HC Deb 29 February 1968 vol 759 cc1767-83
Mr. Crossman

I beg to move, That any Proceedings on or relating to any Amendments made by the Lords to the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill and the Proceedings on the motion relating to the Ayrshire Police Order may be entered upon and proceeded with at this day's Sitting at any hour, though opposed; and that Mr. Speaker shall not adjourn the House until he shall have notified the Royal Assent to the Acts which have been agreed upon by both Houses. I know that the House wants to get on with business, but may I say that if the Motion is agreed to and we conclude the business on the Order Paper this evening ahead of any message from another place on the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill I think it would be for the general convenience of the House if you, Mr. Speaker, felt able to suspend the sitting for a lengthy period, possibly even until, say, 9 o'clock tomorrow morning? I am sure that that would be for the general convenience of you and the members of the staff, particularly after last night's extended sitting.

Mr. Thorpe

I intervene at this stage in order to impress on the Government that they may not be taking the wisest course, in view of last night's events and the Press reports of the revision of what was said in the debate. Owing to the rushed manner in which the Bill was pushed through the House, many right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House felt that they would wish to have had a longer time on the Report stage.

Be that as it may, the Bill has now gone to another place, and the number of their Lordships who have put down their names to speak indicates that there is not exactly a lack of interest in the Measure. Therefore, as the Motion indicates, there may well be Amendments. As I see it, the Government could well be in the position that they will have virtually no time to give careful consideration to those Amendments. They may well feel that it is right and proper that they should consider some of them.

If any right hon. or hon. Members have doubts about the grave danger which one runs into in rushing through very complicated, very important legislation, they have only to see in the two London evening papers today that the Home Office has put out statements clarifying what it regarded as having been said by the Home Secretary, but which to those of us who were present and heard the Under-Secretary of State and the Home Secretary are in direct contravention of the undertakings and understandings which the House accepted when it was sitting in Committee.

It would not be in order to go into those details, but there is no doubt that the Government have got themselves into an appalling mess, and have done so because the interpretation given to the Home Secretary's undertaking or under standing was that if any person was expelled we should have to take him or her in. Now there is a fresh interpretation—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The right hon. Gentleman is now tempting himself to go out of order. He must link his remarks to the Motion.

Mr. Thorpe

With the experience of having rushed the Bill through this House and the very necessity for the Home Office today to put out statements clarifying what it interprets as having occurred during yesterday's Sitting, it is all the more important that the Government should have time to reflect upon any Amendments which may come to this House from another place. If one thing is evident, it is the necessity for legislation of this sort being clear beyond peradventure, and, therefore, for the Government to put themselves in a position in which they may not be giving proper time to reflect on Amendments from another place is courting disaster. The experience of what has already happened is the most conclusive evidence against taking the action we are now invited to take.

Mr. Bellenger

What the Leader of the Liberal Party has just said is mainly conjectural. We do not know whether another place will make any Amendments. Therefore, I take it that what my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House is doing, in asking you, Mr. Speaker, to suspend the Sitting until tomorrow, is merely in order to be able to proceed with Amendments which may come and nothing else, and not to have a continuation of the debate we had before the House took its definite decision. I hope the House will accede to the Motion for a speedy determination of anything that may come to us from another place and nothing more.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should like elucidation from the Leader of the House as to the intention of the Motion in two respects. In the first place, he indicated the possibility of a suspension of the Sitting until 9 a.m. tomorrow, the House resuming to deal with any Amendments coming from another place. But supposing the proceedings in another place last longer than that. Is it the intention that this suspended Sitting should therefore be resumed after 11 a.m. tomorrow? In which case, what is the effect on tomorrow's Sitting and tomorrow's business?

Secondly, and perhaps a bigger question, in the Motion it is implicitly assumed that this House and another place will come to final agreement, on any Amendments which another place may put into the Bill, in time for the Royal Assent to be given at any rate tomorrow. Has the right hon. Gentleman at least contemplated the possibility of a disagreement between the two Houses? If he has, may I ask how this Motion will operate with a view to the suspension of the present Sitting?

Mr. Michael Foot

All of us who were present in the House throughout last night, whatever disagreements we may have about this subject, will agree that it is a matter of extreme importance because it affects the claims upon this House made by people who hold United Kingdom passports and who have looked to this House for protection, and that the question is how we are to provide it. We should, therefore, consider very carefully how we conduct our business upon that matter.

