HC Deb 12 December 1967 vol 756 cc355-79

10.5 p.m.

Mr. Crossman

I beg to move,

that Standing Order No. 30 (Counting) be amended as follows: — Line 4, after "clock", insert "or after ten of the clock".

Line 6, after "clock", insert "or after ten of the clock ".

I am sure that I shall have the active support of the Opposition in what is really a very reasonable proposal. Even in a postprandial mood, I hope that the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) will begin to see reason.

We are asking for a Standing Order saying that there shall be no Count after 10 o'clock. This is no great departure from precedent, because we have already laid down that there should be no Counts between 7.30 and 8.30 p.m. and on Fridays between 1.15 and 2.15. Although we have laid down these negatives about ordinary days of the week, we have not laid down when Counts should take place, and I gather that my hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn) will improve on the situation by moving an Amendment which I would wholeheartedly advocate to the House, part of it being designed to bring us into order, and part of it to remind us of misfortunes which should not occur again in the lives of a Leader of the House and a Patronage Secretary. However, that is ancient history.

Let me remind the House of how limited in recent years the effect of the Count has been. I have had some statistics prepared, and they show that, from 1955 to 1959, the House was counted out on 11 occasions, 10 of which occurred on private Members' Fridays. In other words, on 10 out of 11 occasions, the Count, as it often is, was directed not against the Government of the day, but against a private Member. It is the private Member who suffers, whether the Count is called on a private Members' Friday or on the Consolidated Fund Bill.

To take a more recent period, during the last five years we have had no successful Counts before 10 p.m. other than on Fridays. There have been only four after 10 p.m., of which two have been on Government business.

I am not a radical reformer, and I am not suggesting that the House should dispense with Counts entirely. I suggest merely, as a modest advance in our reform, that we should dispense with them after 10 p.m. We shall keep Divisions, and a Division is a very effective Count. I suggest that we should count ourselves by dividing and not by surreptitious practice.

Mr. Speaker

I should be grateful if the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn) would move his Amendment.

Mr. Blackburn

I beg to move, at the end add: Line 14, at end add: (3) The House shall not be counted during the proceedings on any Consolidated Fund Bill or Appropriation Bill, or during proceedings in the course of which Mr. Speaker is directed to put forthwith any question. (4) If at any time after four of the clock on the House being counted it shall appear that 40 Members are not present, the business under consideration shall stand over until the next sitting of the House, and the House shall stand adjourned. I hope that my modest Amendment will not meet with much opposition, though I may be being unduly optimistic.

I would remind right hon. and hon. Members opposite, as I did last week, that there is a possibility that at some time in the far distant future they may once again form the Government, and my Amendment would be of great help to the Government of the day, whoever they might be. Both Opposition and Government agree that, in the case of the Consolidated Fund Bill and the Appropriation Bill, no Opposition would want to prevent a Government from gaining their objectives. In any case, since they are generally taken formally, any Count occurring during the debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill is merely robbing private Members of their time.

I do not think that it is likely that there will ever be a Count again on the Consolidated Fund Bill. I notice that the hon. Member who perpetrated the atrocity last Session is present, and he is probably sorry now for what he did. It is not likely to occur again, but, just to make doubly sure, I have included a provision to that effect in my Amendment.

It looks rather queer, because it says: Line 3, at end add— Line 14, at end add— The first refers to my right hon. Friend's Motion, and the second refers to Standing Order No. 30.

Paragraph (4) attempts to make clear what happens when there is a count. The only provision about what happens to the business is at present in Standing Order No. 30, which says: The House shall not be counted on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between half-past seven and half-past eight of the clock, but if on a division taken on any business between half-past seven and half-past eight of the clock it appears that forty Members are not present, the business shall stand over until the next sitting of the House… I believe from that that, whenever there is a Count, it is intended not that the business should be lost, but that the business should stand over until the next sitting. There was a little confusion last Session about that. I think, Mr. Speaker, you will agree that was why you gave advice and not a ruling on what took place then.

Subsection 4 attempts to make clear that, though the House would be adjourned if 40 Members were not present, as in Standing Order No. 30 where a Division takes place between 7.30 and 8.30, so, on every other occasion, the business is not lost, but stands over until the next sitting of the House.

10.13 p.m.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It seems curious that neither the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House nor the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn), in moving to reduce the circumstances in which Counts could be called, bothered to indicate the purpose that lies behind the provision for having a Count. The purpose is to make sure that there is a quorum. The purpose of a quorum—it may be that this is elementary—is to make sure that the business of this House is not transacted without, at any rate, a modest number of Members being present. Rules about a quorum are not peculiar to this House. Local authorities and other bodies have rules that they cannot proceed to take a decision or even discuss a matter unless there is a quorum present.

The right hon. Gentleman's proposal could involve a curious paradox. I understand that he does not propose to affect the provisions about a quorum in Select or Standing Committees. Yet his proposal involves this House proceeding with business though there are present fewer Members than would enable one of its own Select or Standing Committees to proceed. This is an indication that the right hon. Gentleman's proposal, for all the agreeable light-heartedness with which it was presented, raises a serious question: Should the House of Commons proceed with public business when there are fewer than 40 Members present or available?

