inclined to say.

On the general argument, I am glad that the debate has taken place, because it has been a valuable illustration of the sort of problem that one encounters in trying to argue with a retentionist mentality. I remember an experience in Africa, during the war. It is the only occasion in my life when I have been forgotten, and I had six months with absolutely nothing to do, and I could not have enjoyed myself more. I spent a lot of the time walking about the hills of Sierra Leone talking to the Africans, who, fortunately, spoke English. Talking with them, I gained the impression of a mind quite different from that to which I was accustomed. It was a mind not interested in the facts of demonstration or experience. It was a mind—

The Temporary Chairman

I am in some difficulty in relating the hon. and learned Gentleman's African tours to the Amendment.

Mr. Paget

With a little patience, Sir Norman, we shall get there. It was a mind interested in the facts of faith rather than the realities of scientific or experimental demonstration.

I also apreciated that way of thinking when reading the controversies of the medieval school. Again, one came to this different basis of truth, the truth of revelation, which was the real truth, and the truth of experience was to be ignored if it conflicted with revelation. The sort of mentality of the African mind or the medieval mind is just what one meets with the retentionist, which was so precisely epitomised in the first speech that we had from the Government side of the Committee. The hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher) displayed just that sort of mentality, the preference for the fact of faith rather than the fact of experience and of demonstration. It was what one had seen in Africa. It was what one had seen in the medieval school.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

It is what one would see in Surbiton.

Mr. Paget

Precisely; it is what one would see in Surbiton. It is what one sees wherever one finds retentionists together. It is a curious act of faith which is preferred to logic.

Again and again, we get the bold statement that it is necessary to do this to protect the police. A most careful and studious examination was given to the problem by the Royal Commission; nothing was avoided. Its answer is that there is not the slightest evidence that capital punishment protects policemen. Nevertheless, that statement is still asserted, and the facts are as naught. The faith remains.

My hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) has referred to American experience and the fact that where one has the death penalty, one has a higher rate of killing of policemen than elsewhere. That is ignored. We still get the same old observation that we must protect the police. It is then pointed out that police who are armed tend to invite, by their armaments, the bad, and that in proportion to their armaments their danger is always increased. It is of no effect that we are told by the Home Secretary that the greater deterrent is where they are unarmed.

A great deal of nonsense is talked about the arming of police. It is not true to say that our police are unarmed. There are arms in every police station. What it is true to say is that the police do not normally carry arms, but arms are issued to them when required. That is the position in this country, and the position in most of Europe today where there are police forces descending from the Napoleonic tradition of gendarmes. There, an arm has always been part of the uniform in the same way as a sword used to be. That tradition has carried on, but progressively in Europe—particularly in Germany, Holland, Sweden and Norway—because it is found that the carrying of arms by police is, in some measure, an incitement, the police do not in the ordinary way wear or carry arms; but, as in this country, there are available arms to be issued to them when required.

All the evidence, as apart from these acts of faith, is that both in abolitionist countries and in countries where there is capital punishment in some cases, whether the police are armed or not, the danger to the police is nowhere increased. That is the whole evidence as we see it, yet we still come back to this odd idea that we have to have it. We heard the argument from the Home Secretary, we heard it from the hon. Member for Surbiton and no doubt in due course we shall hear it from the Attorney-General.

The argument is that we have to protect the police. It utterly begs the question that there is no shadow of evidence to show that it does protect the police, while there is evidence that where the police are armed their danger is increased—that is the experience all over the world—and that where they are less and less armed experience shows that they become safer and safer; and in this country they have always been safer than anywhere else.

Equally, when violence is taken out of the problem, experience in America shows that where there is not capital punishment the police are safer than where there is capital punishment. That has been the experience in Europe. However, the Governmnt ignore that and say we must do this to protect the police and we get no argument as argument goes.

I am glad that we have been able to raise this topic again. I hope that we shall get from the Attorney-General an explanation of these extremely wide words and how one can deal with the situation in which, by a mere executive order, one can almost indefinitely widen the scope of capital punishment without any legislative control. I am sure that that is not the intention and I hope that we shall hear the Attorney-General's views on it.

The Attorney-General

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Anthony Greenwood) has not had the pleasure of listening to the speech of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). Earlier in the debate the hon. Member for Rossendale referred to the fact that speeches being made in support of and against the proposals bore a certain similarity. The speech to which we have just listened revived memories of speeches from the hon. and learned Member in earlier debates, speeches to which very adequate replies were given on those occasions. I do not propose to weary the Committee by repeating the same arguments that were made then.

Mr. Paget

There has never been any answer to my case and no answer to the Royal Commission.

The Attorney-General

The hon. and learned Gentleman says that no answer has been given to him. I have heard many answers given to him. The trouble is that he either does not understand, or does not accept the answers. He said that he suspected that there was some kind of external agreement. I know of no external agreement in relation to the Bill and I can assure the hon. and learned Member, who went on to say that not much attention was being paid to what was said in the House, that full attention has been paid to all that has been said on both sides and due regard and weight attached to it.

Having made those first observations, because of the hon. and learned Gentleman's suggestion that there was some kind of bargain—the expression he used was "external agreement "—I should like to reply to the various points which have been raised. Of course, those in favour of complete abolition and those who are not in favour of it will never be able to agree on whether it is necessary to provide a special protection for police officers acting in the execution of their duty, who in my view are exposed to special risks in the protection of the public. We must recognise that. We take the view that it is essential to make the murder of a police officer acting in the execution of his duty a capital murder.

I was asked by the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) what cases one had in mind which did not fall within Clause 5 (1, a), (1, b) or (1, c). It may be that if a policeman was murdered while acting in the execution of his duty the case would fall within (c) as well as (d).

Mr. S. Silverman

Why do we want (d)?

The Attorney-General

If the hon. Member can allow someone else to speak for a little without interruption, I will tell him. There may be some cases which will come within (d), but not (a), (b) or (c). I will give an illustration. Supposing a police officer acting in the execution of his duty, but not seeking to effect an arrest and not with a man in custody, perhaps making inquiries of someone, is attacked by that person and killed by the use of a weapon which is not a firearm. That would not be covered by (a), (b) or (c).

Mr. Silverman

We are not living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Criminal law is intended to deal with known mischiefs and not with something which the Attorney-General in his ingenuity can think up. The Home Secretary told us that policemen had been murdered in the execution of their duty. He told us that there had been 15 in the course of 56 years, but he did not tell us how many of the fifteen were covered by (a), (b) and (c). Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman now tell us that?

The Attorney-General

I propose to make my speech in my own way. I was not trying to invent any far-fetched case which might never occur. I am concerned to see that Clause 5 protects policemen acting in the execution of their duty irrespective of the means whereby their murder may be effected. I was pointing out to the hon. Member—he may not like it, but it is the case—that a policeman may be murdered in a way which did not fall within (a), (b) or (c).

Mr. Silverman

I want to know whether there has been such a case.

The Attorney-General

I dare say the hon. Gentleman does. I am saying that a case may well occur and that is sufficient justification for the inclusion of paragraph (d).

The next point was raised by my noble Friend the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke) and related to the words in paragraph (d): …or of a person assisting a police officer so acting; My noble Friend thought that those words might be too wide and expressed the view that they might lead to confusion and bring the law into contempt. I do not share that view. I do not think that the hon. and learned Member for Northampton is right in suggesting that the operation of these words depends upon a mere executive order. I do not think that it does anything of the sort. The question which a jury would have to determine if a charge were brought under paragraph (d) would be: "Was a police officer acting in the execution of his duty; was he being assisted by the person murdered?" It would surely be very illogical—and I know that hon. Members opposite think that there are many illogicalities in the Bill—if, for instance when a police officer was being attacked by two people and a civilian went to his assistance—the police officer acting in the execution of his duty and seeking, perhaps, to interrogate the two men—and the civilian was then murdered, the murderer of the civilian were not to be liable to the death sentence whereas, if the police officer had been killed, his murderer would have been so liable.

I do not feel that there is any ground for the fears expressed by my noble Friend. In our belief this is a very important provision. The Government believe, despite what the hon. and learned Member for Northampton says—and I do not suggest any insincerity in the expression of his views—that in the present state of society it is absolutely essential to retain the capital sentence in relation to murders of police officers and also of those assisting police officers acting in the course of their duty.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. S. Silverman

The Committee has listened to a speech from the right hon. and learned Attorney-General which was really astonishing in its irrationality. Almost in so many words he cast reason and reasonableness to the winds and said that a thing is so because he says it is so. He says, "If you do not agree with me, that is because you do not understand the situation." He began by saying to my hon. and learned Friend, who asked for answers, that answers had been repeatedly given. When my hon. and learned Friend questioned the accuracy of that retort the right hon. and learned Gentleman said that the answers had been given, but if they were not accepted it was because they had not been understood, and that they had not been understood because my hon. and learned Friend was not capable of understanding them.

The Attorney-General indicated dissent.

Mr. Silverman

I think we all heard what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said. I do not believe for a moment that anyone but the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself will think that the way I described his speech does it any injustice. He may have as little respect as he likes for his opponents in the House and their capacity to understand him, but in 1949 we appointed to inquire into this matter probably the most authoritative Royal Commission that has ever been appointed in this or in any other country.

The Home Office put before that Commission every scrap of evidence which it had upon this and other proposals. The task which the Commission was set was not to consider whether or not the death penalty should be abolished. It was expressly excluded from expressing any opinion whatever, in principle, for or against the abolition or retention of capital punishment. It was expressly directed by Parliament to consider a certain question. What was the question? The Commission was asked—as the Government are asking the Committee at this moment—to conduct its argument upon the basis that capital punishment should be retained. In other words, the Commission was pursuing exactly the same inquiry as that upon which the Committee is engaged at this moment.

The assumption was that the death penalty would be retained, and the question was what modifications there should be. One of the modifications suggested to the Commission—and it is one which has been suggested at every stage of this inquiry—has been the clothing of the police officer in the execution of his duty with this exceptional status. Every reason which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has advanced to the Committee in favour of that proposal on this occasion—and he rightly says that they have been repeated ad nauseam throughout the endless controversies that we have had upon the subject—was placed in front of the Commission with all the authority, force and evidence that the Government had at their disposal.

Not only that; the Commission was not content with the evidence which it could find in this country. It was not content even to receive evidence from other countries. It visited the other countries—some of them retentionist countries, some recently abolitionist countries and some which had been abolitionist for a very long time. The Commission came to the unanimous conclusion that what the right hon. and learned Gentleman is inviting the Committee to do this afternoon was demonstrably wrong.

With all that background, which he knows as well or better than I do, it is a little unfair for the right hon. and learned Gentleman to adopt this rather pathetic arrogance and to say, "You have had the reasons time after time. It is not my fault if you do not accept them or do not understand them." The point is that nobody whose job it has been to examine the question has ever understood it. It is not quite good enough for the right hon. and learned Gentleman to say, "Never mind all that. The Government attach very great importance to this matter. You be satisfied with that."

Let us turn to another aspect of the matter, which is at least as astonishing as the one with which I have been dealing. There was a learned judge who took part in this controversy—not upon this point but upon the general controversy—who said, "I am not concerned about statistics," as though he had said, when trying a case in his court, "I am not going to be bothered by the evidence. I am coming to my own conclusion because I think it is the right one, and if the evidence does not support me, so much the worse for the evidence." That is what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has been saying this afternoon.

In my opening speech I asked him to define the kind of case which paragraph (d) is intended to cover, and to explain why or in how many cases, paragraphs (a), (b) or (c), or all three of them did not already apply. The Home Secretary gave us some vital figures in reply. He told us that, on the average, one policeman in every four years in the past 60 years or thereabouts had lost his life in the execution of his duty in circumstances in which a charge of murder could validly be made. But those were not the relevant figures, because the question asked was, how many cases were there to which the other three paragraphs to which the Committee has already agreed, did not apply.

The Home Secretary did not tell us. I intervened in the right hon. and learned Gentleman's speech to ask if he would tell us. His reply was that he would make his speech in his own way. He is perfectly entitled to do that, but if he makes his speech in such a way as not to deal with the relevant questions raised in the debate, he must not grumble if we find his reply unconvincing. Surely the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not say that the question is irrelevant? Out of the 15 cases since 1900, how many would not be covered if the Amendment to leave out paragraph (d) were carried? Surely that is the most relevant of all the questions which could be asked, if we are talking about protecting people against known mischief and from known danger, it is surely relevant to tell us what is the danger.

I am bound to say that most of us will believe that the refusal of the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General to tell us how many cases are affected is not mysterious. We know why they will not tell us, or we can guess. I cannot believe that if the right hon. and learned Gentleman was able to say one-third of them; one-half of them or two-thirds of them, he would not have said so long ago. I take it from their reluctance—as the world will—that in the 56 years there has not been one case of the murder of a policeman in the execution of his duty which is not covered by paragraphs (a), (b) or (c). If the right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that in saying that I am making a false point, I will withdraw it at once, as soon as he has assured me that there are such cases and that he will tell the Committee exactly what they are so that we may look at them.

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us? I am prepared to yield to him on this or any other point. Of the 15 cases in 56 years, how many are covered only by paragraph (d)? Am I right that the answer is, "None at all"? What is the reason for the refusal of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to answer? Is it because he wants to mislead the country; because he wants to mislead the Committee? Who does he want to mislead? He will not mislead anybody. Nobody is so unintelligent as that. We are, therefore, left with the admission by silence that there are no such cases at all.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman did not tell us. It is difficult to use Parliamentary language but has there been no bargain, no agreement? If there is a division at the end of this debate the right hon. and learned Gentleman will win because his hon. Friends and some of his right hon. Friends will vote to keep in the Bill an exception which they voted against last Session.

5.45 p.m.

I heard the speech of the noble Lord the Member for Dorset, South (Viscount Hinchingbrooke). I am sorry that he is not present in the Chamber. I am not complaining about his absence. I am merely sorry that I have to comment on his speech in his absence; but the noble Lord took part in the debate and that is

a risk which we all take. He said, "I am supporting this Bill only because it enshrines the principle of law and order. "What did he mean by that? How does having this exception in the Bill support the principle of law and order when not having it in the other Bill did not support the principle of law and order? Is the noble Lord in favour of law and order now and was he against it in the last Session; or has he changed his mind? It is nonsense.

What is the right hon. and learned Gentleman ashamed of? Why does he deny that he has made a bargain? I see several hon. Members opposite, who, loyally and with great courage—I pay the utmost respect to them—resisted until the last all pressure brought against them, and secured the passage of my Bill last year. They will not support me now. Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman really say it is because the Government did not make a bargain? There is nothing dishonourable about making a bargain; we have all done so in our time. What is dishonourable is to deny that one has made a bargain and to pretend a thing is being carried on its merits knowing perfectly well that it is not.

The whole of these discussions are exempt from argument, reason and logic. We are to have this, because it must stand between our civilisation and its irretrievable collapse—the execution of 2.35 murderers every years. That is the reductio ad absurdum of the whole argument, and the Government appeal to us to help them along with the Bill; not to waste time. They are determined to have it on the Statute Book, when they are saying that there is nothing satisfactory to anyone; that there is nothing intelligible or rational to be said in support of it.

Mr. Martin Redmayne (Lord Commissioner of the Treasury)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 210, Noes 166.

