HC Deb 24 May 1962 vol 660 cc682-99

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That a sum, not exceeding £13,305,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1963, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; for sundry services; and for certain grants in aid. [£9,800,000 has been voted on account.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

3.58 p.m.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

I wish to contest the proposition that, when we are about to enter upon the most important foreign affairs debate for six months, when the world is in as perilous a position as it has been for perhaps fifty years, certainly since before the First World War, we should deal with the foreign situation and the conduct of our affairs in the international field in a cursory, slipshod and negative fashion such as this. It is wholly wrong. It is not in accordance with our practice. It is, in my opinion, unconstitutional, in the spirit, if not in the letter. It is part of a general conspiracy between the two Front Benches—

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

On a point of order. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), when Mr. Speaker was in the Chair, was disallowed leave to move the Adjournment of the House under Standing Order No. 9. What we are being subjected to now is merely a stratagem to get round something on which Mr. Speaker has previously ruled.

I submit that to you, Sir William, as a point of order. I think that it should be ruled out.

The Chairman

On the Question which I have to put to the Committee, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again", it is open to any hon. Member to put arguments why I should or should not report Progress.

Mr. Silverman

I would accept the authority of my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) on what is or is not a stratagem.

For my part, I am offering reasons to the Committee of Supply of the House of Commons why it should not deal with the conduct of our foreign affairs in the way that is proposed, and I was suggesting to the Committee, with apologies for the strength of my language, but perfectly sincerely and in all humility, that this way of dealing with the matter is the result of a conspiracy between the two Front Benches to prevent a vote being taken at any time in connection with a specific issue, such as has been raised. It is wholly wrong and out of accordance with our practice and with general principles.

I shall not waste time by dividing—[Laughter.] Well, I will if I am challenged to do so. I will withdraw my offer not to divide the Committee on this, since there has been a challenge to my decision. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because it seems to me that we ought not to accede to this Motion.

I beg the Leader of the House to consider even now, late in the day as it is, changing his policies and plans, and to give earnest consideration to whether he ought to persist in this attitude of shoving the House of Commons aside in international affairs which are fraught with the greatest possible terror to the human race. Let us have our discussion and our vote. If he has the overwhelming support of the House in the vote, it will not do him any harm. But why should not those of us who dissent have the opportunity of recording our votes?

4.1 p.m.

Mr. Harold Wilson (Huyton)

I want to put a very strong case that we should report Progress so that we can get on with the debate on the Adjournment. I confine myself to one short and simple point. My hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) has suggested that we will want to discuss the situation in Laos and the statement made by the Prime Minister on Thailand. I am sure that that view is shared throughout the Committee. We all want to get on with the debate as soon as possible.

It may have escaped my hon. Friend's attention that the Motion, on which we are asked to report Progress, concerns the Foreign Office Vote only. Those of us who want a proper debate on Laos—as I am sure we all do—as well as on other subjects will find that we can do so much more freely and without the restrictions which at present apply if the debate is on the Adjournment.

It is, of course, for you to rule on a Motion to report Progress on the Foreign Office Vote, but if we did not hold the debate on the Adjournment we should be restricted narrowly on many points which I certainly want to raise, as do other right hon. and hon. Members, about the Prime Minister's statement. The sooner we can get to the Adjournment, the sooner the foreign affairs debate can begin. Many of us want to go far beyond Laos in the debate, because there are many other important issues. I suggest that my hon. Friend's point and the convenience of the Committee are best met by reporting Progress and getting on with the debate.

4.3 p.m.

Mr. William Yates (The Wrekin)

I do not accept the view of the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson). One of our fundamental principles, if we are to vote money for the Foreign Office to carry out its various duties abroad, is that the Government should not commit Her Majesty's Armed Forces anywhere in the world at any time without the sanction of the House of Commons by vote. That is the proposition which the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) and I have been advancing.

