§ 4.9 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 until Tuesday, 22nd January.At this stage, I shall make only two brief points and if there is any comment on the Motion intervene, with leave, at a suitable point to make some response.
The first point is that the suggested Recess covers a period of 31 days and conforms precisely with the general post-war pattern. I do not think that I need go into detail on that. The other point is that Standing Order No. 112 makes it clear that even when we are adjourned, and representations are made to you, Mr. Speaker, by Her Majesty's Ministers that the public interest requires that the House should meet at an earlier time, if you are so satisfied, arrangements can be made.
Naturally, in considering whether to make those representations to you Her Majesty's Government would take into account any representations that are made to them from the Opposition or from other hon. Members in the House. I think that it would be convenient for the House if I limited myself at this stage to those two points, and with leave to reply.
§ 4.11 p.m.
§ Mr. George Brown (Belper)
Opposition to this kind of Motion sometimes arises for a number of different reasons. It could be that there is a special issue on which the House is not yet quite sure what will happen, in which case the point made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster that Mr. Speaker has power to recall us if he feels fit is a normal answer. Sometimes, the Motion is opposed because an hon. Member wants to make a propaganda point or two. Today, however, the circumstances are totally different. We are being asked to agree that Parliament should get up and go away for a month, not when there is one issue facing us about the outcome of which we are not sure, but when the Executive is in a state of chaos over the whole field.
All the Government's policies are now in a shambles. The country is worried 1099 about where we will be in a month's time on a whole range of matters. I find it very difficult to advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote for the Motion in this form. When the Executive totally fails, when Department after Department is in the chaotic mess that the Administration now is, it seems to me that the legislature—Parliament—then has to take over. That is our problem today.
Yesterday, we debated economic policy. We debated the shortage of work and the insecurity which is felt by people not only in the old so-called black spots, but also in what used to be prosperous areas. We face the fact that people feel very frightened about what the future has in store for them and it was made apparent to us that the Government have no policy for handling these affairs. They have no comfort to bring to Scotland, to Northern Ireland, to Wales or to the North-East Coast. What is even worse, they have no comfort to bring to the hitherto prosperous areas of the South-East and the Midlands.
We used to talk about moving work from the prosperous areas to the non-prosperous areas, but we cannot do that if the prosperous areas themselves find their rate of unemployment rising by as much as the average everywhere else. For us to announce that we are staying away for a month, thereby, as it were, allowing the Government to be saved by the bell from having to answer for their policies, is a course that the country would find difficult to understand.
The collapse of economic policy is not the only issue that is worrying the country. There is a total collapse of our defence policy. Yesterday, we had what I think everybody who heard it will agree was the most staggering statement from a Minister of Defence that we have ever had, even during the past eleven years. We are now told that we will try to insist upon an ally going ahead at its own expense with a weapon which it does not want, which, if we ever get it, will, said the Minister of Defence, be later than we need it, which will be less efficient than we wished and which will come at a time when other and better weapons exist. We are, presumably, doing this, because otherwise the Government would have to confess 1100 that all their policy assumptions over the last ten years have been wrong.
§ The Minister of Aviation (Mr. Julian Amery)
My right hon. Friend yesterday was not giving his opinion of the status of the programme. He was explaining certain views that had been put to him.
§ Mr. Brown
Oh, no. I asked the Minister yesterday whether he accepted the statement which he saw fit to include in his announcement. He did not answer me. I presume, therefore, that he must have accepted it, otherwise he would not have put it M. If the Secretary of State for Air, who is on record with so many vacillations and simulations over this matter, now wants to tell me that, although that was what the Minister of Defence said yesterday, he did not agree with it, I am happy to give way.
§ Mr. Speaker
I will tell the right hon. Gentleman where I think we are now. We are on the fringes of order on this Question. I will have to be stern about it, otherwise this debate, concerning the Adjournment, will go on too long.
§ Mr. Brown
We have now been given an additional reason for not agreeing to the Motion. We are now told that when the Minister of Defence came to the House yesterday he was neither approving nor disapproving a statement made by the American Secretary of State. Nevertheless, he commended it to the House. He made his statement to the House.
§ Mr. Brown
I am sorry, I cannot give way.
When Ministers seek Mr. Speaker's approval to make a statement, they have never yet said, "We are merely reporters." It would not be worth the time of the House or the impertinence of asking Mr. Speaker's approval if all that they were doing was reporting something which we can all read in the Press. What Ministers do is to make a statement of Government policy. [Interruption.] If we are to be told that the Minister of Defence yesterday did not make a statement of Government policy, that, surely, is a reason for not adjourning.
The Minister of Defence has gone off to the Bahamas, apparently, before making a statement of Government policy. The Secretary of State for Air is not doing him any justice.
§ The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Hugh Fraser)
My right hon. Friend is Minister of Aviation, not Secretary of State for Air.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
In present circumstances, how could the Minister of Defence make a statement about his policy until he has been to the Bahamas to find out what it is?
§ Mr. Brown
On defence matters, I am not always in accord with my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), but what he has just said is the only interpretation that can be put on the remarks of the Minister of Aviation.
To be told, as we were yesterday, that we are pressing the Americans for a weapon that is crucial to us and that all our defence turns upon it, even though we know that they, who know more about it than we do, say that it has all its defects, is such a tragic situation for the country's defence policy that for the House to be asked to go away and to stay away for a month, leaving it just like that, is impossible. I hope that the Minister will take cognisance of this. [Interruption.] There is no limitation on the debate and no reason why he 1102 should not say a word for himself. I am not sure whom the Minister is trying to help. We will willingly listen to him presently.
The situation is even worse than that. The Government have know from the outset that this weapon was dubious. They have had all the information that the Opposition have had, they were told when we were told that it was doubtful and they were told when we were that the difficulties were increasing, but, nevertheless, they have chosen to pin all their policy upon it and to deny everything that we have said, even though at the time Ministers knew that we were saying what they knew. To find ourselves now in a position where our whole policy is pinned to a weapon that will not arise means that the country's defence strategy is in total collapse.
We must know—the people outside expect us to ask—where the country's defences now stand, what arrangements will now be made for them and what alternatives are now proposed. We cannot leave this for a month—
§ Mr. Speaker
It is in order for the right hon. Gentleman to indicate the issues which give him anxiety in assenting to the Motion. That does not mean that anybody could here tell him what the policy should be or discuss what the arrangements should be.
§ Mr. Brown
Perhaps my last sentence did not quite register with you, Mr. Speaker, since I was on my way down and you were on the way up as I said it. I said that we could not leave matters in this state far one month. Who knows what we may be called upon to face during that month? Even a month's absence without a relevant, modern defence policy must be a matter of tremendous importance to us.
I do not see how one could possibly advise the country that it is right for Parliament to disappear for a month when the Government have not given a single answer to the issues of defence following the collapse of their cherished Skybolt. This never was a weapon, and Ministers knew it. But I shall not develop that point further. I see that you, Mr. Speaker, are only partially with me. I only hope that I have made the point.
1103 There is an additional reason why I find it difficult to advise my right hon. and hon. Friends to assent to Parliament rising for a month. That is the international situation. We have had no explanation of what the Government propose to do during the next month about the situation in the Congo. This is not a hypothetical situation. There is a very dangerous build-up of tension there. Up to now, however, the Government have offered no satisfactory explanation to us for having got themselves into the position in which Britain and France seem to be opposing not only the United Nations, but the United States and even Belgium as well. I must say that to have got the country into the position of opposing Belgium over what shauld be done about Katanga is a "magnificent" operation by the Government.
This is almost certain to develop during the next month. For the House to rise for a month, with no idea of what policy the Government will pursue in the Congo during that month, and with no opportunities to urge upon them the folly of the line they have been following, seems to us to be asking too much and to be entering on a course which people outside will not understand.
Then there is the Common Market situation, which will develop still further in the next few weeks. It is almost impossible to understand the policy of the Government towards the talks during the next few weeks. The President of the Board of Trade says, in words familiar to us on this side of the House, that it is all a matter of the terms and that the Government will not consider going in unless those terms seem to be much better than they currently are. We are told by other Ministers that there are alternatives we might pursue—and these words, too, are familiar Ito us. On the other hand, the Prime Minister and the Lord Privy Seal seem to be acting on the assumption that we are going in on the best terms available, whatever they are. The country is worried about all this. Wherever one goes one finds it an issue which excites and troubles people.
The recent public opinion polls have shown that the Government have steadily disappearing support on this subject. Yet we are being asked to 1104 depart for a month with no knowledge whatever as to where the Government may go in that time—or, indeed, who may prove supreme in the party opposite.
I would have liked to have devoted more time to these matters, but for the obvious problems I am running into. Our doubts are not the usual matter of form. They really are serious. We are faced with a Government whose policies are in collapse and most of whose Ministers are in total disagreement with one another. The nation, economically and internationally, is in trouble, and has no defences worthy of the name. At such a stage in the nation's affairs, only Parliament can act. Unless the Leader of the House can give a more convincing reason for the Motion, I find it impossible to advise my hon. Friends to assent to it.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Sir Harry Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)
The subjects touched upon by the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) are very important, but his arguments in connection with each were the wrong arguments in connection with this debate. If he had asked for an assurance that no vital decision would be taken during the Recess which would be likely to alter the policy of an independent nuclear deterrent in our hands, I would have agreed. But that was not his argument.
The right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to turn this occasion into a minor defence debate. He was really taking the statement by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence yesterday as his text. He assumed from that text a great many possibilities as being facts, which they are not. Obviously, there are risks, and we all know what they are, whichever way we consider the matter. The right hon. Gentleman was doing the country no service by assuming that the worst possible conclusions in my right hon. Friend's statement are facts, when they are nothing more than possible risks.
If we can have an assurance from my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House that, before we return from the Recess, no final decision will be taken by the Government regarding Britain's possession of an independent nuclear deterrent, I will be content to go away long enough to ensure that the Government have full opportunity of discussing the outcome of the negotiations when my right hon. 1105 Friends the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence and my noble Friend the Foreign Secretary return from the Bahamas.
§ Mr. G. W. Reynolds (Islington, North)
Bearing in mind the hon. Member's concern some weeks ago, is he happy to leave a decision of this kind in the hands of the Prime Minister?
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
I was saying that I wanted no final decision to be taken on these matters before Parliament reassembled. Had the right hon. Member for Belper argued on those lines I would have felt inclined to support him. Instead, he chose to put the worst possible construction on yesterday's statement by the Minister of Defence—a construction which can only weaken us in these negotiations with President Kennedy.
§ Mr. G. Brown
I put no construction on the Minister's statement which was not said by him. I will recall his words to the hon. and learned Gentleman. The Minister said:From the point of view of the United States, the weapon is proving more expensive than originally estimated; secondly it looks as though it will be late and possibly not so efficient and reliable as had at first been hoped; and, thirdly, alternative weapon systems available to the United States Government have proved relatively more successful." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th December, 1962; Vol. 669, c. 894.]All these things are apparent in the United States. Does the hon. and learned Gentleman think that they are not equally relevant and applicable to us? Does a weapon that is inefficient for the American forces become efficient for the British forces?