This Motion is novel in some respects. I want to add to what has been asked by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). What form of notification is to be given to right hon. and hon. Members so that those who wish to be here to participate when the further debate takes place know when that is to occur once the Government have made their decision? How will the House be informed of the time we are to meet?

It is necessary that we should have the clearest understanding about this. It is necessary that every right hon. and hon. Member who wishes to participate should have the longest possible warning, and if this Motion does not provide that it is right that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House should inform us. It may be possible for the Government to consider a fresh statement to the House, say at 7 p.m., by moving the Adjournment of the proceedings. They could then inform the House what procedure is to be followed tonight and tomorrow morning. The position is not clear now.

Whatever right hon. and hon. Members may think of the Bill, I say to the House that it would be unseemly and regretted by all right hon. and hon. Members, including the Government, if there were a misunderstanding about how this Bill were to be passed through the House, and I urge the Government to agree to making a fresh statement to us later this afternoon on the procedure to be followed.

Sir D. Glover

While agreeing with every word said by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) about the mess the Government have got themselves into over this Bill, perhaps I can help the Leader of the House by pointing out that surely he does not need to ask Mr. Speaker to take this extraordinary procedure after 10 o'clock tonight. Since we are due to consider then Early Day Motion No. 164, relating to the Ayrshire Police, surely, under our now procedure, the Minister in charge could move the Adjournment of the House until tomorrow morning.

Mr. Crossman

Not on a Thursday night.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

In view of the unprecedented interest in the affairs of the Ayrshire Police, can my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House say how the movers of that important Motion can help him? Does he want us to postpone it, take it at length, or what?

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

I subscribe strongly to what my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) had to say. I would take his argument a little further. It is conceivable, and not within our control, that their Lordships might decide to sit all through tomorrow, in which case I suppose it is conceivable that we might have to be suspended until Saturday.

I also want to ask the right hon. Gentleman a point concerning the wording of the Motion. It refers to … the Royal Assent to the Acts …". Are we likely to have to await the Royal Assent to other Acts beside the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill? What is the purpose of the plural?

Mr. John Fraser

During the night, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State made a number of helpful statements, but it is taxing the memory of hon. Members to recollect the precise text of what was said. The HANSARD report of the overnight debates will not be available until tomorrow, since there was a cut-off at about ten o'clock last night. It would be useful to right hon. and hon. Members if it were possible, before ten o'clock tonight, to have proofs of the report of the overnight debates placed in the Library.

Mr. David Steel

Those of us who followed last night's proceedings carefully are profoundly shaken by the reports in the evening newspapers and on the tapes. They reinforce our view that, whatever the technical difficulties of the House meeting later, or having a lengthy suspension, in principle this Motion is bad. The events we have already witnessed demonstrate already that it would be folly for the House to proceed further with the Bill without a complete break and time for consideration. For that reason, we on the Liberal benches intend to vote against it in any case.

There is another point in addition to that raised by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). Is it not the case that tomorrow is Private Members' Day? If the Government require to encroach upon that time, will they give an undertaking that those private Members who had Bills to bring forward will be given an opportunity to do so later?

Mr. Maudling

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that the present position is not at all satisfactory. Last night the Home Secretary gave certain assurances which were very welcome, and on the strength of these a certain decision was taken. There appears to be some reason now to doubt whether these can be confirmed or not. It is important from the point of view of the House that, before the Bill is finally disposed of, those assurances should be made crystal clear. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us in what way this can be done?

Mr. Henig

May I put this to my right hon. Friend? It seems that it is somewhat below the dignity of this House and this Parliament that a Measure of this importance affecting people with British passports should be rushed through in a way that might suggest to people outside that the zeal for carrying it through was greater than the desire to see that it was a fair and just Measure. May I ask my right hon. Friend—if he is listening, and I know that he has a great interest in constitutional matters—whether he can explain what exactly is the purpose of this Measure being considered at all in another place and Amendments being suggested if the minute, nay the second, this process is finished we are to be called here immediately to give our verdict on those amendments?

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the Home Secretary has already worked out contingency planning for each Amendment that might conceivably be passed by the other place? Would he not reflect again and realise that on all sides of the House there is a great feeling that this is being rushed through in an undignified manner? Will he think again and let this take place with the normal processes of interchange between the two Houses?

