HC Deb 20 December 1961 vol 651 cc1429-37

Question again proposed, That "23rd" stand part of the Question.

6.35 p.m.

Mr. Marsh

Before the interruption, Mr. Speaker, I was making the point that it was wrong of the Government to try to claim, as an analogy to the present situation, the circumstances under a Government with a majority of only six.

Mr. Macleod

The hon. Gentleman is wrong. I cannot think of any precedent in the period to which he refers. The analogy I used today was from 1947, when the Socialists had a very large majority.

Mr. Marsh

I apologise. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman mentioned the later period. But he did use in evidence the debate on the B.B.C. Licence and Agreement. He made the point that the difficulties which arose that night were not the result of his actions. This is germane to the issue and is one of the reasons why it is unjustifiable to ask the House to have such a long Recess. We find ourselves short of time now because of the direct actions of the right hon. Gentleman since, on the night of the debate on the B.B.C. Licence and Agreement, he began by opposing the Adjournment and finished by moving it himself. We find ourselves in the same difficulty today, because of the situation which arose last night.

I support the suggestion that we should come back on an earlier date it is quite wrong and illogical for the House to say that it has not sufficient time to discuss issues when it is to go away for five weeks. A timetable Motion should not be used as anything other than as absolutely the last resort. In addition, we are now in a situation where the Foreign Affairs debate is in jeopardy. That means that we have lost another day. We keep on losing days like this, but the answer is not to put down a timetable Motion. The problem is not helped by having a Recess of the length proposed by the Government. The difficulties arise entirely out of the actions and decisions of the Leader of the House.

Mr. Speaker

The Question is—

Mr. S. Silverman

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I think that, perhaps, I have a right to say a word in conclusion. I should like to explain to my right hon. Friend the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Gordon Walker) why I cannot accept his invitation to withdraw my Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman has moved his Amendment and that has the effect of his having spoken once to the main Question. He cannot speak again now.

Question put, That "23rd" stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 172, Noes 3.

Division No. 43.] AYES [6.48 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Carr, Compton (Barons Court) Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)
Allason, James Channon, H. P. G. Freeth, Denzil
Ashton, Sir Hubert Chataway, Christopher Gardner, Edward
Atkins, Humphrey Chichester-Clark, R. Gibson-Watt, David
Barber, Anthony Cole, Norman Gilmour, Sir John
Barlow, Sir John Cooke, Robert Glover, Sir Douglas
Barter, John Cooper, A. E. Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)
Bell, Ronald Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Godber, J. B.
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Corfield, F. V. Goodhart, Philip
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm) Costain, A. P. Goodhew, Victor
Berkeley, Humphry Craddock, Sir Beresford Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.
Bidgood, John C. Critchley, Julian Green, Alan
Biffen, John Cunningham, Knox Gresham Cooke, R.
Biggs-Davison, John Curran, Charles Grimston, Sir Robert
Bingham, R. M- d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Gurden, Harold
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Deedes, W. F. Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)
Bishop, F. P. Digby, Simon Wingfield Harris, Reader (Heston)
Bossom, Clive Drayson, G. B. Harrison, Brian (Maldon)
Bourne-Arton, A. Eden, John Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Box, Donald Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vers (Macclesf'd)
Boyle, Sir Edward Elliott, R. W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.) Hastings, Stephen
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
Bryan, Paul Errington, Sir Eric Heath, Rt. Hon. Edward
Buck, Antony Finlay, Graeme Hendry, Forbes
Butler, Rt. Hn. R.A.(Saffron Walden) Fisher, Nigel Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Holland, Philip Mawby, Ray Skeet, T. H. H
Hornby, R. P. Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Smithers, Peter
Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Mills, Stratton Spearman, Sir Alexander
Hughes-Young, Michael Montgomery, Fergus Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Hubert, Sir Norman Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Studholme, Sir Henry
Iremonger, T. L. Osborn, John (Hallam) Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Page, Graham (Crosby) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
James, David Page, John (Harrow, West) Temple, John M.
Jennings, J. C. Partridge, E. Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Pike, Miss Cervyn Turner, Colin
Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Pitman, Sir James Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Kershaw, Anthony Pitt, Miss Edith van Straubenzee, W. R.
Kirk, Peter Pott, Percivall Vickers, Miss Joan
Langford-Holt, J. Price, David (Eastleigh) Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Leburn, Gilmour Prior, J. M. L. Walder, David
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Profumo, Dr. Hon. John Walker, Peter
Lindsay, Martin Proudfoot, Wilfred Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek
Litchfield, Capt. John Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin Ward, Dame Irene
Longbottom, Charles Renton, David Wells, John (Maidstone)
Longden, Gilbert Ridley, Hon. Nicholas Whitelaw, William
Loveys, Walter H. Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley) Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
McLaren, Martin Roots, William Wise, A. R.
Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey) Woollam, John
McMaster, Stanley R, Russell, Ronald Worsley, Marcus
Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries) St. Clair, M.
Maddan, Martin Scott-Hopkins, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Maitland, Sir John Shaw, M. Mr. Noble and Mr. Peel.
Marten, Neil Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Mr. Emrys Hughes and
Thorpe, Jeremy Mr. Michael Foot

Main Question again proposed.