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
As long as the right hon. Gentleman does not go on calling me "learned" I will endeavour to answer.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
My right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence was stating an opinion, expressed in the United States. We know that the opinions expressed in the United States are by no means unanimous, and it is very unfortunate that the right hon. Member for Belper chose to put the most gloomy construction on those words.
1106 I come back now to the main point of whether we should go away for 31 days or not. So long as we have an assurance that no final decision about the British policy of an independent nuclear deterrent will be taken while we are away, I shall be agreeable to the date remaining as suggested by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.
I agree that unemployment, too, is a very important subject, but I cannot believe that a fortnight one way or the other will make a great deal of difference to this matter, especially when we know that the present forecast is that soon after the turn of the year the peak will be reached and the figures are expected to come down. I hope that they will, and that the date will be earlier than anticipated.
As regards the Congo, I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that if there were to be a major change of policy while we were away it would be a mistake for the Government to do that without recalling Parliament, but if we have the customary assurance of my right hon. Friend that the usual procedure will be followed over recalling Parliament, I should be agreeable to that. I consider that this is not the moment to give anybody outside this country the impression that those snow meeting the President of the United States and the Secretaries of State in the Bahamas do not have our full support in standing out for this country in the best way possible.
Finally, may I ask my right hon. Friend one other question arising from the statement made by the Home Secretary today about the question of Services candidates? As it is proposed to deal with the immediate by-elections by administrative methods, may I ask that we postpone setting up the Select Committee until we come back, because I think that it might be profitable to have a day's, or half a day's, debate on whether we want a Select Committee to do this. I feel that it would be a pity if, because Christmas is drawing so near, this were done on the nod, because it is rather like taking a bulldozer to crack a nut.
§ 4.22 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)
I agree with every word said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brawn), although I hope that I will 1107 not be ruled out of order for saying that. I entirely agree with what my right hon. Friend said, and, therefore, I will not waste the time of the House by repeating or underlining what he said on the matters he raised.
I wish, first, to raise an entirely different question, but one which I believe is of great importance, certainly to a number of constituencies in the country, and one about which the Government had plenty of warning, because last week, when I asked the Leader of the House when we were to consider this Motion for the Adjournment, I made it clear that we were hoping to have a statement from the Minister of Power on the subject of the proposed, or suggested, take-over by Stewart and Lloyds Ltd. of the Whitehead Iron and Steel Company Ltd.
We hoped that we would have had a statement on the matter from the Minister of Power which would have made it superfluous to raise the matter in the House, but the statement which we had from the right hen. Gentleman yesterday has only made the situation worse, and I think, therefore, that we ought to have a further statement from the Government on the matter before the House agrees to depart for the Christmas Recess.
This is a serious question, affecting the whole steel industry of the country, and it seems to me particularly serious that at a time when the steel industry is running at about 70 per cent. of capacity action may be taken by one of the big steel firms which could only contribute to greater difficulties, at any rate in some parts of the industry. We therefore have to consider what would be the results, and what might happen if this proposed take-over bid of Stewart and Lloyds were allowed to go ahead.
The Minister of Power, in his replies yesterday, did not seem to have very much information on the subject. He said that he had talked to the chairman of the company, but he had not done much else, and as far as I could see he was not proposing to take any further action, but the situation is that if Stewart and Lloyds takes over the Whitehead Iron and Steel Co. this would gravely affect a number of other steel companies. In particular, it could have an effect on Richard Thomas & Bald-wins Limited and its operations not only 1108 in Ebbw Vale, but in other parts of Wales. It could have a very serious effect, because hitherto the Whitehead Iron and Steel Co. has been one of the chief customers of Richard Thomas & Baldwins, and therefore this company has a right to be considered in this matter.
After all, Richard Thomas & Baldwins is national property, and the Government surely have a duty to look after national property. Therefore, if a takeover bid by a rival steel firm were to be injurious to Richard Thomas & Bald-wins, the Government would, or should, immediately be concerned with the matter. We in this House have every right to be suspicious of the Government in this respect, because we had an example only a year or two ago of what happened in the steel industry when the House went off for the Summer Recess. A few days after the House went into recess the Government sold off the remaining parts of the publicly-owned steel industry. We therefore have every reason for being suspicious of the Government's behaviour in this matter.
On Monday, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) put it to the Minister of Power that he should do something about this, and I fully expected that the Minister would at least show some real concern about the situation, particularly as it is suggested in the Economist, for example, that this proposed Stewart and Lloyds' take-over may be the beginning of further take-overs in the steel industry. Do the Government think that it is not a rather serious matter that the steel industry, particularly in its present condition, should be treated as though it were a kind of plaything by some of these great steel masters? Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this is a matter for which the Government have no concern?
Look at the answers given by the Minister of Power when questions were put to him. He said:It is bound to be a little time before any results of their discussion"—that is, the discussion of the proposed take-over by Stewart and Lloyds—emerge…How long? What is the Government's view? Is it not possible that if the Government did not take action this takeover might go ahead during the Recess 1109 when the House was not sitting? What is the Government's view about that?
The Leader of the House has had some warning on this matter, because he knew that we would raise this question today if we did not get satisfactory answers from the Minister of Power yesterday, and nobody could call them satisfactory. The Minister of Power also said:It is bound to be a little time before any results of their discussion emerge, and it would be quite impossible for me at present to answer the latter part of the supplementary question about the precise operation of Whitehead's if this transaction takes place.There is no great difficulty in the Government discovering what would be the result of a take-over of Whitehead's. Have they asked the management of Richard Thomas & Baldwins what would be the effects? Surely, if a takeover bid is to be put through which could have serious and injurious effects on a national property, Richard Thomas & Baldwins, the Minister and the Government have an elementary duty to take the precaution of discovering the views of the company and the consequences, or possible consequences, of this transaction.
But that was not the worst of it. The Minister went on to say:I said quite clearly to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that I would certainly consult the Board formally if it became necessary for me to do so.How is the Minister to find out whether it is necessary to do so if he will not consult the steel firms concerned? He then said:I do not think that that point has been reached. Whether it will be reached in the future I do not know. I and the Government would watch employment, but it might be that if this transaction came off the effect on employment would not be deleterious but might be an improvement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th December, 1962; Vol. 669, c. 892.]How does the Minister come to that conclusion if he has not consulted some of the steel firms which have been supplying steel to the Whitehead Iron and Steel Company in the past, and which may be excluded from selling steel to that company in future if this take-over went through? How can the Government give the impression that it might improve the employment situation? The Minister of Power—if that is his proper title; 1110 I thought that he might be re-christened the "Minister of Impotence" in view of his answers yesterday—should be prepared to take this question very much more seriously. The steel industry is in a serious plight. The Government should be considering measures to enable it to be restored, and I think that it would be improper for the House to depart for a lengthy Recess without having very much better guarantees from the Government than we have so far received.
I therefore ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us an assurance that if there is any suggestion whatever of this take-over bid being followed through while the House is not sitting, the Government will intervene to stop it, by asking the Iron and Steel Board to do it, or by doing it themselves direct, or by using their financial control over the industry. I ask the Government for a specific guarantee that they will not permit this take-over bid to go through until the House of Commons has had a chance of debating the whole matter, which will mean after we return from the Recess.
I wish to support the general contention of my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper—and no doubt it will be supported by others. The Government's whole policy is in a shambles over a wide area, but particularly on the issue of Skybolt and the collapse of the policy of the so-called independent nuclear deterrent. In view of that, there ought to have been arrangements for a full debate in the House on the consequences of what has occurred, because it may be that we will be committed by what the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence may decide in the Bahamas.
The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) is very easily satisfied if he thinks that all we need to do is to have confidence in these Ministers, the same Ministers who have misled the country about the nature and capacity of Skybolt for two years. Why we should have confidence in them at this moment passes all comprehension. Nobody knows what the Prime Minister will bring back from the Bahamas. I do not know whether there are enough pheasants and hares in the Bahamas. I do not know how he will fill in his time.
§ Mr. Foot
Surely the whole House recognises that the collapse of the whole policy tied to Skybolt has raised an entirely new situation. If the House is to be jealous of its position, it must insist that the whole consequent association of British strategy and the nuclear deterrent and how it operates should be fully debated in the House. It ought to have been debated before the House breaks up on Friday, but we could return earlier to debate it.
The proper course, following from what my right hon. Friend has said, is to vote against the Government's Motion. If we defeat them, they will have to think up a new proposition and give us some answers to our questions. However, in particular, I should like a specific answer to my specific question about the steel industry.
§ 4.34 p.m.
§ Mr. William Yates (The Wrekin)
Before we agree to this Motion at a time of good will and happy Christmas feeling, I want to ask for certain assurances from my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House on a matter of some constitutional importance which cannot be simply left while we all go away for Christmas. As hon. Members know, the House cannot argue with Members in another place, but to go away for the whole of the Christmas Recess feeling that a constitutional matter has not been ventilated cannot be right. Therefore, unless I can have a definite assurance from the Leader of the House, I propose to oppose the Motion on specific grounds, and I think that the Leader of the House should be aware of them.
It is no fault of the Leader of the House, or of anybody else, that the Foreign Secretary is in another place.
§ Mr. Yates
The Prime Minister may have chosen to appoint as the head of one of the great Departments of State someone who is in another place. Constitutionally, it is extremely difficult for the Foreign Secretary to criticise hon. Members here, or for us to make any references to him in this place. Therefore, there are only three ways in which 1112 I or other hon. Members who wish to disagree with the head of this great Department of State can do so: he can invite us to his room to have a chat with him in private—and he is an extremely busy man—he can write to us, or we to him; or he can make statements in the Palace of Westminster, or attack or criticise an hon. Member on an open public platform.
There are some constitutional difficulties in this matter and I want the Leader of the House to consider them. Will he have a word with the Foreign Secretary on his return and suggest that if, in future, it becomes necessary for him to criticise an hon. Member, he should endeavour to notify the hon. Member and to enable the criticism to be made by a member of the Government from the Dispatch Box? He should not criticise hon. Members anywhere in the Palace of Westminster when the hon. Members concerned are absent from the country and do not know of the criticisms. That is quite fair and reasonable and in accord with the courtesies and dignities of the relations between this House and another place.
§ Mr. Lipton
Will the hon. Gentleman make it clear—and we are following his argument with great interest—whether the criticisms about the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) were made in another place, or some other other place in the Palace of Westminster?
§ Mr. Yates
The hon. Member already knows, so there is no point in his saying "Oh."
The Leader of the House might also care to look at one other problem. When hon. Members are in foreign countries, Her Majesty's embassies give them certain courtesies, which are not expected but which are most welcome. When hon. Members recently visited the Yemen, Her Majesty's representative, for some reason best known to Her Majesty's Government, did not meet the members of that group. Will my right hon. Friend 1113 inquire whether the Foreign Office discouraged the representative from meeting us, and why it was necessary for him to send only his clerk? I do not complain and I am glad to have communications from legations from anybody. Clerks are splendid people and are able to help.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir William Anstruther-Gray)
Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member for the Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates), but I am finding it difficult to relate what he is saying to the Question which we are debating, which is whether we should adjourn on Friday until 22nd January.