Our quorum, for a House of 630 Members, is not a very high one, fortunately. If there is so little interest in a particular item of business that fewer than 40 Members will be either within two minutes call or in the Chamber, it is very doubtful whether the House should proceed at all with that business.

Mr. Blackburn

In the case of the Consolidated Fund Bill, surely the right hon. Gentleman would agree that it is only towards the end of the proceedings that there is likely to be less than a quorum, and, therefore, in the case of this Bill, and also the Appropriation Bills, the conditions may be different from those on other occasions?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am coming to the hon. Gentleman's Amendment. I would like, first, to deal with the main proposition before the House.

If there is sufficient force in the point of view which I have put, that we, like other bodies, should not proceed with our business before 10 p.m. in the absence of even quite a small proportion of our Members, why does that force lapse after 10 o'clock? There is often no change in the seriousness of the business being considered. We are at the moment, at 10.15, dealing with proposals which I believe are of the greatest gravity for the future effectiveness and strength of the House of Commons.

We could be taking the Finance Bill after 10 p.m. This is a Measure of the greatest importance. If, by leaving the present rule, rightly in my view, in operation before 10 o'clock, the right hon. Gentleman thereby accepts the principle that it is wrong, as well as indecorous, for the House to proceed on the basis that fewer than 40 Members should be here, why in heaven's name does all this change after 10 p.m.? I think that the right hon. Gentleman owes the House an answer to this. If one accepts, as I do, the desirability of at least a modest quorum in the House at one hour, why not later?

The right hon. Gentleman said that under Standing Order 30 there is an exception to the quorum rule between 7.30 and 8.30 on the first four days of the week, and between 1.15 and 2.15 on Fridays. This is based purely on practical convenience. These are, on the whole, the times when hon. Members take such modest refreshment as the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Maxwell) now permits, at the prices which he in his profound wisdom lays down. It would be foolish to bring them running here at the double, with their soup half-absorbed, during those hours. The right hon. Gentleman tried to give some weight to it, but this exception does not tend to support the general proposition for the removal after 10 p.m. of the quorum provisions.

This proposal is made worse by a provision which the House accepted earlier, the one under which sittings which go on after 10 o'clock at night can continue at 10 o'clock in the morning, for, as I understand it, the exemption from Counts, and therefore from the quorum, will apply to morning sittings. What justification is there for continuing the business of the United Kingdom with fewer than 40 Members present at midday, but not at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.? Will the right hon. Gentleman say why?

Mr. Crossman

The sitting in the morning will be a continuation of a suspended sitting of the evening before. We would have the same rules for one as for the other. That is all.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It will almost certainly be a continuation of Government business begun at 3.30, and subject to the quorum. This is why it arises. Therefore, taking his own point, it will be identical business, performed in this case in the middle of the morning, in- stead of the middle of the afternoon, but subject to quite different rules.

This kind of idea reflects rather curiously the right hon. Gentleman's great emphasis on full-time Members, whoever they may be. Apparently they do not need to be full-time in the morning, and not after 10 o'clock at night. The only time the full-time Member comes into his own is between 2.30 and 10. This is the right hon. Gentleman's curious proposition.

The right hon. Gentleman, finally, made the curious argument that the Count had been of limited effect in recent years because, except on Fridays, the House had not very often been counted out. Surely this is very naive. The fact of the possibility of a Count causes the Patronage Secretary to keep his troops here and all that the right hon. Gentleman's proposition proves is that successive Patronage Secretaries have been efficient. This is certainly so of my right hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Mr. Whitelaw). The Government Patronage Secretary is still, perhaps, sub judice.

The proposition of the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde, by extending the scope of this proposal, makes it worse. After all, whatever may be the conventions about the raising of individual subjects on either the Consolidated Fund Bills or the Appropriations Bills, what the House is doing at the time is voting the issue out of the Consolidated Fund or appropriating immense sums of public money. I have seen—or would have seen, had I not been out of order in seeing—people in the Gallery noticing with some surprise the voting of these vast sums without any apparent notice being taken.

It is a serious moment in Parliamentary history when we vote these thousands of millions of pounds of the taxpayers' money, and the hon. Member's suggestion in his Amendment is that this might be done with perhaps half a dozen Members present, because a Division is not likely, and, therefore, we lack of the safeguard which the Lord President of the Council mentioned—that a Division discloses the nakedness of the land and brings the proceedings to a close when there are not 40 Members present. This means that these immensely important Measures could be taken through without 40 of 630 Members being present. I can think of nothing more damaging to the standing of the House.

That also applies to the Lord President of the Council's main proposition. There are 630 of us. Is it really what the right hon. Gentleman wants to go out from this House that public business should in future be transacted with fewer than 40 Members out of 630 on the premises, and this from the right hon. Gentleman who has sometimes twitted us with being less zealous than we should be in our Parliamentary duties? I hope that the House will reject both the proposal and the Amendment.

10.23 p.m.

Mr. Woodburn

The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is under some misapprehension about how the House of Commons works. The Government are the Queen's Government and the business of the House of Commons and of every hon. Member is to try to keep control of the Government. On certain occasions, the right hon. Member must have the opportunity to state his grievances against the Government. On these occasions, such as the Consolidated Fund Bill, it does not matter if he is the only Member on the bench; he still has a right to state his grievance to the Government.

