§ 10.27 p.m.
§ The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)
I beg to move,That pursuant to Standing Order No. 43A (Allocation of time to Bills) the Standing Committee to which the Bill is allocated shall report the Bill on or before Thursday 13th June and as respects proceedings on the Bill in Standing Committee, on any re-committal and on report the Business Committee shall make recommendations to the House.I move this Motion in the name of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer—[HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] This is a Motion under Standing Order 43A to bring the Committee stage of the Finance Bill to an end by 13th June; and to invite the Business Committee to propose an allocation of time as between the various parts of the Bill for the remainder of the Standing Committee, recommittal and Report stages.
I mention this because it limits the ground I may cover in this short speech. It is evident from what has been said by Opposition spokesmen from time to time that the root cause of the Opposition's irritation is the fact that the Bill was sent upstairs at all. But that proceeds from separate decisions in the House; first, a decision taken after debate on 6th December, 1967, to remove the prohibition in Standing Order No. 40, which had previously prevented a Finance Bill from being committed to a Standing Committee, and secondly, the decision taken at the end of the Second Reading proceedings on this year's Finance Bill —on 24th April—that that Bill should be so committed.
This being so, I would plainly be out of order if, speaking to a timetable Motion I were to retrace all the paths trodden by Government spokesmen before me on whether the Bill could or should go upstairs or not. The Bill was sent to Standing Committee on the authority of the House and what we are now discussing is the timing of its treatment there.
As Leader of the House, I have a particular responsibility to explain to the House the procedural background when 432 such a Motion comes before it; and since a Motion under Standing Order 43A is relatively novel, I feel it might be helpful if I were to concentrate mainly on this, leaving my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, to answer any points that may be raised on the reasons behind the poor progress that has so far been made in Standing Committee A.
First, I must obviously reply to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths), who said in a business question last Thursday that in arranging for a two-hour debate on this Motion I was acting likea drawing-room storm trooper ".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th May, 1968; Vol. 764, c. 1417.]In this his view was echoed, though not quite in the same terms, by the right hon. Gentleman for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) and, in the subsequent debate on the Whitsuntide Recess, by the hon. Member for Harwich (Mr. Rids-dale) and the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke). They seemed to think that in proposing the application of Standing Order 43A, I was putting upon the House something totally unexpected and unworthy. I shall try to demonstrate that this view is altogether misconceived.
This procedure has its roots in the Fourth Report for the Session 1966–67 presented in March, 1967, by the Select Committee on Procedure, which was notable for displaying a rare unanimity for a Select Committee of this kind. It canvassed the relative merits of dealing with the Committee stage of the Finance Bill on the Floor of the House, in a Committee Room upstairs, or partly in the one place or the other. In its concluding paragraph, paragraph 21, the Select Committee said:Both those Members who favour sending all or part of the Bill to a Standing Committee and those who believe that no change should be made are, therefore, prepared to support an experiment in voluntary timetabling for proceedings in the House, and requiring a new sessional order as described in paragraph 16.In paragraph 16 the Select Committee said:It is pointed out that a safeguard would be needed if there was a failure to reach voluntary agreement, or a failure, for whatever reason, to implement an agreement already made. Accordingly, it is suggested that it should be made possible, in these circumstances, for a 433 Minister to move a Resolution which could be debated for a short time setting up a Business Committee of the type provided for in S.O. No. 43 with power to determine the number of days to be allotted to the Bill and its further stages and the allocation of time within the overall total. This would require a new sessional order.My right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council felt himself under a duty to bring this recommendation to the attention of the House, and he did so. The discussion of it occupied a large part of a. general procedure debate on 19th April, 1967, and the Motion leading to a Sessional Order for last Session occupied a further five hours on 26th April and 1st May of that year. The Sessional Order then proposed was in strict accord with the Select Committee's recommendations, except that we had to put our own interpretation on what was meant by "a short time". In the course of history this semantic point has been debated many times in many Houses, and we came to the conclusion that two hours was a reasonable interpretation of the term.
This was not the last opportunity the House had to consider this question of time-tabling. Following yet another general procedure debate on 14th November, 1967, my right hon. Friend the present Foreign Secretary moved on 6th December, 1967, what now appears as Standing Order No. 43A. This was in much the same terms as the sessional order of the preceding Session, and it was decided after further debate. So I do not think that I am open to the charge of bringing before the House a totally unexpected procedural development. It is something the House could have expected, given that activities of the right hon. Member for Enfield, West and his colleagues in Standing Committee A and elsewhere [Interruption.] Of course, I must defend back-benchers. I do.
I have dealt with the procedural background. I now turn to the reasons why we have had to put down a time-table Motion at this juncture. They are quite simple. First—[Interruption.] I beg hon. Members opposite to listen to the argument. Those who wish to oppose it will have the opportunity to do so. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West has consistently declined to undertake any kind of discussion with my right hon. 434 Friend about the timing of the Committee stage of the Bill. He has been perfectly frank about this on a number of occasions, and no doubt if he catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, he will be able to explain his reasons better than I could. But as a former Leader of the House he will know that this leaves the Government entirely uncertain as to the likelihood of conducting this business in a reasonable time. In consequence, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has found himself obliged to send to you, Mr. Speaker, a notification in accordance with Standing Order No. 43A that no general agreement to allot a specified number of days to consideration of the Bill in Committee has been reached.
Furthermore, the conduct of the Opposition in Standing Committee does not enable one to have confidence that the Committee stage will be completed with reasonable expedition. So far, the Committee has had nine sittings of a total duration, excluding evening meal times, of about 62 hours. If it was to proceed under its present sittings Motion until 13th June, the date we have proposed in the Motion for the completion of the Committee stage, it would have had over 90 hours in Committee. But there is no indication that even then the Committee would finish its work on the Bill.
In the light of this, I hope that it will not be said that the Government are simply trying to keep Standing Committee A down to an unreasonably short period. May I remind hon. Members, particularly new hon. Members, that in the years 1951 to 1964, the average time spent in Committee on the Finance Bill was 64 hours 3 minutes. Standing Committee A has practically equalled that already. Therefore, the Opposition complaint against the Motion cannot be shortage of time.
§ Mr. Michael Alison (Barkston Ash)
Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that in 1965 the House spent 163 hours and in 1966 99 hours on the Finance Bill?
§ Mr. Peart
I have given the average over this period. It is true that there were occasions when the time spent on the Bill was more and there were occasions when it was less. But in the years 435 1951 to 1964, the average time spent in Committee was 64 hours 3 minutes.
I get the impression that there are those who would wish to obstruct the Bill. I hope that I am wrong. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Enfield, West must have always realised that a point would inevitably come at which the Government sought to keep progress going. During his two years as Leader of the House, he guillotined no fewer than six Bills, which is equal to the number which Labour Governments have moved to guillotine or time-table in all their years of office since 1945.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Eric Fletcher)
Mr. Speaker has asked me to say that, as the Leader of the House has just indicated, formal notification has been received from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, under the provisions of Standing Order No. 43A, that no general agreement on the specific number of days or portions of days for considering the Finance Bill has been reached. The Chair is, accordingly, bound, under paragraph (1) of that Standing Order, to put the Question on the Motion not more than two hours after the commencement of proceedings; that is, two hours after the right hon. Gentleman was called. The Chair will, therefore, be required to interrupt the debate, if it is still in progress, at 12.27 a.m. Mr. du Cann.
§ 10.41 p.m.
§ Mr. Edward du Cann (Taunton)
I shall be as short as I can but there are some things that require to be said and should be said. I merely regret the fact that the time for this debate is so short.
I think that all of us, without exception, have a respect and a fondness for the Leader of the House. Some may even have sympathy for him in the impossible position in which he finds himself tonight. But what he had to say about the procedural situation, I thought, was singularly unimpressive. What he had to say about the conduct of the Opposition in Standing Committee A was uncalled for, unnecessary and inaccurate. What he had to say in general about the need to guillotine this Bill was shocking, for this is a shameful thing to be doing.
Similarly, though I do not know whether this view is shared by my right 436 hon. and hon. Friends, I have some sympathy with the Chancellor of the Exchequer—[HON. MEMBERS: "NO."]— because the real villian of this piece, without question, as my hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) has pointed out in Standing Committee A on more than one occasion, is the Lord President of the Council. He is the man who, with his little experiment, is bringing this House into serious disrepute. My hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover)—and we are sorry that he is sick and cannot be with us—in Standing Committee A one day said that the Lord President of the Council is a man who has an idea, falls in love with that idea at breakfast time, by lunch time is half out of sympathy with it, and by dinner time is inviting somebody else to carry the can for him.