6.58 p.m.

Mr. Warbey

Now that we are free from the restrictions of the debate on the Amendment, I wish briefly to refer to the question of whether or not this House should adjourn tomorrow for the Christmas Recess. In my view there are a number of reasons why we should not adjourn for the Recess tomorrow—a number of very substantial matters of both domestic and international importance on which we ought to hear statements from members of the Government and which this House ought to have an opportunity to debate.

I do not intend to range over the whole field, but for illustration I mention merely two. One is the question of the further developments in the Congo. I raise this matter because it is an urgent one. It is one which has to be dealt with immediately by the Government and one on which the Government have a responsibility. I feel quite sure that the Lord Privy Seal will say that he will not be able to deal with this matter later this evening, if we ever reach the debate on foreign affairs, because it has been agreed on both sides that that debate— particularly in the short time which will then be available—shall be limited to Berlin, to international discussions between the great Powers, and possibly to disarmament. Therefore, as we cannot expect any statement then from the right hon. Gentleman about the Government's further intentions in regard to the Congo, we ought to have one now.

In particular, I ask the Lord Privy Seal this question. Since the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations has rejected the appeal for an immediate cease-fire which was made by the Government last week and has continued the operations in the Congo with the object of achieving the United Nations objectives there, what steps do the Government now propose to take? That is the first question which the right hon. Gentleman should answer.

There are a number of hon. Members on his own side of the House who have already told the Government that if there were not an immediate cease-fire the Government should withhold their contribution. Do the Government intend to do that? The Prime Minister, in his effort to win back the support of his rebellious hon. Friends,—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member must direct his observations to the Question now before the House. We cannot debate Katanga at length on this Question.

Mr. Warbey

I will endeavour to do that, Mr. Speaker. I was indicating the statement that we ought to have and the questions that should be answered by the Government before we adjourn for the Recess, and I was giving that as a reason why we should not adjourn. Certainly, the Government are morally bound to tell, not only hon. Members on this side, but also their own Members, who rallied around them last week in response to a Government pledge that they would seek an immediate cease-fire, what they now intend to do since the Acting Secretary-General has rejected their request.

The other matter about which we should most certainly have a statement in the House before we adjourn is on the question of the Government's action in relation to Goa. That may be a matter partly for the Lord Privy Seal, but it is probably rather more a matter for the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations. No doubt, the Lord Privy Seal or the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs will be in a position to answer on behalf of their right hon. Friend.

Before we adjourn for the Recess, the House is entitled to know why the Government have sided with the other members of the Western military bloc in denouncing a member of the Commonwealth as an aggressor. That is what happened yesterday at the Security Council of the United Nations. We have had no report to this House on the actions of the British representative in the Security Council, no report on the way in which he voted on the resolutions put before the Council and no defence by the Government of the way in which they have abandoned a Commonwealth country in a difficult position to side with their allies in the Western military bloc.

It should be remembered that those allies include a country like Turkey, which recently murdered its political opponents—

Mr. A. Lewis

On a point of order. I do not know whether you can hear, Mr. Speaker, but a terrific noise is going on in this part of the Chamber. Could you call to order any of the hon. Members who may be making the noise so that my hon. Friend may continue his speech?

Mr. F. M. Bennett

Before you deal with that point of order, Mr. Speaker, could you also understand that the applause from the Opposition Front Bench to this contribution to the debate is so overwhelming that we cannot hear either?

Mr. Speaker

I hope that hon. Members will preserve the rule of the House, keeping silence while others are speaking.

Mr. Warbey

We ought to hear from the Lord Privy Seal or from the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations whether they made any serious attempt to induce the Portuguese Government to observe, not only common international decency, but also their obligations to the United Nations. The Portuguese Government were bound—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member is departing from the Question before the House. He may properly ask for a statement about something if he wants it, but he must not argue the reasons about it in detail.

Mr. Warbey

I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, and I should like to ask the appropriate member of the Government to tell us whether they ever said bluntly to the Portuguese Government that they should get out of Goa. We are entitled to know whether they did that. We are entitled to know whether the Government, when taking the decision to support a resolution, in effect, condemning India as the aggressor, took into account that this would sound curiously like hypocrisy coming from the same men of Suez and the men who had supported American intervention in Cuba.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member must bear in mind what is the Question before the House.

Mr. Warbey

With respect, Mr. Speaker, I was saying that these were matters on which there should be a statement to the House before we adjourn, because they are of great interest. They are matters which are urgent because they are in action at the moment and under discussion by the Security Council. Secondly, they affect not only the relations of this country with foreign Powers, but they affect the whole of the internal relationships within the British Commonwealth.

I want to know whether the Government intend to try to develop the Commonwealth association or whether they intend to scrap it, as their actions appear to be designed to do. I want to know whether they are aware, or will tell the House before we adjourn, which members of the Security Council voted with them against India and which members voted in support of India and against the motion moved by the United States. We ought to know whether the reports given in the Press on this matter are correct.

