HC Deb 09 December 1964 vol 703 cc1689-735

Again considered in Committee.

Question again proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

The Attorney-General

Before that encouraging Division took place, I was saying that there is ample precedent for relying temporarily for the payment of the salaries and expenses of new Departments on the authority of the Appropriation Act obtained through the presentation and approval of Estimates. When there is a clear intention to present Supplementary Estimates for any services, the convention is that the Treasury may authorise Departments to meet the costs of those services by making advances from the Civil Contingencies Fund in anticipation of the provision made or to be made by Parliament becoming available. It could be argued that none of the services so far being carried out by any of the new Departments is a new one, but to place the matter beyond peradventure the Civil Contingencies Fund has been used in these cases.

The Bill seeks authority for the payment of salaries to certain Ministers, including those in new Departments, and those Ministers have, of course, not been paid. The expenses of Ministers and the salaries and expenses of their departmental staff who have been appointed directly rather than transferred from other Departments are all being met by advances from the Civil Contingencies Fund which have been approved by the Treasury for the purpose in accordance with established convention.

The salaries and expenses of the remaining staff who have been transferred from other Departments and whose duties are closely related to the functions for which moneys have already been voted to those other Departments and covered by the Appropriation Act, 1946, are being met from funds available to those other Departments. Supplementary Estimates will be presented in due course in respect of all the new Departments and will cover the expenditure which has been financed from the Civil Contingencies Fund as well as the expenditure which has been incurred by the other Departments. Therefore, the requirements of the system of parliamentary control of expenditure have been, and will be, thoroughly observed.

These arrangements are, in principle, in line with those which were made when the previous Administration, for instance, established the office of the Minister for Science. The expenditure on salaries and expenses of that office ran from 3rd November, 1959, and a Supplementary Estimate was presented on 23rd November, 1959, covering the period from 3rd November, 1959, to 31st March, 1960. I emphasise, however, that, unlike the present instance which the Committee is considering, statutory provision such as that embodied in paragraphs 3 and 4 of Schedule 1 to the Bill for payment of salaries and expenses was never made in relation to the office of the Minister for Science. So that, if anything, this Administration has been more constitutional and more legal than the other, although I do not suggest that our predecessors erred in this matter. I may say that we on this side are as conscious of the necessity for legality as hon. and right hon. Members opposite.

On the specific question of contracts, my information is that no contracts have been entered into by the new Departments.

10.15 p.m.

Sir John Hobson (Warwick and Leamington

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has not dealt with the point as to the transfer not of Prerogative powers but of statutory powers, as to which we have had no answer at all from any right hon. Gentleman opposite.

The position, as I understand it, is that the Ministers of the Crown (Transfer of Functions) Act, 1946, has given power by Parliament for the statutory powers which Parliament has committed to a particular Minister to be transferred to another Minister, but not to a non-existent Minister of whom Parliament has never heard. There is surely—is there not?—the position that of course the Crown can appoint Ministers to exercise the Prerogative functions of the Crown—no one would deny that—and, of course, the Prerogative functions can be assigned to any servant of the Crown to whom the Crown chooses to commit them without any approval by Parliament, but the vast majority of the functions which are performed by Ministers are performed under statutory duties and statutory functions which Parliament has committed to a particular Minister in order that that Minister should be answerable to Parliament for the discharge of those functions. I have never heard it suggested that it would be possible without the authority of Parliament to transfer statutory powers to some person whom Parliament has never approved.

Indeed, that seems to be the view of the Government because they have already tabled, on 20th November, an Order in Council, purporting to be made under Section 1 of the Ministers of the Crown Act, transferring all the statutory duties which formerly belonged to the Minister of Technical Co-operation to a Ministry which has not yet been approved by Parliament, and when this Bill was still under consideration. This Order was due to come into operation on 27th November. So that the statement by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster that no statutory functions have been improperly performed by any of the new Ministers would not seem to be very likely, if the position is that they have purported to transfer to a Ministry which Parliament has never heard of the statutory duties which were formerly conferred upon the Minister of Overseas Development. It was very carefully laid down in the Order in Council in 1961 what were to be the statutory duties of the former Minister of Overseas Development. They consisted of duties under the Overseas Service Act, 1958, under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, 1959, under the Commonwealth Scholarships Act, 1959, under the Commonwealth Teachers Act, 1960, and the Overseas Service Act, 1961.

I certainly heard on my wireless, in those Government snippets given on Friday mornings between 12.30 and 1 o'clock, an advertisement on behalf of the new and so far statutorily unauthorised Ministry of Overseas Development, a request for doctors to apply for service overseas and to make application to that Ministry for the purpose, presumably, of acting under and in accordance with the Overseas Service Act, and the duties which Parliament has, so far, committed to a Ministry which exists, and not Ministries which do not exist.

I would be grateful if the Government could explain whether the true position is not that they have already purported to transfer not Prerogative duties but statutory duties to new unauthorised Ministries which Parliament has never heard of, and are not those Ministries already making contracts and offering to make contracts with people who are to be employed under them?

Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)

I have waited patiently for the Government Front Bench to admit this Statutory Instrument which came into operation on 27th November, to which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Sir J. Hobson) referred. This Statutory Instrument was laid on 20th November, and came into operation on 27th November. It is No. 1849 of 1964.

The Government may have power by Statutory Instrument under the 1946 Act to transfer functions from one Minister to another, but is it not a disregard of the House to transfer these functions by Statutory Instrument when there is a Bill before the House providing for these functions of this new Minister? This seems to me nothing short of an insult to the House, arid this has not been admitted until brought out by my right hon. and learned Friend a few moments ago.

It is quite disgraceful that this Statutory Instrument should purport to transfer these powers to the Minister of Overseas Development when a Bill to deal with this matter is in the course of being debated and passing through the House. This Minister may have the powers transferred by the Statutory Instrument, but she will have none of the duties and responsibilities of Schedule 1 of the Bill. It seems a half-hearted attempt to jump the gun of this Bill.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

This is becoming a very serious matter. [Laughter.] I listened with great attention—and very few of those who are laughing now were present at the time—to the statement of the Attorney-General. I believe that he meant what he said when he told us that in the future there would be action under this power to transfer functions. He did not reveal that Orders had already been laid. That fact was concealed from the Committee. We were not told that action had been taken to transfer the powers. We were told that it would be all right in the future. We were not told about this Statutory Instrument No. 1849. Does the right hon. Gentleman wish to intervene?

Mr. Ross

How did the right hon. and learned Gentleman manage to get a copy of it in his hands?

Mr. Lloyd

A very diligent hon. Friend of mine put it in my hands, whereas apparently nobody put it into the hands of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. There was a time when the right hon. Gentleman was very diligent on the back benches, hurrying backwards and forwards with this kind of document. He no longer carries out that kind of function. He now looks in for a moment or two and interrupts from a sedentary position.

This Statutory Instrument is dated 20th November, 1964. I shall not go through the citation, but it says: Transfer of functions from Secretary for Technical Co-operation. We were not given the impression that any functions had already been transferred. The right hon. and learned Gentleman never gave us the impression that under this Order the functions transferred are those under section 3 of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1962 (supplements in respect of certain colonial and other pensions) and the Overseas Service (Pension Supplement) Regulations 1963 made under that section; (b) those functions under the Overseas Service Act 1958 and the Overseas Service Act 1961 which, by virtue of the Department of Technical Co-operation Order 1961, became exercisable by the Secretary for Technical Co-operation concurrently with the Secretary of State. These are matters which we would have liked to know about, because this is not an exhaustive list. There are certain other statutory powers to which my right hon. and learned Friend referred which apparently have not been transferred. Why not? What has been going on? Why were we not told the true facts?

Mr. Edward Gardner (Billericay)

The legal arguments which the Attorney-General has put before the Committee do not satisfy my hon. Friends and myself. There is a sense of deep disquiet, which is made even deeper by the attitude of the Government. The Attorney-General has said that the money which is to be spent, and is being spent at the moment, comes from funds already available, but there has been a dramatic increase in expenditure. In order to meet this, and without the approval of the House, the money has been drawn from the Civil Contingencies Fund.

To hon. Members on this side of the Committee this seems a very sinister development. It is not the first time that a Socialist Government have turned to this Fund at a time when they have not been prepared to be entirely frank either with the House or the country. We remember all too well—and I am afraid that we will remember what is happening tonight—that it was during the term of office of the Socialist Government in the 1940s—

The Chairman

It may be interesting to remember that, but we are now discussing the Question, That the Clause stand part of the Bill. I ask the hon. and learned Member to keep to what is in the Clause.

Mr. Gardner

With respect, Dr. King, what I was attempting to deal with was the question of where the money was coming from. It has been said that it was coming from the Civil Contingencies Fund. I was seeking to remind the Committee of the occasion when the Fund was used for another purpose, and was seeking to make an analogy between the purpose of the Bill and the purpose that operated in the 1940s. With your approval, Dr. King, I shall confine myself strictly to that point.

It has never been denied that when the Socialist Government were developing the atom bomb, and were—for reasons that may have been proper at the time—attempting to keep from the country the fact that funds were being used for this purpose, they turned to the Civil Contingencies Fund. They are now doing the same thing, and we do not like it.

