§ Again considered in Committee.
§ Question again proposed.
§ Mr. Iremonger
We on this side of the Committee have suffered a defeat in the Lobby, but we are a democratic party. We could not put off the Division, but we did not funk it. We have to shoulder the burden of further debate this evening, although it would have been much preferable to have taken this on many occasions on successive days so that the whole grisly implication of this Amendment and the ones being debated with it could have been considered one by one by every one of my hon. Friends and the Committee as a whole.
We shall have to accept that we must carry on, if necessary, for a few minutes and ask the Committee once more, as seriously as ever, to accept these Amendments, preferably the one to which my name has been put, but my right hon. 354 Friend's Amendment would do at a pinch. When we were interrupted by the Division, I was about to direct the attention of the Committee to the important difference between the postponement of this election and the postponement of any other election in recorded history since the eighteenth century, when there was the very close parallel in the Septennial Act to which my right hon. Friend drew attention.
The very important distinction is that in many London Boroughs there is great discontent about the proposal of the Secretary of State for Education and Science to force the local education authority to adopt systems of comprehensive secondary education with which many parents disagree.
My hon. Friends have been a little suspicious. They have accused the hon. Member for Bermondsey, as Chairman of the London Labour Party, of saying to the 355 Home Secretary, "Let us not have the elections this year, because we might lose them. Could not we find an excuse for deferring them, at least for a year?" The hon. Member for Bermondsey has denied this. We accept his denial. [Laughter.] I do, because I shall submit that there is another explanation. It was not the hon. Member for Bermondsey at all.
§ Mr. Iremonger
The hon. Gentleman knew about it, but he did not do anything. It was not anything so subtle as his agent. It was much more direct, much more political, much more concerned with the central policies of the Government. The right hon. Member who went to the Home Secretary has not been near the Chamber all the time the Bill has been being discussed. [An HON. MEMBER: "Wiggery?"] It was not the Paymaster-General, though he is in it up to the neck. He did not do anything about it. Another suggestion is that it was the Leader of the House, but it was not him. If my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition had wanted to discredit the Government, he could not have thought up any more subtle allegation than that. It was not the Leader of the House, although he is in it up to the neck. It was the Secretary of State for Education and Science who did this.
§ Mr. Iremonger
He said to the Home Secretary, "This one year will cover the point of no-return for the systems of reorganisation of secondary education on comprehensive lines in many London boroughs. If we have the elections now, we may lose some London boroughs, which may then put up some schemes of which I do not approve but which I shall not be able to overbear without introducing legislation", as he has already threatened to do, but he would rather get his minions to do it for him. Therefore, he asked the Home Secretary if he could have a year's grace in which this could be done.
That is the reason, far more subtle and, in a way, far more sinister than any blundering machinations by the hon. Member for Bermondsey who, in any case, is far too innocent to have been able to carry this through. The hon. 356 Gentleman is so simple he would not have been able to understand the plot. He was capable of going on television without even having understood what the Bill was about, let alone having read the speech of the Home Secretary, and saying to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) that it was not a question of having, or that it was—I forget which it was. At any rate, the hon. Gentleman got it wrong.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I am not responsible for it. I realise that this is nothing to do with the central issue.
§ Mr. Mellish
On the question of the television broadcast, of which so much has been made, it must go on record that the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) and I were on for 35 minutes, instead of being on for ten minutes, because they decided to cut out the Annie Ross and Dead Sea Scrolls. They also decided to cut out a discussion with the script writer because the entertainment value, particularly that of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, was so good.
§ Mr. Iremonger
The hon. Gentleman was not exactly unfunny, according to the reports I have had. But they have both assured for themselves a career with Billy Cotton when they lose their seats. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Gentlemen opposite must not be impatient. They have just voted to go on. We were all for closing this up now and resuming later, and this is bound to take a certain amount of time. It is not a matter which can be rushed.
I was embarking on an explanation of what underlay the Bill, and the good-humoured raillery of hon. Gentlemen opposite should not deceive the Committee into taking this matter lightly, because whatever the atmosphere in the Committee at this time of night this still remains an extremely important constitutional issue. There has been something afoot which it would be a little pedantic to say was not gerrymandering, as the right hon. Lady says. Whoever was responsible, and my own view was that it was the Minister of Education, it 357 was a shameful thing to do. Whoever was responsible for putting it up to the Home Secretary, it was a shameful thing on his part to accept it. If it was not shameful in the sense that he knew what was up and accepted it, it was shameful that he should be so guileless and innocent as to allow it to go through under his nose.
§ Mr. Iremonger
My hon. Friend has anticipated the main burden of my argument and that of my right hon. Friend. The Home Secretary can put this right in the Committee. He is now appearing on television explaining the Criminal Justice Bill. There is more crime and injustice in this Bill than anything he can——
§ Mr. Manuel
On a point of order, Sir Eric. The hon. Gentleman who is regaling the House with such fun and frivolity keeps saying that we are discussing this Bill. Would you tell him that he has forgotten the place. We have already had the Second Reading and we are dealing with Clause 1, Amendment No. I, at the Committee stage.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I think, Sir Eric, that the Committee is distressed that the hon. Member should not be fully seized of the argument, so perhaps we had better take him through it. I did not want to do that. I voted to close down the proceedings for today, and a little earlier I said that I thought that the Committee should be spared taking the hon. Member through the whole argument again, but apparently he is a glutton for punishment.
The Bill is about postponing elections; the Amendment is about postponing elections; I am talking about postponing elections, and I see that the hon. Member has got that. I thought, Sir Eric, that I should supplement the very lucid and full explanation you gave the hon. Gentleman, because, having tried myself, I know that it is no use doing it once or twice, and that a third time is necessary. But now I really think that he has it.
358 We are talking about the principle of postponing elections, which is in the Amendment and was naturally in the Bill. Therefore, we are rightly concerned to know why this unprecedented and highly unconstitutional step was taken by the Home Secretary, and how it could possibly come about that he did not see that it was a political stratagem or, if he did see that it was a political stratagem, how he could possibly have lent himself to such a thing. I was saying that he is not with us because he is discussing the Criminal Justice Bill on television, but we hope that he will be back soon.
It would be disgraceful if he did not come back after his own supporters had voted for the debate to go on so that we should not in the end be without him. We are keeping the debate going for him at the instigation of the Patronage Secretary himself, who whipped his supporters in to keep the proceedings going. It could have been for no other reason except that the Home Secretary should come back. Or is that wrong? The Chief Whip tried earlier to stop the Home Secretary getting in when he tried to move the Closure. I hope that we misjudge him on that. I am sure that either he or one of his assistant Leaders of the Treasury will be on the telephone to the television studios to say——
§ Mr. Iremonger
That is a perfectly reasonable suggestion. After all, they took off the Dead Sea Scrolls for one bit of skulduggery and they can put them on for another. It will slot in nicely. They will be able to say, "Last time, we were going to discuss the Dead Sea Scrolls but we could not do that because we had to discuss the London Government Bill", and now they will be able to say, "We were going to discuss the Criminal Justice Bill, but we shall have to discuss the Dead Sea Scrolls because the Home Secretary is wanted to do his duty in the House of Commons".
No wonder people talk of televising the House. Ministers spend their whole time on television. They ought to be here answering the Committee. The Home Secretary should not have been able to hear the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Macleod) and contemplate for a moment 359 gadding off to talk on the television about a frivolous Bill to deal with social inadequates, when the absolute fabric of our democracy is being undermined.
I do not underrate the importance of crime and penal treatment. I spent two years on the abortive Royal Commission on the Penal System. I know how long the thing takes and I know how concerned the Home Secretary is in it. But the right hon. Gentleman's duty is to be here. It is his duty to answer for the Bill which he has brought in. He will have no other opportunity to meet the central point which we have made. He avoided meeting it on Second Reading. He heard it put to him in Committee today. Having heard it, he slipped out, with an agreeable and charming self-deprecatory smile as much as to say, "You know how it is, but I am the Home Secretary and I have to go off to talk on the television. Major issues are being raised in the House, but you cannot expect me to answer for those, although my honour, the honour of my Government, and all the constitutional history of this country are at stake. I have to go and talk on television about my Bill and get the Liberal vote".
§ Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)
On a point of order, Sir Eric. While the Liberal 360 Members are being sought, may I raise with you a point of order concerning the proceedings of Standing Committee D. The corridors outside the Committee room are now littered with beds which are in no way needed by members of the Committee. They are just a nuisance and a reflection upon our zeal. May I ask you to order their removal at once?
§ Sir John Eden (Bournemouth, West)
Further to that point of order, Sir Eric. It should be emphasised that it appears that the beds have been specifically requested by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary or by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Power for the convenience of Labour members of the Committee. This would seem to be a wholly——
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Peyton
We have been informed by the Chairman of the Standing Committee, Sir Eric, that he has no jurisdiction outside the doors of the Committee Room. Therefore, we are obliged to come to you for help.
§ The Chairman
It is not a matter I can deal with in this Committee. The hon. Member can consult Mr. Speaker, or the Services Committee, but I cannot deal with the matter in this Committee. It is not a point of order that can be raised in this debate, and it ought not to be pursued to interrupt the debate in which we are now engaged.
§ Sir J. Eden
One further reference, if I may, Sir Eric. This is one of the difficulties we have in gaining access to the Standing Committee and to the rooms adjacent to that in which the Standing Committee is sitting upstairs. You will know that in that Committee we are debating the Iron and Steel Bill, and it is for consideration whether those are steel beds, or whether they are iron beds, or whether——
§ Mr. Peytonrose——
§ The Chairman
Order. On the other hand, I can inform the hon. Member that I have just been informed that Mr. Speaker has given permission for the beds to be placed there.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I was voicing the Committee's astonishment at the effrontery of the Minister of State, Department of Education and Science, in coming into this debate. He had had the grace, and his right hon. Friend had the grace, to hide his head, because he is part of the real motive behind the Bill. The Minister of State will not be aware of the very grave charges which have been made against him. He knows perfectly well he is anxious to see this Bill go through. He knows perfectly well what the merit of it is for him. He knows that if this Bill goes through every London borough which objects to the scheme which he wants it to adopt has anything up to a year in which to put 362 up another scheme which he will then have to turn down. He wants an extra year so that it will be impossible then to unscramble the scheme which the sitting Labour council will have frozen for all time on the education authority.
I am not concerned to argue the merits of comprehensive education as such, but it these elections are postponed, as the Bill proposes that they should be, then many London boroughs will have to adapt schemes of comprehensive education which they believe are wasteful. They believe that in adapting systems of secondary education based upon grammar and secondary schools in different places, ofen some way apart, a system of education in which there is no distinction between secondary modern and grammar schools, resources of money, in making the physical adaptations, of teachers, in the reorganisation, and of energy will be wasted. Therefore, this concerns the Minister of State as well as the Home Secretary, although in far less profound a way. He ought to be concerned to see that this Bill is going to postpone elections in which, otherwise, the electors of the boroughs will have been able to express their views on the schemes then under consideration.
