§ Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)
I beg to move in page 5, line 35, after "can", to insert:and in no case less than one week before the date fixed.
§ Mr. Hale
Yes, Sir Charles.
The Bill, at present, while it abolishes the setting up of a notice of execution outside the prison, makes provision in this Clause for the Home Secretary to give notice of the date and time of the execution. I think that all of us would agree with that part of the Bill which is designed to prevent the morbid collection of heterogeneous humanity outside a prison at eight o'clock on the morning of an execution. Many of us would wish that the ceremony itself were completely abolished, so that there would be no point in such a gathering. But there is an important point about this. If we do things in a hole and corner way, and if we abolish publicity altogether, it may be difficult sometimes for those people who want to make an effort to save the life of a condemned man to be able to do so in time.
Unless there is adequate publicity and adequate information, as Members on both sides of the Committee will realise, it is almost impossible to do anything effective until the case has gone to the Court of Criminal Appeal, where murder cases almost invariably do go, and until the Court of Criminal Appeal has announced its decision.
It is only then, after people have become appraised of the decision of the 680 Court of Criminal Appeal, that there can be any sort of organisation to represent to the Home Office or to those exercising the Royal Prerogative the state of the public mind on the matter. It is, of course, sometimes necessary, and sometimes of extreme importance, to call the attention of the Home Office or the Home Secretary to matters which could not be given in evidence at the trial because they were not relevant to the trial at issue but which are eminently relevant to the question of the execution.
One cannot, at a trial, and when pleading not guilty to a capital charge, introduce considerations of the mental health and the psychological past of the accused. But all these matters are eminently proper to be considered by the Home Secretary and, although he has the advice of experts on these matters, and of the prison officials, there is often much which is known to the intimate acquaintances of the accused, or to the medical officer of the accused or people who have had experience of the accused's background and circumstances, which is not necessarily evidence.
It is obvious that the more psychiatric the case the less likely the accused himself is able to convey the necessary information. The more serious the problems from which the accused suffers, the less likely is it that full information will have been in the possession of the authorities. In those circumstances, it is, of course, extremely important that the Bill should make some provision for public notification of the date fixed for execution, so that those concerned in making representations on the consideration of the execution and the sentence shall know just how long they have in which to do it and how much time is available.
I would have thought that my hon. Friends who drafted this Amendment, and who drafted it in the shape of a minimum, have been a little short in the period they had put. If the Amendment is accepted, the Clause will state that the Home Office must give notification of the time and date of the execution as soon as conveniently possible and, in any event, not less than seven days before the date fixed for the execution, and shall also publish a notice in the London Gazette in addition to such other forms of information as the Home Secretary himself thinks proper.
681 Without the Amendment, it is possible, although I do not suggest seriously that it would be likely, that the intimation might be too short and might not reach the people who should know in time. Therefore, it is our duty in this Committee to make sure that every proper precaution is taken for those purposes, and it is with that end in view that my hon. Friends have put down these three Amendments which, I should have thought, could be readily accepted by the Government.
§ Sir Lionel Heald (Chertsey)
I listened with interest to what was said by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) in moving the Amendment. There was one point which I did not quite follow. He said—and I think that there are a great many of us who would agree and very few who would disagree—that it is most undesirable and unpleasant that there should be large crowds who are apt to collect on the occasion of executions. There are also certain people, as we know, who take the occasion to make a demonstration. They have done so in the past, with rather unpleasant results.
It seems to me, in those circumstances—and I am only asking for information and trying to be of assistance to the hon. Gentleman—that he would not want to have the place of execution published. For the purposes he had in mind—those who wish to take any steps about the matter—it would be quite unnecessary for them to have any notice of the place, because the only person who could do anything about stopping the execution at the last minute, or anything of that kind, would be the Home Secretary. It cannot be done except through him and, therefore, one certainly could not be making it more difficult in that respect.
I intended to ask whether it was really necessary that the place should be published in advance, which would be almost inviting people to attend and which, so far as I can see, would serve no useful purpose. The hon. Gentleman, who is always so clear about these statements and who has put his case even more shortly than he usually does, did not mention that and I wonder whether there is any reason for the omission.
§ Mr. Hale
I would have thought that there was a great deal in what the right 682 hon. and learned Gentleman says. It does not seem to me to be very vital. I do not see how you can conceal the place. Right hon. and hon. Friends of mine are responsible for these Amendments and I am not deputed to argue about them; but I am much impressed by what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, although I do not see how we could conceal the place of execution. In most cases the trial takes place at a provincial assize where everyone knows the prison, and, as the Attorney-General has already said, the execution and burial take place in the precincts of the prison to which the man is brought.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
I should like to say a word in support of the three Amendments from a slightly different point of view, although I do not dissent from what my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) has said.
The purpose of this Clause is to alter the present practice and, no doubt, the Royal Commission, in making this recommendation, had in mind many of the reasons offered in support of these Amendments to this proposal by my hon. Friend and by the right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald).
My hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West put most emphasis on the desirability of having as much notice as possible before the execution takes place, so that anyone who wished to make any representation, or put in relevant information which he thought the Home Secretary should have before the execution actually took place, would have ample opportunity of drawing his attention to it. Of course, that would be of itself ample justification of these Amendments.
The Amendment which has been moved seeks to make sure that under subsection (1) of the Clause there shall be at least a week's notice, and the other two Amendments have as their object to bring subsection (2) into line with subsection (3). Subsection (3) provides that when the execution has taken place, and the coroner's inquisition has been held, notice of that fact shall be published in the London Gazette, whereas subsection (2), which deals not with the notice after the execution but with the notice before the execution, provides only that the 683 Secretary of State, as early as he conveniently can, shall publish, in such manner as he thinks fit, the time and place fixed for the execution. The purpose of the Clause with the three Amendments is that that notice, like the notice after the execution, shall be given when notice is being given that the execution is to take place.
The whole idea of the scheme is to lessen public knowledge of and public interest in the fact that the execution is to take place, that a sentence of death has been passed, and that a sentence of death has been executed. The effects of the Amendments will be rather to increase the notice to the public compared with what would be the case if the Clause were left unamended, and I think that that is a good thing so far as it goes. I am quite unable to understand on what principle the Government hold that in certain cases the execution of the death penalty is a social necessity and, at the same time, believe it to be right to do it in as secret, not to say secretive, a manner as possible.
The Government's case—it is the only rational case—for retaining the death penalty in any circumstances is that there are certain kinds of murder for which it is required. The Government define these murders as connected with public order. No doubt they know what they mean even if the rest of us find it difficult to interpret their definition. At any rate, the Government have devised for themselves a principle which they understand and which they apply to two or three executions a year.
In the case of those two or three executions a year the Government say that the deterrent effect of actually executing the death penalty is so certain and so useful that this is a penalty with which we cannot dispense altogether. I cannot see how that argument is consistent with the view that the fact of execution should be withdrawn as much as possible from public notice. That is another controversial anomaly arising out of the Bill.
It is very difficult to understand what the Government's mind really is about these matters. Do the Government say that the death penalty is a deterrent or do they not? Are they defending it on any other ground than that of deterrence? From what we have heard so far the 684 answer to that is, "No". The Government justify a distinction between capital murders as they are to be under the Bill and non-capital murders as they are to be under the Bill on the ground that, whatever may be said about the rest of them, in these few cases at any rate the deterrent effect is clear, that it acts in these cases although it may be more doubtful whether or not it acts in other cases.
In that case, what is the purpose of withholding the information from the public? How does one secure the maximum deterrent effect of a penalty which, so far as it lies in one's power, the public never knows one is going to inflict or that one has inflicted? This does not seem to be any more rational than so many of the other things that we have been, and shall be, discussing.
I should like to know what the purpose is here. Is it to reduce public excitement? Then, is public excitement about the death penalty a bad thing? Is it to reduce morbid curiosity? Then it is conceded, is it, that the infliction of the death penalty arouses or intensifies morbid curiosity? Apparently, one wants to prevent the notice going on the prison wall that an execution is to take place. Evidently one does not want to give very long notice about it. One wants to publish the fact that the execution is going to take place, not in the London Gazette, as one publishes the notice after it has taken place, but in some other undefined manner left to the discretion of the Home Secretary. Why?