The arguments that have been adduced by the Government during the debate have satisfied no one on this side of the Committee. All the legislation that is contained in the Schedule looks to the future. If the Committee passes the Clause and the Bill becomes law certain of the provisions which are set out here will become operative. They are not operative at the moment, but the Government are acting as though they were. What we would like to know—and what the country would like to know—is what will be the effect of the Government's actions which have been taken without the necessary authority from this House? Until the Bill becomes law these provisions do nothing to give authority to what has happened in the past.

Our disquiet arises from the fact that the Government are clearly doing something without any statutory authority. It is by virtue of statutory authority that certain contracts must inevitably be concluded, and have been concluded in the past—and by statutory authority only that they can be given validity. Are we to understand that those contracts, and the actions that form part of them, have no validity? If they have, how is that validity derived, and from what is it derived?

10.30 p.m.

The Attorney-General

I would assure the hon. and learned Member for Billericay (Mr. Gardner) that the present Government will be a little more astute and careful about the expenditure of public funds than were their predecessors. However, avoiding the provocation he inspired, I assure him that what has been done by the Government has been in accordance with constitutional practice, with Treasury requirements, with Parliamentary convention and with the law. I repeat that, I withdraw nothing, and I qualify it in no way.

The powers of the new Ministers are of two kinds, and had the hon. and learned Gentleman honoured us with his presence rather more in this debate, if I may say so, he would have heard that repeated ad nauseam—if my right hon. Friend does not mind it being so described—by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Two kinds of power have been exercised—Prerogative powers and statutory powers. In respect of their exercise of the Prerogative powers, the Ministers do not need to come to this House for approval or authority, and in so far as those powers have been exercised by these new Ministries since their creation, that is lawful and constitutional. Statutory powers, of course, cannot be exercised without the authority of Parliament itself.

As the Committee has already been told, certain statutory powers were transferred last month to the Ministry of Overseas Development from the Department of Technical Co-operation. With that transfer, the Ministry of Overseas Development can exercise statutory powers. The Committee has also been told that transfer of function Orders under the Transfer of Functions Act will be brought before the House, when there will be abundant opportunity for the exercise of statutory powers by these Ministries to be debated. There is ample precedent for what has been done so far. It is fully legal, and fully constitutional.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

I confess that I have not followed all the legal arguments of the last half-hour, but I did understand one point, not a legal one, put by my right hon. and learned Friend. I understand the Attorney-General's argument that an existing Ministry has been transferred to take over the functions of a new one, but my right hon. and learned Friend made the point that the existing Ministry did not have a Permanent Secretary. We were led to understand that the new Ministry has a Permanent Secretary. I should like to know where he came from and whether it was a matter of taking over an existing Ministry. That is a clear question to which we are entitled to have an answer. There are no legal ramifications about it.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

The Government or their back-benchers think that this is a matter of no importance, that it is something for hilarity, jokes and fun. If we on this side of the Committee were the Government, and were doing tonight what hon. and right hon. Members opposite are doing, the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) would be making a most vitriolic speech, and rightly, full of vigour and anger at the disrespect for, and the whitling away of the sovereignty of, the House of Commons which, in the country, he is reputed to believe in and fight for and defend.

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale knows that what we are debating tonight is the fact that the House of Commons has been reduced in stature and the Executive has been increased in stature. This is something which the House of Commons has been fighting against for 300 years. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite can make as much fun of this as they like, but all of us, when we show people round the Palace of Westminster, show the painting of Mr. Speaker Lenthall establishing the sovereignty of the House of Commons against the Executive.

The Royal Prerogative of that time, of course, allowed the king to appoint Strafford to a position, but we have established a totally different process. Now the Executive is increased in stature by the action of the Prime Minister so that half of the party opposite are now part of the Executive. Ministers and Departments are created and, by Statutory Instrument, are given the right to carry out their functions and to spend money which has not been voted by the House of Commons, when those Ministers and Departments do not exist as far as the House is concerned.

I accept that it is right that the Prerogative entitles the Prime Minister and the Monarch to appoint these people to carry on certain functions, but what the Government have not made clear tonight is why it was so urgent that these people should be put in positions of State just because Parliament was not sitting for a fortnight. Was it so vital and urgent that the Minister of Overseas Development should be appointed without waiting a fortnight to obtain proper sanction from Parliament? The whole attitude of the Government is complete disrespect for this legislative Assembly and the raising of the Executive to a position of complete disrespect for what goes on in the House of Commons.

The Attorney-General

The hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) asked whether the introduction of these Ministries as quickly as possible was so urgent. The answer is, "Yes, it was". [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] The creation of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources was urgent to prevent the waste of natural resources. It was essential to prevent the racket in land.

The Ministry of Overseas Development was essential to carry out the purposes to which right hon. Members opposite paid lip-service during an earlier part of this debate and then searched their consciences whether they should vote against its introduction.

It was urgent in the case of the Minister of Technology because the country has been falling behind every other country in Europe, because we have fallen behind in the field of technology. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] If political questions are asked, political answers will be given.

To come to the specific question which was asked, it is true that a Permanent Secretary has been appointed to the Ministry of Overseas Development. He was previously the head of the Department of Technical Co-operation, and his salary is being paid from the fund provided for by the Vote for the old Department. In due course, a Supplementary Estimate will be presented in respect of that salary.

Mr. Hogg

The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General has opened up a whole new avenue of discussion. Hitherto, we have been refused any intimation either as to what these new Ministers will do or as to why their appointment was in any way urgent. The right hon. and learned Gentleman, without the presence of any one of them, has purported to say why their appointment was urgent. I wish that we could be told a little more about it.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman ventured upon a proposition which he could not possibly have sustained if he had known the slightest thing about the subject. He told us that this country's technology was lagging behind all other countries of Europe. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is very learned in the law, but he has made absolutely no study of this subject or he would know that the facts are just the opposite. The amount spent by this country on research and development is about 3 per cent. of its gross national product, equalled on this side of the Iron Curtain only by the United States. There is no country in Western Europe which approximates to about half of it.

The vice of all this is that the Government have put up to answer this most important debate about the functions of the new Ministers two Ministers who know nothing about the subject. If either of them had known the slightest bit, they would not have landed us with the proposition that the sanction of the House was to be given in the future when transfer of powers Orders had already passed the Privy Council. There was no lack of evidence for them. There were, of course, the Ministers themselves.

There was the right hon. Lady the Minister of Overseas Development, the Pussy Galore of this Goldfinger outfit. She should have been here, but she is not. So should the right hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey), whose main training for dealing with what the Attorney-General called the land racket was to study, for the first time, the subject of education, and who was appointed to his present office only because he was discarded in favour of the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart).

What about the Leader of the House, who is Lord President of the Council? He must have known, if anybody did, that an Order in Council had been laid in respect of a matter for which the Government were bringing a Bill before the House, but all reference to it was completely suppressed by the right hon. and learned Gentleman.

I do not accuse the Government of bad faith in this matter. I know that the Attorney-General would have told us if he had at that time known of the Order in Council. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster would have told us if he had known about it. Either of them would have been grossly misleading the Committee had he deliberately suppressed it. But why have we not the presence of the Lord President of the Council, who, as Lord President, is directly responsible for Orders in Council? Where is he? Where are these Ministers who are, in fact, responsible? The Chancellor of the Duchy, with great chivalry, took it upon himself to say that he had himself advised their non-attendance at this debate. I do not know who he thinks he is so to advise Ministers who are intimately concerned.

As the right hon. and learned Gentleman reminded us, this situation has existed before. What would have happened when the Department of Education and Science was created a year ago, if I had not come here? [Laughter.] Why, the present Secretary of State for Scotland would have been on my tail in an instant! Having discovered that Scotland's position was not altered in that situation, he would have said that it was an insult to Scotland that I was not here to explain that Scotland's position was not altered. But since he has taken on his present office he has become unexpectedly coy.

Now we are in the situation that we have Ministers who have entered upon their functions, who are deliberately provided by the Schedule, and in respect of which the functions had already been, as it were, surreptitiously provided for by an Order in Council of which the two Ministers who replied on behalf of the Government apparently betrayed no previous knowledge and about which they have kept silent throughout the debate.

10.45 p.m.

Sir J. Hobson

The Attorney-General said that one of the reasons why he was so anxious about the Bill was that the proposed new Minister of Land and Natural Resources was urgently needed to deal with the racket in land. We were not told that he was going to do that. The impression was that he was going to be advisory.

The House has been concerned a good deal about the activities of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government introducing Bills since the Government got into power. Why the Ministry of Housing and Local Government is to be emasculated by the absence of the Minister for Land and Natural Resources I find it difficult to imagine.

Perhaps I might return to some of the more technical questions which are important. I am sure that the right hon. and learned Gentleman was anxious to assure the Committee that everything was being done in order, but would he say whether he knows of any other case at all where statutory functions have been transferred under the Transfer of Functions Act. 1946, to a Ministry before that Ministry had ever received sanction for its existence from Parliament? That is my first question.

As to my second question, we were, I understood from the Chancellor of the Duchy, led to believe that these Ministers were just performing Prerogative functions, that they were not fully Ministers yet. We were told that they had taken the oath as Privy Councillors, but we were not told—but so I understood from the silence—that they had not yet taken the official oath. Is the position that they have, in fact, got full and absolute status and have taken oaths as Ministers for the purposes of the Bill? If that is the position, there is no purpose in introducing the Bill.

