§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I said, when I made a short statement to the House last Thursday, that this Bill is in accordance with long precedent, both in the provision it makes and in the terms in which it is expressed. The only deviation of substance from precedent is the provision for a widow's pension, which I will refer to later.
The office of Speaker of this House is in itself an embodiment of tradition and the Government feel sure that the House will wish to maintain the traditional form of this Bill. There is yet another reason for keeping the traditional provision for a Speaker's retirement. It is important that the retirement of the Speaker, no less than his tenure of office, should, as far as possible, be above political strains and stresses of the day, to make manifest the fact—we should be deeply grateful, Mr. Speaker, to your predecessors, the distinguished holders of this office, that it is a fact—that, once a Member is elected to the Chair, he is impartial. The House will surely agree that we must consider each Bill for the provision of a Speaker's retirement as impartially as we can.
The Bill thus provides for a pension of £4,000 a year, and the first point I should like to make clear to the House is that this has been the amount of the Speaker's pension since the Act of 1832. It is an arbitrary figure, unrelated to the Speaker's salary or the length of his tenure of office. It has been deemed by successive Parliaments to be the right figure and we should think long and deeply before altering it.
The Preamble to the Bill repeats the Resolution which the House agreed to last Thursday after reciting the traditional events leading up to the Resolution and the introduction of the Bill. Whatever may have been the intention, a century and a half ago, behind the 1171 heart-warming phrase mentioned in the previous debatein the most beneficial manner",I wish to assure the House that these words have no practical effect now. The pension is paid out of the Consolidated Fund and is subject to tax in exactly the same way as any other pension or emolument.
The hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. A. Lewis) wondered whether those words implied any tax relief or, as he said in his speech, "tax arrangement", for Lord Dunrossil and his wife if she should draw a widow's pension. I assure the House that they do not. The words do not form part of the Bill itself. I am sure that we should all like to see them retained in the Resolution and the Preamble to the Bill. It is not often nowadays that our Statutes are allowed to contain these small departures from the draftsman's austerity or the ultimate severity of Her Majesty's Treasury.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether, under the Act of 1832, any allowance was made for the Speaker's wife? When did this special allowance for the Speaker's wife come into the Act?
§ Mr. Butler
If the hon. Member had listened to my opening remarks with his usual acuity he would have heard that I said that the only departure from precedent in the Bill is the reference to a pension for the Speaker's wife in the case of widowhood. I shall be explaining that later. It is a departure from precedent. It has a parallel action in other spheres, but it is a departure from precedent in this Bill.
The Bill provides a fixed date for the beginning of the pension. This was also done on the last occasion, since Mr. Speaker Clifton Brown, like Lord Dunrossil, retired at the end of a Parliament. The date is the day when the new Speaker is elected. Up to that date the former Speaker remains entitled to his salary, also under the Act of 1832. The proviso to Clause 1 provides that half of the pension shall be suspended while the pensioner holds another appointment under the Crown with a 1172 remuneration equal to or greater than the pension.
In walking about the House and talking to my hon. Friends and other hon. Members I have noticed that there is an idea that this provision for abatement has been brought into the Bill on purpose or by anticipation. I shall be saying something about anticipation shortly. It has not been brought in on purpose, since an identical provision has been made in the Speakers' annuity Bills since 1817. Therefore, there is a respectable precedent for this abatement. It is in no way novel; it is not related to this particular case. It was inserted in the Bill entirely on the precedent of Speakers' Retirement Bills and, therefore, I repeat that the only difference in this Bill, from the Acts of 1832 and 1817, is the novelty of dealing with the wife of Lord Dunrossil.
The purpose of the abatement is to prevent the enjoyment in full of a pension for one public office and the pay for another at the same time, a principle to which successive Governments have attached some importance. I hope that the House will agree that we should not depart from this principle or precedent in relation to this great and ancient office of Speaker.
I am advised that the post of Governor-General of Australia falls within the definition of an appointment under the Crown and, therefore, is covered by the provisions of the Bill in relation to abatement. I have seen certain allusions in the Press to this appointment being in some way connected with a decision made by Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Butler
I have seen it in the Press and I do not want to follow it up more than to say that it is not so. The appointment is made by Her Majesty's Ministers in Australia, advising Her Majesty the Queen.
Lord Dunrossil himself has authorised me to say this, and it may be of interest to the House, that, following his decision to retire as Speaker, he had planned a very different life for himself in 1960. He told me he had accepted many engagements for next year, for example, 1173 the presidency of the Three Counties Agricultural Show, several school speech days, and so on. I state these facts in relation to Mr. Speaker Morrison lest there should be any impression which would be misconceived that his decision to retire was in any way caused by the prospect of his appointment to this new high office.
Lord Dunrossil has informed me he was acutely sensible of the very great honour implied by the offer of this appointment. He has, as right hon. and hon. Members know, a very great interest in Parliamentary democracy throughout the Commonwealth and he felt—and I hope that the House will agree with him—that the growth of Parliamentary government in the Commonwealth would be forwarded by the decision of the Ministers of a great self-governing country to submit to Her Majesty the name of an ex-Speaker of the House of Commons as their Governor-General.
The House will understand that there could be no question here of any conflict of loyalties as between the House of Commons and the United Kingdom Executive. The invitation came from Her Majesty's Ministers in Australia and Mr. Speaker Morrison carefully refrained from mentioning the matter to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. I am sure that this is in accord with the constitutional position.
Having listened to the previous debate and having heard from many hon. Members, I feel that some would have preferred that the ex-Speaker should have abated the remainder of his pension or that we should not pass this Bill. I want to make it quite clear that while there is every legitimate right for hon. Members to express their opinion in this House—and I am sure that it would be accepted by us all, including Lord Dunrossil, in the spirit in which they did so—Her Majesty's Ministers and Her Majesty's Government do not feel they could influence or affect Lord Dunrossil's judgment in this matter. They do feel, however, and the Government feel, that, taking precedent into account and looking to the future, it is essential that this Bill should be enacted. It would be in our view indefensible to single out Lord Dunrossil for less considerate treatment than his predecessors or perhaps his successors.
1174 I do not think that it is necessary for me to pay a special tribute to our ex-Speaker. We all knew him very well. He served us for eight years. We shall miss his presence in the Chair. He was a distinguished Speaker of a very friendly and considerate character and we wish him well in his high office overseas.
Her Majesty's Government are no more able to comment on the emoluments which are to be paid to the Governor-General of Australia, because that is really not our business. I might get into great trouble if I made comment on this matter, but I should point out that in fact, the salary of the Governor-General, calculated in sterling, amounts to £8,000. This is the only remark I am going to make about it. I understand that the expenses attaching to the office are very heavy and from what I know I do not think that Lord Dunrossil would wish to forgo the abated pension for which the Bill provides, in view of the many and heavy payments which lie before him.
§ Clause 2 of the Bill is the only change in tradition. This is the first time that provision is made for the widow of a Speaker after his retirement. The House, I think, will probably agree that this innovation is now necessary. This is the answer to the intervention which has been made by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes). If hon. Members will look around, they will see that provision for widows and dependants has become widespread in pensions schemes since the last war and is now a feature common to all such schemes in the public sector. Such provision was introduced, for example, for civil servants in 1949 and for the judiciary in 1950. In those schemes, the normal widow's pension is one-third of the husband's pension and that is what the Bill provides for Lady Dunrossil.
§ Mr. Butler
Perhaps if I get this wrong the hon. Member may then intervene.
In other public service pensions schemes the figure is normally provided for a widow and dependants either by contributions from salary or out of the 1175 lump sum which is part of the retirement benefit, but the Speaker has no lump sum from which deductions could be made and annual contributions during his tenure of office would hardly be appropriate if only that such contributions need to be related to a long period of service.
Of course, it would have been possible, in drafting the Bill, to reduce Mr. Speaker's pension in order to provide a widow's entitlement, but, in view of the fact that the amount of this pension has remained unaltered for a century and more, the Government considered that a reduction of the sum is out of the question. We are not proposing to increase the pension as such, but we think that providing widow's entitlement in addition to the traditional pension is by no means unreasonable in the circumstances.
Those are the facts of the Bill. I understand that hon. Members desire to criticise and examine it. Nevertheless, after mature reflection, the Government consider that the case for its passage is unanswerable and I trust that the House will give it its full support.
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan)
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer a question before he sits down?
§ 3.46 p.m.
§ Mr. Hugh Gaitskell (Leeds, South)
The Second Reading debate on this Bill takes place in rather unusual circumstances, circumstances to which the Leader of the House has referred, namely, the appointment by Her Majesty of Lord Dunrossil to be Governor-General of Australia. I think that I am right in saying that this appointment was announced only after the proceedings leading to the introduction of the Bill had been begun.
While I shall have something to say about this new development in a moment, it should not, I think, divert or inhibit us from taking the customary opportunity of such an occasion to pay our tribute to the manner in which the former Speaker discharged his duties. He held this important office for eight years. This followed upon twenty years' service in this House, in the course of 1176 which he held no fewer than six Ministerial offices. This was felt at the time of his election as Speaker to be something of a handicap, but, as I said on an earlier occasion, Lord Dunrossil speedily overcame that.