The right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey says that it is to prevent—I dare say he may be right—a crowd gathering outside the prison. Is that regarded as an unhealthy thing? I certainly regard it as unhealthy. It is one of the arguments against the retention of the death penalty that the damage that it does to public morale far outweighs any beneficial effect, so far as there is any evidence of any beneficial effect at all. That is one of the reasons why we want to abolish the death penalty. However, if one says that there is a beneficial effect which outweighs the disadvantages of morbid curiosity, popular excitement and the rest, how does one obtain this beneficial effect unless the public knows before, knows at the time, and knows afterwards about the execution? Surely it is not going to be contended that one can have 685 a deterrent effect if the thing is done in secret, in a hole-and-corner fashion.
The only sound justification for keeping the news from the public is that in our hearts and souls we are thoroughly and completely ashamed of it and want to get it over quickly, quietly, in silence and in darkness and without any public knowledge of it at all so far as we can prevent it. I should like an explanation from the Government. I should like to know how the Government reconcile the desire to keep the news from the public, because of the damage it does to people, with the desire to retain the penalty because it deters people from committing an offence.
§ Sir Beverley Baxter (Southgate)
The hon. Member and I usually think very closely on these lines. Surely, part of the case against hanging has been the debasing effect on the public. Surely, one of the most regrettable, unpleasant and degrading features of hanging was the scene outside the prison. Consequently, in this gradual retreat of the Government—we shall do away with hanging some day, anyway—I commend what the Government are doing. Indeed, I think that it is really in keeping with what the hon. Gentleman has said in many debates. I support in principle what the Government are doing here.
§ Mr. Silverman
I must be expressing myself with a singular lack of clarity if the hon. Gentleman thinks that I differ from what he says. He is right. He and I have both on many occasions said—I am still fully persuaded of it and am glad that he is—that one of the principal arguments against the retention of the death penalty in any circumstances is, as he describes it, its debasing effect on the public mind. I am all for getting rid of it. I hope that I am not being understood to say that I am not in favour of getting rid of it.
What puzzles me is the Government's attitude. So far as I have understood the retentionist case—it is straightforward and easy to understand, whether one agrees with it or not—the retentionists have never denied that it has a debasing effect. Indeed, they have always said that it certainly has that, just as there are other things about it that no rational or humanitarian man would willingly retain if he could do without it. The retentionist case has always been that this debasing 686 effect on the public mind is the price that has to be paid for retaining the deterrent with which it is felt we cannot justifiably part.
The Government are here trying to make the best of both worlds, unless there is a way of reconciling the two things. They are trying to say that it is debasing to the public mind and a deterrent to the public mind and that we should remove the debasement by keeping the knowledge of it from the public as much as possible. I want to know how, in that case, they retain the deterrent effect.
The hon. Member for Southgate (Sir B. Baxter) talked about a gradual retreat. The Government say that there is no possibility of a gradual retreat and no possibility of a compromise, that we either abolish or retain the death penalty. It is relevant to ask them from time to time how they argue black and white in the same breath and at the same time.
§ Mr. Ede (South Shields)
I support the Amendments and I will not try to draw red herrings across the trail that my hon. Friends have so effectively blazed by raising one or two other points which arise on this issue.
The Clause and the Amendments seem to relate to an idea that the Home Secretary is responsible for executions. Nothing of the sort is true. The greatest Home Secretary ever to hold office was Sir William Harcourt, who was once asked, by one of his civil servants, what would happen if the high sheriff for the county, who fixed the date for execution, fixed a date fifty years ahead, as it is within his power to do. Sir William said that he thought English civilisation would be sufficiently strong to deal with the high sheriff.
The Home Secretary will be put in some difficulty by this arrangement, unless instructions are also given to the high sheriff. The high sheriff has to inform the Home Secretary when he proposes to hold the execution. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman, in his short stay at the Home Office, has yet been presented with a set of papers showing why it is desirable that the Home Secretary should have rather more powers about executions than he now has and describing some of the difficulties which used to arise in the old days, when the high sheriff provided a rope which 687 was not strong enough, or one which was too strong. There were other difficulties. I should have thought that in dealing with this matter, the position might well have been made clear and the responsibility for the whole of the arrangement placed fairly and squarely on the Home Secretary.
I know, of course, that the Amendments cannot be accepted. If anything showing so much common sense were to be done we should have to have more than a formal Report stage, and the one thing on which the Government are determined is that there shall not be more than a formal Report stage. The right hon. Gentleman is not merely Home Secretary and Lord Privy Seal; he is also the Leader of the House. It is not playing fair with the House to present a Bill on so controversial a subject with the determination that there shall be no adequate Report stage, that there shall be only one discussion on detail.
These Amendments deserve to be incorporated in the Bill. The position of the Home Secretary generally about the fixing of the date and the controlling of an execution should have been dealt with in accordance with modern facilities, with the Home Secretary exercising his influence usefully, but I regret that it is useless to do more than mention these matters to the Committee.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
I, too, regret that it is obviously and for constitutionally irrelevant reasons impossible to accept Amendments however they may appeal to the Government. This has been said and requires repeating and repeating, because it is a disgraceful situation in which we find ourselves.
Here is a matter which Government after Government have said is a matter of individual conscience, in which each hon. Member should be free to express his own conscience in the Lobby as he thinks fit. It is then dealt with by a Bill. That Bill is not an ordinary Bill which could be considered in Committee upstairs. It is a compact and covenant reached by the Patronage Secretary and his dissidents and, as such, cannot be touched in one iota because that would open up the bargain.
688 Upon that basis, on a matter of conscience, we are presented with a fait accompli in which in no circumstances, however reasonable, however sensible, however discussion may show it desirable from all our points of view, will one alteration be made. That is outrageous, yet it is that with which we are faced.
§ Dr. Stross
I want to refer to a very narrow issue and to put to the Home Secretary and his colleagues on the Front Bench opposite that if there is one thing that ought to be avoided it is that the relatives of the man who is to be hanged should not be pestered by people who wish to gain information from them because they have not been able to get it in another way. Obviously, all of us prefer that the Press should be used to make the notification, rather than that the notification should be posted outside a prison.
In supporting the Amendments, we ask for a reasonable length of time—a week as a minimum—which will tend to make it almost certain that if the Press knows when the event is to occur the relatives will not be disturbed and approached for information. We all accept that morbid curiosity is inevitable if there are to be public executions, or if executions take place and there is notification of time and place. I wonder whether the right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald) is not right in saying that it would be reasonable not to give the place although giving the time and date.
It is not a bad thing to protect the public from curiosity or participation in a morbidity for which the public is not to be blamed and for which it cannot be blamed. It has always been the case, whether it is breaking at the wheel, auto da fe or simply decapitation. Why should we blame the public for that which is almost inevitable? We are not all alike. Many people would run far from witnessing or being in the precincts of such activity, but others are fatally attracted. We should protect them if we think it is wrong that they should go there. It may be that the right thing is not to make a declaration of place, although we should give ample notice at the time. As I have said, it is our duty to see that we protect relatives from being pestered about an event which is so sorrowful and tragic for them.
§ Mr. Kenneth Younger (Grimsby)
I should like to make a special plea to the Home Secretary to use this opportunity to show that the worst fears of my right hon. Friend and others are unfounded. At an earlier stage the hon. and learned Gentleman said—I think that I am quoting him accurately, if not verbatim—that he knew of no deal in respect of the Bill. He has here a very good opportunity to show that he is prepared to accept some Amendments, as he has not so far done, for the simple reason that, unlike most of those which have gone before, they are in no way designed to counter the Government's intentions or to negative most of the arguments behind them; they seek merely to give somewhat more precision to them.