§ Mr. Yates
I realise that the subjects which I have been raising deal with the relationships between ourselves in this honourable House and the head of a Department of State in another place, but I feel that matters of this nature cannot be left anyhow over the time of good will and Christmas. If we can have the assurances I seek from the Leader of the House, I shall be satisfied, and I am sure that other hon. Members will be satisfied. I do not wish to detain the House further.
§ 4.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Ifor Davies (Gower)
I appreciate the importance of the matter referred to by the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates)—although he may have been out of ardor at times—but I wish to return to the question referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot). I wish to reinforce the deep concern which he expressed about the proposed takeover of Whiteheads by Stewart and Lloyds. My hon. Friend referred to the inadequate reply which the Minister of Power gave yesterday in respect of this matter, and particularly to the grave concern expressed by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice).
There was one point to Which my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale could also have referred to arising from the reply given yesterday by the Minister of Power. The Minister said:I…am taking steps to inform myself as far as possible of what is happening…"—[OFFICIAL RFPORT, 17th December, 1962; Vol. 669, c. 893.]1114 My hon. Friend has spoken of the gravity of the situation and some of the things which might happen. I want to go a step further and tell the Leader of the House that if this merger takes place it is almost certain that production will be transferred from Newport to Corby, with the result that the last remaining steel works in my constituency—the R.T.B. Elba Steelworks—will be threatened with closure, because it is one of the best customers of Whiteheads and devotes practically all its production to that firm. On many occasions Whiteheads has paid tribute to the quality of the products of the Elba Steelworks. The importance of this matter cannot be overemphasised. No fewer than 450 men employed in these works are facing the prospect of losing their jobs if this merger goes through.
I wish to reinforce the plea made by my hon. Friend to the Leader of the House that nothing should be done in connection with this matter during the Adjournment, and before we have the opportunity of discussing some very disconcerting aspects of the proposed takeover bid.
There has been a very close and friendly co-operation between White-heads and R.T.B. There is a traditional history of very friendly relations between the two organisations. Indeed, R.T.B. has been the main suppliers of steel to Whiteheads. An indication of this close relationship is provided by the fact that the managing director of Whiteheads is also on the Board of R.T.B. Will the Leader of the House tell the Minister of Power that we expect him not only to look into the matter, but prevent any action being taken before we have had a chance of discussing it here?
There are many other things to which I would have liked to refer, but they may be out of order in a debate of this kind. I feel that the Minister has sufficient powers vested in him under the Iron and Steel Act to see that this matter is carefully looked into by the Iron and Steel Board—one member of which is the managing director of Stewart and Lloyds—and that this House will have the opportunity of ensuring that the whole question is investigated before the livelihood of so many men in Wales is adversely affected.
§ 4.44 p.m.
§ Dr. Alan Glyn (Clapham)
I am not entirely happy about going off for the Recess and leaving in abeyance a very important constitutional question, namely, the question of Service men leaving the Services by putting their names forward as candidates for Parliament. This process is bringing the whole of our political system—and, indirectly, this, House—into great disrepute throughout the country. This is not a party matter; hon. Members opposite are as concerned as are my hon. Friends and I.
When the average elector reads in the newspapers of a great number of candidates standing for various constituencies he cannot but wonder whether the whole of our political machinery is in danger. I shall not now inquire into the reason why certain members of the Services use this method of exodus to obtain their discharge; that is something which can be dealt with more properly in another debate and at another time. But I am satisfied that the Government have had reasonable warning that this would happen, and in my opinion should have taken earlier steps to see that something was done about it. This matter could be regulated quite easily between the two parties in the normal course of business, because there is no dispute about it. In those circumstances surely we ought to arrive at a solution, rather than go away for the Recess leaving the matter in abeyance.
The hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) pointed out the great difficulties of arriving at the so-called easy solution, which is obviously that these men—whether officers Or other ranks—should be released only for the period of the election, and then called back if they are not elected. I believe I have the argument of the hon. Member for Dudley correctly in saying that the difficulty is that this machinery can be adopted only during a war, and it cannot be made applicable to present circumstances.
Nevertheless, earlier we heard the Home Secretary say that this matter could be dealt with by administrative means. If we have the administrative means, surely we could have used them already. That is what I cannot understand. I hope that my right hon. Friend will deal a little more fully with this matter, which is exercising the minds of the public.
1116 If any machinery can be devised whereby the various arms of the Services an, able to release candidates purely for the period of the election and then, if they are not elected, can compel them to return to the Services, it will be an extremely useful solution. I understand that there are legal difficulties attached to the problem, but it ought to be possible to arrive at some ad hoc solution by agreement between both parties within the framework of the existing law, whether under the Army Act or the Air Force Act, to make it impossible for Service men to use this means of obtaining their release and so bringing into ridicule the whale of our political structure. I hope that my right hon. Friend will make definite approaches through the usual channels to see whether an intermediate interlocutory process can be devised which will enable us to halt this process until the matter has been reviewed by the House.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
As a matter of guidance, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, is it in order to discuss something that is being referred to a Select Committee? The matter is in such a state of confusion that I am not sure about it.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not take me too far. I hope that the House will keep to the subject under debate, which is the question whether or not we should adjourn on Friday and return on 22nd January.
§ Dr. Glyn
I hope that I have not trespassed on your good will for too long, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I felt that this was a constitutional question which we ought to consider in this debate, because it is exercising the minds of the electorate. Before we depart for the Christmas Recess we should give the matter some thought. I hope that my right hon. Friend will give me a better assurance than merely telling me that administrative action may be taken.
§ 4.49 p.m.
§ Mr. Anthony Greenwood (Rossendale)
It is gratifying to know that the hon. Member for Clapham (Dr. Glyn) and the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) share the disquiet that the Government Motion has provoked. As is so often the case in matters of personal propriety and public delicacy, I stand shoulder to shoulder with the hon. Member for The Wrekin. Like him, I resent the animadversions which the Foreign Secretary made upon him, and I hope that the Leader of the House will be able to give the hon. Member the assurance for which he asked. If that assurance is not forthcoming the hon. Member for The Wrekin will be quite right to express his perturbation by voting against the Motion.
I am disturbed by the proposal contained in the Motion, although my constituents will be even more disturbed. I feel it is wrong that Members representing constituencies in north-east Lancashire should, in the present situation, contemplate taking over a month's holiday when so many of their constituents are in enforced idleness.
The unemployment figure for Bacup, in my constituency, is 3.7 per cent. of the insured population unemployed. That is only one town in an area where the figure of unemployed is high. In Colne it is 4.2 per cent. and in Burnley it is 4 per cent. During the summer the figure goes as high as 7 per cent. We are all distressed to hear from time to time about redundancy in the railway or the shipbuilding industries. But I think there is insufficient appreciation of the fact that during the last eleven years 50 per cent. of the labour force in the cotton industry has become redundant.
The number employed in the industry is about half what it was when the present Government came to office. There was nothing in the speeches from the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Minister of Labour yesterday which indicated that they were fully seized of the seriousness of the situation. In protest against the apathy, indifference and the inability of the Government to cope with the situation, I think that we should oppose the Motion.
I wish to go further. I do not think that the fault is altogether with the Government. To some extent it is the 1118 fault of this House as a House. I should like us to come back a week earlier from the Christmas Recess than is proposed by the Government so that we may have a full and searching inquiry into the structure of the House and the way in which the business is conducted.
The other day we had a concession from the Leader of the House, which I greatly appreciated, in respect of the visits of the Gentleman-Usher of the Black Rod. This arose from an incident over which I hope that I did not embarrass Mr. Speaker too much. But I felt it necessary to protest against the way in which traditional practices were interfering with the manner in which this House conducts its affairs. To me, it seemed absurd that when we have pressing problems with which to deal, part of the time of the House should be taken by observing some mediaeval practices in the way in which they are observed.
To me, it seems odd that we should spend days of Parliamentary time discussing the details of the Finance Bill which few hon. Members are sufficiently equipped to discuss with the care and attention that such details require. It is also very odd that we should spend a great deal of time discussing detailed proposals when we do not have time to discuss major issues of defence, education, the care of the aged and all the other broad principles to which I believe that an Assembly of this kind should devote itself.
I therefore propose that the Government should amend the Motion before the House so that we may come back earlier and have an inquiry into the conduct of the House before it becomes necessary to hold a post mortem.
§ 4.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)
I heard with great pleasure the speech of the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), who opened the debate from the Opposition Front Bench. He was good enough to say that he did not always agree with me on matters of defence, but that on the occasion when I intervened in his speech he did agree with me. I wish that our differences had always been confined to defence matters. But there are other 1119 issues to which, from time to time, we have arrived at rather different conclusions.
§ Mr. Ellis Smith
Then I will try to put it in such a way that the hon. Gentleman will follow it. Why decide to emphasise those differences today when we are all in agreement?
§ Mr. Silverman
If the hon. Gentleman could have possessed his soul in patience for little more than 90 seconds longer, he would have found that what I was saying was only a preface to saying what he has just said for me.
I agree enthusiastically and warmly with everything which was said by the right hon. Member for Belper, not merely on the defence aspect but on all other matters. I am grateful to him for saying it and I hope that our agreement will at least last to the end of the Chamber and that we shall not part company in the Division Lobby. I shall be happy to follow the right hon. Gentleman the whole of the way.
I know, as all hon. Members know, that these debates on a Motion to adjourn for a period—that is not quite the same as having a debate on the Adjournment—are, in a sense, common form. If hon. Members were thoroughly honest, they would agree that there is a certain amount of humbug about them, in that a great many people would be disappointed if the proposition for which we contend so enthusiastically were by some chance to be carried—
§ Mr. Silverman
But that in no way weakens the constitutional propriety and importance of raising these questions when we have this customary opportunity to raise them.
As was said by the right hon. Gentleman, there are particular reasons for advancing the proposition today with real sincerity, in that we should all be 1120 happy to cut down the length of the Adjournment period by a week or ten days if that would give us an opportunity to deal with some of the things with which we should like Parliament to deal and which, so far, we have been prevented from dealing with by the Government.
I suppose that there has not for many years been a Christmas period when right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House had to go back to their constituents and offer them such cold comfort as we have to offer them today. Yesterday, we discussed not the unemployment situation of the country, but specific aspects of it—spots of unemployment here, there and somewhere else. It was just the luck of the draw whether the plight of a hard-hit community found that its grievances were voiced in yesterday's debate.
