HC Deb 10 December 1968 vol 775 cc338-81

Again considered in Committee.

Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.

Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid

I want to stress the case of the Midlands where, over the last 20 years, there has been a massive emigration from the towns. Some of it no doubt is due to slum clearance, but there has been a general move from towns to suburbs. It is being encouraged by successive Governments while, at the same time, the administration of those towns has become more intricate.

It seems to be complete folly to cut down the possible catchment area for members of these very important councils with their great responsibilities. There can only be one outcome. In future, the chairmen of committees of local authorities will be placed in the position of having to rubber-stamp the activities of their officials. That is not what they are appointed to do. However, if many of the most able and experienced people are lost as a result of our passing this Bill, that will be the result, and the administration of our towns will suffer.

We face and are fighting against the introduction of what can only be called machine politics on American lines into our great cities. If this Clause is passed unamended, it will pave the way to that situation. That is why I am opposed to it.

Mr. William Hamling (Woolwich, West)

I was very interested in the arguments put forward by the hon. Member for Walsall (Sir H. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid) as to the reason Tory wives in the Midlands chased their husbands out of urban areas. Certainly, it is not because of the rates. Presumably it is because they prefer the amenities of the suburban and rural areas to those of the towns.

Surely that is one of the best arguments in favour of the Government's proposition. We are saying, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be, also." When people move from the towns, they cannot be expected to have the same interest in the standards of public service there that they used to have. That is precisely the point.

I will illustrate this if hon. Gentlemen opposite will be patient. Earlier, they asked for consultations and requested that people's opinions should be considered. However, it appears that they are not disposed to listen to opinions from this side of the Committee, which was evident when my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East (Mr. Mapp) was speaking just now. Here is a man with tremendous experience of local government, yet hon. Gentlemen opposite were laughing and giggling and having private conversations amongst themselves when he was speaking. They were not in the least bit interested in the arguments being advanced by somebody with much more experience of local government than any of them has.

Can we expect people to be interested in the standards of public service if they do not have to endure the low standards in the older urban areas? I speak with some experience of Liverpool, having been born there, having lived for many years, and having, as the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) knows, stood at Parliamentary elections there. I probably know Liverpool better than I know the borough where I now live.

We all know that there was a time when all the civic leaders of Liverpool lived in Liverpool. There was a time when the top businessmen and the leading professional men lived in the city and had a keen interest in the city's affairs. All the leading aldermen and councillors lived in the city, and there was a strong correlation between the leading citizens, the leading professional people, the leading trade unionists, and the city council. Today that is no longer so. Today, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the leader of the Liverpool City Council does not live in Liverpool.

Mr. Tilney

On a point of order. That is entirely untrue.

The Chairman (Mr. Sydney Irving)

Perhaps I ought not to weary the Committee with the obvious.

Mr. Tilney

The hon. Gentleman should withdraw his statement.

Mr. Hamling

I shall withdraw it. I was thinking of Councillor Entwistle who, as the hon. Gentleman knows, was until recently leader of the Liverpool City Council. What I am saying is that for several years the local city council was led by a Tory who did not live in Liverpool. I regard that as a most unsatisfactory state of affairs, first, because he was a Tory, and secondly because he did not live in the city. I am putting first things first.

What the party opposite wants is the best of both worlds. Hon. Gentlemen opposite want to live outside the city. They do not want to endure the dirt and discomfort of the older urban areas, but they still want to govern them. We say that if we really want local government—and that is really what the argument is about—the people who should govern are those who live locally, and not miles away outside the areas they claim to represent.

The argument on the first Amendment—the right hon. Member for Streatham (Mr. Sandys) was not here to hear it, so perhaps he will now listen for a change—was that people ought to govern who have a stake in paying the rates in the area. That is not what hon. Gentlemen opposite are arguing now. They are now saying that those who have given up a stake in local government should continue to enjoy it. They are speaking not with two voices, but with several.

The other argument which seemed to crop up in all the speeches from the benches opposite was that all the best representatives live outside a town. That surely is what one should read into the speeches which have been made tonight from the benches opposite. My hon. Friend made an important point when he asked to whom the electors go when they are in trouble. They do not go to the Entwistles, who live in Crosby, or Birkdale, which is even further away.

Mr. John Smith


Mr. Hamling


Hon. Members

Give way.

Mr. Hamling

I shall not give way. People who are in trouble go to the man who lives in the same street as they do.

Mr. John Smith


Mr. Hamling


Hon. Members

Give way.

Mr. Hamling

I shall not give way.

I am not talking about the rotten boroughs of Westminster—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] They come to the man who lives locally. This is the important point about local government, that people want councillors who live near them and who know and share their problems. That is what local government is about and what my right hon. Friend is here seeking to do is to make local government really local and more significant to the people of the community—

Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)

On a point of order. It is in order for an hon. Gentleman to refer to a seat which is represented by one of my hon. Friends as "a rotten borough"?

The Chairman

Whether it is desirable or not, I do not think that it is a matter which the Chair should require to be withdrawn.

Mr. Hamling

If hon. Members are so sensitive, I will withdraw any reference to that particular rotten borough.

Mr. John Smith

I do not want to talk about my own constituency; I would much sooner talk about Liverpool, which is a long way from either of our constituencies. But this Entwistle about whom we have heard so much, and whom the Liverpool electors do not want—did they elect him?

Mr. Hamling

What is certainly true about Entwistle now is—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer!"]—that the Tory Party in Liverpool did not want him at all, because it was the Tory Party who chucked him out.—[Interruption.]—If the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) wants to test public opinion—[Interruption.]—I will take him on in West Woolwich any night he likes. He can also go back to the Lords.

Do hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite see nothing unrepresentative in electing councillors who do not live in the boroughs? That, surely is the point—

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

What about the Scilly Isles?

Mr. Hamling

Let the electors choose, say they, but the fact is that, in solidly Tory areas like Kingston it is not the electors who choose the representatives, but the local Tory Party. If the local Tory Party puts up a donkey in Kingston, it would be elected—

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

If the hon. Member is so keen to give the electors a free choice, will he suggest to the Patronage Secretary that he moves the Writ for Walthamstow, East?

Mr. Hamling

If he is so keen on free votes, perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will ask the Chief Whip to take the three-line Whip off this one.

What the Opposition have told us tonight is that the Tories in Camden are so hard up that, out of 300,000 electors, they cannot get a sufficient number of decent Tories. That is precisely what this argument is about. I suggest that this debate is supposed to be about local government and that what the Opposition are asking for is not local government in Camden, Kingston, or anywhere else, but Government by outsiders.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. R. Bonner Pink (Portsmouth, South)

I will not follow the line pursued by the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling)—

Mr. Hamling

Go on, have a go.

Mr. Pink

—because like the hon. Member for Preston, South (Mr. Peter Mahon) I have considerable experience of local government—only 20 years com pared with his 35—and if the Bill becomes law I shall be in a similar position to him. At the end of my term as alderman I shall be obliged to leave the City Council of Portsmouth because I live 1.8 miles beyond the city boundary.

The Government are taking an extremely retrograde step. The trend today is towards regionalisation and expanding boundaries. Despite that, the Government are putting forward a proposal which is designed to restrict that process and the number of people who will be eligible to play a rô le in local activities.

Have the Government consulted their supporters in the constituencies? I would be surprised if they have and I would be even more surprised if any local Labour Party organisers are still active. As people in local government are aware, there is already the greatest difficulty in obtaining candidates, even more difficulty in obtaining good ones and yet more difficulty in getting first-class candidates. By this proposal the Government are reducing the field of recruitment even further. The Government appear to have forgotten the trend towards commuting. Boundaries are artificial nowadays, particularly where a community of interest exists. The Maud Report was reasonable in its suggestions, including the "place of work" qualification.

The main employer in Portsmouth is the Navy. Half the council houses built in Portsmouth since the war have been within the city boundaries and half have been beyond them. If a man working in the local dockyard wants to serve on the council and another man working alongside him wishes to do the same and they both ask for council houses and get them, one may be given a council house in Portsmouth and the other may get a house just outside the city. Their interests probably lie with their jobs in Portsmouth, yet the man who must live outside the city will not be eligible to take an active part in the local authority.

Mr. Geoffrey Rhodes (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East)

While I do not accept that all the arguments in this debate are onesided, the common factor of work does not seem to be as relevant in local government terms as the schools one's children attend, the place where one pays one's rates and so on, and these are usually located not where one works but where one lives.