Division No. 38.] AYES [5.47 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Ashton, H. Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)
Altken, W. T. Atkins, H. E. Bidgood, J. C.
Alport, C. J. M. Baldwin, A. E. Biggs-Davison, J. A.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Barber, Anthony Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Barlow, Sir John Bishop, F. P.
Armstrong C. W. Barter, John Black, C. W.
Body, R. F. Hope, Lord John Page, R. G.
Boothby, Sir Robert Hornby, R. P. Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Peyton, J. W. W.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col, W. H. Horobin, Sir Ian Pike, Miss Mervyn
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Brooman-White, R. C. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J. Pitman, I. J.
Bryan, P. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Hurd, A. R. Pott, H. P.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Powell, J. Enoch
Campbell, Sir David Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Carr, Robert Iremonger, T. L. Profumo, J. D.
Channon, Sir Henry Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Raikes, Sir Victor
Chichester-Clark, R. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Redmayne, M.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Remnant, Hon. P.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Renton, D. L. M.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Joseph, Sir Keith Ridsdale, J. E.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Joysnon-Hicks, Hon. sir Lancelot Rippon, A. G. F.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Kaberry, D. Robertson, Sir David
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Keegan, D. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Kerr, H. W. Roper, Sir Harold
Currie, G. B. H. Kimball, M. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Dance, J. C. G. Kirk, P. M. Russell, R. S.
Davidson, Viscountess Leather, E. H. C. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Leavey, J. A. Shepherd, William
Deedes, W. F. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Doughty, C. J. A. Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Drayson, G. B. Linstead, Sir H. N. Soames, Capt. C.
du Cann, E. D. L. Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Spearman, Sir Alexander
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Duthie, W. S. Longden, Gilbert Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Storey, S.
Errington, Sir Eric Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Finlay, Graeme Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Studholme, Sir Henry
Fisher, Nigel McAdden, S. J. Summers, Sir Spencer
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Macdonald, Sir Peter Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Foster, John Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Temple, J. M.
Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Freeth, D. K. McLean, Neil (Inverness) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon. S.)
George, J. C. (Pollok) Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Glover, D. Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Gower, H. R. Maddan, Martin Turner, H. F. L.
Graham, Sir Fergus Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Vane, W. M. F.
Green, A. Markham, Major Sir Frank Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Gresham Cooke, R. Marlowe, A. A. H. Vickers, Miss J. H.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Maude, Angus Wall, Major Patrick
Gurden, Harold Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mawby, R. L. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Harris, Reader (Heston) Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)
Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Morrison, John (Salisbury) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Wills, C. (Bridgwater)
Hay, John Nairn, D. L. S. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Woollam, John Victor
Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Hesketh, R. F. Nugent, G. R. H.
Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. TELLERS FOR THE:
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Mr. Oakshott and Mr. Legh.
Holland-Martin, C. J. Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)
Ainsley, J. W. Burton, Miss F, E. Delargy, H. J.
Awbery, S, S. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmweh)
Bacon, Miss Alice Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Benoe, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Champion, A. J. Edelman, M.
Benson, C. Chapman, W. D. Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Beswick, F. Clunie, J. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)
Blackburn, F. Cove, W. G. Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)
Blenkinsop, A. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Fernyhough, E.
Blyton, W. R. Crossman, R, H. S. Fienburgh, W.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Daines, P. Fletcher, Eric
Bowles, F. G. Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
Boyd, T. C. Darling, George (Hillsborough) Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.
Brockway, A. F. Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement(Montgomery) Gibson, C. W.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Davies, Harold (Leek) Greenwood, Anthony
Grenfell, Rt, Hon. D. R. McGovern, J. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Grey, C. F. McKay, John (Wallsend) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) McLeavy, Frank Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Skeffington, A. M.
Grimond, J. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Hale, Leslie Mann, Mrs. Jean Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Snow, J. W.
Hamilton, W. W. Mellish, R. J. Sorensen, R. W.
Hastings, S. Messer, Sir F. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hayman, F. H. Mikardo, Ian Steele, T.
Healey, Denis Mitchison, G. R. Stones, W. (Consett)
Harbison, Miss M. Moody, A. S. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Holman, P. Moss, R. Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Holmes, Horace Moyle, A. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Swingler, S. T.
Howell, Denis (All Saints) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Hubbard, T. F. Oliver, G. H. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oram, A. E. Thornton, E.
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Oswald, T. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Owen, W. J. Osborne, H. C.
Hunter, A. E. Paget, R. T. Warbey, W. N.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Palmer, A. M. F. Weitzman, D.
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Pargiter, G. A. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Parker, J. West, D. G.
Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Paton, John Wheeldon, W. E.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Peart, T. F. Wilkins, W. A.
Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Pentland, N. Willey, Frederick
Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Plummer, Sir Leslie Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Popplewell, E. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Kenyon, C. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Proctor, W. T. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
King, Dr. H. M. Randall, H. E. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Lawson, G. M. Rankin, John Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Redhead, E. C. Woof, R. E.
Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Lewis, Arthur Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Lindgren. G. S. Ross, William Zilliacus, K.
Lipton, Marcus Royle, C.
MacColl, J. E. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mr. Short and Mr. Deer.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 212, Noes 163.

Division No. 39.] AYES [5.56 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Cooper-Key, E. M. Grosvenor, Lt. Col. R. G.
Aitken, W. T. Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Gurden, Harold
Alport, C. J. M. Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Hall, John (Wycombe)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Harris, Reader (Heston)
Armstrong, C. W. Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)
Ashton, H. Currie, G. B. H. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
Atkins, H. E. Dance, J. C. G. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)
Baldwin, A. E. Davidson, Viscountess Hay, John
Barber, Anthony D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Barlow, Sir John Deedes, W. F. Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.
Barter, John Doughty, C. J. A. Hesketh, R. F.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Drayson, G. B. Hill, John (S. Norfolk)
Bidgood, J. C. du Cann, E. D. L. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Duncan. Capt. J. A. L. Hobson, C. R.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Duthie, W. S. Holland-Martin, C. J.
Bishop, F. P. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Hope, Lord John
Black, C. W. Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Hornby, R. P.
Body, R. F. Errington. Sir Eric Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Boothby, Sir Robert Finlay, Graeme Horobin, Sir Ian
Boyd, T. C. Fisher. Nigel Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)
Boyle, Sir Edward Fletcher-Cooke, C. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Foster, John Hurd, A. R.
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)
Brooman-White, R. C. Freeth. D. K. Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Garner-Evans, E. H. Iremonger, T. L.
Bryan, P. George, J. C. (Pollok) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Glover, D. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden) Gomme-Duncan. Col. Sir Alan Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Campbell, Sir David Gower, H. R. Johnson, Dr Donald (Carlisle)
Carr, Robert Graham. Sir Fergus Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Channon, Sir Henry Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R.(Nantwich) Joseph, Sir Keith
Chichester-Clark, R. Green, A. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Gresham Cooke, R. Kaberry, D.
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Keegan, D.
Kerr, H. W. Morrison, John (Salisbury) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Kimball, M. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Storey, S.
Kirk, P. M. Nairn, D. L. S. Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Leather, E. H. C. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Studholme, Sir Henry
Leavey, J. A. Nicolson, N. (B'n'mth, E. & Chr'ch) Summers, Sir Spencer
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Nugent, G. R. H. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Oakshott, H. D. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Linstead, Sir H. N. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Temple, J. M.
Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Longden, Gilbert Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W. Page, R. G. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, S.)
Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Panned, N. A. (Kirkdale) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Peyton, J. W. W. Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Pike, Miss Mervyn Tilney, John (Wavertree)
McAdden, S. J. Pitman, I. J. Turner, H. F. L.
Macdonald, Sir Peter Pitt, Miss E. M. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Pott, H. P. Vane, W. M. F.
Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Vickers, Miss J. H.
McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Profumo, J. D. Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
McLean, Neil (Inverness) Raikes, Sir Victor Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Rees-Davies, W. R. Wall, Major Patrick
Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold(Bromley) Remnant, Hon. P. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Ridsdale, J. E. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Rippon, A. G. F. Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Maddan, Martin Robertson, Sir David Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)
Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Roper, Sir Harold Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Markham, Major Sir Frank Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Marlowe, A. A. H. Russell, R. S. Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Maude, Angus Shepherd, William Woollam, John Victor
Maudling, Rt. Hon. R. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Mawby, R. L. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr., S. L. C. Soames, Capt. C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Spearman, Sir Alexander Mr. Legh and Mr. Hughes-Young.
Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Ainsley, J. W. Gordon Walker. Rt. Hon. P. C. McKay, John (Wallsend)
Awbery, S. S. Greenwood, Anthony McLeavy, Frank
Bacon, Miss Alice Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Bence, G. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Grey, G. F. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Benson, G. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Mann, Mrs. Jean
Beswick, F. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Grimond, J. Mellish, R. J.
Blackburn, F. Hale, Leslie Messer, Sir F.
Blenkinsop, A. Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mikardo, Ian
Blyton, w. R. Hamilton, W. W. Mitchison, G. R.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Hastings, S. Moss, R.
Bowles, F. G. Hayman, F. H. Moyle, A.
Brockway, A. F. Healey, Denis Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Herbison, Mist M. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Holman, P. Oliver, G. H.
Burton, Miss F. E. Holmes, Horace Oram, A. E.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Oswald, T.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Howell, Denis (All Saints) Owen, W. J.
Champion, A. J. Hubbard, T. F. Paget, R. T.
Chapman, W. D. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Palmer, A. M. F.
Clunie, J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pargiter, G. A.
Cove, W. G. Hunter, A. E. Parker, J.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Paton, John
Crossman, R. H. S. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Peart, T. F.
Daines, P. Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Pentland, N.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jay, Rt Hon. D. P. T. Popplewell, E.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Jenkins, Roy (Stechford) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield. E.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Proctor, W. T.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Randall, H. E.
Deer, G. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Rankin, John
Redhead, E. C.
Dodds, N. N. Jones, Jack (Rotherham) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Kenyon, C. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Ross, William
Edelman, M. King, Dr. H. M. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Edwards. Robert (Bilston) Lawson, G. M. Short, E. W.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannook) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Evans. Edward (Lowestoft) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Simmons, C J. (Brierley Hill)
Fernyhough, E. Lewis, Arthur Skeffington, A. M.
Fienburgh, W. Lindgren, G. s. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lipton, Marcus Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. MacColl, J. E. Snow, J. W.
Gibson, C. W. McGovern, J. Sorensen, R. W.
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Steele, T. Usborne, H. C. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Stones, W. (Consett) Warbey, W. N. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Weitzman, D. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Woof, R. E.
Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.) West, D. G. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Wheeldon, W. E. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Swingler, S. T. Wilkins, W. A. Zilliacus, K.
Taylor, John (West Lothian) Willey, Frederick
Thomson, George (Dundee, E.) Williams, Ronald (Wigan) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Thornton, E. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley) Mr. Royle and Sir Leslie Plummer.
Mr. Paget

I beg to move, in page 3, line 7, to leave out paragraph (e).

This paragraph says: in the case of a person who was a prisoner at the time when he did or was a party to the murder, any murder of a prison officer acting in the execution of his duty or of a person assisting a prison officer so acting. That seems a somewhat odd provision. It illustrates the extent to which the Bill ignores experience. Here the Bill includes a kind of murder which has never happened here—with one exception—or, so far as the Royal Commission could ascertain, anywhere else in the world.

Why do we want this provision? The only case I know of, either in an abolitionist or a non-abolitionist country, in which a condemned murderer killed a warder, was in 1820, when, in the course of a card party in Newgate, a condemned murderer hit a warder on the head with a tankard during a dispute in which the warder was charged with cheating. The warder died as a result of the blow. Apart from that case, no condemned murderer anywhere has ever killed a warder, so far as one can ascertain.

Cases in which people other than murderers have killed warders are extremely rare. I believe that the only case since 1802 was one in which I happened to be engaged, and in which a mentally defective Borstal boy tried to rape the matron. It is a somewhat odd sort of case to require this formidable weapon as deterrent.

In this class of case we have illustrated better than anywhere else the fundamental penal principle which the Home Secretary knows as well as I do to be true. It is not the size or the weight of the penalty which deters, but its certainty. In prison the penalty is certain. In prison, the power is around one and one cannot hope to "get away with it." In prison, one will be punished, even though the punishment is only bread-and-water diet. It used to be called "No. 1 punishment." Whatever it is, it is there and it is certain, and it is immediate. It may be only the cancellation of some privileges acquired over a long time, trivial to us who have liberty but vastly important to the prisoner; as important as Christmas dinner may have been in the Army, when one had built up, in constricted circumstances, great excitement and feeling in relation to it. Punishment concerns the small privileges earned by prisoners, like the trifling pay packet, and the penalty is certain.

Time and again we may say what appears to be logical at first sight of a man condemned to death and now serving imprisonment for life, "What more can we do to him? Why should he not kill a warder?" We should look all over the world and remember that in a great part of Europe capital punishment has been abolished for years and that nowhere has a man who has nothing to lose killed a warder. Of course, he has something to lose—whatever small privilege it is, whatever matter of diet is the prison punishment; and it is very certain, applicable and it works. The penalty, however small it is, if it can be certain is effective, and if it be uncertain, it is almost irrelevant. The words I have quoted before have tremendous interest and illumination, the words of Bacon in his great Essay on Death: There is no appetite of man so weak but that it has met, yea, and mastered the fear of death. That is perfectly true. There are trivialities for which man, again and again, has risked his life, but penalties less than than death, if they are certain, are certain where we know they are going to happen—in prison.

Assaults on warders are extraordinarily rare. When they do occur, it is nearly always by mental or semi-mental people who have no real control of themselves and are unlikely to be controlled by any external circumstances—certainly by people whose mentality is such that they are not going to be affected by a distant threat. They may be affected by the immediate threat; in lunatic asylums the immediate control may be effective, but not the distant threat, because that is the sort of mind which cannot deal with that sort of thing. That is just what we are dealing with here.

I know that it is really futile to argue this. There was some rather synthetic indignation on the part of the Attorney-General when I suggested that there was little point in addressing an argument to the Front Bench which was committed to a bargain come to outside the House, from which it dare not depart by one iota. We were assured by the Attorney-General that there was no such bargain. Those may believe that who care to.

Am I right—I do not know—we have retained corporal punishment for assaults on warders? Has that been used more than once? I believe there is a case in which it has been used.

Mr. Richard Body (Billericay)

It is used at least once or twice a year. On an average 12 awards are made each year and in one or two cases it is carried out.

Mr. Kenneth Younger (Grimsby)

There was one last week.

Mr. Paget

There have been one or two cases in which this may have occurred, but, after all, it is very rare. The prison population is very large and one or two cases a year is extremely rare when we compare that with the problem. If we were discussing this matter again, I do not think that we would consider it worth while to retain flogging for a purpose which would require such little use. I very much doubt whether one would do that.

6.15 p.m.

To retain the gallows which, in our history, save in the one case of the unhappy matron, has never had to be used for this purpose—is there really much purpose in that? The words: in the case of a person who was a prisoner at the time when he did or was a party to the murder, mean that if, in rage and frustration—which would have to be very great if it overcame immediate and present inhibitions—a prisoner, with the desperation which alone could accept those conse- quences, did murder, he would be hanged. If, instead, he decides in revenge to get his own back on a warder whom he felt had been unjust to him the moment he got outside the prison he may waylay him in the street because his chances of escape would be far better, and murder him there. The protection is given only when it is least needed and not provided to cover revenge which may be executed afterwards.

Who is contemplated by the person "assisting a prison officer"? Presumably it is another prisoner. What does "assisting a prison officer" mean—narking? Is that what is contemplated? Is this provided to retain as capital a murder which was committed on a fellow prisoner arising from the fact that the fellow prisoner had—to use the easiest and shortest description—"narked"? Is that what is intended? I do not know. I am not quite sure what is contemplated here. Are the words: any murder of a prison officer acting in the execution of his duty or of a person assisting a prison officer so acting. sound in covering that situation? From where does the assistance have to come? Does the assistance consist of conveying information against somebody? I should be most grateful to learn just what is contemplated.

All the way through these provisions, one asks in detail, "Why do you want it?" or "What have you in mind?". When a Government say that they want to exclude five-sixths of the murders liable to a death sentence, it is reasonable to ask about the sixth for which they want to retain the penalty. What are they contemplating? As we have gone through these Amendments one after another, we have never had an answer to this. We have asked, "What are you contemplating by 'avoiding'" and, "What are you contemplating by 'resistance'?" We just do not get an answer. More and more I am driven to the conclusion that this Bill has been patched up as a compromise without being thought out in any particular detail. The idea has been, "If we stick to this, and hold together, the Government will be all right, boys."