The right hon. Gentleman must know that, in some Adjournment debates, with only one Opposition or Government Member stating his case to the Government, that Member may state as powerful a case without a single other Member being present. The case which he puts may change all the affairs of his constituency and sometimes go far beyond it. Even one hon. Member has the right to state his case to the Government.

I have a terrible memory of a Count. During the war, officers were permitted to return from the trenches and the front lice to the House during Army debates to state their case. During these debates the House sat all night and Members, sometimes covered with mud, sat on these benches waiting to make their speeches. One night an hon. Member who I can only describe as malevolent— he did not take part in the war and did not agree with it—made a speech lasting for 40 minutes. Then, having taken up that amount of time, about a quarter of an hour after resuming his seat he called a Count, which meant that men who had travelled hundreds of miles to be here to make speeches were unable to do so and had to go home. A. P. Herbert, who used to be an hon. Member, actually used physical violence against that man, but it would be improper for me to repeat even a few of the words uttered by A. P. Herbert to him in the Lobby on that occasion.

Hon Gentlemen opposite seem amused at this story. It was a terrible occurrence. Men who had been risking their lives came here from the trenches to state their grievances. I refer to men who had been giving great service to their country. They were counted out as a result of the efforts of a man who was doing no service for his country. It was a disgrace. While that was an exceptional case, it shows what can happen. When discussing the Consolidated Fund Bill it is possible for an hon. Member who wants to go home to count the House out and deprive other hon. Members of their elementary right of stating their grievances before the Government.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Of course, the right hon. Gentleman is right, but he will recall that, as the Government must get the Consolidated Fund Bill, in such a situation they would have to put the Bill down for debate on another night and secure a quorum, whereupon an opportunity would be provided for any hon. Member to raise his constituency or other grievances. In other words, the Consolidated Fund Bill would not be lost. If it were, the Government would also be lost.

Mr. Woodburn

Until recent years no hon. Member called a Count on the Consolidated Fund Bill. Hon. Members were allowed to continue debating their various grievances until all had delivered their speeches. Only in recent years has the House been subjected to this breach of convention when discussing the Consolidated Fund Bill.

I hope that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not oppose this proposal because, if they do, they will be depriving hon. Members of their elementary right to state their case before the Government at any hour, without the fear of the House being counted out.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Hooley.

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. My attention was distracted. I called in the wrong order. The matter will be put right shortly. Mr. Hooley.

10.24 p.m.

Mr. Frank Hooley (Sheffield, Heeley)

My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House knows that I strongly support him in his attempt to reform our procedure. However, I suggest that this proposition is an error. I am bound to agree in substance with the arguments of the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). I agree with him that it is wrong in principle that the House should not have a quorum.

A body of this kind should have a quorum, however small. Be it 40 hon. Members or a lesser number, it would be wrong for us to transact the business of the nation without there being in our rules of procedure some provision for a quorum of hon. Members to be available. I understand that, if we approve this proposal, a quorum will not be necessary.

I do not consider it to be of any value to quote what has happened in the past or to conclude that past events are a guide for what could happen in the future. If this change is made, a different situation will be created and I fear that it may be exploited by a group of hon. Members for their own purposes. A group of 15 or 20 hon. Members could continue the proceedings of the House virtually indefinitely simply on the ground that there was no provision for counting them out.

We have a system for closuring a debate, but, in essence, the Count is different because, if a minimum number of hon. Members is not present, it is possible to put an end to the proceedings. By definition, at that time one has lost his opportunity to move the Closure which, I understand, requires 100 hon. Members to be present and vote. I am open to correction on that, but I think I am right. More experienced hon. Members than I appear to agree.

It is wrong in principle for the House not to have a quorum. The Leader of the House will find that he has left our procedures open to abuse if we have no minimum number as a quorum in our rules of procedure.

10.30 p.m.

Sir Arthur Vere Harvey (Macclesfield)

I support the case put forward by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). The Leader of the House, who has been in this House for many years, dealt with this matter in a nonchalent manner. He knows that if there is a meeting of an organisation such as I.C.I., or a small parish council, there has to be a quorum.

A fortnight ago the hon. Member for Wandsworth, Central (Dr. David Kerr) was seeming to advocate an increase in pay for services rendered in the House, but it seems that the Leader of the House is trying to get hon. Members to leave for home at 10 o'clock on the dot. I can understand that with all his troubles he wishes to appease his hon. Friends. I recall that four years ago the present Financial Secretary to the Treasury spoke in a debate on the White Fish Industry Bill for more than two hours, although I do not think he had even read the Bill. It was a brilliant performance, but now that hon. Members opposite are in power they look differently on these things. It may be sooner than the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn) thinks when the Tories will be the Government again.

The Leader of the House cannot get away with this after a few words. He is riding roughshod over the feelings of the House. I notice that half the time he is asleep on the Front Bench. He cannot keep awake for five minutes at a time, yet he tries to tell his followers that they can go home at 10 o'clock. Is it too much to ask that out of 630 hon. Members 40 should be present to conduct the business of the United Kingdom? I do not think so. I hope that my hon. Friends will vote against this proposal.

