HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc591-638

3.45 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Iain Macleod)

I beg to move, That this House at its rising on Friday, do adjourn till Thursday, 25th October, at Eleven o'clock. I think that it would be convenient if I followed the usual course of listening to any comment that hon. Members will wish to make and replying at the end of the debate. Therefore, I will simply make one or two purely factual points and reply to one particular point which was raised with me yesterday by the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shin-well).

The Motion suggests that the Recess should be of 82 clear days. Looking back over recent years, that is about the average period. Secondly, there is no need for what is called a spill-over part-Session for parliamentary reasons, so that if the House passes the Motion these dates will be altered only if the House if recalled. The House will be aware of Standing Order No. 112, with which hon. Members are familiar in discussions of this kind and which I will not read at this stage.

The only other point which I should like to make is to reply, as I promised yesterday, to the right hon. Member for Easington, who asked whether, before Parliament met again, we proposed to present proposals relating to the purchase of the Leonardo da Vinci cartoon, which was announced yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. The position is that the Civil Contingencies Fund will be used for the purpose. It has been used repeatedly since the war, It was used in 1960 for a similar purpose and was used in April, 1961, for the purchase of the two Renoirs. In due course, a Supplementary Estimate will be put before the House. It will be taken with the ordinary batch of Supplementary Estimates on the next occasion, which, presumably, will be in February.

The authority for using the Civil Contingencies Fund, which has been used on similar occasions in each of the last two years, is the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Act, 1955, when Parliament specifically discussed and endorsed the need for such a fund. Therefore, the answer to the right hon. Gentleman is that the Civil Contingencies Fund will be used, that it is common form for it to be used in this way and that in due course a Supplementary Estimate will come before the House.

3.49 p.m.

Mr. George Brown (Belper)

We have an important debate ahead of us to which we want to give time—on the Common Market—but before we part with the Motion I wish to put one or two points to the Leader of the House, because upon his answers to them depends whether we can approve the Motion in the form in which it appears.

My first point is obviously the one to which the right hon. Gentleman devoted some of his remarks at the beginning, concerning a possible recall of Parliament. When we have had the Common Market debate today, which I believe to be urgent and important, we will, nevertheless, be in the position that vital negotiations are going on in Brussels of which, in the very nature of things, we can today be given no inkling and certainly no final answer.

That being so, the Prime Ministers' Conference would, in the ordinary way, be meeting—in early September, I think—and some far-reaching arrangements might well be entered into. Therefore, I should like to ask the Leader of the House to give us an assurance that, quite apart from whether the Government themselves wish to make representations to you, Mr. Speaker, that the House should be recalled earlier than the date set out in the Motion, if the representations are made to them from other quarters of the House, and notably, of course, from the Opposition benches, the Government will, on this occasion, not hesitate to make representations to you, Mr. Speaker, that we should meet again in advance of 25th October.

I come to the second point, though I believe that this has been answered; but I should like to make sure I have understood the answer. From time to time public statements will be made by the Lord Privy Seal about the progress of the negotiations. As we shall not be here to raise them, or for the statements to be made here, will the Leader of the House confirm that the Government will issue those statements in the form of a White Paper, or Papers, so that Members, though they are not sitting in their places, nevertheless will have the parliamentary facilities for knowing what is going on?

Thirdly, if we are recalled, then, I understand, the rules governing our proceedings will prevent Oral Questions from being taken on those days. Written Questions, I gather from what was said yesterday, are in order, but, of course, there is a world of difference, as we all know, between a Question which gets a Written Answer, other than an inspired Question, and a Question which is put down in order to bring a Minister to that Box. What I want to impress upon the Leader of the House is that if we do come back it will be tremendously important that Ministers are willing to make statements on all issues on which otherwise there would have been Questions. We have certain opportunities in that respect, but they are not Question opportunities and we must have some co-operation from Ministers on this matter.

There are two other questions I want to raise, one very briefly, and one of outstanding, urgent importance. The one I want to refer to briefly is probation officers' salaries. I am aware that an hon. Member, on the Adjournment tonight, proposes, if he is successful, to raise this subject, but we are still left with the fact that a proper debate, occupying some time, in which a number of hon. Member might have been able to seek to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, was prevented the other morning by a sad lapse from grace in accordance with the previous bad habits of the Chief Patronage Secretary. I want to ask that the Government shall consider, since this is a very important matter, whether, if we do come back, quite apart from the short discussion there may be tonight, there should be provided an opportunity then for an effective debate on this issue which is of tremendous importance to a number of our most important citizens who are doing a first-class job and who believe they are being very badly treated indeed.

But the most important issue before us now is unquestionably the events which have happened over the last week or so, culminating in the events at Ridley Road, Dalston, last night, and repeating events which happened earlier in Trafalgar Square and are now threatened at Birmingham and at other places. This, it seems to me, is a moment when the House of Commons must surely stand and consider recent history. We have all walked this road before—totali-tarians, Fascists, setting out to hold meetings, exercising what they claim are the rights of us all to free speech, but they set out to hold them, for the most part, in places where the only possible purpose is the maximum provocation, by insulting people, and decent people at that, in the places where they are living peaceably and quietly.

There was no purpose in going to Ridley Road last night, any more than there was in going to Cable Street when I was young and took part in the battles, or in going to Green Street, Bethnal Green, or elsewhere—no purpose other than to insult some of Her Majesty's fellow citizens and ours just because of their race and religion. It seems to us who put all our faith and trust in free speech that people are setting out to use it to destroy it, and that really is not good enough.

I am well aware, Mr. Speaker, that I cannot trespass on your kindness in this debate by going into the merits of the issue, but I do feel, and I am sure that most Members of the House feel, an extreme sense of shame that, after all that happened in the 1930s, and even more, the casualties which occurred from 1939 to 1945, we should be made to walk this road again. We have no opportunity to debate this today, of course; we have no opportunity to debate it before we rise, under the proposal of the Leader of the House. We have had a Bill, introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway), and we shall Shortly, I gather, be asked to hear—

Sir Kenneth Pickthorn (Carlton)

On a point of order. The right hon. Gentleman has just announced his awareness that he cannot trespass too far. I am not myself exactly aware how far any of the nest of us will be in order in commenting upon what the has said—

Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

Leave it to Mr. Speaker.

Sir K. Pickthorn

I am leaving it to Mr. Speaker. I am putting a specific question to Mr. Speaker. I should be grateful, Mr. Speaker, if we could have your guidance on that.

Mr. Speaker

It is always very difficult and it nearly always, one sees if one looks at the record, results in the Chair's talking almost as much as other hon. Members on these occasions. What is in order is what is relevant to the issue before the House, which is whether we should adjourn on Friday and come back on 25th October. I do not myself take the view that the right hon. Gentleman is trespassing on my kindness in any way yet. But there is a line: it is a matter of degree, of not going into the merits of issues and debating them, as opposed to considering them in relation to the Question before the House.

Mr. Brown

I am coming immediately to the point which affects the Motion. We have had one Bill. We are to hear shortly a proposal that we should have another Bill introduced, but that will not now give us an opportunity to debate the matter.

I do not want to suggest, in order that we may have time for such a debate, that we should not agree to the Motion, but I do think that at least the Leader of the House should give us some assonances. Clearly, we cannot leave this issue for long undebated. Therefore, I want to ask the Leader of the House to help us make up our minds whether we should let the Motion go in this form.

Tomorrow there are some Oral Questions on the Paper. My hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Peart) has one, I have one, there may well be others. In the ordinary way they would not—or might not—be reached. I would ask the Leader of the House whether he would arrange with the Home Secretary to seek your leave, Mr. Speaker, to answer those Questions tomorrow at the end of Questions if they should not be reached. That would at least give us a staement of the Government's views.

Sir K. Pickthorn

Not a debate.

Mr. Brown

Further, I would ask the Leader of the House, in order to help us, this. I have to phrase it conditionally, although few of us have much doubt about it. If we are recalled before 25th October, will he arrange that the recall is for a sufficient period to enable us to have adequate time to debate this matter, as well as the subject for which we might be recalled? I submit that we may well have had developments between now and then; it may well be very much more urgent then.

The right, hon Gentleman knows that proposals have been made, notably by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) an ex-Attorney-General, about possible amendments of the Public Order Act. I am conscious that the Home Secretary can plead tomorrow that he has not been in his present post long enough to have given his mind to the matter, but before we are recalled, if we should be recalled, that would no longer seem to apply.

If the Leader of the House were able to give me an answer affirmatively on these two points—that the Home Secretary will reply orally tomorrow and that if we come back earlier than 25th October time will be found for an adequate debate on this subject—I should, for my part, feel disposed to let the Motion go in its present form.