The Government just create Ministries as they please, transfer functions to them, and tell Parliament nothing about it until Parliament sees the Order in Council. Is that the position? Or is the position as we really understood it, that these Ministers are acting within the Prerogative only and have not taken the official oath of office, have not assumed the corporate soul that they have to assume as Ministers for the purpose of entering into contracts, and are not for the purposes of the House of Commons Ministers yet? If that, as I understand it, is the real position, how on earth is it possible to transfer to them under the 1946 Act any statutory functions at all?

Mr. Graham Page

Before the right hon. and learned Gentleman answers the questions, put by my right hon. and learned Friend, I would point out that he has not answered the main question about the Statutory Instrument. Why was it necessary to bring it in ahead of this Bill? Was it necessary in order that the Minister of Overseas Development should have powers? Could the Minister of Overseas Development have acted without that Statutory Instrument? One must assume that it was brought in because it was necessary? Surely the Government did not produce the Statutory Instrument ahead of the Bill just to tease us. It must have had some useful, necessary purpose. If a Statutory Instrument was necessary for the Minister of Overseas Development to act legally, why was not a Statutory Instrument necessary for the two other Ministers? Have they been acting illegally all this time without any Statutory Instrument, because if it is necessary in one case, why not in the others?

Sir Rolf Dudley Williams (Exeter)

I want to answer the scandalous allegation that was made by the Attorney-General against scientists and engineers of Britain. He said in the course of his speech that it was necessary for the Ministry of Technology to be brought within the scope of this Bill because this country is lagging behind the scientific development in the whole of Europe. I have never heard a more disgraceful suggestion.

I would wish to draw the right hon. and learned Gentleman's attention to one great development that has taken place in Great Britain, the development of the supersonic airliner, the Concord. We heard a lot during the election about how clever the Prime Minister is—what a brilliant scientist and engineer—although, of course, he is nothing of the sort; he is a mathematician. What happened? He got into power, and what did he do? I would have thought this was a reason for not having the Ministry of Technology; he took steps to kill the greatest breakthrough in Britain in science since the invention of the jet engine.

Did the right hon. Gentleman, before putting forward the proposal that we have in the Bill that we should have a Minister of Technology, consult with the Minister of Aviation? I do not believe that he did. I have some respect for the Minister of Aviation. I think he ought to have resigned by now because of the actions of the Government, but I have some respect for him. The Minister of Aviation must have been very embarrassed in handling our relations with Europe.

For the Attorney-General to say tonight that scientists and engineers in this country are lagging behind the whole of Europe is a public scandal when his own Government came in and destroyed the finest development we have made for 10 years. The right hon. and learned Gentleman should get up and apologise.

Mr. R. Carr

The right hon. and learned Gentleman, the Attorney-General, told us a little while ago that the new Ministry of Overseas Development had got a permanent secretary. We first asked about this on Second Reading, as long ago as 19th November. It is really a sorry comment on the way the Government have debated this Bill that it is only after as much pressure as this that we have at last got the answer.

I do not think any of us object to this appointment. I think it is a good one. But the point I made was how, and on what authority, was it made and when was it made. I simply do not understand why we have had to wait until this late stage to be given this simple piece of information.

The Attorney-General said that the position was dealt with under the Vote of my old Department, the Department of Technical Co-operation. If my memory is correct, the Vote of my Department did not allow for the post or rank of permanent secretary. I do not understand either how the answer he gave justifies the position about timing. It is matter of importance. I have no objection to the individual concerned or to the position he is holding. My point is a constitutional one. A position should not be created unless Parliament has given the proper authority for it.

The Attorney-General saw fit to describe our attitude to overseas aid as paying lipservice to it. In six years, the amount of overseas aid expenditure under the late Government was doubled, and if that is paying lipservice to overseas aid I suspect that the developing countries would like more lipservice of the same kind. If the present Government can double the amount in six years they will have something to talk about.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Edward Short) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 199. Noes 167.

Division No. 39.] AYES [10.55 p.m.
Abse, Leo Coleman, Donald Fool, Michael (Ebbw Vale)
Allaun Frank (Salford, E.) Conlan, Bernard Ford, Ben
Alldritt, W. H. Corbet, Mrs. Freda Galpern, Sir Myer
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Crawshaw, Richard Garrow, A.
Armstrong, Ernest Cronin, John Ginsburg, David
Atkinson, Norman Crosland, Anthony Gourlay, Harry
Bacon, Miss Alice Cullen, Mrs. Alice Gregory, Arnold
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Dalyell, Tam Grey, Charles
Barnett, Joel Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Baxter, William Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Beaney, Alan Delargy, Hugh Hannan, William
Bence, Cyril Dell, Edmund Harper, Joseph
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Dempsey, James Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Binns, John Dodds, Norman Hart, Mrs. Judith
Bishop, E. S. Doig, Peter Hattersley, Roy
Blackburn, F. Donnelly, Desmond Hayman, F. H.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Driberg, Tom Hazell, Bert
Boston, T. G. Dunn, James A. Heffer, Eric S.
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S.W.) Dunnett, Jack Holman, Percy
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly) Horner, John
Bradley, Tom Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Bray, Dr. Jeremy English, Michael Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Ennals, David Howarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.)
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan) Ensor, David Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury) Evans, Ioan (Birmingham, Yardley) Howie, W.
Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.) Fernyhough, E. Hoy, James
Buchanan, Richard Finch, Harold (Bedwellty) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Irving, Sydney (Dartford)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Jackson, Colin
Carmichael, Neil Floud, Bernard Jeger, George (Goole)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Foley, Maurice Johnson, Carol (Lewisham S.)
Chapman, Donald Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Jones,Rt.Hn.SirElwyn (W.Ham,S.) Neal, Harold Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Newens, Stan Snow, Julian
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Solomons, Henry
Kelley, Richard Oakes, Gordon Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir Frank
Kenyon, Clifford Ogden, Eric Spriggs, Leslie
Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) O'Malley, Brian Stones, William
Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham S.) Swain, Thomas
Lawson, George Orme, Stanley Swingler, Stephen
Ledger, Ron Oswald, Thomas Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Owen, Will Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)
Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Palmer, Arthur Tinn, James
Loughlin, Charles Pargiter, G. A. Tomney, Frank
McBride, Neil Park, Trevor (Derbyshire. S.E.) Tuck, Raphael
McCann, J. Parkin, B. T. Urwin, T. W.
MacColl, James Pentland, Norman Varley, Eric G.
MacDermot, Niall Popplewell, Ernest Wainwright, Edwin
McGuire, Michael Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Walden, Brian (All Saints)
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Rhodes, Geoffrey Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
MacKenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wallace, George
MacMillan, Malcolm Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Watkins, Tudor
MacPherson, Malcolm Robertson, John (Paisley) Weitzman, David
Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Robinson. Rt. Hn. K. (St.Pancras,N.) wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Rodgers, William (Stockton) White, Mrs. Eirene
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Wilkins, W. A.
Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Rose, Paul B. Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Manuel, Archie Ross, Rt. Hn. William Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Mapp, Charles Rowland, Christopher Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Mellish, Robert Sheldon, Robert Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mendelson, J. J. Shore, Peter (Stepney) Wilson, William(Coventry, S.)
Mikardo, Ian Short,Rt.Hn.E.(N'c'tle-on-Tyne,C.) Woof, Robert
Molloy, William( Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Morris, Charles (Openshaw) Silkin, John (Deptford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Morris, John (Aberavon) Silverman, Julius (Aston) Mrs. Harriet Slater and
Murray, Albert Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Mr. Ifor Davies.
Agnew, Commander Sir Peter Errington, Sir Eric Kimball, Marcus
Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.) Farr, John Kitson, Timothy
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Fisher, Nigel Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Anstruther-Gray, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen) Langford-Holt, Sir John
Astor, John Fletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S' pton) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Atkins, Humphrey Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)
Awdry, Daniel Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Longbottom, Charles
Balniel, Lord Gardner, Edward Longden, Gilbert
Batsford, Brian Giles, Rear-Admiral Morgan Lubbock, Eric
Bell, Ronald Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Berry, Hn. Anthony Glover, Sir Douglas McAdden, Sir Stephen
Biggs-Davison, John Goodhew, Victor Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty>
Bingham, R. M. Gower, Raymond Mackie, George Y. (C'ness & S'land)
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Grant, Anthony McLaren, Martin
Black, Sir Cyril Grant-Ferris, R. McMaster, Stanley
Bossom, Hn. Clive Grieve, Percy Maitland, Sir John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J. Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Marten, Neil
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick) Maude, Angus
Braine, Bernard Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Mawby, Ray
Brewis, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Miscampbell, Norman
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Harris, Reader (Heston) Mitchell, David
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Harvie Anderson, Miss Monro, Hector
Buck, Antony Hawkins, Paul More, Jasper
Butcher, Sir Herbert Hay, John Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Carlisle, Mark Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Murton, Oscar
Gary, Sir Robert Higgins, Terence L. Neave, Airey
Channon, H. P. G. Hiley, Joseph Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Chataway, Christopher Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Hirst, Geoffrey Nugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard
Cooper, A. E. Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John Page, R. Graham (Crosby)
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Peel, John
Costain A. P. Hobson, H. E. Percival, Ian
Crawley, Aidan Hordern, Peter Peyton, John
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P. Pickthorn, Rt. Hn. Sir Kenneth
Crowder, F. P. Howard, Hn. G. R. (St. Ives) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Currie, G. B. H. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pitt, Dame Edith
Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pounder, Rafton
d'Avidgor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Dean, Paul Jopling, Michael Price, David (Eastleigh)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Pym, Francis
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Kaberry, Sir Donald Quennell, Miss J. M.
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Kerr, Sir Hamilton (Cambridge) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Thorpe, Jeremy Whitelaw, William
Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.) Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Ridsdale, Julian van straubenzee, W. R. Wise, A. R.
Rodgers, Sir John (sevenoaks) Vaughan-Morgon, Rt. Hn. Sir John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Roots William Walder David (High Peak) Woodnutt, Mark
Sharples, Richard Walker, Peter (Worcester) Wylie, N. R.
Sinclair, Sir George Wall, Patrick Younger, Hn. George
Talbot, John E. Ward, Dame Irene TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart) Weatherill, Bernard Mr. Ian MacArthur and
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Mr. R. W. Elliott.