When I first came to this House there was a mass unemployment problem. I suppose that there were then more than 2½ million unemployed. The problem was a national one. Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that we had a national problem, albeit on a smaller scale. But it is of the same nature today. The right hon. Gentleman also said that there are, riding on the crest of the wave of disaster as it were, over and above the general level of misery arising from long-continued unemployment, certain places in the country which had been singled out as scheduled areas, distressed or special areas of local unemployment where the miseries of unemployment were intensified in a localised form.
One of the saddest things, to my mind which occurred on that former occasion—we are getting back to that situation again now—was to see hon. Members on this side of the House, concerned equally with the troubles of everyone and anxious to relieve them, compelled, and rightly so, by local loyalties to compete with one another for the odd crumbs of comfort which the Government were prepared to dole out.
§ Mr. Silverman
Yesterday, the debate was concerned, in the main, with particular areas which have justified themselves to the President of the Board of 1121 Trade as entitled to the advantages—such as they are, they are not very much—of being scheduled under the provisions of the Local Employment Act. It would be quite wrong on this occasion to argue the merits of one area against any other. The reason why I am dealing with the matter today as a reason for advising the House not to accept the Government's Motion for a month's adjournment at this time, is that if the House were to vote that it should go into recess for four weeks from next Friday it would be encouraging the President of the Board of Trade in his gross dereliction of duty and gross discourtesy in respect of the area of which my constituency forms a part.
I appeal to the Leader of the House. If he wants this Motion to be carried, will he use such influence as he still possesses—I am sure that he must still possess some—with the President of the Board of Trade to persuade him not to keep running away from his job? I want the Leader of the House to persuade the President of the Board of Trade to face up to the facts of a particular situation and not to persist in a flat, unconditional refusal to meet the Members of Parliament for the area concerned to discuss the matter with him, even privately, at the direct request of the local authorities concerned.
I have many papers here, but I do not want to go through them. It would be quite wrong, however, to make such a charge as I have made without putting the House in possession of the bare facts. My constituency consists of four or five different authorities. There is the non-county borough of Colne, there is the non-county borough of Nelson, there are the urban districts of Barrowford, Brierfield and Trawden. This conurbation—a dreadful name to use—shades almost imperceptibly into the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley (Mr. D. Jones), and further, until it includes just the tip of the constituency of Clitheroe, most of which lies outside this kind of area and is not faced with this kind of problem, and which is represented by an hon. Member opposite.
This area is especially hard hit, and always has been. My hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Greenwood) has spoken of the state of the 1122 cotton industry and unemployment in his area. He was more than justified in calling attention to that, but compare it with my area. I am now doing what I thought was a sad thing to find hon. Members doing when I first came to the House, but we have to do it. Compare my hon. Friend's constituency with Colne, where unemployment is 9.8 per cent., Nelson where it is just under 7 per cent., Padiham about the same, and Burnley, where it is about 7 per cent. Padiham has always been the least hard hit, but it now has mare than 7 per cent. unemployed. All these areas were once grouped together in a Special Area. In 1959, under the Act as it then was, they formed the North-East Lancashire Development Area. The area was so designated until in July, 1959—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
I am most reluctant to interrupt the hon. Member, but I hope that he will try to relate this debate to what we are now discussing.
§ Mr. Silverman
Perhaps I may say again, if I did not make it clear, that the President of the Board of Trade has refused to discuss these matters with us. He was requested by the local authorities to do so. He has been requested by the three hon. Members concerned, and he has refused. He has also refused to speak in the House about it. He has refused to receive a delegation from the authorities concerned. I am not prepared to vote that the House shall go into recess for one month until the President of the Board of Trade has undertaken to bring to an end this gross abdication of his responsibilities.
I hope that I am not boring the House with these human tragedies. It is necessary that the House should understand whether the President of the Board of Trade was acting reasonably or unreasonably in refusing to see us. If it was a trivial matter, no doubt he was reasonable enough but if it was an important matter he would not be reasonable in so doing. I am bound to tell the House what the facts are so that hon. Members can judge whether it is reasonable or not and call upon him to see us even now before we adjourn on Friday. I hope that I have made clear that although I am not discussing the merits of the matter as an unemployment problem, or what the President of 1123 the Board of Trade ought or ought not to do on the merits of the situation, I am well within the rules of relevancy in saying that the President of the Board of Trade was utterly wrong, and remains utterly wrong, in not discussing this matter about which my hon. Friends and I would like to see him.
In July, 1959, the area was a Special Area. It had never been a Special Area, before but it was then. It remained one until the right hon. Gentleman's party won the General Election in that year. The first thing the Government did when they came back to power was to repeal the Act and to enact the present Act, which prevents them from dealing with areas as areas and compels them to deal with odd spots of exceptional unemployment scattered about the country. Immediately, the area was unscheduled and it has remained unscheduled ever since. The position has been getting catastrophically worse month after month and year after year until, on 16th November this year, the joint local committee sent a memorandum to the President of the Board of Trade drawing his attention to the situation and to how rapidly it was deteriorating.
I will not discuss that, but I ask hon. Members to believe me when I say that it supported what I have been saying. It supported the percentages of unemployment and the way in which the situation has been deteriorating over that time. When the committee sent the President of the Board of Trade that memorandum, it wrote a letter to each of the three Members of Parliament concerned, to me in particular. The letter asked whether I would take the initiative in trying to arrange a non-party, non-political so far as we could make it, deputation to the President of the Board of Trade of the three hon. Members whose constituencies were involved in this situation, two on this side of the House and one opposite. I ascertained from the other two hon. Members whether they were willing to come, and both said that they were. I telephoned to the President of the Board of Trade's secretary and he told me that the right hon. Gentleman was going to Paris in the following week and, therefore, could not see us immediately, but he would put a note on the board telling us when he could see us. No note came.
1124 A few days later I wrote to him a latter seating out what had happened so far and asking again if he would arrange to see us. He wrote back saying that if we had anything new to say no doubt we could say it to his Parliamentary Private Secretary. That is all. I wrote back and said that it was not for me to say whether the facts of the situation were new to the President of the Board of Trade or not; I would find that out—and no doubt a number of other things—when I came to see him. We were anxious to see him. We asked to see the President of the Board of Trade, not his Parliamentary Private Secretary. I have every affection and respect for him, but he is not the President.
Before writing that letter I consulted my hon. Friend, and I also consulted the hon. Member for Clitheroe (Mr. F. Pearson). They both said that they quite agreed that it would not be right to discuss this with the Parliamentary Secretary and that we ought to see the President of the Board of Trade—and the President ought to see us. I say that especially, because the hon. Member for Clitheroe has published a letter which is not quite accurate. In it he said that he was willing to go with us to see the President of the Board of Trade at first, but that, when the President said that we should see the Parliamentary Private Secretary, he parted company from us. He did not part company from us. Before writing my letter saying that we wanted to see the President of the Board of Trade, I asked him specifically whether—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
Order. I find it difficult to understand how the hon. Member's difference with another hon. Member can be relevant to what we are debating now.
§ Mr. Silverman
I think that its relevance will be clear by the time I have finished. I say that in all sincerity. One cannot lay out all the parts of a case in one single breath. One has to do it part by part, in the hope that the relevance of the whole will be seen when the picture is complete. I ask your indulgence in this matter, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
The point which I am making, and why I am making it at this point, seeks to show what the whole course of events was, because, as I shall show in a 1125 moment, the President of the Board of Trade has entered into cahoots with the hon. Member for Clitheroe to prevent the deputation from going and yet to provide himself with an alibi. We shall see what happened, because I wrote to the President of the Board of Trade when, in reply to my letter, I received a printed postcard four days later telling me that the communication had been received and was receiving due attention. I wrote back to him and said that that was not enough and that unless I heard from him within two days that he was ready to see us at some time convenient to himself, I should assume that he was unable or unwilling to see us.
I then received this extraordinary letter from the President of the Board of Trade. So far, I have been talking only of discourtesy. I am not talking about incompetence. It is a very short letter. He wrote:My dear Silverman,I am not sure whether when you wrote to me you were aware that the North-East Lancashire Development Committee had written to me direct requesting that North-East Lancashire should be registered as a development district under the Local Employment Act, 1960.The right hon. Gentleman had been told that not merely by me but by the committee concerned on 16th November and he knew, or ought to have known, perfectly well that the whole of the correspondence which we were having arose out of the fact that the committee had sent him that memorandum and had asked me to ask him for an interview about it.
The first part of his letter, therefore, is either a deliberate piece of gross offensiveness, or it shows that the President of the Board of Trade, when he wrote his letter, had not troubled to read the correspondence at all. It goes on:I have replied fully to this letter and you may find it useful to have a copy of what I have said.The right hon. Gentleman sent me a copy of what he had said. I shall not read it, or discuss it in any way, but I want to point out in support of what I am saying by way of criticism of the President of the Board of Trade that that reply to the communication of 16th November was dated 12th December, the day before he had written to tell me about it. He had not merely written 1126 this direct, but he had gone behind the correspondence to find some alibi, or excuse, for not seeing my hon. Friend and myself. The extraordinary thing is that a week before that, the hon. Member for Clitheroe had written to the secretary of the committee a long, long answer containing the exact argumentation, word for word, as was contained in the right hon. Gentleman's letter to them of 12th December, a copy of which he sent me on 13th December.
I say that this is not the way in which a senior Minister ought to treat Members of the House of Commons concerned about the affairs, the misfortunes and, indeed, the tragedies of their constituents. I am bound to say that I say this with regret in the case of the President of the Board of Trade. I have been a Member with him in the House far many years. I have never known him to fail in courtesy before. I have never known him to behave in this way before.
If I may say so without impertinence, I should not have thought that it was in character for him to behave in this way. But whether it is or not, I say to the Leader of the House that he ought not to allow the House to disperse, and that as far as I am concerned I shall not allow the House to disperse, while Ministers deal with serious matters of this kind in the cavalier fashion which the President of the Board of Trade has shown.
There is nothing in his answer. It is merely a rehash of all the old arguments. Unemployment is not unemployment if it is among women. Unemployment is not unemployment if it is among juveniles. Unemployment is not unemployment if it is only part-time. It is not unemployment if there are to be jobs in some other industries in a few years time. All this is in the letter. There is nothing new in it at all.
It is because the committee found it impossible to shake the President of the Board of Trade out of his callous indifference that they asked Members of Parliament to see him and to see what enlightenment they could bring to him. I can only suppose that the President of the Board of Trade behaved in this uncharacteristic way because he knew perfectly well that he had no answer to the criticisms which were 1127 being offered to him and was not willing to face the music when those of us whose responsibility it is as much as his wanted to discuss it with him.
I say nothing about all the major matters which have been discussed hitherto in the debate. I have said already that I agree with what has been said, and I apologise to the House for seeming to make so much of what might to them look like a purely personal and individual constituency, individual member, grievance or complaint. I do not offer it in that spirit. But what can happen to the Member of Parliament for Burnley, or Nelson and Colne, can happen to any other Member of the House unless Ministers are to be held strictly to their responsibilities and unless Ministers are to act with ordinary good manners to the people who have responsibilities to discharge, just as the President of the Board of Trade himself has responsibilities which he ought to discharge, but does not.
