§ Order for consideration of Lords Amendments read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Lords Amendments be now considered.—[Mr. Maclay.]
§ 3.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Thomas Fraser (Hamilton)
I submit to the House that we ought not to accept this Motion. The Amendments that we are asked to consider are in the main, Amendments which could not have been made to the Bill when it was before the House of Commons, and in those circumstances I submit that it would be wrong for us to set about making those Amendments now, or to consider whether we should make those Amendments which have come from another place.
Some of us think that the Government, including the Secretary of State, have been guilty of sharp practice in this matter. The Secretary of State has known ever since the Bill was introduced into the House that he would endeavour at some point to alter the provisions in the Bill relating to local government administration, but he so restricted the Long Title of the Bill that he could not propose any such Amendments when the Bill was before this House.
The Opposition in the House of Commons was equally restricted in the Amendments which they could propose to the Bill, so that we in the House of Commons were not enabled to make any submissions at all for the consideration of Parliament about changes in local government administration in Scotland. But after the Bill left this place and went to another place the Secretary of State then took advantage of the absence of rules in another place to move a great many Amendments which he could not have moved in this House. They went through the other place with the minimum of discussion. The Secretary of State will not deny that his Amendments were not considered in another place. They were approved, but they were certainly not discussed. If they were considered, they were considered 426 outside the Chamber. They were not discussed within the Chamber.
In any case, we have the position that the Secretary of State took advantage of the absence of rules in another place to submit a long list of Amendments dealing with the administration of local government in Scotland which, not surprisingly, were accepted in another place; and now we find in the list of Lords Amendments before us this afternoon what is virtually a new Bill, an additional Bill proposed to be woven into the Bill that we sent from this House to another place some weeks ago.
Hon. Members on both sides of the House have been unable to discuss with their local authorities whether these Amendments are acceptable to the local authorities or not. The Secretary of State forecast his proposals to be incorporated in the Bill in a White Paper that he published only last month. The White Paper put before hon. Members the recommendations of a working party, the identity of which has not been disclosed and the report of which has not been made available to hon. Members. We are asked to take the word of the Secretary of State that what he put forward in the White Paper is what was recommended to him by the working party.
Since those recommendations were made in the White Paper and were later incorporated in Parliamentary form for consideration in another place, hon. Members on both sides of the House have been unable to discuss the reactions of their local authorities to those proposed changes. No one can deny that. In any case, the local authorities within the various constituencies have suggestions that they would like to make about local government administration. Hon. Members on this side of the House, and I dare say on the Government benches, too, would like to make some suggestions for improvements in local government administration. They have not been allowed to do it within the context of this Bill. All we can do now is to consider the Amendments which have come from another place, having been sent to that place by the Secretary of State.
It is not as if some noble Lords in another place had an idea that it would be a good thing to alter the law relating to local government administration in Scotland and had carried Amendments against the wishes of the Secretary of 427 State. That is not the position. The position is that the Secretary of State took advantage of the absence of rules along the corridor and he put the Amendments before another place.
In all the circumstances, it seems to me that the decent thing to do now would be for the right hon. Gentleman not to proceed with the Lords Amendments. We should, of course, have to join in reporting to another place why we could not consider their Amendments. The decent thing to do, in any case, would be to take away the Lords Amendments and bring forward another Bill in the autumn when we should be able to give adequate consideration to the proposals that are contained in those Amendments. We would be able further to consider the many suggestions for alterations in local government administration that will come from individual local authorities in Scotland and from hon. Members on both sides of the House.
I beg of the Government not to proceed with the consideration of the Lords Amendments this afternoon.
§ 3.38 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. John Maclay)
The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) will not expect me to agree with him either in his conclusions at the end of his speech, or in some of the phrases which he used. I do not accept that there has been sharp practice, or that we took advantage of lack of rules; I do not accept that this is virtually a new Bill, and I will explain carefully my reasons for saying so.
I think it is wise to look at the Amendments rather carefully. They fall into three groups. There are purely drafting Amendments; there are Amendments dealing with salmon net fishings, and there are Amendments to give effect to proposals to relax requirements in local government administration.
I do not think that anyone will disagree with the drafting Amendments. I do not think they can be objected to on principle, and they do not change the character of the Bill. The Amendments dealing with salmon net fishings were not moved into the Bill by the Government, although the Government accept responsibility for them. They relate to a matter which was raised in the Scottish 428 Standing Committee when the Joint Under-Secretary promised further consideration. In the expanded form in which they were moved in another place, the salmon net fishing Amendments appeared to the Government to be free of the principal objection which they felt to the Amendments moved in the Commons. Whether the Government were justified in that view is a legitimate subject for debate later this afternoon, but it cannot be said that these Amendments are not within the scope of the Bill.
The biggest group relates to the Government Amendments which seek to relax requirements in local government administration. I have no need to apologise for introducing these Amendments into the Bill at this stage. They are entirely germane to the main object of the Bill as it was first introduced. It was made clear, at the outset, that as part of the policy of giving local authorities increased independence the introduction of the new financial arrangements would be accompanied by a review of administrative procedure. This was carried out by the working party, to which reference has been made, of local government and Departmental officials.
