§ 3.47 p.m.
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Iain Macleod)
I beg to move,That the Order [29th January] be supplemented as follows:A week ago, during discussion of the business of the House, the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) asked me how it was proposed that the debate on the London Government Bill should be handled and when he received the answer which, I think, he expected, he expressed 1788 shock and surprise. I do not believe, however, that anyone feels that there is an alternative course other than to follow paragraph 13 of the original Order.
- 1. The Proceedings on consideration of the Lords Amendments shall be completed at this day's sitting.
- 2.—(1) The said Proceedings shall be exempted from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) for one hour after Ten o'clock.
- (2) Any period for which the said Proceedings are exempted under paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on definite matter of urgent public importance) shall be in addition to the said period of one hour.
- 3. On the order being read for the consideration of Lords Amendments, the Question, That the Lords Amendments be now considered, shall be put forthwith.
- 4. If at the expiration of the period for which the said Proceedings are exempted under paragraph 2 of this order, those Proceedings have not been completed, then for the purposes of bringing those Proceedings to a conclusion—
- (a) in the case of any Lords Amendment which has been read a second time, Mr. Speaker shall put forthwith any Question which may be necessary to dispose of any Amendment which has been proposed thereto and also the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment or, as the case may be, in the said Amendment as amended;
- (b) all the remaining Lords Amendments shall be deemed to have been read a second time, and Mr. Speaker shall designate such, if any, of those Amendments as appear to him to involve questions of Privilege and shall then forthwith—
- (i) put the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Amendments except those designated by Mr. Speaker or, if no Amendments have been so designated, in all the remaining Amendments;
- (ii) put separately with respect to each Amendment so designated the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
We need not argue the party attitudes towards the Bill; they are well known and I dealt with them in January, when the original Motion was moved. One quotation from later in that debate is from the hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish), who with this quotation will have taken his place among the "literature" of Guillotine debates which we quote to each other. The hon. Member said:I feel strongly about the Bill. I admit that to stop the Bill I would do almost anything short of pulling out a revolver and shooting the Minister of Housing and Local Government."—[Official Report, 29th January, 1963; Vol. 670, c. 820.]On Third Reading, the hon. Member for Bermondsey, speaking from the Front Bench in, perhaps, rather more classical language, reiterated his eternal and undying opposition to the Bill. That is fair enough. It often happens that one side of the House brings in a Measure which the other side opposes.
The position which now confronts the House is that we have 280 Lords Amendments before us. The alternative to the Measure, on which I propose briefly to speak, would be to try to do what we attempted in 1953 on the Transport Bill, which was the only occasion when a Guillotine has been applied to Lords Amendments. On that occasion, the debate on the Lords Amendments on 21stApril, 1953, went on for 15 hours 55 minutes, which I calculate to have meant an even later rising than the hour of 6.15 in the morning at which the House, or some of us, rose earlier today. Following that 16 hours' debate, the next day there were 9 hours 20 minutes and on the following day 10 hours 20 minutes, make a total of 35½ hours. After that the supplementary Guillotine had to be introduced and the real business started. That was for a Bill with 70 Amendments, roughly a quarter of the number before us today.
If we tried to operate such a system—and the hon. Member for Bermondsey and his colleagues made it clear, and I emphasise again perfectly properly, that they would do anything they could to oppose this Bill—we would be inviting 1789 the House of Commons to indulge in an exercise which was doomed to end in the tumbrils which the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) said the Bill would do from the first time that he saw it; and he was quite right.
I have a link with the right hon. Member because we are both members of the Surrey Cricket Club. I think that we should be inviting the House to indulge in a procedure similar to the cricket matches which Yorkshire and Surrey have been playing against each other, when the object has been not to achieve a result but to infuriate players and spectators alike. Therefore, I am sure that the right course was to bring this supplementary Motion before the House, and I am sure that hon. Members understood this when we put forward the original Motion.
The essential argument on an allocation of time Motion is whether the allocation of time is sufficient and whether the justification for it is made out. No one has to argue any more the general case for a Guillotine, which has been an established part of our custom for fifty years or more. The particular case for a Guillotine always needs arguing. But it is worth pointing out that 20 per cent. of the lime which we have taken in legislation on the Floor of this House has been spent on this Bill, and that is not to mention the 21 Committee sittings upstairs.