Many people outside this House are equating financial mismanagement with successive Labour Governments, but it required the Lord President of the Council to remind us again of 1931 and of Ramsay Macdonald. This experiment was never wise. There is some truth in what the Leader of the House said—that many of us expected the experiment to fail. Most of us, however, held our counsel deliberately, for we wanted to do nothing to make it fail. If it has failed, as it has, the fault lies entirely with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his colleagues—[HON. MEMBERS: "NO."]— I shall seek to justify that. I shall say why and I shall analyse what has happened in Standing Committee A.
First, the arrangements made for the convenience of Members on that Committee were perfectly deplorable. Constant points of order required to be raised by members of the Committee on both sides. No language can be sufficiently strong to condemn the lack of services provided by the Services Committee.
I would call attention, further, to the seeming complete indifference of the Government to this situation. It is almost as if they wished the Bill to fail, so casual were they about the comfort, convenience and conditions for hon. Members taking part.
§ Mr. Peart
I am sorry to interrupt, but the right hon. Gentleman said that there 437 was complete indifference about the comfort of Members on that Committee. I personally sought to bring in improvements. I remind the right hon. Gentleman that the Services Committee is an all-party Committee. Immediately I knew that something was going wrong concerning Members' comfort I took action.
§ Mr. du Cann
There are two points here. The first is that—[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."]—If the Leader of the House says that he took action, I accept what he says. I express gratitude to him for any action that he took. What I have been arguing is that there was a total lack of forethought. In so far as the inconvenience continued, despite the efforts of the Leader of the House, it shows clearly how absurd it was to send the Bill to the Committee.
The Leader of the House has raised the subject of time. We had the Budget a month earlier than usual and the Finance Bill was printed a month earlier. We had Second Reading only a month later and we did not begin the Committee stage until 1st May. Without going into more detail, the fact is that the Government again showed total lack of foresight in not advancing the programme for the Committee stage to make certain that the experiment would succeed. If it has not succeeded, then again the fault is theirs.
The Leader of the House referred to the amount of time taken by Divisions. We had two hours or so trotting downstairs to vote in the Chamber and going upstairs again. What could be more absurd? We had more than two hours spent in our Divisions because of the six-minute period. There were 12 hours for taking dinner and 1½ because the Chancellor so misjudged the situation that he gave us an impossible programme of Sittings in the first place, which he subsequently had to amend. Once again, the fault is entirely the Government's in not having understood what was involved.
I also have a complaint about management. I will not fault the manners of the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary or indeed, subsequent to a particular incident, the Minister of State. They treated the Committee with great courtesy throughout. On the other hand, any examination of the proceedings shows that we adjourned at night so 438 early that we missed getting business which another half hour or so would easily have got. This has been mishandled in Committee.
More serious, the Government appear to have totally misunderstood and underestimated the seriousness and importance of the Bill. It raises a larger amount of taxation than any other Finance Bill. It is very complex, as has become increasingly clear as our debates have proceeded, not least, for instance, in the debates on Clause 15. There are other matters too—these great changes in Purchase Tax, which make the introduction of a general sales tax much more difficult, the intolerably high rate of direct taxation, the evil tax which is S.E.T., which we shall surely repeal, and the sooner the better.
Last in this little catalogue, and by no means least, there is what my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) called the breadwinner and the thalidomide cases, when the family is deprived either of the breadwinner's help or of income under this ungenerous Government.
This is an important Bill requiring careful consideration, and exactitude.
There are wider points still. I understand that the Lord President wanted to relieve the House of the tedium of technicalities. Let me assure him and the Government, who appear so casual about the interests of our fellow citizens, that we on this side, and I dare say many hon. Members opposite, would much prefer to look with care at what the Government are doing with something which so substantially affects our daily life.
The Lord President said that we were to have more time for debating serious issues in the Chamber. Yet, by God, we have had only one day for the Prices and Incomes Bill—a shocking thing.
There is a mistaken view held by the Government, that somehow the volume of legislation is, per se, the equivalent of competence. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Lord President had simply not thought his proposition through. There may be an argument for having debates on the Floor of the House and then perhaps delegating technical parts of a Bill to a Committee of the whole House, with authority to call evidence, maybe 439 not to comment on policy, but at any rate to give the House a memorandum of views and interests. This has not been done, but it might be a practical suggestion for the future. So I hope that some good eventually comes of this nonsense.
The Lord President is always jumping from idea to idea, never thinking them through, and anything he does brings Parliament into a substantial disrepute. It is commonplace for speakers to say that they talk more in sorrow than in anger. I certainly talk in sorrow for the stupidity of this situation for a Chancellor who apparently mistrusts his colleagues and does not believe that they will take the Bill through in time.
I and many others also speak in anger because of the possibility that there will be large parts of the Bill totally undiscussed, in anger because this House, through the Committee, will be denied the opportunity to make clear what I regret to say, with sympathy for the Parliamentary draftsmen and their job, is increasingly unclear drafting. Unclear law is bad law. We may have no opportunity to review and reverse, with the good will of Treasury Ministers, errors which even now we know exist in the remainder of the Bill.
We are angry that, above all, so vital a subject should be tucked away without full discussion. Why should our constituents be taxed higher than anyone has ever been, without full opportunity for the representation of their views? That is the situation. It is deplorable and intolerable. Perhaps the Chancellor, the Chief Secretary, the Leader of the House and perhaps the Lord President do not intend it, but we are watching in one way or another, and in this matter particularly, the equivalent of Government rule by decree. [An HON. MEMBER: How would the right hon. Gentleman know?] I will tell hon. Gentlemen how I know. This is a situation which we would never have countenanced.
§ Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West) rose—
§ Mr. du Cann
We would not betray the trust which people put in the elected representatives of the majority party—
§ Mr. Andrew Faulds (Smethwick)
On a point of order. I do not wish to spy 440 strangers, but when was this right hon. Gentleman last here?
§ Mr. du Cann
The hon. Gentleman deserves an answer, and I will tell him where I have been in the last week or two—upstairs in Standing Committee. I will tell him where I was before that— trying, with the encouragement of my right hon. and hon. Friends, not least that of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition—
§ Mr. du Cann
—to lay the foundations for substantial victories in the country in the local elections and the by-elections and in the years to come.
Finally, I would ask right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite: if they were to be in the situation in which we are placed tonight, would their feeling be any less strong than ours? Certainly they would be no less justified. I ask what sort of a path are we treading? I think it is an alien path, a deplorable path, and I abominate it.
§ 10.55 p.m.
§ Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
The right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann) has given us the traditional speech on a guillotine Motion debate. It could have been repeated 50 or 60 times from both sides of the House during the time that I have been in Parliament. There were the same grumbles, the same complaints, and they are all humbug because they have been repeated time and time again.
Let me take one of the charges he made—inefficiency on the Government side in Committee. Nothing could beat the inefficiency of the Opposition. Fifteen speeches were made to clarify one point, that they did not like the climate in the Committee room. If that is not a sign of inefficiency, I do not know what is. The tedious repetition that has taken place proves that the Opposition are unable to explain their points succinctly. The hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Mr. Alison) stated, quite correctly, that an approximation of 60 hours would be a reasonable time for the Finance Bill. This may not be accurate—
§ Mr. Alison
Is the right hon. Gentleman muddling me up with the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins), who said 60 hours?
§ Mr. Woodburn
At any rate, it was a very sensible observation. It may be that 60, 70 or 50 is the right answer, but the point is that nobody tried to find out what was the right answer. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) refused to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discuss how many hours were required. He wished to frustrate the idea of the House in sending the Bill to the Standing Committee. The whole basis of the opposition in the Committee has been to frustrate the idea of the Finance Bill being sent upstairs, and also to conduct a vendetta against the Leader of the House. I was a member of the Select Committee which discussed that matter and to some extent the responsibility lies with him. The right hon. Gentleman also evidently thinks it is a wonderful thing for us to spend 150 hours, night and day, sitting here wasting time—
§ Mr. Woodburn
We have heard that incessantly. The hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) is in hospital. If anybody thinks that that is a sensible way of conducting business—
§ Mr. Iain Macleod (Enfield, West)
The right hon. Gentleman ought not to say things like that about a respected hon. Member of the House. He knows perfectly well that the hon. Member had an internal operation for something that could have happened to anyone, and that was not linked in any conceivable way with the proceedings upstairs. He ought to withdraw the really disgraceful implication.
