HC Deb 23 October 1968 vol 770 cc1345-75

Lords Amendment No. 12: In page 12, line 17, at end insert: and in those proceedings, whether or not such a claim is made, an application may be made in accordance with section (Validity and revision of contracts) of this Act for revision of any contract or term in a contract alleged to contravene any such provision.

The Attorney-General

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

With this Amendment, I suggest that we take also Lords Amendment No. 17 and Amendment No. 23, after Clause 21, in page 16, line 10, insert new Clause "B" (Validity and revision of contracts).

The Attorney-General

The new Clause set out in Lords Amendment No. 23 provides for the revision of contracts which contain discriminatory terms which contravene the Bill. As the Bill stands, such discriminatory clauses in contracts would be unlawful—for example, under Clause 2. The effect of this would be that not only would a discriminatory term in a contract be held to be void and unenforceable, but in certain circumstances the contract as a whole might be unenforceable. The result might well be that the term of the contract would be unenforceable by either party. This could have undesirable consequences.

In insurance, for example, a coloured person might find that after paying premiums for some years, because the contract contained a discriminatory element he could not recover anything if his house were burnt down. For the same reason, a coloured tenant might find that he had no clear right to stay in his flat. The other party to a contract might also suffer unreasonably and unfairly. For example, a landlord who, perhaps unwittingly, had included a discriminatory element in a contract might find that he could make no claim against the coloured tenant who, over a period, had refused to pay rent.

It would not be sufficient to deal with these difficulties by a simple provision that contracts should remain enforceable even if they contained a discriminatory element, first, because this would permit the enforcement of the discriminatory term in the contract, and, secondly, there would be the possibility of overlapping jurisdiction, since the same contract might give rise to proceedings for damages under the Bill and for breach of contract in the ordinary courts.

The new Clause provides a solution to this difficulty by empowering the court to revise the discriminatory terms of a contract. The effect would be that in proceedings brought by the Board, and at the request of either party to the proceedings—that is to say, either the Board or the defendant—the special county court could order revision of any discriminatory term, including the omission altogether of the offending term, so as to make it fair and just in all the circumstances. The time limit of two months, subject to the Board's discretionary power to extend in special circumstances, for the receipt of complaints would apply in such cases.

The Amendment to Clause 18 provides that such an application for the revision of a contract may be made in proceedings brought before the specially designated county courts where any of the other claims which are listed in Clause 18(1) is made. The Amendment to Clause 19 makes similar provision for Scotland. This seems to be a sensible if somewhat unorthodox solution to a rather difficult problem.

Mr. Buck

It seems entirely sensible that there should be specific provision in the Bill that a contract is not unenforceable or invalidated because of the inclusion within that contract of a clause which may be contrary to the Bill, but, as the Attorney-General has said, this is an unusual and unorthodox solution. The court will be asked to revise and rewrite certain clauses in a contract.

The only clear parallel is, perhaps, in the realms of the renewal of a business tenancy, which is sometimes referred to the court and the court decides in all the circumstances what terms are right for its renewal. From memory, that is probably the nearest parallel.

I am not entirely clear, however, why it is necessary for the court to have power to revise the contract or why it would not be sufficient to say that the discriminatory part of the contract—that which is reprehensible—shall not be enforceable, leaving the rest of the contract intact. Only in exceptional circumstances, it seems to me, would it ever be necessary to consider a revision of the contract.

Nor am I entirely clear how far the revisionary powers given to the court extend. I take it that it would be only in unusual circumstances that the court would go beyond a narrow and confined limit. This, however, does not come through entirely loud and clear from the Clause. I take it that, in effect, the Race Relations Board would probably not be called on to exercise its judgment if an application was made on the validity of a certain section of a contract. It would probably almost invariably agree to an application when a request for one was made by either party to a contract.

At first blush, it might seem that if any power is to be given to the court, there should, perhaps, on those occasions, be a direct power for one of the parties to the contract to go direct to the court without reference to the Board. However, I do not think that any great mischief could spring from the inclusion of these revising provisions because of the high esteem in which most of us hold county court judges. This is, however, a novel and interesting procedure which, on the whole, should be acceptable to the House.

The Attorney-General

I am grateful for the friendly reception by the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Buck) of the new Clause. The powers of the court to revise ought to be stated in the broad terms which are contained in the Amendment so that the court can deal with the situation as it arises.

The proposal is not entirely unprecedented. Hon. Members will see that the rights of persons who are not parties to the contract are protected by the provisions of the Amendment. Accordingly, it is one which I can commend to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment No. 13: in page 12, line 25, leave out subsection (3).

Mr. Ennals

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

With this Amendment, it is proposed to take also Lords Amendments Nos. 14, 18 and 19.

Mr. Ennals

These are technical Amendments relating to the jurisdiction of a county court in respect of acts done on ships or aircraft outside the district assigned to the court. They are consequential on the Amendments concerning contracts and conduct relating to acts abroad.

Sir John Foster (Northwich)

Will not a county court judge get into difficulty when a foreign Government orders something to be done on an aircraft in their jurisdiction? On a South African aircraft on which I travelled the last passenger was not allowed to take his place because he would have to sit next to an Indian. I wonder what the attitude of a county court judge would have to be when the South African Government ordered something which was discriminatory on a British aeroplane at Johannesburg airport.

Mr. Ennals

If I may reply, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, this was raised on Lords Amendment No. 9 which provided an exemption for acts which were committed abroad, particularly where it was necessary to comply with the laws of the country in which the boat or aircraft, or whatever it was, was at that time. Provision is, therefore, made for precisely the circumstances described by the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment No. 15: In page 12, line 42, leave out subsection (7).