On Third Reading in the House of Commons my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary said that the working party's recommendations had been accepted by the local authority associations and that a White Paper would be published explaining them. My hon. Friend went on to say that in so far as these proposals could not be put into effect without legislation, suitable Amendments to the Bill would be tabled in another place and the House would have an opportunity of considering these Amendments later. That was made clear on Third Reading.
The White Paper, which was published a month ago, also stated, in paragraph 3, that suitable Amendments to the Bill would be tabled for the purpose of bringing the new administrative arrangements into force at the same time as the introduction of the general grant—that is to say, from the beginning of the local authority financial year 1959–60. If the Bill had not been amended, some generally acceptable reforms would have had to be postponed until there was another opportunity for legislation. We felt that such a postponement was 429 unnecessary and, indeed, I had a duty to take the opportunity of legislating while the Bill with which the reforms are intimately connected was still before Parliament.
Some doubts have been expressed whether the Government were in earnest in offering to accompany the financial changes by administrative relaxations. By inserting the administrative proposals into the Bill, we have shown that we meant what we said. Presumably this cannot cause any offence. It can be said, and it has been said, that the changes proposed by the Government are not substantial. That is not true. There are nine separate provisions abolishing ministerial consents which are now required by statute. Local authorities will be relieved of the requirement to conduct their business through six committees whose appointment is now mandatory.
I come now to the main objection which has been raised. It could be objected—and the hon. Gentleman did so object—that their Lordships ought not to have amended the Long Title of the Bill. That is what it comes to. As a technical matter, there are plenty of precedents for such an Amendment. In the current Session there has been one. An example from the Administration of hon. Members opposite was the Bill for the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1949, and an older precedent of historic interest was the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929. These have been cases where the Long Title was amended by the Lords.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
I did not mention in precise terms the Amendment to the Long Title. My complaint really is that the right hon. Gentleman was responsible for the Long Title as it was here, and he had so restricted it that we could not deal with administration. He took the Bill to the Lords and made Amendments there which he could not make when the Bill was in this House.
§ Mr. Maclay
I am coming to that point. I thought it right, as the hon. Member has made grave charges, to build up my case piece by piece.
Perhaps I had better come to that point now. The hon. Member said that if the Government had expected to insert these provisions later on, the words "and 430 administration" should have been included in the Long Title from the beginning. Hon. Members opposite have said that they feel that the omission of these words precluded them from moving their Amendments about local government administration when the Bill was in Committee. I agree that there is some force in that suggestion, but a completely honest answer can be given.
When the Bill was introduced, we did not expect to complete a review of administrative relaxations in time to include in it anything on this subject. That is the simple fact. All concerned deserve congratulations for having agreed to these proposals while the Bill is still before Parliament. I might add that there has been nothing to report so far from a similar review in England and Wales. We in Scotland have managed to get ahead with this matter effectively and, I confess, much faster than I expected.
It may be observed also that, if the Opposition were looking for an opportunity of putting forward administrative Amendments, there was an opportunity in the other place, where they did not lack spokesmen on this Bill.
§ Mr. Maclay
Yes. There was a great deal of talk about the Bill.
To sum up—I shall repeat it, because I want it made quite clear—the Amendments consist of administrative relaxations which arise out of the financial provisions of the Bill, of which the Commons had ample notice, two words inserted in the Long Title, consequential upon what I have just referred to, and a few drafting Amendments. There are then the Amendments relating to the rating of salmon fishings, a subject which has already been debated in the House of Commons and on which the Government promised further consideration.
This analysis shows that what the hon. Member for Hamilton said and what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) said during questions on the business statement on 17th July, referring to the Bill as being a completely different one having entirely new aspects which the House has had no opportunity of considering, is really a very great exaggeration. No such 431 thing can be said about these Amendments, although there is scope for explanation and debate. I hope, therefore, that the House will proceed to discuss them without more ado.
§ 3.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Ross
I wonder what kind of person we have as Secretary of State for Scotland when he can say that it is an exaggeration to suggest that this is a different Bill. The facts speak for themselves. We have a new schedule of 28 paragraphs dealing with a subject which was not discussed and which could not have been introduced as an Amendment in Committee or on Report because of the limitations of the Long Title of the Bill. How can the right hon. Gentleman justify himself? It is a completely changed Bill. We have no reason to accept his statement that we were giving given notice of this or that. The actual fact is that, by changing the Title—because of the different rules of order in another place he was allowed to do it—he introduced and made possible Amendments of the Bill dealing with the whole question of administration in Scotland.
If the opportunity had been available to us in the first place, the rights of the House of Commons, which we are trying to assert here, could then have been asserted. The Bill went through this House, on Second Reading, in Committee, and on Report, and it went to another place. There was then inserted this widening of the scope. There was full freedom to the other place to do what it would. When the Bill comes back here, we are confronted with a group of Amendments, eight pages of them—about an additional quarter of the original size of the Bill—and we are given a day to look at them.
§ Mr. Ross
Just a moment. There is an old Scottish saying, "Do not pick me up before I fall". If we look at the list of Amendments as presented, we see that they were ordered to be printed on the 17th July. They were printed wrongly and they had to be reprinted yesterday. They came into our hands yesterday, these eight pages of, I hope, now correct Amendments, for our consideration. In actual discussion, we have half a day.