Mr. Onslow

May I take up the point of the hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Henig). These proceedings are not enhancing the dignity of this House. The Leader of the House has a particular duty to explain to us what is involved in the Motion. If he persists in this, may I appeal to him to give some consideration to withdrawing the Motion and coming back at a later stage to make a statement which will enable us to understand precisely how the Government intend to get the House out of the mess into which they have got us?

Mr. Heffer

Could my right hon. Friend adopt the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot)? It is pretty clear that the Government have got themselves into a very difficult situation, to say the least. The difficult situation has arisen because of the strength of feeling against this Bill. A number of people in the other place have put down their names to speak in the debate and it is now indicated to us that they are likely to go on throughout the night. This shows that there is a great strength of feeling here, in the other place and in the country about this Bill.

Under those circumstances, surely it would be very wise for the Government to make a further statement at 7 o'clock this evening in order that we may know precisely what the position is. I would go further than that. I suggest that while the statement is being considered the Government should look at the possibility of bringing this matter before the House early next week. Otherwise we shall be accused of indecent haste in rushing this Bill through, giving the impression that we are keen to get this sort of legislation through quickly, whereas other legislation can go on for a long period of time. In all the circumstances. I appeal to my right hon. Friend to accept the point of view put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale. Let us have a further statement at 7 o'clock and consider bringing the Bill before the House early next week.

Mr. Turton

There appears to be one point raised by the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) requiring more consideration. Under the Motion as drafted, the plan suggested by the Lord President could mean that a Private Members' Day would be quite unnecessarily destroyed. The other place could go on debating for such a period that we could save the Private Members' Day by tacking this Motion on to the beginning of the Private Members' Day. I would ask the Lord President to reconsider the wording of the Motion. It would not do us any harm if we had a gap of an hour or so so that we could study what Amendments, if any, the other place had made. I feel sure that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), who has the first Bill tomorrow, would not feel prejudiced if the beginning of Private Members' Day was occupied by the quick passage of the Lords Amendments to the Bill.

Mr. Crossman

It might be for the convenience of the House, as I know we want to get on with our main business. if I were to clarify this. I will try to answer some of the points raised. First of all, I would say "No" to the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), because we know he attaches much importance to this Measure and it is right that he should go ahead with it. There is no question of confusion here. What I was seeking to do was to take precautions in advance so that we could meet a situation sensibly, when it came. This is what we are doing. It is possible that as a result of what goes on in another place there will be no Amendments, in which case these precautions will be unnecessary.

The issue has been raised, first by the Liberals but also by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), that we should not seek to complete this Bill this week but postpone it to next week. That is a clear issue on which we must vote. It is clear to me and to the Government and a good many people in this House that, whatever the merits of the Bill, it is essential that we should get it done quickly and decisively. It is no good arguing about this, we have to vote on the issue, and I will therefore confine myself to the points other than this major issue.

My answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) is that we shall follow the usual procedures which are applied whenever we deal with Lords Amendments. It is possible that we shall have Lords Amendments, and time to consider them. I would not think that we were here giving ourselves an unusual rush. I have known Lords Amendments come down and be properly and duly considered, even sent back and sent back again. We are leaving room for all this.

To my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot), I would say that if you, Mr. Speaker, were to suggest that the House should have another statement from me at 7 o'clock I do not see what could be added then. I have put this as a suggestion that you will decide in due course to suspend the sitting, possibly until 9 a.m. tomorrow. That seems to be something which needs to be done so that the House will have enough time. If we do it, it is not because we assume that the time will be required, but it is a precaution against that event.

As to the point about Private Members' Day, I am much concerned about this. It is conceivable, it is one of the hypotheses which might occur, that we began to discuss the Lords Amendments, if there were any, at 9 a.m. tomorrow, and the discussion was so prolonged that it ran over 11 o'clock. If that happens the Private Members' Business would fall automatically and we should lose it. I very much hope that this will not happen, and it is in order that it should not happen that we are taking the precautions we have. I suggest that we should now come to a decision on this matter.