I am convinced that, if this Motion were put to a vote, or if it were possible to get a vote on the proposition of our forces going to Thailand, either would be carried by an overwhelming majority. But why has the Leader of the Opposition, on two occasions, sought to avoid a vote an a fundamental issue involving this country? That is the question to which I want to know the answer.

The Chairman

Order. The hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) is going a little beyond the subject of the Question now before the Committee, which is purely whether I do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Mr. Yates

I do not wish you to report Progress, or to beg leave to sit again, Sir William. This is one of the fundamental principles of the House of Commons. This is what we are here for. We are not here like a skittle alley for the two Front Benches. It is a fundamental principle, and it transcends all technical reasons. I am grateful to the Prime Minister and to the Government Front Bench for the statement, but we ought to give this decision an overwhelming vote. The only way in which we can achieve an overwhelming vote authorising the sending of troops to a foreign country is on a formal Government Motion.

4.5 p.m.

Mr. A. G. Bottomley (Middlesbrough, East)

I am not certain whether I shall want to vote at the end of the day. The Government have not stated their case and I want to hear it. I have heard from my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) the reason why he thinks that the debate should be held on the Adjournment and I share his point of view. In these circumstances, I think it very unfair of my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) to accuse my right hon. Friend of a conspiracy. In the circumstances, he should withdraw that statement.

Mr. S. Silverman

My statement is amply supported by the fact that the Leader of the Opposition went into the Lobby with Tories only a few days ago in order to defeat a request for a debate.

4.6 p.m.

Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)

The question raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) on this Motion is not new. The manner in which the debate on foreign affairs is to be conducted in the House today was raised during business questions last Thursday, when we discussed the arrangements for holding a foreign affairs debate this week.

Some of us protested then that we thought it most unwise and not in conformity with the best interests of the House of Commons and with proper discussion of the issues that four or five major subjects—Berlin, the structure of N.A.T.O., H-bomb tests and Laos—should be combined in one day's debate. It was because of this that some of us suggested to the Leader of the House that it was much better to have a further day to discuss these matters.

Moreover, when the subject of Laos arose last Thursday, there was an opportunity for the House of Commons to decide then to have a specific debate on it. Mr. Speaker himself approved the idea that there should be a debate in the sense that he agreed that it was a definite and urgent matter of public importance. But it was the decision of some other right hon. and hon. Members that we should not have that debate. It was the decision of the Government, supported by the Leader of the Opposition, although opposed by nearly 40 hon. Members on this side.

Therefore, if we are in difficulty about the debate on foreign affairs today, it is primarily because of the slipshod manner in which the business of the House was arranged last Thursday. Moreover, since then, some of the newspapers have supported protests that we are being forced to conduct a debate on all these subjects at the same time.

There was a further opportunity in which the business could have been rearranged. We had the new matter of troops being sent to Thailand and the Government statement by the Prime Minister today. The Government could well have taken the course—which I am sure we would all have approved—of putting down a Motion on the subject, asking us to debate immediately the dispatch of the forces to Thailand, with time being provided at a later date to discuss the other matters such as Berlin. If such a proposal had been made, everyone would have agreed that this was a better way of conducting our business.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) wants to get on with the debate, but I understand that it was partly by his decision that all these subjects should be crammed into one day. If he had wanted more time to discuss Berlin and the H-bomb tests —as we all do—he could have had it. For the past month I have been urging, every Thursday, that we should have a debate specifically and exclusively directed to H-bomb tests. That has been denied by the Government with the connivance of the Opposition Front Bench. If my right hon. Friend wants more time to discuss foreign affairs, he has access to the usual channels. Why does he not press for it?

We are entitled to say that Government business has been so arranged that we have not adequate time in which to discuss foreign affairs issues and are denied the right to have a vote on whether the House of Commons approves of H-bomb tests. Now we are being denied the right to have a direct debate, and the opportunity of a vote, on the dispatch of British forces to Thailand. We say that this is a monstrously foolish and unsatisfactory way of conducting the business of the House of Commons. We spent three days this week discussing the Finance Bill, but all these major subjects of foreign affairs have to be crammed into a short time.