§ 5.19 p.m.
§ Mr. J. A. Leavey (Heywood and Royton)
I was much refreshed, and I am sure the House was, by the opening observations of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) about his new relationship with his right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown). That was in keeping with the spirit of the season. I was also interested in his reference to the use which traditionally is made of this debate and his reference to the word "humbug".
I cannot say that I welcomed very much else that I heard from the hon. Member, and in particular I was sorry to hear the figures which he quoted relating to unemployment in Nelson and Colne and other nearby towns. I say that for two reasons—first, because they do not coincide with the figures which I received this morning which relate to those districts. I ask the indulgence of the House for one moment if I quote what the hon. Member gives as the unemployment figures and the figures which I received this morning from the Ministry of Labour.
§ Mr. D. Jones
On a point of order. Whether these figures are relevant or not, are they germane to the argument about the Adjournment of the House?
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir William Anstruther-Gray)
Yes. The position is that certain figures have been quoted from one side of the House and it is only fair that, if they are disagreed, the other side of the House should be given the opportunity of giving a different version.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
The House will be aware that I have been in some difficulty in keeping hon. Members within the terms of what I thought was in order. I saw fit to allow the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) to quote same figures. The responsibility was mine. Having done that, it is incumbent on me to allow contrary figures to be given, if it is so desired.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Further to that point of order. May I very respectfully say that I am very grateful to you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for allowing me to quote the figures, and I certainly would not wish in any way that any other hon. Member should not have the same privilege as I was accorded. I hope that the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Leavey) will give his figures. What I might be allowed to say is that the figures I quoted were not mine. The figures that I quoted were given to me in the memorandum which the Town Clerk of Burnley, on behalf of the joint committee, submitted to the President of the Board of Trade. He assured me that they were official figures.
§ Mr. George Wigg (Dudley)
Further to that point of order. I do not want in any way to inhibit the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Leavey) in giving his figures, but are we not in some danger from the fact that the Chair increasingly rules in accordance with the convenience of the moment and not in accordance with the rules of the House?
§ Mr. Wigg
I am sorry if I have said anything which is out of order. I have noticed during the years I have been here, particularly in recent times, that this is an increasing habit. The interpretation of the rules is varied according to the convenience of the Executive. This is a highly dangerous procedure and could best be overcome if the Chair performed its duty to the House and did not interpret the rules as it thinks fit but only in accordance with their meaning—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
One phrase which I hope the hon. Gentleman did not mean was when he said that the Chair rules in accordance with "the convenience of the Executive". There is no truth whatever in that. The House is aware that this is not a very easy question to keep within the strict bounds of order. I have endeavoured to keep it within the bounds. I allowed one hon. Member to quote figures and I propose to allow an hon. Member on the other side to correct those figures if he thinks that that is his duty.
§ Mr. Wigg
Further to that point of order. If what I said is capable of any misunderstanding, I want to make it clear that I certainly have not in mind any reflection on you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, as the occupant of the Chair. However, I have noticed—I should be failing in my duty if I did not point it out—that there is an increasing tendency on the part of the Chair to interpret the rules in the light of expediency rather than in accordance with their strict meaning. I think that this is—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
Order. I hope that the hon. Member will not go further along that line, because it would soon become a criticism of the Chair and this would not be the right and proper time to proceed with any such criticism.
§ Mr. Leavey
Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I would not seek to make your task any more difficult, and if it was felt by the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) that it was his duty to make that point I leave it with him. I simply go on to make an observation about the figures given by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne. I would say to him as a matter of courtesy that I studied these figures because I live almost within his constituency and work within it. I was interested to compare these figures with 1130 those prevailing in my own constituency. The figure which the hon. Gentleman gave for Burnley was about 7 per cent. The figures which I received this morning from the Ministry of Labour read as follows: Burnley, including temporily stopped, 3.5 per cent.; excluding temporarily stopped—in other words, wholly unemployed—2.9 per cent. The hon. Gentleman's figure for Nelson was under 7 per cent. The figures I have got from the Ministry of Labour today are as follow: including temporarily stopped, 3.1 per cent.; for wholly unemployed, 2.5 per cent.
The figure given to the hon. Gentleman for Padiham was apparently 7 per cent. The Ministry of Labour's figures are as follows: including temporaily stopped, 5.3 per cent.; for wholly unemployed, 2 per cent.
§ Mr. Leavey
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will allow me to finish my figures. I understand that the hon. Gentleman's figures for Colne was 9.8 per cent. The Ministry of Labour's figures are as follow: including those temporarily stopped, 3.9 per cent.; for wholly unemployed, 2.7 per cent.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne has sought to intervene and, although I do not wish to detain the House undully long, I shall certainly give way to him if he seeks to make a point of clarification, but not, I hope, to make another speech.
§ Mr. Silverman
I have already done that. As my figures have been challenged, I want to tell the hon. Gentleman—I thank him for giving way to enable me to do so—that the figures I quoted were carefully collected by Mr. C. V. Thornley, the Town Clerk of Burnley, who is also the secretary of a joint committee representing all the local authorities concerned in all these areas. Whatever the Ministry of Labour may have told the hon. Gentleman, the figures I quoted are accepted by the President of the Board of Trade in the letter he wrote only this week to Mr. Thornley in reply to these representations.
§ Mr. Leavey
That seems to indicate that at any rate the system of collecting the figures needs examining. Assuming that the worst is true, I hope that the 1131 hon. Gentleman will not make it his business to make it more difficult for us in Lancashire to stop the southward flow to which the hon. Gentleman has referred in many speeches, because if we paint a worse picture than need be painted we do a great disservice to our constituencies in the North in the context of this current argument of two nations. I very much hope that those who have the honour to represent Lancashire divisions will do their very best to reverse this process. To emphasise figures—figures which I am bound to say I doubt, without being discourteous to the hon. Gentleman—would be a great disservice.
With regard to the Motion, you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, have allowed us some leniency, which I do not seek to abuse. I wish to put my right hon. Friend a rather different point. I have heard the whole of the debate. It seems to me that the pleas made by hon. Members have been that the Government should not do something during the Christmas Recess without either the recall of Parliament or some reference to the House. My plea to my right hon. Friend is that he should make representations to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade on a rather contrary basis, namely that he should not feel inhibited or be prevented from taking some action. I mean that he should not feel prevented from including under the benefits of the Local Employment Act, such as they are, any area which might qualify in his judgment between now and when we re-assemble. This is a rather different point from that made by hon. Members.
The point made by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne that it is a matter of luck very largely whether one has high or low employment figures is also open to challenge. I hope the hon. Gentleman will go with me at least as far as saying that it is not just a matter of luck and in Lancashire we have adapted ourselves remarkably to the changed pattern of industry.
§ Mr. Leavey
Will the hon. Gentleman for once relax in his place and allow me to finish what I am going to 1132 say? He is not seriously denied the opportunity to express his views in the House and I hope that he will allow me to express mine. I urge the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne to use his good offices, with me if necessary, to make it understood by everyone just how remarkable has been the success of Lancashire in adapting itself to change; to learning new skills and attracting new industries in spite of a long and continuous background of a dwindling cotton industry. This is indeed not just a matter of luck. Credit is due to Lancashire in this respect, and I hope that some of my hon. Friends will reinforce this.
Mr. Deputy-Speaker has been good enough to allow some leniency in this debate, and I reiterate that the President of the Board of Trade should not feel inhibited or in any way prevented, between the time we rise for the Christmas Recess and return, from including in the provisions of the Local Employment Act any area which, during that interval, seems to qualify.
§ Mr. Silverman
Does the hon. Member not realise that what I said about luck was said in a completely different context and that his remarks completely misrepresented what I said? When I spoke about things being a matter of luck I was not talking about Lancashire but about the luck of the draw, as it were, in a debate in which a great many hon. Members wish to speak about similar things affecting different areas. The luck of the draw referred to that and that alone. I feel the greatest admiration, as the hon. Member knows, for the initiative and constructive imagination which the local authorities in these hard-hit areas have expended over the years to keep their heads above water, but the hon. Member must not misrepresent what I said.
§ 5.32 p.m.
§ Mr. George Wigg (Dudley)
Six years ago almost to the day—on 20th December, 1956—my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Cross-man) and I sought in the Adjournment debate on the Christmas Recess to press for an inquiry into the conduct of the Suez operation. We were not successful, although we did evoke the last speech made in this House by the present Lord Avon. We went away unsuccessful in 1133 our pleas that there should be an inquiry into the facts of that operation, and when we returned we found a new Prime Minister and a completely new defence policy.
Lord Head, who was the Minister of Defence, was out of a job. We had the present Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations—and all that flowed from that fact. In my view, the plea we made then was right and the plea I make today is equally right; that the House should not go away for a month when the defence policy of this country is in a complete turmoil. It is palpably clear, whatever one may believe the cause to be, that the Government have lost grasp of the situation. But, even more important, the country is largely in ignorance of what it is all about.
The House of Commons as a unifying force and as a platform where matters can be debated and the facts elicited, established and challenged, has changed. In past times, facts and figures could be probed and challenged until, gradually, the truth emerged. When that happened the ordinary man in the street, at the time of a by-election or a General Election, was able to make up his mind and reach his political decision in the light of those facts.
Now the House of Commons contemplates dispersing for a month when the Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister of Defence, has gone off to the Bahamas. That in itself is bad enough, but what are the other sources of information available to the public? As times change increasing reliance is being placed on radio and television. Here is a medium which goes right into the homes of the vast majority of our people and one would have thought that great care would have been taken to ensure that the facts are objectively presented through this medium. Such subjects as Skybolt and all that goes with it are matters of direct concern to the pockets and well-being of every citizen, young and old; such matters are not merely of abstract importance.
Last night I watched the programme "Panorama". I do not have a television set in London but I managed to see the programme and after a few minutes of watching it I telephoned the B.B.C. and said, in effect, "I have not listened to 1134 such unadulterated muck in all my life." There was not the slightest attempt at objectivity in the programme. It was based on ignorance—I will not use the word "prejudice" because it was not intelligent enough to be prejudiced—and it represented a polite version of nothing.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member's remarks are interesting, but he must direct himself to the Question before the House.
§ Mr. Wigg
With respect, Mr. Speaker, I have not strayed a millimetre from the rules of order. I can assure you of that. It is my case that the B.B.C.; television—and I use that word in the context of both mediums—have a special duty. They have, in fact, taken over one of the functions of this House.
§ Mr. Speaker
Perhaps I should explain. I follow that this is completely valid on this Question and that it is wholly made by saying that the B.B.C. and I.T.V., or whatever it is, have failed to discharge their duty, without describing the programme and so forth.
§ Mr. Wigg
I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker, and I have that clear in my mind and I hope that you will allow me to finish what I was saying. The fact that they failed in their duty was an additional argument why the House should remain in session. The fact that the House has failed to discharge part of its responsibility, for that job has been taken over—and the organisations having taken it over have not fulfilled the task properly—is a fundamental reason why he should stay in session. I hope that I am making my position clear.