§ Mr. Woodburn
If an hon. Member has an operation—[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw"]—he ought not to be subjected to the strain of sitting in that Committee and having to take an active part in it for an undue length of time. On the first day, that Committee sat for 8½ hours—
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
I have made it perfectly clear that there was nothing wrong with my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), who had an operation that night. He is now in Gordon Hospital, and I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will be glad to know that he is getting on well. As my 442 hon. Friend himself has said, it is not connected in any way with the Finance Bill. The right hon. Gentleman must not go on with his quite disgraceful imputation.
There is no question —[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] There is a danger to people's health if they are not allowed normal hours of work. If people subject themselves to strain, they run the risk of damaging their health. It is not right to ask hon. Members to undergo the sort of strain that the right hon. Gentleman suggests. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] The House of Commons came to the conclusion that it was ridiculous to carry on our business in this way, sitting up night after night considering the Finance Bill. The Select Committee discovered that, no matter how often we sat on, the net result, with this campaign of sabotage and filibustering, was that we got one extra day on the Finance Bill timetable.
The Government do not decide the timetable. What decides it is the fact that there are only so many days in the year, and so many days before the Bill must go to another place. That settles the timetable, and therefore it is only sensible to arrange a reasonable number of days within that time.
While the Select Committee made no firm recommendation, it favoured the idea of the House coming to a voluntary arrangement to fix a timetable so that the Bill could be discussed properly. The right hon. Gentleman says that he wants to discuss it all carefully, but one could discuss a Bill of this sort till the cows come home.
There has been sabotage to frustrate this experiment. Last year, a voluntary timetable could not be satisfactorily arranged. This year, the Bill has been sent upstairs. But, even upstairs, we ought to be sensible. A sort of ritual has grown up about the Finance Bill, and, when I say that, I do not blame any one side. Everyone seems to think that we must sit up all night. But no business concern conducts its affairs like that. The House of Commons is composed of seemingly intelligent people. Why should we carry on this ritual of sitting up all night, delivering speeches about nothing at all? The hon. Member for Ormskirk may not have been affected, but everyone 443 else was bored to tears listening to the repetition, with 15 speeches to make one small point.
§ Sir Knox Cunningham
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Could we have a timetable for this speech?
§ Mr. Woodburn
One of the matters about which we were asked to bleed our hearts was the little boy who came from Greece without a penny. He made a million pounds in this country and, because of taxation, he feels that he must leave. Are we to bleed our hearts because he will not pay his share of taxation, and wants someone else to pay for the country's defence and all the other matters that go with it? That is the sort of speech to which we were treated—just a lot of rubbish. Nobody could put any sense to them at all. I do not doubt that the hon. and learned Member for Antrim, North (Sir Knox Cunningham) would have enjoyed himself in that atmosphere, but it had nothing to do with the business of the House, and I hope that we shall not continue in that way.
The Select Committee recommended three possible ways of proceeding. We thought that the best way was for an agreement to be come to to keep the Bill on the Floor of the House. That proved impossible. It was decided to send the Bill to a Standing Committee, in the hope that a voluntary arrangement would be come to for a time table. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Enfield, West was determined to frustrate that, he was determined to make it unworkable. The Government have, therefore, been obliged to propose a compulsory timetable. But even now, when the timetable is settled, it does not mean that sufficient time will not be granted to debate the Bill. The available time will be made available. It is for the two Front Benches to make sure that the time is used in the most sensible possible way. If anybody can suggest a more sensible alternative to that, I shall be prepared to support it.
The Opposition have themselves paid tribute to the courtesy and efficiency of my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary in the way he has replied to the points which they have raised. Where the Bill has been discussed properly, it has been discussed in a very responsible way. But 444I am ashamed of the personal abuse and vituperation which has been directed in the Committee at the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who did nothing whatever to deserve it. If we are to be honourable Gentlemen, we ought to conduct ourselves as gentlemen.
§ 11.8 p.m.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
(Kingston-upon-Thames): The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) added little to the debate, apart from a reference to my right hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) which I personally very much resented. The reason for the right hon. Gentleman's failure was that he did not appear to understand the great difference in this context between a Finance Bill and an ordinary Measure.
I wish to put the view of a Member who could not be a member of the Standing Committee and who, therefore, is particularly concerned that there shall be proper opportunity for him to put his point of view on Report.
§ Mr. English rose—
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Not at this stage. I want the opportunity to debate the Bill adequately on Report. The House was given a clear impression by the Lord President of the Council when this procedure was introduced last autumn that there would be such full opportunity. I find the Motion difficult to reconcile with the speech of the Lord President on 6th December last, when this very point about back-benchers' opportunities was raised. The right hon. Gentleman said that it could be dealt withif we can ensure their rights in the extended Report stage."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th December, 1967; Vol. 755, c. 1450.]It is an odd way to extend a Report stage to impose a Guillotine on it. The right hon. Gentleman also made the point that he was prepared to consider seriously a recommittal stage.
It is true that the guillotine Motion mentions the possibility of recommittal, but it leaves it entirely to the Business Committee. If the Lord President was being frank and honest with the House —if I may use the Prime Minister's favourite expression—he ought to have ensured that there was a recommittal stage, for the very good reasons which 445 we advanced during the procedure debate. He has done nothing of the sort. He has simply thrown all that to the Business Committee.
The first objection, therefore, to the Government's proposal is that it violates the understandings on which this procedure was authorised last autumn. I want to emphasise the very special nature of a Finance Bill which makes it wrong to guillotine it. I had the experience of being closely concerned with the conduct through the House of no fewer than five Finance Bills, and the Chancellors of the Exchequer with whom I was concerned, Lord Butler as he now is, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Barnet (Mr. Maudling), would have regarded it as an abject confession of personal failure if they had had to ask their colleagues to introduce a guillotine Motion. We regarded it as our duty to get the Bill through by attempting to give reasonable answers to reasonable arguments, by reasonable courtesy to opponents, and by the occasional well-judged concession. In those circumstances not only did we get the Bills through, but if the right hon. Gentleman searches the records he will see that even a closure Motion was rare.
Why is it that all Governments, for very nearly 40 years, though they have guillotined other Measures have refrained from guillotining the Finance Bill? The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House missed the whole point when he referred to my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) as having guillotined a number of Measures when he was Leader of the House. They were ordinary Measures. The fact against the right hon. Gentleman is that since the unhappy year 1931 this has never been done to a Finance Bill. There must be some special reasons related to a Finance Bill which make this procedure particularly inappropriate to it, and I want to suggest one or two of them.
There is, first, the underlying knowledge in everybody's mind, in the mind of all Oppositions, that this Bill, modified in some form, has to be through in time to fit in with the Gibson Bowles timetable. The corollary to that is that if the Government introduce a controversial Finance Bill they should be prepared to give up a great deal of time to secure its proper discussion. If the Government 446 know that because the whole revenue of the country depends on it the Opposition will ultimately let the Bill through, they must, for their part, if they are to play fair with the Opposition, be prepared, if they introduce a controversial Finance Bill, to sacrifice other parts of their legislative programme to give adequate time for the Bill to be discussed.
There is a further point of great importance which has not been mentioned. A Finance Bill, which deals with taxation for the year, affects every constituency, and virtually every citizen in them. I have worked out that the only type of person who will not be affected by the Finance Bill is a bachelor who, since the Chancellor of the Exchequer left the Home Office, is serving a long sentence in one of Her Majesty's prisons, who neither washes, shaves, smokes, nor drinks. Everybody else is affected.
Apart from that rather rare type of animal, whom some of us may represent in limited numbers, we are all concerned to represent individual constituents who are affected by taxation proposals in any year, and, of course, a fortiori in a year when we are having the biggest increase in taxation ever imposed in any Finance Bill in time of peace. It therefore surely follows that, even if we are not specialists in these matters, we should have considerable freedom to put individual points affecting our constituencies and constituents during the formative stages of the Finance Bill when it can be amended.
The overwhelming majority of us have been denied that chance during the Committee stage, for reasons which I should be out of order if I opened, but it leads to the conclusion that a very full, free, un-guillotined Report stage is essential. Not even the Tudor or Stuart Parliaments would have allowed the Executive to deny them the opportunity of full and free discussion before they voted the taxes, yet that is precisely what the right hon. Gentleman is doing.
What is to happen if, as on the Transport Bill, a large number of new Government Amendments altering the Bill are introduced? The Business Committee has been asked to report by Thursday. The Government make a habit of introducing further new Clauses which cannot be discussed at all at any effective stage. Can the Chancellor of the Exchequer give 447 an assurance that there are no Government Amendments of that character in contemplation? Can he tell us this? Otherwise we are being asked to create a situation in which quite important changes in the taxation of the year may simply go through with no more debate than is possible on Third Reading. Numbers of Clauses undoubtedly will not be discussed on Report.