Mr. Pink

I do not agree. The question of work and interest lies where one lives or has lived, but also where one is prepared to serve in a voluntary capacity on a local authority. One will never be prepared to serve in that capacity unless one has a genuine interest in the authority.

If this proposal is implemented we in Portsmouth will lose many councillors and I am sure that they will not seek re-election in other authorities. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] They have no interest in other authorities. Their interest lies in Portsmouth. We need good councillors and aldermen. It is already difficult to obtain them and I fear that the Government are making matters even worse.

Several Hon. Members


The Chairman

Mr. Ross.

Mr. Ross


Hon. Members


Mr. Ross

We have been quite a long time on this Amendment and I think it right that I should put the Government view. An hon. Member who made a speech on the last Amendment was not present when I referred to him in replying to the debate, but as soon as I rise to answer this debate, in which I have listened to every speech, he makes his usual rumble of interventions.

We are dealing with three Amendments which would put aside the whole question of the non-resident vote and concentrate on changing the qualification for candidature. I think that that is a right interpretation of these Amendments. It is a change from the property qualification. We should be glad that hon. Members opposite no longer entirely cling to the narrowness of the past although they still cling to the idea that a person who owns a piece of land, whether he occupies it or not and no matter where he resides, shall have the right by virtue of that ownership to stand for election in that area. That may be the only connection he has with the city, the county or the borough, but just because he owns a piece of land he is deemed to have that right.

As was pointed out on Second Reading, it may be only the ownership of a piece of land in a graveyard. Hon. Members opposite say that should give him adequate qualification to stand as a candidate in the area. By these Amendments hon. Members opposite would forgo the non-resident qualification and concentrate on the suggestion that no matter where anyone lives so long as his principal place of work is within the city, the county district, or borough—and not only the professional classes on which hon. Members opposite have concentrated so much—should have the right to stand as a candidate in the area in which he works.

Let us see what this Amendment means. The hon. Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker), who moved the Amendment, did not explain it. It would mean that all 6,000 people working in Linwood, Renfrewshire, about 50 per cent. of whom live there, should have the right to put up as candidates. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] I shall tell hon. Members why not. It is for the simple reason that in many areas more people would stand as candidates than the number who have a right to vote. This could lead to the destruction of community identity in the area to be governed.

Sir D. Glover


Sir Knox Cunningham (Antrim, South)


Mr. Ross

I am scared of no one from Northern Ireland.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Is the right hon. Gentleman scared?

The Chairman

Order. Mr. Ross.

Mr. Ross

We like to see within our town councils, county councils and city councils members who have a close identity with their areas. The people who have the closest identity with the area are those who live there, whose children are educated there, and who are dependent upon the services provided locally practically every day of their lives. We will lose this identity if the electorate is swamped with potential candidates from outside. The position could arise where there would not be proper representation of the members of the community. I assure hon. Members that, even if they do not realise it, it is realised in Scotland.

The hon. Member for Worcester and the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) made a great point about our consulting the local authority associations. We consulted the local authority associations in Scotland and we got a very different attitude from them from that which came from the English associations. The Convention of Royal Burghs, which is a very old association and which represents every burgh in Scotland, took no exception to this proposal. The Association of County Councils took no exception to it. Glasgow decided to support the proposal. Edinburgh opposed it. We have had no word from Dundee and Aberdeen. We have not had that opposition, for the simple reason that the people of Scotland have a fairer respect for the traditions of democracy.

Sir D. Glover

I invite the Secretary of State to follow the logic of his argument. One of the most able Members on his side repersenting Scotland is the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton). Must he apply for the Chiltern Hundreds tomorrow?

Mr. Ross

We are not talking about the Parliamentary situation. If the hon. Gentleman thinks that it is the same thing, he should have been here to listen to the hon. Member for Worcester, who, having emphasised that it was not the same thing, went on to plead that he did not want it.

Mr. Peter Walker

Does not the right hon. Gentleman's wonderful theory about the electorate being swamped by too many candidates from all over the country apply just as much to Parliamentary elections?

Mr. Ross

Not at all, because, as the hon. Gentleman himself admitted, we are here in a national sense, in a national Assembly dealing with national matters and not with individual and local matters. It cannot be right for a majority of people who live outside a city to determine what shall be the rates within that city, or what shall be the educational system, not for their children, but for the children of those living in the city. A line must be drawn here; and we are drawing it in the right way.

Right hon. and hon. Members opposite spoiled their own case by making the suggestion, as the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames did, that this is election rigging. I hope that hon. Members opposite will make up their minds as to the authorship of the story which was told. We heard the same story twice, with the authorship being assigned first to Harold Macmillan and then to F. E. Smith.

The suggestion by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames that this is election rigging was not worthy of him. The epithets he used about my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department fell short of the debating standards I expect from the right hon. Member. I assure hon. Members that we, too, are concerned about democracy. We, too, want to ensure that our local councils are truly representative of the people in their areas. I got the impression from the hon. Lady the Member for Edgbaston (Mrs. Knight)—I do not know whether she realised what she was saying—that the only good people were those who lived outside.

Mrs. Knight

If the right hon. Gentleman will read my speeches as carefully as I have read his, he will know that he is doing me an injustice.

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Ross

I am sorry, but I listened very carefully to what the hon. Lady said, and the impression which she gave me—I am sure that it was shared by my hon. Friends—was that all the people who lived outside or qualified for candidature on the basis of non-resident voting or in respect of ownership of land were top executives, all able people, all people who have time. The suggestion that local government would wither away because of what we are proposing was an insult to people in local government and to our populace.

The area covered by the Greater London Council is 620 square miles. There is an electorate of over 5¼ million. I understand that the number of people who might lose their positions and have to be replaced is about 116–116 out of an electorate of 5¼ million. Is it suggested that we cannot find replacements within the area and we must go outside? What nonsense.

Mr. Peter Walker

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Labour Party on the G.L.C. had to go outside the council's area for its leader?

Mr. Ross

It is not a case of having to go outside. I assure hon. Members that if we had been rigging, if we were concerned more about personalities than about principles, we might well not have taken the step we have. But we are concerned about principles. I am not as despondent about the future of local government as some hon. Members opposite are. I cannot believe that in Glasgow, with a population of over 1 million, we cannot find 14 people of all parties to replace those who might possibly be cut out.

Of course, we respect the work which these people have done. It is not a case of getting rid of them. Many changes which are made result in hard decisions for some people, but I should hope that many would continue to serve. They can continue to serve by acquiring a residence qualification. They can continue to serve in the areas in which they live.

The hon. Lady seems to think that I was condescending. She will appreciate that if any people have to go out from the burgh in which I live—I do not know whether there will be any—they can serve on the county council if they live in the county. They can serve on the education side there, which is one of the greatest interests of the borough authorities. They are not being cut off from public service. The suggested comparison with the W.R.V.S. was the reductio ad absurdum. I cannot think that the hon. Lady appreciates the value of local authority work if she makes that com parison.

I have listened to all our debates. A tremendous amount of heat has been raised on this Amendment, but there is no justification for it. If hon. Members examine carefully what they are proposing here, they will realise that it is not an extension which could properly be supported in the context of our municipal democracy. We want to try to keep our municipal authorities truly representative of the people within their areas, and this is the best way to do it.

Mr. Hogg

The speech of the Secretary of State for Scotland was one of the most preposterous and bedraggled I have ever heard in the course of a rather long experience of Parliament. But, preposterous and bedraggled as it was, it was nothing compared with the deafening silence from the Home Secretary throughout this debate. He has not been present for any part of it.

I sometimes wish there were an English Nationalist Party. The problems of Scotland are no doubt dealt with calamitously enough by the Secretary of State, who was as unchivalrous in opposition as he is now ineffective in office. But that the Home Secretary did not find it in his heart to be present for any part of this the most important debate on his own Bill is little short of an insult to the people of England. We are used to being insulted in the House, but the people at least have the right to expect their Home Secretary to be present for some part of this most important debate.

The right hon. Gentleman said that the debate had generated a good deal of heat. Although it was at times noisy and even boisterous, I believe that it was singularly good-tempered. I am glad of that, because it is important to be able to debate in a good-tempered way subjects about which there is obviously deep feeling. But the right hon. Gentleman should be under no misapprehension. The fact that tem person both sides have been fairly cheerful should not blind him to the fact that we on this side sincerely believe that we are debating a thoroughly contemptible and despicable proposal by the Government.