Again, I realise that to discuss the details of comprehensive education and the merits of it would be out of order on this Bill——
§ Mr. Iremonger
I am eschewing with the utmost distaste any thought of further examining the merits or demerits of comprehensive education, but I am bound to say on this Amendment, having regard to the date of the elections, that the postponed elections will mean that the electorate will not be able to consider one very important aspect of the proposals of the Government and of the boroughs for compulsorily freezing systems of comprehensive education upon parents and children.
It is this. Quite apart from being wasteful, appropriate education is inspired, according to the sincere belief of a great many electors in the boroughs concerned, not by any educational criteria, but by a fundamental, vindictive dislike of excellence on the part of the 363 party opposite. The electorate feel that if these elections are postponed, they will be unable to express to the party opposite, or the incumbents of the town hall, the fact that in destroying the present system of secondary education their councillors are, in fact, destroying a system which accepts that different natures and different kinds of talent need different kinds of fostering in different kinds of educational establishments.
There is a third aspect of comprehensive education which I will not examine in itself, but which the date of this election brings forcibly to our notice. If we are to defer these elections, we will, in fact, be insulting the whole system of local government. Many hon. Members are approached by their constituents on matters which are primarily the concern of the council. I know that some hon. Members accept these approaches and even welcome them. I think myself that it is extremely dishonest to do what many hon. Members are tempted to do, which is to take a letter from a constituent on, say, the subject of housing, and then make inquiries with the housing manager at the town hall and find that the constituent is very near the top of the housing list——
§ Mrs. Lena Jeger (Holborn and St. Pancras, South)
On a point of order. It may be due to the limitations of my boarding school education, but I cannot see that either housing or education are referred to in the Amendment before the committee.
§ The Chairman
I think that the hon. Member will appreciate that there are subsequent Amendments dealing specifically with education and housing, and that it would be convenient to defer his argument until those Amendments are reached.
§ Captain W. Elliot
On a point of order. The hon. Lady mentioned my hon. Friend's reference to the Amendment, but I understood that in the beginning you called Amendments Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9, Sir Eric. The hon. Lady has only just entered the Committee, and I do not expect that she knew this. Can you say whether I am right? The hon. Lady would then be quite satisfied.
§ The Chairman
None of the subsequent Amendments deal specifically with either education or housing.
I do not wish to try your patience, Sir Eric, and, therefore, the specific subjects of education and housing must not be touched upon in any detail. I merely say that local authority powers are powers which ought to be exercised by local authorities. They are powers which many hon. Members are only too prone to pretend that they are able to usurp. It is very easy to undermine the authority of local councils by pretending that Members of Parliament have some power to influence the way in which councils carry out their responsibilities.
There could be no more eloquent gesture of contempt of local government by the House of Commons than to remove from the electorate the right and the duty that they have to vote for their councillors at the end of the term for which they were elected, or, if they are not satisfied with them, to vote for others to take their place.
I have been concerned for a long time about the loss of effectiveness of local government and the way in which local councillors are disregarded by their electorate, who believe that Parliament and the central Government are the authorities which can properly discharge the functions that we have put upon their local representatives. We should be encouraging local councillors to take their responsibilities seriously and making certain that, when elected, they are consciously aware of their responsibilities to the electorate, that they will have to answer to them after three years and cannot go round to the back door to a friendly Home Secretary or any other channel to get the election put off for another year. Otherwise, the electorate will be further confirmed in the belief that local government is a sham.
We have always said that local government should be both truly local and truly government. The Bill strikes at the root of local government just as effectively as it strikes at the root of Parliamentary democracy because it is concerned with the holding of elections, in deceiving people about the rights they will have to vote according to the rules made by this House.
365 Therefore, whatever view one takes of individual local authority powers and the exercise of them in the London boroughs, it is both democratically and, from the point of view of most of the local authorities, of fundamental significance that the Bill is now before this Committee, that the Home Secretary, who has heard the charge made against him, has left the Chamber and is obviously relying on the Patronage Secretary to carry this disgraceful Bill through without even having the grace to answer the main charge against him.
It cannot help striking us on this side that the Government are about to run the economy into total ruin in order to uphold the principle of one man one vote in Rhodesia—votes for 1½ million Africans, but none for 5½ million Londoners. It does not fail to occur to us as well that if it is so very important not to have elections on the same day or in the same year there is another way round—to postpone the G.L.C. elections, although that would be disgraceful enough. But it is interesting to note that this idea was not adopted by the Government.
Instead, the Government relied on their friends at County Hall to introduce, at £1½ million a year, a propaganda campaign at the ratepayers expense in order to have the G.L.C. elections in 1967. I can understand that it would have been rather more difficult to have got into operation in all the London boroughs a propaganda organisation such as that at County Hall and to rely on that to pull each borough within their stable. Far more simple to put all the propaganda effort into County Hall, get the G.L.C. elections this year and rely on the Home Secretary to postpone the elections in the boroughs.
It has been said by his friends that the Home Secretary did not know what was being done, that this was entirely innocent on his part, that he was the man playing the piano downstairs who did not know what went on upstairs. He may have observed, as he sat there at the keys, with his back to the room, the shadows cast across the music by sinister figure flitting from the front door to the stairs, but who was he to say they were sinister? They might have been entirely innocent people visiting an innocent establishment and his engagement was only to play the music.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Iremonger
It is quite possible that he was only playing the piano upstairs. I am prepared to accept that. If the Home Secretary did not know what was being done at half-past nine this evening, he knew by 10 o'clock, because my right hon. Friend told him. He then slunk away and his right hon. Friend tried to closure the debate. We tried to hold the fort for him and then we decided that, since it was 10 o'clock and we could not expect him then, we had better pack up and give him a chance on another day.
Then the Patronage Secretary had other thoughts. Some of his hon. Friends had not yet spoken and they are looking forward to expressing their views. If they do not speak it is because they are so shamed. It is either shame or loyalty and if it is loyalty it is misplaced, because there is a higher loyalty than that to the right hon. Gentleman or to the Labour Party. It is loyalty to the democratic system.
§ Sir Barnett Janner (Leicester, North-West)
On a point of order. I have been trying to find out what the hon. Member is speaking about and have discovered that he is attempting to say a few things which appear to be entirely out of order. In all seriousness, what has what he is saying got to do with what we are discussing?
§ The Chairman
As I have said, I thought that the hon. Member was trying to address himself to the Amendment.
§ Sir D. Glover (Ormskirk)
I think that my hon. Friend is being unfair to the Patronage Secretary. I am sure that the Patronage Secretary, when he insisted that we went on with the debate, was probably the only Member in the Chamber who knew the movements of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department. He probably knows whether he is or is not returning to the Committee. The Committee has a right to know at this stage.
§ Mr. Iremonger
We would not want to be unfair to the Patronage Secretary. We would not expect him to talk in this Committee. He knows too much, and, by convention, he does not talk, but no doubt 367 he will be able to arrange for the information to be given to us from a suitable quarter. I think that my hon. Friend's intervention was extremely well-timed. We were interrupted by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner)——
§ Mr. Iremonger
The Committee sympathises with the hon. Gentleman. He has had a very busy day. He has not been able to hear the argument. On second thoughts, it is just as well that we lost the Division and went on, because many hon. Members obviously did not understand what it was all about.
§ The Chairman
Order. It would help the Committee if the hon. Member would address himself to the Amendment.
§ Sir Edward Brown (Bath)
I have been trying to follow the argument. I should like to hear again from my hon. Friend the reasons for the postponement of the election. Can he help me again on that?
§ Mr. David Griffiths (Rother Valley)
On a point of order. With due respect to you, Sir Eric, may I point out that for the last 20 minutes the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger) has not spoken with any relevance to the Amendment? [Interruption.]
§ The Chairman
Order. I have been urging the hon. Member to confine his remarks to what is relevant to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Manuel
For a long time we have been listening to the hon. Member and others before him and as far as most of us are concerned—those of us who have been concerned with Committee stages of Bills and have served on Committees —those hon. Members have been entirely out of order. The hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger) has obviously been out of order——
§ Mr. Manuel
I want to intimate to you, Sir Eric, that my hon. Friends and 368 I should not be treated as we have been, and we shall need to consider taking appropriate action.
§ Mr. Iremonger
It would be impertinent for me to say that I am on your side, Sir Eric. I think that your nice discernment of the precise degree to which I have directed my remarks to the Amendment and the Bill has been just right. Had you not given me the guidance you have I might have been tempted to stray a little, but I think that your judgment has been "spot on", in reference to everything I have said.
§ Mr. Iremonger
At this hour of the night a little ebullience is understandable. I hope that hon. Members opposite do not think that my hon. Friends and I are disposed to take this matter lightly. If we think it right to fall in with the wishes of the Government, and carry on with the debate now and let it be a full debate, because we wish to hear from hon. Members opposite, that does not detract in the least from the seriousness with which my hon. Friends and I treat this matter, or from the support we give my right hon. Friend in what he said.
What the Government are doing is disgraceful. It is a shameful betrayal of the principles of democracy. This is a matter in which the honour of the Home Secretary and the Government is at stake. This is a Bill which we propose to fight line by line, however long it takes. It is a Bill the principles of which must be utterly rejected by our people. If the Committee allows the Bill to go through, it will redound eternally to the discredit of the right hon. Gentleman and of his Government.
We propose to support these Amendments and to fight the Bill to the very end and to attempt to repeal it, if we can, when hon. Members opposite have come to a proper sense of where their true duty lies.