432 Surely, we, as a House of Commons, have a right not merely to say "Yea" or "Nay" on these questions of relaxations in administration. We have a right to a full Second Reading discussion of the whole principle. We have a right not only to amend what the Government suggest, but to put forward constructively our own additions in respect of administration. Although, when we look at the size of the addition to the Bill, it is quite a lot, in the actual subject of the freedom of local authorities in respect of controls by the central Administration, it is really nothing. It is just a handful of little sanctions which is being given away. It is not because we object to what it is in so much but because the Secretary of State would not allow us properly to go into that aspect and he denied us our rights by what I still consider was trickery—I will come to that, because the timing is important—that we are making our protest.
Let us consider the timing of it. The Secretary of State set up a committee. We did not know anything about it. We do not know to this day, nor does any hon. Gentleman opposite, who the members of the committee were. There was not, as far as we know, a single representative of a local authority in Scotland upon it. There were officials. They are coming to be known as the "stooges" on call for the Department whenever it wants something put through. The committee's report has never been presented to the public. I have never seen a copy of it. We do not even know what it reported or the extent to which all its suggestions were accepted by the Government.
The committee did report and something was embodied in a White Paper and then put into legislation. In passing, I would merely comment that the speed with which all this was done was quite miraculous. Never has any White Paper been so quickly put into legislation with so little discussion as this. It makes me come to the conclusion that this strange, unknown committee merely looked at suggestions which were put forward by the Secretary of State and his officials and said "Yea" to them. That is the reason for the speed.
A White Paper is usually a matter for the House to discuss before what is contained in it is embodied in legislation. 433 It is one of the courtesies of the House that the opinion of the House is taken. But not in this case. This White Paper was made available some time in June. I rather fancy that it was prepared long before June, but the Department put the stamp of June upon it knowing that it would be published in that month. That was the right time to publish it.
It will be noted, of course, that a date in June is not shown on the White Paper. It is not the 21st, the 23rd, the 3rd or anything like that; it is just "June".
§ Mr. Ross
The thing which is "busting out all over" is the strange desire for freedom on the part of the Secretary of State which he discovered after the discussion we had in relation to this "charter for freedom" in Committee. There is just no freedom in it, and he thought he had better get something in quickly.
The Joint Under-Secretary of State will remember the speech he made to the Standing Committee on 22nd April, about two months before. If he looks at that speech he will find that he told us that he was accepting a recommendation which appears in the Appendix to the White Paper published in June, two months later. Does the hon. Gentleman remember that? He will find it in col. 638 of the OFFICIAL REPORT of our proceedings upstairs, when he said that the Government proposed to raise to £5,000 the capital figure for any project as the determining level; if the figure was below £5,000, sanction would be automatic. That appears as a suggestion in the Appendix to this White Paper published in June, and the hon. Gentleman's speech was made on 22nd April. The whole thing smacks of trickery.
I am concerned that we in the House of Commons should be able to assert our full rights to debate the whole principle of the relationship between local authorities and the central Departments, that we should not do it on a basis of agreeing or disagreeing with Lords Amendments, and that we should be able to assert our right to initiate suggestions about what freedom should be given. This is a trifling little bundle of freedoms which is being thrown at the local authorities when one considers the Measures with which they are concerned.
434 Consider for a moment this Local Government Bill. There is not a page in it which does not require that the sanction of the Secretary of State has to be sought. Yet the right hon. Gentleman says, "In nine cases we have relieved the local authorities of the need to ask for my permission". Does he remember one of the last Measures we had to consider while he was Secretary of State, the Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Act? He required sanction for local authorities—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Gentleman now seems to be dealing with the merits of the Amendments with which we are concerned, but the Question before the House is, "That the Lords Amendments be now considered." If the hon. Gentleman would direct his argument to that, he would be quite in order.
§ Mr. Ross
I know that is is rather complex, Mr. Speaker, but we are dealing here with a new section of the Bill dealing with local government administration. That is the heading of the Schedule. I am suggesting that the method by which it has been introduced into another place is such as to deprive us in the House of Commons of our rights to add to it. The Secretary of State was at great pains to say—I think I have his actual words—that we should consider the nature of the Amendments, and he said that there were nine separate provisions relieving local authorities of the necessity of asking him for sanction to do something. He thought that that was wonderful. I am pointing out now that, in one of the Bills he brought forward, on two pages of it alone there were more than nine new demands made upon them to go to the Secretary of State for sanction.
I suggest that the House of Commons should be properly treated. This is one of the reasons that we should not consider these Lords Amendments but should ask, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) asked, for separate legislation. We want to consider the whole scope of these things and see what help we can give the right hon. Gentleman in his desire to free the local authorities from his tyrannical control. I know that it is complex but, quite frankly, I do not see how, presently, I have been out of order in that respect, but I bow to your Ruling, Sir.
435 The Secretary of State seems to take for granted, in asking us to speed the consideration of these things, that the local authorities like them. What he really means is that officials of the local authorities, with whom officials of his Department went over them, seemed to think that they were all right. This is the position we have reached now. Officials of local authorities have traversed the whole field. Bureaucrats in St. Andrew's House have traversed the whole field. The Government have traversed the whole field. Another place has had the power to go over the whole field. We in the House of Commons, on the other hand, must say either "Yea" or "Nay" to 28 suggestions put forward from another place, and we are completely limited. To that we strongly object.