As this debate goes on it becomes, whatever the Attorney-General may say, more and more obvious that we are discussing here, not an instrument of penal reform or penal advance, or a serious effort to deal with a problem considered by a Royal Commission, but a serious endeavour to deal with trouble in the Conservative Party and to allay it. That is the only thing we have to deal with here. This is not an honest or a reasonable Measure. It is the result of a deal come to behind doors. It has got to be stuck to, come reason, go reason, come sense, go sense. It does not matter; that is the deal. It does not matter who it hangs and who it does not, so long as it enables the Conservative Party to hang, however precariously, together.

Mr. Fisher

I think the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) was a little less than fair in the concluding remarks of his speech, because there are other reasons—even if we can believe that his allegation has any truth in it, and I do not believe it has—why this Amendment is unacceptable to many hon. Members on this side of the Committee.

I suppose the general argument that would be advanced against it must be the same as that on the last Amendment—that the Government have a special duty to protect their own servants. That is not the sort of argument that will impress the hon. and learned Gentleman, because he does not believe in protecting Government servants. Prison officers, in fact, spend their lives in close contact with criminals, and in some cases violent criminals, and, therefore, by the very nature of their work, it seems to me that they run risks which ordinary members of the public do not have to run.

Mr. S. Silverman

Does the hon. Member pay absolutely no attention whatever to the facts? He says that this is a risk which warders run and that they must be protected against it. Does he really not know, or does he really not care, that this is a risk which has never happened to any warder within living memory, or, indeed, within recorded history?

Mr. Fisher

My hon. Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Body) dealt with this point in relation to flogging. I do not think it matters so much about the past. It is a possible thing to happen in the future, and we must legislate for the future and not the past.

Mr. Silverman

Even in looking to the future, about which the hon. Gentleman may be more expert than I could possibly be, surely we must base our anticipations of the future on our experience of the past and the present. What I asked the hon. Gentleman was how he can, in honesty and in common sense, go on saying to the Committee that it is necessary to retain this protection because of a danger to which a man is exceptionally exposed in the light of the fact that he is not exposed to it at all?

Mr. Fisher

I go on saying it for the reason that there have been attacks on prison officers and there may be in the future, and it is a perfectly reasonable argument to pursue. It is our duty, particularly the Government's duty, to protect them, and I believe that the death penalty in this Clause does give them some sort of protection.

I do not really see what other protection we can give them. I do not myself believe in the deterrence of a life sentence to a man who is already serving a very long sentence. It would not be an adequate deterrent. In 1948, I think it was, when flogging was abolished in the country as a whole, it was retained in our prisons, and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Billericay has pointed out, it is used. Parliament at that time, when hon. and right hon. Members opposite were in power, took the view that prison officers were in a special position and needed special protection.

I think that that general proposition is still true, and that unless we retain the death penalty in this Clause, the violent criminal serving a prison sentence of any length would, it seems to me, have very little to lose by killing a prison officer. If he is already serving a long sentence, the thought of a still longer one, perhaps for several years ahead, is, I believe, too remote to constitute a sufficiently strong deterrent. In cases like this, I think that the fear of hanging is probably the only immediate and effective deterrent that we can devise, and I hope very much that the Amendment will be defeated.

Mr. Younger

I should like to ask the Home Secretary or the Joint Under-Secretary, whichever Minister will reply, to deal very seriously with the points put by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) in moving this Amendment. We are really getting to a pitch of unreality that is almost unbearable in dealing with this Bill. We get the feeling that points put from this side are not being answered, and very often are not even being approached, in the Ministerial replies.

We get the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Ministers are not in a position to deal with the Committee as Ministers usually like to do on the basis that if the argument is good, a concession should be made, but that in this rigid attitude they have to stick to the last comma, no matter what is said in the Committee. Of all the unreal debates which we have had from time to time, it seemed to me likely on past form that this one, relating to the murders of prison warders, would be the most unreal, because here we are legislating to impose a particularly severe penalty for a nonexistent offence.

I know that it is possible to argue on the debating point that the only reason why this offence has not happened for fifty or a hundred years in prisons is because the death penalty has always been available, though it has not had to be used. I will come to that in a moment. After all, it is a curious thing for the Government, when bringing forward a Bill which, by and large, abolishes the death penalty for a tremendous range of types of murder, to pick out a particular one as being so important that the death penalty must be retained. When we find that that offence does not exist, it puts a very heavy onus on the Minister who is to defend what is at present in the Bill.

Looking back to the speech of the former Home Secretary on the earlier Bill which was introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), we get very little light from it. There are really only two points he made, and one of these has been made by the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr. Fisher), namely, that prisons and prison officers are in a special category. The Home Secretary put it in particularly unconvincing form when he said that the Bill in 1948 provided that, generally, there should be no more corporal punishment, except in prisons, where it should be retained for violent prisoners, and that, therefore, it is only logical, fair and tidy that murder in prisons should be met by the penalty of death.

It is no doubt true in part that one of the reasons why the corporal punishment provision was retained only for prisons in the 1948 Act was because there were many people, including, as far as I remember, prison officers themselves, who suggested that it was so, but there was another reason. I think it was a counsel of prudence, perhaps, that does not affect the merits of the argument today, and it is that there was a great deal to be said in that Bill for relying on the recommendations of the Royal Commission which discussed the whole problem.

By omitting this particular thing it was possible to get the support of something like the whole House initially, for initially there was no division on the first occasion, by sticking to the recommendations of the Commission and not necessarily because most of us on the Government side—and certainly that was not my case when I was at the Home Office at the time—thought that there was a very special case for prison officers.

The other point which the Home Secretary made was the vague one about the prisons being undermanned and the shortage of prison officers. Is it really contended by the Government side of the Committee that this Clause is really a recruiting Clause? When we discussed prison conditions in a debate not very long ago, the whole emphasis was on the need to turn prison officers as case workers, as they do at Broadmoor and Rampton, where there are many people with criminal convictions. The whole emphasis was on that and not on singling out prison life as being so particularly dangerous that the death penalty must be used as a protection for prison officers, although it is used for practically nobody else.

6.30 p.m.

I should have thought that this would be the reverse of a good recruiting Measure. When we think of the type of young man we should like to enter the prison service, we think of him making inquiries before he has a career and asking himself whether this is the sort of job he wants to go into; and the retention of the death penalty for the protection of prison officers will not attract him into the service.

In my opinion, the question of under-manning in the prisons is totally irrelevant. The argument is based on the assumption that there is need for special protection and that prison officers themselves think the death penalty is a protection. But is it? I think that the same point applies as was made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton on the previous Amendment. This involves a question of faith and also of habit. Those, including the prison officers, who think that the death penalty is necessary for their protection, do so largely as a matter of habit. It is something which has been on the Statute Book. I do not believe that they give a thought to it from one year's end to another, except when they are asked a question about it. It does not affect their minds from day to day in their prison work as being a protection.

As in so many other cases we have evidence from other countries which suggests most strongly that it has nothing whatever to do with protection at all. We have considered the position in countries in Europe where conditions are as near as we can get to our own conditions and where they have abolished the death penalty and have not thought it necessary to make an exception for prison officers. I know of no case where the prison officers of those countries have clamoured to have the death penalty back.

In the earlier debate my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) referred to the remarkable fact that the Swedish prison officers who are in this position of having once been so protected, if that is the phrase, but now no longer have the protection, stated, in reply to a question, that they positively did not want to see the death penalty restored.

Mr. Benson

What happened was that certain high officials of the Ministry of Justice came to this country to address hon. Members. The Swedish Prison Officers' Association passed a resolution, unasked, hoping that the English prison officers would not ask for the protection of the death penalty, on the ground that the Swedish prison officers who have had this experience had come to the conclusion that they were safer without it than with it.

Mr. Younger

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend, of whose arguments on the last occasion I have taken particular note. For all I know I may be borrowing from him in other remarks which I am making.

The Swedish case was particularly striking, but I think it is also striking that none of the other countries which have abolished the death penalty has made a special exception of this kind for prison officers, as far as I know. I am informed that the only countries in Europe which have this protection are France and Spain, neither of which country has abolished the death penalty generally.

Surely we all recognise, do we not, that the safety of prison officers depends on good discipline, which does not necessarily mean especially severe discipline? It is the whole conduct of the prison, the whole routine of it, the co-operation and the relations between prison officers and those detained and the relations among prison officers themselves—in a word, the morale of the whole establishment—which makes for safety; coupled, of course, with the certainty of detection and punishment of some kind, whether the death penalty or otherwise, if an offence of this kind is committed.

The Scottish example, I think, tends to assist my point that it is not severity but good disciplinary arrangements which make for satisfactory results, because the example of corporal punishment, which has been called in aid by hon. Members opposite, works the other way when we consider the situation in Scotland. In Scotland they have had the possibility of using corporal punishment but, in fact, they have not used it as a matter of prison discipline for very many years. I think it is correct that not only in that respect but in other respects their discipline is less severe, but so far from being less effective it is, if anything, as far as one can compare statistics, somewhat more effective than the more severe system in England.

One other point occurs to me. I want to be careful not to press this analogy too far. I cannot help thinking of what I saw on the two occasions on which I visited Broadmoor. Broadmoor contains a very wide range of people, some of them infinitely more dangerous than anyone we ever find in a prison—for instance, the maniac who has to be kept in the padded cell. Such places contain a wide range of people, some not unlike the man who might be a reprieved murderer in an ordinary prison—people who are sane on most topics but have one particular feature of their mentality which has caused them to be found insane and to be sent to Broadmoor.

There is certainly no less danger, and probably more danger, in a place like Broadmoor or Rampton than in most prisons, yet in the nature of things they do not have the death penalty to protect them in such places because we do not impose the death penalty on persons who are insane. I am not aware that it has ever been suggested that the death penalty should be introduced, and it certainly was not suggested to me by the superintendent at Broadmoor that his men are in any danger for lack of penal sanctions against any type of inmate. Indeed, very much the reverse; it was, again, the case-work aspect which interested him. The effect will be to treat the hospital prisoners as medical cases, under such a system, giving the degree of supervision which they require. That is what we are hoping to achieve more and more in prisons where people, although in many cases technically sane, are very abnormal. I do not think that too hard-and-fast a distinction can necessarily be drawn between the Broadmoor case and some of the cases which would arise on the topic we are now discussing.

There is no evidence that the death penalty gives effective protection in this instance any more than in the numerous other instances which we have discussed. There is therefore almost no reality in the proposition which the Government are putting before us. Nor do I think that this sort of argument which is put forward in aid of the retention of the death penalty in this case does much to raise the status of the career of prison officers and prison service, let alone do anything to attract the right sort of young man into that service.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

I represent the Leeds, West, division which has in it the Armley Prison, the prison where most hangings take place in the North. No doubt my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) will correct me if I am wrong, but I think that hangings take place in Armley Prison.

Mr. Benson

Certainly, but not all of them.

Mr. Pannell

I did not say all of them. My hon. Friend interrupts me at this early stage of my speech.

Mr. Edward Short (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

What about Durham?

Mr. Pannell

I am dealing with Armley Prison, which is in my constituency.

I recently approached the Home Secretary because I wanted to go over Armley Prison. After all, I can do it on application to the Governor, but I thought that I would like to see the place of execution and the condemned cell, bearing in mind that it is constituents of mine who have to carry out this odious duty at the behest of the House. I should have thought that it was reasonable for an hon. Member in pursuance of his duties, discussing the Homicide Bill, to be allowed freely to go over the gaol. I had a most extraordinary letter from the Home Secretary, in reply. I can only say that I hope the appointment of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House to the office of Home Secretary marks a departure from the line taken by his predecessor.

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. H. Hynd)

Has this anything to do with the Amendment before the Committee?

Mr. Pannell

Yes, Mr. Hynd, it has. I am trying to make the point that the House of Commons will have very great difficulty in coming to an informed judgment on this matter, because it has no facilities whatever for coming to such a judgment.

Perhaps you will let me develop my theme, Mr. Hynd. You may correct me later, but I think that I will take you with me. I am here concerned with prison warders who are constituents of mine, and if I cannot discharge my duty to them then it seems to me that the ruling of the Chair will be rather tightly drawn. Perhaps I can read the letter and come to the point.

This is what I got from the then Home Secretary: Since the Governor is a civil servant he is not permitted to discuss questions of policy and it would be improper for him to discuss or answer questions on any matter connected with the Homicide Bill. I should have thought that that was so sufficiently obvious as almost to be impertinent, as coming from a Minister to a Member of Parliament, although I might say, in passing, that if one went to see Sir John Harding one could discuss Cyprus with him, which seems a fair analogy.

The letter goes on: I must, therefore, in fairness to the Governor, ask you to refrain from raising any aspect of capital punishment.… You mentioned to my Private Secretary …that you would like to see the execution shed and the condemned cell. I am sorry, but I cannot authorise this. It is the practice to permit access to execution sheds and condemned cells only to the people whose professional duty requires them to go there.

Mr. S. Silverman

And the victim.

Mr. Pannell

And, presumably, the victim, yes.

How do Members of Parliament come to an informed judgment? How can we know? It is merely an academic exercise for Members of Parliament—

The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Member has so far said nothing to do with this Amendment, which deals with the provision that a person murdering a prison officer should be hanged.

Mr. Pannell

The people of whom I am speaking, Mr. Hynd, are my constituents, whom I wish to see protected, and I presume that the purpose of the paragraph is to see that that is done. The purpose of the Amendment is to remove that provision from the Bill. I rather think, Mr. Hynd, that this has very much to do with the Clause. As a Member of Parliament, I desire to come to an informed judgment on the Clause, and action is taken which prevents that. I have made my point, and probably I can leave that part of my speech now. I have made my protest, but I would certainly strongly disagree, with respect to the Chair, if a ruling were drawn so tightly that I could not make a protest on this point.

Mr. R. A. Butler

May I say, Mr. Hynd, that before this debate started, the hon. Member spoke to me about a letter signed by my predecessor? I should be very glad to look at the letter and to discuss it with the hon. Member. I note his two points: one, that he is not to discuss the policy of the Bill with the Governor; and, the other, that he is not to visit the place of execution. I should like to examine the letter and discuss it with the hon. Member, without making any further comment now. I do not think that it actually arises on the Clause, but that does not mean that I do not wish to discuss it with him.

Mr. Pannell

I should have thought that it had a direct bearing on the Bill. As this correspondence took place between Second Reading and the Committee stage, it is responsible for an hon. Member to speak about it at the earliest possible moment.

The Temporary Chairman

It has a bearing on the Bill, but not on the Amendment which the Committee is now discussing.

Mr. Pannell

I say that this is extraordinary behaviour on the part of a Home Secretary who, between Second Reading and the Committee stage, takes action to prevent a Member of Parliament being properly informed on this subject. As for the question of discussing policy with the Governor, after a fairly long experience both here and as a magistrate, I should know the position existing between an elected Member and a functionary.

One of the things completely ignored when capital punishment is being considered is the suffering inflicted upon those who have to carry out such a task at the behest of this House. I would particularly refer to a quite notable, though very short, speech made by the gentleman who used to be the hon. Member for Leeds, Central. On 14th April, 1948, he told this House that he had always been an abolitionist because his mother was the wardress in the condemned cell at Kirkdale Gaol, Liverpool, He told the House that she gave up that post immediately after seeing a hanging.

I merely make the point that I do not under-rate the terrific strain warders undergo in pursuance of this sort of duty. Nevertheless, in the whole passage of this Bill so far, in spite of what has been said from the other side, in spite of a close association with prison officers—I was guest speaker at the annual conference of police and prison officers—I have never received a letter from a warder protesting against abolition.

6.45 p.m.

Does this Clause protect warders? I do not think that it does. If we are relying on statistics, those given by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) seem to be fairly conclusive. I do not want to impute any political motives, but it really is up to the Government to say why this provision is in the Bill at all. I support the Amendment. I say that the administration seems to have been very patchy in the past, and I may tell the Leader of the House that there are other hon. Members who have been refused permission in circumstances similar to those to which I have referred—hon. Members who, like myself, desired to bring an informed judgment to bear on this matter.