After the admirable speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr. Peter Walker), the right hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Sir Dingle Foot) asked a question which has not been effectively answered by the right hon. Gentleman or any hon. Member opposite: why should not the local electors in a borough or county—who by and large are the same as those who vote for or against Members of Parliament—be able to decide for themselves whom they wish to elect and whom they do not? The right hon. Gentleman said that at Linwood perhaps twice as many people would be entitled to stand as would be entitled to vote. But let me cite my own Parliamentary constituency. About 33 million people are entitled to stand for the borough of St. Marylebone; only about 50,000 are entitled to vote in it. But I do not find that the 33 million swamp the 50,000. On the contrary, they manage to select a thoroughly responsible Member of Parliament.

Let us consider the case of the Parliamentary constituency of Huyton. The electors there think that a right hon. Gentleman who lives in Hampstead when he is not Prime Minister and will soon be residing there again, and who spends his holidays in the Scilly Isles, is an adequate representative for Huyton. I do not agree with them. I think that he is a thoroughly bad representative for Huyton. But I do not wish to take away from the electors of Huyton the privilege, which they seem to value, of having him represent them in Parliament. Yet the Secretary of State for Scotland says, "We lose the unique flavour of local government if we do not take away from the voters to choose whom they please to serve them in local government."

Mr. W. Howie (Luton)


Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport (Knutsford)

Sit down.

Mr. Hogg

The hon. Member for Luton (Mr. Howie) must not distract me from my argument, because I am still dealing with the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The right hon. Gentleman says that local government is one thing and national government is another. Under the Government's proposals, they will be. Voters in local government elections will not be allowed to choose whom they wish to represent them, whereas in national government they will be able to do so. The right hon. Gentleman never troubled to answer the question from the right hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Sir D. Foot) as to why this should be so.

It is true, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that the Amendment is far more modest than the proposal put by the right hon. and learned Member for Ipswich, but surely, from the point of view of the benches opposite, that is precisely why it should be accepted. I would have gone all the way with the proposal of the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but we have sought only to embody the rather more modest proposals of the Redcliffe-Maud recommendations. Why do the Government reject them? We have not yet heard.

In what was perhaps the most absurd part of all of his speech, the right hon. Gentleman said, "If they do not live there, let them get a residence qualificacation. Let them move." Never since Marie Antoinette invited the poor to eat cake instead of bread has there been a more illogical and foolish observation

Mr. Peter Mahon


Mr. Hogg

I will give way shortly. I am still dealing with the Secretary of State for Scotland. There is another point—

Mr. Peter Mahon


Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

Sit down.

The Chairman (Mr. Sydney Irving)

Order. I must ask the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport) not to call out.

Mr. Hogg

This is getting rather out of hand.

There is another point which the right hon. Gentleman should have attended to. The question of principle is whether the right hon. Gentleman will trust the electorate to have the representatives in local government that it wants. His answer is "No, I do not trust them." But the Amendment is not only about the right to elect whom one pleases. It is also about the opportunity to serve the electorate. The Government are not only denying the electorate the right to choose whom it likes as its representatives, but are also denying to a large number of honourable citizens the opportunity to serve whom they wish. These are both thoroughly despicable and undemocratic proposals.

Mr. Peter Mahon

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I am sorry to interrupt him in such an important part of his speech. He makes the assertion that the people choose the candidates. The parties choose the candidates.

Hon. Members


10.45 p.m.

The Chairman

Order. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman had finished his intervention. I am sure that he will come to a quick conclusion.

Mr. Peter Mahon

The truth is very often unpalatable. Despite the uproar from the other side, what I have said is the absolute truth. The parties choose the candidates and invariably the Conservative Party chooses candidates who live outside the borough or city, while the Labour Party chooses candidates with residential qualifications.

Mr. Hogg

I am delighted to know that the practice of licensing Labour candidates like dogs is to be discontinued at the next election. We are, most of us, elected by the electors and not chosen by our party.

What I was saying, when the hon. Member somewhat illogically intervened, was that in addition to denying the right of the voter to choose between candidates with different types of qualification, local candidates if they prefer them, non-local candidates if they prefer them, the Government have determined, for reasons which are only too painfully obvious, to deny a number of public servants the right to serve voluntarily. But there is one thing that they cannot do, and that is prevent us from reversing their despicable decisions, and that will soon happen.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

At this stage it may be impossible to rescue the debate from the strife of political warfare. May I interpose one standpoint, which does not seem to have been sufficiently aired, except by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ipswich (Sir Dingle Foot). I see the force of his argument, that if the electors want to choose someone who does not live locally, and does not have any material interest in their ward, city, or country, then they are entitled to do so. That is the real element of democracy. One of my fears about the provision that he makes would be that a person may have no substantial interest in that area—he may live a long way off and yet may wish to represent it because it is an area of political influence, say, the Metropolitan area.

This may ultimately have the opposite effect from that which is suggested by hon. Gentlemen opposite. In other words, it may siphon off the talent in the country to certain areas of crucial political importance, and deprive other areas, which are not so politically important, of the available talent to run their local authorities. It is a risk that I would be prepared to take.

I see some difficulty in the proposal made by the party opposite in dealing with the residence qualification. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Maryiebone (Mr. Hogg) suggested that this is the most important part of the Bill. We are discussing the rights of a number of councillors, mostly Conservative, to stand for their local authorities. This he says, is more important than the rights of 3,500,000 young people to vote in a General Election, or the right of the elector to know which party he is voting for. This is the important part of the Bill. It betrays an unfortunate order of priorities in his mind.

I concede that there is a principle which has been completely submerged by this tirade of party warfare and, although I had doubts originally about the way in which I would vote, the ferocity of the attack by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) has made medecide to support the Government. I do so with this qualification. This is an issue which ought to be considered dispassionately, away from the heat of debate. It might be desirable for the Government, before Report, to consider whether it is right to impose any qualifications for councillors. It was never suggested during 13 years of Conservative rule, and I wonder whether the time has not come to widen the qualification for councillors in a way which is not met by the Amendment but which might be met by abandoning qualifications. If we are to be divided on party lines, I stand with my party.

Mr. Nicholas Scott (Paddington, South)

Amendment No. 48, which stands in my name, was selected for debate with the main Amendment, and I wish to speak briefly on it. It was surprising that the Secretary of State for Scotland was able to reply to the debate without once mentioning the report of the Maud Committee, which contains the specific recommendation embodied in Amendment No. 48.

The hon. Member for York (Mr. Alexander W. Lyon) referred to 13 years of Conservative government. During those 13 years the Maud Committee was set up. It reported only last year and the recommendation to which I have referred was a major part of its Report. The Committee was charged to consider local government in the light of modern conditions. Modern conditions are now such that many more people than hitherto are obliged to work in one place and live elsewhere. They should have the right to serve in local government, and be encouraged to do so, in that part of the country where they work and spend over half their lives.

In Central London and the City of Westminster it is not possible, as hon. Gentleman have suggested, for people to serve the council of the area in which they live. A person working in the centre of London does not finish work until 5.30 or 6.30 in the evening, and by the time he gets home the local council will have finished its meeting. Many authorities outside cities meet in the afternoons or very early evening, so the opportunity for such a person to serve on a local authority is denied.

My constituency forms part of the City of Westminster. Of 70 members of the council, nine are non-resident members, five of them are chairmen or vice-chairmen of committees of major importance, three others have served as mayor or deputy mayor, and the present Labour leader would also be disqualified by this Bill if it was accepted in its present form. The Government would do well to spend a little time considering the point argued so strongly in the Maud Committee's Report and embodied in Amendment No. 48.

I end my remarks by repeating the point made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Maryiebone (Mr. Hogg), that there is nothing in our proposal to limit the choice of the people to vote for whomsoever they please. It was a predecessor of mine as hon. Member for Paddington, South, Lord Randolph Churchill, who used the slogan," Trust the people ". There could be no better one for the Government to adopt at the moment, though I see inherent in it the dangers to their political future.

Mr. Brian O'Malley (Lord Commissioner of the Treasury) rose in his place and claimed to move. That the Question be now put.

Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Division No. 32.] AYES [10.56 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Glover, Sir Douglas More, Jasper
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Glyn, Sir Richard Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Astor, John Goodhart, Philip Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Awdry, Daniel Gower, Raymond Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grant, Anthony Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Grant-Ferris, R. Murton, Oscar
Balniel, Lord Gresham Cooke, R. Neave, Airey
Barber, Rt. H.n. Anthony Grieve, Percy Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Batsford, Brian Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Nott, John
Beam sh, Col. Sir Tufton Hall, John (Wycombe) Onslow, Cranley
Bell, Ronald Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Osborn, John (Hallam)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Bessell, Peter Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pardoe, John
Biffen, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hastings, Stephen Peel, John
Black, Sir Cyril Hawkins, Paul Percival, Ian
Blaker, Peter Hay, John Peyton, John
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Pike, Miss Mervyn
Body, Richard Heseltine, Michael Pink, R. Bonner
Bossom, Sir Clive Higgins, Terrence L. Pounder, Rafton
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hiley, Joseph Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hill, J. E. B. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Braine, Bernard Hirst, Geoffrey Prior, J. M. L.
Brew's, John Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Pym, Francis
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col.SirWalter Hooson, Emlyn Quennell, Miss J. M.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hordern, Peter Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hornby, Richard Rees-Davies, W. R.
Bryan, Paul Howell, David (Guildford) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Buchanan-Smith,Al'c' (Angus,N&M) Hunt, John Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Hutchison, Michael Clark Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Burden, F. A. Iremonger, T. L. Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Carlisle, Mark Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Royle, Anthony
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Channon, H. P. G. Jopling, Michael Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Chichester-Clark, R. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Keith Scott, Nicholas
Clark, Henry Kaberry, Sir Donald Scott-Hopkins, James
Cooke, Robert Kerby, Capt Henry Sharples, Richard
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Kimball, Marcus Shaw, Michael (Sc'b; gh & Whitby)
Cordle, John King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Silvester, Frederick
Corfield, F. V. Kirk, Peter Sinclair, Sir George
Costa n, A. P. Kitson, Timothy Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Knight, Mrs. Jill Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Crouch, David Lambton, Viscount Speed, Keith
Crowder, F. P. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Stainton, Keith
Cunn ngaham, Sir Knox Lane, David Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Dalkeith, Earl of Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stodart, Anthony
Dance, James Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)
Davidson,James (Aberdeenshire,W.) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsmith, Langstone) Summers, Sir Spencer
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Tapsell, Peter
Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Longden, Gilbert Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Loveys, W. H. Taylor,Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lubbock, Eric Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas MacArthur, Ian Teeling, Sir William
Doughty, Charles Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain Temple, John M.
Drayson, G. B. McMaster, Stanley Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Eden, Sir John Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Tilney, John
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McNair-Wilson, Patrick Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maginnis, John E. van Straubenzee, W. R.
Emery, Peter Marples, Rt Hn. Ernest Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Errington, Sir Eric Marten, Neil Vickers, Dame Joan
Eyre, Reginald Maude, Angus Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Farr, John Mawby, Ray Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Fisher, Nigel Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Wall, Patrick
Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Webster, David
Fortescue, Tim Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Foster, Sir John Miscampbell, Norman Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Gibson-Watt, David Monro, Hector Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Montgomery, Fergus Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C)

Question put accordingly, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 226, Noes 240.

Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick Wright, Esmond TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Woodnutt, Mark Wylie, N. R. Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Worsley, Marcus Younger, Hn. George Mr. Humphrey Atkins.
Abse, Leo Gardner, Tony Mikardo, Ian
Albu, Austen Ginsburg, David Millan, Bruce
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Miller, Dr. M. S.
Alldritt, Walter Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Allen, Scholefield Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)
Anderson, Donald Gregory, Arnold Molloy, William
Armstrong, Ernest Grey, Charles (Durham) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, John (Aberavon)
Bagier, Gordon A, T. Hamling, William Moyle, Roland
Barnett, Joel Hannan, William Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Beaney, Alan Harper, Joseph Murray, Albert
Bence, Cyril Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Neal, Harold
Bidwell, Sydney Haseldine, Norman Norwood, Christopher
Bishop, E. S. Hazell, Bert Oakes, Gordon
Blackburn, F. Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis O'Malley, Brian
Blenkinsop, Arthur Heffer, Eric S. Orbach, Maurice
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Henig, Stanley Orme, Stanley
Booth, Albert Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Oswald, Thomas
Boston, Terence Hilton, W. S. Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hooley, Frank Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Boyden, James Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Palmer, Arthur
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Bradley, Tom Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Brooks, Edwin Howie, W. Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Hoy, James Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Huckfield, Leslie Pentland, Norman
Brown,Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Price, William (Rugby)
Buchan, Norman Hunter, Adam Probert, Arthur
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hynd, John Rankin, John
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Rees, Merlyn
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Cant, R. B. Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Carmichael, Neil Janner, Sir Barnett Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jeger,Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Chapman, Donald Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Coe, Denis Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Coleman, Donald Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull,W.) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Concannon, J. D. Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham,S.) Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Dalyell, Tarn Judd, Frank Sheldon, Robert
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Kelley, Richard Short, Mrs. René e (W'hampton,N.E.)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kenyon, Clifford Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Silverman, Julius
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Skeffington, Arthur
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lawson, George Slater, Joseph
Dell, Edmund Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Small, William
Dewar, Donald Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Snow, Julian
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lestor, Miss Joan Spriggs, Leslie
Dickens, James Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stonehouse, Ht. Hn. John
Dunn, James A. Lomas, Kenneth Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Dunnett, Jack Loughlin, Charles Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Swingler, Stephen
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Symonds, J. B.
Eadie, Alex McBride, Neil Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Edwards, William (Merioneth) McCann, John Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Ellis, John Macdonald, A. H. Thornton, Ernest
English, Michael McGuire, Michael Tinn, James
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Urwin, T. W.
Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen) Mackie, John Varley, Eric G.
Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mackintosh, John P. Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Maclennan, Robert Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Faulds, Andrew MacPherson, Malcolm Wallace, George
Fernyhough, E. Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Watkins, David (Consett)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mallalieu,J.P.W. (Huddersfield,E.) Weitzman, David
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Manuel, Archie Wellbeloved, James
Ford, Ben Mapp, Charles Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Forrester, John Marks, Kenneth Whitlock, William
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Wilkins, W. A.
Freeson, Reginald Mayhew, Christopher Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Galpern, Sir Myer Mendelson, John Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Williams, Clifford (Abertillery) Winnick, David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Willis, Rt. Hn. George Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A. Mr. Ernest G. Perry and
Wilson, William (Coventry, S.) Woof, Robert Mr. Walter Harrison.
The Chairman

I understand that Amendment No. 28 is not now to be moved. The next Amendment selected is No. 29.

Mr. N. R. Wylie (Edinburgh, Pentlands)

I beg to move Amendment No. 29 in page 14, line 14, at end add: (2) This section shall not apply to Scotland. If the terms of the Explanatory Memorandum are correct, then this Amendment is unnecessary. It states in terms: Since the law in Scotland about local government elections differs in several respects from that in England and Wales, some provisions of the Bill, e.g. clauses 15 … do not apply to Scotland. This Amendment is down partly because, in our view, that statement is misleading and wrong. In these circumstances, the legal position and the effect of this Clause in Scotland should be made clear, because many hon. Members, perhaps on both sides but certainly on this side, have had representations made in this connection.

The position is that qualifications for membership of a local authority, and for nominations for candidature, is covered by the provisions of Section 50 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947. That Section lays down in perfectly clear terms that to be qualified for nomination to be elected, or be a member of a local authority, the person is a local government elector for the area, or any part thereof, of the authority.

The standard or test applied for candidature is the test for voting capacity. That links up with Sections 2 and 5 of the Representation of the People Act, 1949, Section 2 invoking the qualifications for electors—persons entitled to vote as electors are persons resident in the area or with a non-resident qualification.

Section 5 provides that the non-resident qualification so far as Scotland is con cerned is that in an electoral area in Scotland if he is the owner, or occupier as tenant, of any lands and heritages within the area.. That provision was amended by the Valuation and Rating (Scotland) Act, 1956 to read: … in an electoral area in Scotland if he is occupying as owner or tenant of any lands and heritages within the area of a certain annual value.

If that is the position, as in my submission it clearly is, Clause 15 undoubtedly applies to Scotland. The only parts of the Clause which do not apply to Scotland are the references to the Local Government Act, 1933.