How can it be said that the local authorities themselves have had an opportunity of discussing these things? It must be well known to the Secretary of State that the major local authorities in Scotland are not holding meetings at present. They do not usually do so in July and August. The result is, of course, that they have had no opportunity, individually, as local authorities, to make their own suggestions consequent upon the White Paper. I know that the local authority associations were met and talked to by the Secretary of State.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Ross
My speech is not nearly finished. I do not know what guns have got to do with it. As a member of the Cabinet, the right hon. Gentleman is getting into a rut. He will be landing paratroopers any day in Glasgow in order to raise the rents, or something.
The position is that the local authorities have not had the opportunity to discuss these matters and to make their suggestions. Let us not take for granted that all the suggestions of the Secretary of State are good, and we have the right to consider that fact. While these may be things that are laid upon the local authority, they are also duties that this House laid 436 upon the Secretary of State, and as a House we have a right to consider fully whether he is wise in relieving himself of the responsibility of certain of his functions, and the effect that it will have on the information available to this House in relation to local government and education in Scotland.
I sincerely hope that my hon. Friends will respond to this challenge to the House. We were gagged in Committee and eventually we were guillotined. We were not allowed to discuss the things that were in the Bill as fully as we would have liked. Now we have a new section in the Bill dealing with an important sphere of Scottish government, and all we, the great Commons of Britain, can do is to say "Yea" or "Nay" to suggestions that have come from another place.
I hope that the Secretary of State is satisfied with the way that he has upheld the honour of the House of Commons.
§ Mr. Ross
I know that he is satisfied; he is about the only one. He is very easily satisfied, as we have seen in the past. However, I think that we must express our complete disapproval of the way in which we have been treated. We should express our disapproval of the timing, the method, and the way that the Secretary of State has shielded himself from open discussion and, indeed, from what might have been embarrassing help in his desire to get freedom for local authorities in Scotland.
§ Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)
I should like to turn to the arguments brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State in support of his actions on these Amendments. I hope that tomorrow he will read his speech and see what nonsense it makes.
What did the right hon. Gentleman say in the course of his speech to justify this course of action? First, he said, "We had to put them into the Bill. Otherwise, they would not have come into operation in time for them to be brought into effect when the provisions of the Bill come into effect." That might have been all right if he had left the matter there, but he went on to say, "The committee which was set up to inquire into the relationships between local government and central administration completed its work 437 much more quickly than we expected. Therefore, we were able to put them into the Bill". What does that mean? It means that the Government did not expect the committee to finish its work in time for the proposals to go into the Bill. Yet the Government tell us that it was their intention to bring them into effect at the same time as the other proposals.
Therefore, the Government must have known when they introduced the Bill that they might have to introduce other legislation. That is what the Secretary of State's speech means, and nothing else. I hope that he will read what he has said and the arguments, because they make nonsense of each other. They cancel each other out.
§ Mr. Willis
Certainly they do. Did the right hon. Gentleman expect the committee to report by this date or not? If he did not, then he must have expected to have to introduce another Bill if he wanted to carry out his intention of making the two things operative at the same time. The Secretary of State ought to go into these matters and not merely accept a brief from his officials and come along here without having read and considered its implications.
§ Mr. Maclay
Of course I have considered the implications. When the Bill was started it was not realised that it was possible to get the agreement that we did get, in the end, with the local authority associations. Had we taken much longer we would have had to consider whether we should legislate to get these proposals passed into the law. I suggest that it would have been folly on the part of any responsible Secretary of State, when it proved possible to get them into the Bill without further delay, to miss that opportunity.
§ Mr. Willis
The right hon. Gentleman is confirming what I have said. At the beginning of his speech he said, "It was our intention, when we introduced the Bill, to bring forward certain relaxations."
§ Mr. Maclay
It was certainly not possible in advance of the discussions to know whether these alterations would require legislation, or how many of them would require legislation. It might have been possible to arrive at a result which did not need legislation but regulation.
§ Mr. Willis
The right hon. Gentleman confirms what I am arguing, namely, that when the Bill was introduced he was apparently fully alive to the possibility that, to implement what he stated during Second Reading to be the Government's intention, he might have to introduce new legislation. Is that so or not?
§ Mr. Willis
But does not that make nonsense of the fact that the Government have put the proposals into the Bill simply because by some miraculous happening the committee reported before the Bill was passed and, therefore, they had to be put into the Bill, otherwise it would not have become operative when the Government wanted it to become operative?
The right hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. Either the Government meant what they said and were prepared to introduce further legislation to give effect to these proposals in time for them to become operative by the time the financial provisions became effective, or not. If not, his speech this afternoon is nonsense. If the Government, however, were seized of this fact and were prepared to introduce legislation other than this Bill, then why did not the Government do that? That is what my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) asked when he opened the debate.
It is because of this that we accuse the right hon. Gentleman of trickery and of denying us the right of full discussion of the Amendments. Either these Amendments are important or, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) said, they do not amount to anything at all. But, as I understood the right hon. Gentleman, he said that these Amendments were important.
§ Mr. Willis
I am accepting his argument. These relaxations must be important in the eyes of the right hon. Gentleman, because they justify, in his view, a very drastic alteration in the financial arrangements between the central authority and local government. Therefore, they must be important, otherwise, once again, he is talking nonsense. If they are important, why are we not able to discuss them properly? We ought to be able to discuss these proposals properly. Why 439 were we denied the opportunity of bringing forward our own suggestions for trying to achieve what the right hon. Gentleman himself wants to achieve, namely, the giving of greater liberty to local authorities?