Read a Second time.

The Attorney-General

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Speaker

With the next Lords Amendmeant, No. 15, it is suggested we take also Lords Amendments No. 16, No. 20 and No. 21.

I am prepared to call a Division on No. 15 or No. 16 if one is asked for.

The Attorney-General

These Amendments relate to the question whether or not the special county court shoud be assisted by the presence of assessors sitting along with the judge when a matter comes to be adjudicated. Those who have studied this subject with the care which, I know, the House has done, will recollect that the authors of the Street Report recommended that special tribunals should be set up to deal with enforcement.

This was not accepted by my right hon. Friends and myself because we felt that unless there were comprehensive rules as to procedure and evidence the tribunals might not command respect, and that even with such rules they might not be seen as instruments of the law in quite the same way as the courts, and might come to be regarded—this would be a dangerous possibility—as conferring special rights on minority groups.

Those who did recommend special tribunals did so largely because they thought it was important that enforcement of this new legislation should be in the hands of persons possessing special knowledge and experience of the problems of race relations, and the provision for the appointment of suitable assessors to assist the county court judge was introduced to meet this point of view.

I was chided by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) in Committee about this, but it does seem to me to be a sensible solution to the problem. The main argument in support of the provision is that the presence of assessors might well give additional confidence to those who come before the special county courts specially appointed to deal with enforcement, since they would know that, in addition to the judge, in whom they would, of course, have confidence, there are two persons with special knowledge of the subject of race relations to advise him in dealing with the case.

In another place the Lord Chancellor drew attention to the fact that, under the county court procedure, either party under the rules can already ask the judge to appoint assessors from a list maintained by the registrar. I understand that it has been intimated that the Race Relations Board might well decide in any event to take advantage of that procedure, and, if that were done, one might find a difference of practice as between one court and another and as between one part of the country and another, and I think it is desirable to maintain consistency in this matter.

We feel that the availability of these assessors, who will be men with experience and responsibility, will be of assistance to the learned county court judge who will be charged with difficult jurisdiction in a new field of the law. We feel he will be assisted by their presence, and accordingly I invite the House to reject these Amendments from another place which propose to do away with this additional machinery in the court.

6.45 p.m.

Sir Peter Rawlinson (Epsom)

This is the first occasion I have taken part in any of the debates upon this Bill. This is a provision in this part of the Bill which deals not, of course, with the principles of it, but with the mechanism, the way in which it is to be put into effect and how it is to be seen to act by the persons who appear before the tribunals which will make the decisions.

There is no doubt, as everybody here in the House properly appreciates, that this is a sensitive subject. The necessity of the Bill has been doubted by some, and strongly supported by others, but it does introduce a new and novel tort, a new and novel civil wrong, into English law, and the perpetration of such a tort or civil wrong renders our citizens, all of us, liable to be brought before the court and liable, at the hands of that court, to be mulcted in damages, to have an injunction imposed upon us, or to have a declaration made against us.

This is something which we should take into account. We hope that it will be rare and, as the Bill has provisions for conciliation, that conciliation will of course be predominant. Nevertheless, it is a tort for which citizens may well be brought before a court. It carries with it overtones of crimes to a certain extent because of the penalties which follow from the imposition of damages.

However, Parliament has decided, in the Bill, to create a justiciable issue, to evolve rules the breach of which, in certain circumstances, calls for action by a court of law, and it seems to me that it is immensely important that this should be left to the courts of this country, and the courts of this country which have to administer the law of this country should be the persons who should deal with this new, novel jurisdiction, though it may be, but, nevertheless, a jurisdiction which is going to be an important one.

I accept, of course, that there are certain jurisdictions where there is use of assessors—in the Admiralty Division of High Court, the Elder Brethren of Trinity House, but they are giving specific, technical advice upon specific, technical shipping matters; in the Restrictive Practices Court now there have been introduced assessors to give particular technical advice. Of course, there is the power, which has been referred to by the Attorney-General, in the county courts to have assessors introduced, but, as far as my experience goes, and that of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), with his 35 years' experience, mine being restricted to only 20 years, and in the experience, I believe, of anybody in this House, never have assessors ever been known to be necessary in the county court.

It is vital that we should not make it appear that there is anything extraordinary in this particular procedure calling for extraordinary forms of judgment. If it is to work, and it is hoped that it will work, then it has to be accepted as part of the normal and ordinary conduct of the ordinary courts applying ordinary remedies.

Let me remind the House of what, I presume, will be the procedure. There is a complainant, and that is the Race Relations Board, a statutory body, but it may be, as citizens may be, in the position of, as it were, the prosecutor. Then there is the respondent, and the respondent is the citizen. Whom does he look for in normal matters to be the arbiter in any conflict which he may have with either the State or a fellow citizen? He looks to that arbiter who is the judge. What, in this particular jurisdiction, has the judge got to do?

The judge in this case has to find the facts in accordance with the evidence and he is trained to assess the evidence and be able to deal with it. He must decide whether or not there has been proven any unlawful discrimination. If he so finds on the evidence before him he applies, in his discretion and in the exercise of his jurisdiction, the various remedies which are open to him under the Bill—an injunction, or special damages or loss of opportunity damages, or, thirdly, a declaration which, once made, affects the character of the person in respect of whom it has been made.

These are the normal remedies which the courts are experienced in applying and are applying daily as part of their ordinary duties. How, in such circumstances, is a judge to be helped by assessors? What rôle can they play? What can they do? The judge has to decide the facts on the evidence, and then, in his discretion, apply the necessary remedy. If the assessors are merely intended to dress the court up, with no real purpose and no real task, it is foolish to introduce them into this sensitive and novel form of legal administration.