§ Several hon. Membersrose——
§ Mr. John Silkin rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.369
§ Question put, That the Question be now put:—370
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 216, Noes 133.371
|Division No. 212.]||AYES||[10.55 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Freeson, Reginald||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Alldritt, Walter||Gardner, Tony||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Molloy, William|
|Anderson, Donald||Gourlay, Harry||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Archer, Peter||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Gregory, Arnold||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Grey, Charles (Durham)||Moyle, Roland|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Murray, Albert|
|Baxter, William||Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Beaney, Alan||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Norwood, Christopher|
|Bence, Cyril||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Ogden, Eric|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Binns, John||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamling, William||Orme, Stanley|
|Blackburn, F.||Hannan, William||Oswald, Thomas|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Harison, Walter (Wakefield)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Boardman, H.||Haseldine, Norman||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Booth, Albert||Hazell, Bert||Palmer, Arthur|
|Boston, Terence||Heffer, Eric S.||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Henig, Stanley||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Bradley, Tom||Hooley, Frank||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Horner, John||Perry, George H, (Nottingham, S.)|
|Brooks, Edwin||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Buchan, Norman||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Randall, Harry|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Howie, W.||Redhead, Edward|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hoy, James||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Cant, R. B.||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Richard, Ivor|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Hunter, Adam||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Chapman, Donald||Hynd, John||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)|
|Coleman, Donald||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Janner, Sir Barnett||Rose, Paul|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Ryan, John|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Kelley, Richard||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Dempsey, James||Lawson, George||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Dewar, Donald||Ledger, Ron||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Dickens, James||Lee, John (Reading)||Taverne, Dick|
|Dobson, Ray||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Doig, Peter||Lomas, Kenneth||Thornton, Ernest|
|Dunn, James A.||Loughlin, Charles||Tinn, James|
|Dunnett, Jack||Luard, Evan||Varley, Eric G.|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Lubbock, Eric||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'n)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Edelman, Maurice||McBride, Neil||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly)||McCann, John||Wallace, George|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Macdonald, A. H.||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Ellis, John||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'ty)||Weitzman, David|
|Ennals, David||Mackintosh, John P.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Ensor, David||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Whitaker, Ben|
|Evane, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Whitlock, William|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Manuel, Archie||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Floud, Bernard||Mapp, Charles||Winnick, David|
|Foley, Maurice||Marquand, David||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Ford, Ben||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Forrester, John||Mason, Roy||Yates, Victor|
|Fowler, Gerry||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Mellish, Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Mendelson, J. J.||Mr. R. W. Brown and Mr. Alan Fitch.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Astor, John||Baker, W. H. K.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Awdry, Daniel||Batsford, Brian|
|Bell, Ronald||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Hastings, Stephen||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Biffen, John||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Peel, John|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Heseltine, Michael||Percival, Ian|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Higgins, Terence L.||Peyton, John|
|Blaker, Peter||Hiley, Joseph||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Hirst, Geoffrey||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Pym, Francis|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Holland, Philip||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Hunt, John||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Iremonger, T. L.||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Jopling, Michael||Scott, Nicholas|
|Burden, F. A.||Kershaw, Anthony||Sharples, Richard|
|Clark, Henry||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Clegg, Walter||Kirk, Peter||Smith, John|
|Cooke, Robert||Kitson, Timothy||Stodart, Anthony|
|Cordie, John||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Crawley, Aldan||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||MacArthur, Ian||Temple, John M.|
|Eden, Sir John||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Tilney, John|
|Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||McMaster, Stanley||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Maddan, Martin||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Farr, John||Maginnis, John||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Fortescue, Tim||Maude, Angus||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Mawby, Ray||Wall, Patrick|
|Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Webster, David|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Whitelaw, William|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Miscampbell, Norman||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Grant, Anthony||Monro, Hector||Wylie, N. R.|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||More, Jasper|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Grieve, Percy||Murton, Oscar|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Neave, Airey||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gurden, Harold||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Mr. George Younger and|
|Hamilton, Marquees of (Fermanagh)||Nott, John||Mr. Reginald Eyre.|
§ Question put accordingly, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—372
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 217, Noes 133.375
|Division No. 213.]||AYES||[11.6 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Concannon, J. D.||Floud, Bernard|
|Alldritt, Walter||Conlan, Bernard||Foley, Maurice|
|Allen, Scholefield||Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Ford, Ben|
|Anderson, Donald||Crawshaw, Richard||Forrester, John|
|Archer, Peter||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Fowler, Gerry|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Fraser, John (Norwood)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Dalyell, Tam||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Freeson, Reginald|
|Baxter, William||Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Gardner, Tony|
|Beaney, Alan||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.|
|Bence, Cyril||Dempsey, James||Gourlay, Harry|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Dewar, Donald||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dickens, James||Gregory, Arnold|
|Binns, John||Dobson, Ray||Grey, Charles (Durham)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Doig, Peter||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)|
|Blackburn, F.||Dunn, James A.||Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Dunnett, Jack||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)|
|Boardman, H.||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Booth, Albert||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)|
|Boston, Terence||Eadie, Alex||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Edelman, Maurice||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)|
|Bradley, Tom||Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly)||Harming, William|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Hannan, William|
|Brooks, Edwin||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Ellis, John||Haseldine, Norman|
|Buchan, Norman||Ennals, David||Hazell, Bert|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Ensor, David||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Henig, Stanley|
|Cant, R. B.||Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Hooley, Frank|
|Carmichael, Neil||Faulds, Andrew||Horner, John|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Fernyhough, E.||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Chapman, Donald||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)|
|Coleman, Donald||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Howie, W.||Mapp, Charles||Rose, Paul|
|Hoy, James||Marquand, David||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Mason, Roy||Ryan, John|
|Hunter, Adam||Mayhew, Christopher||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Hynd, John||Mellish, Robert||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Mendelson, J. J.||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)|
|Janner, Sir Barnett||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Mitchell R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Molloy, William||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Taverne, Dick|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Moyle, Roland||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Kelley, Richard||Murray, Albert||Thornton, Ernest|
|Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Tinn, James|
|Kerr, Ruessell (Feltham)||Norwood, Christopher||Varley, Eric G.|
|Lawson, George||Oakes, Gordon||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Ledger, Ron||Ogden, Eric||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Lee, John (Reading)||O'Malley, Brian||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Lestor, Miss Joan||Orbach, Maurice||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Orme, Stanley||Wallace, George|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Oswald, Thomas||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Loughlin, Charles||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Luard, Evan||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Weitzman, David|
|Lubbock, Eric||Palmer, Arthur||Wellbeloved, James|
|Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Whitlock, William|
|McBride, Neil||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|McCann, John||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Macdonald, A. H.||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Probert, Arthur||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Mackenzie Alasdair (Ross &Crom'ty)||Randall, Harry||Winnick, David|
|Mackintosh John P.||Redhead, Edward||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|McNamara, J. Kevin||Richard, Ivor||Yates, Victor|
|MacPherson, Malcolm||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Mr. R. W. Brown and|
|Manuel, Archie||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Mr. Alan Fitch.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Gibson-Watt, David||Maddan, Martin|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Maginnis, John E.|
|Astor, John||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Maude, Angus|
|Awdry, Daniel||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mawby, Ray|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Glover, Sir Douglas||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Batsford, Brian||Glyn, Sir Richard||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Bell, Ronald||Grant-Ferris, R.||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gresham Cooke, R.||Monro, Hector|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Grieve, Percy||More, Jasper|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Biffen, John||Gurden, Harold||Murton, Oscar|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Neave, Airey|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Blaker, Peter||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Nott, John|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Hastings, Stephen||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Heseltine, Michael||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt. Col. Sir Walter||Higgins Terence L.||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hiley, Joseph||Peel, John|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Percival, Ian|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Peyton, John|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Holland, Philip||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Burden, F. A.||Hunt, John||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Clark, Henry||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pym, Francis|
|Clegg, Walter||Iremonger, T. L.||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Cooke, Robert||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Cordie, John||Jopling, Michael||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kershaw, Anthony||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Crawley, Aidan||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kirk, Peter||Scott, Nicholas|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Kitson, Timothy||Sharples, Richard|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Eden, Sir John||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Smith, John|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Stodart, Anthony|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Eyre, Reginald||MacArthur, Ian||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Farr, John||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Fortescue, Tim||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|McMaster, Stanley||Temple, John M.|
|Thatcher, Mirs. Margaret||Wall, Patrick||Wylie, N. R.|
|Tilney, John||Webster, David||Younger, Hn. George|
|Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|van Straubenzee, W. R.||Whitelaw, William||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Vickers, Dame Joan||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)||Mr. David Mitchell and|
|Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek||Worsley, Marcus||Mr. Anthony Grant.|
§ 11.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
On a point of order, Sir Eric. I think that it was agreed earlier that Amendment No. 2 would be called without debate for a separate Division.
§ The Chairman
What I indicated was that any of the other Amendments that were appropriate could be called. The difficulty about Amendment No. 2 is that the Committee has already voted, in effect, to leave out from "shall" in line 7 to "and" in line 9, which is the precise purpose of Amendment No. 2, and,
§ therefore, Amendment No. 2 has, in fact, fallen.
§ If a Division is desired on Amendments Nos. 5, 7, or 9, that would be possible. Otherwise, I call Mr. Boyd-Carpenter to move Amendment No. 10.
§ Amendment No. 5 proposed: In page 1, line 13, leave out subsection (2).—[Mr. Iain Macleod.]