I presume that the Clause and subsection with which we are dealing have their origin in the observations of the Royal Commission upon the subject of publicity in connection with executions. I think that my hon. Friends would agree that we, like the Government, prefer a system suggested by the Commission to that which has obtained so far, always assuming that the death penalty is to continue in operation and is to be imposed from time to time.
It is interesting to notice that although the relevant paragraphs in the Commission's Report do not enter into any detail, and do not even seek to bring to the surface the issue raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), whether, in giving publicity to executions, we are seeking to affect the deterrent in the public mind in some way. It is implicit in paragraphs 786 to 789 that nowadays we do not think that any such thing is useful, and that all we are seeking is clarity and precision of information.
We are not seeking in any way to impress the public mind with the solemnity or horror of the occasion, although that may well have once been the objective just as, presumably, it was once the objective of public executions. These paragraphs could not be less emotional or colder, and the arrangement proposed is clearly designed simply to give adequate information in time and with sufficient clarity.
I hope that the Minister will comment upon the point raised by my right hon. 690 Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) about the relations of the sheriff and the Home Secretary, Paragraph 786 of the Commission's Report states that under the existing systemThe date of execution is also notified to the Press by the Sheriff.In paragraph 788 the Commission recommends thata Press notice should be issued by the Home Office as soon as the Sheriff has fixed the date of execution and notified the Home Office of it.From that it appears that the sheriff retains responsibility for everything except giving to the Press the news of the date which he has fixed.
Subsection (2) says thatWhere sentence of death for murder is to be executed in accordance with that Act, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, as early as he conveniently can, to publish in such manner as he thinks fit.Apart from the question of the relationship between the sheriff and the Home Secretary, those of us who support the Amendment feel that it is better to be more precise than to use a phrase such asas early as he conveniently canand, rather, to fix a date at least a week ahead. The same motive lies behind the second Amendment, to which the third is consequential. It is suggested that a notice to the Press is all that is required but, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne pointed out, subsection (3) specifically requires an entry to be made in the London Gazette. It seems to me that what we should be seeking here is not public propaganda but due official publicity, so that anyone who wishes to know can know where to look for these particulars. It seems right that notice of a coming execution should also be included in the London Gazette. If there is any administrative inconvenience or difficulty about this I should be glad to be told about it. We are not suggesting any real change in the Bill in this respect; our object is purely and simply to make sure that, in addition to the existing provisions, one particular publication will always carry this information, so that those who wish to know about such things will know where to look. For those reasons I hope that, for the first time in these debates, we shall have a forthcoming reply from the Government.
§ Mr. Simon
The right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Younger) has rightly said that these Amendments raise no question of principle between the two sides of the Committee—and by that I mean between those opposing the Bill and those supporting it. It is a question of machinery. If the Government feel that they cannot accept the Amendments—as they do—it is not for the reasons suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), but for reasons which have already been given by the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede).
§ Mr. S. Silverman
The only reason lie gave was that the Government wanted to avoid more than a formal Report stage.
§ Mr. Simon
I was referring to the position of the sheriff in the machinery. The Government have proposed that the death penalty should be retained for certain murders because they believe that those are types of murders which particularly affect public order, and in respect of which the deterrent of the death penalty is likely to be effective. As the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) said, we must recognise that an execution is likely to arouse a morbid interest and, as he put it, a morbid collection of humanity at the scene of execution. But it is not only a capital trial and execution which does that; every day in the Press we see many trials reported with a morbid avidity although they do not involve death in any form.
I did not catch the observation which the hon. Member for Oldham, West made just then. I am sure that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) is right—
§ Mr. Simon
In all cases we have to balance the deterrent against the morbid interest which is inevitably aroused at the scenes of crimes, trials and penal sanctions. On the other hand, although we want to reduce the element of morbidity—the publicity which attracts morbid interest—we must not fall into the danger of having a secretive procedure. We have to see that sufficient publicity 692 is given so that there shall be time for proper representations to be made to the Secretary of State to assist him in the advice which he tenders to the Crown.
It is only after appeal, very often, that representations can be made, and then many matters which will be brought to the attention of the Secretary of State will be matters which have not been raised at the trial and may be quite inconsistent, and properly inconsistent, with the defence that was properly raised at the trial. Much is known, particularly in psychiatric cases, which I think will probably be fewer after this Bill, in view of Clause 3, which can only he known to intimates, and their representations are of value to my right hon. Friend and those who hold his office in coming to his decision and fulfilling his painful and difficult task of advising on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative.
Therefore, on the one hand, one has the desirability of reducing, if possible, the area of morbid interest, and, on the other, one has to see that there is adequate publicity so as to obviate a miscarriage of justice, so that every mitigating factor will be brought in good time to the notice of the Home Secretary. I think that that answers the question which my right hon. and learned Friend asked me, and which was echoed by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross), why we were giving notice of the place of execution.
May I say, first, that the Government's proposals are based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission, which made no recommendation that there should be any lack of publicity as to the place? Secondly, if one withheld publicity as to the place of execution, it might very well, and I think it probably would, excite more curiosity and stimulate inquiries as to where that place should be.
It seems to the Government that, on balance, it would be desirable that there should be publicity as to the place of execution, even if it means that a crowd might collect there, simply attracted by the morbid interest of this fatal scene, rather than that the same crowd, or a larger crowd, might well collect if the knowledge was withheld, inquiries were made, and sleuth-hounds put on the 693 track and then, as a revelation, the venue is divulged.
Lastly, I think this might commend itself to the Committee. It is right, the Committee may feel, that the relatives of the convicted man should know where he is to meet his end. I do not think that I need expatiate on that. Hon. Members will know the sort of circumstances to which I am referring, and it is these considerations which I think went to bring about the recommendations of the Royal Commission, on which the Government's proposals are founded.
The present practice, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Shields indicated, is that it is the sheriff on whom rests the duty of fixing the date of execution, and he does so as soon as possible after the sentence has been passed, or, if there has been an unsuccessful appeal, as soon as possible after the determination of the appeal. He immediately notifies the Home Office, so that the notification of the date of execution is normally received within two days of the sentence or of the determination of the appeal, though occasionally it is longer, and sometimes four or five days have elapsed. When that knowledge comes to the Home Office—
§ Mr. Simon
At present—and this is the real reason why the Amendment cannot be accepted—there is no obligation on the sheriff to do that at all. Of course, as always, and as the right hon. Gentleman suggested, the only sanction in these matters is to remove the sheriff.
The right hon. Gentleman quoted Sir William Harcourt. There is no obligation on the sheriff to fix the date of execution at any close date; he may fix it for fifty years ahead. The practice, and it is an invariable one, is to fix the date of execution so that it falls in the week following the third Sunday after conviction or after the determination of the unsuccessful appeal.
The right hon. Gentleman will see that no fewer than 14 or more than 18 days elapse between the determination of the appeal and the execution, and the Home Office, therefore, is bound to receive considerably more than a week's notice of 694 the date of execution. The requirement in the Bill is that the Home Secretary shall—as early as he conveniently canensure that the information is issued to the public.
§ Mr. Ede
The hon. and learned Gentleman has used words suggesting that the sheriff is bound to do this. Who binds the sheriff? Personally, I know of no Statute that binds him. There is a practice, and one of the weaknesses of the whole situation is that, while the Home Secretary has duties, the sheriff apparently has no duty to correlate his efforts with the Home Secretary, which is laid down by Statute.
§ Mr. Simon
That is exactly what I said. There is no statutory enactment to bind the sheriff to give the information. He does it in accordance with practice, and the sanction, if he fails, is to remove the sheriff; but that, of course, no Home Secretary, fortunately, has found it necessary even to suggest.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Would the hon. and learned Gentleman suggest that if we appointed enough abolitionist sheriffs there would be no need to abolish the death penalty by Statute at all?
§ Mr. George Isaacs (Southwark)
Is the sheriff in such a position that it is impossible by Statute or by decision of this House to give him instructions by means of regulations? Is this matter completely outside the control of Parliament altogether?