In any case, I turn from the use of television to the Press. We have had previous examples on other occasions when the Prime Minister has gone away. He went off on another trip three years ago and the headlines said things like, "Macmillan will talk from strength". That was about Blue Streak. In the early part of this year—and I have a great deal of sympathy with the Americans when we think of the way they were treated by a previous Minister of Defence—we had this Athens N.A.T.O. conference and we saw how the Americans were treated.
1135 If hon. Members complain about Mr. Macnamara's reaction to their piccolos they Should have another look at the Daily Herald. On 2nd May, after the American State Department had put out the statement that the American Government had taken a certain line, we found the announcement in the Daily Herald:Kennedy swings over to Britain's H line".That nonsense was reproduced in The Times a couple of days later. Why? The simple reason is that the public relations department of the Government, the only part of the Government Which works full-time, had sold a line—that was the result of 20 minutes talk between the Minister of Defence and Mr. Macnamara. President Kennedy had changed American defence policy to suit our convenience.
Naturally, it made the Americans hopping mad and I think that that was one of the reasons for Mr. Acheson's speech. They have not forgotten what happened at Athens and they were making certain that, when it came to Paris, things would take place in a different atmosphere. In this connection, the last thing I wish to do is to trespass on your kindness and indulgence, Mr. Speaker, but these are not the only examples.
I urge hon. Members to recall the question of the handling of the problem of young men who want to escape from the Armed Forces by becoming or attempting to become hon. Members of this House. What happened a week ago last Wednesday? There was a sunshine story fed out by the Government's public relations department which every newspaper carried the following day. Consider the lead story in the Daily Telegraph and one would think that the whole matter would be simple and straightforward; that it would be taken in one stride. A Bill would be introduced and everything in the garden would be lovely.
However, we are still waiting and what is true of the call-up of these young men, what is true about Blue Streak and Sky-bolt, runs right the way through the whole of our defence policy. There is one thing at which the Prime Minister is a master—the game of party politics as it is played in this country. Many times he has attempted, regardless of the consequences 1136 to the country, to steal the clothes of my hon. Friends. He won the 1959 General Election that way. But there is a settling now. That settlement is the ultimate part of the price of our weakness. The Prime Minister can go to Llandudno and present the Common Market for a great tour de force, and everything in the garden looks lovely until the Lord Privy Seal gets to Brussels, when he finds that it is a bit difficult.
It is for this reason that I want the House to stay in session, because I think it is absolutely fundamental that in every aspect of our national affairs—the Common Market, economic policy and its relation to unemployment and defence—the first charge on a democracy, and the one thing that should combine both Front Benches here, is the fact that if they want to get effective action, and if they still believe that effective action is possible, they must believe in the integrity and courage of their fellow-countrymen, and must be prepared to undertake the elementary task in a democracy of telling the electorate the truth, regardless of whether it is good or bad, and this is the theme which I have run ever since I have been in the House.
If there is a failure in the British people, if their integrity has been sapped by the Welfare State, as we are so often told it has, if they are suborned by high wages and comfortable living, then we are decadent and there is no future for us. I do not believe it. My reading of history tells me that the British people have never failed when they have been told the truth, but they are not being told the truth and they have not been told the truth.
Take the Llandudno conference and the question of the Common Market in relation to defence. Let me read some words which appeared in nobody's paper, and which were never uttered from the Government Front Bench:In 1958, Britain tried but failed to negotiate a link with the Six based on tariff adjustments. Today, Britain must begin by accepting without qualification the terms of the Treaty of Rome, plus all of the policy decisions that have since been adopted by the Six. Her bargaining power in the Brussels negotiations is marginal.
§ Mr. Wigg
I will tell my hon. Friend who said it in a moment, but let me read another passage, to surprise the Front Bench opposite about the position of our bomber force:The British strike force is already approaching obsolescence. Its credibility as an instrument of British policy is steadily declining. Its future, if it has one, may be as a contribution to and an integral part of a multi-national 'European' force. This would seem to be consistent with the logic that is moving Europeans these days.This never appeared in full in the British Press. This comes as a surprise to hon. Members opposite. My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ellis Smith) asked me who said it. This was a Staff Study, prepared for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, and printed on 14th September, 1962. This was available to everyone, and this may come as a surprise, perhaps, for its startling comments escaped our Press. There is and there has been a conspiracy to blind the British people as to the realities of our defence situation, until the Government went to Athens and to Paris and were brought face to face with the facts and the truth could no longer be concealed.
I could give more examples from last week's Press on the issue of Skybolt. There has never been a beginning to tell the British public that the Americans, for example, are this year putting up 375 million dollars in order to get their B52's what they call remanufactured. There has been no attempt whatsoever to tell the people that, even if we had Skybolt, we have not got the bombers. The V-bomber, by every standard, is obsolescent, and the Americans know it.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. On that point, it would appear that the hon. Gentleman is arguing the merits of certain matters relating to defence, and, clearly, that cannot be related to this Motion. I must ask for his help about this. I do not mind one or two examples of his proposition that people are never told the truth, but on this question there must be some limit to the number of examples.
§ Mr. Wigg
I am fully seized, Mr. Speaker, of the point that you wish me to take. It is that these examples must not be overdone, but I only do it to 1138 strengthen and buttress my argument that the House ought to stay in session and ought not to be prepared to go away to await the will of the Prime Minister. As I pointed out, six years ago my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East, and myself made exactly the same plea to the present Lord Avon. We said, "Don't go away for the Christmas holidays, but stay on here to examine Suez". How much better would this country have been if the advice had been taken and if there had been an attempt to understand Why it was, leaving aside the rightness or the wrongness of it, that we were incapable of carrying through that operation.
How much would we have saved in terms of prestige and money, but we have not learned from that lesson. In 1956 we went away and back we came in January to find the Prime Minister and all his family, including the present Minister of Aviation, who had his place after double-crossing his Suez friends, still there, and we are stuck with them. Not only are we stuck with them, but the country is stuck as well. I see that an hon. Gentleman shakes his head.
Let us turn to what happened last August. We rose at the end of July, but we had not been gone for more than a few days before the Minister of Defence announced the cancellation of Blue Water. What was the consequence to the Army of that decision? No British atomic tactical weapons, no replacements for the Corporal. Last Christmas, they cancelled the PT 428, which means that there is no replacement for the Bofors and thus no modern anti-aircraft gun. Moreover, there is no sign of a replacement of our out-of-date transport aircraft. Of the "shopping list" which the Minister of Defence announced at the beginning of August, not one single item had been ordered by the end of October.
This is the situation, and the Government ask us to go away and wait until the Prime Minister comes back with one of those bromic communiqués of which he is such a superlative master. We must go off on our holidays to the end of January, the eve of the defence debate before we can ascertain and evaluate real defence facts. This is not a party matter at all. It is a matter for the whole country, because we shall soon be committed to the expenditure of 1139 another £2,000 million, and the one thing about which we can be absolutely certain is that what the Prime Minister will be looking at is not what the effect wild be on the nation, but what the effect will be on the political fortunes of the Conservative Party. This is the fact, and I do not want to keep the House for a single minute longer than is necessary, but I do want to join with my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) in his plea that we should not let the Government go away.
May I say, in conclusion, and this is something I have said before, and I mean every word of it, that I do not believe that these problems can be solved by any one party. I welcome the decision of the Government to appoint a Select Committee on the question of the young men coming out of the Army. The Government are not being asked to put their pride in their pockets. I wish they would send the Service Estimates, which must now be taking some sort of shape, to a Select Committee, so that, behind closed doors, men of good will from all sides of the House, but with a majority for the Government, and with the Minister of Defence in charge and the Service Ministers there, too, could hammer out the difficulties, see whether we could maximise the area of agreement, whether we could not follow the American example and, having fought our political battle, try to elevate defence policy above party. I understand the difficulties faced by my right hon. and hon. Friends, but I thought that the suggestion made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Vassall case was a very wise one—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I have a duty. Will the hon. Member be good enough to relate his observations to the Question before the House?
§ Mr. Wigg
No, I do not want to come back early. I do not want to go away. I want the House to continue to sit. If may hon. Friend wants Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, I do not mind, but I want the House to remain sitting, and implement the wise and valuable suggestion made by my right hon. Friend the 1140 Leader of the Opposition in regard to to the Vassall inquiry. He then said that where the Government went wrong was that they started to give him and my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper the brush-off, and try to play their hand from a party angle.
I do not ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to do this as an act of great generosity, or in denial of the facts of political life, but our defence policy is in great danger. It cannot be put right in two years, nor in five years, because these weapon systems take a long time to plan and produce. This is one additional reason for not having a recess.
If, therefore, there is acceptance that we cannot base strategy on the success or failure of a weapon system, whether it be Skybolt, Blue Streak, or any other weapon, we have to approach the problem having in mind the basic needs which enable the country to live and prosper and exercise its influence. Against that we have to balance very limited resources, and the mare effective we try to become the narrower the resources become because, in a democracy, there is a point beyond which one cannot ask the country to go.
For all those reasons, I think that, with the policy collapse that was outlined by the Minister of Defence yesterday—something that must be regarded as the collapse and humiliation, not of the Conservative Party but of this country as a whole—we should go on sitting. I believe that the genius of our fellow-countrymen is such that if that first requirement is met—that they are told the truth—there is some hope for the future, but if the House of Commons does not discharge its job and take the steps it should to establish the facts, if we have vast instruments of communication like television and the radio being used as soporifics and not as invigorators, and if we have a Press which, by any standard of judgment, is incompetent, the future of the country and of the British people—indeed, the survival of democracy itself—might be called into question, because one of the basic and first requirements of a democrat is his capacity to make up his mind, often on very limited evidence.
That becomes even more difficult if the sources of evidence are denied, or are corrupted and polluted as they are at the present time. If that is so, then 1141 the future is indeed black. I, therefore, hope that the House will support my right hon. and hon. Friends in opposition to this Motion.
§ Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth)
Before the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) sits down, there is one thing I should like to mention. I purposely did not interrupt him, because I was very interested in his speech, but he said one thing that I am sure he did not really mean. He accused my right hon. Friend the present Minister of Aviation of having betrayed his friends at the time of Suez. I was very proud to have been a friend of his at that time—I hope that I still am—and I was not aware that he betrayed me.
§ 5.58 p.m.
§ Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it not a breach of our customary courtesies towards those who have sat throughout the debate seeking to speak for the Minister not to wait until they have been heard? Is it not quite out of character, and out of keeping with the way in which we normally behave in this debate?
§ Mr. D. Jones
I have a further point of order, Mr. Speaker. I speak with some indignation if it is the intention of the Leader of the House to close this debate. As he well knows, I have been mentioned on several occasions during this debate, and my constituency has been similarly mentioned. He will be aware, also, that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has 1142 given the House certain figures concerning my constituency. He will be equally aware that those figures have been challenged by another hon. Member—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member rose to a point of order. He should be addressing me about something. I do not know what he is doing.