§ Question put: That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 216, Noes 133.377
|Division No. 214.]||AYES||[11.17 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Doig, Peter||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Alldritt, Walter||Dunn, James A.||Howie, W.|
|Allen, Scholefield||Dunnett, Jack||Hoy, James|
|Anderson, Donald||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)|
|Archer, Peter||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Eadie, Alex||Hunter, Adam|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Edelman, Maurice||Hynd, John|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Edwards, Rt. Hn. Ness (Caerphilly)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Sp[...]gh)|
|Baxter, William||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Janner, Sir Barnett|
|Beaney, Alan||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Ellis, John||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Ennals, David||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Binns, John||Ensor, David||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Blackburn, F.||Faulds, Andrew||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fernyhough, E.||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Boardman, H.||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Kelley, Richard|
|Booth, Albert||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)|
|Boston, Terence||Floud, Bernard||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Foley, Maurice||Lawson, George|
|Bradley, Tom.||Ford, Ben||Ledger, Ron|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Forrester, John||Lee, John (Reading)|
|Brooks, Edwin||Fowler, Gerry||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Freeson, Reginald||Loughlin, Charles|
|Buchan, Norman||Gardner, Tony||Luard, Evan|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Lubbock, Eric|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Gourlay, Harry||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Cant, R. B.||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Gregory, Arnold||McBride, Neil|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Grey, Charles (Durham)||McCann, John|
|Chapman, Donald||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Macdonald, A. H.|
|Coleman, Donald||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Concannon, J. D.||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross&Crom'ty)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hamling, William||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Hannan, William||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Haseldine, Norman||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Hazell, Bert||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Heffer, Eric S.||Manuel, Archie|
|Davies Harold (Leek)||Henig, Stanley||Mapp, Charles|
|Dempsey, James||Hooley, Frank||Marquand, David|
|Dewar, Donald||Horner, John||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Dickens, James||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mason, Roy|
|Dobson, Ray||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Mellish, Robert||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Mendelson J. J.||Probert, Arthur||Tinn, James|
|Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Randall, Harry||Varley, Eric G.|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Redhead, Edward||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Molloy, William||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Richard, Ivor||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Wallace, George|
|Morris, John (Aberavon)||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Moyle, Roland||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Murray, Albert||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Weitzman, David|
|Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Norwood, Christopher||Rose, Paul||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Oakes, Gordon||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)||Whitaker, Ben|
|Ogden, Eric||Ryan, John||Whitlock, William|
|O'Malley, Brian||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Orbach, Maurice||Shore, Peter (Stepney)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Orme, Stanley||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Winnick, David|
|Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Palmer, Arthur||Spriggs, Leslie||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)||Yates, Victor|
|Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Swain, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Perry, Ernest C. (Battersea, S.)||Taverne, Dick||Mr. Alan Fitch and|
|Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)||Mr. Ioan L. Evans.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Gresham Cooke, R.||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Grieve, Percy||Nott, John|
|Astor, John||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Gurden, Harold||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Batsford, Brian||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Bell, Ronald||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Peel, John|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Hastings, Stephen||Percival, Ian|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Peyton, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Heseltine, Michael||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Biffen, John||Higgins, Terence L.||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hiley, Joseph||Pym, Francis|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Hirst, Geoffrey||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Blaker, Peter||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Holland, Philip||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Hunt, John||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col. Sir Walter||Iremonger, T. L.||Scott, Nicholas|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Sharples, Richard|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Jopling, Michael||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Kershaw, Anthony||Smith, John|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Stodart, Anthony|
|Burden, F. A.||Kirk, Peter||Stodart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Clark, Henry||Kitson, Timothy||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Clegg, Walter||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Cooke, Robert||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Cordie, John||Legge-Bourke, Sit Harry||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Temple, John M.|
|Crawley, Aidan||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Crowder, F. P.||MacArthur, Ian||Tilney, John|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Eden, Sir John||McMaster, Stanley||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Maddan, Martin||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Maginnis, John E.||Wall, Patrick|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Maude, Angus||Webster, David|
|Farr, John||Mawby, Ray||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Fortescue, Tim||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Whitelaw, William|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Miscampbell, Norman||Worsley, Marcus|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Wylie, N. R.|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Monro, Hector|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||More, Jasper||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Mr. George Younger and|
|Grant, Anthony||Murton, Oscar||Mr. Reginald Eyre.|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Neave, Airey|
§ Amendment No. 7 proposed: In page 1, line 19, leave out subsection (3).—[Mr. Iain Macleod.]378
§ Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 207, Noes 133.381
|Division No. 215.]||AYES||[11.26 p. m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Anderson, Donald||Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)|
|Alldritt, Walter||Archer, Peter||Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice|
|Allen, Scholefield||Armstrong, Ernest||Baxter, William|
|Beaney, Alan||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Binns, John||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Murray, Albert|
|Blackburn, F.||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Hamling, William||Norwood, Christopher|
|Boardman, H.||Hannan, William||Oakes, Gordon|
|Booth, Albert||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Ogden, Eric|
|Boston, Terence||Haseldine, Norman||O'Malley, Brian|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Hazell, Bert||Orbach, Maurice|
|Bradley, Tom||Heffer, Eric S.||Orme, Stanley|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Henig, Stanley||Oswald, Thomas|
|Brooks, Edwin||Hooley, Frank||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Horner, John||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Palmer, Arthur|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Buchan, Norman||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Howie, W.||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hoy, James||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Cant, R. B.||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Probert, Arthur|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Hunter, Adam||Randall, Harry|
|Chapman, Donald||Hynd, John||Redhead, Edward|
|Coleman, Donald||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Concannon, J. D.||Janner, Sir Barnett||Richard, Ivor|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rose, Paul|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Kelley, Richard||Ryan, John|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Dempsey, James||Lawson, George||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Dewar, Donald||Ledger, Ron||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Dickens, James||Lee, John (Reading)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Dobson, Ray||Lestor, Miss Joan||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Dunn, James A.||Lomas, Kenneth||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Loughlin, Charles||Swain, Thomas|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Luard, Evan||Taverne, Dick|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lubbock, Eric||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Tinn, James|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McBride, Neil||Varley, Eric G.|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McCann, John||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Ellis, John||Macdonald, A. H.||Walden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Ennals, David||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Ensor, David||Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross &Crom'ty)||Wallace, George|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Mackintosh, John P.||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Faulds, Andrew||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Weitzman, David|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Wellbeloved, James|
|Floud, Bernard||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Foley, Maurice||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Whitaker, Ben|
|Ford, Ben||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Whitlock, William|
|Forrester, John||Manuel, Archie||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Fowler, Gerry||Mapp, Charles||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Marquand, David||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Freeson, Reginald||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Gardner, Tony||Mason, Roy||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mayhew, Christopher||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Gourlay, Harry||Mellish, Robert||Yates, Victor|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Gregory, Arnold||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||Molloy, William||Mr. Alan Fitch and Mr. Ioan L. Evans.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Blaker, Peter||Cordie, John|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Corfield, F. V.|
|Astor, John||Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Crowder, F. P.|
|Awdry, Daniel||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)|
|Batsford, Brian||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Eden, Sir John|
|Bell, Ronald||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Bullus, Sir Eric||Eyre, Reginald|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Burden, F. A.||Farr, John|
|Biffen, John||Clark, Henry||Fortescue, Tim|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Clegg, Walter||Gibson-Watt, David|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Cooke, Robert||Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Royle, Anthony|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||MacArthur, Ian||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Scott, Nicholas|
|Grant, Anthony||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Sharples, Richard|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||McMaster, Stanley||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Maddan, Martin||Smith, John|
|Grieve, Percy||Maginnie, John E.||Stodart, Anthony|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maude, Angus||Stoddart-Scott, Cot. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Gurden, Harold||Mawby, Ray||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||Millis, Peter (Torrington)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Miscampbell, Norman||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Temple, John M.|
|Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Monro, Hector||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Heseltine, Michael||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Tilney, John|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Murton, Oscar||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Hiley, Joseph||Neave, Alrey||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Nott, John||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Holland, Philip||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Wall, Patrick|
|Hunt, John||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Webster, David|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Whitelaw, William|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Peel, John||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Jopling, Michael||Percival, Ian||Worsley, Marcus|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Peyton, John||Wylie, N. R.|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Pink, R. Bonner||Younger, Hn. George|
|Kirk, Peter||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Kitson, Timothy||Pym, Francis||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Mr. S. W. Elliott and|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Mr. Jasper More.|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
I beg to move,That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.I do not move this Motion to express our delight at having the Foreign Secretary, in his weekday suit, present for the first time at our celebrations today, nor to comment upon the slipping majorities which the Government are securing. I move it for the usual reason, to ask what are the intentions of the Home Secretary. Two hours ago the Government Chief Whip tried to move the Closure. There was some anger and we looked to the Chair for protection and not in vain.
I am very grateful, because I thought for a moment that the Closure was to be accepted. I want to reiterate the apology I then made. It is quite clear that the Bill will only be obtained with the help of the Government Chief Whip, and that makes a difficult position almost intolerable for the Committee. This is a Bill to take away people's votes, where there is no agreement and no change in boundaries. It is bad enough to have to discuss such a Bill, but it is far worse that such a Bill should toil its way through the Committee with Closures being moved at intervals so as to secure the Government's business.
Quite apart from that, I move this Motion because we have made the most 382 excellent progress. We have now disposed of no less than seven Amendments, No. 1 and six others which were taken with it. This is by far the largest issue, and we have disposed of this in a little under eight hours. It is very good progress and I suggest that, on the strength of it, we should all go to bed.
There are other reasons, to which I will briefly advert. First, it would be a kindness to the Home Secretary to release him for a time from this Bill. I never thought that we would see a Minister more unhappy with a Bill than the Minister of Labour with the S.E.T. Bill during the summer, but the Home Secretary seems to be even more unhappy. We know that he must hate this Bill. If he had been here more often he would have heard the genuine tributes paid to him from this side of the Committee. It is not possible for him to be the man that he is and to take any other attitude towards the Bill.
I hope that when he replies at the end of this debate he will give some explanation for what I am bound to say—and I use these words carefully—looks like his studied insolence to the Committee while these debates have taken place over the last few hours. I have been told that the Home Secretary has just been appearing on television, to discuss another Bill. There is no duty whatever that takes precedence over attendance at 383 the House of Commons, particularly when the Bill in question is one that has been presented by the right hon. Gentleman, and particularly if it is his conduct which is under attack.
I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would have wished to have been here—he is a good House of Commons man—but it is a fact that for large parts of the debate on the Bill he has been absent. I hope that the reason for his absence is more his contempt for the Bill, which I would understand, than his contempt for the House of Commons. He has been very sensitive to attacks made upon him about his conduct. There is a very simple remedy. If he wants to keep his hands clean he should not touch a squalid Bill like this, which has been presented in his name.
I will give our other reasons briefly. We think that the Minister of State, Home Office would welcome the rest, and we hope to accord that to her. She would then come back refreshed with new arguments, which might even relate to the Amendments before the Committee, which was not the case when she spoke this afternoon. She would perhaps like time to turn over the simple fact that the earliest moment that one can question the minutes of one meeting is at the next meeting. I have no doubt that we shall return to this matter.
The hon. Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) has been most kind to the Committee in attending for much of the debate on the Bill. Because he has, directly or indirectly, a considerable share of responsibility for it, we are grateful to him and regard honour as satisfied by his attendance.
Summing up, each of the reasons I have given would, by itself, be enough to justify, at a time getting on for midnight, the acceptance of a Motion to report Progress and, if you must, Sir Eric, to ask leave to sit again, although I would much prefer that you did not and that we abandoned the Bill altogether. The main reason for my moving the Motion is to enable the Home Secretary, at an appropriate point, to tell us what his intentions are, now that the biggest issue of the Bill is behind us.
I would regard it as satisfactory if we ended this part of the Committee stage 384 with the excellent progress that we have made so far.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
This is an issue which should not be pushed into the night. We are now reaching the stage where the various boroughs are named in the Bill, and from this point on their individual grievances may be discussed. It is to be hoped that the Leader of the House and the Home Secretary have left to have discussions which will meet the points made by my right hon. Friend. It is the usual practice in the Committee for right hon. Gentlemen to go behind the Chair for such discussions, and we know that points which are made in their absence will be passed on to them and taken fully into account. But this is a point where we ought not to go on into the night. We are now getting to the detailed parts of the Bill, and they should be discussed in the light of day. We know that one hour by day is better than three hours by night.
I support my right hon. Friend in asking the Treasury Bench to do what they want to do from now on in the full light of day. It is important that the Government should not appear to be pushing this Measure through. They have cut across the impartiality of the electoral machine; they have taken out of the hands of parents the chance of expressing their views on a vital educational matter. I hope that if we are allowed extra time in Committee the Treasury Bench or the Home Secretary will put down an Amendment to meet the arguments which have been adduced.