I am bound to say that the Government procedure in this matter has been most tortuous. When one looks at the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State, one can understand why it was done. Probably it was too much to expect anything better. I was rather too optimistic. Certainly, the right hon. Gentleman has treated us shabbily and we ought to protest. On a former occasion, I once told his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary to get off his knees. I hope that if the hon. Gentleman is replying on this occasion, he will get on his knees and apologise to this side of the House for the manner in which we have been treated.
§ Sir James Henderson-Stewart (Fife, East)
I think that in this case the Opposition have some justification for a healthy grumble. It has always been my experience that if Amendments which come down from another place are much longer than we expected and cover new ground, the Opposition have made a little noise. I did that myself, so I am not in the least surprised that the Opposition have taken the opportunity to express their views. Since, however, hon. Members opposite have made their protest, sometimes with considerable skill and force, I do not think that it would be in the interests of our country and its legislation if we went on discussing this topic to the exclusion of the detail of the Amendments which are before us.
There seems to be some division on the other side of the House whether these are important matters, as the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) said, or a trifling little bundle of freedoms, as the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) said. Perhaps the right answer would be somewhere in between. But these are not very important matters, certainly not sufficiently important to go on taking up valuable time discussing whether we should discuss them. Therefore, all I venture to say to the hon. Members, on both sides, is that having now 440 discussed the matter, we might get on to the business.
§ Mr. James McInnes (Glasgow, Central)
I wonder whether the hon. Baronet the Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart) realises that we regard the freedom to which the Secretary of State referred as a little bundle of freedoms in relation to the extent of the freedom which might have been allowed had we the opportunity, which has been denied to us, of putting down Amendments and new Clauses during the proceedings on the Bill upstairs.
My hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) accused the Government of indulging in sharp practice, a practice which has denied us the opportunity of dealing effectively and efficiently with the administrative side of the Bill. I was astonished at the rapidity with which the right hon. Gentleman sought to get his Bill. If my memory serves me correctly, we were guillotined on it. If we had not been guillotined, we would probably still be sitting in Committee on the Bill and we would then have had an opportunity of dealing with the recommendations of the working party, which the Secretary of State could have incorporated in the Bill during the Committee stage.
I, too, regard this as a piece of sharp practice, and for this reason. Yesterday, we were presented with Lords Amendments covering eight pages and between 3,000 and 4,000 words. It is grossly unfair that we should have the opportunity of only a few hours to go into the full implications of all the Amendments which have been passed in another place.
The Secretary of State said that the Bill was fully discussed in another place. He must, however, recognise that that is quite untrue. Indeed, the whole principle of the Bill was never challenged except on the questions of salmon fishing and of a memorandum sent to a noble Lord by the Glasgow Corporation dealing with the National Health Service Act. Those were the only two contributions and the rest of the Bill was passed without comment.
441 The right hon. Gentleman told us that he did not anticipate receiving the report of the working party dealing with the question of administration. If he did not anticipate receiving it, why did he, at the eleventh hour, decide to incorporate the working party's recommendations by this process of Amendments in another place? Will the right hon. Gentleman explain, as best he can, why he could not, in the autumn, introduce another Bill dealing exclusively with the question of administration?
I must also protest at the lack of opportunity, which has been denied to all of us, of consulting our local authorities and ascertaining their reaction. If I had consulted Glasgow Corporation—not the Counties of Cities Association, but Glasgow Corporation as such—I am satisfied that as a result of my conversations with that body I could produce many Amendments which would have resulted in real measures of freedom.
What are the freedoms contained in the Amendments from another place? They amount to only half an hour's or an hour's work per day for the officials of a large authority like that of Glasgow. There is no freedom in respect of the councillors or the functioning of committees, but purely in administrative work by officials of local government, and a negligible amount of freedom it is. I am amused at the contortions, the convulsions and the acrobatics of the Secretary of State in his intent to defend the procedure which he is adopting. It is a shocking exhibition and I enter my protest.
§ Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
Naturally, we do not want to spend the limited time at our disposal in discussing this matter for the rest of the afternoon. It is, however, important that the Opposition and the House of Commons should look after the rights and liberties of the House. Had the Secretary of State been on this side of the House, we can imagine from previous experience what he would have said about this kind of behaviour by a Government.
The House of Commons has the right to watch the Executive and what has been done. It could, in fact, be trickery; the right hon. Gentleman will agree with that. It could be a "fast one". It was fast in the sense that it was done so 442 quickly that nobody had any time to consider the matter until it appeared on the Order Paper.
The Secretary of State will also agree that while the officials of the Counties of Cities, the Convention of Burghs, and other people may have looked at the matter in a hurry, it has not been possible for the local authorities to examine these questions as they would wish to do with propositions affecting the running of town and county councils. The right hon. Gentleman must admit that the councillors have not had a chance.
One of the defects of our system is that local councillors are so overworked in many ways that it is difficult for them to give detailed attention to changes of this kind. Members of Parliament themselves have not had an opportunity to go into the matter as thoroughly as they would like to do. Acting in this way, with neither councillors nor Members of Parliament having opportunity to consider these things carefully, the Executive are rushing things through Parliament and getting their powers almost in the way a dictator would, and without any consideration at all.