Then there is the further very important point which accounts for the fact that Governments have not in general guillotined Finance Bills. It is this. Another place can do nothing about this Bill. If Mr. Speaker certifies that it is a money Bill, constitutionally they can do nothing about this Bill. Even if Mr. Speaker does not so certify, in practice they do nothing about the Bill.
Therefore, even if we persuade the Government that something is wrong and that they should put it right, even the Government cannot put it right after the Report stage. It is precisely at that stage where, if we guillotine the Bill, there may be a considerable number of Clauses not discussed at all. We must therefore face the possibility that the Government's action may mean that points which the Government would have been anxious to correct will not be corrected because it will not be possible to raise them at a stage when the Bill can be amended, and it will be useless to raise them on Third Reading because the Government will be as powerless as we ourselves to put them right.
Those are some reasons why Finance Bills have not been guillotined—because we cannot use another place; because every constituent in the country is concerned; because we go back to something basic in the rights of Parliament and of hon. Members, before voting the taxes, to question them, to seek to amend them and debate them on behalf of their constituents.
The Leader of the House did not appear to understand this at all. He appeared to treat this as a routine guillotine Motion. He did not appear to understand that his predecessors—men no less intelligent than himself, and perhaps some even a little more intelligent— have not moved this Motion for what seem to me to be very good and sufficient 448 reasons which I have been putting to the House.
It is quite plain that the real explanation is this. It lies in the failure of Treasury Ministers and of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The reason we have a guillotine Motion tonight is that the Chancellor has shown himself as incapable in managing the House of Commons as he has shown himself in managing the economy.
§ 11.17 p.m.
§ Mr. Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield)
I am not going to enter the competition in extravagant language that these debates always seem to generate. As Chairman of the Committee on Procedure, I try to stay out of these arguments. I merely say in passing—and I say it in all frankness to the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter)—that this synthetic indignation does not move me at all.
One fact that I have to take into account in making a speech like this is that on 6th December, as reported in column 1460 of the OFFICIAL REPORT, which is engraved in my memory, the right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) said that this Finance Bill would clearly take place under a Guillotine. He intended to have a Guillotine because of the indignation of hon. Members opposite—I am not blaming them— at the sending of the Bill upstairs. Therefore, they intended to provoke a Guillotine. The right hon. Member for Enfield, West said that quite clearly, as will be seen in column 1460. Therefore, if we have a situation where a Guillotine was clearly on the cards, there is no point in all this synthetic indignation.
What we ought to be looking at are the lessons that we might draw from what is happening now about the future of Finance Bills. Let us stop all this huffing and puffing from both sides of the House about what we know is a situation that could have been foretold last December. When the Select Committee looked at this, as has been said, we looked at three or four possible ways of handling the Finance Bill.
The first way—and I want to say this quite frankly to the Government because I think they have been fairly stupid in the way in which this experiment is being done—was that we looked carefully at the possibility of sending the Finance 449 Bill upstairs. The Committee was not committed to it; we made it clear that some members of the Committee favoured it and others did not. But at least when we did look at sending it upstairs we said carefully in measured language and in detail how it should be done; and what the Government have not done is to do it properly.
The first thing one must do with any Finance Bill which has got to go upstairs is to realise, for reasons which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames mentioned, that one has got to have it back by a certain date because it must become law by 5th August, or whatever the date is. This is part of our taxation law.
Therefore the Committee said that if one is going to send it upstairs then one must add to the committal Motion sending it upstairs another Motion saying that it must be back by a certain date. This is the way to do it. The Committee further went on to say that there is no great difficulty about all this for the reason mentioned by the Leader of the House; because again when all the huffing and puffing is done we always take roughly the same number of hours on these Bills if you add it up. The Select Committee looked at this and in paragraph 3 of its Fourth Report saidIn the normal way the Committee stage of the Bill has consisted of 8 or 9 days …in the full House. Then it says, in paragraph 8, that if it went upstairsa Standing Committee sitting six hours a day for 3 days a week could be expected to complete the Bill in 4 weeks.This is what the lessons of history, year after year, have proved. There is nothing novel in this conclusion—we simply looked at the facts. Let us, if you wish, make it five weeks because it is a difficult Bill; it still is not difficult to say, "Right, as sensible people making all allowances for it being the most difficult Bill in the world, we could clearly have it back by 15th June." If we had all been sensible people we would have added to the Motion committing the Bill upstairs a Motion that it should come back here by the date which is the last possible date under our taxation laws, which might be 15th June or 20th June.
§ Mr. John M. Temple (City of Chester)
The hon. Gentleman is rightly acknow- 450 ledged as an expert on procedure, being Chairman of the Committee. Can he say why, when the Finance Bill of 1966 started its Committee stage on 15th or 16th June, and got through its Committee stage after that, it was necessary for this Committee stage to be completed by 15th June?
§ Mr. Chapman
If the hon. Member would do me the courtesy of listening to what I am saying, I said at what is a sensible date, and whether it is 15th or 20th June does not matter. It is possible, if one looks at the lessons of history, to sit down sensibly and agree that there is a reasonable date by which this Bill should come back, and that is what the Committee said.
But this the Government did not do. They had the warning of the right hon. Member for Enfield, West that the Opposition was going to provoke the Guillotine, but they sent it upstairs without a terminal date. Now we have the stupid situation of the wasting of time in the Committee, and this stupid debate tonight.
So the first blame is on the Government; but the second blame is on the right hon. Member for Enfield, West, because not only did he set out to work for the Guillotine but he refused the compromise situation proposed by the Committee that the Bill should be left on the floor of the House but that an attempt should be made to reach a voluntary timetable.
The right hon. Member said, "I refuse to have these talks. I refuse to have any discussions with the Chancellor. I refuse." It was all "I, I, I" all the way through, "I refuse to do this, I the shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer." The right hon. Gentleman has a duty to the other Members of this House. Here was a compromise solution, reached unanimously by the Select Committee. It was not just to avoid late nights. He cannot get up in a white sheet and say, "My personal agreements saved us late nights. I managed to keep control of my forces." There was another reason why we were anxious to take these debates in a reasonable manner.
If we have a timetable of some kind, we at least begin to have an interchange between the two sides. If there is none, 451 all the Government supporters have to sit quietly because they are blamed otherwise for keeping the House up late. Every year, the Government benches have to be empty and the Opposition complain about hon. Members on this side not being present. But they cannot be present because there is no agreement, so they feel that they will only keep their own colleagues late at night by speaking.
The biggest reason for getting an agreement for the more advantageous use of Parliamentary time is as much to get good debate as to avoid late nights. The right hon. Gentleman should have stood against his colleagues at the time and said, "There is sense in what the Select Committee says. We should, as sensible human beings, faced with the lessons of 15 years of Finance Bills, analysed in its Report, be able to reach some agreement by which we can avoid late nights and have reasonable debates." But he refused to do that because of his own personal decision, which I deplore.
What can we salvage out of this wreckage of procedure? I appeal again to the right hon. Gentleman. There is a way of solving our dilemma. It comes out of an idea which has been fathered mainly by the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd). He has consistently said—and I have a great deal of sympathy with him on this —that the right way to handle the Bill is to send upstairs the technical Clauses, so to speak, and keep the contentious Clauses on the Floor of the House.
Successive Chancellors had said that this is impossible, that we could not divide the Bill so easily and that the progress in Committee would be hindered if the Committee had to jump over Clauses and Amendments. I realise this difficulty but the basis of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's solution can yet be achieved.
Clearly, the Government will not abandon their basic idea of sending the Bill upstairs. We should, therefore, now fasten on the point mentioned by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames—the idea that we should have a recommittal stage, which was accepted by the Lord President of the Council in 452 December, and that, as sensible human beings, we should say, "When we go into Committee, let us debate certain Clauses upstairs and then, on reccommital, debate on the Floor of the House those Clauses dealing with Income Tax, the S.E.T. and other important taxes which are highly contentious."
That is a sensible way to run our affairs. It can emerge from the idea of sending the Bill upstairs, from which the Government cannot depart and from the Government's commitment to having a recommittal stage of two days at least before we have an extended Report stage. If we now begin work on such a package deal we shall, out of this procedural wreck, get a sensible way of dealing with the Bill. I hope that all hon. Members who care not only for party conflict but for our procedure and the way we look to people outside when we have such stupid debates as this, will join me in pressing this idea on the Government.
§ 11.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)
I agree with almost everything which the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Donald Chapman) has just said, but there seem to me to be certain factors which are self-evident. First of all, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) are not in a working relationship and, consequently, there has not been any voluntary agreement. I do not know who was responsible for the breakdown but, whoever it was, they have collectively put the rest of the House to relative inconvenience at this late hour.