I was anxious that the position should be clearly stated on the record because some of the things which were said in the Second Reading debate were confusing. I refer, in particular, to what the Secretary of State said at column 1024: … in connection with Clause 15 and the change which we have made in connection with the abolition of the non-resident vote in England and Wales. Naturally, this does not apply in Scotland, because we have already wiped it out there. I refer to the qualification of a candidate by virtue of an ownership of land or property."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th November, 1968; Vol. 773, c. 1024.] I thought that this was rather confusing, although I accept that in the following column he stated the position correctly. It seemed to us that in view of what was said in the Explanatory Memorandum, a clear statement should be made about the position and about the application of this Clause to Scotland.

This matter has been developed and argued at some length on earlier Amendments. Therefore, I do not wish to take up the time of the Committee repeating those arguments, but I would say that in Glasgow—we have been concerned so far with England and Wales—the abolition of the non-resident vote and the effect which that abolition has on qualifications for candidature will be very serious indeed. I implore the Government to think again even at this late stage about this situation.

Some point was made by the Secretary of State that very few people are involved. Of course, that is true. In Edinburgh, I understand, only just over 400 people are involved in this way, but if 400 people are involved and it is possible to draw on those people, to get co-operation and participation in local authority work, I would have thought that the price of the alternative vote was a price worth paying. It seems to us that this will affect the development of local government in Scotland. At the moment, it will not affect Edinburgh Corporation, but it certainly affects Glasgow Corporation materially and, for all I know, it may well affect a number of other corporations in Scotland.

I ask the Government to give serious consideration to this Amendment. I appreciate that there are drafting difficulties; the Amendment is defective in drafting form, for there should have been a consequential repeal of part of the Third Schedule. However, the principle of the Amendment is clear. It is to widen as far as possible the choice open to electors in Scotland in the selection of their local government representatives. In this day and age, that choice should be widened rather than narrowed.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. David Steel (Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles)

I support the plea of the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Wylie), because I was concerned at the trend of some remarks earlier, especially the claim that it was the parties which chose the candidate. I represent a constituency—possibly there are few such left—in which, generally, there are no parties in local government. By that I do not mean that people stand as "independents" who are really something else, but that people genuinely stand under their own names because they are willing to serve the community. The choice of candidates is simply between individuals on their merits and not between platforms or programmes.

These areas tend to come under the smaller local authorities. In my constituency, there are eight burgh and three county councils. Many of the boundaries of burgh councils, as is well known, are very much out of date. Many towns have physically spread beyond their own boundaries. The centre of one town in my constituency runs through the centre of a housing scheme: people on one side could not stand as candidates for the council, while those on the other could.

These distinctions are wholly artificial. I am concerned more about the problems of the smaller authorities than with the difficulties of the big cities which the hon. and learned Member mentioned. To debar people from service to these small communities because of these narrow technicalities is quite wrong and would deprive people in my area of the services of a number of well-qualified local government servants.

Mr. Ross

The hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Wylie) wanted a clarification of the law in Scotland, which I thought I had given on Second Reading. He referred also to some misunderstanding about the Explanatory Memorandum, which says: Since the law in Scotland about local government elections differs in several respects from that in England and Wales, some provisions of the Bill e.g. clauses 15 (abolition of property qualification) … do not apply to Scotland. Clause 15 deals, first, with the non-resident qualification for voting at local elections, and the property qualification comes under Section 57 (b) of the Local Government Act, 1933. Of course, there never has been a property qualification as in England, which gives anyone in Scotland the right to become a candidate. The right to non-residential registration is the right of occupation of premises, land and heritages in Scotland to the value of £10, either as a tenant or as an owner-occupier. I thought that that had been made clear.

It is the removal of that qualification for voting which would automatically disqualify anyone from becoming a candidate in an area in which previously he might have had a vote. It is very difficult to justify the plea for a different position for Scotland from that in England. There has never been a property qualification of this kind with regard to statutory town and county councils in Scotland from the time of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889 and the Town Councils (Scotland) Act, 1900. It has always been based on registration as a voter. This does not apply to even the property qualification in England and Wales at present and I therefore could not accept that there should be a special provision in this case.

We have consulted the Association of County Councils, the Convention of Royal Burghs in Scotland and the cities, and I have given the results of those consultations. We met very much less opposition in Scotland—indeed, there was no opposition from some of them—and it is fair to say that the proposal was accepted in Glasgow, despite the fact that Glasgow will be affected more than most other places by this change. About 5,500 non-resident electors will disappear from the register there, and 14 councillors, at least one of whom is a Labour councillor, will be affected.

In Edinburgh, the number will be 407, but as far as I am aware no councillors will be affected. In Dundee, 281 nonresident electors are on the register, but none of these are councillors. In Aberdeen, 264 people will be affected, but it is likely that only one councillor will be involved. Aberdeen was still considering the matter on 10th December.

Those who have listened to the long debate we have had on this subject will appreciate that exactly the same arguments apply to Scotland as apply to England and Wales. I cannot see how there will be a great downfall in local government and an undermining of the calibre of local government representatives. Indeed, I suggest that what we are doing is very much in line with Scottish tradition.

The hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) spoke of his area. The matter is not as simple as he suggested because people can live in an area and work outside it. Equally, if somebody who lived and worked in an area suddenly moved outside it, and decided to work outside it as well, the hon. Gentleman would be conferring rights which, according to his argument, he would not wish to confer. Despite his comments about people having this right, the individual might never have had an office or shop in the area. Under his proposal such a person would still be deprived of the right to stand as a candidate. I could give examples from my part of Scotland. I could instance three small burghs which are jealous of one another and of their own services. They would take it badly if we so changed the law that somebody from outside was able to join one of their local authorities.

We had a typical rabble-rousing speech earlier from the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), but the sense of what he had in mind was drowned in noise. I am not sure that I would be prepared to speak on how Scottish people feel about their elections and candidates. However, I agree with him that in many parts of Scotland it is fatal for one to put a party label on oneself at a local election. This is another difficulty of labels applying to local elections.

Change inevitably means hardship, but I believe that, on the whole, the Government are proposing a right change and that the arguments adduced in the general debate earlier about England and Wales are equally applicable to Scotland.

Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)

Apart from the merits of this Amendment, there was considerable doubt about the application of Clause 15 to Scotland. This was not clear because the Explanatory and Financial Memorandum appeared to indicate that the Clause as a whole did not apply to Scotland.

The Secretary of State read part of the paragraph, but did not read the whole of it. If he had done so he would have read the words in brackets after 18 "(in part)". If those words had come after the reference to Clause 15, it would have been clearer. The right hon. Gentleman pointed out that the words "abolition of property qualification" are there, but in Scotland that is dependent on the non-resident qualification. This is not the fault of the Secretary of State, but of the Home Secretary. We are glad to see him here for discussion of Clause 15. [HON. MEMBERS: "The hon. Gentleman was not here."] The Government Front Bench is quite wrong, because I have been here listening to the debate. I may not have been visible to right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench.

The Secretary of State tried to explain the Memorandum, but I thought that the Home Secretary would reply to debates on the Scottish Amendments. Arguments on this Amendment are similar to those deployed on earlier Amendments concerning the United Kingdom. In Scotland, it is also a thoroughly backward step to reduce the number of persons available as candidates for local government. It is deplorable to deprive persons of the right to serve their local community in Scotland as elsewhere and also to deprive local government electors of good and well proved candidates. I advise my hon. and right hon. Friends to divide the Committee on this Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