The importance of the office of Speaker in our House can scarcely be exaggerated. The whole of our proceedings are affected by the attitude of hon. Members to the Chair, an attitude which, happily, has almost always been one of genuine respect and regard, but the existence of this attitude is not something which is to be taken for granted. While one Parliament differs from another, some, perhaps, being more easy to handle than others, there is no doubt that respect for the Chair depends fundamentally upon the occupant of the Chair himself.
There is, to my mind, equally, no doubt that the former Speaker fully earned this respect by his conduct. His dignity, displayed in his commanding presence and resonant voice, his intellectual ability, shown by his swift interpretation and application of our highly complicated rules of procedure and conventions, his wit and humour, which frequently delighted the House—these are all qualities which are fresh in the memories of us all and we extend to him our thanks for his labours and our personal good wishes for the future. To Lady Dunrossil likewise, who fulfilled her duties as Mr. Speaker's wife so admirably, we wish to convey our sincere appreciation.
In the ordinary way, I should have been disposed to welcome the Bill without qualification, for I doubt whether any of us would deny the desirability of a pension for Mr. Speaker. For my part, I consider that the new provision to which the Leader of the House referred, by which a widow's pension will be available at one-third the rate of the full pension, is quite reasonable having regard to the other precedents which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned.
Some may cavil at the size of the pension. I can well understand such a reaction twenty or thirty years ago, but £4,000 a year today, although undoubtedly substantial, is not such a vast income as it once was.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
As my hon. Friend says, "It is not so bad, either", but my hon. Friend will no doubt be aware that it was worth, I suppose, when it was first introduced, about ten times what it is worth today. I do not think that it is excessive today in relation to the dignity or importance of the office or the pensions paid to other public servants.
Some hon. Members on this occasion, as on former occasions, may take the opportunity of pressing the claims of other subjects of Her Majesty to better provision for old age, including both old-age pensioners and Members of this House. These are issues of great social importance which move us all—and let no one under-rate the strong feelings which exist among hon. Members of the House on this matter. I hope that it will be possible to pursue the question of pensions for hon. Members in other ways quite speedily, but the fact that we think that more should be done for others is not, in my view, in itself a sufficient objection to the grant of a pension to the retiring Speaker.
It is not, however, these things which lead me to comment today on the Bill, but the unexpected development of the appointment of Lord Dunrossil to be Governor-General of Australia. It seems to me that this raises two issues of principle which cannot be ignored. First, we have to ask ourselves: is it right and desirable that a retiring Speaker should be offered and accept an office of this kind? There can be no doubt that it is highly unusual; indeed, almost unprecedented. There is no doubt that the expectation in the past has been that, when the Speaker retires from being Speaker, he retires from public life and public service altogether. There can be no doubt that in the past the pension has been justified, at least, on several occasions, so far as I know, largely on these grounds.
My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) drew my attention, in conversation, to some sentences uttered by the late Lord Baldwin on this matter which my hon. Friend, no doubt, Mr. Speaker, if he catches your eye, will quote in full to the House. I can say that they certainly bear out precisely what I think was Lord Baldwin's attitude to the Speaker's pension and the 1178 reason why it was given. Although nothing has been laid down legally, it has, I think, been assumed—certainly it is my impression—that the Speaker is in somewhat the same position as a judge when he retires, rather than in the position of a civil servant, or an officer of the Armed Forces, who receives his pension automatically as part of a contract of service after a lifetime in a particular office.
There is, it is true, one exception to this, the appointment of Mr. Whitley to be chairman of the Governors of the B.B.C. in 1930. It is the only exception which I have been able to find, and I would only say that this is not quite of the same character as the circumstances which we are considering today because it did not occur, at any rate, for two years after Mr. Whitley's retirement, and it was—I do not think that any of us would say otherwise—not of quite the same character or carrying the same emoluments as that of Governor-General of Australia. Even so, I venture to doubt, looking back on it, whether it was a very desirable precedent.
The second question of principle is whether the retiring Speaker, if he accepts such an appointment, should, while holding it, continue to draw any part of his pension. The Bill provides, as earlier Bills have provided, for an abatement of one-half the pension if the retiring Speaker accepts any public office. I must say, in passing, that it is a curious anomaly that legally, at any rate, the retiring Speaker may accept private employment without any abatement of his pension whatever. One might well have supposed that the idea of accepting a private office would be more repugnant, in certain respects, than the acceptance of a public office.
The argument, as I have said, for the pension has been to a very large extent that the retiring Speaker does not take such an office, private or public, and therefore, if he does take one, one is bound to have some doubts about whether it is right and proper and desirable that he should draw the pension during the holding of that office.
The right hon. Gentleman referred to the emoluments of the Governor-General of Australia. I see that it has 1179 been said that these are not enough. If that is so—and it may well be the case—I venture to say that it is a matter for the Government of Australia to put right. It cannot really be argued as a reason for paying the retiring Speaker of the House of Commons a pension. If, on the other hand, the argument is that the retiring Speaker needs this additional pension for financial reasons, as he is quoted as saying in some newspapers, I can only say that that suggests that we should look at whether the pension itself justifies accepting outside employment.
My personal conclusion is that it is more desirable for a retiring Speaker not to accept an appointment of this or any other kind, but to be given a pension fully adequate on which to retire.
Finally, whatever the right or wrongs of this matter, I feel that it would be much better and a good deal of embarrassment would have been avoided if we could have had clarity. There has been, it seems to me, no clear ruling in the past. There is no clear dividing line. I think that the Leader of the House would agree with me that certain appointments he would regard as being thoroughly undesirable for a retiring Speaker to accept. It may be that we should try in future to lay things down a little more precisely. I have already given my opinion, but if it is said that that is too rigid, that we cannot really debar a retiring Speaker from accepting any office whatever, I think it desirable that we should lay down—we may not be able to do it now—what kind of appointments are to be accepted, what kind of appointments we regard as desirable and what kind we do not.
Having said that and made these comments, I wish to make it plain, also, that this is in no sense a party issue. It is essentially a matter for the House of Commons as a whole and, therefore, there can be no question of any party division on the matter. Each hon. Member must decide for himself what his attitude is to be should the matter be pressed to a Division. For my part, I shall only say that, having made my comments and recorded my criticism, I do not think that these are sufficiently strong to justify me in going into the Lobby against the Bill.
§ 3.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Martin Lindsay (Solihull)
I, for one, regret that it is necessary to debate this matter at all, and I can assure the House that the points that I have to make will be few in number and short in presentation.
I think that we are all in agreement that the office of the Speakership is extremely onerous and that the Speaker should retire on a generous pension. Having said that, I must say that in my opinion the contrast between a pension of £4,000 a year to an ex-Speaker who has occupied the Chair for nine years and no pension at all to hon. Members who have served the House for twenty-five or thirty years is altogether disproportionate. The Bill which, I trust, we are now about to pass highlights this contrast. I am, personally, very much distressed at the knowledge that there are two or three dozen Members of this House who simply cannot afford to retire and who find that they are penniless if, peradventure, they happen to lose their seats.
I trust that the Governent, during the course of this Session, will bring forward Measures to alleviate further the poverty which we know still exists, particularly among old people and widows with children. But when we have done that, I hope that we shall at last do our duty by those who have given such long and faithful service to the House. I believe that a Member, after twenty-five or thirty years' service, should be able to retire on a pension of £1,000 a year or thereabouts, and I believe that the retirements which such a Measure would make possible would, generally speaking, be for the good of the House and the good of the nation.
I agree that this is not a party Measure, and I therefore do not feel embarrassed in saying that I believe that the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member for Leeds. West (Mr. C. Pannell) are quite right in their view that the appointment of an ex-Speaker to any office which is either in the gift of the Executive or dependent upon a recommendation from the Executive is not desirable. I happen to know Australia and have a great many relations there, and I have no doubt at all that the appointment of Lord Dunrossil, whom we all hold in such very high 1181 esteem, will prove to be an exceedingly popular choice; but, nevertheless, for the reasons which the Leader of the Opposition has given, I believe that this is an undesirable precedent.
Finally—I want to say this, although I am sure that it will be a matter of controversy—I think that it was a very great pity that Lord Dunrossil thought fit to appear on television last Thursday. I do not believe that anyone who accepts such a high office as this—the gift of Her Majesty the Queen—should appear in public to be cross-examined about his motives for accepting it, about his means, or his health. I thought that it was exceedingly undignified, and I hope that this, also, will not be a precedent for the future.
§ 4.2 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)
Like the hon. Member for Solihull (Mr. Lindsay), I feel that there is a certain amount of embarrassment in discussing these personal cases, but it gives us an opportunity, which he has taken, of drawing attention to the extremely anomalous position of pensions in their entirety.
I think that the country, on the whole, behaves extremely shabbily to its pensioners and to its public servants in the matter of pensions. Teachers, members of the Armed Forces, civil servants and, indeed, Members of this House may suffer considerable hardship after long service to the public because of the inadequacy of their pension.
I have always been an opponent of the earnings rule. I consider that it has worked very unfairly. Now that the Government agree that people may earn a certain amount, there seems to me to be no logic in it whatsoever, because the only logical reason was, of course, that a man should retire entirely.