The issue is very serious and its consequences for democracy are potentially dangerous. It is not only the people who are insulted who react; extremists from the other end find this very profitable ground on which to play, and democracy is then under assault from two extremes which find it convenient to co-operate with each other, as they did in London before the war, and as they did in Berlin, with tremendous consequences in the 1930s. The whole business is so potentially dangerous, so distasteful, so shameful and so horrible to many of our fellow citizens that I hope that the Leader of the House will be able to give me an affirmative answer on these points so that we can then, I think, leave the Motion to take its course.

4.2 p.m.

Sir Robert Cary (Manchester, Withington)

In view of what has been said by the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), I hope that it will be possible for the Home Secretary to answer certain questions tomorrow, be-cause, in the light of the circumstances in which we find ourselves and in view of the unwanted and tragic events which took place at Manchester on Sunday and at Dalston last night, it would be helpful if a word could be heard from the Home Secretary.

There is another point which I should like to put to the Leader of the House for information. Yesterday, we had a most important debate on the Report of the Committee on Broadcasting and the Government White Paper. Only seven hon. Members spoke from the back benches. The novelty of the debate was that some of the back bench speeches exceeded in time those of the Front Bench, which is rather a change from the usual pattern and complaint. The tragedy of the debate was that on so important an issue only seven voices wore heard from the back benches. By no stretch of the imagination can it be said that that was an adequate sounding of the House of Commons on so important a matter.

I put it, seriously, to my right hon. Friend that when so important a matter is left until the last moments of this part of the Session before we rise there ought to be a revision in the arrangement of Government business just as much as a self-denying ordinance on the part of hon. Members about the length of their speeches.

4.4 p.m.

Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)

I oppose the Motion, and I shall give the reasons for my opposition to it.

The Leader of the House has said that if the Motion is accepted, we shall have 82 clear days. But if we come back on 25th October, I understand that we shall return for only one day, for Prorogation. Therefore, the House will, in effect, not be sitting until the beginning of November. Unless the House is recalled for a specific purpose, that means that we shall have no chance of putting points to Ministers for more than three months.

I know that a number of hon. Members on this side of the House and perhaps some on the other side, are in the position that I am in. Although I am a Scottish Member, I have no grouse-shooting engagement on the "Twelfth", or on the days that fallow the "Twelfth". Many hon. Members are in that position, and Scottish Members, in particular, are seriously worried about the position of our country at present.

Yesterday morning, the Patronage Secretary, with the full support of the Leader of the House, who was sitting in his place, moved the Closure on the debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill. When the Leader of the House was questioned about this yesterday he tried to show that much more time had been given for the Consolidated Fund Bill on this occasion than had ever been given before. But that was not the question. I was here the whole night long, and, from 6.15 a.m., until the Patronage Secretary moved the Closure, not a single hon. Member on this side made a contribution to the debate, although some of my hon. Friends were waiting to speak. Therefore, the last two and a quarter hours of the debate on the Bill were used by the Government's own back benchers and Ministers.

The Leader of the House tried to tell us that at least four and perhaps as many as six hon. Members had given notice that they wished to speak. I very strongly question that statement by the Leader of the House. Being an interested party, I wished to know when I might be called, and I saw the list at least twice. My name was last on it, and the name before that was my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) and the one before that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner).

We were the only three Members on this side of the House who wished to Speak, and no hon. Members from the other side of the House—unless they had put their names down very late indeed in the early hours of the morning—had signified their desire to speak. We on this side of the House have a suspicion that once the Government had ensured that every back bencher on their side of the House wishing to speak had made his contribution, contributions by hon Members on this side of the House did not matter at all.

I tell the Leader of the House, finally, that I and many of my hon. Friends are not at all satisfied with the statement which was made by the former Secretary of State for Scotland about pit closures and what would follow to give us alternative industry. We were given only a bald statement. We have since tried to get more information, but we have been unable to get any more. It is because of the state of industry and the great unemployment in Scotland— 3,000 more Scotsmen and women are unemployed today than at this time last year—that I very strongly oppose the Motion that the House should adjourn for three months.

4.8 p.m.

Mr. William Yates (The Wrekin)

I desire not necessarily to oppose the Motion, but to obtain some better assurances from the Leader of the House about recall of the House in the event of further international mistakes, misunderstandings or failures to comprehend over Berlin.

I should have thought that the news yesterday evening, or on the B.B.C. this morning, that the United States Air Force had decided to send helicopters over East Berlin, well within its rights no doubt, was the sort of thing that might at any moment involve not only this country but our allies in a very difficult international situation.

I do not make any complaint, but I am one of those who remember the rising of the House in our polite, gentlemanly way last year for a long Summer Recess, and before we realised what had happened a wall had been built across the city of Berlin. It was suggested to the country that this had all been got up by the Press, whereas the majority of us who know something about it understand that at a certain time in August last year the United States Air Force was at a state of war with the Soviet Union. These sort of things might easily occur again. We should have a wider undertaking by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House on this occasion.

Under Standing Order No. 112 hon. Members can try to get the House recalled. I have no doubt that hon. Members on this side also think that the House of Commons should have been recalled last year in August, or early September. Hon. Members opposite also sent in requests for that to be done. I am not too satisfied that the same sort of situation might not arise again when, in September, it would appear that both the United States and the Soviet Union will be attempting to test out their nerves again. That might be a very enjoyable pastime for them, but I would have thought that this House should be recalled in the event of any major change in the situation in or around Berlin, or over the question of access to Berlin, and not recalled about four weeks later to discuss something which has already taken place and on which we were never asked for our views nor our agreement.

This would worry me less if there were not British troops actually in West Berlin itself, and we have to take account of the recent statement by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who said, when discussing Berlin, that the presence of British troops was not a negotiable matter. That is a very important point of foreign policy, and I am one of those who are wondering whether the House should not have another opportunity of debating the Berlin situation before 15th September.

I do not say that I have foreknowledge that things will get any worse, but it seams to me that there is something wrong when diplomatic initiative is taken only by the Soviet Union and the United States and when we ourselves do not seem to be undertaking any major diplomatic moves to attempt to resolve the very difficult situation in West Berlin. Perhaps my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will suggest to the Minister of State that it would not be inopportune if the Government made a further statement concerning our policy in the event of friction between United States ground or air forces and the forces of the East German Government.

I wanted to go to a wedding and I see that I have been talking too long. [HON. MEMBERS: "Whose is it?"] It is not mine. But in order not to take up the time of the House much further, I ask my right hon. Friend for an undertaking that when he receives a request from the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Liberal Party to recall the House he will do so. During the Summer Recess last year, I decided to ask the national Press whether it thought that Parliament should be sitting, and I am glad to say that almost all national newspapers thought that it should have been sitting in September.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The views of the national Press about whether or no Parliament should have been sitting then clearly have no bearing on this Motion.

Mr. Yates

I understand that, Mr. Speaker. Nevertheless, the point remains.

I do not wish to accept this Motion unless I have a categorical undertaking from my right hon. Friend that if the situation changes in West Berlin or over the right of access to the city, this House will be recalled and consulted before action is taken concerning British troops ox interests in and around West Berlin.

4.15 p.m.

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

I feel so strongly after my experiences of last might that, for the first time in twenty-seven years, I am not prepared at the moment to acquiesce in the passing of this Motion, no matter what any other hon. Member may decide. I fall so strongly last night that I was confident that I would have been in order today in taking advantage of Standing Order No. 9 to raise a definite matter of urgent public importance.

I content myself now, however, with asking the Leader of the House for an undertaking on many questions I shall ask, and with asking the Joint Undersecretary of State for the Home Department how much longer the Government intend to continue to acquiesce in the provocation which is causing such bitter feeling among our people and is giving rise to the disorders which we had last evening—disorders which, after the last war, we thought we ware finished with.

It is now thirty-one years since I first had the privilege of opposing the rich aristocrat who is now allowed to challenge the democracy which the people I belong to have paid so dearly for in life, limb and sacrifices throughout the ages. [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. Nobody wants to waste time. The hon. Gentleman is being so careful not to go into the merits that we really must let him go on.

Mr. Ellis Smith

I should have thought that that warning should have been given to others.

Mr. G. Brown

It was.

Mr. Ellis Smith

As far as I am concerned, I am keeping within the rules of order. I respect Mr. Speaker and the Chair. But I intend to be worthy of those I belong to and represent, no matter what it means to me personally.

I raise this matter because it represents an urgent challenge to the constitutional government of the country. It is a challenge to our people, and, therefore, I want to ask the Government whether the Home Secretary intends to go on acquiescing in these grave disorders during the Recess, and whether chief constables should be allowed also to acquiesce in these provocations, which are bound to give rise to the bitter feelings that we saw last night. These activities are repugnant following the last war in which so many of our people lost their sons.

Before we agree to this Motion, will the Joint Under-Secretary of State give an undertaking that he will consider what action can be taken to stop these provocations? I have consulted my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), whom we all respect for his record and his knowledge of these matters. He informs me that there are steps which could be taken without the introduction of any new legislation. While my right hon. and hon. Friends are supporting proposed new legislation to deal with this kind of thing, racial hatred is being whipped up. If the situation can be dealt with within the limits of the present legislation, then I ask the Government to take the necessary action.