Mr. Hogg

I have a point I want to put to the right hon. Gentleman, because I genuinely want to know, for the convenience of the House. Obviously if another place does not make any Amendments there will be no further discussion here on the Bill. Equally, if another place continues to discuss this late into the night there must come a time, however long the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) proceeds with the PRAYER against the Ayrshire Police Order, when the House will want to know that consideration of the Bill will be postponed until the following morning. At what moment on the clock does the right hon. Gentleman consider that that time will have come, because I have not got that clear in my mind at all?

Mr. Crossman

It is my own ambiguity, but I imagined that when we have passed this Motion you would announce, Mr. Speaker, the time to which you thought the sitting should be suspended. I had assumed it should be announced as soon as possible, for the convenience of hon. Members. That is why I did not think it necessary to have a later statement. That is for you to decide Mr. Speaker, and not for me to say.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman can help us on one matter. He said, and rightly, that the House should have proper opportunity to discuss the Lords' Amendments. How does one discuss Lords' Amendments properly if there is no copy of HANSARD available to us giving us the arguments advanced for and against the Amendments of their Lordships? This is something which I do not understand. How can we discuss Amendments properly without knowing the discussion which has gone on in their Lordships' House? We cannot all crowd into the gallery of their Lordships' House to hear for ourselves the arguments advanced.

Mr. Crossman

We shall study the Lords' Amendments on their merits, as we normally do, and I suspect that by that time we shall know pretty well what the arguments were behind them. I do not think that this is an insuperable difficulty, and we have to measure the urgency of the Bill against the desirability of protracted discussion.

Mr. Emery

I wish to raise a technical point which seems to me to be nevertheless very important. If there are Lords' Amendments—and I do not think the House knows whether there are Government Amendments in the Lords or not—is there to be an Order Paper where they will be printed for us before we discuss them? It seems wrong that on an issue of this importance we should be asked to reject Amendments from their Lordships' House which we have not even in print in front of us on an Order Paper.

Mr. Crossman

It will depend partly on the time of their Lordships' debate. because the form in which the Amendments come to us will vary according to the time at which they have been made.

Mr. Whitaker

Could I press my right hon. Friend to reply to the point about safeguarding the rights of private Members tomorrow? If this House reported progress and delayed consideration of the Immigration Bill for only a few more days there would be no need for the Bill at all, which might be a solution that satisfied everybody.

Sir G. Sinclair

Will the Leader of the House deal with the point about whether, when any Papers come back from the other place, we shall be in possession of the record of what was said in the debate by the Home Secretary last night? This is very material indeed to the debate in this House. We are expecting another place to debate this very important matter without any record at all of what was said by the Home Secretary last night.

Mr. Crossman

I apologise for not answering that point. According to the normal practice, the carbon copies of HANSARD are placed in the Library, so they could be available now.

Mr. Awdry

On the question of HANSARD reports, are not we making a mockery of the other House, which will debate this matter for the whole of this afternoon, and probably this evening, without being able to read one single word of anything said in the other place? This makes a complete mockery of the proceedings.

Several Hon. Members rose

Mr. Speaker

Order. With the leave of the House, I call Mr. Hogg.

Mr. Hogg

There is a version of what the right hon. Gentleman said in the printed HANSARD. Perhaps he will confirm that that is an accurate report,

because that may assist my hon. Friend behind me.

Mr. Callaghan

It is as it appears in HANSARD, because I trust the HANSARD Reporters to report exactly what I say. I stand by it. What appears in the Press is the responsibility of the Press. If there is said to be a difference in tone between what two Ministers say, that is something for people to assess. There have been the usual contacts between the Home Office and the Press. The Home Office have been besieged with inquiries all the week. What I said stands and is there to be interpreted.

Mr. Heath

There is a reference to this in HANSARD. I asked what would be done about a man thrown out of work and rejected from the country, and the right hon. Gentleman said: We shall have to take him. We cannot do anything else in those circumstances."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 28th February, 1968 Vol. 759, c. 1501.] That is a clear statement. Does the Home Secretary stand by that?

Mr. Callaghan

Certainly, Sir. It is to be read against the background of everything I said; it was a long speech made with very great care, and the whole thing stands together and forms a coherent policy.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 204, Noes 74.