I have made my protest, Mr. Hynds, and end by saying that I am only too glad that the Prime Minister's chopper has come across the neck of the present Home Secretary's predecessor.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. J. E. S. Simon)

Despite the fact that the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) has, as we know, so much to offer us on this topic, of which he has made a profound study, and to whom we always listen with respect, I thought that it might be convenient if I intervened now to deal with the points that have been already made.

The Government regard this paragraph, like the preceding one, as designed to protect the agents of public order and as essential for that purpose. The hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger) have said that this is an unnecessary paragraph, because very few crimes—I think they said no crimes—of this sort have been committed. During this century, in fact, there have been two murders which, so far as I could judge, would have fallen within the paragraph. One was that to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred, and there was another, also in a Borstal institution.

Of course, the fact that there have been only two which would appear to fall within the terms of the paragraph does not by any means indicate that the paragraph is unnecessary because, as always when one is discussing deterrents—it matters not whether the deterrent is a capital or any other deterrent—statistics have their limitations. We cannot measure, or at least we have difficulty in measuring, the crimes which have been deterred by the existence of the deterrent.

I am able to give the figures for assaults on prison officers. I cannot give them for any year before 1955 because, before that time, the statistics did not distinguish between assaults on prison officers and assaults on other prisoners. The figures for 1955 were very much more serious than the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. and learned Gentleman would have suggested. In fact, in that year alone there were 123 cases in England and Wales in which prisoners used violence against prison officers. That is leaving aside assaults on fellow prisoners.

I do not pretend that they were all serious, but seven of them in that one year were sufficiently serious for the prisoners to have received corporal punishment for doing gross personal violence to an officer. The truth is that prison officers stand in need of protection and rightly look to the Government to see that they are protected.

Mr. Younger

Can the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether he has any comparable figures for Scotland where, I believe, they do not employ corporal punishment in such cases?

The Lord Advocate (Mr. W. R. Milligan)

May I clear up a misunderstanding in the mind of the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger), who, I understand, said that corporal punishment could be administered in Scotland. That has not been so since 1949.

Mr. Simon

I am obliged to my right hon. and learned Friend. In reply to the right hon. Member for Grimsby, I have not got the figures.

What I was saying was that the very nature of these men's duties places them at risk, and my right hon. Friend can see no justification for the community which asks prison officers to run such risks to withdraw from them the protection which the existence of the death penalty at present gives. As the figures which I have given suggest, prison officers have in their charge dangerous men, many of whom are accustomed to use violence in the course of their crimes—men who inherently are unlikely to be subjected to moral restraint and are unaccustomed to moral self-restraint. Under this Bill we shall be recruiting to the prison population still more dangerous men, men of a class who have not previously been in the prison population.

By restricting the classes of criminals who are subject to the capital sentence, very many dangerous criminals go to prison and, inevitably, are detained, in some cases for very long periods. If this paragraph were deleted from the Bill, it would mean that such men would have virtually nothing to lose by killing a prison officer. It is not only they, for as the figures that I had quoted suggest, there are many other prisoners who have been convicted for crimes such as robbery with violence and, therefore, they have shown that they are not subject to the ordinary deterrents of the law when it comes to crimes of violence.

Of course, when they are in restraint, when they are in prison and have been in prison for long periods, they are in a position where self-restraint wears thin and tempers rise. That is one of the unfortunate incidents in prison life. We cause inevitably a moral deterioration in those who are kept in prison for long periods.

The Royal Commission referred to that matter, and the hon. Member for Chesterfield has dealt with it on many occasions in the House. At the beginning of a long sentence a threat of further imprisonment is not really an immediate and effective deterrent. In that sort of case where tempers rise quickly, a more immediate and powerful deterrent is, in the view of Her Majesty's Government, necessary.

The right hon. Member for Grimsby rightly said that an important element in prison discipline is the existence of good relations, but I think he went much too far in suggesting that that was the vital element, because the fact that his own Government, in 1948, retained in relation to assaults on prison officers a special deterrent in the form of corporal punishment shows that, in their view, one could not possibly rely only on good relations and firm discipline to protect prison officers.

Mr. S. Silverman

Except in Scotland.

Mr. Simon

Except in Scotland. I am talking about England and Wales.

The right hon. Gentleman also mentioned Broadmoor and Rampton where, he said, discipline was maintained and the male nurses were protected without the sanction of the capital sentence. But, of course, in those places capital punishment is of its nature no deterrent, or, at least, a very small deterrent. Those are men who, by the state of their mental unbalance, are inherently unsusceptible to deterrents in the way that normal persons are.

Mr. Younger

As I have already said, I do not want to push this analogy too far, but the hon. and learned Gentleman knows that no such sharp and clear distinction can be made, particularly when he reflects on the highly unscientific character of the rules which, in the past, have determined whether a person should be sent to Broadmoor or not. He must realise that there is a considerable borderland in which men of almost exactly similar mentality may find themselves either in Broadmoor or in prison. If the hon. and learned Gentleman speaks to any prison governor or to the superintendent of Broadmoor he will be told that that is so.

Mr. Simon

I do not want to put the right hon. Gentleman's argument higher than he put it himself, but I must deal with it in view of what was said by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) when he taunted hon. Members on these benches with not trying to grapple with the arguments put from the other side. The fact remains that that was an argument put forward by the right hon. Gentleman. It is true that there is an infinite gradation in these matters, but the fact remains absolutely true that, by and large, the patients at Rampton and Broadmoor are not susceptible in the same degree to any form of deterrent or to the perception of different degrees of deterrent, or, what is even more important, to the building up of a moral sense by having deterrents of various natures. They are not susceptible in the same way as are ordinary prisoners.

As I have said, the Criminal Justice Act, 1948, passed by the Government in which the right hon. Member for Grimsby was himself at the time Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, showed, by retaining corporal punishment in England and Wales for gross personal violence to a prison officer, that they considered that special sanctions were necessary against violence to prison officers, and exactly the same reasons animate Her Majesty's Government in putting forward this paragraph in this Bill. It is vitally important that prison officers and those who go to their assistance should be protected by the weightiest deterrent which the law provides.

7.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman said that this provision was not really necessary, that it was not relevant as a recruiting measure. The fact remains that the evidence given to the Royal Commission by the Prison Officers' Association attaches the very greatest importance to retaining capital punishment in this type of case. The Royal Commission itself recognised that there was evidence, although not convincing statistical evidence, that the penalty of death would have a stronger effect as a deterrent, to normal human beings than any other punishment, and it recognised further, as it is put in paragraph 61 of its Report, that it seems inherently probable that, if capital punishment has any unique value as a deterrent"— as the Commission found later— it is here that its effect would be chiefly felt and here that its value to the community would be greatest". To that extent the Commission, certainly on this particular aspect of the matter, vindicated the judgment of the prison officers. I have no doubt at all that it would be a deterrent to recruiting if this provision were omitted.

Of course, that is not the main reason why the Government put it forward. We put it forward because the prison officers undertake, on behalf of the community, a difficult, often dangerous, and generally thankless task, but a task essential for the safety of the community. In the view of Her Majesty's Government, we should be failing in our duty if we withheld this protection from them.

Mr. Benson

The most striking figure which the Joint Under-Secretary gave was the number of assaults on prison officers which took place in 1955, namely, 123. That is staggering evidence of the extraordinary good discipline in our prisons. There is a daily average population of 24,000, and a throughput of very nearly 40,000; yet, with that population, there were only 123 assaults, of which the vast majority were quite trivial. I regard that as a great compliment to the way our prisons are run and the way that our prison officers and staff handle our prisoners.

The curious thing about the hon. and learned Gentleman's speech is that it went on repeating what has been said from that side in almost every speech, repeating the belief that the death penalty is a deterrent of such inordinate power that we dare not get rid of it. Before we abolished flogging, every argument which has been used from those benches to support capital punishment in these debates was used in exactly parallel fashion to support the retention of hanging. There is no proof. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) pointed out, hon. Gentlemen opposite rest their arguments upon faith, not upon demonstration, not upon evidence. There exists no evidence to show that the death penalty is essential.

We have retained flogging; in circumstances where conviction is inevitable—for an assault on a prison officer does mean inevitable conviction. That there are certain people who are prepared to risk the very savage penalty of flogging proves not the necessity of flogging, but that there are some people in prison who are so irresponsible that they cannot be deterred.

We are the only country in Europe that retains the death penalty and flogging in its prisons, with the exception of France and, I believe, Spain. Every other country has abolished the death penalty in its prisons, and there has been no case in which it has been reintroduced. I mentioned earlier the resolution which was passed by the Swedish prison officers, indicating that they would oppose the introduction of the death penalty. The grounds for that were that, so long as one retained the death penalty in a prison, so long as one had the death cell, there would be certain minds inside prison, abnormal minds, which would be more likely to be stimulated to savage attacks upon prison officers than to be deterred. That is a sound psychological point, a point which the prison officers of Sweden, out of their long experience, drew to the attention of Members of the House of Commons.

Flogging does not prevent attacks upon officers. Nor will the retention of the death penalty make the life of the prison officer any safer than it is at the moment. What protects the prison officer, among other things, is the extraordinary discipline in our prisons. Moreover, if it were not for the assistance given by other prisoners, there would be many murders in prisons than there are.

Reference has been made to the fact that our prisons are overcrowded and understaffed. This has no real bearing on the subject. Anybody who is familiar with prisons knows perfectly well that at any one time in a prison, whether it be fully manned or not, the prison officers in various workshops are outnumbered by twenty, thirty or forty to one. It is a most extraordinary experience to go into an English prison, to have the door unlocked, to walk into a big workshop where there are perhaps 50 or 100 prisoners, armed with all kinds of lethal weapons—knives, hammers, scissors and the like—and find them in the charge of two or three officers. Understaffing does not affect that situation. Even if we had a full complement, that would still occur.

The effect of understaffing is that prisoners spend 20 or 30 hours a week out of their cells instead of about 40 or 50 hours a week. Understaffing does not make the life of the prison officer a scrap more risky. In fact, if anything, it probably makes his position slightly safer, because the prisoners are locked up in their cells so much longer. Whatever arguments hon. Gentlemen opposite adduce in favour of retention of the death penalty, we find that they are always based not upon concrete evidence, but upon mere assumption that the death penalty is necessary.

The Government have smashed that case by cutting out the death penalty in five cases out of six. As has been said from this side more than once, they are retaining it because they have to keep their own party together. They pledged themselves to accept the vote of the House. The vote of the House went against them. They had trouble in their own party and they are now forcing, against their party's wishes, a compromise that their own party does not want.

The whole case that the Government are putting up is the case that has been put up from time immemorial to support the death penalty for those types of murder for which they themselves are abolishing it, and when we come to examine their arguments for the retention, we find that they are just the old arguments used in the past to defend hanging for those types of murder which they themselves are now making non-capital.

Mr. S. Silverman

I do not intend to detain the Committee for longer than two or three minutes. My hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benson) has once again demonstrated the absurdity and irrationality of the proposal which the Committee is being asked to retain. He demonstrated it by unanswerable logic, by experience of our own society and of other societies and by fact and arguments oft repeated but never answered. I do not know why my hon. Friend thought it worth while to take so much trouble.

Mr. Benson

I live in hope.

Mr. Silverman

To which I would say: Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond, Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud. The hon. and learned Gentleman has a bond. He has a bargain. It is a matter of contract. The lives that are to be sacrificed on the gallows have been bargained. It is not the least use arguing about it. The more one's argument is persuasive, the more overwhelming it is, the less chance one has of getting any kind of answer to it.

The Joint Under-Secretary's speech was made, as usual, with the utmost courtesy and suavity. He even took very great pains to appear to be answering the arguments—and that, indeed, is a change. No other Minister has ever even made the attempt, and for so much we are grateful. The hon. and learned Gentleman's speech, however, demonstrates beyond argument that we are not dealing with a situation in which rationality counts at all.

The hon. and learned Gentleman is a most distinguished and successful advocate. He knows when an argument holds together and when it does not. He knows when an argument defeats itself and when two arguments which are mutually inconsistent are advanced in support of the same proposition. He trots it all out again and again in this wearisome controversy.

What does the hon. and learned Gentleman say? We say to him, "This mischief against which you want to protect the warders never happens." He says, "Of course it never happens, and why does it never happen? It is because the deterrent is there. Remove the deterrent, and it would happen." If the hon. and learned Gentleman were content to leave his argument there, one could follow it even if one could not accept it. But how does the hon. and learned Gentleman go on? He says, "You did retain in deterrent of corporal punishment n order to protect warders from violent assault," and then he goes on to say that that was quite right.

7.15 p.m.

He proves that it was quite right by showing how many violent assaults on warders happen. If the crime does not happen, it is because prisoners are afraid of the deterrent; if the crime does happen, it proves the necessity of the deterrent. When one says, as did my right hon. Friend the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger) in his speech, "Well, look at the criminal lunatic places of detention. Look at Rampton, look at Broadmoor. If you are right, there ought to be this deterrent there too. The crime does not happen although you have not got the deterrent there." "Ah," says the hon. and learned Gentleman, "but that is because here you have a type of person whose mind is inaccessible to deterrents at all."

It is in this atmosphere and with this kind of reply, given by a man who knows as well as anyone in the House of Commons what straight thinking means, that we are asked to pursue a serious argument, dealing with a matter which everyone who has ever engaged in the controversy has conceded, in spite of the small numbers involved, to be a matter which lies at the root of civilised society.

It is contemptible. It is an intellectual fraud which the Government are deliberately inflicting upon the House of Commons and upon the country. There is nothing in it and they know that there is nothing in it. They are putting up a desperate last-ditch fight in order to retain, or to pretend to retain, what they know they have lost already. It is utter and complete nonsense to suggest that the argument in favour of the unique deterrent of this penalty is a sound one when the Government themselves are introducing a Measure to remove it from five-sixths of the cases, five-sixths of the enormous number of cases—the twelve a year which have stood between us and irretrievable disaster for the past sixty or seventy years.

As I said before, it is reductio ad absurdum. It makes the whole institution of Parliamentary democracy to that extent a mockery. The hon. and learned Gentleman, who knows this subject very well, knows that what I am saying is true, and the Government know it. All that they are seeking to do is to avoid having to confess that they were beaten in the argument, beaten by the facts and beaten by the House of Commons in which they command a majority, and they escape from the result of that defeat by relying on the bulldozing of their party machine. That will not help.

Hon. Members opposite know that they cannot long persist in this pretence that we need in England what our friends across the Scottish Border have abandoned. Our civilisation here is not so precarious that we must hang on to the things that every other civilised country has long ago thrown away. Why must they do it? This is not a matter of party politics. The Government's prestige and authority would be better served by their accepting the facts and the logic of the argument and letting the country have what, in the end, is its way,

Mr. Paget

As my hon. Friend has said, we know that this is a fraud. The Government know that it is a fraud and under the battering of argument which they have received they no longer trouble to deny that it is a fraud. We have gone through these Clauses one after another. They have not attempted to defend them and they know they are not defensible. They have ceased to pretend even to defend them. There is no point in going on with this.

This is one—yet another—of the sordid devices by which that prurient party opposite gets its way. I am not prepared to go on further with this. We have demonstrated the case and we have left the party opposite wordless. There is no point in prolonging this argument. Let us leave it and have done with it. This fraud will go through, but this sordid patch will stick on that wretched party

not much longer, not much longer than the other sordid patches that we have seen put on it.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 178, Noes 131.