Question put accordingly, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 195,Noes 165

Division No. 40.] AYES [11.6 p.m.
Abse, Leo Ginsburg, David Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gourlay, Harry Oakes, Gordon
Alldritt, W. H. Gregory, Arnold Ogden, Eric
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Grey, Charles O'Malley, Brian
Armstrong, Ernest Griffiths, David(Rother Valley) Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham S.)
Atkinson, Norman Hale, Leslie Orme, Stanley
Bacon, Miss Alice Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Oswald, Thomas
Bagier Gordon A. T. Hannan, William Owen, Will
Barnett, Joel Harper, Joseph Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Baxter, William Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Palmer, Arthur
Beaney, Alan Hart, Mrs. Judith Pargiter, G. A.
Bence, Cyril Hattersley, Ray Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S.E.)
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Hayman, F. H. Parkin, B. T.
Binns, John Hazell, Bert Pentland, Norman
Bishop, E. S. Heffer, Eric S. Popplewell, Ernest
Blackburn, F. Holman, Percy Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Blenkinsop, Arthur Horner, John Rhodes, Geoffrey
Boston, T. G. Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S. W.) Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Howarth, Robert L. (Bolton, E.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Bradley, Tom Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Robinson, Rt. Hn. K. (St. Pancras, N.)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Howie, W. Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Hoy, James Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Rose, Paul B.
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury) Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.) Jackson, Colin Rowland, Christopher
Buchanan, Richard Jeger, George (Goole) Sheldon, Robert
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Short,Rt.Hn.E.(N'c'tle-on-Tyne,C.)
Carmichael, Neil Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Silkin, John (Deptford)
Chapman, Donald Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Coleman, Donald Kelley, Richard Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Conlan, Bernard Kenyon, Clifford Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Snow, Julian
Crawshaw, Richard Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Solomons, Henry
Cronin, John Lawson, George Soskice, Rt. Hn. Sir. Frank
Crosland, Anthony Ledger, Ron Spriggs, Leslie
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Stones, William
Dalyell, Tam Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Swain, Thomas
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Lever, L. M. (Ardwick) Swingler, Stephen
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Loughlin, Charles Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Delargy, Hugh McBride, Neil Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Dell, Edmund McCann, J. Thomson, George(Dundee, E.)
Dempsey, James MacColl, James Tinn, James
Dodds, Norman MacDermot, Niall Tommy, Frank
Doig, Peter McGuire, Michael Urwin, T. W.
Donnelly, Desmond McKay, Mrs. Margaret Varley, Eric G.
Driberg, Tom MacKenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Wainwright, Edwin
Dunn, James A. MacMillan, Malcolm Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Dunnett, Jack MacPherson, Malcolm Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Wallace, George
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Watkins, Tudor
English, Michael Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Ennals, David Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) White, Mrs. Eirene
Ensor, David Manuel, Archie Wilkins, W. A.
Evans, Ioan (Birmingham, Yardley) Mapp, Charles Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Fernyhough, E Mellish, Robert Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mendelson, J. J. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mikardo, Ian Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Floud, Bernard Milne, Edward (Blyth) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Foley, Maurice Molloy, William Woof, Robert
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Morris, Charles (Openshaw) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Morris, John (Aberavon) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Ford, Ben Murray, Albert Mr. Ifor Davies and
Galpern, Sir Myer Newens, Stan Mrs. Harriet Slater.
Agnew, Commander Sir Peter Glover, Sir Douglas Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.) Goodhew, Victor Miscampbell, Norman
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gower, Raymond Mitchell, David
Anstruther-Gray, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Grant, Anthony Monro, Hector
Astor, John Grant-Ferris, R. More, Jasper
Atkins, Humphrey Grieve, Percy Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Awdry, Daniel Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Balniel, Lord Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick) Murton, Oscar
Batsford, Brian Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Neave, Airey
Bell, Ronald Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Nugent, Rt. Hn. Sir Richard
Biggs-Davison, John Harris, Reader (Heston) Page, R. Graham (Crosby)
Bingham, R. M. Harvie Anderson, Miss Peel, John
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hawkins, Paul Percival, Ian
Black, Sir Cyril Hay, John Peyton, John
Bossom, Hn. Clive Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pickthorn, Rt. Hn. Sir Kenneth
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J. Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Pike, Miss Mervyn
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Higgins, Terence L. Pitt, Dame Edith
Braine, Bernard Hiley, Joseph Pounder, Rafton
Brewis, John Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hirst, Geoffrey Price, David (Eastleigh)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John Pym, Francis
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Quennell, Miss J.M.
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hooson, H. E. Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Buck, Antony Hornby, Richard Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Butcher, Sir Herbert Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P. Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin
Carlisle, Mark Howard, Hn. G. R. (St. Ives) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ridsdale, Julian
Channon, H. P. G. Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Chataway, Christopher Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Roots, William
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Jopling, Michael Sharpies, Richard
Cooper, A. E. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Sinclair, Sir George
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Kaberry, Sir Donald Talbot, John E.
Costain, A. P. Kerr, Sir Hamilton (Cambridge) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Crawley, Aidan Kimball, Marcus Thorpe, Jeremy
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver Kitson, Timothy Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)
Crowder, F. P. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Currie, G. B. H. Langford-Holt, Sir John van Straubenzee, W. R.
Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Vaughan-Morgan Rt. Hn. Sir John
d' Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Walder, David (High Peak)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Longbottom, Charles Walker Peter (Worcester)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Longden, Gilbert Wall, Patrick
Dodds-Parkar, Douglas Lubbock, Eric Ward, Dame Irene
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Lucas, Sir Jocelyn Weatherill, Bernard
Errington, Sir Eric Lucas Tooth, Sir Hugh Whitelaw, William
Farr, John McAdden, Sir Stephen Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)
Fisher, Nigel Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen) Mackie, George Y. (C'ness & S'land) Wise, A. R.
Fletcher-cooke, Sir John (S' pton) McLaren, Martin Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) McMaster, Stanley Woodnutt, Mark
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Maitland, Sir John Wylie, N. H.
Gardner, Edward Marten, Neil Younger, Hn. George
Giles, Rear-Admiral Morgan Maude, Angus TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central) Mawby, Ray Mr. Ian MacArthur and
Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Mr. R. W. Elliott.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I beg to move, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I am delighted to see the Leader of the House here. In his capacity as Lord President of the Council, if I may say so with great respect, he has not shown that diligence to his duties we had hoped. However, we forgive him that, and are very glad indeed to see him here with us. I think that he will bring the light of common sense to his colleagues on the Front Bench.

I move this Motion much more in sorrow than in anger. We are perfectly willing to co-operate with the Government in getting their legislation, provided that reasonable time is given for its proper consideration. We said from the very beginning that it was ridiculous to expect that we should take this important constitutional Measure through Committee and Report right away afterwards, and then give it its Third Reading all in one Parliamentary day, without having an effective Report stage and no adequate time for consideration before Third Reading.

This is, in fact, a major Measure. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot pretend that these new Ministries are important without, at the same time, accepting that it is an important Measure. It seeks to give validity to setting up the new Ministries. We have had debates in which no time has been wasted at all. [Laughter.] If the Leader of the House had been here he would have known that we deliberately curtailed the first debate so that we could have a Division on that question at a reasonable time and get on with the business. It was not until the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was so obtuse on the question of overseas development that discussion began to be rather prolonged. As I say, this is a constitutional Measure. I do not think that it was because the Government would have had a majority of only one or two upstairs that they decided to take it on the Floor of the Chamber. It was because they regarded it as a very important Measure that they brought it to the Floor. I am sure of that. It validates new Ministries, and we have had considerable debate about that, but there is very much in the Bill which is still to be debated. We are really only just at the beginning of some very important constitutional matters.

Clause 2 deals with questions of salaries, which, I gather, are not unimportant, and may, perhaps, be part of the reason for the desire to press on with the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Cheap."] What is cheap about the idea of paying people a fair wage? I am astounded at the intervention of hon. Members opposite, from a sedentary position. I do not think that these Ministers will be cheap at all at this price.

The second point which then arises is—not only the question of salaries of the new Ministers—their numbers. Clause 3 raises one of the most important constitutional matters to have been debated for a long time—the number of placemen in the House of Commons. All those arguments were put forward on Second Reading, but there are many detailed points to be raised in Committee. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Sydney Silverman) laughs. He would have been the first to be on his feet to protest against this, and it is not consistent with his character that he should object to the Opposition taking this kind of action.