Who will these assessors be? What will their experience be? In Admiralty cases we sometimes need the experience of men who have been ships' captains, or who have had experience in a certain department of maritime affairs, because an assessment has to be made of certain technical matters. But how can a person who has "special knowledge and experience" of race relations affect a justiciable issue? What advantage will he be in respect of the matter in dispute?

Secondly, the Attorney-General said that the presence of assessors will add to the confidence of those who appear before the courts. Is that really so? When persons appear before a court at present to hear a determination on the question whether or not damages should be awarded against them, or whether an injunction should be levied or a declaration made, do they have less confidence because the county court judge sits there alone? Is it not much more likely that an adverse impression may be gained by one of the parties if, in a case brought to court by the Race Relations Board, he sees sitting on the bench two persons with special knowledge and experience of race relations? He may well ask himself, "What are they there for?"

The Bill would be much more effective if these remedies were granted, under the court's jurisdiction, by the man who sits there day in and day out exercising administration in all the different fields of law. If we make this aspect of the law a special one we shall create something which will not carry with it the confidence of persons who think that justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done.

Judges judicially administer the law in accordance with a remarkable tradition, which is universally recognised. It is a question who should be the arbiter between the citizen and the State. The normal exercise of the normal function of the normal court is what we should be seeking in this jurisdiction. We do not want and should not have a special Tribunal—which is what this will appear to be to the persons who come before it. The customary, traditional, proper and efficient arbiter who carries the confidence of most people is the judge. It is the judge and the judge alone who should decide these matters.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

My right hon. and learned Friend has asked, and the learned Attorney General has pointedly failed to answer, what appears to be the central question in this matter, namely, what are these assessors to do? The only positive point made by the right hon. and learned Gentleman was that they were to provide additional confidence. I do not know whether that was intended seriously. Is it really suggested that our county court judges who, every day of the week, are deciding matters of crucial importance to our citizens—such questions as whether a citizen shall retain his home—require additional confidence in their capacity, or in respect of their fairness or integrity, to be given by the presence of two gentlemen sitting on the bench with them to perform functions of which we have been told absolutely nothing?

We cannot leave the matter there. When, on top of that, it is pointed out by the right hon. and learned Gentleman that under the county court rules there is a procedure, albeit one which is not used, for the appointment of assessors, he weakened what little case he originally had. Under those rules, if the Race Relations Board, as plaintiff, wants an assessor, and if the county court judge thinks that such an application will help, he can agree to the appointment of an assessor. The only difference—although it is a vital one—is that in this case the assessors will be imposed on the county court judge, whether or not he wants them.

What are these assessors to do? Are they supposed to help the judge to make up his mind on the law? They would appear to have no qualifications for that. Are they to help the judge make up his mind on the facts? These cases will be delicate, sensitive and difficult. Is it really suggested that it will be more difficult for a learned county court judge to make up his mind on these matters, when he has to decide questions of fact every day in his working life, than it will be for him when he deals with those other cases day by day—some of them being of even greater importance to the citizens who come before him?

We are entitled to be told what is the purpose of these gentlemen. In referring to another place I cannot go into details, but I can refer to the experience of the noble Lord who moved the Amendment there. These gentlemen have been defined as being in very much the same class and type as the most admirable persons who will sit on the Race Relations Board. The defendant will undoubtedly have confidence—all citizens will have confidence—in the county court judge, but when he finds two other people—the same type of people as those who constitute the formal plaintiff, the Race Relations Board—sitting beside the judge and telling him, either when he is on the bench or after he retires, things that the defendant does not hear, can the House judge what his state of mind will be?

I know that Trinity Masters sit with assessors in Admiralty cases, because it is assumed that a judge may not know the blunt end of the ship from the sharp end. That is a technical matter. But what are the assessors to do in a situation in which they apparently confer with the judge behind the backs of the parties to the case? If the right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that that will add to the confidence of a defendant he is lamentably wrong, and I hope that he will think again.

Many people—probably the majority—regret the fact that these matters are to be taken to the courts at all. They will wonder profoundly whether such a procedure will not aggravate rather than improve race relations. In that atmosphere, surely it is important above all else that those who have to decide that, nonetheless, the matter shall go to the courts should take every possible step to ensure that it goes to the court on the best basis, and that surely is that those who are arraigned to answer for this new civil wrong should have complete confidence that they are getting a fair deal.

I am certain that the ordinary citizen will be satisfied that he is getting a fair deal if he goes before one of Her Majesty's judges. With due respect to these eminent gentlemen, it is possible that his confidence of that will be diminished if, sitting with that judge, are people who are not judges, are not known to administer justice and who may be thought to take a somewhat partisan view of the matters before the court.

If the right hon. and learned Gentleman wants this most sensitive and difficult part of the Bill to work in a way in which our citizens will feel that a fair deal is being given, he will agree with the Lords on this extremely sensible Amendment.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. Clegg

I shall be brief, because my right hon. and hon. Friends have put forward the case admirably from this side of the House.

I want to emphasise two points, the first of which is the sense of injustice which may be felt by a defendant. I am trying to visualise the situation where an instructing solicitor goes into court with his client, who is the defendant. The client says, "Who are those two people sitting with the judge?" The solicitor will say, "They are the assessors." The defendant will then ask who they are, and his solicitor will tell him that they are specialists in race relations, to which his client will retort, "But the people who have brought me before the court are specialists in race relations, so what sort of justice can I expect?"