Division No. 33.] AYES [11.27 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Glyn, Sir Richard Nott, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Goodhart, Philip Onslow, Cranley
Astor, John Gower, Raymond Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Grant-Ferris, R. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Awdry, Daniel Gresham Cooke, R. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grieve, Percy Pago, John (Harrow, W.)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Balniel, Lord Hall, John (Wycombe) Peel, John
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Percival, Ian
Batsford, Brian Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Peyton, John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bell, Ronald Harrison Brian (Maldon) Pink, R. Bonner
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pounder, Rafton
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Harvie Anderson, Miss Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hastings, Stephen Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biffen, John Hawkins, Paul Prior, J. M. L.
Biggs-Davison, John Hay, John Pym, Francis
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Quennell, Miss J. M.
Black, Sir Cyril Heseltine, Michael Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Blaker, Peter Higgins, Terence L. Rees-Davies, W. R.
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Hiley, Joseph Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Body, Richard Hill, J. E. B. Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Bossom, Sir Olive Hirst, Geoffrey Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hooson, Emlyn Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Braine, Bernard Hordern, Peter Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Brewis, John Hornby, Richard Royle, Anthony
Bromley-Davenport,Lt. -Col. Sir Walter Howell, David (Guildford) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hunt, John Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hutchison, Michael Clark Scott, Nicholas
Bryan, Paul Iremonger, T. L. Scott-Hopkins, James
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Sharples, Richard
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Burden, F. A. Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Silvester, Frederick
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Jopling, Michael Sinclair, Sir George
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Carlisle, Mark Kaberry, Sir Donald Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Kimball, Marcus Speed, Keith
Channon, H. P. G. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Stainton, Keith
Chichester-Clark, R. Kirk, Peter Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Clark, Henry Kitson, Timothy Stodart, Anthony
Cooke, Robert Knight, Mrs. Jill Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Lambton, Viscount Summers, Sir Spencer
Corfield, F. V. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Tapsell, Peter
Costain, A. P. Lane, David Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Taylor,Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)
Crouch, David Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Crowder, F. P. Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Teeling, Sir William
Cunningham, Sir Knox Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Temple, John M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Longden, Gilbert Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dance, James Loveys, W. H. Tilney, John
Davidson,James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Lubbock, Eric Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry MacArthur, Ian van Straubenzee, W. R.
Dean, Paul Macleod, Rt. Hn. Lain Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Vickers, Dame Joan
Digby, Simon Wingfield McNair-Wilson, Patrick Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Maddan, Martin Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Doughty, Charles Maginnis, John E. Wall, Patrick
Drayson, G. B. Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Weatherill, Bernard
Eden, Sir John Marten, Neil Webster, David
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Maude, Angus Wells, John (Maidstone)
Elliott,R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Emery, Peter Mills, Peter (Torrington) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Errington, Sir Eric Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Eyre, Reginald Miscampbell, Norman Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Farr, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fisher, Nigel Montgomery, Fergus Woodnutt, Mark
Fortescue, Tim More, Jasper Worsley, Marcus
Foster, Sir John Morgan, Geraint (Debigh) Wright, Esmond
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Wylie, N. R.
Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Younger, Hn. George
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Monro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Murton, Oscar TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Neave, Airey Mr. Anthony Grant and
Glover, Sir Douglas Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Mr. Hector Monro.

The Committee divided: Ayes 219, Noes 232.

Abse, Leo Ginsberg, David Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Albu, Austen Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Alldritt, Walter Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Morris, John (Aberavon)
Allen, Scholefield Gregory, Arnold Moyle, Roland
Anderson, Donald Grey, Charles (Durham) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Murray, Albert
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Neal, Harold
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Norwood, Christopher
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hamling, William Oakes, Gordon
Barnett, Joel Hannan, William O'Malley, Brian
Beaney, Alan Harper, Joseph Orbach, Maurice
Bence, Cyril Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Orme, Stanley
Bidwell, Sydney Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Oswald, Thomas
Bishop, E. S. Haseldine, Norman Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Blackburn, F. Hazell, Bert Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Palmer, Arthur
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Heffer, Eric S. Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Booth, Albert Henig, Stanley Parker, John (Dagenham)
Boston, Terence Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hilton, W. S. Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Boyden, James Hooley, Frank Pentland, Norman
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Bradley, Tom Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Price, William (Rugby)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Howarth, Robert (Bolton, East) Probert, Arthur
Brooks, Edwin Howell Denis (Small Heath) Rankin, John
Brown,Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Howie, W. Rees, Merlyn
Brown, Rt. Hn, George (Belper) Hoy, James Rhodes, Geoffrey
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Huckfield, Leslie Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Roy (Newport) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Hunter, Adam Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hynd, John Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Rose, Paul
Cant, R. B. Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Carmichael, Neil Janner, Sir Barnett Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jeger,Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Coe, Denis Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Sheldon, Robert
Coleman, Donald Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Concannon, J. D. Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham,S.) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Silverman, Julius
Dalyell, Tam Judd, Frank Skeffington, Arthur
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Kelley, Richard Slater, Joseph
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kenyon, Clifford Small, William
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Snow, Julian
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lawson, George Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Dell, Edmund Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dewar, Donald Lestor, Miss Joan Swingler, Stephen
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Dickens, James Lomas, Kenneth Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Doig, Peter Loughlin, Charles Thornton, Ernest
Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Dunn, James A. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Tinn, James
Dunnett, Jack McBride, Neil Urwin, T. W.
Dunwoody, Mr. Gwyneth (Exeter) McCann, John Varley, Eric G.
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Macdonald, A. H. Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Eadie, Alex McGuire, Michael Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edelman, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Wallace, George
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mackie, John Watkins, David (Consett)
Ellis, John Mackintosh, John P. Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
English, Michael Maclennan, Robert Weitzman, David
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) McNamara, J. Kevin Wellbeloved, James
Evan, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) MacPherson, Malcolm Weils, William (Walsall, N.)
Ewing, Mr. Winifred Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Whitlock, William
Faulds, Andrew Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Fernyhough, E. Mallalieu,J.P.W. (Huddersfield,E.) Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Manuel, Archie Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mapp, Charles Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Marks, Kenneth Winnick, David
Ford, Ben Mendelson, John Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Forrester, John Mikardo, Ian Woof, Robert
Fraser, John (Norwood) Millan, Bruce
Freeson, Reginald Miller, Dr. M. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Galpern, Sir Myer Milne, Edward (Blyth) Mr. Ernest G. Perry and
Gardner, Tony Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Garrett, W. E. Molloy, William
Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.
Mr. Lubbock

I am sorry to detain the Committee at this hour, but I have a question to raise which would have been inappropriate on the Amendments. Hon. Members may have noted that I put down an Amendment to defer the coming into operation of the Clause until the day after the ordinary day of election of councillors in 1970". As has been said, a good number of councillors on authorities in various parts of the United Kingdom will not be able to stand again as a result of the Clause, but, if we were to delay its implementation until after the reports of the Royal Commissions on Local Government in England and in Scotland have been received, the difficulties to which hon. Members have referred in the two previous debates would no longer apply.

We can already see this happening in various parts of the country where boundary changes have been effected. I happen to know of one case, as it is mentioned in a letter which I received this morning from the town clerk of the London Borough of Bromley. This is the example of Wolverhampton, to which attention has been drawn by the Association of Municipal Corporations, where before the recent boundary extensions nine out of the 60 members of the Council would have been lost because of the Clause but where, taking into account the extended boundaries, the loss would be only one member out of the 60.

It is also relevant that many local authorities have very illogical boundaries. Under the present distribution of boundaries, people living just outside local authority areas would not be able to stand as candidates for local authority elections inside them.

Portsmouth was mentioned. It is obvious that somebody who has moved out of the city must still be very interested in its affairs if he has children at school there. He does not cease to have any connection with the city when he moves outside because of redevelopment.

In general, it is a good principle that people should live in the area they are trying to represent, because they are interested in the services such as education, which was one of the most important factors in the minds of the Government in introducing the Clause.

I want to make it possible for candidates still to represent authorities when they have moved outside their boundaries. I am not a prophet when I say that the Royal Commission on Local Government will lead to much larger local authorities than we have now. The City of Portsmouth will be surrounded by a hinterland which will all come under the same city region or regional council, and those who have moved outside the city will still be qualified after the recommendations of the Royal Commission have taken effect.

Therefore, I ask the Government to give the matter careful consideration. It was disappointing to me that my Amendment was not selected, but there is still an opportunity for the Home Secretary, on Report, to say that he will defer the coming into operation of the Clause until 1970, or such date as he thinks will give him enough time to implement the Royal Commission's decisions.

Mr. Montgomery

This is a very strange debate, because although the Government have won every Division all the best speeches have come from this side of the Committee, and the speeches from the other side have been abysmal, with the exception of that of the right hon. and learned Member for Ipswich (Sir Dingle Foot). He made a courageous speech in which he flayed his Front Bench for lack of foresight in trying to force the Clause through.

It is difficult to understand some arguments advanced by hon. Members opposite. Why do not the Government go all the way and say that all Members of Parliament must live in their constituencies? The hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Hamling) said that people will go to the councillor in their street rather than to a councillor who lives outside their local authority's boundary. Is he advocating that councillors must stand only for the wards in which they live? We could go on indefinitely with all sorts of possibilities.