Will the Leader of the House give an undertaking that there will be a full investigation into the conduct of the police in Ridley Road at eight o'clock last night? Included in that investigation, will he ask for witnesses of what took place? Between 7.45 and 8.15, the crowd along that road was as orderly as we are in this Chamber, but, at 8.10, 10 mounted policemen arrived and I charge the inspector of those mounted policemen with being responsible for what occurred.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I know that the hon. Member wants to help me and the House, but I think that he is going into the merits of this matter rather too much now. It is sufficient for the purposes of his argument to urge the extreme urgency of not allowing a repetition of such events, but the detail is rather far from the Motion.

Mr. Ellis Smith

I shall respect that advice, Mr. Speaker, and apply my observations to the urgency and the public importance of the matter which I am discussing. I hope that I shall be in order as long as I keep within those limits.

Standing among those people aroused my best emotions of pride. Unless we can have an undertaking that the constitutional rights of our people will be used to prevent this provocation, we shall be forced to take action to safeguard the democratic rights which we have won.

There is no doubt what was at stake in Trafalgar Square, in Manchester, and last night. Some of us know this rich aristocrat and all he stands for. I am asking the Leader of the House to give an undertaking that what has been said will be considered. I shall support the Motion if it is found that present legislation can be used to prevent provocative action of this kind, which is causing so much bitter racial hatred. But we must have that undertaking before we can agree to the Motion.

Mr. Iain Macleod

May I intervene to deal with this point which has been raised by three hon. Members and the right hon. Gentleman the Deputy Leader of the Opposition? I will reply to other points later.

In response to the feeling of the House, may I say that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will answer Questions, which have been tabled on this matter, at the end of Question Time tomorrow. Perhaps I may also say that there is another matter in which hon. Members are interested and about which my right hon. Friend will also be making a statement tomorrow. That is the case of Dr. Soblen. I intervene now merely to say that.

Mr. Tom Driberg (Barking)

Arising out of what the Leader of the House has just said: when the Home Secretary answers Questions tomorrow, will he be able to answer on a matter which is strictly the responsibility of the Minister of Public Building and Works, that is, the use of Trafalgar Square during the Recess?

Mr. Macleod

The Home Secretary is a senior member of the Cabinet, of course, and I will convey that point of view to him.

4.24 p.m.

Mr. Anthony Kershaw (Stroud)

The right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) suggested that we might have more than one subject to discuss if we were recalled during the Recess, namely, that which has just been raised by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith). If we are to do that, is there to be a list of other subjects put forward by hon. Members?

My right hon. Friend will have noticed from the Press yesterday and today that it seems likely that very important decisions will be taken about weapons to be available to the Armed Forces. Those decisions may be taken during the Recess. It would be very disagreeable to some of us if we did not have an opportunity to discuss those decisions, which are likely to have very far-reaching effects.

Secondly, may I raise an entirely unrelated matter, the Leonardo cartoon, and ask for a further explanation? From what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House said, I was not clear whether we are to have an opportunity to debate the matter before a decision is taken, or whether that time has already passed. If it has already passed, is not this an extraordinary way of doing things? If the people wanted the Leonardo, and wanted to pay for it, they would have been able to subscribe to it, but they did not do so. We are now asked, ex post facto, to vote a very large sum of money which could have been spent on modern art, helping modern artists and theatres, for instance, who could have used the money. Many of us feel that this grant is a retrograde step and an extraordinary thing to do without reference to the House.

Mr. Speaker

There is great difficulty about what the hon. Member is saying in relation to the Motion. Whether the step was good or bad, it having been taken, it does not affect the problem arising on this Motion.

Mr. Kershaw

Are we to have an answer to what I have said before we rise or not?

Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)

On a point of order. Is not the point of what the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) has been saying not the merits of the case—I recognise that that is not a matter for debate at present, although it appears to me, with great respect, that several matters of merit have already been raised—

Mr. Speaker

All that that would mean would be that I have been unduly indulgent. Sometimes, keeping people, including all of us, in order, wastes rather more time than not doing so.

Mr. Shinwell

I am not asking for any indulgence, Sir. I direct your attention to this point, which is relevant to the Motion. The Leader of the House said that there would be some expenditure from the Civil Contingencies Fund for a cartoon which is to be purchased. The question which arises is not the merits of that purchase or the grant which the Government propose to make, but whether the money should be expended before the House has had an opportunity of considering the matter and either approving or disapproving of the proposal. That is the point and not the merits of the case, not whether the cartoon should be bought, but whether the money should be expended before the House rises.

Mr. Speaker

I desire to keep the House off discussing the merits of the purchase, which, clearly, would be out of order. I intervened when the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) was speaking because I thought, I hope not wrongly, that he was in that field and was not dealing with the opportunity of discussing the expenditure, as the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) was suggesting.

4.28 p.m.

Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)

There are two dates in the Motion, one Friday 3rd August, and the other 25th October. But it must be appreciated that 25th October is a day of pure formality and ceremonial and that the effective date of Parliament's return is 30th October. So we are faced not with 82 days when Parliament is not sitting, but with three complete months.

It would be hypocritical of anyone to suggest that we should not rise for a holiday on Friday, for Friday will mark the end of what has been virtually the bloodiest Session of Parliament which we have had for a long time. If nothing else, we should give the Leader of the House time to clean up his Guillotine.

This Session five major Bills have been passed under a Guillotine, and the administration of those Measures is about to start. Today, a Question was answered on behalf of the Secretary of State for War, when it was said that 9,912 National Service men ware to have their conscription extended for another six months. If we go on holiday for three months—and we have no power to complain about that directly to a Minister —what are the troops to think of us?

It is not good enough to say that the legislation has bean passed and must be accepted, and to reply to their comment that we should be looking after their interests by adopting the attitude adopted by the Prime Minister to the ex-Secretary of State for Scotland—"I'm all right, Jack."

The question is whether we have sufficient faith in this administration to allow it off the lead for three months. The answer is that we have not. The first step under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act—which was the second of the Measures dealt with under the Guillotine—caused a furore in the House and the cancellation of the decision which had been made. What would have happened if the House had not been sitting? In other words, with this immature Administration nobody knows what may happen—and it is an immature Administration. The members of the Government have been described as the young ones, although the prima donna is ageing and has lost confidence in himself, and has caused other to lose confidence in him.

I am sorry that the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward), whose speech about access to a school I have heard "unclosured" six times is not here. She has shown an interest in this next point. We have been promised a Pensions (Increase) Bill next Session. The longer we delay the start of the next Session, the longer it will be before these increases are paid. Why is it that hon. Gentlemen opposite are not complaining about the Government service pensioners having to wait so long for an increase in their pensions, merely because the House proposes to rise for this length of time? It must be remembered, too, that these proposed increases will apply only to those who are superannuated or are receiving pensions as former Government servants.

What about the 5 million old-age pensioners? The longer we are in recess, the longer it will take the Government to remedy their situation. At the moment, they are losing £1½ million a week on the basis of the deterioration in the value of money since their last pensions increase. It follows, therefore, that while we are in recess they will lose nearly £20 million. They will lose this sum solely because of the failure of the Government to take steps to raise the retirement pension.

The longer we are in recess, the longer it will be before anything can be done. The first week of our return will be spent in discussing the Queen's Speech. Nothing can be done before the second week of November, and before we know where we are we shall rise for the Christmas Recess. This is the nonsensical situation which arises from the present arrangement of the sittings of Parliament.

Further, when we come to discuss this increase in pensions, it is more than probable that the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance will say that because of administrative difficulties it will not be possible to pay the increase before April. I appeal to hon. Gentlemen to prove that they mean what they say about providing increases for old-age pensioners by taking steps to convince the Government that the proposed Bill should be introduced as soon as possible. To do this they should sacrifice some part of their holidays. After all, if we can toll 10,000 troops in the B.A.O.R. and elsewhere that they must stay in the Army for an extra six months, hon. Members who voted for that should be prepared to come back from their holidays a little earlier and deal with some of the problems confronting us.

My next point relates to the Morison Report. We were told today by the Secretary of State for Scotland that there would have to be considerable consultation before anything could be done about the problem of probation officers in Scotland.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir William Anstruther-Gray)

Order. I am following the hon. Member very carefully, but I find it difficult to understand how that matter concerns whether we adjourn on Friday and return on a certain date.

Mr. Ross

The point is that if Parliament is not sitting we cannot discuss the problem. It is as simple as that. If Parliament is not sitting we cannot debate legislation which may be necessary to ensure that probation officers in Scotland are treated on the same basis as those in England and Wales.

The Morison Report makes the point that they should be so dealt with in any negotiations over pay. I want to press this point on the Government every week. The Secretary of State for Scotland said that he would be willing to do something if we could persuade him to do it. I therefore think that it is relevant to the discussion that we should continue to press the Government to ensure that probation officers in Scotland are justly treated.