10.33 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

Some times when I have spare time, and am not here in the middle of the night, I read biographies of people who have been on the Government Front Bench. Usually, they say that they reached their ambition and counted themselves fortunate to become Leader of the House or Minister of Defence, but some became Prime Minister and a short time afterwards everyone considered them a failure.

I am an ordinary humble back bencher. When, last year, I called a Count in the debate on the Consolidated Fund Bill, it was not part of a plot to affect the rights of back benchers. My idea was simply to embarrass the Government. In trying to understand why the right hon. Gentleman should bother at all about this matter, I thought at first that it might be due to pique. I understand that he might feel pique at that moment, and that he was very cross when it happened, but I am sure he would not propose this Amendment to Standing Orders after this period of time out of pique.

There must be some other reason. I think it is that he believes that it would be an advantage to the Government not to have to keep their back benchers here after 10 o'clock at night. Any Government should be able to keep a quorum. The hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) argued that the quorum might be reduced, but he did not say that it should be done away with altogether. Plainly, 40 is a small quorum out of 630 Members.

In my view, even on the Consolidated Fund Bill, which is a Government Measure although it involves private Members so largely, and on the Appropriation Bill, 40 would be a reasonable number for any Government to keep in the precincts or in the Chamber. With the number of Ministers they now have, vastly greater than we had, the Government could provide 40 Members. Certainly, they could do it with Ministers and P.P.S.s. Moreover, there are always two or three on this side present even in the middle of the night or at 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning.

I cannot understand why the right hon. Gentleman should assume that his proposal would be generally acceptable. We believe that democracy should work here on the basis of at least a sufficient number of Members taking an interest in the proceedings of the House, at whatever time it may be. If it is right that we should sometimes sit through the night, it is right also that at least 40 Members should be here. The right hon. Gentleman should withdraw his Motion.

10.36 p.m.

Mr. Ray Mawby (Totnes)

The Leader of the House suggests that, because we have a continuation of what was the Speaker's "chop", a period for dinner between 7.30 and 8.30, the House ought now to accept that a Count should not be called after 10 o'clock. But he omitted to add the point that my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) made, that the House could now be adjourned till 10 o'clock the following morning and the barring of a Count would carry on not only after 10 o'clock at night, but from 10 o'clock in the morning, too.

In Standing Committees, we accept that the rule requiring a quorum must prevail. If the number of Members present falls below the quorum, automatically the Chairman suspends the sitting. Yet the right hon. Gentleman now proposes that, even if the quorum in this Chamber or the whole of the precincts falls below only 40 out of 630 Members, no one shall have an opportunity to draw that circumstance to the attention of the Chair.

Whether it be after 10 o'clock at night or, if the business has been adjourned, after 10 o'clock in the morning, there ought to be opportunity for any hon. Member to draw to the attention of the Chair that there are fewer than 40 Members present. If we do not accept that, we should seriously consider changing the Standing Order for Standing Committees. The percentage of Members required to be present in Standing Committee is much higher than the 40 required to be present in the Chamber.

I am attracted by the Amendment. Discussions on the Consolidated Fund Bill give hon. Members an opportunity to raise matters that may concern their constituency and no other, and, therefore, I would support the Amendment if it were taken on its own.

But I am completely against the Motion. When the House is making decisions in its solemn majesty—[Laughter.] This is an important matter. It has been said that the only thing the House cannot do is to change a man into a woman. It has tremendous power. If we are sitting in our solemn majesty it is not asking too much that at least 40 of us should be in the precincts to ensure that we make decisions correctly.

10.42 p.m.

Mr. Peter Bessell (Bodmin)

We have listened tonight to a number of right hon. and hon. Members with very wide experience of the House. They have a great deal more knowledge of its procedure than I, and as a relatively new Member I have hesitated to speak.

The argument advanced by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), and those who supported him, must be taken seriously. I was surprised, as he was, that the Leader of the House could introduce a proposal of this sort with such nochalance, apparently not regarding it as a matter of serious importance. Yet the Leader of the House has repeatedly expressed his wish to see the House become a more effective legislative body. He has said and written that he wants to see Members taking a much fuller part not merely in debate, but in the control of the nation's affairs.

What is suggested tonight is that we can continue the business of the House after 10 o'clock at night if there are as few as two hon. Members present, one speaking for the Opposition and one of the Government. While that is happening and all the other 628 hon. Members are at home in their beds, all the servants of the House and the police are required to be on duty, and presumably the restaurant facilities must be available for those two hon. Members. We shall present a spectacle to the public which would be regarded as shameful. We have all too often been criticised for the small numbers of hon. Members who are present in the House during important debates.

Now we are being asked to say that it is no longer important if, for example, when we are discussing the Report stage of the Finance Bill, there should be fewer than 40 Members present. That could happen. If no hon. Member is allowed to call a Count after 10 p.m. it would be possible to prolong a debate on a Clause or Amendment to the Finance Bill indefinitely and it would surely be wrong to have a situation in which the nation's business was conducted by fewer than 40 Members.