One could then ask why, for the first time in 30 years or thereabouts it has not been possible to obtain some voluntary agreement. Whichever hon. Member is to blame has certainly not the gratitude of the House. The second point is that this is a back-door method of obtaining a guillotine procedure on all stages of a Finance Bill and, thirdly, as the right hon. and learned Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. J. Boyd-Carpenter) has said, this is the first time we have had such procedure since 1931. Fourthly, and perhaps most important, this is in respect of a Bill which aims at raising some extra £900 million in taxation.
453 In the long history of Parliament, there are some factors which the whole House will accept—and the Chancellor with his knowledge of constitutional history will appreciate one of them. It is, first, that the executive, whether it be the Crown or, in more recent days, the Cabinet and the Government, has always sought to resist the pressure of the legislature and has successfully done this over the years. It has also arrogated to itself greater and greater powers, to the detriment of the legislature, at Question Time and in other procedures, so that the back bench Member of this House has less and less power and less and less control.
The second factor which, to me, is self-evident, is that the power of the legislature is a limited one. It is, as we all know, the power to withhold grant of money unless accompanied by redress of grievances and this was the whole basis of the dispute between the Crown and the Government. The Crown, by resorting to the prerogative, sought to raise money without reference to Parliament, and it is, therefore, a very grave departure that the money voted, and the money-raising processes of this House should be subject to a guillotine procedure. Yet, in my respectful opinion, it becomes even more grave when looked at in parallel with some of the other activities of this Government this very week in relation to the legislature.
The events of this afternoon brought great and sincere protest from many of the Chancellor's own hon. Friends who felt that so vital a Bill as the Prices and Incomes Bill should have had more than a mere one day allotted for debate. The right hon. Gentleman knows that there are Motions on the Order Paper deploring the fact that there are to be new Clauses and Amendments moved to the Transport Bill, because these have been tabled in the knowledge that practically no time will be available for hon. Members to read and consider them. I must not stray outside the rules of order, but I have heard it rumoured that three mornings and three nights next week are to be allotted for debating this Bill; another most controversial Measure. That is some indication of the way in which this Government is treating the House. To act in this way in the case of some ordinary Bill is bad enough, but to do it with a Bill vitally affecting so many 454 people through National Insurance, Selective Employment Tax, and the dollar-earning industries, and when it is a most complicated and comprehensive Bill flowing from a much-heralded Budget, then it is surely of the essence that there should be adequate Parliamentary time to discuss it.
The House is entitled to know why, for the first time for nearly 40 years, it was not possible for the two right hon. Gentlemen who were leading for the Government and the official Opposition to reach a voluntary agreement. It is regrettable that an agreement could not be reached because it would have made for good debate, with adequate time being allowed for matters which hon. Members feel are of importance. That is far preferable to the arbitrary falling of the Guillotine on debate.
I do not speak as one who was opposed root and branch to the Finance Bill being taken in Committee upstairs. My hon. Friends and I said that we felt that, just as the Government moved an Amend-to the effect that any Minister could attend the Finance Bill discussions without the right to vote or move Amendments or being treated as part of a quorum, but would have the right to make a contribution, so there should be the right of substitution for members of the Committee.
Had that occurred it would have been possible for, for example, a representative from Northern Ireland to be represented. No such representative is at present on the Committee. Also, it would have been possible for a substitution to be made for my party. Only one Liberal hon. Member is on the Committee and he bears the full weight of responsibility for my party. Had this been possible we could have had a more civilised arrangement and hon. Members with expert knowledge of specific points could have made contributions to the Committee. In the event, the Government were not prepared to meet that suggestion and my hon. Friends and I divided against that Amendment.
The House is entitled to the fullest explanation why no voluntary agreement has been reached on this occasion. I cannot believe that it is simply because the right hon. Member for Enfield, West is against the idea of committing the Bill upstairs. Such a reason would be to the 455 disservice of the House and the right hon. Gentleman, if that were the reason, would be indulging in an act of sabotage on an experiment to which the House had agreed; but no doubt he will have an opportunity to make his position clear, and likewise the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
It is a grave departure and innovation that one of the, if not the, most important Bills of the year—a Measure granting the major money needed for running the country; a constituential process which is pre-eminently subject to the control of this House—should now not only be truncated by being sent upstairs but be subject to the guillotine procedure as well.
§ 11.39 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West)
This debate is a farce, not least because of the silent right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd) who was not seated on the front bench below the Gangway, where he is now seated, but on the Opposition Front Bench in the debate on procedure referred to by my right hon. Friend which is the ultimate cause of this event tonight. At that time the right hon. and learned Gentleman was the shadow Leader of the House and was acting in that capacity.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is, I believe, a totally honest man and said what he really thought in that debate. He accepted the Business Committee idea which tonight some of his hon. Friends, although not he, are describing as a strange animal. The right hon. Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann), for example, who manages to spend his time organising elections—[Interruption]— successfully — said that his party would not countenance the action which has been taken by Her Majesty's Government. I would remind him that his party accepted the idea of a Business Committee to timetable legislation, without opposition, at the time of the procedure debate to which I referred.
§ Mr. du Cann rose—
§ Mr. English
The right hon. Member would not give way to me; I do not see why I should give way to him. I tried five times to intervene during his speech. The right hon. Member said 456 that his party would not countenance the sort of action that has been taken by my party tonight, but it is exactly the principle that the Opposition accepted in the debate on procedure. Hon. Members opposite cannot now say, "We accepted it then in principle, but we did not realise what it might mean". They might say that because I suppose anything is possible for this Opposition to say, but then in that case it is clearly opposition for the sake of opposition.
This is a great pity because there are good reasons why this Motion could be constructively opposed instead of being opposed for the sake of opposition. There is a great deal to be said for the principle that the procedure on Standing Committees should be reformed and improved. Yet not one hon. Member opposite has yet said that. Not one has put forward constructive proposals for improving Committee stages of Bills, yet few hon. Members believe that our Committee procedure on Bills is ideal. Whatever reputation this House may have abroad as a legislature, it is not gained by Committee stages of Bills.
Many hon. Members said that by sending the Finance Bill to a Standing Committee we would cut off the right of individual back-benchers to make speeches on it, but we have gone further than that. It is now possible for a Bill to be passed in this Parliament without ever being debated on the Floor of the House. It can have a Second Reading in a Second Reading Committee, then go through Committee stage in a Standing Committee and a Report stage and even a Third Reading off the Floor of the House under current procedure. This is the first time in history that this House can completely rubber-stamp a Bill without debating it.
It would be much more reasonable if we went back to the old procedure as I suggested in the procedure debate and said that during the Committee stage any individual back-benchers, although not a member of the Committee, could attend the Committee and move an Amendment. The Lord President of the Council accepted that suggestion of mine provided that it was also accepted by the Opposition. The Opposition, in the person of the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral, refused it. Therefore, any hon. Member of the Opposition who says that he is precluded as a back-bencher from 457 speaking on the Finance Bill in Committee has no one but his own Front Bench to blame. It is stupid, farcical, and even hypocritical for hon. Members opposite to say, "We have been precluded from speaking on this Finance Bill because it is in Committee upstairs". The preclusion was by the Opposition Front Bench and not by the Government Front Bench.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)
Does not the hon. Gentleman appreciate that the burden of complaint that many of us have as back-benchers is not that we are prevented from speaking on the Finance Bill but that our colleagues on whom we had relied to put our case and to make our arguments are precluded from doing so? That is what we resent.
§ Mr. English
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point. However, it is not the same one that he made at Question Time the other day, which I am answering, that back-benchers could not go to the Committee and make the points themselves. [Interruption.] I may have misunderstood him. I entirely understand that all Oppositions think that time is short. But the idea of the Business Committee, of timetabling all Bills—not only Finance Bills—was accepted by the Opposition.
Another right hon. Gentleman opposite —the right hon. Gentleman for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter)— said that the Finance Bill is different from all other Bills. He produced the original, interesting and humorous theory that only a prisoner who did not wash, shave or do various other things would be unaffected by the Finance Bill we are passing. Would he explain to me who is unaffected by the Prices and Incomes Bill, to which we have just given a Second Reading? One cannot these days single out Finance Bills for praise or blame on the ground that they affect all members of the community. If the Prices and Incomes Bill does not affect all members of the community, I would dearly love to know what other Bill does.
This, like all guillotine Motions, has elements of farce and hypocrisy. All Governments like them, and all Oppositions dislike them. It is fortunate that under this procedure, instead of spend- 458 ing a day discussing how long we shall discuss something, on this occasion we are spending only two hours doing so.