Division No. 40.] AYES [7.21 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'oh)
Aitken, W. T. Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Oakshott, H. D.
Alport, C. J. M. Gurden, Harold Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Harris, Reader (Heston) Page, R. G.
Armstrong, C. W. Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Ashton, H. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Atkins, H. E. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Pike, Miss Mervyn
Baldwin, A. E. Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Pitman, I. J.
Barber, Anthony Hesketh, R. F. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Barlow, Sir John Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Pott, H. P.
Barter, John Hobson, C. R. Powell, J. Enoch
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Hope, Lord John Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Bidgood, J. C. Hornby, R. P. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Profumo, J. D.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Raikes, Sir Victor
Bishop, F. P. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Redmayne, M.
Black, C. W. Hurd, A. R. Remnant, Hon. P.
Body, R. F. Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Ridsdale, J. E.
Bowen, E R. (Cardigan) Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Rippon, A. G. F.
Boyd, T. C. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J, A. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Roper, Sir Harold
Boyle, Sir Edward Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Russell, R. S.
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Brooman-White, R. C. Joseph, Sir Keith Shepherd, William
Browne, J. Nixon (Graigton) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Bryan, P. Kaberry, D. Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden) Keegan, D. Soames, Capt. C.
Campbell, Sir David Kerr, H. W. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Carr, Robert Kimball, M. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Channon, Sir Henry Kirk, P. M. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Leavey, J. A. Storey, S.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Studholme, Sir Henry
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Summers, Sir Spencer
Craddock Beresford (Spelthorne) Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington>
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Linstead, Sir H. N. Temple, J. M.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R.(Croydon, S.)
Currie, G. B. H. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dance, J. C. G. Macdonald, Sir Peter Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Davidson, viscountess Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Deedes, W. F. Mackle, J. H. (Galloway) Turner, H. F. L.
Doughty, C. J. A.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) McLean, Neil (Inverness) Vane, W. M. F.
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Errington, Sir Eric Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Vickers, Miss J. H.
Finlay, Graeme Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Fisher, Nigel Maddan, Martin Wall, Major Patrick
Fletcher-Cooke, C. Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Fraser, Sir Ian(M'cmbe & Lonsdale) Markham, Major Sir Frank Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Freeth, D. K. Marlowe, A. A. H. Whitelaw, W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
George, J. C. (Pollok) Maude, Angus Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Glover, D. Mawby, R. L. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Woollam, John Victor
Cower, H. R. Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Graham, Sir Fergus Nairn, D. L. S.
Green, A. Neave, Airey TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gresham Cooke, R. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Mr. Wills and Colonel J. H. Harrison.
Ainsley, J. W. Blyton, W. R. Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
Bacon, Miss Alice Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Champion, A. J.
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Brockway, A. F. Clunie, J.
Benson, G. Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Brown, Thomas (Ince) Collins, V.J.(Shoreditch & Finsbury)
Blenkinsop, A. Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Cove, W. G.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery) King, Dr. H. M. Ross, William
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lawton, G. M. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Deer, G. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Dodds, N. N. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Short, E. W.
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lindgren, G. S. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lipton, Marcus Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) MacColl, J. E. Skeffington, A. M.
Flenburgh, W. McGovern, J. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) McKay, John (Wallsend) Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Gibson, C. W. McLeavy, Frank Snow, J. W.
Greenwood, Anthony MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Steele, T.
Grey, C. F. Mann, Mrs. Jean Stones, W. (Consett)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mellish, R. J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Grimond, J. Messer, Sir F. Swingler, S. T.
Hale, Leslie Mitchison, G. R. Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Moss, R. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hamilton, W. W. Moyle, A. Warbey, W. N.
Hastings, S. Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Weitzman, D.
Hayman, F. H. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Herbison, Miss M. Oliver, G. H. West, D. G.
Holmes, Horace Oram, A. E. Wheeldon, W. E.
Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Oswald, T. Wilkins, W. A.
Howell, Denis (All Saints) Owen, W. J. Willey, Frederick
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Paget, R. T. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Palmer, A. M. F. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hunter, A. E. Pargiter, G. A. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Parker, J. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Paton, John Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Peart, T. F. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Janner, B. Pentland, N. Zilliacus, K.
Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Popplewell. E.
Johnson, James (Rugby) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Proctor, W. T. Mr. Blackburn and Mr. Royle.
Kenyon, C. Randall, H. E.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Paget

I beg to move, in page 3, line 10, at the end to insert: Provided that these murders shall be capital murders only if they are committed by professional criminals.

The Chairman

With this Amendment can be considered the Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member, in page 4, line 4, at the end to add: (f) "professional criminal" means a person who has been convicted on at least two previous occasions since he attained the age of seventeen years of offences punishable on indictment and with imprisonment for a term of two years or more.

Mr. Paget

I do not propose to take any time to deal with the Amendment. It is on the Order Paper not from any expectation that the Government will accept it but to illustrate once again the general fraudulent nature of what the Government have been saying. They have been saying that whilst they recognised and accepted the will of the House of Commons on the abolition of capital punishment they feel it necessary to maintain it to curb the activities of the professional criminal. Very well, I say, by the Amendment, "Confine your hanging to professional criminals. You have already defined them in the Criminal Justice Act, 1948. Here is your definition. Put it in the Bill." The purpose of the Amendment, quite frankly, is to show that when the Government say what they are saying they are talking nonsense.

The Attorney-General

The hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) moved the Amendment with a speech of a brevity which did not detract from its eloquence, but I feel from the way in which he moved it that he would be astonished beyond measure if I said that I would accept it.

Mr. S. Silverman

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) would be astonished anyway.

The Attorney-General

In spite of the interruption by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), I am sure that it will not be a surprise to him when I say that I am sorry that the Government cannot accept the Amendment. The definition of the professional criminal which the hon. and learned Member for Northampton has drawn for the purpose of narrowing the Clause would deprive the provisions of their main object, which is not only to deter the professional criminals in the technical sense, as defined in the Criminal Justice Act, but also those who are starting on what I might call a professional career of crime. For these reasons I am sure it will not come as a surprise to the hon. and learned Member that we are unable to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Paget

On the basis of what the Attorney-General has just said, it seems to me that we are getting a long way ahead. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has given an answer to my second Amendment and not to my first. He wishes to pretend that he desires to deter the professional criminals, but he wants another definition. Splendid. I will not move the second Amendment if the Government will consent to the first.

Mr. S. Silverman

In view of what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton has pointed out, I assume that he is now less astonished than ever at the reply that he has received from the Government. What really would have astonished him would have been if the Government had given an answer to the argument he made, instead of to the Amendment which he did not move. I am not astonished that the Government reject the Amendment.

Mr. Paget

I thought they had accepted it.

Hon. Members


Mr. Silverman

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton has

not got the point yet. Has he not yet realised, in spite of all his experience, that whenever the Government are satisfied that the argument offered to them in support of an Amendment is correct, they always reject the Amendment, and that that is precisely what has happened in this case? The Attorney-General was good enough to tell us that the Government wanted to have a deterrent not only against the professional criminal in the technical sense but against the professional criminal or one likely to become a professional in the untechnical sense.

I can appreciate how attractive that might be to some people. Fraud is a crime, and whether it is a technical crime depends a good deal on who is to be defrauded and of what he is to be swindled. The Government have themselves sought, as we have repeatedly said, to defraud the Committee, the House of Commons, and the country, by arguments which they know to be false, by refusing to meet the case put before them, by pretending that they have met the case when they know perfectly well that they have not, and by pretending that there is some reality of mischief to be overcome when the facts demonstrate that there is no such reality. I suggest that if they wish to provide safeguards against the incipient dangers of professional criminality they might very well apply some of their deterrents to themselves.

Question put, That those words be there inserted:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 118, Noes 171.

Division No. 41.] AYES [7.35 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn & St. Pnos, S.)
Bacon, Miss Alice Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Johnson, James (Rugby)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Fienburgh, W. Jones, David (The Hartlepools)
Benson, G. Greenwood, Anthony Kenyon, C.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Blackburn, F. Grey, C. F. King, Dr. H. M.
Blenkinsop, A. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Lawson, G. M.
Blyton, W. R. Griffiths, William (Exchange) Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.) Grimond, J. Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Brockway, A. F. Hale, Leslie Lindgren, G. S.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) MacColl, J. E.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Hamilton, W. W. McGovern, J.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hastings, S. McLeavy, Frank
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hayman, F. H. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Champion, A. J. Herbison, Miss M. Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Clunie, J. Holmes, Horace Mann, Mrs. Jean
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Houghton, Douglas Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Mellish, R. J.
Cove, W. G. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Messer, Sir F.
Craddook, George (Bradford, S.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Mitchison, G. R.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Moss, R.
Deer, G. Hunter, A. E. Moyle, A.
Dodds, N. N. Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) Janner, B. Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Oliver, G. H.
Oram, A. E. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Warbey, W. N.
Oswald, T. Short, E. W. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Owen, W. J. Shurmer, P. L. E. West, D. G.
Paget, R. T. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Wheeldon, W. E.
Palmer, A. M. F- Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) Wilkins, W. A.
Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Skeffington, A. M. Willey, Frederick
Pargiter, G. A. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.) Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Parker, J. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Peart, T. F. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Pentland, N. Stones, W. (Consett) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Proctor, W. T. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Randall, H. E. Swingler, S. T. Zilliacus, K.
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Ross, William Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Royle and Mr. D. Howell.
Agnew, Sir Peter Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Oakshott, H. D.
Alport, C. J. M. Gurden, Harold Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Hall, John (Wycombe) Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Page, R. G.
Armstrong, C. W. Harris, Reader (Heston) Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)
Ashton, H. Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Atkins, H. E. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Baldwin, A. E. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Pitman, I. J.
Barber, Anthony Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Pitt, Miss E. M.
Barlow, Sir John Hesketh, R. F. Pott, H. P.
Barter, John Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Powell, J Enoch
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Hope, Lord John Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Bidgood, J, C. Hornby, R. P. Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Profumo, J. D.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Howard Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Raikes, Sir Victor
Bishop, F. P. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Redmayne, M.
Black, C. W. Hurd, A. R. Rippon, A. G. F.
Body, R. F. Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Roper, Sir Harold
Boyd, T. C. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon, J. A. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Russell, R. S.
Boyle, Sir Edward Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Shepherd William
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Shepherd, William
Brooman-White, R. C. Joseph, Sir Keith Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)
Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Bryan, P. Kaberry, D. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Keegan, D. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)
Campbell, Sir David Kerr, H. W. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Carr, Robert Kimball, M. Storey, S.
Channon, Sir Henry Kirk, P. M. Studholme, Sir Henry
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Leavey, J. A. Summers, Sir Spencer
Cooper-Key, E. M. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield) Temple, J. M.
Craddock Beresford (Spelthorne) Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Crosthwaite Eyre, Col. O. E. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.) Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Lucas, P.B.(Brentford & Chiswick) Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Currie, G. B. H. Macdonald, Sir Peter Turner, H. F. L.
Dance, J. C. G. Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Davidson, Viscountess Mackie, J. H. (Galloway) Vane, W. M. F.
Deedes, W. F. McLaughlin, Mrs. P. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Doughty, C. J. A. McLean, Neil (Inverness) Vickers, Miss J. H.
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.
Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) Wall, Major Patrick
Errington, Sir Eric Maddan, Martin Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Finlay, Graeme Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R. Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Fisher, Nigel Markham, Major Sir Frank Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)
Freeth, D. K. Marlowe, A. A. H. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Garner-Evans, E. H. Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
George, J. C. (Pollok) Maude, Angus Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Glover, D. Mawby, R. L, Woollam, John Victor
Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Gower, H. R. Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
Graham, Sir Fergus Nairn, D. L. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Green, A, Neave, Airey Mr. Wills and
Gresham Cooke, R. Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Colonel J. H. Harrison.
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Mr. S. Silverman

I beg to move in page 3, line 13, to leave out from "who" to "himself" in line 15.

The Chairman

I suggest that this Amendment should be taken with the next one, namely, in page 3, line 16, to leave out "that person" and insert "the person murdered".

Mr. Silverman

Yes, Sir Charles, it is the cumulative effect of the two that would make the change in the Clause that I am seeking to make.

It is just possible that this Amendment has not been the subject of any bargaining. No point of principle is involved, and it is little more than drafting. Now, therefore, that we are outside the realms of principle and outside the realm of rational argument about the objects of the Bill, and that no arrangement which the Attorney-General has made with his hon. Friends behind him would be in the least imperilled by accepting this Amendment, it is just possible that we may, for a few minutes, get an objective study of the point involved. I shall, therefore, attempt to persuade the right hon. and learned Gentleman that this is an Amendment which he might make without breaking any bargain.

7.45 p.m.

To explain the point, I will read the subsection as it stands: (2) If, in the case of any murder falling within the foregoing subsection, two or more persons are guilty of the murder, it shall be capital murder in the case of any of them who by his own act caused the death of, or inflicted or attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm on, the person murdered, or who himself used force on that person in the course or furtherance of an attack on him; but the murder shall not be capital murder in the case of any other of the persons guilty of it. The object of that subsection is plain and has the support of all of us. To put it into a sentence which will be readily understood by those who do not concern themselves, perhaps rightly, with the technicalities of legal draftsmanship, the real purpose of the subsection is to ensure that the tragedy of Derek Bentley never happens again.

I hope that it is not deviating from the argument to say that there we had a case where a boy of little more than 18, who had never committed an act of violence in his life, who did not commit an act of violence on that occasion, but who was with a boy of 15, who not merely committed an act of violence but murdered a policeman—hut who murdered him 10 or 15 minutes after Bentley was already in custody—was, nevertheless, convicted of murder, had his appeal rejected, and had his petition for mercy to the then Home Secretary, though supported by almost half the House of Commons, rejected by the Home Secretary.

I thought it was a scandal then, I think it is a scandal now, and I am certain that the execution of that youngster was more like murder than anything Derek Bentley did himself. It is absolutely indefensible. Nobody has really ever sought to explain or defend it. I took some part in trying to arrest the tragedy and I had an enormous correspondence from all over Europe. Hon. and right hon. Members who have not seen it will never really know how much damage that single case did to the good name of this country.

The purpose of this subsection is to ensure that such a thing can never happen again. It has the support of us all, but I want to invite the attention of the Attorney-General to the following point. Unless I am mistaken, its draftsmanship has been so careless that it might very well result in defeating its own object. I will read the subsection as it would read if my two Amendments were accepted. I hope that I shall get it right without actually having written it down. I think it would read like this: If, in the case of any murder falling within the foregoing subsection, two or more persons are guilty of the murder, it shall be capital murder in the case of any of them who himself used force on the person murdered in the course or furtherance of an attack on him; but the murder shall not be capital murder in the case of any other of the persons guilty of it. If the subsection read like that, it would be completely effective for the purpose. If we leave in the subsection the words which I propose to leave out a man could still be guilty who did not himself use force. Therefore, the act in line 13 must be some act other than the infliction of force. If it is, Bentley might still be guilty. What was alleged against Bentley was that he shouted words that might have been an incitement to the 15-year-old boy, "Let him have it." If he said those words, and if they are really to be interpreted, I should have thought very doubtfully and tortuously interpreted, as an incitement to fire the gun instead of an appeal to give it up, then Bentley committed an act which had a fatal result. Then the position that one assumes it is the intention of the subsection to avoid is re-enacted, and the subsection achieves nothing.

If not, perhaps the Attorney-General would tell us what kind of act, short of the infliction of force, is intended to be covered by the subsection. If he will look at the Clause dispassionately from the point of view of making certain that it achieves its purpose without doubt or ambiguity, he may find it in his heart on this occasion to accept the Amendment.

The Attorney-General

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) began his speech by trying to tease me a little by suggesting that no bargain could possibly affect the acceptance of his Amendment on this occasion. Let me assure him that I am not aware of any bargain about the Bill. Then he said that the Amendment which he is proposing was a little more than a drafting Amendment. It certainly is. I will explain how the subsection achieves its purpose. I was glad to hear the hon. Gentleman say, "It has the support of all of us," speaking for his side of the Committee.