Debate has been very long in another place, and on two occasions their Lordships broke the record for the length of sitting in their House. The House of Lords has no Guillotine and no procedure for the selection of Amendments. They have practically no rules of order. I sometimes wonder what the noble Lord, Lord Morrison of Lambeth, would make of it if he were sitting, not where he is at the moment, but on the other side of the House and had a more direct interest in securing the passage of this Bill. I am sure that he would put forward exactly the same Motion that I am putting forward today.
It is an old trick, in discussing guillotine Motions, to read a quotation and then, when one is jeered, to point out that it was made by someone on the other side of the House in some previous incarnation. Therefore—because I feel in an amiable mood today—I warn the House 1790 that this quotation is from Mr. Morrison, as he then was, when he moved an allocation of time Motion before the Committee stage of the Iron and Steel Bill had even started. He was addressing his remarks to Mr. Eden, as he then was, who was leading for the Conservatives, and said, after giving his justification for the Motion:I should have thought that after a few observations from…Mr. Eden, and, no doubt, perfectly proper criticism and protests, the House would unanimously agree to the Motion."—[Official Report, 25th November, 1948; Vol. 458, c. 1438.]I think that he was a little optimistic and probably I am, too, in recalling that precedent of some time ago.
I feel that, as they study the work which is before us, the attitude of the two parties to the Bill, the length of time which has been spent on it in this House and in another place, and the sad record of what happened in 1953 when, with a much smaller number of Amendments, an attempt was made to talk them through to an end, this Motion is right, and I hope that the House will agree to it.
§ 3.55 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
I shall say only a few words on this Motion because, presumably, since the Government are determined to have their own way, any time that we spend on it will come out of the time that we have to discuss the Amendments. I hope that my hon. Friends will agree that we should not prolong the argument on this Motion, but it would be wrong not to voice our entire disapproval of it and our disagreement with the arguments advanced by the Leader of the House.
As usual, the right hon. Gentleman produced precedents of previous Guillotines, and said that because we were speedy in passing the Iron and Steel Bill we should be speedy in passing this Bill and the Lords Amendments to it. I commend his attention to the remark made by Matthew Arnold about Carlyle. When somebody said to Matthew Arnold, "Sir, you criticise Carlyle for being dogmatic, but are you not equally dogmatic yourself?", Matthew Arnold replied, "You overlook an important difference. I am dogmatic and right; Carlyle is dogmatic and wrong". That is the difference between 1791 the two sides of the House when guillotine Motions are proposed.
I could not feel that the Leader of the Houses's membership of the Surrey Cricket Club had any persuasive power, because, if he lets the Bill go through, he will find himself a member of the South-West Greater London Cricket Club. For every three potential cricketers in Surrey at the moment, there will be only one when this Bill has been passed. That should have made the right hon. Gentleman pause.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
If the hon. Member looks up Wisden, he will find that his argument is wrong and that county cricket does not take any notice of any alterations which Parliament may make in these matters—and very wisely, too.
§ Mr. Stewart
The right hon. Gentleman says that it is very wise of county cricket not to pay attention. I wish that it were in the power of other people not to pay attention.
I could not follow the right hon. Gentleman's argument that, because 35 hours were not sufficient to deal with 70 Amendments to the Transport Bill, we should, therefore, allocate only about seven hours to deal with 280 Amendments to this Bill. That seems to me arithmetic of a peculiarly inverted order.
Let me remind the House of the Government's procedure of haste and brutality over this Bill. The Committee stage here was hastily and unnecessarily guillotined from the start. The result was that we never had the opportunity to discuss properly a great many important subjects, and that cannot be disputed. I mention only one, the question as to whether the new London boroughs should have the right, which any provincial authority of comparable size has, to decide their own method of audit. After bundling the Bill through this House, the Government took it to another place where, in the absence of the guillotine procedure, they
§ had to proceed by the brutal method of trying to wear out their Lordships through sheer exhaustion.