I hope that the Home Secretary and the Leader of the House will return from being closeted together and will offer to my right hon. Friend and the Committee extra time for a debate on the details of the Bill—which are a very significant part of our proceedings in Committee—in the only sort of atmosphere which will enable justice to be done to the arguments put forward.
I do not represent a London constituency. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nor any constituency."] If anyone opposite want to make reference to my terrific majority I would point out that it was 200 per cent. more than was necessary. I intervene because I believe that the Treasury Bench should know that this matter interests those in constituencies outside London. It is true that only 385 5½ million voters are affected by the narrow terms of the Committee stage, but the principle behind it affects the whole country.
I wanted to add my voice to what has been said, and to point out that it would be in the interests of good government —and certainly in the interests of the reputation of the Government—that more time should be allowed for our discussion in Committee than, we understand, has been allowed so far. I hope that the Leader of the House and the Home Secretary are coming to a decision behind the Chair which will give my right hon. Friend that answer to his query.
§ 11.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Lubbock
I would give contrary advice to the Government. I think that it would be a great mistake for them to accede to the demand of the right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. lain Macleod), although I am afraid, looking at the weak-kneed lot on the Government Front Bench, that they may be disposed to come to some agreement——
§ Mr. Lubbock
If hon. Members on this side of the Committee would care to listen to me for one moment——
§ Mr. Lubbock
Well, whether they care to listen to me or not, I will put this point of view—that what they demanded just now is inconsistent with what they said earlier in the afternoon. They were complaining then that the Bill was a waste of Parliamentary time. I heard the right hon. Member for Enfield, West himself say earlier that we should not be taking up a day of Parliament's time when we could be getting on with other matters on the Home Office programme, which he admitted were infinitely more important——
§ Mr. Lubbock
If it was not the right hon. Member, it was one of his right hon. Friends on the Front Bench. They are indistinguishable from one another——
§ Mr. Lubbock
I think that it was the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon- 386 Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) who said it—[Interruption.] At any rate, that is the view of the Conservative Party, that we should not absorb scarce Parliamentary time in a discussion of the Bill. Now, when we come to a comparatively early hour of the night—it is only a quarter to twelve: there is plenty of time—[HON. MEMBERS: "And where are all the Liberals?"] Unlike hon. Members of the Conservative Party, we believe that London Members should have something to say on matters affecting London. We do not bring Members in from places like Peterborough to speak on these subjects—[An HON. MEMBER: "The hon. Member's party has no one from Peterborough."]—and we do not think, frankly, that the views of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) on this subject are of any great importance——
§ Mr. Lubbock
I very much respect the hon. Member for Peterborough. He is a great friend of mine, but he has not been present through the greater part of the debate. Although I can sympathise with him in wanting to go home and get a nice early rest, the interests of the Committee are more important than the hon. Member's——
§ Mr. Lubbock
Therefore, I think that it would be in the interests of the Committee as a whole if we were to continue to make some progress and did not accept the Motion. After all, as the right hon. Member for Enfield, West said, we have disposed of the most important group of Amendments, comprising no less than seven. I am not sure that I agree with him in his congratulations to the Committee on having disposed of this group of Amendments in so short a time. I would point out that we have now been concerned with one group of Amendments since 3.30 this afternoon, which is more than eight hours.
We took less than seven hours on the Second Reading of the Bill, so this is out of proportion. We could have disposed of this group of Amendments by about seven o'clock this evening. There was a good deal of repetition in some of the later speeches to which I listened. I am 387 sure that, if the Committee were allowed to continue the debate on this second group of Amendments, dealing with the London borough of Camden, and so on, we should not find hon. Members from far-flung parts of the country like Ormskirk and Peterborough wishing to take part——
§ Mr. Lubbock
—very valuable hon. Members, but I am not sure that they know much about the London Boroughs of Camden and Havering.
It is, therefore, my prediction that, if we decided to go ahead with the next group of Amendments and made some progress on them, far fewer speeches would be made than on the first group of seven, in which some hon. Members without much knowledge of the problems of Greater London decided, in their wisdom, that they wished to take part.
I should hope that the Government and Opposition together could agree that we should see how we get on with the next group of Amendments before we come to the conclusion that the Chairman should report Progress and ask leave to sit again. Perhaps when we get to about 3 o'clock we should see how we are getting on, and if not much progress is being made we could consider the matter again. The night is yet young and the problems of Camden, Havering and Kingston-upon-Thames are ones which could easily keep us for less than two hours and still leave time for dealing with other matters on the Notice Paper.
§ Mr. Hogg
I am sure that the Committee will have listened with considerable surprise at least to the last section of the remarks of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock). It is an astonishing thing that the Liberal Party should be so solidly behind the dictatorship in the Bill. I hope that the country will note how little the Liberals are true to the principles which once made their party great
However, I do not intend to waste the time of the Committee in flogging a dead horse. Instead, I turn my attention to the Home Secretary, whom we are glad to have back with us after his startling appearance on television in support of the Criminal Justice Bill. It is time that he 388 told us what he proposes to do about our business tonight. As I do not want to spend time discussing what his intentions might be, I ask him to answer now.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
On the view of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), the alliance on the Bill in favour of dictatorship is most remarkable. It includes the Liberal Party, the Labour Party and all the Conservatives on the Westminster City Council, of whose area his constituency forms a most distinguished part.
§ Mr. Jenkins
I apologise to the Committee, as I did to the right hon. and learned Gentleman this afternoon—and he, with his customary courtesy, accepted it as he understood my position—that I have had other commitments during the day and have not heard as much as I should have liked of the debate. I am sorry for those periods of absence, which were unavoidable.
We have made some progress, perhaps not very much, but we have taken longer today to have the Second Reading debate all over again, which is one way of looking at it. But we have disposed of a number of Amendments and if we dispose of two more Amendments reasonably expeditiously we might feel that we have made reasonable progress and it would not be necessary to keep the Committee longer.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
May I ask for reasonable precision on what the right hon. Gentleman has said, which we all welcome? I shall not comment on other matters which have been raised, but we were glad to hear what he said. We can always be certain that when the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) advises the Committee to take a certain course of action it will unite as a whole in doing exactly the opposite.
May I put the matter precisely in terms of the Amendments on the Notice Paper. If the Home Secretary suggests that we should take Amendment No. 10 about Camden and Amendment No. 11 about Havering, and then call it a day, on that understanding I would ask leave to withdraw the Motion.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
The right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) is perfectly correct in his assumption. If we could get Amendments Nos. 10 and 11, we might call it, if not a day, at least a night.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
I beg to move Amendment No. 10, in page 1, line 28, at the end to add:(5) This section shall not apply to the London Borough of Camden.This the first of the Amendments which propose the exclusion of individual boroughs from the Bill. In doing so, we are in no sense accepting that it is right that any borough should be included in it. But we have looked very carefully at the situation in a number of boroughs and have found a certain number of them in which the serious objections to the inclusion in the Bill of any London borough are even more serious in respect of the borough concerned. This is certainly true of the London Borough of Camden. There are circumstances in respect of that borough which make it particularly and specially desirable that the electors should have the opportunity of deciding whether they wish to continue with the same local government representatives or to make a change.
I will support that proposition by drawing attention to certain aspects of the policy pursued by the majority party on the Camden Council which will, I think, satisfy the Committee that these are matters so serious that they demand that the electors of that borough should be given the chance to say that this sort of thing should either continue or stop.
The Committee will be aware, because Questions about it were put to the Minister of Housing and Local Government a few weeks ago, that the district auditor has submitted a report to the council on the position of the housing account and housing revenues of that borough. Although I have before me the 390 full text of the district auditor's report, I will not inflict a complete reading of it on the Committee. I wish, however, to invite attention to the note which the district auditor has put on the accounts:An examination of the 1966–67 estimates—the Committee will be aware that 1966–67 is the year with which we are concerned—shows that when the income and expenditure relating to dwellings (including garages) are considered separately (by excluding the income and expenditure relating to shops, workshops, and the provision of gas, electricity, etc., which are self-supporting) the amount paid by ratepayers towards housing revenue expenditure (£1,704,925) is greater than the rent paid by the tenants of the Council's houses, flats and garages (£1,646,100)".12 m.
That, to which the district auditor has very properly drawn attention, reveals an astonishing state of affairs as regards the housing and rents policy of this council. On his findings, in respect of dwellings, excluding from the calculation other council properties, the ratepayers are finding by way of subsidy more than the tenants of those dwellings are finding by way of rents. When it is recalled that on top of that there comes the Exchequer subsidy from the taxpayer, and the citizens of Camden are also numbered among the taxpayers and pay also in that respect, a really startling state of affairs is revealed.
It is not the appropriate occasion, at this hour, to take part in any prolonged inquest into this state of affairs. The relevance of the matter to the Amendment is that the electors, including the ratepayers, of the borough should surely be given the opportunity of saying whether they are prepared to go on finding for those who have the good fortune to be their council tenants more by way of subsidies paid for out of their rates than those tenants are paying by way of rents. Surely they should have the opportunity of saying whether a situation so striking that the district auditor has found it right and necessary to report it should continue.
It may be that the general body of ratepayers and electors in Camden have such an affection for those who are their council tenants that they are happy to go on paying more than half their council rents. I do not know. Surely they should be asked. The figures in the district 391 auditor's report—the figures over the years are set out—show that it is a matter which has developed sharply in the last few years, since the new council came into being. Is it right that the ratepayers should be forced to go on in this extraordinary situation for another year without an opportunity to express their will?
When the present council which has done this was elected, it was elected on the basis that it would go out of office on 11th May, 1967. It is at least a possibility that those who then elected it, having seen what has happened, and being faced with the prospect of having to pay out of their own pockets very substantial sums indeed by way of rates to finance these policies, may wish to reverse that decision. It is a very old principle that there should be no taxation without representation. Yet this is precisely what is proposed, that for a further year those who are the electors of this Borough shall continue to be taxed on this inordinate scale, for purposes which some of them may not think right, without having the opportunity to decide whether they accept this burden. This is plainly wrong. This is a reason for bringing out the fact that to postpone the election in the Borough of Camden is in some degree worse than to postpone it in the generality of London boroughs.
The matter does not stop there. This borough has also undertaken what is an innovation in our local government system. I will read a few lines that set it out:At its meeting on 20th July, 1966, Camden Council was asked to accept a recommendation from its General Purposes Committee to create a Policy Advisory Committee, from which members of the Conservative Minority Party would be excluded. Only memebrs of the Labour Majority and Council Officers would be allowed to sit on this Committee.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
This is a proposal to use the officers of the council, who are employed on behalf of and by the generality of the ratepayers, to advise and serve a party committee composed solely of members of the Labour Party. It may be that the ratepayers and electors of Camden are happy to support the activities of the Labour Party at their expense in this way, but it would be as well to test the matter 392 and make sure. This is an innovation in our local government system, though it has been imitated already by another Labour-controlled borough in London. It might be salutary to that Borough and to others which desire to imitate the example to see whether the electors of this borough are, in fact prepared to sanction this and continue it.