My right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) asked: on what matters are the assessors to advise the judge? When they retire, as inevitably they will have to, and a defendant sees the three of them go away to consider the judgment of the court, what sort of questions will the judge ask them? What sort of practical advice will they give to the judge? No one will have any idea of what they say to the judge in the absence of the defendant, and that must cause misgivings in the mind of anyone waiting for a judgment who has no knowledge of the sort of matters being discussed.

Then there is the difference between the present system of appointing assessors in a county court and the proposals in the Bill. As has been said, this has to be on the application of one of the parties, and the judge has the right to decide whether or not he wants assessors.

A further point in the present system which is different from that laid down in the Race Relations Bill is that, under Section 91 of the County Courts Act, any of the parties has the right to object to an assessor either on personal grounds or because of his qualifications. I can see no grounds under this Bill for any objection to be made. That is a serious defect. If a man can object to an assessor in other matters brought before a county court, he should be able to object to an assessor appointed from the Lord Chancellor's panel and the Registrar should be able to hear the objection, as he can in ordinary matters.

For those reasons and the others put forward by my right hon. and hon. Friends, the Amendment should be accepted.

Mr. John Hall

I speak as a layman on these points, although I have been most impressed by the arguments advanced by my right hon. and hon. Friends. However, I want to approach matters from a different point of view. As the House knows, I have opposed the Bill from the beginning. I believe that it will worsen race relations rather than help them. I hope that I am proved wrong.

It cannot be right to treat the proceedings under the Bill as something extraordinary. Individuals who come within the purview of the legislation should be regarded in the same way as any other citizen. We are dedicated to ensuring that every citizen is treated on terms of equality with everyone else. All citizens should have the same rights and the same responsibilities. It is a mistake to set up a court in such a way as to give the impression that special treatment is to be given to a section of the population. That is how it will appear.

That is the only objection that I have to this proposal. I cannot enter into the legal arguments which have been advanced. In my view, we should not do anything which makes it appear that we are making special provision for one section of the population which, like all other citizens, should be on terms of equality with other residents of our country.

Mr. Percy Grieve (Solihull)

I do not intend to take up much time in adding to what has been said already by my right hon. and hon. Friends. However, I have a special interest in the Amendment because, in Committee, I moved an Amendment to the same effect which met with very much the same arguments from the learned Attorney-General. Now that this Amendment has been made in the other place, I submit that the House should accept it, and I summarise my reasons in this way.

In all the attacks made upon our institutions over the last few years, the one which remains unattacked and in which, as far as I am able to judge, confidence remains absolute, is the integrity, judgment and quality of Her Majesty's judges and the justice administered in Her Majesty's court. Therefore, when we create a new wrong and provide a new remedy for it, why should we not leave the determination of the matter, which is essentially one of fact, for Her Majesty's judges unassisted by these new-fangled assessors?

What are the assessors for? Hitherto, we have had assessors in the Admiralty Division. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) said, they are there for highly technical reasons, to keep the judges right on technical matters. We also have assessors sitting with recorders at quarter sessions in juvenile cases, but they are there as juvenile justices experienced in dealing with children to give the benefit of their advice.

If these assessors are persons with special knowledge of problems connected with race and community relations, they are precisely the sort of people that we shall find on the Race Relations Board and the conciliation committees. If they have any special qualification at all, will not defendants think that it is one which gives them a bias against them? Is it right that in matters of this kind defendants should be brought before the courts feeling that, sitting on the bench with the judge, are people not with a special qualification but with a special bias? To a great extent, the proposal will vitiate the aims which everyone in the House has in mind when considering the legislation.

A further point which has been made by my right hon. and hon. Friends is that confidence will be shaken, since the assessors' advice will be given to the judge privately behind the scenes. It will not be done in open court and will not be seen. As a result, justice will not be seen to be done. Apart from a bias, what special qualifications will they bring to bear which a judge, deciding matters every day of the week, will not possess? He has the ability to assess evidence and decide where the truth lies. In those circumstances, what need can there be for assessors?

In another place, one of the noble Lords described a compromise, as such it is, when he said that it had been suggested that we should have a special tribunal for this—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member knows that he cannot quote a noble Lord in the other place unless that noble Lord was a Minister who was expounding Government policy.

Mr. Grieve

I did not intend to quote, Mr. Speaker. I am grateful for the warning.

This has been described as a compromise. We are to have these assessors because a tribunal has, quite properly, been rejected. But it is a compromise with a bias, and it would be much better without the bias. I hope that the House will accept the Amendment.

Dr. Winstanley

The right hon. and learned Attorney-General knows that my right hon. and hon. Friends and I are anxious that the Bill should work. We think that it will work. We do not share the regrets, referred to by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), that certain matters should be brought before the courts. We think that it is high time they were brought before the courts. We hope, along with the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. John Hall) that the Bill will work. I believe that the hon. Gentleman's hopes will presently be fulfilled. Whether it works, of course, will depend on whether we can get the British public to accept it and accept that it is fair.

Having considered all the arguments carefully and read the debates, I incline to the view expressed in the Lords Amendment rather than the view expressed today by the Attorney-General. I speak as a layman. Right hon. and learned and hon. and learned Members will realise I must comment in a different way. That does not mean that I do not appreciate and support what was said by the right hon. and learned Member for Epsom (Sir P. Rawlinson). I do. But as a layman I look at the courts in a slightly different way.

I have confidence in our legal system and in our judges, though perhaps not total and absolute confidence. My confidence is diluted with a certain amount of healthy, though not disrespectful, suspicion. I certainly feel that were the courts encumbered with additional persons, whose functions I understand imperfectly, whether they be described as assessors or in some other way, my confidence would perhaps wane, particularly when there is a clear association between those persons assisting the judge and one of the parties to the action, the Race Relations Board.