The Government will get more and more difficulties if they try to conduct the affairs of the House of Commons in this manner, particularly if, as it appears, in the arrangement of business so that we do not have essential votes on essential issues, the Government have the support of the Opposition Front Bench. There are some hon. Members who will continue to protest until the business of the House of Commons is conducted in a much better fashion.

That is why we are protesting—so that we can get a better arrangement of business in the future, but primarily because we demand the right of a vote in the House of Commons so that every Member can declare his views to the public and to his constituents, the people to Whom Members are responsible and who have the right to know what Members think and whether, for instance, they agree with H-bomb tests. There has been no vote in the House on the restart- ing of the tests with British approval, partly because of agreement between the two Front Benches.

Now we have a second instance. Apparently, we are to proceed without any vote on the despatch of troops to a military dictatorship. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Of course it is a military dictatorship. The Prime Minister said that we were sending troops there to bring comfort to the Government of Thailand and we are bringing comfort to what is undoubtedly a military dictatorship. Moreover, we have had no guarantees from the Government that the troops sent to Thailand will not be used in Laos, and we have fresh evidence today that part of the trouble in Laos is due to the activities—

The Chairmanrose

Mr. Foot

I thought that you intended to intervene Sir William.

The Chairman

I understood that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot) intended to resume his seat, as I was rising because I thought that he was going beyond what was proper on the Question before the Committee.

Mr. Foot

If I was going beyond what was proper, I apologise, Sir William, but it could have been only in the last few seconds that I possibly strayed over the line.

The Government must think about this matter seriously. We are not making this point flippantly. We think that hon. Members should reveal their conduct by their actions and by their speeches, but also by their votes, and we hope that the Government and the Opposition Front Bench will reconsider these matters and so arrange the business of the House of Commons that we can discharge our functions properly.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)

I am one of those who, on the information available to the House, incline to the view that the Government are under an obligation to send support to Thailand. I understand that we are bound by our treaty to send such support, if it is requested, and I understand that it has been requested. If I am wrong about that, I stand to be corrected, but at present I am a supporter of sending aircraft to Thailand.

However, I feel that there are aspects of this matter which deserve debate in the House of Commons. The report in The Times this morning of how the trouble in Laos arose, from which this whole question of Thailand, in turn, has stemmed, seems to demand further discussion and possibly further statements from the Government. [HON. MEMBERS: There is a debate today."] I am coming to the question of a debate today.

I am one of those who, last week, like the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot), asked whether the House could adequately discuss the whole range of foreign affairs in a one-day debate which would have to deal with tests, Berlin, the state of N.A.T.O., disarmament and Laos, and I still feel that to ask the House to tackle that whole range in one day's debate—I agree that it is getting shorter and shorter—

The Chairman

Order. I am most reluctant to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but the question of a one-day or two-day debate is not what we are now discussing. It is how we are to conduct this debate.

Mr. Grimond

I appreciate that, Sir William, and I appreciate your reluctance to interrupt me, which I share. With all respect, I am not discussing a one-day or two-day debate, but suggesting to the Government that the Leader of the House might put us all in his debt by now saying that he will find time as soon as possible, but in the near future, for a further debate on certain aspects of foreign affairs.

The Chairman

The right hon. Gentleman is doing exactly what I pointed out was not in order on the Question before the Committee. I invite the right hon. Gentleman to help me to conduct the debate in an orderly fashion.

Mr. Grimond

I appreciate that. The Question before the House is that you should report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I am suggesting that you should not be given that leave until we have had a statement from the Government about their intentions. Bearing in mind the statement on business today, I cannot believe that the business for the succeeding weeks of this Session is so vital that we could not find further time to discuss these matters in which, I have no doubt, the majority of the House would support the Government, but which are proper matters for the House of Commons to discuss.