§ Sir B. Baxter
May I ask my hon. and learned Friend this question? He has said that it is essential that the place where the execution is to be carried out should be made public as quickly as possible, and I agree with him. Does he really suggest that in this modern age of communications the issuing of a notice to 500 or 600 people bears any relation to making the information public? Surely it should be issued at once to the Press.
§ Mr. Simon
I am very much obliged to my hon. Friend the Member for Southgate (Sir B. Baxter), because that is precisely the purpose of the Bill, and it is for that reason that the Government are resisting the Amendment.
What the Bill suggests is that the present practice, which is to post up notices outside the prison, should be abrogated, and that, instead, there should be the procedure laid down which was suggested by the Royal Commission, namely, that it should be the duty of the Secretary of Stateas early as be conveniently can"—which is bound to be more than a week before the date of execution—to publish in such a manner as he thinks fit"—which means, in this context, the Press—the time and place fixed for the execution.
§ Mr. Simon
I must have expressed myself badly, or the hon. and learned Gentleman misheard me. I did not say that it could be done by regulations. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to be referring to the possibility of a fresh Statute dealing with the position of sheriffs by way of amendment of the Sheriffs Act.
As I have said, the enactment on procedure laid down in the Bill will ensure that the present practice of posting a notice outside the prison will cease, in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission. It will he replaced by procedure which will ensure that the date of the execution will be published more than a week before the date fixed. In other words, this Amendment is unnecessary.
In any case, the Government would be unable to accept it for the reason given by the right hon. Gentleman, namely, that it lays a duty on the Secretary of State, without any correlated obligation on the sheriff to inform the Secretary of 696 State of the date fixed in time for the Secretary of State to discharge the obligation laid on him by the Amendment.
§ Mr. Younger
It would be easy to rectify that technical defect on Report, if there is to be anything other than a formal Report stage.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Simon
I have, at least, learned to distrust my own powers of drafting. Such a suggestion would not commend itself to the Government.
In its present form the Amendment is objectionable for the reason given by the right hon. Gentleman. But in any case, I hope that my explanation of the procedure shows that it is quite unnecessary, and that a notice will be published in the way and in the time desired by those who support the Amendment.
Publication in the London Gazette is quite unnecessary. The Government have again followed the recommendation of the Royal Commission. At present, it is the practice to publish a notice of the date of execution in the newspapers. That is preferable to publication in the London Gazette, which is not a widely read journal. It comes out less frequently—
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I should have thought that the hon. and learned Gentleman would have regarded that as a good reason for accepting the Amendment.
§ Mr. Simon
The hon. Gentleman can say that only because he entirely misunderstands the motive of those bringing forward the Bill. I hope that the fact that we put that forward as an argument will in some measure re-establish us in his eyes.
It is a serious consideration. The London Gazette comes out only twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. If we want an early announcement to the public, for reasons suggested by the hon. Member for Oldham, West it seems to the Government preferable that an announcement should be made in the way suggested by the Royal Commission and enacted in the terms of this Bill. For those reasons, the Government cannot accept this Amendment.
§ Mr. Younger
If the London Gazette is such an ineffective organ, will the hon. and learned Gentleman explain why it is specifically mentioned in the following subsection, on the recommendation of the Commission? I should have thought that much the same argument would apply on both issues. The London Gazette is recommended, and that recommendation has been implemented in respect of the actual execution.
§ Mr. Simon
In making that differentiation we are following the recommendation of the Royal Commission. There is a clear distinction between giving advance publicity at the earliest possible moment, when one wants to give it in a form in which it will be more widely read than in the London Gazette, and notification after execution, which is an official notification, and the same considerations about early publication do not obtain.
§ Mr. Royle
The hon. and learned Gentleman will not be surprised if hon. Members on this side of the Committee feel that everything he has said may be used as an argument for the Amendment. His main concern seems to be our concern that there should be adequate notice given. All we ask is that there shall be an adequate safeguard.
It is all very well for the hon. and learned Gentleman to tell us that in every case the right amount of notice will be given and that, in his view, it will be longer than one week. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman absolutely sure that in every single case of this kind there will be more than a week's notice given?
I wish to raise another point which has not yet been mentioned. It relates to the relationship between the date of execution, the actual conviction and the Royal Prerogative. In recent years I remember two serious cases where the question of the Royal Prerogative was involved. I refer to the cases of Mrs. Cristofi and Ruth Ellis. I remember how at the last moment, almost certainly within the last 48 hours before execution, certain facts came to the knowledge of a group of hon. Members of this House. They were facts of great consequence.
In the case of Mrs. Cristofi evidence was placed before at least a group of hon. Members to show that there was some doubt, and some disagreement between specialists, whether that woman was sane 698 at the time of her trial. Because of that, and because of other considerations in the case of Ruth Ellis, a number of hon. Members, during those vital 48 hours, were meeting in this Palace, considering the matter, hearing the points of view of people concerned, with a view to our intervening with the Home Secretary of the day. I stress the time factor. It is most important. We who were concerned then were acting in desperation because of the time factor. We had only a few hours in which to make our approach to the Home Secretary. This is a very strong argument.
We should not be haphazard about this notice. It should be within our knowledge that the execution will take place, and we should know at least seven days before. From what the hon. and learned Gentleman told us there might be any manner of slip-up. I suggest that, in view of what he has said, the only possible reason the Government can think of for resisting the Amendment is the one mentioned by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), and that is the question of the avoidance of other than a formal Report stage. The Home Secretary shakes his head. I accept his assurance that the Government are not anxious to avoid other than a formal Report stage, but we have a right to ask them to think again and to agree to put the safeguard in the Bill.
I am not very much concerned about the second two Amendments, but I am most concerned about this question of the seven days. I beg the Minister to give us the safeguard for which we are asking, so that there may be no doubt in our minds.
§ Mr. Willey
I join with my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Royle) in impressing upon the Government their duty to look again at this Clause. The Joint Under-Secretary will appreciate that there is a general feeling that the Clause is not entirely satisfactory. I think that he showed that in his reply to the debate. He spoke with sweet reason, but everything he said supported the plea that the Clause should be reconsidered.
As I understood the hon. and learned Gentleman, he told us, first, that it was impossible to amend without paying regard to the duties of sheriffs. If that be so, the Government had better consider the position before Report stage.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is aware that the Royal Commission, in paragraph 756, upon which we base our view, did not recommend any change in this matter. The Commission referred to the past history of this. It referred to what it described as the de facto and de jure responsibility in the separation between the sheriff and the Home Secretary or the Prison Commissioners. It did not recommend any change. In the comparative detail with which we are dealing in the Amendment, I do not think that it is possible to make any change, either. I am certainly interested to listen to the debate, but so far no argument has made me think that the Royal Commission is wrong or that we should legislate to make any change.
§ Mr. Willey
If the Under-Secretary were to say to the Committee, "This is a matter upon which we have had the Report of a Royal Commission and we think that the best course is to accept wholly what the Commission recommends because it had the opportunity to consider this," the Government would be in a different position, but the hon. and learned Gentleman has not done that. The Government are picking and choosing. In our discussion of the previous Clause I pointed out a matter on which the Commission made a recommendation. The Government have not accepted that. They are merely using the Report of the Commission as a basis for their proposals. What the Under-Secretary said is no answer. In any event, I do not want to pursue that argument further. I leave it to my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede).
The second argument of the Under-Secretary, which I thought was the more attractive one, was, "You can disregard all that I have said about the sheriff; this Amendment is unnecessary because this is the present practice." If that is the present practice I should have thought that here we had an opportunity to put it into statutory form and that the person who would most welcome that would be the Secretary of State himself.
The present practice is placing upon the Home Secretary a heavy burden which is most difficult to discharge. Because of its nature the method of its discharge has to be reduced as far as it 700 humanly can be to rules of thumb. That is what the Under-Secretary really said about the provisions of the Clause. I agree that there must be understood conventions about the publication that is made; but, as we are considering the matter now in the form of a Bill, I should have thought that there was everything to be said for putting these conventions into statutory form to make the position of the Home Secretary abundantly clear, so that every one would know the periods within which, and the places where, publication had to be made.