§ I cannot let this occasion pass without paying tribute to the valour and skill of the members of the Opposition in another place. Testimony is given to that when one looks at these Amendments. Over and over again the Government had to accept Amendments pushed on them by the Opposition in another place, some of them Amendments which they had happily demonstrated to their own satisfaction in this House were totally unworkable, unwise and intolerable. The air in another place seemed to produce a change of heart on the Government's part. An Amendment affecting the County of Surrey, about which we shall, no doubt, hear more later in the day, came in that category.
§ That is why the Government need not have been so suspicious of any attempt by the Opposition to waste time over these Amendments. These Amendments do things to the Bill which we told the Government, when the Bill was here, they would have to do with it sooner or later. On a good many of the Amendments, the only thing we say can is something which memories of childhood upbringing would forbid us to say, the four words, "I told you so".
§ There is no ground whatever for apprehension that we would improperly waste time in discussing these Amendments. The guillotine Motion is infected by the general impropriety and un-desirability attaching to the Bill as a whole. It has been propped up bysingularly unimpressive arguments from the Leader of the House and merely completes the record of sordid brutality which has characterised the Government's handling of the whole Bill. I invite the House to reject it.
§ Question put: —
§ The House divided: Ayes 213, Noes 158.1795
|Division No. 175.]||AYES||[4.1 p.m.|
|Allason, James||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Bossom, Hon. Clive|
|Arbuthnot, John||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos & Fhm)||Bourne-Arton, A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Berkeley, Humphry||Box, Donald|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bidgood, John C.||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John|
|Barter, John||Biffen, John||Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward|
|Bataford, Brian||Biggs-Davison, John||Brewis, John|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Bingham, R. M.||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Bell, Ronald||Bishop, F. P.||Brown, Alan (Tottenham)|
|Buck, Antony||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Pitman, Sir James|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Iremonger, T. L.||Pott, Percivall|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Jennings, J. C.||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho|
|Cleaver, Richard||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pym, Francis|
|Cole, Norman||Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Cooke, Robert||Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Cooper, A. E.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Rees-Davies, W. R. (Isle of Thanet)|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Renton, Rt. Hon. David|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Costain, A. P.||Kimball, Marcus||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|Coulson, Michael||Kirk, Peter||Robson Brown, Sir William|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Lambton, Viscount||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Crawley, Aidan||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Roots, William|
|Critchley, Julian||Lilley, F. J. P.||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Seymour, Leslie|
|Cunningham, Knox||Litchfield, Capt. John||Sharples, Richard|
|Dance, James||Longbottom, Charles||Shaw, M.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Longden, Gilbert||Shepherd, William|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Loveys, Walter H.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Smithers, Peter|
|Duncan, Sir James||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John|
|Eden, Sir John||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||MacArthur, Ian||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Emmett, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||McLaren, Martin||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Fell, Anthony||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Stodart, J. A.|
|Finlay, Graeme||McMaster, Stanley R.||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Fisher, Nigel||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold (Bromley)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Foster, John||Macpherson, Rt. Hn. Niall (Dumfries)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Maddan, Martin||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Freeth, Denzil||Maitland, Sir John||Taylor, Sir William (Bradford, N.)|
|Gammans, Lady||Marshall, Sir Douglas||Teeling, Sir William|
|Gardner, Edward||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Matthews, Cordon (Meriden)||Thomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Glyn, Dr, Alan (Clapham)||Mawby, Ray||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Maxwell Hyslop, R. J.||Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)|
|Green, Alan||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Mills, Stratton||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Grosvenor, Lord Robert||Moore, Sir Thomas (Ayr)||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Gurden, Harold||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Morrison, John||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Neave, Alrey||Walder, David|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Wall, Patrick|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Whitelaw, William|
|Hendry, Forbes||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Wise, A. R.|
|Hobson, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Holland, Philip||Partridge, E.||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Hollingworth, John||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Woollam, John|