Mr. S. Silverman

On a point of order. I wonder whether you could advise the Committee on this point, Sir William. Supposing the Motion to report Progress were carried, would it then follow that we would not have disposed of this Supply day or the Foreign Office Vote 1 and that on a future occasion we would be able to come back to it? If that is the situation, many of us might change our view about the Motion, if the Government would indicate that the resumed debate would not be too long delayed.

The Chairman

If I report Progress, having been so instructed by the Committee, we would not have voted on the Question which I originally put, but we would have used a Supply day.

Mr. Silverman

Further to that point of order. Would it be in order, or, if not quite in order, a permissible transgression, to ask the Leader of the House whether, if the opposition to this Motion were withdrawn, he would undertake to find time for the resumed debate on this Vote as soon as possible?

The Chairman

That is not a point of order.

4.8 p.m.

Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)

This is a Motion to report Progress and I assume that the reply to the debate will be made by the Leader of the House. If he assures us that he will put down a Motion approving the Government action in sending armed forces to Thailand, then we will not divide on this Motion. But we should not report Progress until we have had a definite assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that this method of curtailing debate and slithering out of important decisions on grave matters of international importance will not be continued.

We are following the precedent which has been set on an alarming number or occasions. For example, there are three very important issues on which the Government have not received any endorsement of their policy from the House of Commons. I refer, first, to the Polaris agreement. It has never come before the House and the Prime Minister has no right to give—

The Chairman

The hon. Member is getting on to another Vote altogether.

Mr. Hughes

I am pointing out, Sir William, the reason why we should not agree to report Progress until we get a definite assurance from the Leader of the House that we will have an opportunity of voting against the decision to send armed forces to Thailand, and I am arguing that the present procedure of the Government is in line with their action on Polaris and nuclear tests.

The Chairman

The hon. Member misunderstands the position. Polaris is not covered by this Vote and it is quite out of order to refer to it in this debate, which is concerned merely with whether we should report Progress and allow the House to continue its debate with the House as a House and not as Committee of Supply. That is what we are discussing.

Mr. Hughes

I was pointing out the series of precedents which have made us take this action. This is the third occasion on which the Prime Minister, on an important issue, has come to the House and said, "Here is our agreement. It has the authority of the House of Commons", when, in fact, the decision has not been made by a vote of the House. The House did not decide on the tests, or on Polaris, and now we are going into something which might prove to be an ugly little war. We are embarking on military action which might start a flare-up in South Asia which will be disastrous to our people in this country. We are, therefore, entitled to the normal rights of people who are representing others and to say that we do not want these forces sent to Thailand. If we are to have a Motion—

Sir Harry Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)

On a point of order. I wonder whether you would rule on this point, Sir William. Am I not right in saying that the Supply days which are at the disposal of the Opposition are not necessarily confined to a variety of subjects, but that as many Supply days as the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition might choose to pick can be taken to discuss various aspects of foreign affairs under the Foreign Office Vote?

If that be right, would you also consider that this is an attempt to employ a debate on the Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress" as a means of protesting against the official leadership of the Labour Party, and ought not to go on?

The Chairman

Surely it is clear to the Committee that what is now being debated is the Question whether I should report Progress and ask leave to sit again? So long as the hon. Member's argument is relevant to the Question, it is in order.

Mr. Hughes

I have listened to many debates on the Question to report Progress. They have usually been rather wide, but I want to confine myself to this specific point that if the Leader of the House says that he will table a Motion asking the House to approve the sending of forces to Thailand and give us an opportunity of voting on it, we will not press this issue to a Division.

4.22 p.m.

Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)

I support the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. M. Foot), the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), and my right hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond). We are being asked, in effect, to give a blanket vote at the end of the day in one circumstance, and no vote in another.