Therefore, it is our business today to protest to the Government at this method of doing things. The Secretary of State has made excuses for it. His justification was that it would save time, and so on. As my hon. Friends have said, he knew that all these provisions were being considered, and he could have made provision in the Long Title of the Bill long ago so that hon. Members in Committee on the Bill could have discussed them.
The Scots Members, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, like to discuss their detailed business in the Scottish Standing Committee.
§ Mr. Woodburn
That shows the unanimity in the House on the point I am making.
To introduce legislation in this fashion is to short-circuit the Scottish Standing Committee whose duty it is to consider such matters as these in detail. We are not going to stand for it willingly, for a method by which important legislation can by-pass the Scottish Standing Committee, where it ought to have detailed 443 consideration. We shall consider some of these details, so far as we can in the short time available, but I want to register, and my hon. Friends want to register, a protest against this treatment of both the Scottish Standing Committee and the House and their rights.
§ Mr. Thomas Hubbard (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
Legislation which affects local authorities and their administration is always important, and in the past there has always been consultation with the local authorities and their elected members on such matters as these. I do not know who the members of the working party were. Are we not entitled to know who they were? Will the Secretary of State, before proceeding further, give us the names of the members of the working party and tell us when their report was issued and to whom it was issued, to whom they made representations and what replies they received?
The Bill is supposed to be a Bill giving freedom to local authorities, but if the Secretary of State goes on like this he will make it a Bill to tie them up. Before we proceed further we are entitled, as Members representing local authorities, to know who were the working party, by whom they were appointed, whom they represented, what their findings were. Did they report to the local authorities themselves? Were any representatives of the local authorities present? Did they know what the considerations were? How can this be called freedom unless we have answers to these questions?
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan)
I have no desire to draw you into this argument, Mr. Speaker, but you gave a Ruling earlier in the debate which emphasises the difficulty in which the Opposition are placed by the deliberate action of the Secretary of State for Scotland. Your Ruling was that our sole function is either to agree or to disagree with the Lords in their Amendments, and by that Ruling we have absolutely no right to discuss any of the other freedoms which we should have the right to discuss.
The Secretary of State has said that he has given many freedoms, through these Lords Amendments. However, had these matters come before us in the proper way how many others would we have 444 proposed, and how many would we have convinced the Government are necessary?
We have been deprived of that right, and in depriving us of that right the Secretary of State was fully aware of what he was doing. I am not suggesting that he engaged in trickery. He acted with his eyes open; he knew clearly and fully that he was depriving the Opposition and the House of fundamental rights which belong to the House.
§ Mr. Rankin
It may be trickery, but it may also be the action of an individual who has the instincts of a dictator. I do not want to introduce Huey Long into this discussion.
But the Secretary of State was not not carrying out a simple, silly trick. He was doing something deliberately of whose parliamentary consequences he was fully aware. He was depriving this House of rights which belong to Members, and he was doing it deliberately, and he was doing it because he wanted to prevent discussion. He had already indicated his desire to prevent discussion by timetabling the previous proceedings in Committee on the Bill.
If any hon. Gentleman on the opposite side desires to contradict me he has ample opportunity. There are still hours ahead of us. We have the whole of the rest of the day and the whole of the night. [An HON. MEMBER: "There is a Private Bill."] The Manchester Corporation Bill will be considered at 7 o'clock, but it will be disposed of by 10 o'clock, and then the whole night is ours. If the Government think that these Lords Amendments are of sufficient importance to discuss, we are prepared to discuss them. We believe that to be fundamental to the rights of this House.
The Secretary of State is weakening those rights by the action he is taking. If either the Secretary of State or the Joint Under-Secretary of State is to reply to this debate, perhaps he will be able to show us that this action has strengthened the rights of the House of Commons, or, if he cannot show that, perhaps he will be able to show how it leaves them unimpaired. Undoubtedly, however, the right hon. Gentleman has short-circuited proceedings in this House and in that he has done something wrong.
445 For even the vilest sinner there is always the lamp of mercy burning, and for the Secretary of State the lamp of mercy still burns, and he can return to grace, because he can tell us that, recognising that he has withdrawn from us certain rights, he will agree that these Lords Amendments should be remitted to the Scottish Standing Committee to be dealt with there. Why not?
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
If my hon. Friend feels that he can get the Secretary of State to agree to that, will he not go further and say that when they are remitted to the Scottish Standing Committee hon. Members on either side of this House ought to be able to move other Amendments?
§ Mr. Rankin
I will go as far as you like, Peggy. Yes, of course; I am fully in agreement with that. Why not?
If that is done, then we shall restore to this House and to the Scottish Standing Committee the rights of which the Secretary of State is depriving us. Why should we not? The Secretary of State—now, he is not to become impatient with me—must not seek to deprive us of the right even of speaking in this Chamber, or even to restrict what we want to say. He has restricted our actions, but he must give us full freedom to protest against his action.
Therefore, the way is open. The right hon. Gentleman should look at these Amendments and refer them to the Scottish Standing Committee. He should also adopt the suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison), with which I fully agree. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman and the Joint Under-Secretary of State are now discussing the suggestions made. I hope that whoever replies will tell us that it is intended to return stolen property and that these Amendments will be referred to the Scottish Standing Committee to be fully discussed there and, if necessary, amended and further expanded.