There is one other point. We have had from the Secretary of State for Scotland just one speech, lasting thirty minutes, by which he broke a silence of two and a half years. In fact, those Members who were present at Question Time today probably heard the right hon. Gentleman for the first time in their lives. One of the cynical reasons given for his appointment to this position was that the Prime Minister had not heard him. In the Scottish Press today the Scottish Trades Union Council expressed surprise that the Secretary of State for Scotland was not proposing to meet the Council until 31st August to discuss the deteriorating situation in Scotland.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member yet again, but I cannot see that whether the Secretary of State for Scotland meets the Scottish Council is relevant to the actual dates of the Recess.

Mr. Ross

It has this comparative relevance. If people in Scotland are bitterly disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman is not to meet them in Scotland until 31st August, how much more bitterly disappointed will they be when they learn that Parliament has decided that we shall not be able to meet him here until 30th October to impress on him the need to take further action in relation to the situation in Scotland?

I should have thought that every Scottish Member, irrespective of where he was sitting, was aware of the deteriorating industrial situation in Scotland and would want to do something about it. Before winter sets in 100,000 people will be unemployed in Scotland. The situation is so bad that in Lanarkshire last week, when a job as a greaser in a factory was advertised, there were 300 applicants. Yet we hear hon. Gentlemen opposite talking about the shortage of labour.

Are we to be denied for three months the right to press the Government to take action to deal with the situation in Scotland? That is what this Recess will mean. The last act of the ex-Secretary of State for Scotland was to announce the closure of pits in Scotland which will mean the loss of nearly 30,000 jobs, and we still do not know what is being done to bring new industries into the area. That is why I want the Leader of the House to consider the points that I have made. It will take more than the gags and Closures of the Patronage Secretary to prevent us talking about our country when we want to do so.

For those few reasons I sincerely hope that the Government will think again about bringing us back at such a late date. Certainly, the Recess should be cut by at least two months.

4.40 p.m.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

In the temporary absence of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, to whom I wanted to make an appeal, perhaps I can appeal to the Leader of the Opposition. I ask him to reconsider the conditions that he has attached to supporting the Motion. As I understand, there were four. He should withdraw three of the four, on further consideration. His first condition was that if we are brought back specially to discuss the Common Market there should be Oral as well as Written Questions. I do not object to that. It is up to the Leader of the House to see if that can be arranged.

The second condition was that if any group of Members asked the Government to recall the House that course should automatically be taken. I do not agree. It is the responsibility of the Leader of the House and the Government in general to assess the situation, and to judge whether there is a need to recall the House. It is for them to make an appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, if they think that that course is merited. If the Leader of the House agrees to take full and sympathetic account of any representations made by the official Opposition, or any group of Members, that should be sufficient. But it must be the Government, and nobody else, after they have taken all relevant matters into account, who should decide whether an appeal should be made to you, Mr. Speaker.

The third condition was that we should automatically talk about an increase in the salaries of probation officers, and the fourth that we should discuss the stupidity of the Mosley riots. I do not think that such conditions should be specifically attached to a special recall which has in mind a discussion of the Common Market negotiations. If either of those subjects, standing by themselves, merit recalling the House, that is one of the representations that could be made to the Leader of the House and taken into account.

If, two months before the date named, we attach those two specific items to a possible recall, how are we to know that by the time Parliament is recalled there will not be a list of other subjects of equal importance? It would be sufficient if, at this stage, the Leader of the Opposition withdrew these specific conditions and merely asked the Government to give full and sympathetic consideration to the merits of any case put forward.

I make that suggestion because we expect a special recall to discuss the possible outcome of discussions on the Common Market, which is a matter of outstanding importance. It is fundamental. That should warrant the recall of the House. But to tie to a discussion of that subject discussions on one or two other subjects—which at this stage we may not be aware of, but may be of real importance when the House is recalled—Would be to dilute the significance to be attached to the debate on the Common Market. I appeal to the Leader of the Opposition to insist by all means that full and proper thought should be given to any representations he may make during the Recess, but not to attach specific conditions, as I under-stood the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to do.

4.42 p.m.

Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)

Whether my right hon. Friends set conditions, or modify or withdraw them, it will be all the same in the long run. The Government will do what they please. It is surely obvious that the Government will not recall the House unless, as a result of the Common Market negotiations, they believe that they have been successful, and hope to gain the support of the House. They will not recall the House otherwise.

I have listened to these debates for many years, and a good deal of humbug is talked in them. Almost every hon. Member—even if he is one of those who wants to curtail the Recess—is very glad to get away. I am not surprised. I am at variance with what my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) said in this respect. It is not that I disagree with the merits of his case— the need for further discussion of unemployment and the like; all that is far from objectionable. But I say that it is quite a mistake to suppose that by curtailing the Recess by one month, or even by two months, as my hon. Friend suggested, the Government would be induced to produce beneficial legislation, or legislation which was satisfactory to the Opposition—or, for that matter, to suppose that any questions asked by hon. Members on this side of the House would lead to a satisfactory response from the Government.

I take it further: if my hon. Friend, as the result of the recall of the House somewhat earlier than is intended under the Government Motion, ventures to protest at the Government's action or inaction, the only result will be that the Government will still have their own way. What does anybody think will happen? My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) says that it is not necessary. Does he believe—

Mr. F. J. Bellenger (Bassetlaw)

I did not say that.

Mr. Shinwell

I thought my right hon. Friend did. At any rate, somebody said it. I am sorry; I thought it came from just in front of me, but apparently it came from another bench on this side of the House. Whoever may have said it, I suggest that if anybody on this side of the House believes that he can make an impact on the Government Front Bench he is making a mistake. Not even hon. Members opposite can make an impact on the Government.

What has happened in recent years is quite a new phenomenon. The authority of the Executive over the House of Commons is now far greater than it has ever been before. In fact, it is a danger to Parliamentary democracy.

Anybody who supposes—no matter how eloquent he is, however penetrating his argument, or however influential he may regard himself—that he has any influence over the Government and that he can persuade the Government to do as he pleases, is making a mistake. There is an obvious reason why he cannot do so. It is because the Government themselves are at sixes and sevens. Therefore, what is the use of asking that the Recess should be curtailed? The Government do not intend to produce any legislation that is worth a tinker's curse—if I may venture to indulge in such a term. What is the use of all this palaver about meeting a little earlier? The Government will not be having a well-deserved rest, but it will be a much-needed one. As far as I am concerned, if we did not see this Government for many months, I should be delighted. I do not expect anything from them. Does anybody else?

Mr. Ellis Smith


Mr. Shinwell

Who? My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) is one of the most sincere Members of the House. I am not questioning his integrity, but he is very innocent if he imagines that anything that he says in the House will make any impact on the Government Front Bench.

Mr. Ellis Smith

I purposely said, "Yes", because it is surely elementary to expect action to be taken upon the question that I raised.

Mr. Shinwell

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South and others, about the provocation that has resulted in disorder, and the action of the police— although I am far from complaining about the police until the whole of the evidence is before us. But all that apart, what are the Government likely to do as a result of all these protests? My right hon. Friend the Member for Belper submitted a condition for accepting the Motion. He said that the House ought to be recalled earlier than usual for the purpose of ascertaining from the Home Secretary whether he would be ready to use his authority to prevent meetings of the kind that were held last night in Dalston and quite recently in Manchester.

The Home Secretary will do nothing of the kind. For one thing, he will say that he has no authority. He will produce the familiar argument, that we hear so often, that we must retain the right of free speech. That is complete humbug. I am all in favour of free speech. I have used it many times. But there is a vast difference between free speech and licence—allowing people to say what they like irrespective of whether they offend—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Order. My difficulty is allowing Members to say what they please, when it may or may not be out of order. I am concerned that the right hon. Gentleman does not go too far into details.

Mr. Shinwell

And, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, with respect, that is precisely what I thought earlier, when I ventured to suggest to Mr. Speaker that perhaps there was a little too much indulgence with right hon. and hon. Members. But I did it with respect, and one cannot go farther than that.

I do not wish to delay the debate which is to come, because I know that hon. Members are straining at the leash to express views about the Common Market. And, by the way, suppose they do. Does anybody imagine that anything will happen effectively as a result of it? Of course not. It is just a lot of palaver.

Mr. Ross

Does this mean—because my right hon. Friend is expressing these sentiments—that we shall hear no more from Privy Councillors on this side of the House?

Mr. Shinwell

I think that you would agree, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that if I began to discuss the privileges accorded to Privy Councillors I should be completely out of order. I could say a great deal about that. When I reflect on the length of speeches made by hon. Mem-bars who are not Privy Councillors, but who wish they were—and make every effort to become Privy Councillors—I feel that I might suggest to my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock that the less said about Privy Councillors the better—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]. In any event, why not make all hon. Members Privy Councillors? In point of fact, if there is any complaint against the Government it is that they make too many Privy Councillors. I cannot recall all the details, but when I think of hon. Members on the back benches who have become Privy Councillors—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Order. We must come back to the Question before the House.