Surely, persons who are specially qualified and knowledgeable in race relations and whose opinions will be valuable and necessary are inevitably those who will be grouped together in the public mind with the Race Relations Board. Their observations may be necessary in any case, but surely they should be heard in the way that other necessary observations should be heard—as witnesses. If we can possibly do something to preserve the general view that this is a judicial procedure going on in the ordinary way, we will maintain public confidence in the arrangements upon which we have embarked.

I do not want to make too much of this. We want the Bill to work and we are anxious that it should work, but I cannot believe that this kind of arrangement will help it to work. It will support arguments which have sometimes been advanced on this side, though to my mind wrongly, arguments with which I do not agree. Some hon. Gentlemen have suggested that all sorts of fears and things might happen. I believe that this kind of procedure could add weight to those arguments. I have argued with these points, but this procedure would make it more difficult for me to argue with them. Therefore, I urge right hon. and hon. Gentlemen to think again.

I want the evidence and the opinions of persons with special knowledge of race relations to be heard where appropriate, but I should like them to be heard in the same way that other people are heard—as witnesses. I should not like them taking part in the judicial process.

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Mark Carlisle (Runcorn)

I support those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who argue in favour of the Lords Amendment.

In the other place the Lord Chancellor, in a speech which was remarkably lukewarm in support of this part of the Bill, said that even if it did not do any good, at least it could not do any harm to have assessors. I believe that it does harm. My right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-carpenter) has rightly pointed out that the Race Relations Board is the plaintiff. But it goes further than that, because before the action can come to court the Board has to determine to take it to court. Before it can make that determination it has to come to the conclusion that the act is unlawful and that it has failed to get a settlement. Therefore, when the action goes to court the Board has firmly decided and committed itself to the view that the defendant has acted unlawfully.

What happens when the man gets to court? He appears before an individual whom he looks upon as the arbiter of his rights and finds, as my hon. Friend the Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg) said, two people sitting beside him whom he is then told have special knowledge and experience of problems connected with race and community relations. In the defendant's mind two of those three people will be linked with those who are not only the plaintiffs, but who have already come to the firm opinion that he has acted unlawfully.

What is their purpose in being there? Surely it cannot be said that they are there to assist the judge in deciding on the facts. Not only are these simple facts for a judge to decide, but we have specifically written into the Bill the right of appeal to the Court of Appeal by either party against the county court judge's decision on a point of fact. Therefore, there is already a check on that matter.

If it is to be said that they can give assistance because of their knowledge of race relations, the time when that assistance is required is not in the court, which is concerned with questions of fact which the judge has to decide, but at an earlier stage in deciding whether it is of advantage to race relations ever to take proceedings. I think that this is an extremely dangerous proposal.

I end by quoting the Lord Chancellor in another place, in reply to the first debate, when he said: It is particularly necessary that any persons who are in a race relations court should have confidence in the court, and they are more likely to have confidence in an ordinary court than in some special tribunal."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 30th July, 1968; Vol. 296, c. 219.] To the individual concerned, seeing three people there, it will have become a special tribunal rather than an ordinary court. I pray in aid those words of the Lord Chancellor as the strongest possible argument why the Lords Amendment should be accepted.

Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)

As one who, throughout the Committee stage, was in favour of a strong Race Relations Act emerging, I have been impressed by the arguments on this side of the House in favour of accepting the Lords Amendment. I agree, in particular, with the arguments that there should be as little interference as possible with the normal procedure of the county courts. It is not a good thing to have clandestine advice given and urged upon a county court judge in circumstances which, in the early stages of this law's operation, are bound to seem a bit strange. If expert knowledge of race relations is needed in one of these cases, surely it is up to the plaintiff, the Race Relations Board, to explain any special circumstances and the special consequences that might follow certain acts.

I do not believe that the Board should need to call expert witnesses, as has been suggested. It is itself the expert body. When it has reached a conclusion, it must itself urge the case, with all its aspects, before the judge. The judge ought not, I believe, to be cluttered with other advisers. Nor do I believe that the defendant in any such case should have to face, as it were, the uncertainty of a judge cluttered with two other people about whom he knows nothing.

Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)

I, too, find it difficult to understand why courts dealing with matters arising under the Act, as it will be, should be in any way differently constituted from courts dealing with all the other important matters affecting the citizen. One can see the purpose of a judge sitting with assessors from time to time. One can understand—and this has been said already by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter)—the sense of a judge wanting to sit with experts in the complicated technical fields, but why would a judge need to sit with experts in this class of case? As I understand it, the judge will have to deal with pure questions of fact and then apply the clear criteria in the Act, and I cannot understand that that will be any more difficult than deciding whether a driver has been negligent, and then having to decide the most difficult matter of all, namely, how much the unsuccessful defendant should pay by way of damages.

If the judge considers himself in any difficulty, if he feels that these matters of race relations are too difficult for him to apprehend—a situation which I can hardly imagine will arise—he has the Race Relations Board, the prosecutor, there to help him. It is there to assist the judge. It is there to put these technical matters—if they can properly be called technical—before him. I respectfully argue that it is highly undesirable that precisely the same sort of person should be sitting with the judge as constitutes the Race Relations Board.

I find it extremely difficult to understand who is a race relations expert and who is not. There is no objective criterion which can be applied. There is no objective criterion, such as professional qualifications, and I do not envy the Lord Chancellor his task of compiling a list of people who are supposed to have special expertise in race relations.