§ 4.30 p.m.
§ Mr. George Lawson (Motherwell)
When the Secretary of State was giving us the reasons for accepting the Amendments, and bringing them before us today, he told us that the Bill would be incomplete without the Lords Amendments. He said that without them further 446 legislation would be necessary. The Bill could not be adequately operated unless the Amendments were made. If I misunderstood him I apologise, but I thought that he also told us that the early publication of the White Paper "Local Government and Central Departments in Scotland" had been a surprise. In consequence, the Government had been informed of the kind of changes that could be made with advantage and they had hastened to adopt the suggestions by making use of another place, with the result that today we have these Amendments before us.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to boast that we were a jump ahead of the English in this matter. I understand that the Bill with which English and Welsh Members dealt, covering the same ground, has already been back to the House of Commons and the House has dealt with the Lords Amendments. As far as I can understand, and judging by what the right hon. Gentleman has said, the Lords Amendments relating to the English Bill will not make the changes that the Lords Amendments make in this Bill.
The House of Commons has finished with the English Bill. The Bill has gone back to another place and nothing else can happen but that it will be given the Royal Assent. That can mean only that the Bill will be incomplete and there must be further legislation to make the sort of changes which are proposed to be made in the Scottish Bill. It means, therefore, that English and Welsh Members will have an opportunity to deal in a fresh Bill with precisely the same matters with which we are asked not to deal but to accept or reject.
We Scottish Members, therefore, have been put in an invidious position. We have not been enabled to discuss and modify matters which must come before the House of Commons later in the form of a new Bill applicable to England and Wales. On that account alone, the right hon. Gentleman should reconsider this matter, draw up Amendments, issue them in the form of a new Bill and allow us to deal with it in the normal way and discuss and amend it as we think necessary.
§ Mr. Maclay
I rise, with the permission of the House, to deal with the points that have just been made. In reply 447 to the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson), the words were that relaxations were intimately connected with the Bill but were not an integral part of it and it would have been possible to have the Bill without them. It astonishes me that I have not been thanked by hon. Members for what is happening. I should have thought that if we had the possibility of producing relaxations and of securing them concurrently with the Bill it would have been a matter for at least some thanks.
I can understand the reasons which have led hon. Members opposite, and the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) to comment on this procedure. I agree that it is not an ideal one, but surely the whole essence of our Constitution is that if something sensible can be done it is done. The charge generally made against us in Parliament is that we take so long in doing things that people lose interest.
I am all for a full and detailed debate, as far as is reasonable and consistent with the maintenance of the democratic system. It is very well known that some democracies have gone down because they have not stopped talking. It cannot be claimed that in my time as Secretary of State I have ever unreasonably suppressed discussion. [HON. MEMBERS: "Guillotine."] I may have been connected with moving Closures on discussions when they have gone on for a very long time, but that is all a matter for argument and perhaps is not relevant to this discussion. I agree, however, that it was quite right to raise this issue. I do not think that it is an entirely satisfactory procedure, provided that another is available to do the things which we want done.
The procedure followed by the working party was normal. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who were they?"] It is not normal to give the names of a working party. Some of the members were nominated by the local authority associations and some represented my Department. [HON. MEMBERS: "How many?"] I have not the figures here, but it was a perfectly normal type of working party. The Amendments were accepted by the local authority associations at a meeting with the Minister of State for Scotland, as stated clearly in the opening paragraph of the White Paper. Therefore, while I can understand why hon. Members opposite are raising these 448 points, I suggest that there is no substance in them.
§ Mr. Maclay
The working party was conducted in the normal way in which the possibility or otherwise of changes are discussed.
§ Mr. Maclay
The answer is, "Yes". It depends on whom one means by "local authorities". It is clear that each local authority was not consulted by the Department. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] That is never the way in which it is done. It is done by the local authority associations nominating people to the working party.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
Is it not normal, however, for individual local authorities to make suggestions about alterations in local government administration before a Bill is passed?
§ Mr. Maclay
I cannot answer for the detail of every stage of the discussion, but presumably through the local authority associations and the nominees on the working party that procedure went on.
§ Mr. Maclay
It is not practicable to consult every single local authority. One has to work through the associations.
§ Mr. Fraser
Was the Town Council of Gourock given an opportunity of seeing the working party? What opportunity did that council or any other local authority have to make suggestions?
§ Mr. Maclay
I repeat that the normal procedure was followed of a working party which discusses these things at the Scottish Office.
§ Mr. Maclay
I have listened to all the appeals made but I would not be serving the best interests of the House or of Scotland if I responded to them. What we have to consider this afternoon is constructive and helpful. The only other thing I note with the greatest of interest is an addition to the list of things I have been described as, which is, a jellyfish with the instincts of a dictator.