I appreciate the argument about the ritual of the notices of execution. I can see arguments against that, if on no other ground than that it is probably upsetting to the officers in the prison and to the prisoners there as well. I think that that is a good enough ground for saying that that form of notice may well be abandoned, as the Commission recommended. Obviously, the first thing is that the Home Secretary must give notice of the date and place of execution. That is unavoidable. If we wish to avoid morbidity we had better avoid morbid speculation. Let us have the notice defined; let us know what sort of notice it will be.
Why should not we accept the Amendment to provide for the period for which the notice shall run, especially in view of what the Under-Secretary said about the sheriff, because in practice this notice is always given? Why not let us say so now? Why not let the Home Secretary be in the position to say that Parliament has provided that that notice shall be given, so that he will be under a statutory obligation to give it? Everyone will know that he will give it, and we shall avoid this morbid speculation.
The London Gazette may be inappropriate for the publication of the notice. In the interests of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, I do not want to discourage the sales of that publication, but if it is inappropriate let us have an alternative suggestion. Let us get the matter formalised; let everyone know where the notice will appear and the form that it will take. At present there is a convention that the notice should be published by the Home Secretary in a certain way and, consequent upon that, notices appear in the Press. That may be satisfactory to the Press, but I doubt 701 whether it is satisfactory to all other interested persons.
I should have thought that if we provided in the Bill that the notice should be published in the London Gazette that would be sufficient and satisfactory, but if, because the London Gazette is published only on Tuesdays and Fridays, that would cause difficulties for the Home Secretary, let us have some other suggestion, but let us have the position formalised. We must recognise that if the Bill becomes law it will place upon the Home Secretary a duty which is most difficult to discharge. The more we define the manner of its discharge, the better it will be for the Home Secretary.
For these reasons I hope that the Government will give further thought to this matter, and that on Report they will considerably amend the Clause, if they cannot accept the Amendments now being proposed. They ought not to accept the present position. It is now clear that the Committee feels that although this is a procedural matter the procedure ought to be provided for in the Bill.
Before we leave the Amendments I hope that the Government will give us an explicit assurance on those lines.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I would not trouble the Committee a second time except that I think the remarks of the hon. and learned Member for Middlesbrough, West (Mr. Simon) deserve some comment.
Many years ago, a friend of mine who had just been appointed to the magisterial bench, being a moderate and diffident man, sought advice from a more experienced colleague. That advice was, "One thing remember: never give reasons, because your decision may be right and your reasons wrong. It is much better to make up your mind according to your judgment and good conscience, and then deliver your judgment. Do not argue about it."
The hon. and learned Gentleman is, I will not say too naive or inexperienced a Member, but too nice a person to avail himself of that advice at present. But as he rises in Ministerial experience and becomes morally hardened, as I am afraid all Ministers do—I can say it with confidence never having been a Minister—he will acquire the protective covering 702 with which Ministers are bound to clothe themselves if they are to survive at all. He may then observe the advice which was given by the senior magistrate to his junior.
The Home Secretary and Leader of the House seems to have forgotten that advice for the moment, because when he gave reasons they were less intelligible than those of the hon. and learned Member for Middlesbrough, West. He said, "It is quite simple. It has nothing to do with the Report stage and indeed nothing much to do with the arguments. The Government cannot accept the Amendments because the Royal Commission did not recommend them and because the Royal Commission recommended us to do exactly what we are doing. That is a very good reason for not doing anything else."
Surely the Home Secretary, from his own point of view, is succeeding in proving too much. If he regards what he said as a conclusive argument in every case he should withdraw the Bill at once. If it is not a conclusive argument in every case, it cannot be a conclusive argument in any case, and it follows that it cannot be a conclusive argument in this case. We are driven back to the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman, which I will now proceed to examine.
The hon. and learned Gentleman said, firstly, that we could not accept the first Amendment dealing with the seven days' notice because there was no duty upon the sheriff who fixes the date to give the Home Secretary any notice at all, or indeed to fix a date. Therefore, we could not accept the Amendment because it would lay upon the Home Secretary a statutory duty which he has no certain means of ever being able to fulfil.
It has already been pointed out that that difficulty could very easily be overcome. All we would have to do, since this is a Bill to amend the administration as well as the principles of the law relating to murder and the death penalty, is either to take the duty from the sheriff altogether and place the duty of fixing the date of the execution upon the Home Secretary—which would remove the difficulty completely—or to introduce into the Bill, as the hon. and learned Gentleman quite rightly recognises, an obligation on the sheriff to fix the date and to 703 give notice thereof to the Home Secretary in sufficient time to enable the right hon. Gentleman to discharge any statutory obligation laid upon him.
It has been pointed out that the latter course might involve the Government in some difficulty at this late stage, there being at the moment no expectation of a Report stage, but I suggest to the hon. and learned Government in all seriousness that there is not the slightest reason why we should amend the law at all. Is he really suggesting that the Home Secretary could not write to the sheriff of a county in appropriate circumstances, and say, "Dear Sir, John Smith is awaiting execution in a prison within your jurisdiction, sentence of death having been passed upon him. Your duty will be, whether by statute or otherwise, to fix a date for the execution, and I as Home Secretary have a duty to give notice thereof seven days before the execution takes place. Kindly let me know what date you have fixed."? The Home Secretary would get an answer. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman suggest that the sheriff would refuse to tell the Home Secretary? I have never heard of a sheriff who refused to fix the date of an execution, and I am sure that a sheriff would not keep the date secret. There is no difficulty at all.
In other words, if the absence of a statutory obligation upon the sheriff prevents the Government from accepting these Amendments it is simple to amend the law so as to bring about such a statutory obligation. If, on the other hand, the absence of a statutory obligation is not a bar and the Home Secretary can fulfil the public duty involved without amendment of the statute, there is clearly no reason on that score why the Amendments should not be accepted.
If the hon. and learned Gentleman were arguing that it is undesirable to give so long a period of notice as seven days one could listen to that kind of argument, but he was very far from arguing any such thing. He said, "We shall always do it and we always have done it. True, we have to balance one thing with another in estimating the length of time of notice, but even when we have balanced it all and reached our conclusion we regard seven days as a proper period". He agrees that there is no 704 difference between those who oppose the Bill and those who support it on the merits of this particular proposal. We are all in favour of giving notice, and seven days' notice.
The hon. and learned Gentleman thought, or at any rate said, that there were difficulties preventing him from accepting a statutory obligation to give seven days' notice, but if they have not been disposed of we have at least shown him ways of overcoming them which are not difficult, which would not take time, which are not controversial and which we would readily accept. There does not seem to be much left of that part of the argument.
We come to the other parts of the argument, which obviously belong together. In order to refuse to accept these Amendments the hon. and learned Gentleman was surely under an obligation to show some rational ground for distinguishing between the use of the London Gazette under subsection (3) and the failure to use it under subsection (2). He did not attempt to defend such discrimination, but said that under subsection (2) there might be a little delay because the London Gazette came out only on Tuesdays and Fridays. What an argument to advance. Would it matter very much if the execution were delayed twenty-four hours so as to permit of an adequate publication in the London Gazette? It is the greatest nonsense in the world. I am a little surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman should have offered that as a reason.
Then the hon. and learned Gentleman said that one may be a suitable organ for publication and the other not suitable. I could not follow the argument, but then he overlooked the fact that the Amendment does not suggest that publication should be exclusively in the London Gazette. No one is suggesting that the usual information which the Home Office would presumably give to the Press generally on such a matter would be withheld merely because there was a statutory obligation to publish it also in the London Gazette. When we examine the reasons in this way we are left convinced, however reluctantly, that the Government have some ulterior purpose in resisting the Amendment. When I say an "ulterior purpose" 705 I do not necessarily mean a sinister one, I mean some purpose not related to the arguments advanced on either side as to the merits of the proposal. The ulterior purpose has been stated by my right hon. Friend. It has been denied, and it is always very difficult to reject a statement made formally and officially that the Government are not seeking in any way to avoid a Report stage, but we are left completely and absolutely puzzled.