§ 11.48 p.m.
§ Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)
I pass from the speech of the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English) simply with the query as to why it was ever made, to the very eloquent speech by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman), the Chairman of the Select Committee on Procedure. While he was making that very impressive speech I felt deep regret that he is not a member of the Standing Committee—but I do not wish to be cruel to him. I even more passionately regretted that he was not Leader of the House when all these decisions were made. There might then have been a chance of us all being sensible people, as he said. But he will realise that it is very difficult for Oppositions to be sensible when they have the big stick waved at them, when decisions are taken and they are just told to get on with it and like it. That was the conduct of the Lord President of the Council.
The hon. Gentleman must not think that this was entirely a unanimous recommendation. He should read the statement of opinion by my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) in quite clear language, with which I agree. The hon. Gentleman must accept blame because with a recommendation that was not absolutely crystal-clear and had some qualifications he was offering the then Leader of the House, the Patronage Secretary and the Treasury a perfect excuse for getting rid of the Finance Bill upstairs no matter what. That is exactly what they did.
I entirely agree with, and do not wish to repeat, all the arguments used by my right hon. Friend the Member for Taunton (Mr. du Cann). Everything he said was right and fair. However, I wish to make a few comments on what the Leader of the House said. He commanded my entire sympathy, and I feel that of some of my hon. Friends, when he said that he would not retread the whole of the path which had led the Government to their present position. Nobody would wish to see the right hon. Gentleman treading the corkscrew path indefinitely. We sympathise with him in 459 this decision. But then he said that the House could have expected this decision. Of course it could. We always expected it because we knew very well that when the Government sent the Bill upstairs they were following their usual procedure, which is always to announce half of a decision, half of a policy, at a time. They said, "We will send it upstairs" and failed to follow it up, saying that it must come back at a certain time. But that decision was bound to come.
For the Leader of the House to move a Motion of this kind without making a single reference to the fact that the Motion was concerned with a Bill imposing an extra tax burden of over £900 million a year was frivolous in the extreme. I did not get any joy—I will not dwell on this point because the right hon. Gentleman is not here—from the rather oily smile on the face of the Patronage Secretary during most of the proceedings.
I am confounded by the totally inadequate grounds for the Motion. Governments, when they wish to impose such a Motion on the House, usually manage to find some sort of presentable grounds, but I suppose that one can at least say this for the right hon. Gentleman, that he was honest enough not to distort his case too much. He preferred it to be revealed in its full poverty. I still feel that neither he nor any of his colleagues has understood the deep distaste, not to say disgust, which we on this side of the House feel for this fascinating little experiment imposed on us against our will and without anything in the nature of consultation or consent.
It is fair to mention the conditions to which the Standing Committee was subjected. Not only did it consist of an exile, both of men and of a Measure, from the centre of Parliament, but we were sent to a grubby, stuffy, crowded Committee room so remote from the centre of operations that a six-minute interval was considered necessary to get people back there to take part in a Division.
Let us consider—I do not want to be too hostile about this—the personalities which have been involved. Nobody would challenge the urbanity of the Chief Secretary. Brevity has crept into his character for the first time. My hon. Friend the Member for the Cities of 460 London and Westminster (Mr. John Smith) electrified the Committee by the sudden announcement that the Chief Secretary was a "dear fellow". I do not think that the rest of the House has had the opportunity of sharing this information yet. But the Committee enjoyed it enormously, and we are indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for having done his best with a filthy job. He gets all the sticky roles thrust upon him. Defending the indefensible is something he now does with an art and skill which can only come of great intellectual ability and hard practice.
The Minister of State is a mixture of absence and presence. Nobody knows whether he is there or not. When he is, one wonders why.
Lastly, there is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I feel sorry for him. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Having made the mistake of producing a dreadful Bill with some onerous things in it, he has put himself on a difficult wicket, and then he has to carry the burden of the errors of his saintly right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council, who, unhappily, is not on that Standing Committee.
It is fair to mention one other personality, the hon. Member for Birmingham, All Saints (Mr. Walden). During the Committee stage he made a remarkable speech. I very much hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has had it framed both for his own consumption and that of his right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity.
I do not want to prolong my speech. I say to the Chancellor and to the Leader of the House, and to their absent right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, that we think that the handling of the Finance Bill is part of a pattern of chaos in which they are taking the risk of ruining Parliament, which is far more important and valuable than any Government ever has been or ever will be.
What are their intentions concerning Parliament? What do they think they are doing to it? To what mess or to what awful depth of muddle have they now reduced the business of Parliament?
My last question—[Interruption.]—this is typical of the reactions that we get upstairs from time to time when the 461 veil of silence is finally torn away. The Government, with their policies and the muddle into which their half decisions have got them, are doing something to Parliament and to the country which represents harm beyond repair, and far greater in extent than any transient and small importance that those occupying the Treasury Bench may from time to time think that they possess.
§ 11.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod (Enfield, West)
I intend to speak for only 10 minutes. I apologise for rising now, but the Chancellor apparently requires 20 minutes.
The former leader of the Liberal Party in his constituency last weekend, when discussing the general state of chaos of Government business, referring particularly to the guillotining of the Transport Bill, and now of the Finance Bill, said: "This is not Fascism. It is sheer incompetence."
I have no doubt that that is exactly the right verdict, but I think one should add that it is possible that the sheer weight of Government muddle begins to give unhappy strength to those voices, which both sides of the House despise, which call into question from time to time Parliamentary democracy.
We can be fairly well agreed and fairly brief on matters which we are not discussing. We are not discussing whether the Government have a right to have a Guillotine for their business from time to time. Of course they have. We are not discussing, I think, the particular details of the discussions in Committee. What I regard as the key matter is that which I put to the present Leader of the House last Thursday, that, with the single and lamentable exception of 1931, all Chancellors, of all three parties, succeeded in getting their Finance Bills through without a Guillotine. This is the main point which is before the House. Every excuse in relation to the time which we had been given is false and I wish to show this from the records of the three Finance Bills, in 1965, 1966 and 1967, for which the Government, in the person of the present Home Secretary, have been responsible.
It is true that the Bill has to obtain the Royal Assent by 5th August. It is not true to go on and say, as was said at the beginning of Committee stage, 462 that the Bill must be in another place by 5th July. In 1965, the Third Reading in this House was on 15th July. In 1966 it was on 28th July, still in this House. In two of the three years, the date of 5th July meant nothing to the former Chancellor, and this was quite right.
The next point is that we were told that the Bill had to be out of Committee by Whitsun. I have all the dates for the Whitsun Recess and Committee stages, and in not a single case, in 1965, 1966 or 1967, was the Bill out of Committee before the Whitsun Recess. In one case it was not started in Committee until after the Recess. There is, therefore, no point whatever to be made about the Recess.
There is the question of whether there should be an arrangement at all. With respect to the Leader of the Liberal Party, with most of whose speech I agreed, I thought that he and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman) were both wrong. The right hon. Gentleman said that there had been agreements every year since 1931. The hon. Member for Birmingham, North-field took a contrary view, and said that there was not an agreement last year. There was such an agreement. I said, as soon as the Bill was announced, that there would be no difficulty about getting agreement. I spelled it out, and if the House consults the debates in December it will find that not only were tributes paid about the extent of the agreement but that there was no secret that such an agreement had been made.
If we take these three years: in 1965, 165 hours were spent when there was virtually no agreement; in 1966, there were nearly 100 hours—99½—with a sort of understanding; and in 1967 there was an agreement which got the Bill through in a reasonable time. The position is that the length of time taken naturally varies. It is the hours which matter. With respect to the Leader of the House it is naive to take the years 1951 to 1964 and stop the comparison there, because they were not years of heavy increases in taxation or enormous innovation.
These are the two points which matter. It is not possible to equate the time necessary for a Bill which this year raises £923 million in a full year, with one which, last year, was planned to raise £500 million in a full year. The truth is that 463 in the three years, 1965–67, with no agreement, partial agreement and full agreement, in every case the then Chancellor got his Bill, just as every Chancellor of all three parties before has done for 50 years, with the exception of the Motion moved by Ramsay Macdonald in 1931. The reason is that there is a price to be paid if one introduces a Finance Bill with heavy taxation, or a good deal of innovation, or, as in this case, with both.
The price is either late sittings or the dropping of small minor items in the rigid programme. This Government have refused to have a reasonable number of late sittings, and have gone on adding to their minor programme. I appeal on this matter, not to the Chancellor, but to the Business Committee, which consists of senior, respected Members of the House. Wherever possible it seeks to meet the wishes of the Opposition. Frequently, in anger, the Business Committee is boycotted by one side or another.