One function which the House has is to give the Legislature the opportunity to keep the Executive in check. This is the fourth occasion on which the Government have committed British forces without getting the prior consent of the House of Commons. There are certain circumstances in which leave is not needed, and certain circumstances in which, for security reasons, it is impossible to obtain it, but this is the fourth occasion—the others having been in Jordan, Kuwait and Suez—on which British forces have been committed without the prior consent of the House of Commons.

This is a far greater power than the Executive in any other democracy exercises, and certainly far greater than the power which the American President has. I therefore suggest—

The Chairman

Order. The hon. Member is going fax too wide of the Question before the Committee.

4.25 p.m.

Mr. Harold Davies (Leek)

This has nothing to do with the Leader of the Opposition, but it has very much to do with the Leader of the House. I maintain that we should not report Progress because the Prime Minister today completely misinterpreted the Manila Treaty. He told the House that we were acting under Article 4 of that Treaty, but it is obvious that under that Article we have to act with the unanimous agreement of S.E.A.T.O. and in accordance with constitutional processes. There have been no constitutional processes in Thailand, nor has there been a unanimous S.E.A.T.O. decision to take this action.

The Chairman


Mr. Daviesrose

Hon. Members

Order, order.

Mr. Davies

I do not care how much hon. Gentlemen opposite shout "Order". We are here to defend British democracy.

4.26 p.m.

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

We are now, on the face of it, on an admittedly narrow point, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

With all understanding of the speeches that have been made, I should like to say that the point of view put forward by the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. H. Wilson) is the right one. Over a wide range of subjects, covering matters additional to those raised in the discussion of the last few minutes, the Government are anxious to deploy their case, and no doubt the Opposition Front Bench axe anxious to deploy their arguments either in criticism of or comment on it.

The method being suggested to do this is in no way novel. It is an ordinary part of our procedure. With all respect to the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies), who said that this is nothing to do with the Leader of the Opposition, this is not so. This is a Supply day, and by convention the form of debate is laid dawn by the Opposition.

Mr. S. Silverman

I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that, inadvertently, he is not stating the position correctly. It is the function of the Opposition to select Supply days and to choose the subject. The Leader of the Opposition did that. He chose the debate on Vote 1 of the Foreign Office Vote. What we are now discussing is a Motion to stop that. It is the right hon. Gentleman who has interfered with the rights of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Macleod

With respect, that is not so, because by long tradition of the House in these matters more than the subject is chosen by the Leader of the Opposition. The form of the discussion is also chosen by him and we have agreed with the form that has been suggested by the Opposition Front Bench.

I tried to deal with future opportunities to debate this when we discussed the business for next week, and I believe that it would be for the convenience of the Committee if we agreed to the Question, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again, and then, on the widest possible canvass, which is the Motion for the Adjournment, the Government will be able to deploy their case and the Opposition will be able to criticise it.

4.28 p.m.

Mr. George Brown (Belper)

I tried to avoid taking part in the discussion, because it must be obvious to everybody that, whatever the argument put forward to justify this, what is happening is that the day on which we want to discuss a range of important subjects which have led to a number of worries in people's minds is being curtailed by a debate on a very narrow subject which, with respect, does not stand up to examination.

It would be open to the Opposition always to take their Supply days on the Supply Votes. But if we did that very often the debate would be curtailed by the Votes that we put down. This is not a personal decision of the Leader of the Opposition. This decision was taken by my right hon. and hon. Friends behind and beside me, and is a decision by which we all stand. We decided on this occasion to take this debate on the Adjournment because this was felt to be for the convenience of the Committee and of those right hon. and hon. Members who wanted to raise a wide variety of matters. There is a simple way round this. We shall in future just put down the Vote. Had we done so today, the last hour could not have been spent in the way that it has been.