§ Mr. Speaker
If the hon. Member wishes to direct observations to the Leader of the House, he should not adopt the device of rising on a point of order, on which I heard him.
§ Mr. Jones
The point is that I should be heard [Laughter.] Notwithstanding the laughter, I stick to my point. If I might direct myself to you, Mr. Speaker, my reasons for wishing to speak are that I have been mentioned, my constituency has been mentioned, and certain figures in relation to my constituency have been mentioned—which figures, in turn, have been challenged by an hon. Member opposite. I feel that I should have the right to reply to those three points before the debate closes.
§ Mr. Speaker
I dare say that they have been mentioned from time to time, but that does not constitute a point of order.
§ Mr. Lipton
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Will you indicate that the fact that the Leader of the House is intervening now does not necessarily mean that the debate on this Motion concludes when he resumes his seat?
§ Mr. Macleod
I am sure the House will realise that it is always difficult to judge the moment to speak, because one has to think not only of courtesy to those hon. Members who have spoken and who may wish to speak in this debate, but also to those who wish to speak in the main business of the House which is naturally—and rightly, I make no complaint—being delayed by this matter.
1143 It would probably be most convenient if I tried on this very wide-ranging debate—as it always is, because it covers the responsibilities of many Ministries—to deal with what I might call the individual points first, and then to deal with the larger points raised, particularly, by the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown)—
§ Mr. Macleod
No, I would rather not at this stage. I have said that I will deal with the individual points raised by hon. Members—
§ Mr. Rankin
Then perhaps I may ask the right hon. Gentleman a question. Is he following the precedent of others who have intervened at this stage in these debates in the past—like the Deputy Prime Minister; merely intervening in the debate?
§ Mr. Macleod
I am speaking at this stage because I caught Mr. Speaker's eye.
My hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) raised a number of points. I do not think—and I say this with respect to him—that he is right to try to bring to the Floor of the House a disagreement about what may Or may not have been said at a private meeting within these precincts.
As for the direct point which he put on the question of journeys and visits to the Yemen, I can tell him that there is a letter, which I think he now knows about, on the way to him from the Foreign Office and that in particular our representative in the Yemen, Mr. Gandy, was of course sent instructions that visiting Members of Parliament should have extended to them the normal courtesies.
The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot) and the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. I. Davies) raised the question of Stewarts and Lloyds and the Whitehead Iron and Steel Company. The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale, of course, found that the reply to the Private Notice Question given yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power was unsatisfactory. The hon. Member will not expect me to agree with him in that point of view, but one or two points were mentioned which, without interminably carrying forward the discussion which 1144 we had yesterday, perhaps I could develop.
There was the question whether we knew the views of Richard Thomas and Baldwin in this matter. R.T.B. shareholders are, of course, I.S.H.R.A., and R.T.B. has informed the Agency of its views on this matter and we are aware of them. The particular point I was asked was how long the negotiations would take and whether they would come to a head during the Recess. I cannot be specific about this. How long the negotiations take is, of course, inevitably a matter between the companies. Certain procedure has to be gone through, and naturally, as my right hon. Friend said yesterday, the powers of the Government in these matters are not unlimited. My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) and my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Dr. Alan Glyn)—
§ Mr. M. Foot
Is the right hon. Gentleman leaving the question of Stewarts and Lloyds? Will he answer my question? I asked for a guarantee from the Government that if there was any possibility of this take-over going through before the House had had a chance to discuss it the Government would intervene. Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not they would intervene?
§ Mr. Macleod
I said precisely that I could not say how long the negotiations would take. As for the question of information and the rest, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power, in my view, made the position entirely clear yesterday. Three hon. Members referred to the statement made this afternoon—
§ Mr. Paget
Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves that point, may I say that it is not a question of not knowing how long these negotiations take? What we are discussing is whether the House ought to rise for the Recess. Here is something affecting the vital interest of the country, and we ask for an assurance that if hon. and right hon. Members go away for the Recess no irremediable step will be taken meanwhile. This is an assurance which we ought to have.
§ Mr. Macleod
I understand that entirely, and I have said that I am not 1145 able to give that assurance. Hon. Members, in the light of that and of the rest of my reply, will have to make up their minds about the attitude they take to the Motion before us.
§ Mr. I. Davies
I explained in my comments the gravity of this matter and indicated that if it goes through it implies that the steel works in my constituency is faced with closure. Surely that is serious enough to demand the attention of the right hon. Gentleman and of the Government?
§ Mr. Macleod
I do not deny for a moment the importance of the matter which has been raised. That, with respect, is not in dispute. I think that there is some dispute, which was ventilated in the House yesterday, as to whether this closure or merger, if it takes place, would have precisely the effect which the hon. Member has said; but naturally the question of employment is and must be one of the first concerns of the Minister in these matters.
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement this afternoon about the question of ex-Service men in particular in the by-elections. My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely, my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham and the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) have made some reference to it. There is a great deal of common ground between us on this. We are all agreed, first of all, that something must be done. I think that we are all agreed that it is of great importance that if there be—if I can put it this way—one just candidate amongst all those who may apply, it is, if possible, absolutely desirable to find a method that would allow such a man to put his name forward whatever the policies he wishes to advocate. This is common ground between us.
Because there is a considerable House of Commons interest in this matter, we thought it right to appoint a Select Committee. My hon. Friends dissented to some extent from this. My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Ely put forward a suggestion about legislation. It may well be that the Select Committee will come to precisely that answer, but there are, as the hon. Member for Dudley indicated, wide repercussions in this problem, and I think it is only right that a Select Committee should examine them. 1146 I think that we are doing exactly what my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham suggested. He said that we should find an ad hoc solution within the existing law by agreement as far as possible between the two sides of the House. With respect, that is exactly what we have tried to do.
We have had discussions on these matters and, subject to the one most important point which has been raised and which I have described as the one just candidate, I think that there is the general agreement which my hon. Friend suggested we should seek. I suggest. and I here agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley, that it will be right to have a Select Committee, that we will be right to set it up at once, and that it would be right for the Committee to examine urgently and see whether it should report to the House urgently and separately on this issue.
The hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Greenwood) made a number of points about the conduct of the House and our proceedings and said that it was in many ways archaic. I am bound to say that I agree with him, although the hon. Member for Dudley took the matter into fields into which at the moment I would not wish to follow him. The hon. Member for Rossendale suggested that we should look at these matters. There is machinery in existence which can do precisely that.
It was because people felt, and I certainly felt as Leader of the House, that there was this need that we set up the Select Committee on Procedure. It is now considering a matter of great importance to us all, the question of the sub judice rule. When that is finished, there are about ten other matters which have been suggested. One mentioned by the hon. Member today is the question of taking at least part of the Committee stage of the Finance Bill upstairs. We should have to agree on the order of work from amongst these matters. Therefore, we have the machinery which I hope we shall be able to use effectively in the time in front of us now to deal with these sort of matters.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) came to an important matter which was referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for 1147 Heywood and Royton (Mr. Leavey). The hon. Member for Burnley (Mr. D. Jones) also made reference to it.
§ Mr. Macleod
I take the two points which the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne made separately. He complained partly of discourtesy and partly of what I might call the heart of the case in relation to his constituency. On the question of discourtesy, I am sure that the hon. Member knows, and it has been my experience sometimes, that Ministers are often so enormously busy that, with the best will in the world, it is very hard to fit in engagements. He knows that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade has and always has had special responsibility in these matters. Nevertheless, on this particular matter he spoke with a good deal of feeling, and I shall put the point he has made to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I am very grateful for what the right hon. Gentleman has said, and I await the outcome with interest and hope. I am an old Member of the House of Commons, and I have always realised that a Member cannot see a Minister just when he wants to; the Minister may have other things to do. But, in all the twenty-seven years I have been here, I have never known a Minister flatly to refuse to see a Member at all.
§ Mr. Macleod
The hon. Gentleman will know that I should not wish to go into more detail on this because, naturally, it is a matter about which he has more knowledge than but I have undertaken to put the point to the President of the Board of Trade.
Of the general question, there was some dispute about figures. In the spirit of Christmas, perhaps, I suggest that both sides of the House were right, although their figures differed widely. The figures given from this side of the House were, it is true, the figures which the Ministry of Labour collect and provide which we have always used in the House for these purposes. But, of,course, there is the special problem—I know this area quite well—of many people whom the ordinary net does not collect, people who for 1148 various reasons are not insured. One of the problems, and one of the matters in dispute between the Board of Trade and the hon. Gentleman, is simply the question of what, for the purposes of the Local Employment Act, should count as unemployed. The President of the Board of Trade has said, and we have always held this view, that the wholly employed are those who for this purpose count for benefits under the Act. I think that it is really on that point that the dispute between the hon. Gentleman and my right hon. Friend has arisen. There can be no question that this is a serious problem in the area, and I do not for a moment wish to underestimate it.
I turn now to the main problems which have been put to us, questions of the Congo, defence policy, general economic policy, unemployment and so on. We had a debate on some of these matters yesterday. The right hon. Member for Belper referred to our policy in relation to the Congo and said, as part of his argument, that it was wrong for us to go away while these matters were still unresolved. But, of course, our policy in regard to the Congo has not altered. We have consistently looked for the peaceful reunification of that country. We want to see the reunification of that country. We do not recognise, and we never have recognised, Mr. Tshombe's administration in Katanga as an independent Government. But we do not believe that a political settlement can be achieved by force, and we wish to see it achieved by negotiation. This is the view which Her Majesty's Government have always taken in this matter.
As regards recent events, I should have thought that, on the whole, they were, if only marginally, a little more hopeful. I should have thought that the recent initiatives which have been taken and the response which Mr. Tshombe has made to them were encouraging. That, at least, is the view Her Majesty's Government take. On the question of whether the House should wait in suspense, as it were, for something to happen at the United Nations, as I understand it, no United Nations meeting on the Congo has been planned. Of course, it does not follow that there will not be one during the period for which it is suggested we should be in recess, but I do not know of one at present.
1149 Equally, as regards the Common Market, we all know of the great events, the great meetings, which are to take place in a few weeks. There may well be moments of considerable importance perhaps early in February or some time like that, but by then we shall have returned and my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal will be able to make statements to the House in the way he usually does.
Similarly, in connection with what has been said about defence, I ask the House to appreciate that these matters are being discussed in the next few days by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of this country, with the Foreign Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence.
I return to the point I made in my short intervention at the beginning. It is always possible for the House to be recalled by the operation of the Standing Order with which the House is familiar This is done on representations made by Her Majesty's Ministers to you, Mr. Speaker. I repeat the undertaking which I gave earlier, that in this matter we should be very ready to consider not just official representations made by the official Opposition but any representations which Members might wish to put to us in these matters.