We have no intention of doing this if the Motion is passed. We will nominate two of our most senior and experienced Members of the Committee to represent us. The appeal I make to the Committee has to do with the fact that we were given the date of 13th June. We bitterly resent it, because it is far earlier than in any of the other years, and is quite unnecessary. There is no need to link it with the Whitsun Recess, or 5th July. Could there at least be no sub-division into Clauses and subsections? If the final date is a terminal date, let us leave it at that. Would the Business Committee set up a number of days? On this side we would like the maximum possible number for discussion in the time which is left. We believe that some of the hours should be very long.
I make one point in response to my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter). Even to suggest guillotining the recommittal of the Report stage is a breach of the memorandum of the Chief Secretary which said that a corollary of a Guillotine in Standing Committee would be that there should be no such restriction on Report. It is very sad to see that this has been broken on this occasion. I will conclude now because the Chancellor wants a considerable 464 amount of time—[Interruption.] I have had a message from him to this effect. I do not doubt that we will come to debate the attitude of the Government, including the Chancellor, the Leader of the House and the Lord President, because of the chaos which Parliamentary business is in.
When we do so, it will be at a time of our choosing, and as the main business of the day. There is no doubt that Government business is in chaos and is getting worse. If the Business Committee operates along the lines along which I have appealed to it to operate it may make some marginal improvement. Nothing can save for long a Government who have shown themselves at every stage weak, incompetent and contemptuous of the rights of debate and of the minority in the House.
§ 12.10 a.m.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Roy Jenkins)
The right hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod) was in somewhat more moderate form tonight than he was last night. I welcome the change, and I will endeavour to reply to some of the specific points which he put.
He began by saying that there was nothing against a guillotine Motion as such, and that is indeed well, because there is no doubt that he, as Leader of the House, had a most remarkable record as a guillotiner. He is the only Leader of the House in history who has ever on two separate occasions guillotined two Bills in one day and within six weeks of each other—[Interruption.]—
§ Mr. Jenkins
The London Government Bill, a Bill not without importance, he guillotined without even waiting to see how it got on in Committee.
The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), who made a cogent speech, as he always does, argued a special case for Finance Bills. It is the case that a Government ought to proceed with particular care in putting a timetable Motion on a Finance Bill. I admit that freely, but it is also of the nature of Finance Bills that they are of such central importance to the legislative programme of a Government that they 465 must also be peculiarly careful that they can get the Bill through if they are to carry on It is my own view that all Governments should use timetable Motions sparingly, and I think they mostly do. The Labour Party has, in fact, been most sparing in this respect.
I am bound to say to the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) that the Liberal Party has been the most extravagant. It used it 32 times in the years up to 1914, but this was because it was confronted with a Tory Opposition in the sort of mood that Tories are in when they have lost two consecutive General Elections. The Labour Party has used it only three times between 1945 and 1951, and only twice since 1964 until now, compared with 15 occasions on which it was used between 1951 and 1964.
When should such a Motion be used? The broad answer is when the Government need it to get their business through, but the most clear-cut definition that I can find, going into a little more detail, was given by Lord Butler in 1961. He said:Before introducing a timetable Motion, a Government have to be satisfied about three things; first, that it is not possible to get the business done by agreement, secondly, that under the proposed timetable there will be adequate time for discussion and that the most efficient use is made of Parliamentary time— we attach great importance to that—and thirdly, that the use of the Guillotine is essential."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th March, 1961; Vol. 636, c. 45.]I propose briefly to test our Motion by precisely these three criteria. First, could we have got the business done by agreement? This was precisely the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party. Quite clearly not, and he will no doubt note that the right hon. Member for Enfield, West made no attempt to answer him on this point. The right hon. Gentleman made it quite clear to me that he would not meet me anywhere under any circumstances to discuss an arrangement. In one speech in the Committee, he indicated that he was frightened of being treated as a bell-hop instead of as a Privy Councillor, a form of neurosis which I have never found present in the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg).
Clearly, the first criterion was fulfilled. The business could not be done 466 by agreement, and it could not be done, I ask the leader of the Liberal Party to note, because the right hon. Gentleman would not even begin to discuss whether it could be done by agreement.
What about the second criterion? Already we have spent over 60 hours in Committee on the Bill. Under the proposed timetable, we suggest that about another 50 should be available, making a total of 110 hours and amounting to the longest but one allocation for 45 years.
The average time available since the war, not taking 1951 to 1964 but the whole period of different Governments, has been 67 hours. On nine occasions, there have been longer Bills than this one, yet only on two, both under Labour Governments, was 100 hours or more given. In addition, we propose that the time spent on subsequent stages on the Floor of the House should be several times the average of many years past. Therefore, there is no question of adequate time not being given for discussion.
How it is used is another matter. We began with 1¼ days on the sittings Motion. This period of eight hours was liberally interspersed with Opposition speeches and points of order on such vital matters as whether the windows be open or shut, whether the fans be on or off, and whether the dinner interval should be one hour or 1¼ hours. This last point brought forth eight speeches or parts of speeches from hon. Gentlemen opposite, all of them arguing for a longer interval and, therefore, for less time for debate.
I express no strong view about what is a desirable time for a dinner interval. All I would express is mild surprise that, if hon. Gentlement opposite desperately wanted more time to debate what they regard as this great affront to our financial and constitutional liberties, eight of them should, in those circumstances, have devoted quite a lot of time to arguing strenuously for a longer dinner interval. I do not think that they are quite the stuff of which village Hampdens are made.
I come last to Lord Butler's third criterion: was a timetable essential to get the Bill through in time? The answer to this, again, is quite clearly yes, and I will come precisely to the point put to 467 me by the right hon. Gentleman in a moment.
Up to the time when my right hon. Friend announced the timetable Motion in the House, we had sat for six days, including one all-night sitting, and had disposed of about a fifth of the Amendments on the Order Paper, making no allowance for those yet to be put down. We had completed 14 out of 56 Clauses, leaving aside the 50 new Clauses already down. At this rate of progress, we would have taken another 11 weeks in Committee, and let me say that we were sitting for two days a week and not three precisely because I acceded to the right hon. Gentleman's request on that point. Therefore, at this rate of progress, we would not have got the Bill out of Committee until the end of July.
If taxes are to continue to be collected, it has to be law by 5th August. That would have left us about five days, including a weekend, for recommittal, Report, Third Reading, and the 28 days for which the other place is usually entitled to have the Bill before it. The Opposition left me—they know perfectly well that this is what they were doing —with no choice between a timetable and the possibility of losing the Bill.
The right hon. Member for Enfield, West pretends that I went to the Committee determined on a guillotine Motion. He is quite wrong. If that were so, why does he think that I met him on the sittings Motion? Why does he think that we ground slowly through an all-night sitting? Why does he think I made constant endeavours to hold some discussion with him? Why did I not behave as he did in 1962 and impose a timetable before the Bill had even gone to Committee? [HON. MEMBERS: "That was not the Finance Bill."] Hon. Members must not just dismiss other important Measures such as the London Government Bill and the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill. That was the Bill which the right hon. Gentleman guillotined before it had even gone into Committee.
The truth is that it was not I but the right hon. Gentleman who was determined on a Guillotine. He made that absolutely clear on 6th December last. This has already been quoted in a powerful 468 speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Mr. Chapman), but, as the House is somewhat fuller now, I should like to quote it again. The right hon. Gentleman said:The 1968 Finance Bill will take place under a Guillotine and there is no prospect of anything else."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th December, 1967; Vol. 755, c. 1460.]Now, he tries constantly to pretend upstairs that it was in some way something which I did in Committee which forced him to that view.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
The Chancellor knows perfectly well that, prior to that, there had been the Select Committee and his principal adviser, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, had said that an inevitable accompaniment of the Bill going upstairs is a Guillotine. I based myself on the Chief Secretary's memorandum.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
If the right hon. Gentleman is basing himself on the Chief Secretary's memorandum, I wish he would base himself on an accurate memory of it. The Chief Secretary said nothing about a Guillotine. He said that it was essential to have a timetable, and that meant an agreed timetable.
§ Mr. Macleod
No. The memorandum said nothing about agreement. It was absolutely clear from the Chief Secretary that there should be an allocation of time. That is absolutely specific, and it has been quoted many times in the Standing Committee. The Chief Secretary knows that perfectly well, and the Chancellor is trying to wriggle out of it.