But if these experts exist—which I doubt—why not call them as expert witnesses? They can then establish their expertise and expose themselves to cross-examination, like any other expert witness. In that way justice will be seen to be done. It will not be seen to be done if, as has been said, the judge sits there with two assessors who are able to whisper to him advice about which the unfortunate defendant knows nothing. He will not have the faintest idea of the nature of the advice given to the judge by the assessors.

An analogy can be drawn between the situation which will arise under the Act and the situation which has long been known to exist in magistrates' courts. For a long time people in this House and elsewhere have criticised the practice of magistrates' clerks retiring with the justices. The criticism is that if the magistrates' clerk goes out with the justices how does the layman know whether the decision which is ultimately arrived at is the decision of the justices, or that of the clerk? Consequently, the practice has grown up, thank goodness, of the magistrates' clerk not automatically retiring with the justices, but only going out later if specifically asked to do so, and this practice has enhanced the prestige of the courts. I belive that the prestige of the courts will be dangerously diminished if the judge is required to sit with these people who can give him secret advice, the nature of which the defendant will be left to guess.

This is not just a lawyer's point. It will be a thoroughly bad thing if matters of race relations are dealt with in any way differently from the other matters which affect the rights of the citizen. The ordinary courts of law are good enough for all the other involved problems which have to be dealt with, and I do not see why they should not be considered good enough to deal with the problems which will arise under the Act.

Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Southall)

I do not think that there can be tremendous feeling about either side of the argument because as yet this is an untried quantity, but I think that I can draw upon one or two points of logic to prove that the argument advanced by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Waddington) is wrong. It is precisely because this is a special problem that special machinery is being provided, and why it is logical for there to be a special kind of court.

The value of the rôle of the assessors will, I think, be a case of the proof of the pudding being in the eating. A lot will depend on the people who act as assessors. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have made far too many assumptions. They have assumed that these assessors will necessarily be people who have long experience in race relations conciliation. That need not necessarily be the case. The right hon. and learned Member for Epsom (Sir P. Rawlinson) begged the question. I think that the answer to his case is that there is no substitute for experience. In arriving at a proper judgment, one has to draw on experience.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to be horrified by the title "assessors", but they are used on various occasions. I am thinking of appeals tribunals in connection with the National Health Service, with pensions, with disablement, and so on. We draw on a wide range of experience outside the legal profession.

It may be that one or two of the assessors will be legal people, with the additional experience of race relations. As the Member for Southall, I can see that there will be a need to draw upon the experience of living with race relations problems which, at the moment, affect only a few areas. It has been emphasised during the debate that the defendant must feel that he is going before a body from which he will get justice. I feel confident that he will when all the facts are known, and that the facts are more likely to be known if there are present people who can assist the judge, or who are able to elicit the facts. I think that that situation is more likely to arise if the Bill is unaltered than if a change is made now.

We must remember, of course, that it is not only a question of justice for the defendant in the case as we term it—and he will be a special kind of defendant—but of justice for the plaintiff. He must be assured in advance that people of experience will be sitting in judgment as part of the machinery, and that they are able to make a proper judgment and proper assessment after failure has been registered through the conciliation machinery.

There is, of course, no definition of who is a race relations expert. Everything will depend on the calibre of the assessors, and, above all, on the experience they have gained in dealing with this delicate problem.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. Evelyn King

If the House were to arive at a conclusion upon the basis of the argument which has been advanced from almost every quarter of the House, it is almost impossible to believe anything other than that it would accept the Lords Amendment. The arguments in support of the Amendment have not been put merely by those of us who, admittedly, hold a special view. They have been put by the Liberal Party. They have been put by my hon. Friend the Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair), who is known to have a special point of view. There have been eight speeches. With the exception of the hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell), there is not one of those who have spoken that does not think that the arrangement which is proposed is a bad one.

I do not want to add any more legal argument, nor am I competent to do so, to what my hon. and learned Friends have said. I want to add one thought which I think is important. We in the House are and must be sensitive to every kind of public opinion. We must have regard to the mood in the country for which we seek to legislate. Whatever views we have on the Bill, whether we are amongst those who think that it should be a strong Bill or whether we are amongst those who think that it should be a weak Bill, we must admit that there is in the country immense criticism and, indeed, some resentment of it. Those who are strongest for the Bill should be the first to ensure that this mood is diminished and not increased. We must have regard to this mood in the country.

There is a second mood which is no less important—that of a person who is accused before the county court. It might be worthwhile for us to try to think ourselves into his position. He is being accused of an offence which has never previously existed. Unlike us, who have been through all these arguments, it may well be that, until he is accused, he never even knew that such an offence existed. His solicitor will have told him that it is an offence for which his father could not have been charged because it is a brand new offence in Britain. Because of this, he is bound to approach the court with at least some subconscious feeling of resentment. That is always a bad thing.

The only thing which might relieve this so-called "defendant" of that feeling is the wisdom and understanding of the judge before whom he appears. It must be part of the function of the judge to restore to him some confidence in the judicial process to which he is being submitted.

If this person appears before the judge and sees before him, sitting right and left of the judge, two persons who, even though they were the Archangel Gabriel, clearly have a close association with the prosecution, he cannot possibly have the confidence in the court which he should have. I believe that this is self-evident. If the hon. Member for Southall, who I see indicating dissent, will compare the definition of those who are to be assessors with that of those who are likely to be appointed to the Board, he will find that they are interchangeable. This cannot be right when one set of people will be conducting the prosecution and the others—the assessors—will sit beside the judge.

Perhaps what I have said is far less important than what has been said by other hon. Members. It is reasonable that the Attorney-General should pay heed to the opinion which has been expressed.