As to pensions to public servants of all kinds, we must accept that they are, in fact, part of the general reward to those servants for the work that they have done, and that a man who gives many years' service, as Mr. Speaker Morrison did to this House, has a right to expect a pension. It is noticeable that even Keir Hardie, as I understand it, suggested that Speakers should have a pension of £1,000; and in 1895 that was worth a great deal more than £4,000 today.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
I should say, interpreting what Keir Hardie said at the time, that this was the only way to get in order.
§ Mr. Grimond
That is a common problem. It is a trouble which besets us today, and it can be taken up on another occasion.
I should like to raise the whole question of abatement of pensions. If we are to abate this pension, why do we abate it to half? What is the reason for this half abatement? As I now understand, the Speaker has earned his pension as he earned his salary. As I also understand, if one takes the view that no man who has earned a pension is entitled to draw it if he takes some other employment, the position of civil servants is that they have to forgo the whole of their pension if they take further office under the Crown.
I would draw the Government's attention to one example. Naturally, I have not asked the individual in question about it, and if I am wrong I shall, no doubt, be corrected. I understand that the Government asked a very distinguished ex-diplomat to take the chairmanship of the Crofters Commission in Scotland. Nothing could be further from diplomacy, in some of its aspects, at any rate, than the office of head of the Crofters Commission. When that person took the job on at the request of the Government, he had to forgo the whole of his pension. If he had gone into the City of London he could have collected as many directorships as he wanted, but because, at the request of the Government, he chose to serve the public he lost his pension.
I cannot see any reason for that. He earned the pension in an entirely different sphere as a diplomat. He was about to retire, as perhaps Mr. Speaker Morrison was about to retire, and he was asked by the Government to do something more. His good nature and his interest in public matters were appealed to, and for that reason he lost the entire pension which he would otherwise have got.
I believe that the whole House would feel a great deal happier in passing the Bill if the Home Secretary would give a pledge that he will review the whole matter of pensions, retirement pensions 1183 and pensions to public servants and to Members of the House and that, when he has done that, he will come to us and explain what the governing principles are and whether people like ex-Speakers are entitled to take other jobs. If they take other jobs, are they to lose because those jobs are under the Crown, while, if they take private directorships, they will not lose? I trust that the Home Secretary will also give us some assurance that the position of other people who at present are not entitled to pensions at all will be considered by the Government in this Session of Parliament.
§ 4.7 p.m.
§ Lady Tweedsmuir (Aberdeen, South)
I venture to say a few words on this issue because I know something of the problems of governors-general at second-hand and also because I feel most strongly that it is very unfortunate indeed that the appointment of a most distinguished ex-Speaker of this House to a great office should have caused such controversy.
I think that the issue is becoming extremely confused. Whatever any of us may feel about the necessity for pensions, for example, for past Members of this House, at the moment all of us who sit in the House now knew exactly the terms and conditions of service and the risks to our dependants when we decided to stand for Parliament.
As to the other question of pensions, I think that the issue has become clouded owing to our using the term "pension", because what we are discussing now has no actuarial foundation; it is, in effect, an annuity bestowed upon a very distinguished person by Parliament, as is said in the Preamble to the Bill, for past distinguished services.
The Leader of the Opposition raised two points which he said were points of very important principle. First, he asked whether it was not a constitutional principle that when an annuity, such as we are discussing today, is given to a Speaker, it is given to him so that he shall not then feel that he has any need to search for employment for financial reasons, whether it be a private or a public office. In particular, I notice that it has been said, in the Press, at any 1184 rate—it has not yet been repeated, though it may be later—that if an ex-Speaker is offered another post under the Crown the expectation that this might happen to him might injure his impartiality in his great office.
I would say in advance, in case this is aired again during the debate, that that innuendo should be utterly rejected. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because, to begin with, the initiative to become a governor-general certainly does not lie with the person who is ultimately selected. If it did, that should certainly be a reason why that person should not be selected. It is a request from the Government of Australia. It is submitted to Her Majesty, and she may then approve it. The emoluments going with the office are the business and responsibility of the Government of Australia.
The term "governor-general" is in itself not correct, because a governor-general, in modern times, is a viceroy, while the Viceroy of India was both viceroy and governor-general. The representative who goes out to Australia is representing the Queen and is above all political controversy. It is equally absurd to say that for a Speaker to become a governor-general means that he enters what has been described as the "hurly-burly of public life". I repeat that the position of governor-general is above political controversy, and to say that a man enters the hurly-burly of public life implies that he "takes sides" and joins certain groups, not necessarily politically, but that he aligns himself with certain groups.
The timing of the announcement has meant, also, that the salary of governor-general has been related already in the debate to the size of the annuity, and often the two are linked together. On the annuity, I will take the comparable example of an ex-Lord Chancellor, who receives £5,000. When the first Earl of Birkenhead retired from the position of Lord Chancellor he was criticised by the Socialist Party of the day not because he undertook any public office, but because he went into the City and took up a great many directorships. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] It seems that the later representatives of those early forerunners, including Keir Hardie, have not changed their views.
1185 The fact remains that Lord Birkenhead was criticised, because it was said that, while taking directorships in the City and accepting the whole of his annuity, he was unable to discharge his judicial duties. The members of the Labour Party of the day maintained that Lord Birkenhead had lost his status as a pensioner because of his position in the City, which prevented him undertaking future judicial duties.
Lord Birkenhead maintained, on the contrary, that his pension related to his past duties and was unconditional and quite apart from his work as a law lord. He quoted various examples of law lords who, in the past, had drawn the whole of their pension without undertaking any judicial duties. He quoted one law lord in particular who had given up the annuity for a time for private reasons and had then claimed the whole pension.
Lord Birkenhead concluded that neither in law nor in morality was a pension conditional upon the future discharge of service. [Interruption.] If the House will listen to me for a moment, having made those claims the first Lord Birkenhead gave up his pension for charitable purposes because he said that the country at the time was going through severe financial stress. Indeed, whilst Attorney-General he had given up much of his salary for the same reason.
However, Lord Birkenhead was careful to do one very important thing. He drew the whole of his pension for a few weeks while, at the same time, receiving his commercial salary in order, to use his own words, toprotect the rights of my successors from an assault generated in about equal quantities from malice and ignorance.I was impressed to hear the Home Secretary say that it had been the practice when certain public offices are accepted by past Speakers for the annuity to be abated by half. I think he said that that had been the case since 1817. I should have thought that it would have been wiser to safeguard future holders of this great office by passing the whole annuity and leaving it to the judgment of individual holders of the office whether they wish to claim it or not. In passing, I very much welcome the new provision for the Speaker's widow.
It is a new principle which is being put forward by the Leader of the Opposition 1186 today that certain positions—I know that some hon. Members would claim all positions—carrying emoluments, whether in public or private life, should be barred to those holding an annuity. It is not a view shared by all members of the Labour Party. To quote Lord Birkenhead again, a very distinguished predecessor of hon. Gentlemen opposite wrote to him:My dear Birkenhead,I am sorry to hear that you are leaving our goodly company of unjust men making other people perfect. May you make money and find peace. If you do, pray let we know, for it is high time that I began the same quest.That letter was signed by Ramsay MacDonald. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I expected a happy reception, but I did not know that it would be quite as great as that.
As far as the last Speaker is concerned, there are many personal circumstances about which none of us in the House knows nor, indeed, should question, both in Australia and in this country. It is true that a salary of £A10,000 or £E8,000 sounds absolutely huge, but we must take into account the views of those who know the circumstances of these great offices. I expect that most hon. Members have read the letter in The Times of 14th November, written by Sir Alan Lascelles. He said:… in the past 30 years, few, if any, of those appointed to represent the Sovereign in one or another of the great countries of the Commonwealth oversea have even been able to save, for their personal benefit, any portion of their statutory salaries; on the contrary, most of them have had to put their hands into their own pockets in order to make both ends meet.
§ Mr. Manuel
Has the hon. Lady read the report in the Press that the Australian Government are making available £124,000 annually as an expense allowance to cover Government House?
§ Lady Tweedsmuir
Certainly I have read it, because that is the usual practice. That is the decision of the Australian Government and it is very well known. Sir Alan Lascelles says that, in spite of those expense allowances, which are very considerable, for the past thirty years the holders of these offices have often had to make ends meet out of their own pockets.
I was about to quote the sums involved, because the sums which have been mentioned in connection with 1187 Australia are large enough, but in Canada, to take the 1957–58 Vote, it is reported that there was a salary of £16,000 with expenses, counting administration and personal allowances, amounting to £66,000—those are rough figures, because I am translating from dollars into pounds. That is an example of what Commonwealth countries themselves think necessary for their representative to represent the Crown adequately in their country.
If it is true that, even so, the salaries are not enough, it is surely not right then to question whether a man should have or be entitled to the full part of his annuity, because we do not know his personal circumstances—for example, his obligations to dependants or important commitments at home. A man who has a reasonable expectation of an annuity of £4,000 may, to use a coloquialism, count on it just to discharge personal obligations at home. I think that this is important, because otherwise it means that only those who have private, unearned income can possibly accept such posts.
Lastly, I should like to inquire how it is that we ever came to consider the figure of £4,000 as the right annuity. The £5,000 for a Lord Chancellor has been estimated as a way of trying to capitalise the forensic career of those in the upper reaches of the Bar and who might earn up to £20,000 or £30,000 a year and yet hold the office of Lord Chancellor, for example, for only one year. I do not see how we can possibly capitalise in one sum the services that a Speaker of this House can render as the First Commoner. He is the one person on whom from time to time the whole democratic system depends. If the job is well done, I would say that to all of us it is without price. Let us wish him well.