Like the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby), I have great sympathy with the Amendment because there is a case for preventing a Count taking place on the Consolidated Fund Bill's Second Reading, when there is an opportunity to raise constituency matters which does not normally come easily.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This is a point which the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) did not fully understand. If the Consolidated Fund Bill is counted out the Government are bound, in order to get the money, to restore it and, therefore, to give the hon. Members the same opportunities they would have had, if there had not been a Count, to argue their case. A Count on the Consolidated Fund Bill may embarrass the Government, but does not diminish the rights of private Members.

Mr. Bessell

I accept the point and I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames.

The right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) made a moving speech in which he quoted an experience from, I presume, the Second World War, although as he referred to the trenches I wondered whether he was referring to the First World War. But surely that experience did not reflect so much on the hon. Member who called the Count, but on the fact there were fewer than 40 Members present. The hon. Members who travelled a long distance under difficult conditions to give their speeches were denied that right because of the absence of a quorum.

A quorum is, in all matters of business conduct, recognised as of vital importance. No major company will conduct business at board level without a quorum. It would be prevented from doing so by company law. Yet we are asked to say that we are prepared to conduct our business with fewer than 40 Members present in the Chamber, with fewer than 40 Members being present even in the precincts of the House. This proposal should be opposed. The Leader of the House has made a grave error of judgment in introducing it and I hope that we shall firmly reject it.

10.43 p.m.

Mr. Crossman

Perhaps, by leave of the House, I may speak again on this matter, because apparently a number of hon. Members feel that we would be harming the legislative effectiveness of the House if we were to limit Counts in this way. If I thought that, I would not propose it.

However, I would say to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell), who painted such a terrible picture of what would happen if I had my way, that we get a situation every night in which only two Members are here in the Chamber while the officials of the House are still on duty. It is an extremely important part of our proceedings which could be ended any night by someone calling a Count. I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman's description of how ridiculous it is for just two Members— a Minister and a private Member—to be here. There are times when the House is full, in a sense, in that an hon. Member is putting a constituency case and the Minister is waiting to reply to it, everyone else having gone home to bed. Those two being there does not seem to me to be a caricature of Parliamentary practice. That half an hour is a valuable half an hour. We have to remember that the operation of the Count has enabled hon. Members to deny to individual hon. Members at any time anywhere near that half an hour.

Mr. Bessellrose

Mr. Crossman

I am trying to reply to the hon. Gentleman, and he might listen. He made a lengthy attack and said that we were utterly wrong. At lease he should listen to my reply.

I now come to the second suggestion, which was that I had proposed that we should abolish the quorum of the House. That is not true. The House makes its effective legislative act in decision, as the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby) said, and when we decide, we vote. The method of decision is the vote or Division. I have made it perfectly clear that throughout the period when we propose not to have Counts there can be Divisions. At any point we can test whether there is a quorum by the effective way of finding whether there are sufficient to vote, because if there are not sufficient hon. Members to vote the business would fall, and this could occur throughout the period when we suggest that we might dispense with the Count.

The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is always a reasonable man about the things which suit him, and he said that it was obviously practical not to have a Count during lunch time on Fridays and in the evenings during the dinner hour. But if it is practical not to have a Count then, why should there be anything sacred and not practical about having a Count at other times, provided that we retain the basic right, which is the right of the House to come to a decision? Each time we come to a decision, we need a quorum. It seems to be a self-evident fact that we must require a quorum in order to come to a decision.

The other issue is whether we should permit an individual to insist on a quorum at all times when there is not a decision of the House, when there is discussion, possibly discussion of some small, limited issue between a back bencher and a Minister. Is it proper that that discussion should be ended simply because there are not 40 Members present? When the House is deciding something, then we should insist on the quorum. Either side would be able to force a Division at any time throughout the night and a Division would prove the number of hon. Members present.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The right hon. Gentleman is referring to the House making a decision, but does not the House sometimes make a decision without a Division, accepting a proposal without putting it to the vote? The right hon. Gentleman might say that such a proposal would be uncontroversial or there would be a Division, but the point is whether the House should come to a decision on something which it regards as uncontroversial when fewer than 40 Members are present.

Mr. Crossman

It is not for me to tell the House whether to come to a decision. I am saying only that the Motion does not change the right of a Division and a Division is a test of a quorum. Four hon. Members have said that the Motion would remove the quorum. They were wrong, because the quorum is required for a Division, and as the Division could still be held we have not removed the quorum.

Dr. M. P. Winstanley (Cheadle)

Will the right hon. Gentleman revert to his argument about the practicability of a Count during the dinner hour? Surely the point here is not so much whether it is practical as that a Count is not necessary because everybody knows perfectly well that 40 Members are present, where they are and what they are doing.

Mr. Crossman

The argument used by the hon. Gentleman is an argument that I do not like to use. We have Patronage Secretaries who are efficient people and who maintain a number of people here. What I seriously say is that if one looks at the history of the rare use of the Count, it has worked far more against the individual Member.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

It is the threat of the Count that matters.

Mr. Crossman

That does not matter to the Patronage Secretary or the other side.