One could understand it if that were their reason. One can understand it not at all if that is not their reason. The only rational explanation of their refusing to accept Amendments for which an overwhelming case has been made and to which no really comprehensible answer has been offered is the question of time and the great hurry to get this through quickly. The more we proceed with the examination of merits in this matter the more threadbare does the case of the Government become. It seems to be, "We really cannot stand further detailed analysis of this Bill Clause by Clause and line by line. The Third Reading, unfortunately, we have to put up with and there will be a general debate on principle again there, but the rules of order are tight and on the Third Reading one may talk of matters of principle, but only those already in the Bill and not about things which are not in the Bill, so that there will not again be the detailed close scrutiny which there ought to be of every proposal in the Bill."
One can very well understand, if the Government feel that the old lack of rationality in the Bill has been so embarrassingly demonstrated throughout the Committee stage, that they dare not face another detailed examination on Report stage. If that were the reason I could understand it, although I would reject it, but, if that is not their reason, there are no reasons at all.
§ Mr. Hale
I always listen to my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) with deep respect. He has acquired a venerability in the last few months since he joined the tribe of Esau. But I am surprised he has acquired a venerability such as could be ascribed to Lord Chancellor Campbell, who died about 1860 and Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, who presided in the 1760's. It reminds one of the recent gossip column 706 which declared the visitor to Rome had "made the acquaintance" of Savonarola.
§ Mr. Hale
It is true that Lord Chief Justice Mansfield had no monopoly, but he had a priority.
I am most anxious to be meticulously courteous to the Joint Under-Secretary. I welcome him in his new office and express hopes of future co-operation in many fields of Home Office activity. I am most anxious to put any criticism in the most temperate way. The hon. and learned Gentleman spoke charmingly, courteously, informatively and with some irrelevance. He made two points. He put forward what in the end, after a great deal of preliminary opening remarks, were two arguments against the Amendment. I do not want to misrepresent them, but I hope that I am in the recollection of the Committee and put them with complete fairness. One was that the Amendment is quite unnecessary because this will happen anyhow, and the other that it was quite impracticable because the Government may not be able to do it.
The hon. and learned Gentleman said that we need not have this in the Bill because it is a regular Home Office practice and that it cannot be put in the Act because it is not known whether the sheriff will trouble to tell the Government and if he does not do so the Government cannot do it. That leaves us in a situation of some difficulty. My right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) raised an extremely important issue, one which perhaps we overlooked while he was cementing the bonds of Anglo-American friendship, but which might well have appeared on the Order Paper. It is important. Very few of us know much about the duties of the high sheriff in this matter. I suspect that very few of us knew (that the high sheriff was under no statutorily imposed duty, but that he was, in a sense, a free agent.
My hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne, with every word of whose speech I agreed, at one stage rather accepted the argument of the Joint Under-Secretary that, of course, the high sheriff would always do it. He said that the Home Office had only to write to the high sheriff and he would reply, but in the most famous of all Irish murder 707 cases, the case of the Colleen Bawn—who in modern terminology would be referred to as the "blonde beauty"—when the first execution took place it was the duty of the high sheriff to arrange to hang his own favourite nephew, whom he had designated as his heir. He had taken on a duty and never thought that his nephew would be convicted. He made arrangements reasonably enough that the nephew should be allowed to proceed in his own carriage to the place of execution, but there was a moment when the two horses refused to go over the bridge over the Shannon. The crowd saw in that the finger of Providence, much as they saw it pointing into a stable at Torquay one hundred years later, and with as little reason. There was not the least reason to doubt the man's guilt.
If the sheriff does not fix the date at all, or fixes a date in the next century, that seems to leave the matter a little haphazard. We are told this is a matter entirely for the high sheriff. I remember that on the day of the execution of the murderer of the Colleen Bawn—I am not now speaking of personal memory but of historic recollection—Mr. William Henry Curron, son of John Philpot Curron, was due to dine with the high sheriff. He was two hundred miles from the home of the high sheriff and in those days appointments were kept. He recorded in his reminiscences that he realised that it would be very tactless that evening to touch on the subject of the execution of the nephew of the sheriff but, such is the fallibility of human nature, the more he realised it should not be mentioned, the more he felt the impish urge to say something. As the soup was brought in he made a rather casual comment on the demise of the heir of the sheriff. That gentleman raised his serviette to his neck, pinned it in his collar, took a huge spoonful of soup and said, "Yes, it has been altogether a very unfortunate business." I have always felt that, on the whole, that was a perfect comment on the controversy. It said everything which could be said. There was no notice posted on the gate and no extra advertisement; it was dealt with, and it was all over.
I have not the perennial youth of my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) and I find that the 708 years tread on me like the "great black oxen" of Yeats. I am getting more and more out of practice. In my day the high sheriff appointed an under-sheriff and then forgot all about executions. The high sheriff was the man who entertained the judges to dinner—or, rather, presided at the dinner at which the judges entertained themselves at our expense. He appointed an under-sheriff, who was normally a practising solicitor and, certainly in the Midlands, was usually the partner of the clerk of the peace. They divided up the patronage between them, rather like the partnership between the doctor and the undertaker. In the end it turned out all right for everyone.
I did not know that the under-sheriff was not under an obligation to inform the Home Office. Sometimes one perhaps tends to become a little facetious about matters of deep gravity; and if that has been so in this case, I apologise. In performing his duty, the Home Secretary is undertaking one of the gravest responsibilities which our laws confer upon anyone. It is one of the most difficult responsibilities and one in respect of which I say from my heart that although there have been moments of criticism in the House, we are most deeply reluctant to criticise; and when we have criticized, we have done so only when we have been impelled by a paramount sense of duty.
Is it good enough to say that we shall almost certainly get a notification from the sheriff? Let us look at the Parliamentary Secretary's arithmetic. He says that a minimum of fourteen days must elapse. We are dealing, let us say, with the execution of a man in the Midlands or Lancashire. His case has gone to the Court of Criminal Appeal, and in respect of it, if I understand the position, it would be impossible for the Home Office to have any consultation with the judge at the trial before the hearing by the Court of Criminal Appeal. Such consultation, I imagine, the Court of Criminal Appeal would properly resent and reprobate.
In respect of this case the Home Secretary becomes seized of the matter only after the appeal has been dismissed and the man has been sent back from London to the gaol where he is incarcerated—after the notification has gone to the high sheriff and after the high sheriff or the under-sheriff have notified the Home Office. It 709 is at that stage, as we understand it, that the Home Secretary begins his consideration of the matter and that all the responsibility for making this grave and difficult decision rests on the Home Office. It is not long. It has been said that it is sometimes two days, sometimes three days, sometimes four days before notification; and that means that seven or eight days is the total period which the Home Secretary may have in which to consider the matter.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
My hon. Friend may bear in mind that in the lamentable case of young Derek Bentley the Home Secretary did not announce the totally unexpected refusal of the reprieve until less than forty-eight hours before the time fixed for the execution.
§ Mr. Hale
I agree with my hon. Friend. My recollection is that it was considerably less than forty-eight hours.
This is a point of great importance. Indeed, it might reasonably be said that in these circumstances he could hardly announce it earlier. There are some cases of mercy murder, where the decision can at least be confidently anticipated, but, of course, I do not suggest that in any case the Home Secretary can treat the matter lightly and need not have prolonged consultation about the circumstances of the case.
Let us consider the case of Mrs. Cristofi. She was a foreigner. Part of her life had been spent in foreign territory—indeed, all the formative years had been spent in a foreign territory. If I remember correctly, she could hardly speak a word of English and certainly had to be interpreted in the courts, with so much possibility of misunderstanding lying in that alone, however competent the interpreter, and with so much limitation on the self-expression of the accused. For such a case the Home Secretary would have five, six or seven days.
That is why it is important that this Amendment should be passed. If there be no statutory sanction for the sheriff to appoint a day, there is therefore no statutory sanction for that day. The practice of three Sundays passing between the dismissal of the appeal, or the conviction if that terminates the proceedings, and the date appointed for the execution is, as we understand the explanation now, purely a convention and purely the practice of the years.