It would not make a vote at the end of the day any easier than a vote is at the end of this day. A vote is technically possible at the end of this day, under this procedure. Whether it comes or not will depend on a variety of circumstances. If we put down a Supply Vote instead of doing this it would still not make a vote any more possible or likely at the end of the day, but it could easily result in our not being able to discuss the things which the House wishes to discuss, and which our constituents wish us to discuss.

We ought to be debating these issues today, and I appeal to the House to let us debate them. The responsibility for asking for a vote of the House about the sending of the squadron to Siam is for the Government. The Government have decided not to ask the House for that vote. It is true that the Opposition have decided not to challenge that, and that is as much our right as it is anybody else's right to criticise. It cannot be fairly argued that those who do not wish to criticise ought to be pushed into arranging the form of debate so as to narrow the opportunities to raise other matters that we want to raise, simply because somebody else does not wish to raise them.

Minorities in the House have rights, and they have ways and means of expressing what they want to say and do, but I submit that they should not push around the great majority of people on this side of the Committee who—in their wisdom or otherwise—have decided that they prefer to use this day in this way. Laos, Thailand, the Athens conference, Berlin and the tests are all matters that we should be discussing. We are now short of an hour for discussing them. I appeal to the House to let us get on with it and not to use up time for what most of us understand to be quite different purposes.

4.32 p.m.

Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)

Until the Leader of the House addressed the Committee I was inclined to support my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson), who submitted a reasonable case for proceeding with the debate on the Adjournment. But the Government are on the horns of a dilemma, for which they are responsible. Last week they refused to have a debate on the proposition that if a request came from the Government of Thailand they would send forces. That refusal was supported by some hon. Members on this side of the House, but a large body abstained, and some Members went into the Lobby against the Government's refusal.

Following what the Prime Minister said in reply to earlier Questions, the Leader of the House implied that we can discuss Thailand and the sending of forces there. What was the point of refusing a debate last week, if it is agreed that we can now debate the same subject? The Government have planed the Committee in a very difficult position.

Can we be told what we are allowed to discuss this afternoon? Will the Government deploy the case for sending forces to Thailand? Is that their intention?

Mr. Iain Macleod

If the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) will study last week's business statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT, he will see that I said that it was proposed to hold this debate on the Adjournment because, subject to the ordinary Rulings of Mr. Speaker and the conventions about legislation, and the rest, all matters, including Thailand and everything else, could have been discussed. There is no change between what I said last week and the situation today.

Mr. Shinwell

But the proposition last week was that we could have a debate on the Government's sending forces to Thailand if the Government of Thailand requested us to do so. That is not the proposition this afternoon. But I understand that we can discuss the question of sending forces to Thailand. If we are to occupy the whole of the time discussing tests, disarmament, the new structure for N.A.T.O., and all the rest, we shall not debate the question of sending forces to Thailand.

Can the right hon. Gentleman escape from this dilemma by doing what has been done in the past? There are precedents for this action. Whenever forces are sent to a foreign country, or are about to be sent, the Government have either agreed to a debate either simultaneously with the sending of the forces or later. That is on the record. I cannot understand why that procedure cannot be followed on this occasion. Perhaps the Leader of the House will agree that we can have our debate on the generality of subjects concerned with foreign affairs and defence, and that the proposition of the Government to send forces to Thailand can be debated later.

Mr. S. Silverman

I want to make a suggestion which might resolve the difficulty. I assure my right hon. Friend that nobody wants, or feels himself able, to browbeat the majority of the House of Commons. The difference between us is a very narrow one. It is true that we can discuss all relevant subjects under the Supply Vote; it is true that we can discuss all relevant subjects on the Adjournment, and it is true that we can vote on either. The difference between us is that whereas if we

vote on the Adjournment or on the Supply Vote we are voting in one package on a wide variety of subjects, on which we may hold different opinions, if we have the opportunity of voting on one subject there will be a clear determination of Parliament.