We know that the Government are trying to force the Clause through because they feel that they will attack Conservatives in local government. But it cuts both ways. We have heard that the leader of the Labour Party on the Greater London Council will be affected by the Clause.

The hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) was once chairman of the Newcastle City Council Finance Committee, although he did not live in Newcastle. He was on the city council because, as a trade union organiser, he had an address in the city.

The difficulties of getting local government candidates, because their work is voluntary, have been pointed out. I recall the amount of time that I had to give up during my five years in local government.

The Government are trying to ensure that the businessman or shopkeeper who pays rates in a town, but does not live there, does not stand for the town council. That is entirely wrong. The argument of the Secretary of State for Scotland, that such people could stand for the council of the area in which they live, is not very good. Many of them have moved into rural areas and do not want to serve on rural district councils or parish councils. They are attracted by the idea of serving on a borough council or county borough council where there is more power and authority.

11.45 p.m.

If the Government are determined to prevent people with businesses and who pay rates in a town from standing for its council, what happens when a man has two residences? Supposing a man has a residence or accommodation address in the town where he has his business and a residence outside the town? I myself have two homes, one in Westminster and one in my constituency. At the next General Election, I can vote either for my hon. Friend the Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. John Smith) or for myself. The chances are that I shall vote in Brierley Hill, because I think that my hon. Friend is perfectly safe and really does not need my vote. But the point is that I have a choice as to where to cast my vote.

How, therefore, do the Government classify "residence" for local election purposes? How will they decide which address a person may vote from? It will surely still be open to a businessman to say that he will maintain his address in the town where he has his business and use his vote there, keeping off the electoral role in the rural or urban area to which he has moved. If that is so, how will the Government disprove that he is voting from the place where he spends most of his time? It will be extremely difficult.

If the Government are genuinely concerned with the future of local government, if they are anxious to encourage the best candidates we can get, they should drop this Clause, because it is a spiteful attempt to keep people of extremely good character out of local government.

Mr. Tilney

I support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Montgomery). My constituency démarches with Huyton. I am lucky enough to live in and represent Liverpool. But the Prime Minister, whenever there is an election, does not bother even to set up headquarters in Huyton. He lives and has his headquarters in Liverpool, at the Adelphi Hotel. It seems that there is to be one law for the Government and one law for local councils.

We on Mersey-side are "Balkanised". I hope that we shall ultimately get a Mersey-side council. Already, it is impossible for a person to know, north of the river, when he is leaving Liverpool and has reached Bootle or has crossed into Crosby, for example. The same applies on the south bank in going to Bebington, Birkenhead, or Wallasey.

It is inconceivable that the Government are so archaic in their thinking that they are to deny the right to continue serving Liverpool to nine members of Liverpool City Council. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee are among them. One of them is the former Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale, Mr. Norman Pannell, who for years warned the House of the dangers of too great a rate of immigration at a time when the Labour Party was still soporific in its thinking and sunk in its own residential torpor.

What happens when boundaries are changed? The Secretary of State for Scotland will say, no doubt, "Get another residence". The boundaries of local government will not remain static for ever. If a boundary is moved, is the chairman of the county council concerned to cease being chairman at once if he finds his home suddenly outside the new boundary? This is an example of the archaic, cloth-capped thinking of the Government.

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

The presence of the Home Secretary to explain this rather discreditable Clause is slightly more novel than it is welcome. I cannot understand why this provision should be applied to local councillors and not to Members of Parliament. The poverty of the speeches from the Government Front Bench has done nothing to explain these points. The only justification is that it is dirty gerrymandering, and the Home Secretary knows it very well. It is exactly on all fours with the cheating that they committed over the London boroughs.

My last point is to the country, rather than to the party opposite—rump as it is. The country at least should take warning from cheating such as this, because a discredited Administration might yet see the only hope of their salvation by introducing a provision for a seven-year Parliament.

Mr. Hogg

I would like to say a word to the right hon. Gentleman before he replies. He was not present during the earlier debate—[HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] I did not see him in the Chamber, but I am delighted to hear that he may have been somewhere below the fire extinguisher.

Please, let the right hon. Gentleman withdraw this thoroughly disreputable Clause, which ought never to have been included in the Bill. The trouncing that the Government have had in debate this evening, and the pitiful show they have made in the Lobby, should give them warning that this sort of thing simply will not go over with the electorate. The right hon. Gentleman did not reply to the earlier debate because I believe that he was ashamed to do so. I hope that now he will be man enough to take this Clause back, if not now, at least for the Report stage.

Mr. Caliaghan

We are so used to the speeches of the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) that I fear that he will have to change his style if he is to make any impression on us. If he would sometimes have a little light and shade, we might take more seriously what he has to say. We know exactly the kind of attack he will make when he gets up, and it really does not wash.

The hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) raised a serious point, and I am sorry that his Amendment was not called. If it had been, I would have had to explain that it would not meet the point that he wanted to meet, if that is any consolation to him. The House, having decided that the non-resident qualification shall be abolished by rejecting the Amendment, will come, in Clause 27 (1), to the date of operation, and it is the Government's intention that it shall have effect with respect to the Register of Electors to be published in 1970. If it is to have effect, the only question is whether we should have a period of delay of two or five years.

I would have thought, on balance, that the local constituencies and organisations will want to get ahead with choosing new candidates, finding who it is they want, if people are to drop out. I cannot believe that in the City of Liverpool, with a population of 750,000, they are to be entirely bereft of their city fathers because eight out of 22 gentlemen are not able to stand unless they move their residences. If that is the opinion of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Mr. Tilney) I doubt whether the citizens of Liverpool will agree with him.

The way in which the hon. Member poured scorn on the fact that the Prime Minister establishes his headquarters in the Adelphi, and from the tone in which he said it, one would imagine that we were talking about a den of sin. I thought that it was a very good hotel. If the hon. Member wants to indicate to the citizens of Liverpool that he does not think much of that hotel, it is for him to say. The rest of us believe that the Adelphi is a perfectly good, reputable hotel, and I am glad to spring to the defence of the reputation of that hotel against the vicious, unprincipled, below-the-belt attacks by the hon. Member. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the right hon. Gentleman?"] The headquarters of my local Conservative Party have been outside my constituency ever since I have been a Member. I would not care to say for what unprincipled or vicious cause they chose to have their headquarters outside the constituency. It is a poor argument.

The hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Montgomery) was unable to decide what we are doing. Either we are an unprincipled set of power-drunk maniacs or, alternatively, we are trying to get rid of our own friends on the councils. The hon. Gentleman was telling me that we were doing this to get rid of those valuable Conservatives who now serve on the councils and, at the same time, he was weeping crocodile tears because, he says, the Labour leader of the G.L.C. minority group and the former chairman of the Newcastle City Council will go.

The hon. Member cannot have it both ways; or, I suppose he can, since that is what Conservatives try to do all the time. Either we are dealing a savage blow at our own people, or trying to get rid of the Tories; or it may be that we think the simple proposition, one man, one vote, the man living in the place in which he votes, is right.

It is at least conceivable that that could be the reason for putting the Clause forward—[Interruption.] Perhaps the hon. Member for Torquay (Sir F. Bennett) would stop shouting and take his hands out of his pockets. It is conceivable that that is the reason, and it is the reason. There is a difference of opinion. The Conservatives believe that it does not matter if a person works outside the area in which he resides provided he is not a limited company. Only the ratepayers who are not limited companies are to enjoy the franchise, as I understand the Conservative approach.

To take an illustration, the Guest Keen Iron and Steel Company, in Cardiff, or the Steel Company of Wales, in Port Talbot, have at least as big an interest in the fortunes of the city as the local shopkeeper who lives outside the city. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] That may well be the case, but it is not the case which the Conservatives have put forward. The case which they have put forward is that only a limited company shall have the vote. Let there at least be some consistency in their backsliding. I do not like them to be backsliding on one thing and progressive on another.

The simple issue here is that either a person lives and votes in the same area, or there is this hang-over from the past. The Clause is clearing up that hang-over. Had the Conservatives been in power, they would probably have introduced the same Clause that I am introducing this evening.

The hon. Member for Brierley Hill was a little too scornful about rural and urban district councils. He said that people do not want to serve on rural or on urban district councils because the power is in the boroughs. Many worth-while functions are performed by rural district councils, and many people are ready and anxious to serve on them. If a person who wishes to serve lives in a rural or district council area, that is where he should serve; if he lives in a borough, that is where he should serve. It is not a heinous principle to advance that residence is the basis of vote and representation. That is the simple principle.