Division No. 79.] AYES [4.18 p.m.
Abse, Leo Carter-Jones, Lewis Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Alldritt, Walter Coe, Denis Ellis, John
Armstrong, Ernest Coleman, Donald English, Michael
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Concannon, J. D. Ennals, David
Beaney, Alan Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Ensor, David
Bell, Ronald Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)
Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J. Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Eyre, Reginald
Bence, Cyril Crowder, F. P. Farr, John
Bonn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Cullen, Mrs. Alice Fernyhough, E.
Biffen, John Dalyell, Tam Finch, Harold
Bishop, E. S. Dance, James Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Blackburn, F. Darling, Rt. Hn. George Ford, Ben
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Fowler, Gerry
Bossom, Sir Clive Davits, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Boston, Terence Davies, Ifor (Gower) Freeson, Reginald
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Galpern, Sir Myer
Boyden, James d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Garrett, W. E.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Gourlay, Harry
Bradley, Tom Dell, Edmund Gower, Raymond
Brooks, Edwin Dempsey, James Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Gregory, Arnold
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Doig, Peter Grey, Charles (Durham)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Eadie, Alex Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)
Buchan, Norman Eden, Sir John Gurden, Harold
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Hamilton, William (Fife, w.) Mackie, John Robertson, John (Paisley)
Hamling, William Mackintosh, John P. Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth(St. P'c'as)
Haseldine, Norman Maclennan, Robert Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Hazell, Bert McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Roebuck, Roy
Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret McNamara, J. Kevin Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Hilton, W. S. MacPherson, Malcolm Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Hooley, Frank Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mallalieu, J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Sheldon, Robert
Howarth, Harry (Wellingborough) Manuel, Archie Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Mapp, Charles Shore, Peter (Stepney)
Hoy, James Marks, Kenneth Short, Mrs. Renée(W'hampton,N.E.)
Huckfield, Leslie Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Skeffington, Arthur
Hunter, Adam Mayhew, Christopher Small, William
Irvine, Sir Arthur Mellish, Robert Snow, Julian
Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Molloy, William Spriggs, Leslie
Janner, Sir Barnett Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Jeger, George (Goole) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Morris, John (Aberavon) Swingler, Stephen
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Murray, Albert Taverne, Dick
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir E1wyn(W. Ham, S.) Neal, Harold Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Nicholls, Sir Harmar Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West) Oakes, Gordon Thornton, Ernest
Kenyon, Clifford O'Malley, Brian Tinn, James
Kerby, Capt. Henry Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) Urwin, T. W.
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Oswald, Thomas Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Lawson, George Owen, Will (Morpeth) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Leadbitter, Ted Palmer, Arthur Watkins, David (Consett)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Wellbeloved, James
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Pentland, Norman Whitlock, William
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Lomas, Kenneth Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Longden, Gilbert Price, William (Rugby) Willis, George (Edinburgh, E.)
McBride, Neil Probert, Arthur Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
McCann, John Randall, Harry Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
MacColl, James Rankin, John Woof, Robert
MacDermot, Niall, Rees, Merlyn Yates, Victor
McGuire, Michael Reynolds, G. W.
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Rhodes, Geoffrey TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. Joseph Harper and
Mr. Eric G. Varley.
Awdry, Daniel Henig, Stanley Orme, Stanley
Baker, W. H. K. Hill, J. E. B. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Biggs-Davison, John Hobden, Dennis (Brighton, K'town) Peyton, John
Body, Richard Holland, Philip Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Booth, Albert Howell, David (Guildford) Scott-Hopkins, James
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Hunt, John Sinclair, Sir George
Channon, H. P. G. Hutchison, Michael Clark Stodart, Anthony
Clark, Henry Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak) Tapsell, Peter
Cordle, John Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Costain, A. P. Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Crawshaw, Richard Jopling, Michael Vickers, Dame Joan
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire,W.) Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Dickens, James Lane, David Walters, Dennis
Dunn, James A. Lestor, Miss Joan Ward, Dame Irene
Emery, Peter MacArthur, Ian Weitzman, David
Evans, Gwynfor (C'marthen) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Whitaker, Ben
Foot, Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Marten, Neil Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Winnick, David
Fortescue, Tim Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Worstey, Marcus
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, c.) Mikardo, Ian Wright, Esmond
Glover, Sir Douglas Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wylie, N. R.
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Younger, Hn. George
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Nabarro, Sir Gerald TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harvie Anderson, Miss Nott, John Mr. David Steel and
Heffer, Eric S. Onslow, Cranley Dr. M. P. Winstanley.