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) is a great judge of efficiency in opposition. I wonder how much he opposes what the Government are doing, and about which he is absolutely silent. What are his views about the communique? But I must not be drawn by provocative interruptions from below the Gangway.

We want to give the Measure proper consideration and to deal with it in a serious way at a reasonable time of day. I do not think that the Committee is at its best when discussing things into the small hours of the morning. If a reasonable proposition is made to deal with the Measure, I am sure that we will co-operate. It is unreasonable for us to continue through the night trying to get through the whole of the Committee stage, the Report stage, and the Third Reading. I have moved the Motion to find out the Government's intentions in the matter.

Mr. Houghton

It is not as late as all that. I see no signs of undue fatigue on the benches opposite. Everyone seems in very good heart. It is the right hon. and learned Gentleman who has moved this Motion. It is he who has asked, "Is it not time that we went away and sat again another day?". He must have been having some consideration for the state of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. As I can see them very much better than he can, I can tell him that all is well with them, and there is no need for us to break off just now. Let us see how we get on. I am only using the formula which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has used very frequently in the past—"Let us see how we go".

Sometimes we wanted to break off, and he used to coax us to go on and say, "If speeches are kept short, and if no time is wasted, we can probably make good progress". Many important matters have been discussed through the night, and in my experience of Parliament I have found that sometimes more sense is talked during the night than during the day.

I think that on reflection the right hon. and learned Gentleman will see how unreasonable it is for him to move this Motion. It is still early, and I suggest that we get on with the job and see how we go. There is no need to dilly dally over it. Let us go on. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman wants to discover the wishes of the Government a little later, we shall be very happy to tell him then, but I see no reason for a premature adjournment of the debate on this important Bill.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that it is for the Opposition to consider the wishes of the Government and never for the Government to consider the wishes of the Opposition?

Mr. Houghton

It depends largely on how important the business is to the Government. That fact is surely in the experience of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. When we wanted to break off when his Government were in office, if the Government wanted a Bill, they usually said, "We want the Bill tonight" and went on, and we had to co-operate as best we could to bring the business to a conclusion. I hope that we can rely on the co-operation of the Opposition to bring this Bill to a conclusion and that we can do so within a reasonable time.

Mr. Grimond

I am sure that the whole Committee has been greatly encouraged by the complimentary remarks of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He is not looking too bad, considering the afternoon he has had. I agree that the hour is reasonably early, and that this is a highly important Bill, upon which the Government are only too willing to spend some more time. I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on having picked up the tricks of Government so quickly. The deadpan expression, the emollient remark and the barbed shaft have come from him as though he had been there for thirteen years.

But there is one concession he might make, and I put the point in all seriousness. It might not be possible to get the remaining stages of the Bill tonight. Whether or not he thinks that this is a simple machinery Bill, it raises important questions. There are Amendments in the right hon. Gentleman's own name. I believe that it would be to the advantage of the Committee if he could assure us that, although he may want to complete the Committee stage, the remaining stages may be taken on another occasion. I am not saying that he ought to complete the Committee stage tonight, but he might want to go as far as that. But it would be convenient to the Committee if he could indicate the Government's intentions concerning the Report and Third Reading.

Sir Lionel Heald (Chertsey)

I want to make a serious appeal to the Leader of the House in this matter. This is the first occasion of this kind on which we have had the advantage of his presence. I am sure we all regard this as an important Bill, and we are in the middle of a serious discussion of it. I ask him to advise the Committee whether he thinks that it is desirable to proceed through the night with a matter of this kind.

It is true that during the last week or two, owing to the introduction of a Finance Bill at this time of year, which is unusual, we have had some late sittings, but it is not good for anyone. We have heard the right hon. Gentleman himself and other hon. Members opposite speak on this subject before. These all-night sittings do no good to anyone, and very little good to the reputation of Parliament. We have noticed—we cannot help noticing—that one of the results is that matters which are awkward from the Government's point of view can be discussed in the early hours of the morning when there is little chance of their being reported in the Press. The people of this country, surprising though it may be to some hon. Members opposite, are interested in what goes on in the House, and they are watching the Government and the behaviour of hon. Members opposite.

We now have the proposal that we should go on discussing this Bill into the early hours of the morning. As my right hon. and learned Friend has pointed out, we shall be dealing with a very serious matter in Clause 3—the question to what extent the Executive can be enlarged. Millions of our people are interested in this subject. If we debate it in the early hours of the morning it will receive very little publicity. I do not think that on the first occasion on which he has to advise about such a matter the Leader of the House would wish to appear to be arguing from a political point of view. I hope that we shall have the opportunity of hearing from him a statesmanlike speech on the subject.

11.30 p.m.

I warn him that many hon. Members on this side of the House and many people in the country have the view that the Government are adopting a dictatorial point of view. In order to prove that, I want to give some brief quotations from the speeches of Government spokesmen on this very Bill. I start with the Attorney-General who, as reported in col. 649 of HANSARD, said: The figure of 91 which we propose is quite simply the number of Ministers whom the Prime Minister wishes to have in the House of Commons. That is the beginning and end of the matter. That is the statement of a dictator. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I withdraw that, Sir Samuel. It is the statement of a would-be dictator.

The Attorney-General rose

Sir L. Heald

I cannot give way.

Hon. Members


Lieut.-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport (Knutsford)

Sit down.

Mr. Julian Snow (Lichfield and Tam-worth)

It is no wonder they sacked the right hon. and learned Gentleman.

The Deputy-Chairman


Sir L. Heald

The Chancellor of the Duchy, as reported at col. 751, said: As I remarked the other day, we are the Government now.

Mr. Houghton rose

Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

Sit down!

The Chairman

Order. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not give way, other hon. Members must resume their seats.

Mr. Thomas Swain (Derbyshire, North-East)

On a point of order. Since I came to the House, I have been under the impression that only the Chairman of Committees or Mr. Speaker can order an hon. Member to sit down. I am personally getting "fed up" with listening to the "nut" from Knutsford telling us to sit down.

The Deputy-Chairman

That is not a point of order.

Sir L. Heald

Let me tell the Chancellor of the Duchy that at least his remark was an improvement on that made by his famous predecessor, Sir Hartley Shawcross, who said, "We are the masters now". At least the right hon. Gentleman said, "We are the Government now".

Finally, the right hon. Gentleman, as reported in the next column, said, I suggest that the justification for the new Ministries is a matter for the Government"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 19th November, 1964; Vol. 701, c. 649–752.] The impression has been created that the attitude adopted by the Government on this Measure is that they are the masters and that they do not intend to encourage discussion or to listen to any argument. Perhaps one of the most striking proofs of that is that no back bench Member of the Government side has taken part in the debate.

Mr. Charles Longbottom (York)

I do not think anyone can deny that this is a Bill of considerable constitutional importance. More Ministries are being set up than the House has ever known in its history. We are also in an age when we seek the modernisation of industry and the machinery of Government, but we are setting up a number of Ministries the functions of which have not been explained to us in the debate. During this debate we have discussed three most important Amendments dealing with the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Overseas Development and the Ministry of Technology, but the Committee has not given any idea about the functions of these Ministries. Nor has there been any information on the great number of detailed points which greatly affect the view of the Committee on the Bill.

The Chancellor of the Duchy has said that the Prime Minister, with his prerogative, had decided to use that power to appoint these extra Ministers and then merely put a prima facie case to the Committee for that action. It was upon that, the Chancellor added, that we have to make these decisions, and he went on to say that the details would come when the functions came to be discussed. He said that particularly in relation to the Minister of Overseas Development. But does he not know of the existence of Statutory Instrument No. 1849 of 1964? If he does, he will also know that there will be no opportunity to discuss this new appointment unless a Prayer is moved in the House within forty days of the Order being made, when hon. Members will be able to go into the functions of this new Ministry.

This is a most important matter. For example, is the Ministry going to have any overseas staff?

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

On a point of order, Sir Samuel. I know that the range of debate on the Motion to report Progress is fairly wide, but is it in order for an hon. Member to debate the previous Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill", which already has been decided?

The Temporary Chairman

I hope the hon. Member will not stray too far.

Mr. Longbottom

It is interesting to see the lion. Member for Nelson and Colne has turned gamekeeper for the Government side.

I was saying before I was interrupted that we were promised that we should have an opportunity under a Transfer of Functions Bill of looking at this Ministry of Overseas Development. It is important that we should be absolutely clear about how this Ministry is going to work, what its staff will be, and so on. The only repetitive remark that I shall make, whatever the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne may think, is that a lot of countries overseas are expecting a great deal from this new Department, but I do not think that much will be achieved unless the functions are made very much more clear than they have been so far today.

I support this Motion because of the manner in which the right hon. and learned Attorney-General and the Chancellor of the Duchy have treated the Committee. They have come here with cursory briefs and have failed to give any sort of answer to a lot of important questions. They should be given the opportunity now of going away to study this much more carefully and closely so that they can come back and give the Committee a lot more information. The Chancellor of the Duchy seemed to imply just now that it is not late, but for several hours—

Mr. Sydney Silverman

On a point of order, Sir Samuel. The hon. Member is now saying that the reason why the Committee should report Progress and ask leave to sit again is so that my right hon. Friends may go away and discuss what has already been discussed and decided. Is that in order?