§ 4.22 p.m.
§ Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)
I beg to to move, to leave out "now" and at the end of the Question to add "upon this day six months."
The hon. Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South (Lady Tweedsmuir) accused us on this side of the House of being compounded of a mixture of malice and ignorance.
§ Lady Tweedsmuir rose—
§ Mr. Pannell
I am well known for giving way, but I have only just started and I do not think that I should have to give way when I have spoken only a few words.
§ Lady Tweedsmuirrose—
§ Mr. Speaker
Unless the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) gives way, the hon. Lady should not endeavour to intervene.
§ Mr. Pannell
I heard what the hon. Lady said and she will be able to read it in HANSARD tomorrow. She probably did not know what she intended to say when she rose. She said that we were compounded of a mixture of malice and ignorance.
§ Lady Tweedsmuir
On a point of order. Is it in order that I should be misrepresented, Mr. Speaker? I quoted the words of someone else. They were not words which I was using.
§ Mr. Speaker
That is not a point of order, but it is probably in accordance with practice that the hon. Lady should be allowed to give a personal explanation of what she said. She has now done it under that cloak and perhaps we can get on.
§ Mr. Pannell
I think that we all know what the hon. Lady said, but it is unprecedented that an hon. Member should be asked to give way in that manner before he has finished his first sentence. As one who has done a great deal for the cause of women in this House, I think that the hon. Lady was trading on chivalry to take that liberty.
In a calmer atmosphere, I want to say only that I move the Amendment with very great reluctance. I would much rather that in the interval between our debates last week and today Mr. Speaker Morrison had saved us from much embarrassment and had put all the rest of his pension in cold storage. I had hoped that I could have voted for this pension in exactly the same way as I voted for the pension of your distinguished father-in-law, Mr. Speaker. I 1189 believe that that is the view of all hon. Members on this side of the House.
Mr. Speaker Morrison himself has said that the House must decide. Therefore, the House will not expect me to be mealy-mouthed about this matter; nor can Mr. Speaker Morrison, after appearing on television, expect to be thin-skinned. [An HON. MEMBER: "The hon. Gentleman cannot help but be mealy-mouthed."] This position was put by a former Conservative Prime Minister and it is the nub of the case which we make this afternoon. I quote:The Speaker is almost the only man in politics—I include the Prime Minister in the list—who is completely debarred from entering any kind of business or from seeking to promote his own welfare, and it has always seemed, and rightly seemed, that in the Speaker's case, as in my view in the Prime Minister's case, when his term of office is done he should not enter into the ordinary competition of the market-place with other people, but should preserve for the rest of his life the dignity of the great office to which he had been called. That is the reason undoubtedly why those who went before us decided on giving such a pension as was thought in those days sufficient to maintain the Speaker in a position of dignity and in a position where he would be completely relieved of all anxiety as regards the future."[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th June, 1928; Vol. 219, c. 546–7.]That quotation is from the then Prime Minister, Mr. Baldwin, on the occasion of Mr. Speaker Whitley's retirement. That is our case. I do not think that anyone would doubt the authority of Mr. Baldwin, bearing in mind that his fame probably rests particularly on his handling of the great constitutional crisis of the Abdication. I think that that is a rather wiser pronouncement than we had in a leading article in The Times a few days ago, when it was sought to anticipate all the things I did not intend to say.
I do not intend to deal with the pension issue this afternoon. I dealt with that last week, under the shock of the announcement of this governor-generalship and of the personal knowledge of the deep distress of colleagues for whom I have the greatest regard and who are greatly disadvantaged because of the public service which they have given. I leave it at that, but I believe that some hon. Members opposite share my feelings. However, I do not have time to dilate on that issue any further.
1190 I want to refer to a letter which appeared in The Times under the curious title of "Representing the Queen". It was written by Sir Alan Lascelles and, of course, was written from a grace and favour residence. In its last paragraph it refers to the two distinguished field marshals who have served as governor-generals. But field marshals do not retire on pension. They are on the active list all their lives and their case is not analogous to that of the Speaker. It is my case, as the hon. Lady herself said, that the Speaker is in a position different from that of anyone else. It is my case that the Speaker cannot be compared with any other individual, be it the Lord Chancellor or the late Earl of Birkenhead, about whom I could say quite a lot. I will not do so except to say that he was not the sort of person who would qualify for a chair of moral theology.
In so far as Alan Lascelles refers to anything at all, he is presumably referring out of the knowledge that he gained while he was the Royal Secretary. I think that Royal Secretaries, when they retire, might preserve a decent reticence and keep their mouths shut. I do not think that it is for them to write to The Times and to use that sort of knowledge to enter what the hon. Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South referred to as the hurly-burly of politics.
I consider that the financial aspect is secondary to the principle with which I intend to deal, but, as it has been mentioned, I would point out that the ex-Speaker has gone on record as saying,Far from making a profit out of my £10,000 a year post. I expect to lose money by taking it.But it is a fact, as we have heard from Canberra, according to a newspaper report, thatThere is no need for any Governor-General to put his hand in his own pocket. The Australian Government would think it a reflection upon itself if he did.The report goes on to enumerate a considerable amount of expenditure which is allowed.
I appreciate that it is no use quoting these figures out of their context. I appreciate the hon. Lady's knowledge on this subject, but I put it to her that the governor-generalship should be offered in such terms that anyone, whatever his 1191 means might be, could receive it without the idea that he would be approaching penury [interruption.] I hope that the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. C. Osborne) will not keep interrupting from that sedentary position.
§ Mr. Cyril Osborne (Louth)
The trouble with the hon. Gentleman is that when he does not want to be interrupted by someone who wishes to put a point to him he waves his hand on one side and says "I will not give way."
§ Mr. Pannell
I think that it is within the knowledge of the House that over the last ten years I have given way fairly frequently.
I have dealt with the financial aspect of this matter, which, I say, rests on two points: first, that the Commonwealth of Australia ought to offer a sum sufficient to attract anyone, whatever his means, as long as he has the qualities to fit him for the job; and, secondly, that a Speaker's pension should not be a subsidy for a colonial governor-generalship.
§ Mr. Brian Harrison (Maldon) rose—
§ Mr. Pannell
I will give way to the hon. Gentleman in a moment, but I must finish my sentence and I should like to finish this part of my speech. I know that the hon. Gentleman is an Australian, but he should not be in such a great hurry to rush in to defend presumably something that the hon. Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South thinks is insufficient for the job.
§ Mr. Harrison
I was interested to know whether the hon. Gentleman was referring to Australia as a Colony.
§ Mr. Pannell
I stand rebuked. I ask the House to accept my withdrawal. Of course, I should have used the word "Commonwealth".
We are entitled to look at the origins of these pensions which go back far beyond the date which the Leader of the House gave. The origins of these pensions go back to 1761, when the great Mr. Speaker Onslow vacated the Chair after thirty-three years. There is no doubt that the foundation of this House and the high reputation of Speakers rest upon what Mr. Speaker Onslow did in his day. He was the great Speaker who 1192 severed the connection of the Chair from the Crown. Among his perquisites were the Treasurership of the Navy, which he gave up. It is said in biographies that he lived on the proceeds of Private Bills, which were, presumably, considered to be rather small emoluments at the time. Such was his massive integrity, I read, that at the end of his time, when he was made a Freeman of the City of London, he refused the golden casket worth 100 guineas as being inconsistent with the office which he had just left. Very few of us, possibly with the exception of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton. South-West (Mr. Powell), are as good as that nowadays.
It is a fact that there has been only one departure from the idea that the Speaker should not seek public office, and that was the offer by Ramsay MacDonald to Mr. Speaker Whitley in 1930. We think that is an unfortunate precedent, and the hon. Lady will appreciate that Ramsay MacDonald is not now regarded as one of the honoured names on this side of the House. He represents one of the great tragedies.
We put forward a principle here that the Speaker, during his term of office, must not look either to the Right or to the Left. He must not look to Downing Street. He must not look to the Palace. He must have no idea of anticipation of any favours to come. Otherwise, we consider, it would be disastrous to this House. He must not bow the knee to anyone. We say that this business of the governor-generalship creates a most unfortunate precedent. It is within the knowledge of the House that the ex-Speaker, by implication, received a rather severe handling in the Report of the Select Committee on Procedure on the interpretation of Standing Order No. 9.
We would not want to think that as a Speaker approached the end of his days he should be wondering whether a certain preferment might or might not be offered to him because of his Rulings. We would not like to conceive that one ex-Speaker having dealt with the proposal that he should be a governor-general within the Commonwealth, another might consider the idea of accepting the chairmanship of a nationalised board. He might even be involved in a breach of Privilege, with my 1193 right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss), if that sort of thing arose. The Speaker must be completely single-minded when approaching the end of his time in this House.
It is within my knowledge and within the memory of hon. Members that when Sir Ben Smith moved from the Ministry of Food to the Midlands Coal Board the cry of "Jobs for the boys" went up from hon. Members opposite. Yet he was a distinguished public man, with a great record of public service—a far more distinguished man in his own right than many people who have been appointed to nationalised boards, particularly under this Government. Yet because he served on the Left and not on the Right—and he was not alone in this—he had this aspersion cast upon him.