§ Mr. Jenkins
The Chief Secretary— whom the right hon. Gentleman has been very anxious to use in order to drive a wedge between him and me—assures me that that was not in his memorandum, and that he certainly did not exclude a voluntary timetable. But what we are discussing is whether it was the right hon. Gentleman or I who went to the Committee determined to have a Guillotine. I have quoted the absolutely firm observation which he made five months before the Committee began, and to pretend that anything arose out of what happened in the Committee is pure hypocrisy. [HON. MEMBERS: "Read it."] The right hon. Gentleman wanted a timetable Motion in order to be able to kick up a fuss on the Floor of the House.
§ Hon. Members: Read it.
§ Mr. Jenkins
The words were read out over and over again in Committee. What we are discussing is whether it was the right hon. Gentleman or I who was determined on a Guillotine. The right hon. Gentleman gets more and more fond of personal invective rather than rational argument. I have told him, and he knows
§ perfectly well, that it was he who wanted the Guillotine, and not I. What we have done is to put forward rational arguments in Committee and in the House, and that we propose to continue to do in the substantial additional amount of time which will be available under this time-table Motion which I commend to the House.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 303, Noes 245.473
|Division No. 156.]||AYES||[12.27 a.m.|
|Albu, Austen||Dell, Edmund||Hunter, Adam|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Dempsey, James||Hynd, John|
|Alldritt, Walter||Dewar, Donald||Irvine, Sir Arthur|
|Allen, Scholefield||Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)|
|Anderson, Donald||Dickens, James||Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)|
|Archer, Peter||Dobson, Ray||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Doig, Peter||Jeger, Mrs.Lena(H'b'n& St.P'cras.S.)|
|Atkins, Rona d (Preston, N.)||Dunnett, Jack||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Bagier, Cordon A. T.||Eadie, Alex||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Barnes, Michael||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Barnett, Joel||Ellis, John||Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.)|
|Beaney, Alan||English, Michael||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Bence, Cyril||Ennals, David||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Ensor, David||Kelley, Richard|
|Bennett, Jamas (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)||Kenyon, Clifford|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Kerf, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)|
|Binns, John||Faulds, Andrew||Kerr, Dr. David(W'worth, Central)|
|Blackburn, F.||Fernyhough, E.||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Lawson, George|
|Boardman, H, (Leigh)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Booth, Albert||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Ledger, Ron|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Foley, Maurice||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)|
|Boyden, James||Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Lee, John (Reading)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Ford, Ben||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Brooks, Edwin||Forrester, John||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)|
|Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper)||Fowler, Gerry||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (C'gow, Provan)||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Freeson, Reginald||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lipton, Marcus|
|Buchan, Norman||Gardner, Tony||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Buchanan, Richard (C'gow, Sp'burn)||Garrett, W. E.||Loughlin, Charles|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Ginsburg, David||Luard, Evan|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Gourlay, Harry||Lyon, Alexander w. (York)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Cant, R. B.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||McBride, Neil|
|Carmichael, Neil||Gregory, Arnold||McCann, John|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Grey, Charles (Durham)||MacColl, James|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||MacDermot, Niall|
|Chapman, Donald||Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Macdonald, A. H.|
|Coe, Denis||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||McGuire, Michael|
|Coleman, Donald||Hamling, William||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hannan, William||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mackie, John|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Haseldine, Norman||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hattersley, Roy||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Cronin, John||Hazell, Bert||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Healey Rt. Hn. Denis||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Heffer, Eric S.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Henig, Stanley||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Manuel, Archie|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Hilton, W. S.||Mapp, Charles|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Horner, John||Marks, Kenneth|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Marquand, David|
|Davies, C. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Howie, W.||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hoy, James||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Huckfield, Leslie||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Delargy, Hugh||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Millan, Bruce||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Swingler, Stephen|
|Mine, Edward (Blyth)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)||Taverne, Dick|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Price, William (Rugby)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Molloy, William||Robert, Arthur||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Moonman, Eric||Randall, Harry||Thornton, Ernest|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rankin, John||Tinn, James|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Rees, Merlyn||Tomney, Frank|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Reynolds, G. W.||Urwin, T. W.|
|Morris, John (Aberavon)||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Varley, Eric G.|
|Moyle, Roland||Richard, Ivor||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Warden, Brian (All Saints)|
|Murray, Albert||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Neal, Harold||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)||Wallace, George|
|Newens, Stan||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Noel-Baker, Rt.Hn.Philip(Derby,S.)||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)||Weitzman, David|
|Norwood, Christopher||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Ogden, Eric||Roebuck, Roy||Whitaker, Ben|
|O'Malley, Brian||Rose, Paull||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Oram, Albert E.||Ross, Rt. Hn. William||Whitlock, William|
|Orbach, Maurice||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Orme, Stanley||Ryan, John||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Shaw, Arnold (IIford, N.)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Sheldon, Robert||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Williams, W. T (Warrington)|
|Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Short, Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Paget, R. T.||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Palmer, Arthur||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Panned, Rt. Hn. Charles||Silverman, Julius (Aston)||Winnick, David|
|Park, Trevor||Skeffington, Arthur||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Slater, Joseph||Woof, Robert|
|Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)||Small, William||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Pavitt, Laurence||Snow, Julian||Yates, Victor|
|Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Pentland, Norman||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)||Storehouse, John||Mr Alan Fitch.|
|Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Chichester-Clark, R.||Goodhew, Victor|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Clark, Henry||Gower, Raymond|
|Astor, John||Clegg, Walter||Grant, Anthony|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Cooke, Robert||Grant-Ferris, R.|
|Awdry, Daniel||Cordle, John||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Corfield, F. V.||Grieve, Percy|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Costain, A. P.||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)|
|Balniel, Lord||Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver||Gurden, Harold|
|Batsford, Brian||Crouch, David||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Crowder, F. P.||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Belt, Ronald||Cunningham, Sir Knox||Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Currie, C. B. H.||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Dance, James||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Bessell, Peter||Davidson, James(Aberdeenshire, W.)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Biffen, John||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Harvie Anderson, Miss|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Hastings, Stephen|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hawkins, Paul|
|Blaker, Peter||Doughty, Charles||Hay, John|
|Boardman, Tom||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel|
|Body, Richard||Drayson, G. B.||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Heseltine, Michael|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Eden, Sir John||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Emery, Peter||Hiley, Joseph|
|Braine, Bernard||Errington, Sir Eric||Hill, J. E. B.|
|Brewis, John||Eye, Reginald||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Farr, John||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col.Sir Walter||Fisher, Nigel||Holland, Philip|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Hordern, Peter|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Forrest, George||Hunt, John|
|Bryan, Paul||Fortescue, Tim||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N & M)||Foster, Sir John||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Galbraith, Hon. T. G.||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Burden, F. A.||Gibson-Watt, David||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Campbell, Gordon||Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Kerby, Capt. Henry|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Glyn, Sir Richard||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Kimball, Marcus|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Nott, John||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Kirk, Peter||Onslow, Cranley||Stodart, Anthony|
|Lambton, Viscount||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian||Tapsell, Peter|
|Lane, David||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Taylor, Edward M.(C'gow, Cathcart)|
|Legge-Bourke, sir Harry||Pardoe, John||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Pearson, sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Teeling, Sir William|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Percival, Ian||Temple, John M.|
|Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)||Peyton, John||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Longden, Gilbert||Pike,R. Bonner||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Lubbock, Eric||Pink, R. Bonner||Tilney, John|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Pounder, Rafton||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Powell, Rt. Hn J.Enoch||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross & Crom'ty)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain||Prior, J. M. L.||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|McMaster, Stanley||Quennell Miss J. M.||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Maddan, Martin||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Maginnis, John E.||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Wall, Patrick|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Rees-Davies, w. R.||Walters, Dennis|
|Marten, Neil||Renton, Rt. Hn. sir David||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Maude, Angus||Rhys, Williams, Sir Brandon||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Mawby, Ray||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Webster, David|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Ridsdale, Julian||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wills, Sir Gerald(Bridgwater)|
|Miseampbell, Norman||Royle, Anthony||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Russell, Sir Ronald||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Monro, Hector||St. John-Stevas, Norman||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|More, Jasper||Scott, Nicholas||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Scott-Hopkins, James||Worsley, Marcus|
|Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Sharples, Richard||Wright, Esmond|
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wylie, N. R.|
|Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Silvester, Frederick||Younger, Hn. George|
|Murton, Oscar||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Neave, Airey||Smith, John (London & W'minster)||Mr. R. W. Elliott and|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Speed, Keith||Mr. Timothy Kitson.|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Stainton, Keith|
§ That pursuant to Standing Order No. 43A (Allocation of time to Bills) the Standing Committee to which the Bill is allocated shall report the Bill on or before Thursday, 13th June, and as respects proceedings on the Bill in Standing Committee, on any recommittal and on report the Business Committee shall make recommendations to the House.