If hon. Gentlemen would consider the times the Count is used, it is used by the back bencher, usually in a moment of impulsive anger, or whatever phrase was used by the right hon. Gentleman. The question is whether we should not, for our own convenience, limit that, and retain the quorum for the ultimate test of the House, which is that of making decisions. I would have thought that this was a practical thing, and I was a bit shocked at the language used about the Consolidated Fund Bill.

It is all very well saying that it is a Government Measure, but it is basically a private Members' day, and surely it is a little hypocritical to say that the counting out of a Private Member in the middle of his piece will not harm the Private Member, because he can come back the next day and there may be more time: this does harm the Private Member, and does not harm anyone else.

I still think that we are right to say that this is a very reasonable Measure, and I do not think that it will harm the gravity or majesty of the House, least of all our power to take decisions, which remains completely unaffected.

Mr. Lubbockrose

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Sydney Irving)

Order. Had the right hon. Gentleman given way or had he concluded?

Mr. Crossman


Mr. Lubbock

I was not intending to intervene in this debate, but the reply which the Leader of the House has just given is profoundly unsatisfactory, particularly that part of his reply relating to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell), which is of a disingenuousness that I have never heard, even from him.

To say to my hon. Friend that Counts are not normally held during the Adjournment debates, when there are only two people in the House, and to suggest that this invalidated the whole of his argument is quite monstrous, because that was not what my hon. Friend was talking about. He would not give way to my hon. Friend. What my hon. Friend was talking about was Government Business. We are not talking about the half hour Adjournment debates.

I argue with the right hon. Gentleman that it is highly undesirable to have Counts during Adjournment debates, because that is private Members' time. I will also grant that there is something to be said for the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Blackburn), because even if one can return to this another day, as the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) has pointed out, it may not be convenient for hon. Gentlemen who have subjects to raise later on the Order Paper but who are prevented from doing so by the Count being called.

There is a lot to be said for this. If the Leader of the House had proposed that there should be no Counts on these two occasions, that would not have removed the existing right of the back bencher to call a Count during Government business. I have been in here while there has been important business being transacted involving hundreds of millions of pounds, particularly on the Air Estimates, in which I take part nearly every year. Then we are voting perhaps £500 million on each of these debates, and yet one sees only half a dozen hon. Members in the Chamber. Under those circumstances it is right that the back bencher should draw attention to the absence of a quorum to make sure that others come in to play their part in these important matters. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but if they had paid more attention to the Service Estimates in the past, perhaps we would not be squandering hundreds of millions of pounds on defence, which this country can ill-afford. Therefore I do suggest that it is the right of the back bencher to be able to call attention, during the Services Estimates, to the absence of a quorum, and 40 Mem-tiers is a very reasonable number.

I am fully justified in saying this, because it is a power which I have used sparingly myself, although it has frequently occurred to me during those debates that perhaps the lack of 40 Members should be drawn to the attention of the public outside. Many of my visitors who have come to this House to watch the proceedings say, "Is it not extraordinary that you have 630 Members in your assembly, and yet when you are voting £500 million worth of our money you can only muster 12 Members in the Chamber? "Believe me, this is a matter which gives me a great amount of anxiety when I try to explain it to my constituents. I do not see why, by this Motion the Leader of the House has brought before us, my power to draw to the attention of the public outside this House a lack of Members when voting many millions of pounds should be removed in this way.

I do beg the Leader of the House to think once again about this. He seemed to be giving way partially, by accepting the argument my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin was putting towards the conclusion of the debate. It is not too late for him to say he will think again. If he wants to be as fair as a Leader of the House should be, he ought to take the sense, not only of views which have been expressed from these benches, but also of the interesting and powerful speech which one of his hon. Members

made, and withdraw the Motion, and allow counts to proceed as they have done hitherto.

11.1 p.m.

Dr. David Kerr (Wandsworth, Central)

I am seduced—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—hon. Members should not draw a conclusion too rapidly —only by the prospect of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) sitting there clutching himself with anxiety in deciding whether or not to call a Count. I want to make, but only briefly, a comment on his speech, because it subscribes to the well-known fallacy about our practice here in this House, and it would be a pity if this went by default. The idea which he was so busily and assiduously promoting, that Members of Parliament must be on the benches throughout every important debate, run so counter—

Mr. Lubbock

I did not say that.

Dr. Kerr

Hon. Members opposite, who are so busy promoting this idea, are remarkable only by the fact that they do not in practice subscribe to it. In fact I am not sure that the quality of debate in this House would necessarily be raised if the Chamber were crowded throughout the day in the kind of way which has been implied by the hon. Member for Orpington when he makes his plea about defence debates. The whole truth about our procedure is that it relies upon quite other practices in which we are involved outside the Chamber, in deliberations which are as important and should be as influential as those which take place in the Chamber.

I support everything which my right hon. Friend has said, and I trust the House will give him its full support.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The House divided: Ayes 207, Noes 117.