That is an abuse. It is very wrong, and it is an example of the extreme partisanship of the Labour Party in the control of the borough, as of a number of other London boroughs. Are we right, in these circumstances, to exclude the electors from an opportunity to give a decision on this matter at the time when they expected to be able to give such a decision when they elected the present council?
There is only one other matter of this coin to which I seek to refer. It is, alas, not necessarily unique. As soon as Camden came into final being, a resolution was forced through the staff committee and the council making membership of a trade union or professional association a condition of employment by the Council. In respect of a public body, that is wrong. It is unhappy when an employer enters into an agreement to impose the closed shop, but to some extent that is within the employer's scope and judgment, although one may deplore it and think that he is guilty of an error of judgment.
It is a matter within his control. But when a public authority—spending public money, the money of people of all political views, of people who belong to trade unions and those who are not members of trade unions—makes it a condition of employment by it that there shall be a closed shop, that is a matter which at least is liable to challenge.
Surely the electors of Camden should be given the chance to say whether or not they wish this to be done in their name? I could go on, for I have a vast folder here about the doings of the Camden Council. If it has not exactly been active in well-doing it has certainly been energetic in doing. But I do not wish to weary the Committee, because I think that the points I have already made are sufficient justification for saying that in this case the electors should have the opportunity to decide.
393 It may be objected that one cannot pick and choose between London boroughs in this respect. I reject that argument. I know of no technical or practical reason why one should not have the election in Camden on 11th May, even if one does not have it anywhere else in London. I am sure that the town clerk is as capable as all town clerks of carrying out the necessary organisation. That is precisely what happens when there are by-elections. For example, if there is a Parliamentary by-election over a much smaller area than a London borough there is the whole apparatus of a Parliamentary election in one place, and it is not happening anywhere else. The same is true of local government by-elections.
If the Bill goes through in its present form, there may be quite a number of councillors who had decided anyway to bring their term of office to an end and who may leave office in May, with the result that there may well be a considerable number of elections on the date when there would have been the council elections under the present law. I mention that to point out that we are not imposing an impracticality in suggesting that there is a case for picking out this borough if the Government insist on imposing their will over the generality of London boroughs.
On subsequent Amendments we shall demonstrate a case for picking out others where, because of the special circumstances, such as the course of conduct of the ruling party—the measures it has adopted, the steps it has taken—the argument for giving electors the chance to say whether they approve is even stronger than over the whole of the metropolitan area.
This is practical; this is just. I beg hon. Members opposite, who may think that the Camden council is right on all three matters to which I have referred, to accept that there are many people who think that it is gravely wrong. In this country we settle these matters by the vote, and the grim aspect of the Bill now before us is that it is one which deprives electors of the exercise of that vote at the right time and at a prearranged time. I think that if one does not, where there are these issues of this importance, give the electors the chance to pronounce, one is, in sober truth, 394 undermining the principles of democracy in this country.
If people cannot vote, as they expect to, on issues on which they feel strongly, we may drive them to all sorts of irregularities—to the withholding of rates, to all sorts of follies and stupidities—because constitutional expression, the right way to express their views, is denied them. It is for this reason, pertinent, I suggest, to this borough, in cumulative effect overwhelmingly in respect of this borough, that I have moved the Amendment.
§ Mrs. Lena Jeger
The Opposition have chosen to be rather invidious about the Borough of Camden, so I hope that I may be permitted to say to the Committee that I think that the borough is the most splendid borough in the whole of London.
It is absolute nonsense, farcical nonsense, for the Opposition to bring forward this argument at the present time. Why not have an election, they ask. At the last election the rent policy of the then council of St. Pancras was the same as it is now, and those wards which comprise the St. Pancras part of Camden returned an overwhelming Labour victory in support of the rent policy which is now carried on by the Borough of Camden. To suggest that the present rent policy of the Borough of Camden is something which has been thought up without any reference at any point to the electorate, is certainly to mislead the Committee.
§ Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)
Is the hon. Lady suggesting that a borough which, at a time when the Government have a prices and incomes freeze, is increasing its rents by as much as 9s. for a one-room flatlet from 23rd January next will not appear in the eyes of the electorate very differently from what it did in the circumstances which prevailed before?
§ Mrs. Jeger
The hon. Gentleman is really contradicting the point of his right hon. Friend, because on the thesis that there are more ratepayers than council tenants—though I must add that council tenants pay rates, which is a consideration people often forget—we are putting ourselves possibly at an electoral advantage, and it is very unselfish of us to come 395 along with this proposal to postpone the elections.
But what makes me very angry about the sort of speech we have just heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite should be castigating council tenants and the Labour boroughs which have been grappling with an insuperable problem of housing in central London, where it was made tremendously difficult, almost unmanageable, during 13 years of Conservative government——
§ Mrs. Jeger
No, I will not—when every progressive housing authority throughout the country, particularly in London, was held to ransom by land and money speculators. The housing account in Camden is suffering from over-charges on sites, from absolutely disgracefully inflated land prices, from the burden of interest rates—all a heritage of the Conservative Party's capitalistic approach to housing.
Of all the rents that are collected in the Borough of Camden, more than half are paid out in interest rates to moneylenders. That is where the subsidy goes. Members opposite talk as though the tenants were getting the subsidy. It is their friends who are getting the subsidy. Over 50 per cent. of the rents goes in paying off capital. It does not go out in maintenance, but straight into interest charges on loans. We would not have had this heavy deficit—and goodness knows, as a ratepayer in Camden myself, I do not need anyone to tell me of the seriousness of this deficit—had we not got loaded on to our housing account inflated, wicked, gamblers prices for land, and the whole impact of the Tory policy of free-for-all in land prices was at its sharpest and bitterest in central London.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
The hon. Lady referred to the burden of interest rates being a major cause of this, but have they not become very much higher during the last two years?
§ Mrs. Jeger
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will wait for news of the 396 housing subsidies Bill, which, I believe, will be before the House very soon. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government will at least have the good sense to backdate the subsidies to take care of the point which has been raised.
§ Mr. A. Boyle
The hon. Lady has castigated the many actions which were taken by the Conservative Administration over 13 years to improve the housing situation in London. Would she detail for us now any action which has resulted in any real improvement in the housing situation in central London at the present time? I have not noticed any, and I do not think that she has, either.
§ Mrs. Jeger
The hon. Gentleman is tempting me to give him a lecture on the benefits of the effect of the Rent Act and of the doubling of the output for housing in the Borough of Camden. Let me say that it is the central London boroughs which have this grievous problem. It is because of the influence of the private landlords, who have been supported by the party opposite, that our borough is thick with slums. It is defaced with slums, and the burden of clearing densely populated slum buildings is expensive. I do not know whether hon. Members and right hon. Members opposite are saying that Camden should have left more of its citizens in the disgusting slums which is the heritage of their friends in central London.
When a borough, which is burdened with an unfair number of slum dwellings, decides that this is no way for people to live in the middle of the twentieth century, and takes a firm decision and says that "no matter what this costs, we are not going to put up with this disgraceful situation, with this deformity of living, in this modern age", we get the moneylenders, the accountants, opposite adding up the figures, because they understand figures more than they understand the lives of people and more than they understand what slum conditions do to the lives of people.
If we have to stand before the electors of Camden, I will, on any platform in my own constituency, say "Yes, we have spent this money, because we want our people to live in decent conditions and we have not yet had time to put right the absurdity of housing finance which is 397 the heritage of the Tory Government and the dictates of private landlordism". I think that we shall get the result that we want from the electors of Camden whenever we go before them. In fact, they had a chance at the time of the General Election. I associated myself very closely, as a former member and chairman of the housing committee, with the local policies, and my majority went up every time. I do not feel that the electors were deprived of a voice in that matter. They will have a chance when the G.L.C. elections come along, because these issues will be discussed then and I shall be on the platform discussing them in any part of Camden to which I am invited during the next few months. So on that approach the Amendment collapses.
It is grossly unfair to pick on a borough which probably has more difficult problems than almost any other in central London. It is a very cosmopolitan borough, which perhaps brings privileges, joys and interests but also difficult problems. The borough has done a great deal through its welfare services and international committees and the help which the council has given to the various communities to try and bring about a harmonious atmosphere. This has always been so and it is something on which the borough may be congratulated. The fact that we now get this castigation from the Opposition when we have done such a great deal to cope with contemporary problems is, to say the least, ungracious.
The right hon. Gentleman referred to the fact that we have spent some of the ratepayers' money on an arts festival, which started as the St. Pancras Arts Festival many years ago and which has become one of the most renowned occasions among municipal arts festivals in the country. The borough has done pioneer work in children's libraries as well as in other libraries. I suppose that it should not, according to the right hon. Gentleman, have spent so much of the ratepayers' money on building some pioneer children's playgrounds which have attracted attention throughout the world. There is absolutely no end to the sort of argument put by the right hon. Gentleman about whether one is concerned with the whole quality of living and environment and whether one is to 398 interpret it in terms of contributions one has to expect from the ratepayers.
These are fundamental problems of local government finance and to follow them would take me beyond the Amendment, to which I hope to keep as closely as has so far been the case in this Committee. But many of us are looking forward to changes in the whole structure of local government finance, looking forward to the Royal Commission's Report, because only in such fundamental ways can these difficulties be dealt with at their roots.
Meanwhile, I hope that the Committee will agree that, in the case of Camden, we have a courageous borough trying to grapple with immense difficulties in an imaginative and sympathetic way. I hope that the Committee will reject this Amendment with the contempt it deserves.
§ Mr. Lubbock
It is easy to see why the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) only wanted to discuss this Amendment and the next one before we finished for today because, as soon as that proposition was accepted by the Home Secretary, he disappeared in a cloud of dust. We have not the privilege of hearing him on the subject of the improvidence of Camden. I thought that, if he was so keen to concentrate his attention on this Amendment and the next, we might have heard something from him. It is disappointing to find that he has had to go to bed at this early hour and that we are not to have his advice on the problems of Camden.
We have had to make do, instead, with a speech from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). I do not know where he gets his information about Camden from.There is a great deal in the doctrine that it ill becomes hon. Members to indulge in the sort of Prodnose officiousness that the hon. Member—was suggesting, and acting as though we were super councillors and had some standing in respect of matters which Parliament has seen fit to give into the exclusive jurisdiction of local authorities…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th November, 1966; Vol. 736, c. 328.]I quote from some criticisms made of me by the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger) during the Second 399 Reading debate. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames has been guilty of the sin of entering into the detailed problems which affect one London borough, without giving the other side of the story, which we have just had from the hon. Lady the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Mrs. Lena Jeger). She gave us a different picture and the Committee is not in a position to judge between the two.