§ Mr. Pannell
As my hon. Friend says, he got no pension.
I want to refer to the advice that is given to the Monarch in this connection. Presumably Mr. Menzies advised the Queen and the Queen expressed her pleasure. But somewhere along the pipeline the Government should have known of this business and should have known that it was likely to be a cause of controversy.
§ Mr. Pannell
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but I can only tell him that if that is so there is something wrong with the pipeline and that it should be attended to.
§ Mr. Butler
It is not the pipeline that is in trouble. All this derives from a proper interpretation of the Statute of Westminster.
§ Mr. Pannell
The right hon. Gentleman himself knows full well that he has been embarrassed over this business. The House has been embarrassed. I think that patronage sometimes does go astray. For instance, we had the example of where the presidency of a professional pressure group was accepted for the Duke of Edinburgh the other day—a most disastrous thing. I think that the 1194 Palace is sometimes rather badly advised in these matters. I was referring in that particular instance to the British Medical Association.
I come now to the subject of the rewards of public life. I have not referred to pensions, but one of the things, I think, to which the Leader of the House and the Government should give attention is the position of the Speaker, Prime Ministers and Ministers of the Crown, vis-à-vis their functionaries, the permanent civil servants. It seems rather odd that the idea has grown up that the Clerk, whom we treat with great respect, should receive a larger stipend than Mr. Speaker himself. We think that it is really odd and incongruous that the permanent civil servants should be paid at a higher level, with all their 100-per-cent. security, than Ministers of the Crown.
This state of affairs has grown up over the years. If one considers Mr. Speaker's salary and the salary of the Clerk over the years, one finds that the Clerk's goes up all the time and Mr. Speaker's stands still. This does no good to the prestige of public servants and it does no good to the prestige of the House. In my view—I am not standing on one side or the other—it is a form of public cowardice if we do not face these questions.
I am sorry to have got into a turmoil at the beginning of my speech, and I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will not think that my arguments are illusory. I do not think that the reasoning I have advanced about the position of the Speaker and the importance of his being completely free and uncommitted to anybody is illusory. At the end of his time, the greatest credit and dignity of the Speaker will be that he has been the Speaker of the greatest debating assembly in the world—a rather superior place to the other place.
I do not think that my appeal is in any way illusory. If it is, so are the three knocks at the door. If it is, the office of Black Rod is nothing but a medieval pantomime. If this appeal to the nature of the Speaker's office is illusory, so is the bow which we make, on crossing the Bar, to the altar that stood in another place 200 years ago These are the traditions of the House. They are the warp and woof of our Parliamentary life, of our traditions and of 1195 all that this place stands for. We all honour this House. But the servant and master of this assembly is the Speaker. We must lift his person and office completely above all considerations which would make such a debate as we have had this afternoon impossible. I hope that we shall do so in the future.
On this occasion, we think it unfortunate that the acquisitive sense of one Speaker has led him astray from the course of history.
§ Mr. Pannell
It is not cheap, because I profoundly feel it. It is open to hon. Members in this place to express their deep opinions even though some other hon. Members may object. I, too, paid a price in coming here, and I do not speak on the sufferance of the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne). This whole episode is an unfortunate one. It has been unfortunate in the way it has developed. We had the news on the very day that Parliament proceeded to consider the Bill last week. There was the appearance on television. The matter has been bandied about in the Press. There have been many things of that kind. We warn the whole House and the Government about the future, and, for the reasons I have given, I hope that some of my hon. Friends will, as a protest, follow me into the Lobby tonight.
§ 4.44 p.m.
§ Mr. R. J. Mellish (Bermondsey)
I beg to second the Amendment.
I shall not detain the House long in supporting the Motion. It is not a very pleasant task because we are criticising someone who, a short time ago, had the respect of all of us, and, indeed, that respect is still felt by us today.
Thirteen years ago, in my humble capacity, I was returned as a Member of Parliament. I was on demobilisation leave at the time, and I remember coming to the House rather bewildered and wondering what had happened to me. I watched the procedure and the traditions of the House unfold. I say now, particularly to some of the new Members here, that my immediate reaction was to think that very much of what we did, what we said, and the way we did it—I am speaking of our 1196 procedure and tradition now—was unnecessary and ought not to be continued. I think that six years in the Army had probably made me feel a little hard about that sort of thing.
The longer I am here, the more do I come to respect and understand and admire those things, and I recognise now why it is that older Members of Parliament, especially some of our Privy Councillors, always have a deep affection for this place.
We are not discussing now whether Members of Parliament ought to have a pension. That is not the occasion for this debate. The question before us is not whether £4,000 a year for Mr. Speaker is right, or enough, or too much. That is not the point at all. Mr. Speaker, in his person, is the First Commoner in the land. He is in charge of the proceedings of the greatest Parliament in the world. When we take schoolchildren or other people over this building, we tell them with pride of the great efforts made by Mr. Speaker Lenthall when he fought the Crown, saying that he was the servant of this House.
What has happened over the years? I shall make no personal remarks against Mr. Speaker Morrison, except to say that what has really happened now is that he has brought the office of Speaker and all it has meant down to what I regard as a rather sordid level. I look at the matter in this way. When we elect our Speaker, as we recently did, we go through the motions of a traditional procedure, arranging for two Members of Parliament to drag the chosen Member from his seat, appealing to him to take the office.
I respectfully suggest to hon. Members that, if it became known that, at the end of the day, there would be for the Speaker not only a title and a very adequate pension but also the possibility of a job as a result of his having held the office, we should not have to ask two hon. Members to drag the chosen man from his seat, but they would be doing the four-minute mile and we should be crushed in the rush. There would be continuous competition among hon. Members to take the job for what it is worth.
This is the sort of thing which is putting Britain in trouble today. The General Election is over. Nowadays, we 1197 are destroying those things which most of us have always valued. Everything is judged by how much money one can make out of it. Here, in fact, lies the difference between the philosophy of this party and the philosophy of the party opposite. In many respects we have different values.
I speak as one who came here despising some of our traditions, believing them to be outworn and outdated, but today I wish to defend and fight for them. I support the Amendment because I believe that, otherwise, we shall do great harm to the Constitution and all it stands for in this great House of ours, in which I am proud to be a very humble Member. I shall vote not because I despise or dislike Mr. Speaker Morrison, but because I think that what he has done is wrong and will do great harm to this country.
§ 4.48 p.m.
§ Mr. Brian Harrison (Maldon)
It is an interesting fact that, whereas many people from this country have been "transported" to Australia in the past, the illustrious predecessor of our present Speaker is being "transported", not this lime to Botany Bay, but to take up a very distinguished position in Australia; and a very different view is being taken of the job to which he is going and what he will do there.
Speaking as an Australian, I think Australia is very fortunate in having so distinguished a person in that office. Some of those who deny the right of the ex-Speaker to go out to Australia as Governor-General are, in fact, denying Australians the opportunity of having at their service a representative of the Crown of extremely high calibre.
There is one particular aspect which I find rather interesting and on which I find myself partly in agreement with the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), and that is the question of patronage. We have the unique set-up within the Commonwealth by which the Queen of Australia is also the Queen of the United Kingdom. This is an interesting situation about which, no doubt, constitutional authorities far more able than myself could argue for a considerable time. I do not want to go into it too deeply at this moment, however, except to point it out and to say that it is something which should be considered on future occasions.
1198 Much reference has been made to the salary of the Speaker and the pension which he is now to enjoy. I think we must get the matter into this form of perspective. It is a payment for services rendered to this House, and it is part of the established traditions of this House that it should provide an adequate pension for its Speaker. Realising that it is payment for services rendered to this House, I think that the salary which the former Speaker will receive as Governor-General is entirely irrelevant. It should not enter into the matter. In fact, I think that the part of the Bill which deals with the abatement of the pension is unjustified, although I accept the explanation of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that it is on precedent. I do not think that that part should be in the Bill. However, it is there and it is on precedent.
I do not think that it is our job to consider whether the remuneration for the Governor-General of Australia is adequate. That is the Australians' job, and I feel certain they will make sure that it is adequate for the job to be fully carried out. I always think that the Dominions get the Crown "on the cheap", because they do not pay anything for the upkeep of the Royalty and the dignity of the Crown in this country. Consequently, they can afford to pay, and do pay, adequate remuneration, but not sufficient for anyone to save up anything to take home.
I do not wish to go into greater detail at the moment, except to repeat how much I welcome the fact that so distinguished a servant of this House and so distinguished an upholder of the traditions of this House should find himself as the Queen's representative in Australia so that Australia may have the benefit of his presence, kindliness and great ability. However, I think that when he takes a job like this it is wrong that the sum which he is paid as a retirement pension for services rendered should be abated, and I regret that the provision for its abatement is included in the Bill.
§ 4.53 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
I understand how the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. B. Harrison) as an Australian feels about this matter, but I hope that he and other hon. Members will believe that those of us who oppose 1199 the Bill do so because we think that there is a grave constitutional objection to what is proposed in this instance.