Ordered, That any Proceedings on or relating to any Amendments made by the Lords to the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill and the Proceedings on the motion relating to the Ayrshire Police Order may be entered upon and proceeded with at this day's sitting at any hour, though opposed; and that Mr. Speaker shall not adjourn the House until he shall have notified the Royal Assent to the Acts which have been agreed upon by both Houses.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Speaker is the servant of the House and the House has now decided that Mr. Speaker shall not adjourn this House until this Bill—and possibly one other—has reached a stage when I can announce the Royal Assent.

There are three possible courses open to Mr. Speaker. One is that he should sit waiting in the Chair after the Ayrshire Police Order has been disposed of hour by hour, by hour. I would think that that would not commend itself to anyone in the House. Certainly it would not to Mr. Speaker. The second is that, after we have completed the business of the day, I should suspend the Sitting, perhaps for an hour, perhaps for two hours, come back and, if we have nothing from their Lordships, suspend it again. It has been suggested by the Leader of the House, however, that a rational course might be to suspend the Sitting until some reasonable time tomorrow morning, particularly as right hon. and hon. Gentlemen who are interested in this Measure have themselves been up all last night.

Unless I hear any serious objections from the House, what I propose to do then is that when we have completed the day's business I shall suspend the House until tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. That will enable right hon. and hon. Gentlemen and many of the servants of the House to have a rest before we go on with the Sitting. I take it that that commends itself to the House.

Mr. Thorpe

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Can you assist us on one very important matter? If the third course of action commends itself, as it appears to, and if we meet at 9 o'clock and there is some debate, as is quite possible, is there any possibility, depending upon the amount of time taken, of sitting for an extra hour or two after 4 o'clock so that private Members shall not suffer?

Mr. Speaker

Unless I can be advised by the Clerk of the House, I know of no way in which that can be done. if the House sits tomorrow morning until even one minute past eleven, I am afraid that private Members' time for tomorrow has gone. I think that is right.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would not seek to suggest any other procedure than that which you have suggested. However, in the course of your statement you mentioned the possibility of another Bill as

well as the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill. I am wondering what Bill that is.

Mr. Speaker

I took the word in the plural from the Order Paper. The Leader of the House did not answer the hon. Gentleman. I believe that there may be the Education Bill as well.

Mr. Crossman

It is the Mauritius Bill. [Laughter.]

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. At the beginning of this Sitting, did you not announce the Royal Assent to the Mauritius Bill?

Mr. Speaker

Everyone in the House, except the Leader of the House, knows that to be true. [Laughter.]

Mr. Crossman

In self-defence, Mr. Speaker, may I say that the word "Acts" was included in the Motion on the Order Paper, before you announced the Royal Assent to the Mauritius Bill. It was in the plural form, but was rendered unnecessary by your subsequent action.

Mr. Speaker

Order. We have a lot of business ahead of us. Many hon. Members take a serious view of the business that is on the Order Paper.

Mr. Hill

On a point of information. Arising from your statement, Mr. Speaker, could you say whether the other place is remaining in session, because should Lords' Amendments come here and we reject them I understood that their Lordships would have to consider whether they would insist on their rejection before the Royal Assent. Therefore, could we have some information whether their Lordships propose to remain in session?

Mr. Speaker

That is not a matter for Mr. Speaker. He has quite enough to do in his responsibilities here.

Mr. Emery

On a point of information. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for making clear the position about the suspension until 9 o'clock. I understand that if we proceed until one minute past 11 o'clock Private Members' Business is lost. It would be very helpful to the House, as the Leader of the House is so concerned about protecting the rights of private Members, if we could know that the Government would find time to replace the lost day for Private Members' Business.

Mr. Speaker

That is a hedge we must jump when we get to it.

Mr. Farr

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the pattern of progress which you have suggested is the right one, but have you considered the possibility that we might carry on this Friday's Private Business in the normal way and sit on Saturday to discuss the Lords' Amendments? This would give the House a chance to have these Amendments—

Mr. Speaker

Order. Mr. Speaker has no power to arrange the business of the House. We have just carried a Motion arranging the business of the House concerning this matter. Mr. Speaker must abide by the instruction of the House.

Mr. Faulds

As the House has adopted this somewhat indigestible procedure, can we have a categorical assurance from the Leader of the House that the same procedure will be adopted on the Bill relating to race relations?

Mr. Speaker

Order. We have a lot of business to do and we must get on.