The Attorney-General

By leave of the House, I want to seek to reassure the House about some of the anxieties which have been expressed in the course of this interesting and serious debate.

I question the assessment made by the hon. Member for Dorset, South (Mr. Evelyn King) of the reception the Bill has had in the country. I do not think that it has been received with resentment. What has been reassuring, on the contrary, has been the substantial and widespread acceptance of the Bill.

I want to underline the essential element in the machinery which is being set up. The decision in the case will be that of the learned judge. He will make his decision in open court. He will give reasons for it, as our learned judges do. That judgment will be unfettered. He will have the benefit of the assistance of those who will be expert in race relations and in community relations—men with special knowledge in that sphere.

I do not see any analogy between what is proposed and the reference made by my noble Friend the Lord Chancellor in another place to the anxieties he would have towards a special tribunal specially set up outside the ambit of the ordinary courts. This will be a county court judge sitting in judgment assisted by two assessors.

I do not think that there is any less confidence in the Restrictive Practices Court because a learned judge of the High Court has two laymen with special experience in that field sitting beside him assist- ing him to adjudicate where the public interest lies in regard to the matter which that court considers.

Nor do I see any ground for comparing the situation that this machinery will provide with the anxieties that have been expressed about justices' clerks retiring with lay benches. The worry there is that the justices' clerk, being a professional lawyer, may overbear and exert excessive influence over the lay magistracy. Here we have a judge.

I entirely agree that we must bear the defendant's state of mind very much in the forefront of our minds. I do not see any reason for anxiety in a defendant's mind that there is some curious association between the lay assessors and the Board. After all, the assessors will be appointed by the Lord Chancellor. They will be completely independent of the Board. There will be a certain common qualification, in that each will have in special knowledge of this subject, but these assessors will be independent from the Board. There is no reason to think that their advice will not be given quite independently to the learned county court judge. He will not put up with fools gladly. Nor, indeed, will fools be appointed.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

They may appear before him.

The Attorney-General

He may well have them in front of him. There speaks a right hon. Gentleman, no doubt not calling upon his own experience. The judge is the judge of the trial. I do not share the anxieties which have been expressed about any special tainting of the assessors, because they have the same kind of qualifications as members of the Board might have, with any prejudice against a defendant. Nor do I take the view that the standing of this special county court will suffer by reason of this special machinery. We are dealing with a new cause of action.

Mr. Ian Percival (Southport)

Before the Attorney-General leaves the arguments advanced as possible grounds for anxiety, will he address his mind to the anxiety which has been voiced that these assessors will be giving evidence to the judge? They will be putting at his disposal their special knowledge of race relations. That is indistinguishable from giving evidence to him, but they will not be giving advice on the law. The evidence they give cannot be examined by the plaintiff. Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman address his mind to that?

The Attorney-General

I thought I had been trying to do so. This is always the problem with assessors in courts where the assessors are used. They bring their experience and special knowledge to bear to assist the judge in his conclusions not only about questions of fact, but where, as in this case, the granting of an injunction would be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. He will call upon their experience and views on that matter. His judgment will be the final one and he will make such use of the help that they may give him as he thinks fit.

I do not think that the anxieties which have been expressed justify us in rejecting machinery which has been thought to be helpful by those with experience in this field. It has been thought to be helpful by those who will have much of the responsibility hereafter for seeing that it works. This is a difficult question but in the circumstances I commend the machinery that has been introduced into the Bill as a sensible and reassuring compromise between the special tribunal on the one hand and the ordinary court on the other. I hope the judges will find that this machinery will be of assistance to them in the most difficult task which admittedly we are imposing upon them.

Mr. Quintin Hogg (St. Marylebone)

I am sure the whole House is grateful to the Attorney-General for the soothing, peaceful and almost ecumenical tone with which he has sought to reassure those in various parts of the House who were not satisfied with his first efforts. If he will forgive me saying so, he is such a nice old thing, that I do not want to knock him about in any sort of way. [Laughter.] On the other hand, as he frankly admitted, this is a compromise. The trouble is that it is frankly a compromise between nonsense and sense.

The Attorney-General knows perfectly well—I think I know perfectly well, although I am not a member of this Government, but have been a Member of other Governments—what has happened here. The lawyers in the Government on the whole have won a considerable victory. They made their colleagues withdraw what was originally an out-and-out nonsense and they have succeeded in inserting a modicum of sense in what originally was an insane proposal. Therefore the Attorney-General and the Lord Chancellor deserve our warmest thanks. The appalling nonsense of a special tribunal has been averted. Instead we have the ordinary county courts sitting.

The Attorney-General drew an analogy with the Restrictive Practices Court, but that is a bad analogy. The lay members of the Restrictive Practice Court are members of the Court. Their decision is that of the court as well as that of the leading central figure. The lay assessors in race relations cases in the county court will be not only lay assessors but lay figures. The Attorney-General, with some pride in his voice at his internal triumph in the internecine struggle between Departments and Ministers, rightly took satisfaction in the fact that the assessors would be no good anyway because the judge will be the only one entitled to give a decision. In this the right hon. and learned Gentleman was perfectly right in drawing a distinction between them and the clerk to the magistrates.

7.45 p.m.

In the magistrates' court the clerk tells the magistrates what to do although he has not the right to express himself. The danger here is that the judge after going through the motions of listening to lay figures to his right and his left will come to his decision without taking the slightest notice of what they say, because he is not bound to do so. That is why it is a nonsense.