This House has struggled over centuries to assert the principle that the Speaker is the servant of this House and is not under the least shadow of influence from the Executive. That struggle was a gradual one. Success was not achieved at first. In early days, the House had to struggle against direct intimidation of the Speaker by the Sovereign or sometimes the imposition upon this House by the Sovereign of a Speaker whom the House itself would not have chosen. Naturally, with the passage of years, that altered, but this House found later that when that danger was removed there was the further danger that the Speaker might be subjected, not to intimidation, but to private influence to use the many opportunities of his office to favour the Executive.
It is for that reason that we preserve certain forms and ceremonies, referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), when we elect a Speaker—in order to establish beyond doubt that there has not been, privately and before the Speaker has been chosen, any arrangement with the Executive whereby someone agreeable to the Executive might be foisted on the House as Speaker. We and our predecessors have been to all this trouble over centuries to see that the Speaker is the servant of this House and is not in the least degree dependent upon the Executive.
Since those years, something further has happened. The importance of the office, always great, has been vastly increased. Recent legislation has added greatly to the number of occasions on which a Speaker, if he were unworthy of his high office, could use his powers in a biased manner to the injury of the Constitution. Not only his Rulings and choice of speakers in this House, but his position as Chairman of Boundary Commissions, as decider of other constitutional matters referred to him from time to time, his power of certifying what is and what is not a Money Bill have added to the importance of the office and to the importance of there being not the slightest possibility of his 1200 being in any way dependent upon the Executive.
One of the arrangements we make in order to put it beyond doubt that the Speaker should not depend in the least degree on the good will of the Government of the day is the arrangement for his pension. His pension cannot be considered solely as a reward for services rendered. It is one of the precautions which Parliament takes to establish that not only shall the Speaker feel himself while in office able with safety to be completely independent of the good will of the Government of the day, but to ensure also that it will be impossible for anyone to suggest that he might be subject to the influence of the Government of the day.
If when he retires from office he will have no income to look forward to, he must be a heroic man indeed, particularly if he is married and has dependants, if the question, "If I am careful not to offend the Government too much, will something be done for me in my retirement?" never enters his mind. It is in order to prevent that question ever entering into a Speaker's mind or to prevent anyone suggesting that it could enter into his mind that we make this provision.
Surely it follows that when a pension of this kind is drawn the condition of the man who draws it should be one of retirement. In introducing the Bill, the Home Secretary used words which I cannot from memory quote accurately, but the sense of them was that Australia might find it particularly gratifying to have an ex-Speaker of this House as Governor-General. That may well be, but what does it mean? Will there be other Commonwealth nations or other institutions, public or private, who may feel that it is desirable and dignified for them to have ex-Speakers of this House in their service? If that is to be the general rule, Speaker after Speaker will never be able to avoid from time to time the idea coming into his mind, "At the end of my service I may or may not be appointed to a certain high office with substantial emoluments." That is not a situation in which anyone in the position of Speaker should be placed. That is the main constitutional reason for objecting to what has happened in this case.
1201 I know that in this instance the advisers of the Crown would be Her Majesty's Ministers in Australia, but now that it has happened in this instance, now that it has been suggested, from the words used by the Home Secretary, that it is a rather agreeable idea to have ex-Speakers given posts of this kind, who might it be next time?
Furthermore, if it is for Her Majesty's Ministers in Australia to advise Her Majesty as to who would be suitable to be Governor-General of that realm, we have also to consider that the appointment of an ex-Speaker of the United Kingdom Parliament is a matter of concern to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and to Her Majesty's subjects in the United Kingdom and is a matter, therefore, on which advice might properly have been given by Her Majesty's United Kingdom advisers. If it was not done, it is a matter for question whether that was not an omission in our constitutional arrangements. Surely, what happens to an ex-Speaker and the possible result of any appointment given to him on the way in which the office of Speaker is regarded and the way in which Parliament is regarded is a matter of concern to us in the United Kingdom. That is why many of us cannot feel happy about what has happened on this occasion.
Very often in Parliament we have to say to ourselves, "Well, I would have liked this or that to happen, but as circumstances are it cannot happen. How within the forms of the House can I best and most honestly express what is in my own mind?" For myself, I consider it most unfortunate that an ex-Speaker of this House should have accepted this appointment—[An HON. MEMBER: "Any appointment."]—or, indeed, any appointment. I concede that in perhaps one case in a thousand one might be able to produce the most exceptional reasons why an ex-Speaker should accept such an appointment. If, however, it is to be as exceptional as that, the exception ought at the very least to be marked by the exceptional step of the former Speaker not accepting, and this House not granting, the usual pension. Therefore, those of us—and we are many—who feel that this is unfortunate constitutionally have only one way in which we can express that deeply-held view, 1202 and that is by supporting the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend, That the Bill be read a Second time this day six months.
§ 5.4 p.m.
§ Sir Charles Mott-Radclyffe (Windsor)
Listening to all the speeches in this debate, I began to wonder whether we were not in danger of becoming confused by trying to debate at one and the some time the general question of whether a Member's pension rights from this House were adequate and the question of the pension for Mr. Speaker Morrison. I do not for one moment deny that there is much to be said for improving the general rules by which old Members of the House of Commons, when they finally retire, can get pensions, but this is not the time to raise that.
§ Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe
There will be plenty of other opportunities to do so. This is a quite separate issue.
I would have thought that Mr. Speaker Morrison is just as much entitled to his pension traditionally as former Speaker in return for his very distinguished services rendered to this House as the retiring Governor-General of Australia, Sir William Slim, is entitled to his Field Marshal's emoluments for the distinguished services which he has rendered during his career in the Armed Forces.
§ Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe
In both cases—in one the emolument and in the other the pension—they are a reward for distinguished services rendered in their several capacities.
§ Mr. Pannell
The hon. Member has got it entirely wrong. The Speaker is unique. Even if a Speaker were in office for only six months he would be given the same pension. It is given in recognition of the fact that he has been Speaker. When people speak about services rendered, they do not know the nomenclature of this legislation. A field marshal starts at whatever rank he first has and finishes up as field marshal at the end of a lifetime's work, but the Speaker here, as in the case of Abercromby, may get his pension after only 1203 four years. A respected Minister, however, can be here for perhaps forty years and get nothing. It is because he is our contact with the Crown that the Speaker is so completely different. If the hon. Member does not understand that, he does not understand what the debate is about.
§ Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe
I understand the point perfectly well. The same applies to a field marshal. If a field marshal were to be incapacitated by serious illness within a fortnight of being promoted to field marshal he would continue to enjoy the full emoluments of a field marshal for the rest of his life. That, however, was not the point I was wanting to make.
I do not think it is a good argument against the House granting Mr. Speaker Morrison the pension proposed in the Bill to say that a pension should not be given to an ex-Speaker if he enters into the hurly-burly of political life. I am in entire agreement with the proposition that an ex-Speaker of this House should not enter into the hurly-burly of political life, but nobody can conceivably argue that the post of Governor-General of Australia involves entering into the hurly-burly of political life.
§ Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe
The very qualities which make a first-class Speaker in the House of Commons—and Mr. Speaker Morrison had them in full measure—are exactly the same qualities that would make an admirable Governor-General of one of our great self-governing Dominions.
During his speech, the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), who, I am sorry to say, is not now in his place, used the word "sordid". That is what prompted me to rise to my feet. What I regard as sordid is the tendency in certain quarters to judge issues of this sort upon the sole yardstick of what an individual is alleged to be getting out of it. I regard that as very sordid.
Happily, in our public life there are still many men, of whom Mr. Speaker Morrison is one of the most distinguished, who judge high offices and appointments not by what they can get out of them but by what they can contribute to them. We should be proud 1204 that an ex-Speaker of this House should have felt able to accept an invitation to serve a Commonwealth country in the high post of Governor-General.
§ 5.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
When this debate is read in Australia, I believe there will be considerable reinforcement of the opinion that Mr. Menzies would have saved embarrassment to this House, the Leader of the House and everybody else concerned had he decided to recommend an Australian for the post of Governor-General. I hope that that lesson will not be lost and that on future occasions Canada, Australia and the other Dominions will appoint their own citizens and save us and future Speakers the embarrassment of considering this kind of situation.
We are always tempted to go back to precedent. The Home Secretary referred to the precedent of 1832, but it was in that year that previous precedents were abandoned. For many years before 1832 the precedent affecting Speakers was that the Speaker received £4,000 pension and that his son who followed him received either £4,000 or £3,000. Of course, it began to be realised that something ought to be done, because these precedents have to be examined in the light of new historical conditions. Nobody would have suggested in these days, not even the noble Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South (Lady Tweedsmuir), that an ex-Speaker's son should receive a pension of £3,000 a year. Therefore, we have to re-examine the precedents.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that I shall not embarrass you, but there is one other office similar to this which has not been mentioned in this debate, and it is very relevant. When the Deputy-Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means retired, nobody asked what would happen to him. As the last Deputy-Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means was Sir Charles MacAndrew, who was also a Member for Ayrshire, I want to suggest that Sir Charles MacAndrew did a very great deal of sheer drudgery work in this Chamber for very many years. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] He has passed away from the scene without anybody suggesting that there should be either a pension for Sir Charles MacAndrew or for his wife, or a governor-generalship. 1205 Sir Charles MacAndrew, according to his ideas of dignity, is far more content to disappear on the Prestwick Golf Links than take an office under the Crown.