I shall not discuss the Bentley case, but I will ask the hon. Gentleman to direct his attention to the actual wording of the subsection and to consider what difference his Amendment would make in it. It is true that "used force" would cover the case of anyone who by his own violent act caused the death of the person murdered. Anyone who has inflicted grievous bodily harm would have used force. Anyone who has attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm might not have used force. The one effect of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment would be to exclude from the operations of subsection (2) someone who had attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm on the person murdered but had not in fact done so. I will give the hon. Gentleman my reasons for saying this in a moment. I am now drawing his attention to the point.

Contrary to what the hon. Gentleman says, we feel that the draftsmanship has not been careless but is right to achieve the object of the Clause. We seek to ensure that where two persons are convicted of murder neither of them will be sentenced to death unless it can be proved that they either caused the death or that one of them caused the death, or inflicted or attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm by the use of force. It may be that we have used a few words more than are necessary to make that object clear, but it is right that we should put it as clearly as this to make sure of what we want to achieve.

I am sure that the hon. Member will agree that we cannot restrict subsection (2) just to the case of those who actually brought about the death. Where two or more people are convicted of murder it may be quite impossible to ascertain or to satisfy any jury which of the two struck the blow which resulted in the fatality. If we accept that, we cannot exclude from the same category the person who attempted to inflict on that occasion grievous bodily harm.

Mr. S. Silverman

Even accepting that, it seems that the words in the subsection are not satisfactory. In order to convict a man of murder now we have to prove that he did some act which formed part of a chain of events which resulted in murder, but would the subsection, as drafted, do that?

The Attorney-General

I am sure the hon. Gentleman realises that the subsection further limits liability to the imposition of the death penalty. It leaves liable to the death sentence only the category which comes within its provisions. The hon. Gentleman has not been very polite about some of the answers which I have given to him. They may not have been in agreement with some of the views which the hon. Gentleman expressed, but I have done my best to meet him, and I am trying my best to meet him now. We must retain the attempt to inflict grievous bodily harm, and the use of words which are justifiable for clarity. That is the difference between the effect of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment and the Clause.

Let me put to the hon. Gentleman the kind of case that might occur. Two people shoot at some victim in pursuance of an agreement. They want to kill him, are determined to do it, and they both shoot, in association together. One of them is a better marksman than the other.

He shoots and kills. The other man misses. Morally, they are both equally to blame. The hon. Gentleman says that that does not matter. Let me pursue the argument. Liability to the death sentence, where a murder has been committed in the execution of a common design by shooting, should not depend upon which of the two is the better shot. If the hon. Gentleman's Amendment were accepted, the man who shoots and misses has not used force against the victim, within the words of the subsection. I am trying to follow through what I think is a logical course of argument.

8.0 p.m.

There is really nothing very much between the hon. Member and myself as to what we want to achieve here. What we are seeking to achieve is that where two or more in a band commit a murder only those who have used force, or attempted to use force, those who have inflicted or attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm, shall be liable to a capital sentence. If we accepted the Amendment it would exclude the category of cases that I have mentioned. I gave only one illustration, but there may be others. That is why we feel it better, although the wording may be a little longer, to set out quite clearly that the actual person who, by his act, caused the death shall be liable to the capital charge—the person who inflicted grievous bodily harm resulting in death, or the person who attempted to do so in conjunction with the other accused.

We believe that to be right, and we want the subsection to deal with this point also. This is why the words "used force" are added. There is the case where a man, against his will, is held while someone else strikes the blow, or of a man being held down while someone kicks him. The mere holding probably would not be grievous bodily harm. We want both parts in the subsection; that is why it has been drafted in this way. I am sure the hon. Member would agree that is not easy to achieve by drafting. We think that we have drafted the subsection rightly. The draftsmen spent a great deal of time trying to get this point right. I have tried, although I may have failed, to put before the hon. Member the reasons why we prefer our wording to his suggested Amendment, although I think that our objective in this subsection is precisely the same.

Mr. S. Silverman

Before the right hon. and learned Gentleman concludes, will he deal with this point? He was dealing with the case of the poor marksman, or the attempt which did not succeed, and saying that the subsection was so drafted as not to excuse such a man from being guilty of capital murder if his associate at the same time was a better marksman and did succeed. Surely the anomaly to which the right hon. and learned Gentlemah points there, if it be an anomaly, is already inherent in our law? It is perfectly true that a man who fires a pistol with intent to kill is as morally guilty of murder as a man who fires a pistol and does kill, but we have never held such a man to be guilty of murder. We have always said that he was not guilty of murder unless his act resulted in death. Time after time, judges have said to a man who has been sentenced for an attempt, or for causing grievous bodily harm, "What a lucky man you are that your victim did not die." If that has been our principle in the law of murder generally, there is no reason why it should be regarded as anomalous.

The Attorney-General

We are dealing with a case where there are two or possibly more accused, and I think that makes all the difference. The hypothetical illustration that I gave was of an intention by two persons to kill both of whom fired; one killed but the other did not kill. Under our law as it stands, both would be guilty and sentenced to death. That is the position today in those circumstances. This Clause leaves that position unaltered, I think rightly.

As the hon. Member said, this Clause seeks to limit the death penalty to those who have actually caused the death or inflicted grievous bodily harm, or used force which may not of itself amount to grievous bodily harm, or who have attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm on the person murdered. While I would certainly undertake, without entering any commitment, to look at those words again in the light of what the hon. Member has said—of course, I will look at them because we want the wording to be right—I hope that this time he will understand that in the light of the discussions which I have had with those responsible for the drafting, I cannot accept the Amendment, because it would leave an anomaly which ought not to exist.

Sir Frank Soskice (Newport)

I do not want to prolong the debate. I am sure the right hon. and learned Gentleman will realise that, but if he is considering the wording of this subsection I should be grateful if he would consider what I wish to put to him. I am sure that anyone would want to remove any ambiguity so far as that is possible. I am wondering whether the words: who by his own act caused the death of.… might give rise to a great deal of uncertainty. Such a murder may be in the categories set out in Clause 5.

Suppose it is one in the category set out in paragraph (a), and there is a case of poisoning for the purpose of robbing someone of something, one person might mix the potion and hand it to another to put it in the drink of the proposed victim. Is that a case in which it could be said of either or both those persons, the mixer and the administrator of the poison, that they are persons who, by their own act, caused the death? The person who mixed the poison may be said to cause by his own act the death of the person murdered, and the person who puts the poison in the glass may in a sense be said to have caused that death. It may be that in that case, they are causing grievous bodily harm, but I should think it would be open_ to question whether the administration of the poison fell within the scope of that provision.

I put the point to the Attorney-General because I hope that when he is giving consideration to the matter, as he has kindly said he would, he will see whether there is ambiguity in these words when related to such a case as I have put to him.

The Attorney-General

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) for having put that point. I should think that the words: inflicted or attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm … would cover that case, but certainly I will look at them in conjunction with the observations of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne. As I said, this is not an easy subsection to word We think we have got it right, but I will certainly consider whether we can make any improvement.

Mr. S. Silverman

I am a little troubled as to the stage at which the right hon. and learned Gentleman can fulfil the undertaking which he has given. I quite appreciate that the undertaking is only an undertaking to reconsider the wording of the Clause in the light of what has been said, but assuming that when he reconsiders it he should feel persuaded that some Amendment is necessary, at what stage would he make that Amendment? At the moment, no Amendment has been accepted or carried against the Government. So far as we are at present advised, there can be no Report stage during which an Amendment can be made, and obviously we cannot make one at any other stage.

If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is depending on the tender mercies of another place to put right anything we do wrong here, I have to remind him that the sole function performed by another place is not to put right what we do wrong, but to put wrong what we do right. Therefore, there is no hope there.

Amendment negatived.

Mr. S. Silverman

I beg to move, in page 3, line 22, after "thereof", to insert: and provided that he shall be not less than twenty-one years of age". This is the Amendment which limits the operation of the exceptions to the abolition of the death penalty, that is to say, those in which the death penalty is preserved, to people who are not below the age of 21. I will not take up the time of the Committee in debating it at length.

The Chairman

This Amendment and the next one to line 22, after "thereof" to insert: and provided such person shall be of the male sex might be discussed together.

Mr. Silverman

Yes, Sir Charles. The same principle is involved in both.

The Royal Commission paid a good deal of attention to this proposal. It will be remembered that it made many recommendations unanimously, and some other recommendations not unanimously, but by a majority. I think I am right in saying, though I have not the Report in front of me, that it recommended by a majority that the age should be raised to 21.

There is a variety of reasons that might persuade sensible people to accept this proposal. It is a curious anomaly in our law that, if a boy of 18 contracts debts, one cannot recover those debts from him. One cannot sue him in the county court to pay the debts which he contracted. One may, in certain circumstances, be able to sue his father or his guardian or whoever is responsible for his maintenance. If he has pledged his credit for necessities, somebody may be liable to pay for them. In certain circumstances, the infant himself may be liable to pay them, but in most cases a normal debt cannot be enforced against anyone under the age of 21.

If a person under the age of 21 is run down by a motor-car, he cannot bring an action for damages. He must get his next friend to bring the action for him. When, under our Parliamentary representation system, we elect men and women to act for the community in the sovereign assembly here in Parliament, no one may take part in that election, which has the result of making, amending or repealing the laws by which they are bound, who is under the age of 21. It is only when a penalty is to be inflicted or when an onerous duty is laid upon people that they remain liable to it while still legally infants.

If they commit offences, they are liable to the penalties. If they are capital offences, they are liable, at any rate from the age of 18, three years under the age of 21. If there is a military duty to be performed which might cost life or the infliction of death, 18 is considered old enough, but for all other things, before a man is recognised to be a citizen in his own right at all, he must be 21 years of age or over.

8.15 p.m.

In these circumstances, it does not seem to be unreasonable that where we are exacting the uttermost penalty which society can inflict upon anyone, we should apply the rule which we apply in so many things of less weight. No one can say, whatever view he may take about this matter, that there is any one who is hopelessly irretrievable at the age of 18. The normal span of human life is much longer, and I do not know whether all of us would be ready to acknowledge and stand by all the things that we did between the ages of 18 and 21. Nor can it be said of many people that they are not lucky that some of the things they did during that tempestuous immaturity did not involve them in more serious penalties and disasters than actually came upon them.

Nor can it be said at the age of 18, no matter how depraved or how valueless any human life may appear to be, that in time we might not make a useful citizen and a self-respecting human being even out of that material. So I suggest to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that, bearing in mind all these factors, and adding to them the fact that the Royal Commission, albeit by a majority, recommended raising the age to 21, he might perhaps use this occasion to make the first substantial concession, apart from an undertaking to review the wording of the Bill, which the Government have made.

In spite of all the hard things that we have said and shall continue to say about this Bill, and about the Government's behaviour as between this Bill and another Bill which this House passed on a free vote, nevertheless, no one seeks to deny that, at any rate, the present Bill with all its anomalies and inadequacies is a considerable improvement upon the law as it stood before the Death Penalty (Abolition) Bill was adopted by the House of Commons. Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think that this raising of the age from 18 to 21 is a concession that might fairly be made? It cannot surely be said here that a great many cases are involved. Surely not. Nor can it be said that it is necessary to extinguish a life for any reason at so early an age as 18. I therefore beg the right hon. and learned Gentleman to give serious consideration to the Amendment.

The Attorney-General

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has spoken to this Amendment, but I thought that we were to discuss the next Amendment on the Notice Paper at the same time. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman advanced any arguments in favour of that Amendment, but I will put forward the arguments for not accepting it, and I will deal with the points which the hon. Gentleman might have raised if he had been moving it.

Mr. S. Silverman

I did not, in fact, move that Amendment.

The Attorney-General

I will deal solely with the Amendment which the hon. Gentleman has moved, but I thought that we were discussing both of them together. I wanted to make that clear.

The hon. Gentleman knows full well that this proposition which he is now putting forward was the subject of very earnest consideration by the Royal Commission, and, as he said, there was a majority of six to five in favour of it. The arguments on both sides are all set out in the Royal Commission's Report, and I hope that the Committee will not expect me now to summarise them. The hon. Member has summarised very fairly the arguments in favour of the Amendment. On 10th February, 1955, my right hon. and gallant Friend the former Home Secretary informed the House of the Government's provisional conclusions on the Royal Commission's Report, and they included the conclusion not to raise the age limit to 21. The argument for that conclusion which was put forward was the prevalence of crimes of violence among young people.

What the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne now urges is that we should make a further restriction on the liability to capital punishment. I quite understand his doing so. It might be said that since the fear of the death penalty is to be greatly restricted by the Bill it would be right to take this further step. That, I think, is what he is saying.

On the other hand, the effect of the limitations in the Bill is to confine capital murder, in the case of both persons under 21 and persons over 21 to murders committed in the course of theft, etc., so that there is an extensive limitation. It is a difficult problem, but we feel that, on balance, it is important to deter young persons from carrying weapons, and that there is a risk that if they are exempted from the death penalty the gangs will arrange that in a joint enterprise the one person of their number who will be carry- ing the weapon and who will be using it will be a person under 21, with the certain knowledge that if he kills someone he will not be liable to the death penalty.

It would be unwise and dangerous to leave this gap in the safeguards which the Bill retains against armed criminals. As I am sure the hon. Member is aware, every consideration is given, and will continue to be given, to the factor of youth in determining whether or not a reprieve should be recommended. We feel that there are no sufficient grounds to justify us in changing our view that persons under 21 ought not in all circumstances to be free from liability to the death penalty.

I am sorry once again to have to disappoint the hon. Member, but I am sure that it does not come as a surprise to him. I hope that at least I have been able to advance the arguments on the other side in such a fashion that, even if he does not agree with them, he will at least appreciate them.

Mr. Ede

I had hoped. that we might have a rather more enlightened speech in reply to the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) than that which we have, in fact, heard. I was very surprised indeed that we were referred back to what was said in February, 1955. It seems to me that the more the Government change, the more it is the same thing. Had we wanted to be sarcastic about this Bill and not merely humorous, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) have been, there could have been a very fine piece of satire directed against the Front Bench opposite on the change between February, 1955, and January, 1957.

I speak as one who has had some experience of dealing with this problem. Indeed, I think that no case presents greater difficulty to the person who has to consider whether a recommendation shall be made for the exercise of the Prerogative than that of the young convicted murderer. It is true that the majority on this issue on the Royal Commission was narrow. One reason that the House of Lords rejected my hon. Friend's Bill was that the majority on Third Reading in the House was narrow. What appeals to another place never appeals to me. After all, we live by majority rule and a decision of the Royal Commission was a decision, as has been said more than once, not merely on one side of the House but also by many other people whose opinion is entitled to the very highest respect.

I take one other point—one advanced by my hon. Friend, I thought, with complete sincerity and conviction. We have gone so far now from what the position was in 1955 that we expect that about five out of six persons who were then regarded as likely to be liable to the death penalty, likely to suffer the death penalty in any given year, will, in future, not be under that liability at all. Here, we are dealing with those young people who, as my hon. Friend said, are the most likely to be able to redeem past errors and to lead the lives of good citizens.

We raised the age limit by one year in the 1948 Act, if my recollection is right. I do not know that anything very seriously wrong has happened as a result of that concession. In fact, it was generally accepted as a working rule that we regarded a year or two higher than that as being the actual limit when consideration was given as to what recommendation should be made.

I should have thought that on the view which is now taken—that we want to give persons who commit errors a chance of proving that they are capable of better things—there was everything to be said for raising this age limit and for bringing into the category for certain three additional years. I know the difficulty which confronts the Home Secretary about the prevalence of violence among young people, but I am not at all certain that this is not one of the cases in which the very theatricality which attaches to this situation does not have its influence on certain people.

Earlier this afternoon we had a debate on the deterrence of flogging. I am quite sure that the same thing applies here as, I know, applies there. There are some prisoners who are determined that they will be such "tough guys" that every prisoner in the prison shall recognise that they have a character that cannot be broken. During my term as Home Secretary, I had one man who was flogged time and again for that reason. I was told that a predecessor of mine, who had a similar man, said that he would break him by continuing the infliction of the penalty—and it failed.