§ Question put, That the Lords Amendments be now considered:—450
§ The House divided: Ayes 236, Noes 184.451
|Division No. 203.]||AYES||[4.40 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Gurden, Harold||Marshall, Douglas|
|Aitken, W. T.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Mathew, R.|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Mawby, R. L.|
|Amory, Rt. Hn. Heathcoat (Tiverton)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Medlicott, Sir Frank|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)||Moore, Sir Thomas|
|Ashton, H.||Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Atkins, H. E.||Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Nabarro, G. D. N.|
|Baldwin, Sir Archer||Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Nairn, D. L. S.|
|Barber, Anthony||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Neave, Airey|
|Barlow, Sir John||Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Nicholls, Harmar|
|Batsford, Brian||Hesketh, R. F.||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey (Farnham)|
|Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)|
|Bidgood, J. C.|
|Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Noble, Comdr. Rt. Hon. Allan|
|Bingham, R. M.||Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Noble, Michael (Argyll)|
|Bishop, F. P.||Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Nugent, G. R. H.|
|Black, C. W.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Oakshott, H. D.|
|Body, R. F.||Hobson, John (Warwick & Leam'gt'n)||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)|
|Boothby, Sir Robert||Hope, Lord John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.|
|Braine, B. R.||Hornby, R. P.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)|
|Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Page, R. G.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Horobin, Sir Ian||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)|
|Brooman-White, R. C.||Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Partridge, E.|
|Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Peel, W. J.|
|Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||Howard, Hon. Greville (St. Ives)||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Burden, F. F. A.||Howard, John (Test)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Campbell, Sir David||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hurd, A. R.||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Channon, Sir Henry||Hutchison, Michael Clark (E'b'gh, S.)||Pott, H. P.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hutchison, Sir James (Scotstoun)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Cole, Norman||Hyde, Montgomery||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.|
|Conant, Maj. Sir Roger||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Cooke, Robert||Iremonger, T. L.||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Cooper, A. E.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Redmayne, M.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Corfield, Capt. F. V.||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Ridsdale, J. E.|
|Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Robertson, Sir David|
|Cunningham, Knox||Joseph, Sir Keith||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Dance, J. C. G.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Russell, R. S.|
|D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kershaw, J. A.||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kirk, P. M.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Lambton, Viscount||Shepherd, William|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Smyth, Brig, Sir John (Norwood)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Leather, E. H. C.||Speir, R. M.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Leavey, J. A.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Elliott, R. W. (Ne'castle upon Tyne, N.)||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Storey, S.|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Lindsay, Martin (Solihull)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Erroll, F. J.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Fell, A.||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Longden, Gilbert||Temple, John M.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Foster, John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Thompson, R. (Croydon, S.)|
|Gammans, Lady||McAdden, S. J.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Mackeson, Brig. Sir Harry||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||McKibbin, Alan||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Glover, D.||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Glyn, Col. Richard H.||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Godber, J. B.||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Lancaster)||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Gower, H. R.||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Grant, Rt. Hon. W. (Woodside)||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Vosper, Rt. Hon. D. F.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Green, A.||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Wall, Patrick|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Maddan, Martin||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Webster, David|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)||Wood, Hon. R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)||Woollam, John Victor||Mr. Edward Wakefield and|
|Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)||Yates, William (The Wrekin)||Mr. Hughes-Young.|
|Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Hamilton, W. W.||Paget, R. T.|
|Albu, A. H.||Hannan, W.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Harrison, J. (Nottingham, N.)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Hastings, S.||Pearson, A.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Hayman, F. H.||Peart, T. F.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Healey, Denis||Pentland, N.|
|Balfour, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Plummer, Sir Leslie|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Herbison, Miss M.||Prentice, R. E.|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)||Proctor, W. T.|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S. E.)||Holman, P.||Rankin, John|
|Benson, Sir George||Holmes, Horace||Redhead, E. C.|
|Beswick, Frank||Holt, A. F.||Reeves, J.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Hoy, J. H.||Reid, William|
|Blackburn, F.||Hubbard, T. F.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Boardman, H.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Bonham, Carter, Mark||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Ross, William|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S. W.)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Royle, C.|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Janner, B.||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Jeger, George (Goole)||Short, E. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (Holbn & St. Pncs, S.)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Burke, W. A.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Jones, Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Carmichael, J.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Sparks, J. A.|
|Champion, A. J.||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Steels, T.|
|Coldrick, W.||King, Dr. H. M.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Lawson, G. M.||Stonehouse, John|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Cronin, J. D.||Lindgren, G. S.||Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Lipton, Marcus||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||Logan, D. G.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||McAlister, Mrs. Mary||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||McCann, J.||Thornton, E.|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||MacColl, J. E.||Timmons, J.|
|Deer, G.||MacDermot, Niall||Viant, S. P.|
|de Freitas, Geoffrey||McInnes, J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||McLeavy, Frank||Watkins, T. E.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Mann, Mrs. Jean||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mason, Roy||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mellish, R. J.||Willey, Frederick|
|Finch, H. J.||Messer, Sir F.||Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Ab'tillery)|
|Fitch, Alan||Mitchison, G. R.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Foot, D. M.||Monslow, W.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Mort, D. L.||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Moyle, A.||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Neal, Harold (Bolsover)||Woof, R. E.|
|Grey, C. F.||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. (Derby, S.)||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Oram, A. E.|
|Grimond, J.||Orbach, M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)||Oswald, T.||Mr. John Taylor and Mr. Rogers.|
§ Lords Amendments considered accordingly.
§ Consideration of the Lords Amendment in the Title, line 4, postponed till after the consideration of the subsequent Amendments.—[Mr. N. Browne.]