Division No. 20.] AYES [11.3 p.m.
Albu, Austen Baxter, William Boardman, H.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Beaney, Alan Booth, Albert
Alldritt, Walter Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J. Boyden, James
Anderson, Donald Bence, Cyril Braddock, Mrs. E. M.
Ancher, Peter Bessell, Peter Brooks, Edwin
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Bidwell, Sydney Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Binns, John Brown, Bob(N 'c'tle-unon-Tyne, W.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Bishop, E. S. Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)
Barnes, Michael Blackburn, F. Buchan, Norman
Barnett, Joel Blenkinsop, Arthur Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)
Cant, R. B. Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Orme, Stanley
Carmichael, Neil Howie, W. Oswald, Thomas
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hoy, James Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Coe, Denis HuckfieM, Leslie Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Paget, R. T.
Concannon, J. D. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Palmer, Arthur
Conlan, Bernard Hunter, Adam Pardoe, John
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Park, Trevor
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Dan (Burnley) Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Pavitt, Laurence
Davidson, James(Aberdeenehire, W.) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Judd, Frank Pemland, Norman
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Kelley, Richard Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kenyon, Clifford Price, William (Rugby)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Probert, Arthur
Dell, Edmund Kerr, Dr. David (W 'worth, Central) Randall, Harry
Dempsey, James Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Rees, Merlyn
Dewar, Donald Leadbitter, Ted Rhodes, Geoffrey
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Ledger, Ron Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dickens, James Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Dobson, Ray Lee, John (Reading) Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Rose, Paul
Dunn, James A. Lomas, Kenneth Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Dunnett, Jack Loughlin, Charles Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lubbock, Eric Ryan, John
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Eadle, Alex Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Sheldon, Robert
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McBride, Neil Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tie-u-Tyne)
Ellis, John McCann, John Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Ensor, David Macdonald, A. H. Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) McGuire, Michael Slater, Joseph
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Small, William
Fernyhough, E. Mackintosh, John P. Spriggs, Leslie
Finch, Harold Maclennan, Robert Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Foot, Michael (Ebbw vale) McNamara, J. Kevin Swain, Thomas
Forrester, John MacPherson, Malcolm Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Tinn, James
Galpern, Sir Myer Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Urwin, T. W.
Garrett, W. E. Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfieid,E.) Varley, Eric G.
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Mapp, Charles Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Gregory, Arnold Marks, Kenneth Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Grey, Charles (Durham) Mendelson, J. J. Watkins, David (Consett)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mikardo, Ian Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Weilzman, David
Hamling, William Mitchell. R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Wellbeloved, James
Hannan, William Molloy, William White, Mrs. Eirene
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Whillock, William
Haseldine, Norman Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wilkins, W. A.
Hazell, Bert Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Heffer, Eric S. Moyle, Roland Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Henig, Stanley Murray, Albert Winnick, David
Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Neat, Harold Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Hilton, W. S. Newens, Stan Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Hooley, Frank Oakes, Gordon Yates, Victor
Hooson, Emlyn Ogden, Eric
Horner, John O'Malley, Brian TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, C.) Oram, Albert E. Mr. Joseph Harper and Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Cordle, John Glyn, Sir Richard
Astor, John Costain, A. P. Goodhew, Victor
Awdry, Daniel Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver Gower, Raymond
Baker, W. H. K. Crouch, David Grant, Anthony
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Cunningham, Sir Knox Gresham Cooke, R.
Biffen, John Dance, James Grieve, Percy
Biggs-Davison, John Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Gurden, Harold
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Black, Sir Cyril Doughty, Charles Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere
Blaker, Peter Drayson, G. B. Hastings, Stephen
Boardman, Tom du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Heseltine, Michael
Bromley-Davenport,Lt. -Col. Sir Walter Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tte-upon-Tyne,N.) Hiley, Joseph
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Emery, Peter Holland, Philip
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N&M) Farr, John Hordern, Peter
Burden, F. A. Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Hornby, Richard
Carlisle, Mark Fortescue, Tim Hunt, John
Chichester-Clark, R. Gibson-Watt, David Hutchison, Michael Clark
Ciegg, Walter Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Cooke, Robert Glover, Sir Douglas Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Summers, Sir Spencer
Jopling, Michael Murton, Oscar Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Nabarro, Sir Gerald Temple, John M.
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Neave, Airey Tilney, John
Kitson, Timothy Nott, John Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Lancaster, Col. C. G. Osborn, John (Hallam) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Page, Graham (Crosby) Vickers, Dame Joan
Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Loveys, W H. Pink, R. Bonner Walters, Dennis
MacArthur, Ian Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Webster, David
McMaster, Stanley Prior, J. M. L. Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Maddan, Martin Pym, Francis Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Mawby, Ray Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Woodnutt, Mark
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Royle, Anthony Worsley, Marcus
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Sharpies, Richard Wylie, N. R.
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Younger, Hn. George
Monro, Hector Silvester, Finderick
More, Jasper Smith, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Stainton, Keith Mr. Reginald Eyre and Mr. Humphrey Atkins.
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)

Main Question, as amended,:—

The House divided: Ayes 196, Noes 125.