710 Is it necessary to follow it? I want to make it clear at once that I should not like to see very long periods elapse between the passing of sentence and execution. Of course, I do not want to see executions at all, but once we concede that an Act is being passed which may permit them to take place, then I would certainly agree that no more than a reasonable period should elapse between conviction and execution. One does not want to see prolonged legal proceedings holding up the execution, as one sees them in America; although it must be remembered that in the course of many of those long proceedings complete innocence has been established. I agree with almost everything my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) said on a previous Amendment when he referred to the French case. One wants to see a most thorough investigation but one does not want to see it indefinitely and rather brutally prolonged.
Nevertheless—and I do not want to pursue this argument in detail—one week for the right hon. Gentleman to consider these matters is a very short period, for it may be a week in which the right hon. Gentleman is engaged in legislation in the House. We allow one week for the right hon. Gentleman who is charged with a manifold variety of duties and now, of course, I think for the first time in my recollection, charged with the duty of being Leader of the House.
§ Mr. Hale
I beg my right hon. Friend's pardon; my right hon. Friend was Leader of the House while he was at the Home Office—and a very distinguished Leader of the House. I apologise for that error of recollection, but the present Home Secretary is Leader of the House for the first time for some years; and he is also Lord Privy Seal and is charged with responsibility for Welsh Affairs. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] As we understand it, he is also, if not in title at least in fact, deputy Prime Minister. These are very responsible duties, which become more responsible when one looks at the Front Bench opposite and realises how much general responsibility may fall upon him. We shall probably have him answering Questions on colonial affairs on behalf of the Secretary of State for Scotland before long.
711 In any event, many of us think that this period is a very short period. My right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields made a point which would never have occurred to my innocent mind—that there might have been in the minds of Her Majesty's Ministers a desperate plot to avoid a Report stage on this important Bill by refusing to accept a single comma or a single colon by way of Amendment to its provisions. I am bound to say that, listening with surprise, as I did, to my right hon. Friend, and observing the air of injured guilt which at once appeared on the faces of Her Majesty's present advisers, I thought there was a certain consciousness of guilt. It appeared to me that the idea did not come as a shock or surprise to them. I thought, at least, that if such an idea had been in the minds of Her Majesty's advisers when the Bill was framed we would have been told so, but those advisers have gone, and we have two new advisers whom we thought were specially introduced for the courage and fortitude with which they would be able to face the Report stage of this Bill when that situation developed.
In those circumstances, there were, if I might use a football metaphor, the old international back with his chest covered with medals, and the newcomer making his debut in the forward line. In those circumstances one would have thought that the Government would have wanted to stage a few exhibition matches to show
§ up the two new and welcome recruits, and would have wanted them to show their ability in some manner, instead of suppressing that possibility. To have accepted that situation we would willingly have come here again and raised points.
§ One thing is clear. In the course of this discussion many of us have ascertained things of importance, and many questions of importance have emerged about which we ought to have been fully informed. In the course of the discussion on all the Clauses of the Bill, even if no comma has been removed, many matters of great importance have been raised, and it would be very much to be regretted if it had to be said at the end of the Committee stage tomorrow that, in the whole course of these debates and with all these important suggestions, the Government had not found it possible to adopt one single word of all the Amendments, of all the new Clauses and of all the recommendations made—many of them based on the Report of the Royal Commission itself. Far be it from me to impute motives of any kind, but if that were really the position tomorrow then I think that certain members of the public would impute the motive that Amendments, beneficial Amendments, had been refused merely in deference to what the right hon. Gentleman has referred to as pressure on Government time.
§ Question put, That those words be there inserted:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 153, Noes 200.713
|Division No. 45.]||AYES||[5.35 p.m.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Cove, W. G.||Hamilton, W. W.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Cronin, J. D.||Hastings, S.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Crossman, R. H. S.||Hayman, F. H.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Daines, P.||Healey, Denis|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Hobson, C. R.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Holman, P.|
|Benson, G.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Holmes, Horace|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Holt, A. F.|
|Blackburn, F.||Delargy, H. J.||Houghton, Douglas|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Dodds, N. N.||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Boardman, H.||Dye, S.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.)||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Hunter, A. E.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Edwards, W.J. (Stepney)||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Fernyhough, E.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. pncs, S.)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Gibson, C. W.||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech (Wakefield)|
|Champion, A. J.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Greenwood, Anthony||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Kenyon, C.|
|Coldrick, W.||Grimond, J.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Hale, Leslie||King, Dr. H. M.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hall, Rt. Hn. Clenvil (Colne Valley)||Lawson, G. M.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Parker, J.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Lewis, Arthur||Paton, John||Swingler, S. T.|
|Lindgren, G. S.||Pearson, A.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Lipton, Marcus||Popplewell, E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|MacColl, J. E.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|McInnes, J.||Probert, A. R.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|McKay, John (Wallsend)||Proctor, W. T.||Viant, S. P.|
|McLeavy, Frank||Randall, H. E.||Wade, D. W.|
|MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Rankin, John||Warbey, W. N.|
|Mason, Roy||Redhead, E. C.||Weitzman, D.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Reeves, J.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Masser, Sir F.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||West, D. G.|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)|
|Moyle, A.||Ross, William||Wigg, George|
|Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Royle, C.||Willey, Frederick|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Oliver, G. H.||Shurmer, P. L. E.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Oram, A. E.||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Oswald, T.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Owen, W. J.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)||Woof, R. E.|
|Paget, R. T.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Palmer, A. M. F.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Stones, W. (Consett)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Mr. Short and Mr. Deer.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Fisher, Nigel||McAdden, S. J.|
|Altken, W. T.||Fort, R.||Macdonald, Sir Peter|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Mackeson, Brig, Sir Harry|
|Amory, Bt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)|
|Armstrong, C. W.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.|
|Ashton, H.||Gibson-Watt, D.||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Godber, J. B.||Maddan, Martin|
|Atkins, H. E.||Graham, Sir Fergus||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)|
|Barber, Anthony||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.|
|Barter, John||Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Marlowe, A. A. H.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Green, A.||Mathew, R.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Gresham Cooke, R,||Maude, Angus|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Mawby, R. L.|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.|
|Bavins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Gurden, Harold||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Bishop, F. P.||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Black, C. W.||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Nairn, D. L. S.|
|Body, R. F.||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Neave, Airey|
|Bossom, Sir Alfred||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)|
|Boyd, T. C.||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Page, R. G.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Holland-Martin, C. J.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Bryan, P.||Hope, Lord John||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Hornby, R. P.||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Pott, H. P.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Howard, John (Test)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Channon, Sir Henry||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hurd, A. R.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Cole, Norman||Iremonger, T. L.||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Redmayne, M.|
|Cooper, A. E.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Remnant, Hon. P.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Joseph, Sir Keith||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot||Robertson, Sir David|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Keegan, D.||Robinson, Sir Ronald (Blackpool, S.)|
|Cunningham, Knox||Kerr, H. W.||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Lambert, Hon. G.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Deedes, W. F.||Leather, E. H. C.||Russell, R. S.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Leavey, J. A.||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Leburn, W. G.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Shepherd, William|
|Duthie, W. S.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Smyth, Brig, Sir John (Norwood)|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Longden, Gilbert||Soames, Capt. C.|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Fell, A.||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Speir, R. M.|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)||Thorneycroft Rt. Hon. P.||Whitelaw, W.S.I. (Penrith & Border)|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Storey, S.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)||Tweedsmuir, Lady||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Studholme, Sir Henry||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Summers, Sir Spencer||Vickers, Miss J. H.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Temple, J. M.||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)||Colonel J. H. Harrison and|
|Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.||Mr. Hughes-Young.|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
§ Mr. Anthony Greenwood (Rossendale)
On a point of order. With respect, Sir Gordon, the Amendment on page 5, line 35, after "publish," to insertin the London Gazette andrelates to a substantially different point from the point on which we have just divided. I appreciate that we discussed both Amendments together, but it was understood that we should have a Division on each.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Further to that point of order, Sir Gordon. May I point out that although the second Amendment to which my hon. Friend has just referred and the third Amendment, in page 5, line 35, after "such." to insert "other," are closely connected, in that one is consequential upon the other and the proposed alteration could not be effected without both Amendments, the point raised by those two Amendments is totally distinct from the Amendment on which we have just voted.