It would be quite possible for the Motion to be withdrawn; to have a short debate on the Government's proposal to send troops to Thailand, on the Supply Vote, to take an immediate vote on that and then proceed to the Adjournment and to debate all the other subjects. That would have the effect that all the subjects that anybody wanted to be discussed would be discussed. It would have the advantage of allowing us to vote or not to vote on the compendium of subjects at the end of the day, and also of providing an opportunity for a specific vote on the one subject upon which we desire to have a specific vote. This would give everybody what he wants. If such a simple device is resisted it can only be because right hon. and hon. Members want at all costs to avoid a vote on Thailand.

Question put:

The Committee divided: Ayes 158, Noes 6.

Division No. 201.] AYES [4.37 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Critchley, Julian Hicks Beach, Maj. w.
Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.) Cunningham, Knox Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)
Arbuthnot, John Dance, James Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Barlow, Sir John Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M. Hirst, Geoffrey
Barter, John Drayson, G. B. Holland, Philip
Batsford, Brian du Cann, Edward Howard, John (Southampton, Test)
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Duncan, Sir James Hughes-Young, Michael
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Eden, John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Bell, Ronald Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)
Bennett, F. M. {Torquay) Emery, Peter Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Berkeley, Humphry Errington, Sir Eric Johnson Smith, Geoffrey
Biffen, John Farey-Jones, F. W. Kerans, Cdr. J. S.
Biggs-Davison, John Farr, John Kerr, Sir Hamilton
Bishop, F, P. Finlay, Graeme Kershaw, Anthony
Bossom, Clive Fisher, Nigel Kimball, Marcus
Box, Donald Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Kirk, Peter
Braine, Bernard Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Freeth, Denzil Langford-Holt, Sir John
Browne, Percy (Torrington) Gammans, Lady Leavey, J. A.
Bullus, Wing Commander Eric Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Butcher, Sir Herbert Godber, J. B. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.) Goodhart, Philip Litchfield, Capt. John
Channon, H. P. G. Goodhew, Victor Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)
Chataway, Christopher Gresham Cooke, R. Longden, Gilbert
Chichester-Clark, R, Gurden, Harold Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Hall, John (Wycombe) McLaren, Martin
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Maclean,SirFitzroy(Bute&N.Ayrs)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.) Harris, Reader (Heston) McLean, Neil (Inverness)
Cleaver, Leonard Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Macmillan,Rt.Hn.Harold(Bromley)
Corfield, F. V. Hastings, Stephen Mathew, Robert (Honiton)
Costain, A. P. Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Mawby, Ray
Courtney, Cdr. Anthony Heath, Rt. Hon. Edward Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Craddock, Sir Beresford Henderson, John (Cathcart) Miscampbell, Norman
Moore, Sir Thomas (Ayr) Rees, Hugh Temple, John M.
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Renton, David Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Neave, Airey Ridley, Hon. Nicholas Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Nicholson, Sir Godfrey Ridsdale, Julian Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Noble, Michael Robertson, Sir D.(C'thn's &S'th'ld) Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R.(B'pool, S.) Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
Page, John (Harrow, West) Robson Brown, Sir William Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Page, Graham (Crosby) Roots, William Vickers, Miss Joan
Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale) Russell, Ronald Walker, Peter
Pearson, Frank (Clltheroe) Scott-Hopkins, James Ward, Dame Irene
Peel, John Sharpies, Richard Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth Skeet, T. H. H. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Pilkington, Sir Richard Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick) Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Pitt, Miss Edith Smithers, Peter Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Pott, Percivall Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Prior, J. M. L. Speir, Rupert Worsley, Marcus
Pym, Francis Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Quennell, Miss J. M. Studholme, Sir Henry TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Rawlinson, Peter Tapsell, Peter Mr. J. E. B. Hill and
Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin Teeling, Sir William Mr. Gordon Campbell.
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Lubbock, Eric Mr. Sydney Silverman and
Holt, Arthur Wade, Donald Mr. Thorpe.

Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Redmayne.]