The hon. Member has asked me what happens when a person has two residences. That is the same as now; that is to say, they will be able to select if the residences are genuine residences. That is a matter of fact, and it would be a matter of fact for it to be determined in that way. But, just as he is able to choose now, so he will be able to choose in future if he has two residences of that sort.

12 midnight

As to whether Members of Parliament should live in their constituencies, I do not think that hon. Gentlemen are putting that forward seriously. If they are, there will be a substantial thinning-out on the benches opposite. But, assuming for the moment that it is not part of the great party exercise in which they have engaged this evening, with considerable fun all round, it is fair to say that Parliament has functions to perform which lie outside the boundaries of each of the constituencies that we represent. That being so, there is a case for saying that Members of Parliament should not necessarily reside in their own constituencies.

I know many hon. Members whose attention to their constituencies is quite as great, although they live outside them, as that of others who reside in them—[Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite should try to absorb two consecutive sentences at once, if they can. My first was that Members of Parliament have duties to fulfil outside their constituencies. That is the whole and major difference between the two.

The Committee has taken a decision on the major issue of principle. I understand that the Opposition now wish to come to a conclusion on the Clause as a whole. I hope that my hon. Friends will vote for the Clause, recognising that the Opposition have put up a spurious example of manufactured hate and re-

Division No. 34.] AYES [12.02 a.m.
Abse, Leo Freeson, Reginald Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Albu, Austin Galpern, Sir Myer Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Gardner, Tony Mallalieu.J.P.W.(Huddersfield.E.)
Alldritt, Walter Garrett, W. E. Manuel, Archie
Allen, Scholefield Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Mapp, Charles
Anderson, Donald Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Marks, Kenneth
Armstrong, Ernest Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Mendelson, John
Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw) Gregory, Arnold Mikardo, Ian
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Grey, Charles (Durham) Millan Bruce
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Barnett, Joel Hamling, William Mitchell, R. C. ((S'th'pton, Test)
Beaney, Alan Hannan, William Molloy, William
Bence, Cyril Harper, Joseph Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Bidwell, Sydney Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Bishop, E. S. Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Blackburn, F. Haseldine, Norman Morris, John (Aberavon)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hazell, Bert Moyle, Roland
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Heffer, Eric S. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Booth, Albert Henig, Stanley Murray, Albert
Boston, Terence Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Oakes, Gordon
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hilton, W. S. O'Malley, Brian
Boyden, James Hooley, Frank Orbach, Maurice
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Horner, John Orme, Stanley
Bradley, Tom Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oswald, Thomas
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)
Brooks, Edwin Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Owen, Will (Morpeth)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Palmer, Arthur
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Howie, W. Panned, Rt. Hn. Charles
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Hoy, James Parker, John (Dagenham)
Brown, R. V. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Huckfield, Leslie Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pentland, Norman
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hunter, Adam Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hynd, John Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Cant, R. B. Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Price, William (Rugby)
Carmichael, Neil Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh] Probert, Arthur
Carter-Jones, Lewis Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Rankin, John
Coe, Denis Janner, Sir Barnett Rees, Merlyn
Coleman, Donald Jeger,Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Richard, Ivor
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Dalyell, Tam Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Davidson, Arthur (Accrington) Jones.Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth (St.P'c'as)
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Judd, Frank Rose, Paul
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kelley, Richard Ross, Rt. Hn. William
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Kenyon, Clifford Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)
Dell, Edmund Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Shaw, Arnold (llford, S.)
Dewar, Donald Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Sheldon, Robert
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Lawson, George Short, Mrs. René e (W'hampton.N.E.)
Dickens, James Ledger, Ron Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Doig, Peter Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dunn, James A. Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Silverman, Julius
Dunnett, Jack Lestor, Miss Joan Skeffington, Arthur
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Slater, Joseph
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Small, William
Eadie, Alex Lomas, Kenneth Snow, Julian
Edelman, Maurice Loughlin, Charles Spriggs, Leslie
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Ellis, John Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
English, Michael McBride, Neil Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) McCann, John Swingler, Stephen
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Macdonald, A. H. Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Faulds, Andrew McGuire, Michael Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Fernyhough, E. Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Thornton. Ernest
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackie, John Tinn, James
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mackintosh, John P. Urwin, T. W.
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Maclennan, Robert Varley, Eric G.
Ford, Ben McNamara, J. Kevin Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley
Forrester, John MacPherson, Malcolm Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Wallace, George

sentment against a Clause which they themselves would have introduced.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes 229, Noes 216.

Watkins, David (Consett) Whitlock, William Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch) Woof, Robert
Weitzman, David Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Wellbeloved, James Willis, Rt. Hn. George TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.) Mr. J. D. Concannon and
Whitaker, Ben Winnick, David Mr. Ioan L. Evans
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Goodhew, Victor Nott, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Gower, Raymond Onslow, Cranley
Astor, John Grant, Anthony Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Grant-Ferris, R. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Awdry, Daniel Gresham Cooke, R. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Grieve, Percy Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Criffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Balniel, Lord Hall, John (Wycombe) Peel, John
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Percival, Ian
Batsford, Brian Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Peyton, John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bell, Ronald Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Pink, R. Bonner
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Harrison, Col. Sir Hat-wood (Eye) Pounder, Rafton
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Cos. & Fhm) Harvie Anderson, Miss Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hastings, Stephen Price, David (Eastleigh)
Biffen, John Hawkins, Paul Prior, J. M. L.
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Hay, John Pym, Francis
Black, Sir Cyril Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Quennell, Miss J. M.
Blaker, Peter Heseltine, Michael Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Higgins, Terence L. Rees-Davies, W. R.
Body, Richard Hiley, Joseph Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Bossom, Sir Clive Hill, J. E. B. Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hirst, Geoffrey Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Braine, Bernard Hooson, Emlyn Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Brewis, John Hordern, Peter Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col.Sir Walter Hornby, Richard St. John-Stevas, Norman
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Howell, David (Guildford) Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hunt, John Scott, Nicholas
Bryan, Paul Hutchison, Michael Clark Scott-Hopkins, James
Buchanan.Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Iremonger, T. L. Sharples, Richard
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Burden, F. A. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Silvester, Frederick
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Sinclair, Sir George
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Jopling, Michael Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Carlisle, Mark Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Kaberry, Sir Donald Speed, Keith
Channon, H. P. G. Kimball, Marcus Stainton, Keith
Chichester-Clark, R. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Clark, Henry Kirk, Peter Stodart, Anthony
Cooke, Robert Kitson, Timothy Summers, Sir Spencer
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Knight, Mrs. Jill Tapsell, Peter
Corfield, F. V. Lambton, Viscount Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Costain, A. P. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Taylor,Edward M. (G'gow,Cathcart)
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne) Lane, David Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Crouch, David Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Teeling, Sir William
Crowder, F. P. Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Temple, John M.
Cunningham, Sir Knox Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral) Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Dalkeith, Earl of Longden, Gilbert Tilney, John
Dance, James
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Loveys, W. H. Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Dean, Paul Lubbock, Eric van Straubenzee, W. R.
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W F. (Ashford) MacArthur, Ian Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
Digby, Simon Wingfield Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain Vickers, Dame Joan
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Doughty, Charles McNair-Wilson. Patrick Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Drayson, G. B. Maddan, Martin Wall, Patrick
Eden, Sir John Maginnis, John E. Weatherill, Bernard
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Webster, David
Elliott,R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Marten, Neil Wells, John (Maidstone)
Emery, Peter Maude, Angus Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Errington, Sir Eric Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Eyre, Reginald Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Farr, John Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Fisher, Nigel Miscampbell, Norman Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fortescue, Tim Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Woodnutt, Mark
Foster, Sir John Montgomery, Fergus Worsley, Marcus
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. More, Jasper Wright, Esmond
Gibson-Watt, David Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Wylie, N. R.
Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Younger, Hn. George
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Glover, Sir Douglas Murton, Oscar TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Glyn, Sir Richard Neave, Airey Mr. Anthony Royle and
Goodhart, Philip Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Mr. Hector Monro.
Mr. Callaghan

I beg to move. That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. As it would be appropriate for the right hon. Member for Flint, West (Mr. Birch) to return to the grouse moors, I would not like to keep him from them any longer.

Mr. Hogg

I concur in the right hon. Gentleman's advice, though I doubt whether the grouse moors will see many of my right hon. Friends tonight, in December.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.