§ Mr. Greenwood
With respect, Sir Gordon, if you would be so kind as to look at the Notice Paper you will observe that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has said, there is a substantial difference between the two Amendments. The first Amendment on which we have just divided relates to the period of time which must elapse, and the second relates to the place of publication, to which we attach great importance.
I am afraid that the position is that the two subsequent Amendments are not selected. They were not moved.
§ Mr. Silverman
With respect, this is the second time in the course of this Committee stage that a similar point has arisen. It is rather difficult and embarrassing for those of us who have to determine what course we are going to pursue if we do not understand, until it is too late to make any suggestion, what is going to be put and what is not going to be put. I am afraid that in my innocence, or ignorance, I have assumed that when the Chairman has said, "We will discuss these Amendments together," he selects those Amendments. How otherwise can they be discussed together?
The hon. Member is wrong in assuming that. If the Chairman selects one Amendment and says that others may be discussed with it, he is not selecting the others for a Division, unless he says so.
§ Mr. Silverman
It becomes difficult to distinguish between Amendments which are not selected and Amendments which are not selected except in the sense that they may be discussed in connection with some other Amendment which is selected. The distinction is meaningless, and we do not know how to dispose economically of the time of the Committee so as not to waste time upon Amendments which are not selected.
This practice has gone on for a good many years, and I should have thought that it was familiar to all Members.
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Hale
May I intervene, as I moved the first Amendment, about which I did not know very much and about which I know still less now that I have heard the Government explanation? My recollection is that the Chairman rose in his place and said. "Would it be convenient to take the next two Amendments with this Amendment?" I said, "Certainly, we will take all three together." That is the only evidence that I have to offer on the point. That is my best recollection of the matter, which may prove erroneous.
717 It seems to me that if one is asked from the Chair to consider a later Amendment with the Amendment which one is moving, that would be the moment at which one would say "but not to divide upon it." We would appear to have agreed to a joint discussion in which our argument on the second Amendment cannot be divided upon. I should have thought that my hon. Friends would have had the duty of considering whether we would waste the time of the Committee with a long discussion on an argument which we could not support by a vote. Without wishing to make any other comment at all, that is my own recollection of what transpired.
I am sure the hon. Member will remember that the first Amendment was selected and a wide debate was permitted in order to cover the two other Amendments. There was no question of having a Division on the second and third Amendments.
§ Mr. Silverman
We have been discussing these three Amendments together for the better part of two hours—two hours less the time of the Division. Two-thirds of that time has been devoted to the question raised by the second and third Amendments, as to whether the publication provided for under subsection (3), namely, in the London Gazette,
§ shall also apply. The amount of time being limited, there would have been no point in devoting two-thirds of two hours to discussing that point if the Chair had allowed it to be understood that the Committee was to be precluded from taking a decision upon it. We would have been able to reach a decision on the first Amendment very much earlier.
§ The points which are being pressed upon your attention, Sir Gordon, are for the convenience of the whole Committee and not merely in order to advance a particular argument or because we feel that we are deprived of a Division or anything of that kind. We have to use the time as economically as we can, and there seems to be little point in spending rather more than an hour upon discussing what some of us think is a substantial point on the basis that, without our knowledge, at the end of the discussion the Committee is not to be given an opportunity to decide between the case raised for the Amendment and the case made against it. I do not want to use too harsh a word, but it really does make our discussions a little less useful than one would have hoped they might be.
§ Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 193, Noes 151.721
|Division No. 46.]||AYES||[5.48 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Cooper, A. E.||Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)|
|Aitken, W. T.||Cooper-Key, E. M.||Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Gurden, Harold|
|Ashton, H.||Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)|
|Atkins, H. E.||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Barber, Anthony||Cunningham, Knox||Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)|
|Barter, John||Currie, G. B. H.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel|
|Baxter, sir Beverley||Dance, J. C. G.||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Deedes, W. F.||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Doughty, C. J. A.||Hill, John (S. Norfolk)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||du Cann, E. D. L.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||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.|
|Bossom, Sir Alfred||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)|
|Boyd, T. C.||Fell, A.||Howard, John (Test)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Finlay, Graeme||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Fisher, Nigel||Hurd, A. R.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Fort, R.||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Bryan, P.||Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Gibson-Watt, D.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Godber, J. B.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Gower, H. R.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Channon, Sir Henry||Graham, Sir Fergus||Joseph, Sir Keith|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Grant, W. (Woodside)||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Keegan, D.|
|Cole, Norman||Green, A.||Kerr, H. W.|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Gresham Cooke, R.||Lambert, Hon. G.|
|Langford-Holt, J. A.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Leather, E. H. C.||Page, R. G.||Storey, S.|
|Leavey, J. A.||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Leburn, W. G.||Peyton, J. W. W.||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Linstead, Sir H. N.||Pitt, Miss E. M.||Temple, J. M.|
|Longden, Gilbert||Pott, H. P.||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Powell, J. Enoch||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. P.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Raikes, Sir Victor||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|McAdden, S. J.||Ramsden, J. E.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Macdonald, Sir Peter||Rawlinson, Peter||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Redmayne, M.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Vickers, Miss J. H.|
|McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Renton, D. L. M.||Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.|
|Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Ridsdale, J. E.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Maddan, Martin||Rippon, A. G. F.||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Robertson, Sir David||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Marlowe, A A. H.||Roper, Sir Harold||Whitelaw, W.S.I.(Penrith & Border)|
|Mathew, R.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Maude, Angus||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Mawby, R. L.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.||Shepherd, William||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Nabarro, G. D. N.||Smyth, Brig, Sir John (Norwood)|
|Nairn, D. L. S.||Spearman, Sir Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Neave, Airey||Speir, R. M.||Colonel J. H. Harrison and|
|Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)||Mr. Hughes-Young.|
|Oakshott, H. D.||Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Gibson, C. W.||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Greenwood, Anthony||Oliver, G. H.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Oram, A. E.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Grimond, J.||Oswald, T.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Hale, Leslie||Owen, W. J.|
|Benson, G.||Hall, Rt. Hn. Clenvil (Colne Valley)||Paget, R. T.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hamilton, W. W.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)|
|Blackburn, F.||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Hastings, S.||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hayman, F. H.||Pargiter, G. A.|
|Boardman, H.||Healey, Denis||Parker, J.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Hobson, C. R.||Paton, John|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Holman, P.||Pearson, A.|
|Bowles, F. G.||Holmes, Horace||Popplewell, E.|
|Boyd, T. C.||Holt, A. F.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Brockway, A. F.||Houghton, Douglas||Probert, A. R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Howell, Charles (Perry Barr)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Randall, H. E.|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Redhead, E. C.|
|Callaghan, L. J.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Reeves, J.|
|Champion, A. J.||Hunter, A. E.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Ross, William|
|Coldrick, W.||Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.||Royle, C.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St.Pncs, S.)||Shurmer, P. L. E.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Cronin, J. D.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Daines, P.||Kenyon, C.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||King, Dr. H. M.||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lawson, G. M.||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Swingler, S. T.|
|Delargy, H. J.||Lewis, Arthur||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Dodds, N. N.||MacColl, J. E.||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||McInnes, J.||Taylor, John (West Lothian)|
|Dye, S.||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||McLeavy, Frank||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mason, Roy||Wade, D. W.|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Mellish, R. J.||Warbey, W, N.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Messer, Sir F.||Weitzman, D.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mitchison, G. R.||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Fienburgh, W.||Monslow, W.||West, D. G.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Moyle, A.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Willey, Frederick||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Williams, Ronald (Wigan)||Woof, R. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)||Yates, V. (Ladywood)||Mr. Short and Mr. Deer.|
|Williams, W.T. (Barons Court)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|