|Hornby, R. P.||Peel, John||Worsley, Marcus|
|Howard, Hon. G. R. (St. Ives)||Percival, Ian|
|Howard, John (Southampton, Test)||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Mr. Gordon Campbell and|
|Hughes-Young, Michael||Pilkington, Sir Richard||Mr. Hugh Rees.|
|Abse, Leo||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Duffy, A. E. P. (Colne Valley)|
|Albu, Austen||Carmichael, Neil||Ede, Rt. Hon. C.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crowe)||Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Edwards, Walter (Stepney)|
|Barnett, Guy||Chapman, Donald||Evans, Albert|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Collick, Percy||Finch, Harold|
|Benson, Sir George||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Fitch, Alan|
|Blackburn, F.||Cronin, John||Fletcher, Eric|
|Boardman, H.||Crosland, Anthony||Foley, Maurice|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.||Dalyell, Tam||Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S.W.)||Darling, George||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)|
|Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)|
|Bowles, Frank||Deer, George||George, Lady MeganLloyd (Crmrthn)|
|Boyden, James||Dempsey, James||Ginsburg, David|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Diamond, John||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Dodds, Norman||Gourlay, Harry|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Donnelly, Desmond||Grey, Charles|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Doughty, Charles||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)|
|Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||McBride, N.||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.||MacColl, James||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Gunter, Ray||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Small, William|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||McLeavy, Frank||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Hannan, William||Manuel, Archie||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Harper, Joseph||Mayhew, Christopher||Steele, Thomas|
|Hayman, F. H.||Mellish, R. J.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Healey, Denis||Mendelson, J. J.||Stonehouse, John|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Milne, Edward||Stones, William|
|Herbison, Miss Margaret||Mitchison, G. R.||Strauss, Rt. Hn, G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Hill, J. (Midlothian)||Monslow, Walter||Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)|
|Hilton, A. V.||Morris, John||Swingler, Stephen|
|Holman, Percy||Moyle, Arthur||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Hooson, H. E.||Mulley, Frederick||Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)|
|Houghton, Douglas||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Howoll, Charles A. (Perry Barr)||Noel-Baker,Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Hoy, James H.||O'Malley, B. K.||Tomney, Frank|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Oram, A. E.||Wade, Donald|
|Hunter, A. E.||Parker, John||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Parkin, B. T.||Warbey, William|
|Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Paton, John||Weitzman, David|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Pavitt, Laurence||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Pentland, Norman||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Popplewell, Ernest||White, Mrs, Eirene|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Prentice, R. E.||Whitlock, William|
|Jones,Rt.Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Wigg, George|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Probert, Arthur||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Redhead, E. C.||Willey, Frederick|
|Kelley, Richard||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Reynolds, G. W.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Woof, Robert|
|King, Dr. Horace||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Ross, William||Zilliacus, K.|
|Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)||Russell, Ronald|
|Lipton, Marcus||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Lubbock, Eric||Short, Edward||Mr. G. H. R. Rogers and|
§ That the Order [29th January] be supplemented as follows: —
§ 1. The Proceedings on consideration of the Lords Amendments shall be completed at this day's sitting.
§ 2.—(1) The said Proceedings shall be exempted from the provisions of Standing Order No. 1 (Sittings of the House) for one hour after Ten o'clock.
§ (2) Any period for which the said Proceedings are exempted under paragraph (2) of Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on definite matter of urgent public importance) shall be in addition to the said period of one hour.
§ 3. On the order being read for the consideration of Lords Amendments, the Question, That the Lords Amendments be now considered, shall be put forthwith.
§ 4. If, at the expiration of the period for which the said Proceedings are exempted under paragraph 2 of this order, those Proceedings have not been completed, then for the purposes of bringing those Proceedings to a conclusion—
§ (a) in the case of any Lords Amendment which has been read a second time, Mr. 1796 Speaker shall put forward any Question which may be necessary to dispose of any Amendment which has been proposed thereto and also the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment or, as the case may be, in the said Amendment as amended;
§ (b) all the remaining Lords Amendments shall be deemed to have been read a second time, and Mr. Speaker shall designate such, if any, of those Amendments as appear to him to involve questions of Privilege and shall then forthwith—
§ (i) put the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Amendments except those designated by Mr. Speaker or, if no Amendments have been so designated, in all the remaining Amendments;
§ (ii) put separately with respect to each Amendment so designated the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.