We ought to know whether it is true that the Government were associated

with the Governments of France and of Turkey, as well as of the United States and Nationalist China, in this matter and whether they were opposed in the vote, not only by the United Arab Republic and the Soviet Union, but also by Liberia and Ceylon. We ought to know whether the Government have taken into account the reactions that there will be and there have already been in other member-countries of the Commonwealth, not only India itself, but Ghana and Nigeria, as well as Ceylon.

These are the matter on which the House should be informed. We ought to know whether the Government are persisting not only in weakening the Commonwealth in this way, but also in denigrating the world's greatest statesman in order to perpetuate their own hypocrisy.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 168, Noes 92.

Division No. 44.] AYES [7.9 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Ellington, Sir Eric Kershaw, Anthony
Allason, James Finlay, Graeme Kirk, Peter
Ashton, Sir Hubert Fisher, Nigel Langford-Holt, J.
Atkins, Humphrey Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Leburn, Gilmour
Barber, Anthony Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Barlow, Sir John Freeth, Denzil Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Barter, John Gardner, Edward Lindsay, Martin
Bell, Ronald Gibson-Watt, David Litchfield, Capt. John
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay) Gilmour, Sir John Longbottom, Charles
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm) Glover, Sir Douglas Longden, Gilbert
Bidgood, John C. Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Loveys, Walter H.
Biffen, John Godber, J. B. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Biggs-Davison, John Goodhart, Philip McLaren, Martin
Bingham, R. M. Goodhew, Victor Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R. McMaster, Stanley R.
Bishop, F. P. Green, Alan Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)
Bossom, Clive Gresham Cooke, R. Maddan, Martin
Bourne-Arton, A. Grimston, Sir Robert Maitland, Sir John
Box, Donald Gurden, Harold Mawby, Ray
Boyle, Sir Edward Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Maxwell-Hysop, R. J.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Hare, Rt. Hon. John Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Bryan, Paul Harris, Reader (Heston) Mills, Stratton
Buck, Antony Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Montgomery, Fergus
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Noble, Michael
Carr, Compton (Barons Court) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Channon, H. P. G. Hastings, Stephen Page, Graham (Crosby)
Chataway, Christopher Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Page, John (Harrow, West)
Chichester-Clark, R. Heath, Rt. Hon. Edward Partridge, E.
Cole, Norman Hendry, Forbes Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Cooke, Robert Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Peel, John
Cooper, A. E. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Holland, Philip Pike, Miss Mervyn
Corfield, F. V. Hornby, R. P. Pitman, Sir James
Costain, A. P. Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives) Pitt, Miss Edith
Craddock, Sir Beresford Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Pott, Percivall
Critchley, Julian Hughes-Young, Michael Prior, J. M. L.
Cunningham, Knox Hulbert, Sir Norman Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Curran, Charles Iremonger, T. L. Profumo, Rt. Hon. John
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Proudfoot, Wilfred
Deedes, W. F. James, David Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Drayson, G. B. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Renton, David
Eden, John Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Elliott, R. W. (Nwcastle-upon-Tyne, N.) Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Roots, William
Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey) Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury) Walker, Peter
Russell, Ronald Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek
St. Clair, M. Temple, John M. Ward, Dame Irene
Scott-Hopkins, James Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret Wells, John (Maidstone)
Shaw, M. Thompson, Kenneth (Walton) Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Skeet, T. H. H. Turner, Colin Wise, A. R.
Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H. Woollam, John
Smithers, Peter van Straubenzee, W. R. Worsley, Marcus
Spearman, Sir Alexander Vickers, Miss Joan
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Studholme, Sir Henry Walder, David Mr. Whitelaw and
Mr. Gordon Campbell.
Albu, Austen Holt, Arthur Prentice, R. E.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Houghton, Douglas Randall, Harry
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Rankin, John
Brockway, A. Former Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Reynolds, G. W.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hunter, A. E. Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Buller, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Cliffe, Michael Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Grossman, R. H. S. Janner, Sir Barnett Skeffington, Arthur
Darling, George Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.) Small, William
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kenyon, Clifford Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Dodds, Norman Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Sorensen, R. W.
Driberg, Tom King, Dr. Horace Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Edelman, Maurice Lawson, George Steele, Thomas
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Evans, Albert Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Fletcher, Eric Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.) Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Lipton, Marcus Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Thorpe, Jeremy
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh McCann, John Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn) Mackie, John (Enfield, East) Warbey, William
Ginsburg, David Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Gordon walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. Marsh, Richard Whitlock, William
Gourlay, Harry Mayhew, Christopher Willey, Frederick
Grimond, Rt. Hon. J. Mendelson, J. J. Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Millan, Bruce Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mitchison, G. R. Wyatt, Woodrow
Hamilton, William (West Fife) Oliver, G. H. Zilliacus, K.
Hannan, William Oram, A. E.
Hayman, F. H. Owen, Will TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Herbison, Miss Margaret Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.) Dr. Broughton and
Holman, Percy Peart, Frederick Mr. Ifor Davies.

Resolved. That this House, at its rising Tomorrow, do adjourn till Tuesday, 23rd January.