Mr. Shinweil

I think that it will be conceded, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that I did not raise the matter. But if I am provoked, what do hon. Members expect? I am being as respectful as possible to my hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock, and anyway, I know better than to be otherwise.

There may be some reason for curtailing the Recess on the assumption that the Government will come forward with considered views on the subject of the provocation arising out of meetings held by certain organisations. If that were so, I suggest that we ought to meet in another month to hear what the Home Secretary has to say. There would be some justification in curtailing the Recess to hear what the Government had to say about the new weapons which are intended, as was suggested by an hon. Member opposite, or on the subject of Berlin and the like, which are fundamental issues. But if it is merely that we should come back so that the Government may indulge in a lot of "talkie-talkie" about irrelevancies, the later Parliament reassembles the better.

I wish to raise one pertinent issue— indeed, that is all I intended to do in any case. It is this. The Leader of the House promised me yesterday that today he would mention the matter of the Leonardo da Vinci cartoon and give an undertaking regarding the money being expended under the Civil Contingencies Fund. Today he has given an answer which, to me, is quite unsatisfactory. I am not discussing the merits of this matter at all. I do not want to. I am not an "arty" person, I know very little about art. But this I do know—it is unwise to spend money unnecessarily. That is all I want to say about the merits of the matter.

I wish to know from the Leader of the House by what authority will the Government expend £350,000 out of the Civil Contingencies Fund for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of that cartoon without the approval of the House? It is my contention that the Government have no right to do anything of the sort, unless they have the approval of the House. They have no right to provide the money from the Civil Contingencies Fund or by way of a Supplementary Estimate.

If, as a result, the cartoon goes elsewhere, I do not regard that as an irreparable disaster. I am not concerned about that aspect; it relates to the merits of the case. I am concerned about the authority of this House in matters of finance and I deny the right of the Government to expend this vast sum of money for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of this cartoon until they have received the approval of the House.

4.55 p.m.

Mrs. Patricia McLaughlin (Belfast, West)

We all realise the necessity for a Recess. But when we are considering whether to approve this Motion it is necessary that mention should be made of things which have been left undone and, in fact, to dwell on them if necessary, before Parliament goes into recess for so many days.

An important matter in which I, and, I hope, many of my hon. Friends—certainly, hon. Members who represent constituencies in Northern Ireland—are interested is that we have had no final decision on the future of the aircraft industry in Northern Ireland. We are aware that there are many factors to be considered in this matter—that the new Minister of Aviation visited Northern Ireland, and so on—but we are also aware that the Leader of the House has been unable to give any assurance despite the fact that the firm concerned, Short Bros, and Harland, has stated that by the end of July—yesterday—it would no longer be able to maintain itself as a fully equipped design and production unit. And we are proposing to go into recess without anything definite being done by the Government.

During the Recess we shall have no way of approaching Ministers directly, as is the case when Parliament is sitting, and we are anxious about what will be done during the Recess. We are anxious that the 7,500 men employed in the industry shall not be left without knowing what are their employment prospects in the future. We are anxious to know when the Royal Air Force will decide on its new strategic aeroplane, and we are anxious—this master was referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw)—to know something about the future production of weapons some of which may be made by Short Bros. We are anxious to know when a decision will be taken about what is to happen in connection with this very important industry in this very important part of the United Kingdom

Today, we have discussed whether Parliament should be recalled to hear about the state of the Common Market negotiations. I suggest, humbly, that we might be interested to know what is to be the procedure in a part of the United Kingdom where action is most needed. I suggest, again, humbly, that the Leader of the House might give us some idea or some assurance—the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation and the Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department are present and perhaps they might have something to say on the matter—about what will happen in Northern Ireland. We have no right to approve a Motion relating to a Recess which is to last for three months without knowing some-thing definite about the future of an industry which has been of such importance for so many years. We have had no such assurance from any Minister and I think that we ought to be assured before the Motion before the House is approved.

4.58 p.m.

Mr. Tom Driberg (Barking)

My right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) spoke in an agreeable vein of mild cynicism and seemed almost to be suggesting that Parliament might as well pack up altogether—

Mr. Shinwell

I meant that this Government should.

Mr. Driberg

—for all the good we might do with this Government in power, and I disagree with my right hon. Friend only on that point. I will give one illustration of the fact that the House and the Opposition can bring effective pressure on the Government on specific matters. A couple of weeks ago there was the incident of the Jamaican girl who was to be deported. Had that matter come up a fortnight hence instead of a fortnight ago, she would have been deported by now, because Parliament would not have been in Session.

Before I come to the two specific points which I want to raise I should like to make two procedural points—if the Leader of the House would be good enough to listen to them. First, the Leader of the House knows that we are using our legitimate right, on this particular Adjournment Motion, to raise a number of points which seem to us to be urgent, or which ought to be dealt with, or about which we ought to get assurances before we allow the Government to have the Motion. But we regret that in doing so we are, it would seem, inevitably, cutting short the important debate on the Common Market. Could the Leader of the House consider suspending the Rule for one or two hours later tonight, if that should prove desirable—if there are a large number of hon. Members who wish to speak in the Common Market debate?

That is the first procedural point I want to make. Secondly, a number of different points have been raised and will be raised which we cannot expect the Leader of the House himself to deal with substantially in whatever further reply he may be good enough to give. My hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) raised points concerning the Secretary of State for Scotland. I am going to raise an extremely urgent point which concerns a Colonial Territory and which must be dealt with, if at all, within the next few days. I know that this is a lot to ask, but would it be possible for one or two Ministers or Under-Secretaries of the Departments concerned to be hare to give brief answers on such points as these?

The first main subject that I want to discuss, in a way that is both extremely specific and highly relevant to the Motion on the Order Paper, is the matter which was raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown). I am glad that he said: "We cannot leave that issue for long undebated". I am glad also to hear that the Home Secretary tomorrow is to answer these Questions orally if they are not reached. I wish the Minister of Public Building and Works had exercised the same discretion and had asked Mr. Speaker's leave to do that yesterday, when I asked if he would do so, but he said that he would not because he had nothing to say—which is, of course, not an unfamiliar phenomenon. I ask him a Question, which was not reached, about the organisations which have so far been granted the use of Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoons in the next three months, when the House will be in Recess.

As hon. Members can see if they look at Written Answers in yesterday's HANSARD, eight dates have already been booked for Sunday afternoons, most of them by quite harmless or worthy movements such as the Golborne Rehabilitation Centre—an excellent hostel which cares far people on probation and ex-prisoners—the Metropolitan Templar Federation, Sinn Fein, and the Navy League. But already there have been applications for the use of Trafalgar Square on 2nd September from the British National Party and on 23rd September from the Union Movement. In his reply, the Minister said that the application from the Union Movement had only recently been received—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Order. Again I regret to interrupt an hon. Member, but the question before us is the Summer Adjournment. I think the hon. Member has had ample opportunity to make clear the details which he would like to have answered, perhaps tomorrow, without continuing on this line in relation to the Summer Recess.

Mr. Driberg

The point I am trying to make, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that it is dangerous for this House to go away for three months and leave the Government in charge of these matters unless we get an assurance from them that there will not be grave public disorder in Trafalgar Square and other places, as there is bound to be unless they decide to cancel the permissions which have already been given. In his reply yesterday the Minister said that the application from the Union Movement was now being considered. That is the Mosley gang. He also said, unfortunately, that the application from the British National Party for 2nd September had been granted. He said he could find "no grounds for withdrawing the permissions already granted". This, surely, is highly relevant when we are considering whether we can agree to this Motion at all unless we can get some contrary indication of the Government's intention on this matter. The British National Party—I should explain in parenthesis, since it has changed its name so frequently—is Mr. Colin Jordan's little gang of criminal psychopaths, who are even more extreme in in their abusive provocations than the Mosley gang.

It is quite clear that the Minister has been misled in the past. He has told us that advice was given by the Chief Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis that it would be all right to have those meetings which have already been held. That advice was demonstrably wrong. If the Commissioner has again said that it is all right to have these meetings on 2nd and 23rd September, this House should express itself in a contrary sense by refusing to allow this Motion to be passed today unless we can get some assurance about it.

Quite apart from the merits of the case, which I shall not argue, it is certain—absolutely certain—that there will be grave public disorder on the Sunday afternoons of 2nd and 23rd September if the Minister allows these meetings to take place. I also feel that it is dangerous to go away for so long and leave this matter in the hands of Ministers who fail to distinguish, as most civilised countries can, between the expression of genuine political views, however unorthodox or unpopular they may be—a freedom which must always be safeguarded—and public incitement to racial hatred and discrimination, which is much more akin to obscene or seditious libel.