It is this attitude to the people in the high-up positions, in considering them first and then thinking later of the lower strata, as one might call them, or not thinking of them at all, that I do not like. I suggest that when we are examining this matter we should remember that frequently Mr. Speaker is supported by people who may not appear so much in the limelight, people who have not very much spectacular work to do but who do a great deal of this humdrum drudgery which can often make this a very dreary place.
In 1832, there were precedents for the present opposition to this Bill, long before Keir Hardie. I would have thought that the Leader of the Liberal Party would recall that in 1832 the then Leader of the Radical Party raised objections to the granting of a similar pension. He was Mr. Joseph Hume, who was very radical, and contributed a great deal of criticism of the institutions of this House. I am very glad to say that I discovered a bust of him in the Reference Room of the Library, and I hope that after what I have said his bust is not going to be thrown out.
Mr. Joseph Hume is described as a rigid economist; no doubt he was, because he came from Aberdeen. He was accustomed to applying the logic of Aberdeen to situations of this kind, and if Joseph Hume, a former Member for Aberdeen, is anywhere in the shades listening to this debate, he will wonder what has arrived in Aberdeen when he comes to read the speech of the noble Lady the Member for Aberdeen, South, It is rather curious. Leaving my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hector Hughes) out of it, I think the position of Aberdeen has been degenerating throughout the centuries.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Gordon Touche)
I hope the hon. Gentleman will not pursue that subject too far, because it is beyond the scope of the Bill.
§ Mr. Hughes
I do not wish to fall out with the better half of Aberdeen. The hon. Members can decide that between themselves.
There was Mr. Joseph Hume, who is described as a rigid economist, and when this debate took place in 1832 he expressed the view that—all retiring Speakers should proudly decline all pensions as a thing mean and unworthy, and as that appeared to be a state of perfection to which retiring Speakers were never likely to attain, he would move the abolition of the pension when the next vacancy in the Chair occurred.What happened afterwards, I do not know, but Members can go into the Library and find out for themselves.
There was opposition at the time, and I believe that whenever any of these ancient traditional offices come up for consideration we should at least try to look at them rationally That is what I tried to do in this case. However much we may be imbued with the traditions of this place, there are always people outside who, whenever one mentions the word "pensions", begin to listen and then to say "Well, what about me?" I am quite sure that the ten-shilling widows will be taking an interest in the precedents cited for this Bill. There are Army pensions, Civil Service pensions and municipal workers' pensions. Whenever we raise the question of pensions, we immediately excite considerable interest among many people outside this House. We have to give the impression to the people that we are not merely concerned with tradition but with the day-to-day lives of the people whom we represent.
I believe that in this matter our credulity has been rather imposed upon. We have been expected to believe too much. The hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Osborne) seemed to be indignant when somebody referred to the acquisitive sense of the previous Speaker.
§ Mr. Hughes
I do not think there is anything insulting, when referring to a Scotsman, in saying that he has an acquisitive sense.
§ Mr. Hughes
I can quite understand that of ex-Speaker Morrison, as a Scotsman, as a business man and as a lawyer 1207 —he was a Queen's Counsel, a director of an insurance company and of a brewery, as well as a Minister, before he came to be Speaker of this House—and it takes a lot to convince me that he did not weigh this up very carefully. I cannot be convinced that he agreed to accept this office in Australia because it would give him an opportunity of dipping into his pocket and subsidising the Commonwealth of Australia. I am a simple, credulous person myself, but it takes a good deal to convince me that Mr. Speaker Morrison did not think that after all there was, quite fairly, another side to this picture. One side has been presented by the noble Lady, but if hon. Members want the other side they should read the account in today's Daily Telegraph.
The Home Secretary talked about the expenses, but there are the allowances. When we hear that from 1959 to 1960 allowances totalling £40,580 would be paid—that is the Government's figure—that puts another side to it. Then, we are told that the future Governor-General does not have to maintain very great expenditure as regards his household because the Australian Government are providing for the maintenance of Federal Government Houses at Canberra and Sydney and that when the Governor-General travels he stays with his staff at the expense of the State Governments. We are told that three or four kinds of secretaries are supplied and that there is one concession, which I am sure must have entered into the mind of any hon. Member, especially one from north of the Border that Government liquor in those houses is free of Excise Duty. Moreover, we are told that after five years the Australian Government pay £4,000 of salary for leave.
So, while not being of an ungenerous nature, I think hon. Members opposite should not prey upon the credulity of people outside. Without in any way saying anything disparaging of Mr. Speaker Morrison, we believe that he has not gone to Australia for the purpose of putting his hand into his pocket. That is all.
Then there is the whole question of superannuation. I remember that when we were discussing superannuation in 1208 this House the other day the Government and hon. Gentlemen opposite said that we did not want to bother about including in the superannuation scheme those having higher salaries because they could look after themselves. I am wondering what the Prudential Assurance Company will think if this habit spreads, and when we are going to give extra pensions to the wives of people with good salaries, because that would cut out a very lucrative side of private insurance. All these things have to be taken into consideration.
Personally, I have no prejudice against Mr. Speaker Morrison. He was a very great actor in this House. He had a tremendous presence and a good sense of humour in addition to his law, and he was an excellent actor. He could have played a Shakespearean part as well as any Member of this House. We are, however, entitled on these matters to give voice to our criticism.
The attitude of hon. Gentlemen opposite has changed during the years. I remember when they opposed old-age pensions, and I remember the time when hon. Gentlemen opposite and gentlemen in another place objected to an old-age pension of five "bob" a week at 70 on the ground that it would discourage thrift.
All I wish to say in conclusion is that by voicing these sentiments we are voicing the opinion of millions of people outside this House, which, after all, is what this House is for.
§ 5.23 p.m.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
I feel sure the House will be willing now to come to a decision on this matter of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell). It does not fall to me to add a great many further comments to those which I have already made, but I think it would be courteous just to reply shortly to the debate.
The first observation I should like to make is that Mr. Speaker Morrison was referred to by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) as having a very pretty sense of humour. I am sure he will appreciate the degree of humour which there has been in this debate without underestimating the degree of sincerity with which many points 1209 have been put. The only service I can render both to the House and to one of our distinguished Speakers, Mr. Speaker Morrison, is to say that I hope our debate will be taken in the right proportion of balance outside this House and inside this House as well, and overseas.
The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition made a powerful contribution, raising certain principles on which he rightly said no ruling, as he described it, had ever been given. That is the case. I could not, in summing up for the few minutes I do speak, give any rulings, nor would they be likely to be accepted by the House as obiter dicta from myself, but I should like to pay this tribute to the right hon. Gentleman's speech. He said that there were certain understandings to be held or reached by the House about the high dignity and office of our Speaker, and that any inhibition placed, by the general concensus of opinion in the House, on the future activities of the Speaker should be linked up with a pension of adequate amount to make it quite certain that there should not be another situation such as that of Lord Dunrossil. That, in so far as one debate can affect what are our own traditions, is a major contribution to thought, and I should like to thank the right hon. Gentleman for making it.
The hon. Member who moved the Amendment referred to the great days of Mr. Speaker Onslow who even gave up a golden cup in the City of London—
§ Mr. Butler
Yes. Mr. Speaker Onslow severed his connection with the Crown and Mr. Speaker Onslow has left behind him a high sense of and reputation for integrity. This is the spirit in which I think we should conclude this debate.
It is, I am quite certain—and here I refer to the hon. Member's own words—no acquisitive sense which has prompted Mr. Speaker Morrison, now Lord Dunrossil, to accept this abated pension and to accept the post of Governor-General of Australia. I am certain there has been no such sense in the mind of the ex-Speaker. I am quite certain, looking at this from the worldly point of view, that the ex-Speaker will not return from Australia a richer man, although he may return a wiser and better man for having served the Commonwealth. 1210 I am certain there was no money consideration in his decision.
I should like to make the House aware of one of the main reasons why the Government consider it important to go forward with this Bill. As I said in my opening speech, we thought it would be wrong to create a precedent by not passing a Bill about the pension of the Speaker on his retirement, from the point of view of his successors, and in the interest of Mr. Speaker Morrison, just because by a coincidence, which, as I explained, came from outside, Mr. Speaker Morrison has had this singularly distinguished honour which has been offered, namely the Governor-Generalship of Australia. We thought a great deal about this.
The hon. Member was kind enough to say that this was a source of anxiety to me. Of course it is. No one wants, in having a debate dealing with one of the highest personalities and one of the highest offices in this country and in another, to do violence to such a personality or to curdle our relations with one of the great sister nations of the Commonwealth. I do not believe they will take this badly. We are a House of Commons who are entitled to express our own views—and even though I was not able to grant a free vote on the Betting and Gaming Bill I do not believe that prevented the utmost liberty of speech either then or today, and I hope that that will continue to be a feature of our Parliament and that those outside will take our interventions in the spirit in which they are intended.
There were one or two other matters raised. The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), the Leader of the Liberal Party, asked that there should be a pledge given on this occasion to reform the whole range of pensions, so far as I could understand, public and also in relation to the interests of Members of this House.