I feel, therefore, that both on the small events—"small" is the wrong word; I mean the individual matters which are, nevertheless, of great importance which hon. Members have raised today—and on the great issues which unquestionably are of enormous importance, we can rest upon the Standing Order which we have. I invite the House, therefore, to accept the Motion.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
Will my right hon. Friend give us an assurance that what he has just said means that there can be no question of changing the big decision about an independent nuclear deterrent for Britain without the House being reassembled?
§ Mr. Macleod
I said on that and on the other matters that there has been no change in Her Majesty's Government's policy.
§ 6.18 p.m.
§ Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)
The Leader of the House is not very clear when he tells us that there is a pro- 1150 cedure for recalling the House. The House can be recalled if something new emerges which should have the attention of the House. Nothing new has to emerge in a whole series of things which are here before us and which ought to be receiving our attention. That is the case which the Opposition puts.
We have had from the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) and from my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) two cases of gross personal discourtesy to Members. That is the sort of thing which happens when a Government get rattled and begin to lose grip. Ministers behave in that way.
There is the problem of Stewarts and Lloyds. Here is a vitally important matter affecting the steel industry in South Wales and possibly involving the removal of facilities from South Wales and taking them up to Corby. We are given no assurance at all that, if we go away, the Government will see that no irrevocable decisions are taken. They ask us to go away at a time when Parliament will be made incapable of doing anything before the final decision is reached. I regard that alone as a sufficient case.
There is the question of the by-elections. I have no particular objection to the solution which the Government have proposed, but why now? They had warning of this problem early on when a captain of the 16th Lancers demonstrated this method. But, as always happens with this Government, they simply allow their difficulties to pile up and then ask us for help. At this stage they ask us to give them arbitrary power to restrain the recognised civil rights of soldiers until they have been advised by a Select Committee which could and should have been working nine months ago. They say, "Let us do this arbitrarily without supervision of the House and at a time when we ask that the House shall go away." That is our objection.
Finally, I come to what seems to me to be far and away the most important question—the nakedness of this country's defences is exposed. I say "exposed", because we have been naked in this respect all along. This idea of an independent deterrent has never been anything but a pretence. This island is not 1151 so geographically placed that it could take independent nuclear action, but this pretence has been made as a substitute for providing the country with the real defences which it needs. It should be no surprise to the Government that they are not going to get Skybolt. We told them this 2½ years ago. May I quote something which I said thenFrom the American point of view the approach is, 'If we do not have complete control of this major deterrent, then the British can force our hand'. They do not intend to have their hand forced. Our independence is a subtraction from theirs. It does not depend on whether we buy Skybolt or whether we do not. It depends on whether we get Skybolt. … I can assure him"—that was the Minister of Defence—that we shall not get it".We all knew that 2½ years ago. I later said that all this wasa bluff, a pretence, and a playing about with things like Skybolt and things which are supposed to terrify. But the realities—the rifles our soldiers need, the mobility, the effectiveness, faith and will of an effective force—have all been sacrificed to these vain appearances".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th July, 1960; c. 563–4 and 567.]
§ We have been behaving like birds who substitute a display for a defence, and the disaster comes when the turkey meets the fighting cock.
§ That is the sort of situation in which we find ourselves. It is fortunate for us that the Americans are preserving us from the folly of Skybolt, but that fact leaves our nakedness exposed. At a time when we are posturing with this unreal nuclear capacity, we have forces which are ill-armed, ill-disposed in a geographical sense and sufficiently sick to be queueing up for any method to get out. This is the situation in which we are asked to abandon our responsibilities to the Government, which have so singularly failed in every thing that they have attempted. I ask my hon. Friends to vote against the Motion.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Martin Redmayne)
rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
§ Question put, That the Question be now put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 203, Noes 129.1153
|Division No. 21.]||AYES||[6.25 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Cooper, A. E.||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Aitken, W. T.||Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Gurden, Harold|
|Allason, James||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Harris, Reader (Heston)|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Corfield, F. V.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Costain, A. P.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Balniel, Lord||Coulson, Michael||Harvie Anderson, Miss|
|Barber, Anthony||Craddock, Sir Beresford||Hastings, Stephen|
|Barlow, Sir John||Crawley, Aidan||Hay, John|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Critchley, Julian||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Bell, Ronald||Crowder, F. P.||Hendry, Forbes|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Cunningham, Knox||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bidgood, John C.||Curran, Charles||Hobson, Sir John|
|Biffen, John||Currie, G. B. H.||Hocking, Philip N.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Holland, Philip|
|Bingham, R. M.||Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||de Ferranti, Basil||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John|
|Bishop, F. P.||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Bossom, Clive||Drayson, G. B.||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||du Cann, Edward||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Box, Donald||Duncan, Sir James||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Eden, John||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Jennings, J. C.|
|Braine, Bernard||Elliott, R. W. (Nwcastle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Brewis, John||Errington, Sir Eric||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Farr, John||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Bryan, Paul||Fell, Anthony||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.|
|Buck, Antony||Finlay, Graeme||Kerr, Sir Hamilton|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Fisher, Nigel||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Leavey, J. A.|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Leburn, Gilmour|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Freeth, Denzil||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Gammans, Lady||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Gardner, Edward||Lilley, F. J. P.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk Central)||Lindsay, Sir Martin|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Gilmour, Sir John||Linstead, Sir Hugh|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Litchfield, Capt. John|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Gower, Raymond||Longden, Gilbert|
|Cole, Norman||Grant-Ferris, R.||Loveys, Walter H.|
|Cooke, Robert||Green, Alan||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Pitman, Sir James||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|McArthur, Ian||Pitt, Dame Edith||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|McLaren, Martin||Pott, Percivall||Tapsell, Peter|
|McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Temple, John M.|
|Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Maddan, Martin||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|Marshall, Douglas||Pym, Francis||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Marten, Neil||Ramsden, James||Turner, Colin|
|Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Rawlinson, Sir Peter||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Mawby, Ray||Rees, Hugh||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Renton, Rt. Hon. David||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Mills, Stratton||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Moore, Sir Thomas (Ayr)||Ridsdale, Julian||Walder, David|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)||Walker, Peter|
|Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Roots, William||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Scott-Hopkins, James||Whitelaw, William|
|Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Sharpies, Richard||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Skeet, T. H. H.||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Page, John (Harrow, West)||Smithers, Peter||Worsley, Marcus|
|Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Speir, Rupert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Peel, John||Stanley, Hon. Richard||Mr. J. E. B. Hill and Mr. Batsford.|
|Percival, Ian||Stodart, J. A.|
|Ainsley, William||Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Rankin, John|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Hoy, James H.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central)||Hughes, Emrys (s. Ayrshire)||Rhodes, H.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Hunter, A. E.||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Bence, Cyril||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Benson, Sir George||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Rodgers, W. T. (Stockton)|
|Blyton, William||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Boardman, H.||Jeger, George||Ross, William|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Short, Edward|
|Bray, Or. Jeremy||Kelley, Richard||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Kenyon, Clifford||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Carmichael, Nell||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||King, Dr. Horace||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Lawson, George||Small, William|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Crosland, Anthony||Lipton, Marcus||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Crossman, R. H. S.||Loughlin, Charles||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Dalyell, Tam||Lubbock, Eric||Steele, Thomas|
|Darling, George||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Mclnnes, James||Stones, William|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. C.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Taverne, D.|
|Edelman, Maurice||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. New (Caerphilly)||Manuel, Archie||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Finch, Harold||Mapp, Charles||Thomson, C. M. (Dundee, E.)|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||Marsh, Richard||Thornton, Ernest|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mellish, R. J.||Wade, Donald|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)||Mendelson, J. J.||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Ginsburg, David||Millan, Bruce||Warbey, William|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Milne, Edward||Weitzman, David|
|Grey, Charles||Mitchison, G. R.||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Morris, John||Whitlock, William|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Neal, Harold||Wigg, George|
|Crimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Oliver, G. H.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Gunter, Ray||Oram, A. E.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Hannan, William||Owen, Will||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Harper, Joseph||Paget, R. T.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Hayman, F. H.||Pavitt, Laurence||Zilliacus, K.|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Peart, Frederick|
|Hilton, A. V.||Pentland, Norman||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Holman, Percy||Prentice, R. E.||Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton.|
§ Question put accordingly:—1154
§ The house divided: Ayes 198, Noes 22.1155
|Division No. 22.]||AYES||[6.34 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Arbuthnot, John||Balniel, Lord|
|Aitken, W. T.||Atkins, Humphrey||Barber, Anthony|
|Allason, James||Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Barlow, Sir John|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Gardner, Edward||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey|
|Bell, Ronald||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk Central)||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)|
|Bidgood, John C.||Gower, Raymond||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Biffen, John||Grant-Ferris, R.||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gresham Cooke, R.||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)|
|Bingham, R. M.||Gurden, Harold||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Peel, John|
|Bishop, F. P.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Percival, Ian|
|Bossom, Clive||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Pitman, Sir James|
|Box, Donald||Hastings, Stephen||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John||Hay, John||Pott, Percivall|
|Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Brewis, John||Hendry, Forbes||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otto|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hiley, Joseph||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Bryan, Paul||Hobson, Sir John||Pym, Francis|
|Buck, Antony||Hocking, Philip N.||Ramsden, James|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Holland, Philip||Rawlinson, Sir Peter|
|Butler,Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden)||Hollingworth, John||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.||Rees, Hugh|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hughes-Young, Michael||Renton, Rt. Hon. David|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Iremonger, T. L.||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Roots, William|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Jennings, J.C.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|Cole Norman||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Cooper, A. E.||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. k.||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Smithers, Peter|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Costain, A. P.||Kirk, Peter||Speir, Rupert|
|Coulson, Michael||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Leavey, J. A.||Stodart, J. A.|
|Crawley, Aidan||Leburn, Gilmour||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Critchley, Julian||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Crowder, F. P.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Cunningham, Knox||Lilley, F. J. P.||Tapsell, Peter|
|Curran, Charles||Lindsay, Sir Martin||Temple, John M.|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Litchfield, Capt. John||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.||Longden, Gilbert||Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)|
|de Ferranti, Basil||Loveys, Walter H.||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Doughty, Charles||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Drayson, G. B.||McAdden, Sir Stephen||van straubenzee, W. R.|
|du Cann, Edward||McArthur, Ian||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Duncan, Sir James||McLaren, Martin||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Eden, John||McLoughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Walder, David|
|Elliott,R.W.(Nwcastle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Walker, Peter|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Maddan, Martin||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Marshall, Douglas||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Farr, John||Marten, Neil||Whitelaw, William|
|Fell, Anthony||Mathew, Robert (Honlton)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Mawby, Ray||Worsley, Marcus|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Maxwell-Hyslop, R- J.|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Freeth, Denzil||Mills, Stratton||Mr. Gordon Campbell and|
|Gammans, Lady||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Mr. Batsford.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central)||Lipton, Marcus||Swingler, Stephen|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Lubbock, Eric||Wade, Donald|
|Carmichael, Neil||Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Finch, Harold||Rankin, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Mr. Emrys Hughes and|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)||Mr. Michael Foot|
|Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
That this House, at its rising on Friday, do adjourn until Tuesday, 22nd January.