Division No. 21.] AYES [11.12 p.m.
Albu, Austen Eadie, Alex Macdonald, A. H.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McGuire, Michael
Alldritt, Walter Ellis, John Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)
Anderson, Donald Ensor, David Mackintosh, John P.
Archer, Peter Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Maclennan, Robert
Armstrong, Ernest Fernyhough, E. MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Finch, Harold McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McNamara, J. Kevin
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Foot, Michael (Ebbw vale) MacPherson, Malcolm
Barnes, Michael Forrester, John Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Barnett, Joel Fraser, John (Norwood) Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Baxter, William Galpern, Sir Myer Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfieid,E.)
Beaney, Alan Garrett, W. E. Mapp, Charles
Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J. Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Marks, Kenneth
Benco, Cyril Gregory, Arnold Mendelson, J. J.
Bidwell, Sydney Grey, Charles (Durham) Mikardo, Ian
Binns, John Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Milne, Edward (Blyth)
B shop, E. S. Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Blackburn, F. Hamling, William Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hannan, William Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Harper, Joseph Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Booth, Albert Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Moyle, Roland
Boyden, James Haseldine, Norman Murray, Albert
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Hazell, Bert Neal, Harold
Brooks, Edwin Heffer, Eric S. Newens, Stan
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Henig, Stanley Oakes, Gordon
Brown, Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Ogden, Eric
Brown, R. W, (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hilton, W. S. O'Malley, Brian
Buchan, Norman Horner, John Oram, Albert E.
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Orme, Stanley
Cant, R. B. Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Oswald, Thomas
Carmichael, Neil Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Carter-Jones Lewis Howie, W. Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hoy, James Paget, R. T.
Coe, Denis Huckfield, Leslie Palmer, Arthur
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Park, Trevor
Concannon, J. D. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Conlan, Bernard Hunter, Adam Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Pavitt, Laurence
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Dalyell, Tarn Jones, Dan (Burnley) Penlland, Norman
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Price, William (Rugby)
Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway) Judd, Frank Probert, Arthur
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kenyon, Clifford Randall, Harry
Davies, S.O. (Merthyr) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Rees, Merlyn
Dell, Edmund Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Dempsey, James Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dewar, Donald Leadbitter, Ted Robertson, John (Paisley)
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Ledger, Ron Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)
Dickens, James Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Rose, Paul
Dobson, Ray Lee, John (Reading) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Dunn, James A. Lomas, Kenneth Ryan, John
Dunnett, Jack Loughlin, Charles Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Sheldon, Robert
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tie-u-Tyne)
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Urwin, T. W. Wilkins, W. A.
Silverman, Julius (Aston) Varley, Eric G. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Slater, Joseph Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Small, William Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Winnick, David
Spriggs, Leslie Watkins, David (Consett) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor) Yates, Victor
Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Weitzman, David
Swain, Thomas Wellbeloved, James TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Thomson, Rt. Hn. George White, Mrs. Eirene Mr. Alan Fitch and Mr. Neil McBride.
Tinn, James Whittock, William
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Astor, John Glover, Sir Douglas Murton, Oscar
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Glyn, Sir Richard Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Awdry, Daniel Goodhew, Victor Neave, Airey
Baker, W. H. K. Cower, Raymond Nott, John
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Grant, Anthony Osborn, John (Hallam)
Bessell, Peter Gresham Cooke, R. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Bitten, John Grieve, Percy Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Biggs-Davison, John Gurden, Harold Pardoe, John
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Pink, R. Bonner
Black, Sir Cyril Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Blaker, Peter Hastings, Stephen Prior, J. M. L.
Boardman, Tom Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pym, Francis
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Heseltine, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt. -Col. Sir Walter Hiley, Joseph Royle, Anthony
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Holland, Philip Sharpies, Richard
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N&M) Hooson, Emlyn Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Burden, F. A. Hordern, Peter Silvester, Frederick
Carlisle, Mark Hornby, Richard Smith, John
Chichester-Clark, R. Hunt, John Stainton, Keith
Clegg, Walter Hutchison, Michael Clark Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Cooke, Robert Irv ne, Bryant Godman (Rye) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Cordle, John Jernings, J. C. (Burton) Summers, Sir Spencer
Costain, A. P. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver Jopling, Michael Temple, John M.
Crouch, David Kaberry, Sir Donald Tilney, John
Cunningham, Sir Knox King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Dance, James Lancaster, Col. C. G. van Straubenzee, W. R.
Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire,W.) Lane, David Vickers, Dame Joan
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Walters, Dennis
Doughty, Charles Loveys, W. H. Webster, David
Drayson, G. B. Lubbock, Eric Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward MacArthur, Ian Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McMaster, Stanley Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maddan, Martin Woodnutt, Mark
Emery, Peter Mawby, Ray Worsley, Marcus
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Wylie, N. R.
Eyre, Reginald Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Younger, Hn. George
Farr, John Mitts, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles More, Jasper TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Fortescue, Tim Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Mr. Timothy Kitson and Mr. Hector Monro.
Gibson-Watt, David Morrison, Charles (Devizes)


That Standing Order No. 30 (Counting) be amended as follows: —

Line 4, after ' clock'. insert ' or after ten of the clock '.

Line 6, after ' clock', insert ' or after ten of the clock'. ' Line 14, at end add— (3) The House shall not be counted during the proceedings on any Consolidated Fund Bill or Appropriation Bill, or during proceedings in the course of which Mr. Speaker is directed to put forthwith any question. (4) If at any time after four of the clock on the House being counted it shall appear that 40 Members are not present, the business under consideration shall stand over until the next sitting of the House, and the House shall stand adjourned.'