I think that it would be wrong in principle to use this debate to discuss Members' pensions or to give any pledge, but in sending a small billet doux to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) the other day on the subject of betting, upon which I sit at his feet as he is such an expert, I did say that I thought it was 1211 rather harsh of him to say the other day that I had not paid proper attention to the report presented by the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. T. W. Jones) on the subject of Members' pensions. Of course, full attention has been paid to that. We are well aware that this is a very delicate and important topic. Just because I cannot give the pledge asked for by the hon. Member he must not think that in a debate like this, or when other people's pensions are being considered, the mind of the Government is totally hard or that we do not realise the problems in which, as at least two speakers from this side of the House in the course of this debate have said, some of the older Members of the House of Commons are placed.
That is the only contribution I can make in winding up the debate, but I should like just to refer to the thoughtful and constructive speech of the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart). He referred to the problem of a possible clash between the Speaker and the Executive. I would like to remind him that I said in my opening remarks that there could not be any conflict of loyalties in this brush between the House of Commons and the United Kingdom Executive because the invitation which has partly brought about this discussion came from outside Her Majesty's Government—from Her Majesty's Australian Ministers. I do not regard the Executive of the United Kingdom as being at cross-purposes with the House on this occasion.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman a question? He told us much earlier in the debate that he and the Government generally had no knowledge of the offer or projected offer. Can he now tell us when, in fact, the offer was made?
§ Mr. Butler
I understand from Mr. Speaker Morrison, who simply sent me a short note of his views which I gave in my opening remarks, that he first heard of the matter on 27th October last.
I was dealing with the point of principle raised by the hon. Member for Fulham. If there were to be a clash between the Executive or if by passing 1212 a Bill like this we were appearing to fetter the Speaker to the Executive of the day, and if we were making any arrangements which would make it more difficult for us in future to choose an independent Speaker, I would not recommend the Bill to the House. It is because I think that we are guiltless on this point and because I think that some people overrate the published figures of the remuneration which the Speaker is likely to get and underestimate the expenses which he will have to incur, and because of the precedent and because of the successors of Mr. Speaker, that I recommend the Bill to the House.
§ Mr. Ede (South Shields)
I was hoping that the right hon. Gentleman would deal with what my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) called the pipeline, that is, the way in which Dominion Ministers approach the Crown. When I held the office which the right hon. Gentleman now adorns I was approached by someone, who ought to have known better, to give advice as to what should happen with regard to certain social events when it was believed that the late King George VI would be in Australia. The question was no sooner put to me than I said, "That is no concern of mine. If His Majesty wants to get advice with regard to what he does in Australia, his Australian Ministers and no one else are the persons to be consulted". I do not believe that the Statute of Westminster can be worked on any other basis.
After I had given that opinion I sought the opinion of the then Law Officers of the Crown, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) and, I think, the distinguished lawyer who is now Lord Shawcross. To my surprise they confirmed the opinion that I had given.
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will make it quite clear that in these matters each Dominion approaches the Crown direct. I am sure that it would be a grave embarrassment to Her Majesty's Ministers in Australia, in Ghana, and elsewhere if it were thought that the approach to the Crown was through Her Majesty's minions—[Laughter.]—Ministers in the United Kingdom. I am sorry that in an effort to get to the end of a sentence quickly 1213 I should have expressed inadvertently a view that I hold with regard to the present Government.
§ Mr. Butler
If I may say so, it is a rare distinction for me to find myself in complete agreement with the right hon. Gentleman, Lord Shawcross and the Law Officers. Again, if I may say so, the right hon. Gentleman's version of the operation of the Statute of Westminster is correct That is why I made clear in my opening remarks that Her Majesty's Ministers in the United King-
§ dom did not even know of this approach and only heard of it at the appropriate time. We were not consulted, and it would be very wrong to think that we were. On Australian matters, Her Majesty is advised by her Ministers in Australia, as she is by the appropriate Ministers on matters pertaining to other parts of the Commonwealth.
§ Question put, That "now" stand part of the Question:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 300, Noes 155.1215
|Division No. 4.]
|Agnew, Sir Peter
|Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.
|Crowder, F. P.
|Alport, C. J. M.
|Hocking, Philip N.
|Ashton, Sir Hubert
|Currle, G. B. H.
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
|Deedes, W. F.
|Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John
|Barlow, Sir John
|de Ferranti, Basil
|Digby, Simon Wingfield
|Hornby, R. P.
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.
|Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)
|Drayson, G. B.
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
|Beamish, Col. Tufton
|Duncan, Sir James
|Bell, Ronald (S. Bucks.)
|Duthie, Sir William
|Hutchison, Michael Clark
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David
|Iremonger, T. L.
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
|Elliott, R. W.
|Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald (Toxteth)
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn
|Bidgood, John c.
|Errington, Sir Eric
|Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
|Erroll, F. J.
|Jennings, J. C.
|Bingham, R. M.
|Farey-Jones, F. W.
|Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)
|Bishop, F. P.
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
|Black, Sir Cyril
|Johnson Smith, G. (Holb.&S.P'ncr's, S)
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)
|Joseph, Sir Keith
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John
|Kerans, Cdr. J. S.
|Boyle, Sir Edward
|Fraser, Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)
|Kerby, Capt. Henry
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)
|Kerr, Sir Hamilton
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)
|Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)
|Glyn, Col. Richard H. (Dorset, N.)
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric
|Godber, J. B.
|Leather, E. H. C
|Burden, F. A.
|Leavey, J. A.
|Butcher, Sir Herbert
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)
|Legge-Bourke, Maj. H.
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)
|Grant, Rt. Hon. William (Woodside)
|Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwich)
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)
|Lilley, F. J. P.
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)
|Gresham Cooke, R.
|Linstead, Sir Hugh
|Gary, Sir Robert
|Litchfield Capt, John
|Channon, H. P. G.
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.
|Hall, John (Wycombe)
|Loveys, Walter H.
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)
|Low, Rt. Hon. Sir Toby
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)
|Hare, Rt. Hon. John
|Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)
|Harris, Reader (Heston)
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
|Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
|McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia
|Cooper, A. E.
|Harvie, Anderson, Miss
|Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
|Cooper-Key, E. M.
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs.)
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
|McLean, Neil (Inverness)
|Heath, Rt. Hon. Edward
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
|Corfield, F. V.
|Henderson-Stewart, Sir James
|Costain, A. P.
|Hendry, Lt.-Col. A. Forbes
|Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
|Coulson, J. M.
|Hicks Beach, Maj. W.
|Courtney, Cdr. Anthony
|Maginnis, John E.
|Craddock Beresford (Spelthorne)
|Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)
|Maitland, Cdr. J. W.
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.
|Thomas, Peter (Conway)
|Markham, Major Sir Frank
|Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
|Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
|Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
|Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
|Mathew, Robert (Honiton)
|Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)
|Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
|Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
|Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.
|Robson Brown, Sir William
|van Straubenzee, W. R.
|Vane, W. M. F.
|Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)
|Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
|Moore, Sir Thomas
|Vickers, Miss Joan
|Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
|Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.
|Wakefield, Sir Waved (St. M'lebone)
|Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Derek
|Simon, Sir Jocelyn
|Nicholson, Sir Godfrey
|Skeet, T. H. H.
|Ward, Rt. Hon. George (Worcester)
|Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
|Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)
|Oakshott, Sir Hendrie
|Spearman, Sir Alexander
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
|Wells, John (Maidstone)
|Orr-Ewing, C. Ian
|Stanley, Hon. Richard
|Osborne, Cyril (Louth)
|Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
|Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
|Stodart, J. A.
|Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
|Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
|Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
|Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
|Studholme, Sir Henry
|Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
|Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard
|Sumner, Donald (Orpington)
|Woodhouse, C. M.
|Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
|Talbot, John E.
|Pike, Miss Mervyn
|Pilkington, Capt. Richard
|Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
|Pitman, I. J.
|Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)
|Yates, William (The Wrekin)
|Temple, John M.
|Powell, J. Enoch
|Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
|TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
|Price, David (Eastleigh)
|Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
|Mr. Brooman-White and
|Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)
|Mellish, R. J.
|Forman, J. C.
|Mendelson, J. J.
|Bacon, Miss Alice
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)
|Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd
|Mitchison, G. R.
|Bence, Cyril (Dunbartonshire, E.)
|Moody, A. S.
|Benn, Hn. A. Wedgwood (Brist'l, S. E.)
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
|Griffiths, W. (Exchange)
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)
|Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)
|Oliver, C. H.
|Oram, A. E.
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.
|Hart, Mrs. Judith
|Brockway, A. Fenner
|Padley, W. E.
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)
|Herbison, Miss Margaret
|Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)
|Parker, John (Dagenham)
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)
|Hilton, A. V.
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
|Howell, Charles A,
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara
|Hoy, James H.
|Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)
|Plummer, Sir Leslie
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)
|Hunter, A. E.
|Proctor, W. T.
|Crossman, R. H. S.
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)
|Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)
|Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)
|Redhead, E. C.
|Davies, Harold (Leek)
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)
|Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
|Royle, Charles (Salford, West)
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
|King, Dr. Horace
|Silverman, Julius (Aston)
|Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)
|Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
|Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
|Ede, Rt. Hon. Chuter
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)
|Sorensen, R. W.
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)
|MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
|Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
|Manuel, A. C.
|Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
|Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
|Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
|Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
|Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
|Wheeldon, W. E.
|White, Mrs. Eirene
|Symonds, J. B.
|TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
|Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
|Wilkins, W. A.
|Mr. Mason and Mr. Reynolds
|Williams, D. J (Neath)
§ Bill read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Hughes-Young.]
§ Committee Tomorrow.