I shall not continue on that because I do not want to cut across your Ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The second point —an entirely different point—which I want to raise briefly, concerns the Secretary of State for the Commonwealth and Colonies. I am sorry to trouble the House with what some hon. Members may think a very trivial matter, but I do not think it is. It concerns a small minority of people in a Colonial Territory and the reason I have to raise it now is that it is a small community of people in the territory of Jamaica, which becomes independent in a few days' time, as the Leader of the House will know. After Jamaica becomes independent it will presumably be out of order and quite impossible to raise in this House any matter concerning the internal policy or administration of Jamaica.

I am concerned about the future welfare and the fate and freedom of the people known as the Maroons of Jamaica—the Maroons of Accompong and of Trelawney Town. To remind hon. Members who may not recall their West Indian history, I should say that these Maroons have an extraordinarily romantic and interesting history. As far back as the eighteenth century they won their freedom: they won a treaty of independence from the British Government. They were runaway slaves, and descendants of runaway slaves, who escaped to the mountains and fought a number of harassing guerrilla wars against the British. Eventually, in 1739, "articles of pacification" were concluded which guaranteed them—this is the point—their freedom and the possession "for themselves and posterity for ever all the lands situate and lying between Trelawney Town and the Cockpits, to the amount of 1,500 acres."

Whatever has happened since then, the Maroons have always cherished and tried to safeguard some degree of independence. Obviously we all welcome the independence of Jamaica as a whole, and wish the Jamaican people well in future; but I hope, first, that the Jamaican Government will deal tenderly with these interesting people, living as they do in a few remote mountain villages. Secondly, I hope that the Minister—although I know this is a lot to ask—will be able to say something today about them, because this is the last occasion on which it will be possible to discuss them in this House, in view of the impending independence of Jamaica. This is not something I have sprung on the Department without any warning. I have raised this before at Question Time and by letter with the previous Secretary of State for the Colonies. I hope, therefore, that it will be possible to have a few words from the Government about these matters.

5.10 p.m.

Mr. A. R. Wise (Rugby)

I never thought that I should find myself opposing my summer holiday, but on this particular occasion I think we must have a great deal more assurance from the Government than we have at the moment.

I am unashamedly going to refer to possible events that may occur in regard to the negotiations for our possible signature of the Treaty of Rome. We have been told that the House may be recalled some time in the middle of September for three days in order to be told what is happening. That is not good enough. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] We have had a number of debates on the Common Market hitherto. How many back bench Members have had the opportunity to speak? Three days is nonsense. We must have really adequate time to discuss something which is of very great moment. This is am attempt to put the clock back—not forward—1,900 years, to the time when Agricola came to this country with an army of Frenchmen, Germans and Italians. We have every right to claim far more opportunity for discussing these matters than in fact we are likely to have under the present arrangements.

More than that, we have a Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference sitting in September. Normally, I would be the first to say "Let them conduct their consultations without being bothered too much by speeches in this House", but the situation does not work out that way. As far as we can see, if our Ministers are left alone in these matters they will sell every pass there is, while we have no means of doing anything about it. We have so far had experience of this, and I am afraid I must quote it, in one thing after another. We allowed the Government to enter into exploratory negotiations. A number of points have been gently allowed to pass by without protest, or without as much protest as there should have been.

For instance, there was our original objection to Article 240 of the Treaty of Rome—the "eternity clause"—which passed without discussion. We have compromised on one thing after another. At the moment, we are making concessions on agriculture without getting anything in return, and again without any discussion. We are talking about abandoning our sovereignty, again without discussion. We must have more time. This House has a right to be heard on these matters, and I make no apology for going into them, with your very kind permission, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, in this modest amount of detail.

There are other things that arise— things which affect Her Majesty's Ministers themselves. More than one, in the past, has made utterances which we have all welcomed, and to which we were firmly convinced they will adhere. The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and Secretary of State for the Colonies made a statement in which he said that rather than allow any harm to come to the Commonwealth he will go back into private life. It is only right that, if he should have to make this decision, and I pray that he does not have to make it. he should have the usual forum in which to make the usual final speech of a Minister who, for once in a while, has resigned on a point of conscience, and has not been sacked.

There are many other Ministers concerned, though I would not go into details, who gave unequivocal promises on the question of the free entry of Commonwealth imports, and the present Chancellor of the Exchequer has committed himself more than once on this point. There may be many people in the country who firmly agree with his point of view, but I think that this House should be sitting, in order that we may know if things go wrong and express our opinion. We cannot stand another Chancellor of the Exchequer within six months.

For all these reasons, I want to make a very revolutionary suggestion. We should ignore this business of extending the present Session by recalling the House, because I think that it will do little good. We should firmly insist that we need the amount of holiday which we can get, and there is no doubt about that. I should like to suggest that we should start the new Session, at the latest, on 1st October instead of the 30th so that the Government business can follow its ordinary course with the Bills which are necessary and which would have been brought forward anyway and adjourn at the beginning of December instead of just before Christmas, which will give the same length of Session and more opportunity for the Government to conduct their business. If it is necessary for us to come back for a week or more to discuss this one specific subject of the Common Market in the middle of September, I think we will all gladly make that sacrifice in addition.

5.18 p.m.

Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)

I want to support, first, the arguments of the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Wise), which I believe ought to be taken into very serious consideration by the Government.

It is monstrous that the Leader of the House should stand there and suggest that we should come back some time during the Long Recess to have three days in which to discuss the biggest issue that has arisen in our history since 1066, and that the Government should offer the House of Commons less time in which to discuss the Common Market than we shall have in discussing the Address in reply to the Queen's Speech. There is a tradition in this House that we have four days' debate on the Queen's Speech, and I believe that every hon. Member on both sides of the House has an inherent right to make his voice heard on the biggest issue that has arisen in our lifetime.

It is offensive for the Government to believe that the results of secret negotiations which have been carried on for nearly a year can be brought to us and that we should be expected to reach a decision in three days, when three-quarters of the House will not have had an opportunity to voice an opinion. I feel very strongly on this question, because I believe that the whole of our national way of life is challenged by the proposals that are under way with the Common Market, and that, at least, there ought to be given to us an opportunity to speak, not only to the Government but to the country, which is our privilege when we speak in this House. When we debate the Common Market we shall be helping to make up the minds of the country, and it is only fair that all people should hear the full case and not merely that of the two Front Benches and one or two other Privy Councillors who are able to get into the debate.

There is another point which I wish to raise and which has kept me jumping to my feet throughout the debate.

Mr. Shinwell

I have been trying to get in, too.

Mr. Thomas

My right hon. Friend is still trying to get into the debate.

I wish to make a point which concerns the Principality. We have heard this afternoon appeals from Scotland and Northern Ireland against the injustices of the Government being continued in the Recess, and I wish to raise a question concerning people in Wales, in particular, but also concerning people in England and possibly in Northern Ireland. It is a question of a statement being made on Government policy on leasehold reform before the House goes into Recess.

A fortnight ago the new Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs made a statement to the Welsh Members in which he poured cold water on the idea of any legislation concerning leasehold reform during the next Session. This statement by the Minister has given encouragement to every ground landlord to go ahead increasing his demands upon our people in South Wales. Not only, therefore, will the long Recess mean that we cannot fight for earliest legislation to deal with leasehold, but it will also mean that during the three months of silence of Parliament the ground landlords will feel free to go ahead with the rapacious demands which they are now making upon our people.

Like hon. Members who have spoken on other issues, I make no apology for raising a matter which is of prime importance to the people who live in my constituency. I should be failing in my duty, and they would think that I had taken leave of my senses, if I did not oppose a long Recess like this without, first, a Government statement on what they propose to do about leasehold reform. If we go down for three months—

Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)

If we go up.

Mr. Thomas

I am not a lawyer. I am more innocent. "Going down" to me means returning to my constituency. If we go into recess for three months it means that the people who are leaseholders, who are faced with ever-increasing demands, will be more than ever at the mercy of these finance corporations about which I have spoken to the House before. It will soon be a year since I presented to the House and to the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs a Petition signed by 60,000 people in the Principality asking for Government action on the leasehold question.

Are the Government telling me that I must go back to the Principality and tell them to wait for another three months—and even then we have no guarantee that hope will be held out to the leaseholders? I feel very strongly on this question, as I do on the question of the Common Market, and I hope that on both these issues the Leader of the House will give a satisfactory reply.

As I resume my seat, may I say, as a fellow Celt, that I sympathise with the speeches made by my hon. Friends from Scotland, because I realise that the Celts get a bad deal from this Government. I realise that at one time there would not have been a Tory Government without the Northern Ireland M.P.s—

Mr. Speaker


Mr. Thomas

I agree with you, Mr. Speaker. That was out of order. I hope that the Minister will bear in mind what I said.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Mr. Macleod.

5.25 p.m.

Mr. Iain Macleod

As the House knows we have in front of us still a most important debate. I think that it wouild be right if I tried to reply to a number of most important points—

Mr. Godfrey Lagden (Hornchurch)

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, can you advise me whether the Leader of the House is closing the debate? There are many hon. Members, including myself, who wish to take part in it.