One has to face this, that the drama that will still attach to the capital penalty as long as it remains does have an amazing effect on certain people. I recognise that the right hon. and learned Gentleman made a reply to my hon. Friend that followed much the line that my hon. Friend expected but, not having been present throughout the proceedings on the Bill, I had not realised how hardened the right hon. and learned Gentleman's heart is.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Charles Royle (Salford, West)

As a result of trying to do something in the way of unofficial duties in another way I have refrained from taking part in the debates on this Bill during the last two days, but I hope that the Attorney-General will realise that I speak now because I feel very strongly about this Amendment. My hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has adduced the arguments that required to be adduced, with very sound common sense and great eloquence. I want to support him very sincerely indeed now, and to make an appeal to the Attorney-General to give way, and so show that there is an anxiety on the part of the Government to make this as fair a Bill as possible.

In the course of our duties in the magistrates' courts, we sentence nobody to prison under the age of 21 years if we can possibly avoid it. The Criminal Justice Act, 1948, makes this provision for us; persons between the ages of 17 and 21 are designated as young persons. If it is right and proper to regard it as wrong to sentence to imprisonment people below the age of 21, how much more should we regard it as sinful to sentence them to death?

We all remember our irresponsible years when we were young. I have tried to think what sort of chap I was between the ages of 17 and 21. I was rather irresponsible and I confess it. It might easily have been that in those days, but for the grace of God, I should have found myself in some of the gangs such as exist today. My life might have been forfeit because of irresponsibility in those later years of adolescence.

I do not want to say a great deal. I would rather that my sincerity showed than that I should make a long speech. I do plead with the Attorney-General that even if he is not prepared to say it here and now, he will at least give us an assurance that before the Bill reaches a later stage he will look again very seriously at this issue, and, in line with our views on imprisonment of persons below the age of 21, give way to us on this matter.

Very many serious arguments can be adduced in support of that plea. We do not allow people below the age of 21 to record their votes, yet those same people whom we regard as not yet being ready to take part in the franchise we regard as people who can be condemned to death, maybe because of an irresponsible action. Once more, I beg the Government to look at this matter again to see if they can do something about it.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle), I shall not take up much of the time of the Committee, but I am indeed deeply distressed that the Government should have treated this Amendment so unsympathetically. I had hoped that this was one of the points upon which Her Majesty's Government could have been made a concession to what is a large body of opinion on this subject. I should not like people to read in the newspapers tomorrow that, after due deliberation, this House had decided that it could not do away with capital punishment in the case of young people under the age of 21. I think that it would be a terrible thing if this House went on record in that way.

Like my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) and my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West, I sit as a magistrate. I see something of the young people who come before me and who have committed offences against society. Yet I can never see those young people without feeling that in some way society itself has committed an offence against them. If there are young people who are driven to crimes of violence of this kind, not only they but society as a whole should be punished.

I should like to think that the Government were treating this matter in a rather more progressive and humane way than one inferred from what the Attorney-General said. I earnestly beg him to look at this matter again. I would rather that the House did not go on record tonight as endorsing the views which the right hon. and learned Gentleman expressed a few minutes ago, and I should like him to say that we shall have an opportunity later of deciding whether we can make this concession to humane feeling.

In conclusion, I should like to remind the Attorney-General that although the Royal Commission made this recommendation only by a majority vote, the majority did say: Of all proposals that can be made for reducing the number of cases in which the capital sentence is executed, we know of none that has stronger and clearer claims to support than the proposal to raise the age limit. The Government have decided to abolish the death penalty in respect of men who kill children in the course of rape and men who poison their wives, but they are not prepared to make this concession in respect of young persons.

Mr. S. Silverman

In view of the completely negative response of the Attorney-General. I must recommend that this Amendment should be pressed to a Division. I still hope, however, that the Attorney-General will make it unnecessary for us to do so.

The only point that the Attorney-General made, and which was not covered in my own opening speech, was his reference to the narrowness of the majority in the Royal Commission. I could follow that argument more readily if I found the right hon. and learned Gentleman more ready himself to accept the Royal Commission's recommendations where the majority was wider, and a fortiori where the Royal Commission was unanimous. It is a little hard to say, "I will not accept the Royal Commission's recommendation on this point because it was carried only by a majority of one", and, at the same time, refuse so many recommendations of the Royal Commission in which it had no difference of opinion at all.

May I remind the Attorney-General—and this is really the point that I rose to make—that it may very well be that the minority on the Royal Commission who were in favour of retaining the present age of 18 reached their decision because they had in mind the unanimous recommendation that they also made to leave the actual decision of whether in any particular case a murder was to be treated as capital or not to the jury that heard the case? I hope that we shall have a later opportunity of discussing that matter. I know that it has been almost universally unpopular, for reasons that I well understand, and we are not debating now whether the Government ought or ought not to have accepted that recommendation.

What I am saying is that if the Royal Commission had known that the Government were going to reject that recommendation, it is at least conceivable that the Commission's attitude to the proposal to raise the age for capital punishment by three years from 18 to 21 would have been unanimous and not by a narrow majority in this way.

The Attorney-General

It is possible to enter into all sorts of speculations about what the Royal Commission might or might not have done if it had had this Bill before it. I did not seek—and I am sure the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) does not wish to misrepresent my argument—to attach undue weight to the narrow majority of one or to the fact that it was a narrow majority. The responsibility must rest upon the Government, whatever their colour may be, of making up their minds in the light of the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

The arguments which have been advanced today are arguments which have been considered by the Royal Commission and by the Government, and considered very carefully indeed. As I am sure hon. Members will agree, no one, not even the most hardened retentionist, wants to retain the death penalty where he does not believe that there is a real need for it.

The Government of the day must consider this matter, and they have considered it very carefully. I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle). The Government feel that at this time they cannot, having regard to their duty to preserve law and order, make this further limitation—

Mr. Anthony Greenwood


The Attorney-General

I did not interrupt the hon. Gentleman when he said things which struck me as being very ridiculous. I am trying to put forward a view which, though he may not agree with it, is sincerely and honestly held. I am surprised that that sort of interruption should be made. We do not feel that at this time we can make that kind of advance.

Mr. S. Silverman

I should not trouble the Committee again but for the kind of argument to which the Attorney-General has thought it right at this time to treat us. What is the good of pontificating about the duty of the Government and their responsibility to give a lead in this matter? That is precisely what they have been refusing to do. They are giving a lead now only because the House of Commons, when invited to give them a lead according to its own judgment, gave a lead which the Government did not want to follow. It is only now that they have discovered an over-riding duty to ignore everybody else's opinions, give a lead, and discharge a responsibility which rests solely upon them.

It really will not do. If the Government had said it last year, one could have understood it, though one would not have agreed with it. No Government within living memory has ever said that this is a matter where the Government must take responsibility. During the twenty-one years that I have been a Member of the House of Commons we have always said that this is precisely a matter that the Government shall not decide. They should advise the House, and then leave the House to decide the matter for itself.

To say now, "We are going to do this as a Government; we are giving a lead," does no more than persuade us once again that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and the Government do not feel themselves free to make the concession which was asked of them or consider the arguments at all. We are back to the bond. We are back to the contract. We are back to the compromise agreement in which the lives of men and women and the organisation of our society are to depend upon a foul-smelling deal made in the corridors of the House of Commons, which is concealed from the House and withheld from its debates.

Mr. J. McGovern (Glasgow, Shettleston)

I have not spoken in the House for some time, and I had no intention of taking part in this debate, although I have been following the progress of the various Measures for the abolition of capital punishment, supporting them strongly in the Lobby.

I can understand the differences of opinion in regard to capital punishment, but on this question now before the Committee as to the difference between the age of 18 and the age of 21, I should have thought the Amendment would have had a very special appeal to any Member of this Committee or to any reasonable person in society. I must confess that I am always amazed and rather alarmed when I hear talk about the things which youth does in the way of crime, when it shows aggressiveness and audaciousness in the pursuit of crime; but, surely, might we not expect that sort of thing when we take young boys of 18 years of age and train them in the art of killing?

I remember that, in the last war, I was rather shocked when I saw young boys trained as commandos to go to France and taught that, in climbing the cliffs, they had to have knives in their teeth in order to be ready to use them quickly, their job being to slit the throats of the gunners in order to allow the landings to take place in those parts.

8.45 p.m.

It may be necessary to train youth to do these things in defence of a country or of certain rights of freedom, but if young boys of 18 years of age have been trained to do all these things—running across a barrack yard, plunging a bayonet into a sack of sawdust and being shown where to strike at the heart—they cannot be expected to be sons of romance when they come back. Therefore, if they have done a bit of killing by order of the Government, it is very difficult to restrain them afterwards if they feel a grievance themselves, or are without finances to carry on their ordinary avocations in life.

The question of the difference between the ages of 18 and 21 is very important indeed, and I say this as a father. I am sure that every father of a family is disturbed as his family grows up, because he never knows what they will do. It may be that the son of any good father or mother can get into the wrong kind of company and it may be that between the ages of 18 and 21, in the flush of youth, youngsters do things that they would regret afterwards. To place young boys of that kind in the same category and on the same basis as the hardened criminal, and so to threaten their lives at that age, is shocking.

I can understand all the differences of opinion for and against capital punishment—I try to follow everybody's point of view and people's convictions and principles—but I think that the whole wishy-washy attitude towards the previous Bill, the antagonism towards it and the lack of giving a lead, is exactly what is undermining the whole spirit of the community throughout the world today. All the troubles in the world are a reflection of the lack of leadership that we have at the top.

After listening to the debate yesterday and today, this is the one outstanding concession that would, I am satisfied, make an appeal to every citizen of the country. If the concession were made, it would be approved and applauded. It is degrading to see in the House of Commons that the Government have forgotten the real powers of leadership in refusing to grant this small concession. I appeal to the Attorney-General to give further consideration to it.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

In considering a previous Amendment, the Attorney-General made an observation which appeared to me to be one of first importance, and it appears to me to have considerable relevance to the Amendment which is now under consideration. The Attorney-General said that in considering the criminal or the country, we must have regard to possible eventualities which might occur. He said that we were not concerned with the number of police constables who were killed in the execution of their duties, but were concerned with the possibility that a police constable might be killed in the execution of his duty in circumstances which no previous person had ever possibly conceived.

Under interrogation by one of my hon. Friends, the right hon. and learned Gentleman added that he was not prepared to discuss the details of these possible putative assassinations; he was not prepared even to envisage what might presumably occur in some back street in the remote future. He was merely saying that if he could announce to the House that in certain circumstances of crime that kind of thing might possibly occur, it was the duty of the House of Commons to make provision in respect of it and to pass the necessary legislation to deal with it.

That raises at once two rather important propositions, the first of which is this. I would not for a moment wish to take the Committee into the labyrinth of sexual anomalies. Anyone who cared to study Kraft-Ebbing would find a great number of sexual crimes for which no punitive force has ever been applied. It has never been applied because of the fact that on the whole those things are comparatively rare. Those extraordinary aberrations do not happen very often, and no Parliament up to now has thought it worth while to provide punitive provisions for offences which rarely occur and which may never occur.

That might at least have been an argument of some kind, but I do not advance that argument far because there is a much more important argument. The right hon. and learned Gentleman was not discussing the question whether to make the matter a crime. He was discussing the question whether to increase the punishment. He was not talking of whether the killing of a policeman was murder or not. What he was talking about was whether the killing of a policeman in certain circumstances should be made a sort of aggregate of murder which would demand the imposition of the death sentence. There, of course, the Attorney-General's argument becomes completely inconceivable.

There could—and I concede it—in the sort of society that Anatole France envisaged in some of his fantasias, arise the possibility of intellectuals making provision for every sort of eventuality which might conceivably occur. If it were not a very practical proposition, it would at least be an arguable philosophic proposition. That was not the case with the Attorney-General's. The Attorney-General says we must provide additional punishment for this. Not because it is a frequent crime. Indeed, he says it has never happened: never.

We have had 56 years in this century in which the Secretary of State for the Home Department says 15 constables have been killed. The right hon. Gentleman said, "I have here the whole of the details of every case." He added, "I have not time to analyse them. I have not time to inform the Committee just how many fall into this category and how many fall into that." It would be a pafectly simple proposition to say at least the number who were shot and the number who were not shot. That would he a mathematical proposition not beyond even the resources of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Mr. S. Silverman

An ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Hale

An ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, and let me say at once, the best Chancellor we have had for the last three years. [Laughter.] Certainly. If we compare him with his successor, of course he was comparatively a success.

The right hon. Gentleman, with all the resources of the Treasury behind him, with all the experience of figures that is inevitably necessary for a Chancellor since the father of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) displayed his own ignorance of mathematics to the extent that exercise books had to be almost a guaranteed provision in the Treasury, the right hon. Gentleman, with all the resources of modern mathematical science, said, "I cannot offhand deal with this massive number of cases." Fifteen. "I cannot analyse them. It is not possible for me," the right hon. Gentleman said, with a piece of paper in front of him with all the details of those 15 cases, "to give the Committee the sort of statistical analysis which only my experts, after weeks of thought, could prepare for submission to the Committee. It is, therefore, impossible for me to say how many were shot and how many were not shot."

To subdivide those who were shot intentionally, with secret motive so to do, or not, would be beyond the competence of the Treasury and the Home Office. So we approach this extremely important Clause with almost no information on the vital matters which we ought to be considering.

I am, of course, a simple soul. It is rather sad that in this Committee, containing people of great education and learning, I am—

Mr. Ellis Smith (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

Would my hon. Friend repeat what he said about himself? I did not hear it.

Mr. Hale

I was only referring to the obvious facet of simplicity which is so apparent that it is not, perhaps, right for me to make any comment upon it.

If I were not speaking from my heart, and had I concern only for the fact that this is a highly intellectual assembly, I would never have trespassed upon its time. If I were to realise that there were men on the other side of the Committee who could speak on these things with a conception of reality, an appreciation of philosophy and a learning which I could never attain. I would just speak of my simple self and say, "You should not hang a bloke who cannot vote". When I lived in my little village in Leicestershire and said things like that people thought that they were rather profound. They had not had the opportunities available in Bloomsbury of ventilating and considering matters and realising that there are any of these profundities which have a scientific, intellectual and ethical bearing on the matter. Now that I have realised these things and have imbibed the learning denied me for so long, I will not take time in repeating puerilities and will come to the fundamentals, I will try to deal with the Amendment on the sort of terms in which it has been dealt with in the course of these erudite discussions.

Is it not on the whole rather reasonable that we should evaluate criminal responsibility? After all, people err and contravene regulations that we have made. It is a tribute to the respectability that I have recently attained that I resist the temptation to make observations or the amount of knowledge that we have of the regulations that we make, of shows how reticent I am that I do not accept the temptation to say that on the whole Parliament passes regulations which generally it does not understand and allows to be passed Statutory Instruments which it has never heard of, and people go to prison for breaking regulations put forward in Parliament at eleven o'clock at night and passed one minute after eleven without discussion.

When I was a solicitor in practice I did not realise that. It was only when an errant client came along and confessed that he had broken a certain regulation that I realised for the first time that it was a crime. Now a lad of 18 is to be confronted with what is perhaps the most difficult branch of criminal law and is to be brought to trial on a series of propositions which have a single authority. No hon. Member on this side of the Committee has ever understood them, and goodness knows, we have tried. No hon. Member opposite has ever thought them worth a comment, but from time to time, at intervals of three hours over a period of seven or eight days, the Attorney-General has said, "On the whole I can assure the Committee that this is intelligible and I can understand it."

The Attorney-General is the solitary repository of the criminal law of the country, in almost the same way as my noble Friend, whom I am told lives in the same street as myself but whom I have never met, a former Minister of Town and Country Planning, was the solitary repository of knowledge of that elaborate law on town and country planning which he once explained in a speech of 2¼ hours. And because he was not very audible and even when translated into writing, so far as I am aware, was not really understood by anyone, no one was able to make any comment upon it.