The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Member did not, I think, say that we should discuss what has already been discussed. As I understood the hon. Member, he wants further information about the Bill as it stands.

Mr. Longbottom

Had the hon. Member been paying attention he would know that I said that they should go away and then come back with better answers than we have had so far. This is a very important point. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Attorney-General have given totally inadequate answers on a very important constitutional Bill. There are equally important points in the subsequent Clauses, to which the Committee is entitled to complete answers. If what we have had so far is any guide to what things will be like later, I think it is time that we accepted this Motion so that at least the Committee may be treated to proper and full answers on very important constitutional problems.

Mr. Ian Mikardo (Poplar)

I am a little at a loss to understand what all this fuss is about. I have listened with my usual care to the speeches on the Motion by three Members opposite—for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd), for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), and for Chertsey (Sir L. Heald)—or rather two right hon. and learned Gentlemen and one right hon. and intelligent Gentleman—and I do not know what they are getting at.

We have been here for a little over nine hours—[HON. MEMBERS: "Not the hon. Gentleman."] I have been here every minute of it. The three right hon. Gentlemen have said that this is a very special Bill; in other words, they said that there was an important job for this Committee to do on it. We have been here a little over an hour beyond the normal time of the normal shift in any productive establishment. If there were a factory at which a very important job needed to be done—a job as outrageously important as the right hon. Gentlemen have said that this one is, and the workers insisted on not working more than an hour beyond the normal shift, what would hon. and right hon. Members opposite say? They would say what they said between 15 and 20 years ago—that those workers were a bunch of "Weary Willies" and "Tired Tims". I say that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are "Weary Willies" and "Tired Tims".

The right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey talked at great length about what would be the reaction in the country to what is going on here. He would discover that the first reaction of his constituency Conservative association, and the other 629 Conservative associations would be to want to know why, on this Bill, and others that have gone before it in the last few days, the Government have had a majority several times greater than they have on paper. That is what he will have to explain this weekend in Chertsey. When he goes to the workers in the Vickers works at Weybridge, I wish him joy of his explanation. And all the other "guys" over there will have to explain how it comes about that they are such a bunch of "Weary Willies" and "Tired Tims".

I take their word that this is a very important and special job in our production and our output. On that account I, and I am sure that I carry with me my hon. and right hon. Friends, am prepared, as an exceptional measure, to do a double shift. We would not want to do it after every shift, but it is exceptional and we are prepared to do it. I invite the Committee to join us.

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Hogg

I congratulate the hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) on being the first back-bencher opposite to break silence more than sedentarily, but the hon. Member has changed a lot since he represented Reading, some years ago. I can remember that then he spoke with a very cultured, university accent. Now that he represents an East End constituency he is speaking, although not a Londoner, with something like the original London dialect, but it is, I fear, a highly artificial proceeding which most of us who remember him before have noted.

I was extremely disappointed, as I know my hon. and right hon. Friends were, that the only word we heard from the Government in response to the Motion moved by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) came from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. We are all very fond of him, but on this occasion I would have preferred to hear a word from the Leader of the House. After all, it was his absence as Lord President of the Council which caused us most of the trouble in the previous debate, because if he had only been here to guide his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney- General, who are bearing the heat and burden of the day, about the existence of that Order in Council, about which the Committee was kept in complete darkness until it was elicited from this side, we should have saved ourselves a great deal of trouble.

I wish that the Leader of the House could have said a word about the Motion moved by my right hon. and learned Friend because, fond as we are of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, he has not been at all himself today. He was the first to say that he was not feeling particularly robust.

Mr. Houghton

I said that as the day went on I would gather strength, and I have.

Mr. Hogg

As the day goes on we may gradually begin to see a little resumption of strength, but the right hon. Gentleman has been extraordinarily weak up to the present time. It is for that very reason that I should have thought that the Leader of the House would have been the first to come to his aid. I am putting this in a bantering form, but it is a very serious point. The whole trouble into which the Committee has got this afternoon and evening has been due to the high-handed and superficial attitude of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in refusing to answer our questions properly.

As the Leader of the House was not here, I am sure that he will wish to be informed of what has been going on. It emerged during the debate that the Chancellor of the Duchy, who was having a most miserable time, had been guilty of an extraordinary error of judgment. He had advised his right hon. Friend the Minister of Overseas Development and his right hon. Friend the Minister of Land and Natural Resources not to come here although they were precisely the Ministers who could have answered the questions which were quite properly put from this side of the Committee.

I do not want to take a false point, and I concede at once that Mr. Cousins could not be here, although we should much have liked to see him, and Lord Snow could not be here although we should much have liked to see him, too. But the right hon. Gentleman deliberately did not bring to the Committee those Ministers with Portfolios overlapping those of Science and Technology who could, perhaps, give us a rational answer to the arguments which have been put from this side.

When my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Wirral moved the Motion he did it for the excellent reason that, if the Committee were to accept it, the Chancellor the Duchy could then report to the Leader of the House that a serious error of judgment had been made and that, in the circumstances, it was not good enough to leave him alone to defend the Government's position.

Mr. Houghton

If that was the right hon. and learned Gentleman's intention why, in heaven's name, did he not say so?

Mr. Hogg

I thought that I had said so several times. This is the opportunity for the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Leader of the House that a serious error of judgment has been made and that the Committee in many quarters, in the Liberal Party, too—the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) expressed this view forcefully—feels that it has been treated with contempt. Matters could readily be put right now by the Chancellor of the Duchy reporting what has happened to his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House and bringing here the Ministers who could answer at least the later stages of the debate properly. I do not know what is stopping the right hon. Gentleman from doing it.

We have had the most unfortunate experience of seeing the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney-General, who, for once, did not stick to his lawyer's last as he should, drop those abominable "clangers", the first about Britain's science and technology in comparison with other countries of Europe, and the second his claim, which is wholly without foundation, even in law, that his right hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) was in a position, and had power under the Bill, to deal with land racketeering, which, of course, bore no relation to the contents of the Bill at all.

The Committee feels a genuine sense of grievance and frustration at having been treated with contempt by the Government. not only by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who has had to bear the brunt of our remarks and has been put up to do it, and not only by the Attorney-General, but by the Government as a whole. All these mistakes having been made, cannot the Leader of the House now tell us that the time has come to put the proceedings in order and to see that, on the future Amendments and stages of the Bill, the proper Ministers will be here?

My hon. Friend the Member for East-leigh (Mr. David Price) and others of my hon. Friends made a careful argument showing why the appointment of a separate Minister of Technology is, in fact, a most dangerous and inefficacious piece of machinery. The only answer that we got from the Chancellor of the Duchy was the psychological effect which such an appointment of Mr. Cousins and Lord Snow would have on the population at large. This is the substitution of government by witchcraft or totem worship for statesmanship—the psychological effect of a wholly useless piece of machinery.

Did the right hon. Gentleman give us a single argument why the piece of machinery would be valuable? He did not. He brought out Mr. Cousins and Lord Snow as the Chinese brought out their cannons, not to fire them but so that the appearance of them should terrify the enemy. I do not know what they do to our competitors in Europe, but, like the Duke of Wellington, I can say "My goodness, they frighten me!" All I can say is that it is time that the Leader of the House did his duty both as Lord President of the Council and as Leader of the House and gave us a satisfactory assurance.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert W. Bowden)

I should have thought that the very last thing that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) would have spoken to us about would have been colossal mistakes. He seems to have forgotten that not very long ago, with his hand on his heart and hope in his eyes, he descended upon us; but perhaps I had better not pursue that line.

I am very conscious of the importance of the Bill. The former Leader of the House has said that he is, too, and he felt that we should make good progress with it. In the exchanges that took place in the House on Thursday last week, I said that we would see how we would get on, and we have seen how we have got on. In six hours we have got Clause 1, and that is hardly progress. [HON. MEMBERS: "There have been no answers."] The Committee stage of the Bill could have been got quite reasonably during today, and the Government would have considered what would have happened subsequently to the Committee stage if there had been the co-operation one would have expected from the Opposition. But we have not had it.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy has said that the night is young. In another five minutes the new day will be very young. There is plenty of time to make further progress. The right hon. and learned Member for Chertsey (Sir Lionel Heald) referred to Press comment during the last week. The proposal from some of my hon. Friends for a change in the sittings of the House to half-past ten in the morning has received a great deal of appreciation not only from the general public, but from the Press. This sort of happening late at night or early in the morning on an extremely important Bill when there has been no attempt at all to co-operate—[Interruption.] We were given to understand by the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) that there was no desire to delay the Bill, but things do not appear to have been working in that direction over the last six hours.

I really feel that we must make very much more progress before the Government can consider, or before I as Leader of the House can consider, when and at what point we should stop consideration of the Bill.

12 m.

Sir D. Glover

I am sure that the whole Committee must be bitterly disappointed at the reply of the Lord President of the Council. He has gone down very much in my estimation. The Lord President of the Council is also Leader of the House and is not just a party politician. He is supposed to gather the mood of the House and not just that of the Government.

I can tell the Leader of the House that when the debate started today—and he will agree that I know something about what goes on in the Conservative Party—there was no intention of delaying this Bill. We expected by this time to have completed the Bill and gone home. This was our approach to the Bill when we entered the House this afternoon.