Sir Barnett Janner (Leicester, North-West)

Further to that point of order. I remained in the House until 8.30 a.m. the other day, having been in the House all night, and was then stopped from speaking by a Closure Motion. There are a number of hon. Members who still wish to speak on this important matter. Have we any protection and assurance that the debate will not be stopped by the Leader of the House?

Mr. Speaker

It is no good asking me that question. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman intends to do. I have called him, and the fact of calling him has no bearing on what he will do.

Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)


Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

It is impossible for the Leader of the House—

Mr. Speaker

I take it that the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) has a point of order to raise, but we must take them one at a time. Mr. Hector Hughes.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, West (Sir B. Janner), may I ask whether I have any protection? I sat out the whole of the censure debate and was not called. I have been sitting out the whole of this debate and I have not yet been called. Is there any prospect that I shall be called?

Mr. Speaker

I should not like to commit myself in advance about any such difficult proposition.

Mr. Hale

Further to that point of order. There may be different motives for continuing this discussion, but I rise to call attention to a letter which I received five minutes ago and which is the most scandalous document which I have ever had at any time since I have been in Parliament. It was written by the new Minister of Pensions about an old case relating to a man who is mentally ill and may be certified as insane—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member rose to a point of order but that does not seem to be one.

Mr. Hale

The point of order is this: how is it possible for the Leader of the House to reply to a point of this kind which up to now has not been put in the debate, about a matter of which he has no cognisance, a matter which is urgent and a matter which is directly directed to this point, because we all know that these letters are sent out every year on the afternoon of 31st July? The House should not adjourn while conduct of that kind—

Mr. Speaker

Order. That is not a point of order. I cannot decide whether the Minister can reply to this or that question. I have merely called him to speak.

Mr. Macleod

This debate was opened by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition who put a number of points to me. I have dealt with one of them. It was raised by other hon. Members. I take the point made by the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg), both in an intervention and later when he spoke to this Motion, on the question of the use of the Square. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will reply to those two Questions which are on the Order Paper at the end of Questions tomorrow.

Sir B. Janner

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that at Question Time we are entitled only to ask a few supplementary questions and that no debate can take place? What assurance have we that a debate will take place?

Mr. Macleod

I was coming in a moment to the question put by the right hon. Gentleman about a debate, when we are recalled, if there is a recall.

On the question of the recall of Parliament, the House is familiar with the terms of Standing Order No. 112, which I do not propose to read, and which says, in effect, that whenever the House stands adjourned and it is represented to you, Mr. Speaker, by Her Majesty's Ministers that public interest requires an earlier meeting, there is machinery to give effect to that. I could preface the first undertaking for which I was asked by saying that although the final decision is bound to rest with the Government, we should give full weight to ail representations from any quarter of the House particularly, as the right hon. Gentleman put it, from the Opposition Front Bench.

The answer is, "Yes, of course." Nobody could deny the immense importance of this issue. We would certainly give the very fullest weight to representations made, as they frequently are in these circumstances, from the Opposition Front Bench and also to any substantial number of Members of Parliament from either side of the House who wish to make such representations. [HON. MEMBERS: "What does 'substantial' mean?"] I withdraw "substantial" and say "to all representations made".

On the question of public statements, the position is that we would wish to try to report to the House as far as we can on the Brussels negotiations, as fully and in the same sort of way as if the House were sitting. It is accepted that the best way of doing this would be for my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal to make as extended a progress report as he can and that this should be in the form of a White Paper. I give the undertaking that it will be in such a form. I cannot tell how many reports is would be appropriate to have, because that depends on negotiations which have not yet taken place, but the first of these reports would be as a result of the round of talks in Brussels which starts today.

I was then asked about Questions, again in the hypothetical event of recall. As I understand it, the position is that our rules of order rule out Oral Questions, but statements and Private Notice Questions are in order on those days. If there are matters very much in the forefront of the public mind, I give an assurance to the House that my right hon. Friends would be ready in one way or another, either by statements or in reply to Private Notice Questions, to give the fullest information to the House.

The right hon. Gentleman then raised a more difficult point about a debate on a particular subject. The subject he mentioned was probation officers' salaries. As a number of my hon. Friends pointed out, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), there would then be other claimants whose case hon. Members on either side of the House might wish to press. I will gladly consider this request, as long as it is understood that it is considered in conjunction with the others and in relation to the time available to the House. I do not think that it will be appropriate to give an undertaking on this point going further than that.

I do not propose to deal today with what I might call the merits of the case or the arguments for free speech and the law arising from these particularly vicious doctrines which are being preached at present, in view of the undertaking which I have given that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will answer Questions on this matter.

Mr. B. T. Parkin (Paddington, North)

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an undertaking to this effect? If a solution is found, after consultation with the lawyers, along the lines of the various Bills which are before the House, or which are to be put before the House, or along the lines of suggestions which have been made by my right hon. and learned Friend the ex-Attorney-General, to the problem of amending the Public Order Act by a single simple Clause which is easily understood, will he undertake to find time, if Parliament is recalled, to pass that amending legislation through all its stages? As it is clearly understood that the minimum debate would be required, this is something which everybody would desire and it would immediately strengthen the powers of the police.

Mr. Macleod

The hon. Member will have gathered from the reception which was given to the latter part of his inter- vention that, although we are all at one in loathing the sort of things which are said, we are not at one in the answers which we think should be found. I will put these matters, as they have been put to me, to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Withington (Sir R. Cary) referred to yesterday's debate on the Report of the Pilkington Committee. It is often true, especially at the end of a Session when one wishes to bring reports before the House, that there is a rush in these matters. I acknowledge that. We tried our best to expediate publication of the Pilkington Report. I think that we produced very swiftly indeed the White Paper which formed the subject of the debate.

The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) raised the question of the Closure which was moved on the Consolidated Fund Bill. Indeed, she raised the whole question of allocation of time. I have a feeling that there is something which is not wholly satisfactory here. I am not talking about the particular instance, but a suggestion occurs to me which I hope that the House will find acceptable. I do not want to go too deeply into details, but I tried to check my facts on the occasion in question and I have tried to check them again since. I think that I said to the House that there were at least four, and there might be six, subjects still to be dealt with. They were as follows—the question of probation officers' salaries, to be raised by the hon. Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner); the matters to be raised by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross); the matter which the hon. Lady herself wished to raise; and, although she has forgotten this, the question of world security, which the hon. and learned Member for Brigg (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu) wished to raise. Further, there was a possibility that other hon. Members would wish to raise questions, because notice is not necessarily given. The hon. Lady will recall that she herself gave notice—I am sure that she will be fair about this—only after the debate had started—in fact, at 9 p.m.

Miss Herbison

It was earlier than that.

Mr. Macleod

However that may be, it was after the debate had started. I am absolutely certain that the time taken— I must avoid using the word "allocated"; the point made yesterday was a fair one —of 30 hours is longer than has ever happened before, as far as we can trace, on the Consolidated Fund and amounts to no less than five full days on the Floor of the House.

One of the reasons why we found ourselves in this situation, although I make no complaint about it, was that some of the earlier debates ran considerably longer than the time we had suggested to the House. Hon. Members will remember that when I announced business— this business, because it came on a Monday, was announced twice on two successive Thursdays—I said that it was hoped that the debates on Southern Rhodesia and on the case of Mr. Rhydderch, of Birmingham, would take about half a day. In fact, they took a full parliamentary day, up to about 10 p.m.

I come now to the suggestion which I think I should make. We have a Select Committee on Procedure. I think that it would be of great advantage for the future if we discussed in this Committee whether it would be right to allocate time to subjects on the Consolidated Fund Bill, in the same way as Mr. Speaker allocates time for the Adjournment debates which we will be having on Friday.

Mr. G. Thomas

That would not be fair.

Mr. Macleod

I assure hon. Members that this would be more fair to them, because there would then be no risk of hon. Members being out out. If, in these circumstances, the main debate of the evening were on London's homeless, it would be perfectly proper to allot 6, 8 or 10 hours or whatever might be appropriate. Some discussion on these lines might prove fruitful.

Miss Alice Bacon (Leeds, South-East)

In support of what my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that it was remarkable that the Closure was moved immediately at the end of a debate promoted by the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward), which the Minister who replied to it said was nothing whatever to do with his Ministry but was a local government affair, and immediately before the question of the probation service to be raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner)? Was this because the Patronage Secretary feared the wrath of the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth more than that of my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, North-West?

Mr. Macleod

I do not know—I must ask my right hon. Friend for comparative judgments in that matter—

Sir B. Janner

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House why the debate was stopped when there were still four or five hours to go before it would be necessary to overlook the following day? Is he aware that it is because the Executive is taking this kind of action that we want a proper understanding before the Adjournment?