I beg the Attorney-General, in the interests of science and of the respect that we owe to the House of Commons and to statute law, to confide the secrets of this Bill in his testamentary disposition as a legacy to the lawyers of the country. We have reached a stage in the criminal law of the country in which the Attorney-General says, "Leave it to me, boys. I understand it." I do not wish to say a single discourteous word about the Attorney-General, for whom I have the kind of affection which all of us have who value museum pieces, but I say with complete sincerity that, much as we deplore it, his life is terminable. There must come a moment, however regrettable it may be, when the right hon. and learned Gentleman must hand over his torch to his successor. Who might it be?

9.0 p.m.

The Chairman

Whoever he is, he will not be within these age limits.

Mr. Hale

I apologise to you, Sir Charles, most sincerely and I accept that you must be right. However I venture to suggest that Horace himself explained himself as being in the same difficulty—that when he spoke briefly he was almost unintelligible and that when he spoke at length he became clear. After all, that is a difficulty which afflicts many of us.

I venture to make an appeal to you, Sir Charles, in view of the high and distinguished office which you held last year. After all, I am only a 24-handicap speaker. It is very difficult for me to keep the rhetorical ball upon the Parliamentary fairway. My hon. and right hon. Friends above the Gangway are obviously more competent than I am. Although I appreciate that you are watching me with care—

The Chairman

The hon. Member is out of bounds.

Mr. Hale

In those circumstances, Sir Charles, I accept your Ruling, and I will drop another ball. I really am sorry. It is only due to the ebullience of my hon. Friend that, whenever I rise to speak and desire to make a serious point, there comes a time when they feel that I am handling my subject a little more lightly than I should. I do not wish to handle this matter lightly because, after all, it is of vital importance.

If one goes back over the history of the last few years and thinks of the cases which hurt the conscience of the public, who do we think of? We think of young Jacoby. We think of the young servant, the lad of 18, the lad with no education, the lad with no training, who goes one night into the bedroom of the woman of the house. Clearly he goes with no intent to kill but as a young and inexperienced lover probably—let us face it—rather warmed up for the occasion by the sensational Press of the day, which now talks about freedom of thought and freedom of opinion. Having got there, he is tempted into the attack.

I remember very well that the conscience of the public was rather hurt at that time because of the two cases that were dealt with by the Home Office at the same moment. I say at once, and with no hesitation, that the reprieve of Ronald True was absolutely justified. It was unfortunate that, because that man happened to be mad and was found to be mad, comparison was made, but why was this young man hanged? Why?

I said facetiously yesterday within these discussions that sometimes we are inhibited from commenting upon the tragedy before it happens, and that we are inhibited from commenting on it after it has happened because all too often Members of this House have some participation in it. What about young Bentley?

Mr. S. Silverman rose

Mr. Hale

I understand from my hon. Friend that in the few moments that I was absent from the Chamber, some reference was made to that case. If I were to refer to what happened that night I should perhaps refer to matters upon which one does not want to make extravagant comment. However, I remember that on the night before his execution people from all over England were ringing up the House of Commons. All over England people said, "I cannot go to bed before I know what happens to this unhappy young epileptic, this man who was born with no advantage, this lad who has not killed, this lad who has been taken to the scaffold under a technical deference to the law". These people came through on the telephone and said, "We want to know".

That was not hysterics, it was not people who had been spending the evening at the pictures at Surbiton, but lawyers, professional men, men who all their lives had lived with these things and knew that there are times for punishment and times for the infliction of hardship. They said, "We cannot tolerate the feeling that this is going to happen." That is what happened about young Bentley.

Now we have an Amendment before us which says to the Home Secretary, "This will relieve you from this responsibility; you can forget it". God knows how pleased we should be to see this given to us, because there is always a Minister who has to exercise this great responsibility; there is always a man who has to consider these matters in detail; there is always a Minister who is liable; always a Minister, often a humanitarian, often a man whom we respect and for whom we have regard, who is called upon to make this decision so long as the death sentence exists; always a Minister who has to give the final word.

No greater responsibility rests upon any man, and we ought to feel quite sincerely a genuine sympathy for anyone called upon to bear that dread responsibility of making that grave decision. Here is a chance for the Government. They can accept the Amendment. Is it possible to give any reason why they should not? What possible consideration can there be for saying that there must be certain circumstances in which they want to send a lad of 20 years of age to the scaffold?

Which lad of 20? How has he been trained? Is it to be a man of education, a man of learning? There is a fantastic letter in the Manchester Guardian this week in which the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne), the most voluble and most frequent writer of all hon. Members, appealed for leniency for the Foreign Secretary on the ground that he is a Wesleyan Methodist. This was the appeal. It was said, "He belongs to a decent Wesleyan Methodist family, and therefore he should not be criticised."

The same argument could obviously have been made on behalf of a great many people. Joe Stalin was educated in a religious seminary; Cesare Borgia lived under the paternal shadow of the triple tiara; and I was brought up in a society in which it was said against a prisoner, "He has been well brought up and this is rather a serious case against him. He has had advantages and he has betrayed them." But who is it we want to hang? Let us face it. We are discussing a simple Amendment which means that either we give to the Home Secretary the right to hang a lad aged between 18 and 21 or we do not. That is what it means. It means neither more nor less. Either we say to the Home Secretary, "You will have a right to consider this matter," or we say, "No, you will not." Who, therefore, is it that we have in mind?

My hon. Friend the Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) made some reference to military training, and I am very happy that he has been applying his mind to this in the course of the last few months. I approach it from a slightly different religious angle. I have applied my mind to it and I have come to very much the same conclusion. He stated the facts, I thought, with reserve and certainly with reluctance. The training of the commando at 18 years of age is not merely the training to shoot, but training him how to strangle a man with a piece of wire, how to get behind a man and deprive him of his life quite quietly, peacefully and effectively by the ordinary process of strangulation using, on the whole, the sort of ordinary technique which is available to anyone, and with the sort of ordinary apparatus which is there.

Are we to hang him if he uses his knowledge in civil life? When this lad of 21 was 18, his mother and father were bombed out of their house and he was left in the sort of society which war had created. Are we desirous of considering cases like that? I should have thought that in all the controversy we have had about this matter, after all the Amendments which have been moved, and after all the occasions on which the Attorney-General has said, "Public safety, the public interest, my own conception of what the law is, or my own view of the facts, is such that I beg the House to give me a certain power", we could not find one occasion which involved a narrower issue than the present Amendment.

Quite clearly, the issue is: are we to give the power to the Home Secretary to hang a man before that man is qualified for the vote Are we to take a lad from school and lead him to the scaffold? Are we to keep a public executioner and pay him £10 a time to take a child, an undeveloped infant, an epileptic, to the scaffold, saying that to deprive them of their lives is vital to the interest of society? In the whole course of these debates, I have not said a word which could be characterised as unduly controversial. I hope that that will be borne in mind when we are considering this question.

There have been multiple murders which have been a tremendous success. There have been mass murders by the score. There are still greater mass murders which are not called crimes at all and which have involved thousands of people. Some are called "warlike operations". In considering the position of lads of 18 and 19 years of age Government supporters might have a certain guilt complex which would make them feel that, looking at all the facts, they could exercise a leniency of judgment which has not been apparent in their previous behaviour, and a determination that infants, at least, should be spared from the horrors of the scaffold.

Question put, That those words be there inserted:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 111, Noes 160.

Division No. 42.] AYES [9.14 p.m.
Ainsley, J. W. Hayman, F. H. Pentland, N.
Bacon, Miss Alice Herbison, Miss M. Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Holmes, Horace Proctor, W. T.
Benson, G. Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Reeves, J.
Beswick, F. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Blackburn, F. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Ross, William
Blyton, W. R. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Short, E. W.
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Shurmer, P. L. E.
Brockway, A. F. Janner, B. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Skeffington, A. M.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Champion, A. J. Kenyon, C. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Clunie, J. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) King, Dr. H. M. Steele, T.
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) Lawson, G. M. Stones, W. (Consett)
Cove, W. G. Lee, Frederick (Newton) Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Thomson, Ceorge (Dundee, E.)
Darling, Ceorge (Hillsborough) Lindgren, G. S. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Davies, Harold (Leek) MacColl, J. E. Warbey, W. N.
Deer, G. McGovern, J. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch) McKay, John (Wallsend) West, D. G.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McLeavy, Frank Wheeldon, W. E.
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Wilkins, W. A.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) Mann, Mrs. Jean Willey, Frederick
Fienburgh, W. Marquand, Rt, Hon. H. A. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mitchison, G. R. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Greenwood, Anthony Moyle, A. Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Oram, A. E. Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Grey, C. F. Oswald, T. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Owen, W. J. Woof, R. E.
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Paget, R. T. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Grimond, J. Palmer, A, M. F. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Hale, Leslie Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Zilliacus, K.
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Pargiter, G. A.
Hamilton, W. W. Parker, J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hastings, S. Peart, T. F. Mr. Royle and Sir Leslie Ptummer
Agnew, Sir Peter Dance, J. C. C. Hope, Lord John
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Davidson, Viscountess Hornby, R. P.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Deedes, W. F. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Armstrong, C. W. Doughty, C. J. A. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Ashton, H. Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Hurd, A. R.
Atkins, H. E. Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)
Baldwin, A. E. Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry
Barber, Anthony Errington, Sir Erie Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Barlow, Sir John Finlay, Graeme Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Barter, John Fisher, Nigel Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Fletcher-Cooke, C. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Bidgood, J. C. Freeth, D. K. Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Biggs-Davidson, J. A. Garner-Evans, E. H. Joseph, Sir Keith
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel George, J. C. (Pollok) Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot
Bishop, F. P. Glover, D, Kaberry, D.
Black, C. W. Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Keegan, D.
Body, R. F. Gower, H. R. Kerr, H. W.
Boyd, T. C. Graham, Sir Fergus Kimball, M.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Leavey, J. A.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Green, A. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Gresham Cooke, R. Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
Brooman-White, R. C. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
Campbell, Sir David Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Carr, Robert Gurden, Harold Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)
Channon, Sir Henry Hall, John (Wycombe) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Conant, Maj Sir Roger Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Macdonald, Sir Peter
Cooper-Key, E. M. Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. 0. E. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hesketh, R. F. Maddan, Martin
Currie, G. B. H. Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Markham, Major Sir Frank Pott, H. P. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)
Marlowe, A A. H, Powell, J. Enoch Temple, J. M.
Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Maude, Angus Profumo, J, D. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.)
Mawby, R. L. Raikes, Sir Victor Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C. Redmayne, M. Turner, H. F. L.
Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R. Rippon, A. G. F. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Vane, W. M. F.
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Roper, Sir Harold Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Nairn, D, L. S. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Vickers, Miss J. H.
Neave, Airey Russell, R. S. Wall, Major Patrick
Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch) Shepherd, William Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Oakshott, H. D. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare) Soames, Capt. C. Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Page, R. G. Spearman, Sir Alexander Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Woollam, John Victor
Pike, Miss Mervyn Storey, S.
Pitman, I. J. Studholme, Sir Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Pitt, Miss E, M. Summers, Sir Spencer Mr. E. Wakefield and
Mr. Hughes-Young.
The Chairman

We have concluded the discussion on the Amendments, and as I am of opinion that the principle of the Clause has been adequately discussed on the Amendments, I propose to put the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

With great respect, Sir Charles, although we have had an adequate discussion, I think it is very desirable that we should be able to gather together many of the loose ends on this Clause and have a look at the Clause itself, which so far we have had

no opportunity of doing. I very much hope that, provided that we can have a discussion in a reasonable length of time, you will be agreeable to our doing so.

The Chairman

I think that the principle has been adequately discussed on the Amendments, and I must put the Question forthwith, under Standing Order No. 45.

Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 160, Noes 109.

Division No. 43] AYES [9.24 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West) Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
Armstrong, C. W. Errington, Sir Eric Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Ashton, H. Finlay, Graeme Joseph, Sir Keith
Atkins, H. E. Fisher, Nigel Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot
Baldwin, A. E. Fletcher-Cooke, C. Kaberry, D.
Barber, Anthony Freeth, D. K. Keegan, D.
Barlow, Sir John Garner-Evans, E. H. Kerr, H. W.
Barter, John George, J. C. (Pollok) Kimball, M.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.) Glover, D. Kirk, P. M.
Bidgood, J. C. Gomme-Duncan, Col. Sir Alan Leavey, J. A.
Biggs-Davison, J. A. Gower, H. R. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Graham, Sir Fergus Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)
Bishop, F. P. Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Black, C. W. Green, A. Lucas, P. B.(Brentford & Chiswick)
Body, P.. F. Gresham Cooke, R. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Boyd, T. C. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) Macdonald, Sir Peter
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A. Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Gurden, Harold Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Hall, John (Wycombe) Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)
Brooman-White, R. C. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye) Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
Campbell, Sir David Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd) Maddan, Martin
Carr, Robert Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
Channon, Sir Henry Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G. Markham, Major Sir Frank
Conant, Maj. Sir Roger Hesketh, R. F. Marlowe, A. A. H.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Hill, John (S. Norfolk) Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Hope, Lord John Maude, Angus
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hornby, R. P. Mawby, R. L.
Crowder, Sir John (Finchley) Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
Currie, C. B. H. Hughes-Young, M. H. C. Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh
Dance, J. C. G. Hurd, A. R. Nairn, D. L. S.
Davidson, Viscountess Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun) Neave, Airey
Deedes, W. F. Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Doughty, C. J. A. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)
Oakshott, H, D. Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D. Russell, R. S. Vane, W. M. F.
Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare) Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Page, R. G. Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Vickers, Miss J. H.
Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale) Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Soames, Capt. c. Wall, Major Patrick
Pike, Miss Mervyn Spearman, Sir Alexander Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
Pitman, I. J. Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Pitt, Miss E. M. Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Whitelaw, W. S. I. (Penrith & Border)
Pott, H. P. Storey, S. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Powell, J. Enoch Studholme, sir Henry Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.) Summers, Sir Spencer Wills, G. (Bridgwater)
Profumo, J. D. Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Raikes, Sir Victor Temple, J. M. Woollam, John Victor
Redmayne, M. Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Rippon, A. G. F. Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, S.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Tilny, John (Wavertree) Mr. Legh and Mr. Bryan.
Roper, Sir Harold Turner, H. F. L.
Ainsley, J. W. Herbison, Miss M. Parker, J.
Bacon, Miss Alice Holmes, Horace Peart, T. F.
Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.) Howell, Charles (Perry Barr) Pentland, N.
Benson, G. Howell, Denis (All Saints) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Beswick, F. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Proctor, W. T.
Blackburn, F. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Reeves, J.
Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Ross, William
Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Brockway, A. F. Janner, B. Short, E. W.
Brown, Thomas (Ince) Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T. Shurmer, P. L. E.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Johnson, James (Rugby) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley) Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Champion, A. J. Jones, David (The Hartlepools) Skeffington, A. M.
Clunie, J. Kenyon, C. Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)
Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Collins, V. J. (Shoreditch & Finsbury) King, Dr. H. M. Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Cove, W. G. Lawson, C. M. Steele, T.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stones, W. (Consett)
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lindgren, G. S. Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Deer, G. MacColl, J. E. Warbey, W. N.
Dugdale, Rt Hn. John (W. Brmwch)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. McGovern, J. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McKay, John (Wallsend) West, D. G.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.) McLeavy, Frank Wheeldon, W. E.
Fienburgh, W. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Wilkins, W. A.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mann, Mrs. Jean Willey, Frederick
Greenwood, Anthony Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A. Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R. Mitchison, G. R. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Grey, C. F. Moyle, A. Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Neal, Harold (Bolsover) Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)
Griffiths, William (Exchange) Oram, A. E. Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)
Grimond, J. Oswald, T. Yates, V. (Ladywood)
Hale, Leslie Owen, W. J. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Paget, R. T. Zilliacus, K.
Hamilton, W. W. Palmer, A. M. F.
Hastings, S. Panned, Charles (Leeds, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hayman, F. H. Pargiter, G. A. Mr. Royle and
Sir Leslie Plummer.