The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Sydney Silverman) and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) know perfectly well—they have been in the House for a long time and are arch exponents of delaying matters—that if they had been in the House and listened to the debate, that if they had been on this side of the House and one of our Ministers had replied in such a way as right hon. Gentlemen have today, they would not have let any item go through without debate.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

The hon. Member is an old Member, as I am. He told us a minute or two ago that it was the intention of the Opposition to get through all stages of the Bill as far as they could by midnight. But on one Amendment four separate occupants of the Opposition Front Bench made speeches on the same point. In his opinion, was that a way of helping progress and getting the subject matter finished by midnight?

Sir D. Glover

The real answer is that all the time my right hon. Friends were trying to get sensible replies out of the Government and failing time after time.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr), on the Amendment dealing with the Ministry of Overseas Development, made such a convincing speech that the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, without waiting for anyone else to speak, immediately replied. His reply was so fatuous that from that moment everyone on this side was trying to get answers to the questions which had been posed in a most conciliatory and statesmanlike manner by my right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham. We do not intend to divide on this, but we want clear-cut answers to a great many problems affecting this Department.

This is why the debate has gone the way it has. It did not start with any of us wishing to delay Government business. But I would point out to the Leader of the House and his right hon. Friends that this is a constitutional Measure. I was appalled, quite honestly, at the reaction of hon. Members on the Government side. I do not understand what has happened to the fire for democracy that I understood burned in the belly of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale. I presume that it has been doused with water from the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources. At any rate, the fire has gone out. There is none of that fighting for the rights and dignity of the House of Commons that the hon. Member used to bring out to delay the proceedings of the House in the last Parliament hour after hour. I listened to the hon. Member with a great deal of admiration, because he was doing the back bencher's job to protect the Legislature against the Executive.

This Bill is only a measure to strengthen the Executive. It was brought in to put right what was done by the Prime Minister, who created these Ministers under the Royal Prerogative, as he was entitled to do. But these Ministers have been carrying out duties and appointing staff. It appears now that they have been spending money as well before the House of Commons has decided whether it will legalise their functions and the functions of their Departments.

These are not minor issues. They are great issues which concern whether the stature of the House of Commons goes up vis-à-vis the Executive or whether the Executive becomes all-powerful and can ride roughshod over, the House of Commons—as it can with hon. Members opposite as cannon fodder under the leadership of the Lord President, who can get anything through without argument, discussion and debate by them.

The frightening thing in this Parliament—and I congratulate the Patronage Secretary on it—is the discipline he has been able to instil into his own back benchers, so that debate after debate can take place without even the small voice of reason from them. There is a deathly silence from them. All one can hear is the rattling of the bars in the iron cage. Not one of them has the guts or the back bone to speak out when, in fact, many of them cannot agree with half the Measures in detail even if they agree in principle.

Is it really the case that, out of 317 people, there is not one who has a question, not one who has a query, not one who would like an explanation of some point or other, that all is clear to them? Indeed, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster must be a soothsayer if he thinks that his speeches have been clear to his own supporters. If they have been clear to them, then they must be most wonderful people with second sight because to everyone who understands these problems his explanations are as clear as mud.

The speeches of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster have been turgid and long-winded. I think one should point out that, although no hon. Member opposite has taken part in these proceedings, when we study HANSARD tomorrow we shall find that the right hon. Gentleman has taken an inordinate amount of nine hours since we began the Committee stage. He has not been able to say "yes" or "no" without putting in "by", "to" or "from" and all sorts of explanations to drag it out. Indeed, once or twice I thought he was filibustering his own Bill.

I have never heard from that Dispatch Box such long, turgid and unintelligible explanations, going on for 30 or 40 minutes, in the Committee stage of a Bill as the right hon. Gentleman has tried to make something clear which even now I do not think he understands. The right hon. Gentleman orders his right hon. Friends concerned not to come—I do not quite understand his position in the Government—in case someone could give an intelligible explanation of some of the matters under discussion.

I presume that if we could have proper explanations not only would we on this side go into the Lobbies against the Bill but all hon. Members opposite would accompany us. I believe that the Government tried to get this Measure through without explanation because, if it was understood, no one would vote for it. That is why the right hon. Gentleman cannot let the Ministers concerned into the Committee. If he did, he could not get any more business and that is the problem he is up against.

It is interesting that one right hon. Gentleman, the right hon. Frank Cousins, who, of course, not being a Member is not so far subject to the discipline of the Whips, did have the courtesy to come and listen to the debate. He came, but was not present. As you know, Sir Samuel, it is the tradition of the House of Commons that nobody who is not a Member is present, and I am therefore slightly out of order in drawing attention to the fact that he broke all the rules and instructions of the right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy and came here.

I appeal to the Leader of the House. This is an important Bill. I am sincere in saying that there was no wish to filibuster and no desire to delay the proceedings. I honestly believe that if the right hon. Gentleman had been here to listen to some of the explanations given by his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who will not represent Lancashire in that capacity for very long if he goes on as he has today, for we shall repudiate him and send him back over the Pennines to Yorkshire where he belongs—and I begin to think that it was a disaster that he ever came over the Pennines—and had heard the lack of reply and the lack of clarity, he would have understood why these debates have taken as long as they have.

So far we have not had one conciliatory move from the Government Front Bench. The right hon. Gentleman, getting stronger in body as the night goes on—and weaker in the head—wants us to go on all night. I can understand that. When we are all comatose, some of his speeches will probably appear intelligent, but that is about the only condition in which they will. Of course he wants to get the Bill through in the early hours of the morning, because that is the only way of re-establishing his reputation for getting Government business.

Can the Leader of the House, who is not solely a Government spokesman, give us some indication—perhaps if we get Clauses 2 and 3—of when the Government will be satisfied? That would be reasonable and would probably get the co-operation of the Committee. If we are to be faced with a stone wall of opposition to any conciliation and any understanding of our problems as the Opposition, I can warn the right hon. Gentleman that I for one will see that the Government do not get very much more business tonight.

Mr. Peter Walker

May I, first, express my sincere disappointment that the hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo), after exhorting us to go on for a double shift, should, within 10 minutes, have taken a tea-break? May I also say how sorry I am to have heard the first effort of the Lord President of the Council, in his capacity as Leader of the House, answering a Motion of this kind? When we have a constitutional Bill such as this, I would have thought that we would have had the attendance of the Leader of the House for most of our debates, but, in fact, we have seen very little of him throughout the day.

When, at last, the right hon. Gentleman has put in an appearance, it has been to say that he intends to give no indication of what his ideas are. He pays no heed of the arguments put to him, for example, the important argument of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party, who asked whether it was his intention to get through only the Committee stage of the Bill this evening and to take the other stages of the Bill later.

When the Leader of the Liberal Party put that question, for once the right hon. Gentleman the Patronage Secretary was seen to nod agreement with the point which was being made. Perhaps it was a nod to urge some discipline on his own back benchers, a secret code, but we were hopeful that this man of iron would at last relax and agree to some indication being given.

The Lord President of the Council has the reputation of being a charming man. It was predicted, when he became the Leader of the House, that he would be a very good and popular Leader. I must say that his first performance is exceedingly disappointing. I hope that he will carefully reconsider the points which have been put to him, and again come to the Dispatch Box and give us some indication of the Government's intentions.

12.15 a.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Hirst (Shipley)

I would not have spoken had it not been for the Leader of the House going to the Dispatch Box a short while ago. I must protest at the right hon. Gentleman's coming into a debate, after what has taken place, and asking for our cooperation, when he ought to have known—if he did not know—that the reason why the co-operation was not forthcoming was that the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster persistently, consistently and consecutively refused to answer the questions put by the leaders of my party.

I cannot understand this. I, like many hon. Members, have a sincere regard for the Leader of the House. I just cannot understand how he could possibly be so arrogant as to go to that Box and state his opinion in that way. I mean this sincerely, because I am genuinely upset that this could be so. His remarks were obviously made completely unthinkingly and must have been made without regard to, or knowledge of, what had occurred.

I feel the right hon. Gentleman should save his own reputation, and a good deal of the reputation of Parliament in the eyes of the country, by showing now that he understands the point at issue. Being an honourable man, he must make way for his right hon. Friends to give us the answers, which alone—I repeat, alone—are the slightest hope of enabling the Committee to make progress tonight.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

From a purely practical point of view, the Committee should forget what has gone so far. The Government have got Clause 1, and we ought to be giving thought to what we can achieve in the future. If we look on the Notice Paper, we see that there are still 33 Amendments to be dealt with. We are burking the issue if we do not take into account what has happened to the Bill in the discussion so far.

The Leader of the House ought to recognise that to expect to get the whole of the Committee stage, Report and Third Reading tonight has been proved to be quite unreasonable. In the light of what has happened, that is clear. [An HON. MEMBER: "Not at all."] The Leader of the House and the hon. Gentleman who interrupted know full well that the idea of moving the Motion to report Progress is to give the Government a chance to take into account what has happened and what the real position is.

I believe that the Leader of the House would be doing the Government a service and helping them to get their business if he faced this issue. While it may seem a presumption from someone on the back benches on this side to say this, if he could give an indication that he recognises the situation, if he could say that he is prepared to find another day or half-day and that the Government expect to get up to Clause 3 today. I am certain that he would put the Opposition in a wrong light if they did not co-operate. If he does not give any sort of leeway, I suggest that he would be putting himself and the Government in the wrong.