Mr. Macleod

I acknowledge that the hon. Gentleman was—and this is not true of all hon. Members who then wished to speak—in the Chamber all night, wishing to speak, and I am very sorry that he was not able to do so. I understand that there is a possibility that he may be able to speak on has subject tonight. If so, that will be very good. But, frankly, I do not take the view—nor, and I make the point again, did the Socialist Government when they were in similar circumstances, and moved Closures at midnight and at one o'clock in the morning—that it is necessary, in these debates, to keep the whole House, and all those who work in it, until the next day's business begins to run on us at about two o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Ross

The remedy offered is surely unfair, in that it relates to subjects. The rights that pertain under the Consolidated Fund Bill are Members' rights. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will think again of the ability of a Minister in timing his reply, and the right of Mr. Speaker to see someone who has indicated that he has prepared something that he wishes to raise, and get a solution in that way.

Mr. Macleod

That might be a very valuable idea, and it is conceivable that we could find a way of relating it to both Members and subjects. I should not have thought that this was beyond the wit of the Select Committee, but we can consider that matter.

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

Can my right hon. Friend explain to the House why it was that the Opposition did not vote against that Closure?

Mr. Macleod

It is true that the Opposition did not vote against the Closure. Incidentally, one can also make the point that a member of the Opposition tried to count the House out on the Bill, but I do not think that that would have been regarded with much enthusiasm by hon. Members on either side.

The question of Standing Order No. 112 was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates). Perhaps I could make one thing clear— because, of course, we are linking this to particular days in September. The hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) implied that I had announced that we would return for three days. I have not announced anything of the sort, nor have I said that we shall return, or any particular time when we would return if the circumstances arose.

I want to make it quite clear that the Standing Order operates from the moment we rise. To take a specific point put to me in conversation, it has been assumed by everyone that in no circumstances could we return before the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference. That is not so. Standing Order No. 112 would enable us to return, if necessary, a few days after we have risen. I make that point, because it is important to realise that the Standing Order begins to operate from Friday next, assuming that the House accepts this Motion.

The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) put with great sincerity his views on the matter on which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will answer Questions tomorrow, and I will convey the hon. Member's questions to my right hon. Friend. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Rosts) has displayed such a lack of faith in the Conservative Government, but no doubt he will return refreshed after an interval to torment us again, though I do not suppose that he will acquire much faith in the meantime.

The right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) referred to the Leonardo da Vinci cartoon and asked whether there is specific authority from Parliament for such use of the Civil Contingencies Fund. The answer is that there is such authority in general, but not, of course, in particular. There never has been. The point of the Civil Contingencies Fund is that this sort of operation—and, again, I do not argue the merits—can be carried out in advance of full parliamentary approval, which is later conveyed by a Supplementary Estimate and, in due course, by the Consolidated Fund itself.

The authority in this matter, which I quoted earlier, is the Miscellaneous Financial Provisions Act, 1955, when Parliament discussed and endorsed the need for such a fund, and fixed its limit. Therefore, the authority is, in effect, the authority of Parliament itself. I also make a point that this Fund, apart from being used for very many purposes indeed, has been used repeatedly since the war. I gave examples over the last two years, but examples of its use by both sides to finance special grants to purchase works of art in advance of the presentation of a Supplementary Estimate run back for a number of years.

My hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, West (Mrs. McLaughlin) spoke of Short Bros, and Harland in the context of the unemployment situation in Northern Ireland. As she knows, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation has just returned—I believe, yesterday—from a visit to Northern Ireland, where he had discussions with those concerned with the aircraft industry. Her Majesty's Government's policy towards Short Bros, is to wait upon decisions on the aircraft requirements, but I will give my hon. Friend an undertaking that those decisions will be taken as soon as possible; and that I will convey her anxiety to my right hon. Friend.

The hon. Member for Barking, apart from raising the question with which I think I have dealt, about how far the Home Secretary will be able to go on the general question of the recent disturbing riots when he comes before the House tomorrow, raised a matter with which I have some familiarity although, as he correctly surmised, not in detail. That is the question of the Maroons, in Jamaica, the descendants of slaves, who, for the reasons he outlined, have special historical claims. I will not attempt to dredge out of my memory as an ex-Colonial Secretary the impromptu answer, and I am sure that he will understand that, but I will undertake myself to write to him on the subject, and to go immediately into the points he put before the House.

To take just the one question of Welsh leaseholds—

Mr. Driberg

I am very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for what he has said, but would he deal with the procedural point I raised? Is he going to move to suspend the rule on the later debate?

Mr. Macleod

I had not planned to do that. I always think that for a debate of this nature, on the Common Market, suspension of the rule makes for the least satisfactory form of debate. It puts off the final contributions that are made. I had not intended, even if it were in order—and I imagine that it would have to be a manuscript Amendment—

Mr. Hector Hughes

The right hon. Gentleman has very properly given a number of undertakings to various hon. Members as to what he will do during the Recess. Will he undertake to press on the new Secretary of State for Scotland the disaster that is overtaking Scotland in the form of increasing unemployment, and ask him to make a statement of plans of a properly constructive Character to deal with that situation?

Mr. Macleod

I will certainly put to him the points which have been made in this discussion, particularly by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock.

The hon. Member for Cardiff, West asked about Welsh leaseholds and I think that he knows the position. The Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs put forward, I think to the Welsh Grand Committee, on 18th July, the whole question of the study of the problems of renewal of ground leases and said that it would take some time. The hon. Member for Cardiff, West will not, therefore, be surprised when I say Chat I have nothing to comment in advance of that today.

The last point I wish to make concerns the matter raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby (Mr. Wise), the hon. Member for Cardiff, West and a number of others. They asked that if we have to come back—and I must emphasise again that we are discussing a hypothetical situation, as the House appreciates—and we invoke Standing Order No. 112, there should be adequate time in which to discuss the important matter they raised. There are, at that time of the year, certain difficulties, to put it mildly. All the parties are busily engaged and, while no one denies for a moment the over-riding importance of this matter, I must reserve for the Government the question whether we should return.

However, I can give the undertaking that, especially this year, we will look most carefully at all the representations made to us under Standing Order No. 112.

Mr. William Warbey (Ashfield)

Can the Leader of the House give a specific assurance on a matter which is worrying my hon. Friends? Can he give an assurance—in view of the fundamental constitutional importance of the question of Britain's entry into the Common Market, involving, as it does, the transfer of legislative powers to a non-elected body—that no attempt will be made to obtain Parliamentary approval by means of a vote for the conditions of entry into the Common Market in any debate during the Recess?

Mr. Macleod

I would like, if I may, to leave the answer to that, because it is important that the words I use are carefully used. I would rather leave it to the debate which is just about to follow and which, I hope, the House will now be ready to begin.

Mr. Herbert Butler (Hackney, Central)

On a point of order. May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker? In my constituency last night there was considerable uproar and I have been sitting here all day trying to bring to the attention of the House important points which affect my constituency. I appreciate that many hon. Members have claims on the time of the House, but I notice that some hon. Members have secured time for an Adjournment debate on Friday. I must ask the House to give me an opportunity, at least of a few minutes, to say what my constituents are thinking about this matter.

Mr. Speaker

I do not observe the hon. Member's point of order. I understand his difficulty, but it is not a point of order. I might make this suggestion. If other opportunities do not arise—and I am not sure that I am right in remembering all the Adjournment debates which are to be taken—perhaps there might be an opportunity for the hon. Member to speak in that particular debate.

Mr. H. Butler

There may be an opportunity for me to speak in the Adjournment debate, but surely it is unfair that I should be second to someone else in an Adjournment debate concerning my constituency.

Mr. Speaker

There is some difficulty about that. Had the hon. Member applied for an Adjournment debate I would have considered his application along with the others. That, to the best of my knowledge, he did not do.

Mr. G. Brown

I can speak again only by the leave of the House. I hope that I may be allowed to do so, only to thank the Leader of the House for the way in which he has met most of the points put to him during this discussion by my hon. Friends and me. I wish, in particular, to express my appreciation to him for the arrangements that he is making for the Home Secretary to make a statement tomorrow on the urgent matter of the incitement to racial hatred and disaffection. We may yet have representations to make and we reserve our right to do so, but I thank the Leader of the House for making those arrangements.

May I now appeal to the whole House, since we have had a long discussion, to remember that we have an important debate ahead of us? This may well be the last occasion on which any voice from this House can be heard in Brussels before decisions are taken. Any further debate might well be after those decisions are taken. I submit, therefore, that some words from this House tonight would not only be in order, but are urgently necessary and I appeal to hon. Members now to let us proceed to debate the Common Market.

Mr. Herbert W. Bowden (Leicester, South-West) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

The House proceeded to a Division

Mr. CHICHESTER-CLARK and Mr. MARTIN MCLAREN were appointed Tellers for the Ayes, but no Member being willing to act as Teller for the Noes, Mr. SPEAKER declared that the Ayes had it.

Question put accordingly and agreed to.

Resolved, That this House, at its rising on Friday, do adjourn till Thursday, 25th October, at Eleven o'clock.