We know that there are serious housing problems in the hon. Lady's constituency, and we look with sympathy upon her attempts to put these matters right, and upon the fight which she has always waged on behalf of exploited tenants in her constituency. I am with her all the way. It is a monstrous thing that we have had to put up with this exploitation in the depressed areas of Greater London.
The right hon. Gentleman says that for the time being it is impossible for this local authority to balance its housing revenue account. My answer is that the Government must do something about the finances of local authorities. I am extremely disappointed that they have appointed a Royal Commission and that we will probably have to wait for two years before we have the answer. This is no excuse for local authorities not to get on with the job of moving these hideous blots upon the face of Greater London, which still exist in constituencies such as that of the hon. Lady.
It ill-becomes anyone in this Committee who comes from outside of these areas, from wealthy suburbs, such as Kingston-upon-Thames to criticise the very serious efforts made by local authorities in Inner London to cope with these problems. Turning to the Amendment, very much the same arguments have been produced to the Committee as were given on the previous seven. If one can make out a case for deferring the elections in the London Borough of Camden on such grounds as the right hon. Gentleman has sought to adduce, then one can criticise any local authority.
I can talk about the London Borough of Bromley and the secrecy which it has maintained in its committees. I only mention the London Borough of Bromley 400 in passing to show that we can all, as ratepayers, produce some criticisms of our own local authority, with greater knowledge of the circumstances than the right hon. Gentleman, who as far as I am aware, does not live in Camden. I happen to live in my constituency and I could say a great deal later about the London Borough of Bromley, if it were not for this unholy agreement between the two Front Benches which has prevented us from discussing the matter this evening.
We have to waste another day of Parliamentary time. I very much object to this. If this had been put to the Committee it would not have agreed that we should only discuss two Amendments this evening, on two Boroughs, if we are to have repetition of the arguments advanced over at least eight hours. We could have got on a little further, but I would be out of order if I were to pursue this subject.
It is quite wrong for hon. and right hon. Gentlemen to raise the detailed problems of Camden, and to talk as if they were councillors, attempting to deal with the very serious problems that the local authority has to face, without having any detailed knowledge of those problems as a result of being a member of a local authority of a ratepayer.
As I understand it, the hon. Lady is, and we listen to her with greater respect than we listen to the right hon. Gentleman. I hope that we shall not have the same sort of arguments on every one of the Amendments. This would be a gross abuse of Parliamentary time and I hope that the Chair will prevent tedious repetition about the problems of London boroughs, such as we have had on these earlier Amendments.
My advice to the Committee is not only to reject the Amendment on the London Borough of Camden, but, having disposed of it, to go on to make very short work of the other Amendments dealing with individual London boroughs.
§ 12.30 a.m.
§ Mr. Rossi
I congratulate the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. Lena Jeger) for the public relations exercise which she has carried out on behalf of her borough. We were 401 extremely interested to hear about the borough's wonderful arts council and welfare work and the cosmopolitan nature of the community, but it might have assisted the Committee more if she had dealt directly with the points raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). He raised three very important points concerning the conduct of the affairs of that borough—conduct which deserves an immediate recourse to the electorate to decide whether the affairs of the borough should be continued in that way.
My right hon. Friend mentioned, first, the operation of that borough's housing revenue account, which we in the London area know amounts, in proportion, to a national scandal. The district auditor has had some very severe comments to make about it. It is a matter of great concern, not merely to the residents of the former Borough of St. Pancras, who have sat under this kind of situation for many years and perhaps have known no other and no better, but also to the ratepayers of Hampstead, who find themselves married to this situation against their will and who after three years' experience of Labour control and Labour rent policies for council tenants, no doubt wish to exercise their voice.
I am sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary has gone. I would have liked to ask him for his comment on the speech that we heard in support of the rent policies of the Borough of Camden. These policies are directly opposed to present Government policies. We had the famous circular of November 1965 urging all local authorities to operate rent rebate schemes and to co-operate with the Ministry of Housing in the preparation of such schemes. Camden has not co-operated with the Government to the full in this matter. I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary for his views on the attitude of the Borough of Camden in this matter.
§ Mrs. Jeger
There is in Camden a differential operating in rents. I do not know what the hon. Member means by suggesting that there is not.
§ Mr. Rossi
There are schemes and schemes, and the one which produces a deficit of the kind produced by the housing revenue account of Camden is 402 not acceptable—as one understands from the statements made regularly by the Ministry—to the Government. It is clear from statements and Answers which the Minister of Housing has made to Questions on the Floor of the House that he does not wish to see housing revenue accounts with deficits of this kind.
We were told that this deficit is partly due to the high interest rates which have to be paid at present by local authorities on their capital borrowings. This is correct, and it is regrettable that, in the last two years, there has been a steady climb in the interest charges which local authorities have to pay, despite General Election promises and deceptions perpetrated by the party opposite. Councils are paying more month by month for the money they borrow as the direct result of the economic policies of the party opposite.
It is said that these interest charges are going into the pockets of bankers and accountants and "disreputable" people of that sort. I take the trouble from time to time to look at the tenders for loans to my own local authority. With great regularity, there are offers from trade union funds and from the Co-operative movement. Are their interest charges below the norm? They want the full market rate, my goodness they do. They are not slow in demanding their pound of flesh. So let us not have this kind of hypocrisy from hon. Members opposite.
The other matter which my right hon. Friend mentioned—the hon. Lady's speech was significant in its silence on this point—concerned the secret committee, the cabal set up by Labour Party members, together with the officers of the council. This is a most dangerous innovation and trend in local government, a complete departure from the democratic processes as we understand them.
We hear criticisms—the hon. Member for Orpington has gone now—of the Press not being admitted to the meetings of some committees of some councils, but this is far worse. This is a secret committee from which the minority party is completely excluded. There is no watchdog at all on the part of the public. The powers-that-be, the party bosses, run the council and dictate to the officers. 403 There is no opposition there to hear what is going on, let alone to probe and criticise. This is completely contrary to the system of democracy as it has grown up in this country over the centuries.
We value the two-party system in this Committee and this House for the probing and testing of policies. This is the way Parliament works and local councils have imitated our processes and work in the same way. But now a local council is trying to depart from that completely. Socialism is becoming National Socialism in this respect: this is the danger—the hon. Lady smiles about this. No doubt she has to support her friends. Loyalty is a quality to be admired, no matter how misplaced it may be, but this is a situation which causes the gravest concern in the minds and hearts of people who value democracy as we know it.
The third matter on which the electorate should have a say is the question of compelling employees to belong to a trade union. This is of fundamental importance—the freedom of a man to belong to a trade union or not as he wishes, and not to be compelled by his employer to belong as a condition of his employment. These are all vital matters which go to the root of freedom and our democratic system, and on which the electorate of the borough of Camden should have the opportunity of voicing an opinion as early as possible.
§ The Under-Secretary of State to the Home Department (Mr. Maurice Foley)
The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), in moving this Amendment, referred to special circumstances as an argument for a borough contracting out of the normality of period of election or time of election. He has chosen the borough of Camden as the first example of this kind of case. One wonders immediately why. Clearly, many of us can think of a variety of boroughs in London and in local government in other parts of the country where there are inadequacies in the way in which local government functions. One might have chosen the borough in which the right hon. Gentleman's constituency is and looked at the question of why the Conservative mem- 404 bers on that Conservative-dominated council with a clear majority, in determing where the 10 aldermanic seats should go, decided to take nine for itself and give one to the opposition.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
If for these reasons he is criticising that council, will the hon. Gentleman support me when I move a subsequent Amendment to allow the electors of that constituency to have the right to choose their council next May?
§ Mr. Foley
The right hon. Gentleman is being much too quick. He must allow me to develop my argument in my own way. I am referring to the right hon. Gentleman's notion of special circumstances and the motives behind it. He chose Camden despite the fact that there were a number of other boroughs which he might have chosen. There was a certain amount of political motivation in his choice of Camden. My hon. Friend the Member for Holborn and St. Pancras, South (Mrs. Lena Jeger) vigorously defended her constituency and the borough in which she resides.
One ought to look closely at what the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames said. He was highly selective and did not go far enough in his reference. He instanced the question of housing and spoke about the deficit on the housing revenue account and the district auditor's report. He is quite correct, but he should have gone on to say what had been the consequences of the district auditor's report and what action followed from it, if he really wanted to be fair and objective. This was conspicuous by its absence.
The district auditor suggested that there should be an interim rent increase pending completion of a survey of housing rents in the borough, which is being undertaken by the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of London. After consideration, the council has decided on interim rent increases. It has taken these steps already. The right hon. Gentleman forgot to mention that. Presumably he was condemning the council without knowledge of this, or if he had knowledge of it, he deliberately forgot to mention it because it would not bolster his case.
405 The council has since approached the Ministry of Housing and Local Government with reference to the Government's policy on prices and incomes, paragraph 20, relating to rent increases. The first increase which the council proposed fell within the period of restraint and the council has not brought it to bear, but like all councils it has a duty to balance the amounts received from rents with the interests of ratepayers. Some local authorities will not be able to avoid increasing rents. On housing, Camden has been indicted and selected as a special circumstance, but it is in the process of putting its house in order.
The second reference was made particularly by the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Rossi) about this mysterious policy committee. He has personal experience of local government, but he must not assume that others have not. I served for five years on a local council in the Greater London area which was Conservative-controlled. The chairmen of committees were Conservatives. They met regularly in secret and determined the policies of the council. The Press was excluded and the opposition was never informed.
§ Mr. Foley
The relative chairman of the committee certainly met frequently with the relative officer of the committee. This was in secret. The opposition were denied knowledge of this. Whether they sat down with the respective officers I doubt; I have no knowledge of this.
It may well be that this is part of an innovation. It may well be that what is emerging is the notion of a kind of
§ cabinet at local government level where —[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] Reference was made to this as being an innovation; it should be looked at. It may well be that this is so. I have referred to my experience over many years of a Conservative-controlled council appointing its own chairmen automatically for every committee, meeting on their own, determining policy, and no consultation with the opposition—in fact, ignoring the opposition. There is, therefore, nothing new about this idea of a policy committee in a local authority.
§ What is new is the possibility or notion or innovation of a committee in which officers also participate. One would like to see how the experiment works and evaluate it. I do not see how one can evaluate an experiment until it is given time to work.
§ I come now to the third matter, the question of a closed shop. This is an item on which there is clearly a variety of views. A variety of views has been presented to the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations, by Labour Party and Conservative Party representatives, management, trade union leaders, and so on. I do not think there is a clear consensus as to what is desirable in this respect.