I believe that, taking everything into account, and understanding the bantering and the enjoyment which some hon. Members get out of this sort of exchange, we have reached the point at which the Leader of the House, without losing face, by doing his duty and helping his colleagues in the Government, could say that if he could get Clause 3 tonight he would consider giving half a day—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Well, the Leader of the House would get the support of hon. Members like myself on the Opposition benches. At the moment, the Leader of the House cannot have my support, because he is being unreasonable. I must say to my hon. Friends that if they did not accept my solution, there is a chance that they would be unreasonable. That is the position which I believe the Leader of the House could legitimately take. If he could get, say, Clause 2 and agree to set aside another day or half a day on Report, I believe that that offer would be accepted.

I urge the Leader of the House to take that reasonable and sensible line in the light of all that has happened. If he did I am convinced that he would get the co-operation of the whole Committee.

Mr. R. J. Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

This debate has proved to be of such absorbing interest that during the course of the last three speeches Government support on the back benches has increased from 13 to 20. This shows that the debate on the Motion is far from being run into the ground.

The basic issue is that a certain amount of debating from this side of the Committee has enabled right hon. Gentlemen opposite, who do not know their own case, to send out their Parliamentary Private Secretaries to get them further elucidation. When, however, time and time again, their P.P.S.s come back without the answers which those right hon. Gentlemen seek, it is right that the Committee should report Progress so that those who are conducting the Bill from the Government Front Bench can decide what they are endeavouring to do in their own Bill. If they have not decided that, how can they expect to convince the Committee?

The hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. Mikardo) used the analogy of people being asked to work overtime in a factory, but it would be unreasonable to ask people in a factory to work overtime when the foreman does not know how to read his own drawings. That is the analogy here.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

The hon. Member has never worked in a factory.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

As it happens, I worked in a factory for six years. Despite the disparaging remarks of the Attorney-General, it was a factory which, in six years, increased its exports from £15.7 million to £57 million, in an industry which, despite what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, drove two of the largest American companies right out of the industry and reduced a subsidiary of General Motors to taking a licence.

The Government cannot expect to make progress if they do not know their own case. It would have been obvious to the Leader of the House, had he been here, that his own Front Bench speakers did not know their case and that they could not get the answers for their case from their professional advisers. That is why the debate has lasted so long and to such little purpose.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I am very disappointed at the attitude of the Leader of the House. I know something of the difficulties of that position. It depends a good deal upon the good will and co-operation of the Opposition, but it also means that in government one must give and help a little.

The whole trouble today has been that from the beginning the Patronage Secretary and right hon. Gentlemen opposite have stated that they intended to get the Bill—the whole of it—today. That was a completely unreasonable proposition. I do not think that any hon. Member, on either side, thinks it reasonable to take a Bill of this sort, the whole of the Committee stage and Report, with the difficulty of having to put in manuscript Amendments, of which we have a lot to put in, if we reach Report tonight, and Third Reading. It is completely unreasonable and an insult to the intelligence of the Committee to expect it to do all this in one day.

As long as the Leader of the House exhibits this inflexible attitude, he is in for serious trouble. It needs a bit of give and take to get Government business through. We do not intend to obstruct or to delay unreasonably, but we mean to see that legislation gets proper consideration. Under the Government's timetable, it was impossible for the Bill to get proper consideration and we intend to see that it does. Unless the Leader of the House is a little more forthcoming than he has been, I shall ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to divide in support of the Motion.

Question put:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 135, Noes 171.

Division No. 41.] AYES [12.25 p.m.
Agnew, Commander Sir Peter Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Glover, Sir Douglas Miscampbell, Norman
Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.) Goodhart, Philip Mitchell, David
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Grant, Anthony Monro, Hector
Anstruther-Gray, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Grant-Ferris, R. More, Jasper
Astor, John Grieve, Percy Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Awdry, Daniel Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Balniel, Lord Griffiths, Peter (Smethwick) Murton, Oscar
Batsford, Brian Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Neave, Airey
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gurden, Harold Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Page, R. Graham (Crosby)
Biggs-Davison, John Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh) Peel, John
Bingham, R. M. Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Percival, Ian
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Harvie Anderson, Miss Peyton, John
Bossom, Hn. Clive Hawkins, Paul Pickthorn, Rt. Hn. Sir Kenneth
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. J. Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pitt, Dame Edith
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Higgins, Terence L. Pounder, Rafton
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hiley, Joseph Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hirst, Geoffrey Quennell, Miss J. M.
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Buck, Antony Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Redmayne, Rt. Hn. Sir Martin
Butcher, Sir Herbert Hobson, H. E. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Carlisle, Mark Hornby, Richard Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame P. Roots, William
Channon, H. P. G. Howard, Hn. G. R.(St. Ives) Scott-Hopkins, James
Chataway, Christopher Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Sharples, Richard
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Thorpe, Jeremy
Costain, A. P. Jopling, Michael Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Crawley, Aidan Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith van Straubenzee, W. R.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver Kaberry, Sir Donald Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Crowder, F. P. Kitson, Timothy Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Currie, G. B. H. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Wall, Patrick
Davies, Dr. Wyndham (Perry Barr) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Ward, Dame Irene
d' Avigdor-Goldsmid Sir Henry Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (wirral) Wearherill, Bernard
Deeds, Rt. Hn. W. F. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley(Exeter)
Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) MacArthur, Ian Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Errington, Sir Eric Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Wise, A. R.
Fisher, Nigel Mackie, George Y.(C'ness & S'land) Woodnutt, Mark
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles (Darwen) McLaren, Martin Wylie, N. R.
Fletcher-Cooke, Sir John (S' pton) Maitland, Sir John Younger, Hn. George
Gardner, Edward Maude, Angus TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Giles, Rear-Admiral Morgan Maxwell, Hyslop, R. J. Mr. Ian Fraser and Mr. F. Pym.
Abse, Leo Corbet, Mrs. Freda Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Alldritt, W. H. Crawshaw, Richard Hamilton, James (Both well)
Allen, scholefield (Crewe) Crosland, Anthony Hannan, William
Armstrong, Ernest Cullen, Mrs. Alice Harper, Joseph
Atkinson, Norman Dalyell, Tam Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Bacon, Miss Alice Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Hart, Mrs. Judith
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Delargy, Hugh Hattersley, Roy
Barnett, Joel Dell, Edmund Hayman, F. H.
Baxter, William Dempsey, James Hazell, Bert
Beaney, Alan Dodds, Norman Heffer, Eric S.
Bence, Cyril Doig, Peter Horner, John
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Driberg, Tom Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Binns, John Dunn, James A. Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough)
Bishop, E. S. Dunnett, Jack Howarth, Robert L.(Bolton, E.)
Blackburn, F. Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Howie, W.
Blenkinsop, Arthur English, Michael Hoy, James
Boston, T. G. Ennals, David Irving, Sydney (Dartford)
Bowden. Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics S.W.) Ensor, David Jackson, Colin
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Evans, loan (Birmingham, Yardley) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Bradley, Tom Fernyhough, E. Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W. Ham, S.)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Jones, T. W.(Merioneth)
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan) Floud, Bernard Kelley, Richard
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & Fbury) Foley, Maurice Kenyon, Clifford
Buchan, Norman (Renfrewshire, W.) Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R' ter & Chatham)
Buchanan, Richard Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Kerr, Dr. David (W' worth, Central)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Ford, Ben Lawson, George
Carmichael, Neil Galpern, Sir Myer Ledger, Ron
Carter-Jones, Lewis Ginsburg, David Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)
Chapman, Donald Gourlay, Harry Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Coleman, Donald Gregory, Arnold Loughlin, Charles
Conlan, Bernard Grey, Charles McBride, Neil
MacColl, James Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Stones, William
McGuire, Michael Palmer, Arthur Swain, Thomas
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Park, Trevor (Derbyshire, S.E.) Swingler, Stephen
MacKenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Parkin, B. T. Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
MacMillan, Malcolm Pentland, Norman Thornton, George (Dundee, E.)
MacPherson, Malcolm Popplewell, Ernest Tinn, James
Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey Tomney, Frank
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) Urwin, T. W.
Mallalieu, E. L.(Brigg) Robertson, John (Paisley) Varley, Eric G.
Manuel, Archie Rodgers, William (Stockton) Wainwright, Edwin
Mendelson, J. J. Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Mikardo, Ian Rose, Paul B. Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Ross, Rt. Hn. William Wallace, George
Molloy, William Rowland, Christopher Watkins, Tudor
Morris, Charles (Openshaw) Sheldon, Robert Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Morris, John (Aberavon) Shore, Peter (Stepney) Wilkins, W. A.
Murray, Albert Short, Rt. Hn. E.(N'c'tle-on-Tyne,C.) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Newens, Stan Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Silkin, John (Deptford) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Oakes, Gordon Silverman, Julius (Aston) Williams, W. T.(Warrington)
Ogden, Eric Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
O'Malley, Brian Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.) Woof, Robert
Oram, Albert E. (E. Ham S.) Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Orme, Stanley Snow, Julian
Oswald, Thomas Solomons, Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Owen, Will Spriggs, Leslie Mr. Ifor Davies and Mr. McCann.