§ All these references to Camden and special circumstances are invalid. This raises the broad question as to whether particular boroughs in the Greater London Area should be allowed to be different from the others. Clearly, if there are to be elections in the London boroughs, it would be in the interests of political parties, of the Press, of publicity and of administrators that they should be held on the same day. The Amendment makes administrative nonsense; it is a non-starter; it is ludicrous. I ask the Committee to reject it.
§ Question put, That those words be there added:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 118, Noes 192.409
|Division No. 216.]||AYES||[12.48 a. m.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Biggs-Davison, John||Buck, Anthony (Colchester)|
|Astor, John||Black, Sir Cyril||Bullus, Sir Eric|
|Awdry, Daniel||Blaker, Peter||Clark, Henry|
|Baker, W. H. K.||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Clegg, Walter|
|Batsford, Brian||Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Cooke, Robert|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Corfield, F. V.|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Bromley-Davenport, Lt. Col. Sir Walter||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)|
|Biffen, John||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Eden, Sir John|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Pym, Francis|
|Elliott, R. W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Royle, Anthony|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Fortescue, Tim||MacArthur, Ian||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Scott, Nicholas|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Macleod, Rt. Hn, Iain||Sharples, Richard|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||McMaster, Stanley||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Smith, John|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Maddan, Martin||Stodart, Anthony|
|Grant, Anthony||Maginnis, John E.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Maude, Angus||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Mawby, Ray||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Grieve, Percy||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Gurden, Harold||Monro, Hector||Temple, John M.|
|Hamilton, Marquess of (Fermanagh)||More, Jasper||Tilney, John|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Heseltine, Michael||Murton, Oscar||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hiley, Joseph||Neave, Airey||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Wall, Patrick|
|Holland, Philip||Nott, John||Webster, David|
|Hunt, John||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Whitelaw, William|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Jopling, Michael||Peel, John||Worsley, Marcus|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Percival, Ian||Wylie, N. R.|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Peyton, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Kirk, Peter||Pink, R. Bonner||Mr. George Younger and|
|Kitson, Timothy||Prior, J. M. L.||Mr. David Mitchell.|
|Alldritt, Walter||Ensor, David||Kelley, Richard|
|Allen, Scholefield||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter A Chatham)|
|Anderson, Donald||Faulds, Andrew||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)|
|Archer, Peter||Fernyhough, E.||Lawson, George|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Ledger, Ron|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lee, John (Reading)|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Floud, Bernard||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Baxter, William||Foley, Maurice||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Bence, Cyril||Ford, Ben||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Forrester, John||Loughlin, Charles|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Fowler, Gerry||Luard, Evan|
|Binns, John||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Lubbock, Eric|
|Bishop, E. S.||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Tom (Hamilton)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Blackburn, F.||Freeson, Reginald||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Gardner, Tony||McBride, Neil|
|Booth, Albert||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||McCann, John|
|Boston, Terence||Gourlay, Harry||Macdonald, A. H.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Bradley, Tom||Gregory, Arnold||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Grey, Charles (Durham)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Buchan, Norman||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Cant, R. B.||Hamling, William||Manuel, Archie|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hannan, William||Mapp, Charles|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Marquand, David|
|Coleman, Donald||Haseldine, Norman||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hazell, Bert||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Conlan, Bernard||Heffer, Eric S.||Mellish, Robert|
|Craddock George (Bradford, S.)||Henig, Stanley||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Hooley, Frank||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Horner, John||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Molloy, William|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Dewar, Donald||Howie, W.||Moyle, Roland|
|Dickens, James||Hoy, James||Murray, Albert|
|Dobson, Ray||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Doig, Peter||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Norwood, Christopher|
|Dunn, James A.||Hunter, Adam||Oakes, Gordon|
|Dunnett, Jack||Hynd, John||Ogden, Eric|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b's)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Eadie, Alex||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Orme, Stanley|
|Edelman, Maurice||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Ellis, John||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Ennals, David||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Perry, Ernest C. (Battersea, S.)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Weitzman, David|
|Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Whitaker, Ben|
|Probert, Arthur||Swain, Thomas||Whitlock, William|
|Redhead, Edward||Taverne, Dick||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Rhodes, Geoffrey||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Richard, Ivor||Thornton, Ernest||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)||Tinn, James||Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Varley, Eric G.||Winnick, David|
|Rose, Paul||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)||Walden, Brian (All Saints)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Ryan, John||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||Yates, Victor|
|Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)||Wallace, George|
|Shore, Peter (Stepney)||Watkins, David (Consett)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Short, Mrs, Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)||Mr. Alan Fitch and|
|Mr. Ioan L. Evans.|
§ Mr. Hogg
I beg to move Amendment No. 11, in page 1, line 28, at the end to add:(5) This section shall not apply to the London Borough of Havering.[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am overcome with joy at that welcome.
The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), who has been relieved in his solitary position by one of his colleagues, was eager that there should not be what he called "vexatious repetition" in this series of Amendments. It would be very difficult to imagine a borough where the situation was more radically different from Camden than it is in Havering. Camden was in danger of a dictatorship; Havering is a situation where local government has almost completely broken down.
The only thing Camden has in common with Havering is that both are on the rocks financially. The latest estimate of the Havering housing deficit is, I gather, that it will be over a quarter of a million £s by March 1967. But whereas Camden is in the grip of a cabal, Havering is in nobody's grip at all. There is no effective majority controlling the affairs of Havering. Indeed, we have one of the borough's two Members of Parliament taking very serious steps. The Romford Times said on 25th May:It is hard to imagine a greater insult to the authority than that an M.P. should feel forced to take this step.…That was that he should ask Parliament to debate the affairs of his constituency local authority.
The paper also said:Anyone who has been alarmed by the way in which political dog fights have brought discredit on the new Borough of Havering will welcome this week's news that Hornchurch Labour M.P., Mr. Alan Williams, is to seek a House of Commons debate on it.In the Second Reading debate there was reference to the situation which was 410 developing in the borough, where the Labour leader on the council had to be removed by the police.
One of the Labour councillors wrote in the Havering Recorder and Brentwood Review on 3rd June:From the viewpoint of a socialist, Havering is worse than Tory…To a non-socialist observer the effect is, at best, one of incompetent and inefficient direction of a local authority.That is pretty bad, and it is pretty bad that by the ruthless and cynical use of the Government's Parliamentary majority the Home Secretary has decided, on behalf of the Government, to prevent the electors of Havering putting the deadlock at an end.
We have even heard this:Whitehall keeps an eye on Council. Havering Council goes on trial tonight with Whitehall as its judge. For a report of the meeting will go to Junior Housing Minister Bob Mellish.And that is a responsibility from which he cannot wholly resile, much as he was eager to disclaim responsibility for the Bill in other directions.
Or take this:Someone tilted the see-saw. For three hours tonight Havering Council will be busy reversing all the decisions it took last week.What had taken place on this occasion when the wise men of Gotham had these deliberations was that, owing to the absence of two councillors of one party, a different majority prevailed from what had prevailed a week before.
Or take this:Punch-up politics took over at Wednesday's Havering Council meeting, when one particularly ugly incident between councillors nearly brought police to the Town Hall shortly after midnight.Or this:Labour offer to resign".411 And apparently, alas, they have withdrawn the offer. It would have been very much easier if Labour had offered to resign!Fury at Town Hall. 'War' angers Council staff. A number of officials of Havering Council were said this week to be so disgusted by the latest 'war' between councillors that they are considering how they can take the law into their own hands.This is a situation which the right hon. Gentleman is prolonging by the Bill which deprives the voters of Havering, and one trembles at what council officials will do when they take the law into their own hands. One even trembles for the safety of the councillors. But, alas, the popular Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government has stepped in:'There will definitely be no election until 1968'. Immediately after his 95-minute pep talk to a deputation from Havering Council on Tuesday, I talked to Mr. Bob Mellish in his huge wood-panelled office at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in Whitehall.Well, I do not know what other talks the hon. Gentleman had in his huge wood-panelled office in Whitehall, but he told us that there will definitely be no election till 1968 for the poor electors of Havering.
I think I have made my case for moving my Amendment. I only beg the right hon. Gentleman to see the light and accept it.
§ Mr. Alan Lee Williams (Hornchurch)
The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) has made the affairs of Havering Borough Council much more exciting than they really are. If he is relying on the exciting Press reports which he has read out to the Committee, I am afraid his information is very doubtful indeed, because there is no doubt at all in my mind that this is good copy for the local Press, but, by and large, as time has gone on, the reports themselves have greatly exaggerated the situation which exists.
The position, basically, is this—if the right hon. and learned Gentleman would care to listen—that the Labour Party is in opposition, and the administration is jointly controlled by the Conservatives and independents. They have used this position to keep out the Labour group 412 from some of the committees. In fact, they have attempted to reduce the number of Labour representatives from the committee—[Interruption.] It is this that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has failed to point out this evening. This has accounted for the deterioration of relations between the parties inside Havering Council. That is my view and it is certainly that of the Deputy Leader of the Labour group who is sitting in the Public Gallery. He would be only too pleased to put the right hon. and learned Gentleman in the picture.
It is my view that the position of the third party, the ratepayer, is an unduly complicated one in the council chamber. I hope the electors at the next election will clarify this matter and will give an overwhelming majority to Labour so that Havering can get the Government it deserves.
§ Mr. Foley
There is no doubt that if one wanted to look for any definition of special circumstances in the boroughs in London, this is the most bizarre situation that one could possibly find. There is no doubt that there has been a great deal of irresponsibility shown by many people in Havering. There has been a procedural warfare, which went on until the end of July, with one group overthrowing the other, convening a council meeting, voting themselves out, and so on. It is true that my hon. Friend, the man who is accused of so much in relation to the authorship of this Bill, has himself received an all-party deputation at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. I cannot vouch for the lavish rooms which he may have, or where he received the deputation, but certainly there was a discussion on just what could happen. He, I am told, emphasised the need for both a Government and an Opposition.
I am sure that all those who have been talking about neo-Nazi and Fascist activities and motivation on the part of the Labour Government will be delighted to know that the Parliamentary Secretary was advocating the need for a government and for an opposition in the Havering Council, and that they should recognise the rights of each other. My hon. Friend made it clear that his own Ministry would not recommend that the Home Secretary should make an exception in terms of the elections relating to 413 this particular borough. He did say, purely and simply, that it would be wrong to make an exception, to treat one borough differently from any of the others.
I should have thought that those who had been elected to official office in Havering would adopt a more sensible attitude and would realise that they are there to do a job of work. It may well be that the debate this evening will do some good. I think that on that happy note we should end the debate this evening. I hope that when we resume we will make further prowess. I beg to suggest that we should reject this Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ To report Progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Roy Jenkins.]
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.