The only person who believes in this compromise is the admirable and single-minded honourable Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell), because he thought that these people would do some good. The best that we on these benches can say is that, like the holy water on Mount Athos, they will do no good and no harm. This is a poor recommendation for a novel piece of judicial procedure, but the hon. Member thinks that they will do some good. He thinks that race relations is a specialised subject that nobody except the experts knows anything about.

Although like my right hon. Friend I have not been in county courts for some time, I know something of what goes on in Marylebone County Court and various county courts in or near my constituency. Let me tell the hon. Member that, as a famous Irish advocate said to a judge, "There is practically no other subject of discussion." Race relations are the constant bread and butter of the Old Bailey, the county courts and Inner London Sessions. They are discussed there all day because the great problems of race relations are constantly before the courts.

It would not be in order for me to remind the House of the content of this Bill, but it is largely about employment and housing. Almost every day in the county court problems arising between coloured tenants and white landlords, between coloured landlords and white tenants, or between neighbours of different colours are coming before the courts. Sometimes this leads to cases of ejectment, sometimes to actions over false imprisonment, cases of wrongful dismissal, cases of assault—in a magistrates' court—and sometimes something worse at the Old Bailey. These things are the bread and butter of the courts today.

Simply because we have produced a new statutory tort which deals with this tiny aspect of this subject which is under constant discussion we have to invent two assessors, who might as well be stuffed with straw for all the good they will do, to satisfy those hon. Members of the Government side who originally wanted another kind of nonsense. We shall divide on this Amendment.

Mr. Heffer

I am sure the House, as usual, has been entertained by the jovial and impish style of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), but behind all this joviality there is very much a defence of lawyers and the position of lawyers. We must be quite honest about this. Behind it are not arguments about the rôle of the assessors but the defence of the lawyer. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]

Hon. Members who are lawyers say "No" to that. If there were a group of joiners on this side of the House and we were discussing carpentry and joinery we would be most indignant if someone who was not a joiner dared to talk about joinery. I accept and understand the point of view of the lawyers, but this is not just a question of lawyers. It has been pointed out that this is something new. We all agree that it concerns probably the most difficult problem with which we have had to deal. There is no earthly reason why, under those circumstances, we should not go outside our normal procedure to make certain that those who are brought before the courts have the best possible advice.

One hon. Member said that there are no experts in race relations. He asked what was meant by experts. But there are experts in race relations. There are some people who have had much more knowledge, experience and years of hard work in this field than others, and, perhaps, than the judges have ever had. It would not be a bad thing for a judge, when making a decision, to have the advice and benefit of the experience of two people who are not necessarily lawyers but have a special knowledge in race relations. It is no good trying to get away from the fact that there are people with that sort of special knowledge.

The very humourous speech of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone was really up to standard. I and the whole House thoroughly enjoyed it. But let us not be carried away by that sort of speech. This is a most sensible suggestion, and I hope that the House will support the Government.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 148, Noes 101.

Division No. 310.] AYES [7.50 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Boyden, James Coleman, Donald
Alldritt, Walter Braddock, Mrs. E. M. Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)
Allen, Scholefield Bradley, Tom Crawshaw, Richard
Archer, Peter Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Cullen, Mrs. Alice
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Brown,Bob(N 'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Buchan, Norman
Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)
Barnett, Joel Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)
Beaney, Alan Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Davies, Harold (Leek)
Bence, Cyril Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Blackburn, F. Chapman, Donald Delargy, Hugh
Booth, Albert Coe, Denis Dempsey, James
Dewar, Donald Jones, Dan (Burnley) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)
Dickens, James Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Probert, Arthur
Dobson, Ray Kenyon, Clifford Rankin, John
Doig, Peter Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Rees, Merlyn
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lawson, George Reynolds, Rt. Hn. G. W.
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Leadbitter, Ted Rhodes, Geoffrey
Eadie, Alex Lomas, Kenneth Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Rose, Paul
Ellis, John Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Ennals, David McBride, Neil Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Ensor, David McCann, John Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) MacColl, James Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Macdonald, A. H. Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Faulds, Andrew Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Silverman, Julius
Fernyhough, E. Maclennan, Robert Skeffington, Arthur
Slater, Joseph
Fraser, John (Norwood) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Small, William
Gardner, Tony MacPherson, Malcolm Snow Julian
Garrett, W. E. Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)
Gourlay, Harry Spriggs, Leslie
Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.) Steele Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Gray, Dr Hugh (Yarmouth) Manuel, Archie Tinn James
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Mapp, Charles Urwin, T. W.
Grey, Charles (Durham) Marks, Kenneth Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Miller, Dr. M. S. Watkins, David (Consett)
Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Whitaker, Ben
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Newens, Stan Wilkins, W. A.
Harper, Joseph Oakes, Gordon Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) O'Malley, Brian Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Haseldine, Norman Orbach, Maurice Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Heffer, Eric S. Orme, Stanley Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oswald, Thomas Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Owen, Will (Morpeth) Woof, Robert
Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.) Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Yates, Victor
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Park, Trevor
Hunter, Adam Parkyn, Brian (Bedford) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hynd, John Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Mr. J. D. Concannon and
Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Pentland, Norman Mr. Ernest G. Perry.
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Pink, R. Bonner
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh) Pym, Francis
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Bessell, Peter Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Black, Sir Cyril Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Rees-Davies, W. R.
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Holland, Philip Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Brinton, Sir Tatton Iremonger, T. L. Ridsdale, Julian
Bromley-Davenport.Lt.-Col.SirWalter Kaberry, Sir Donald Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Buck, Antony (Colchester) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Russell, Sir Ronald
Bullus, Sir Eric Kirk, Peter Scott-Hopkins, James
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Kitson, Timothy Sinclair, Sir George
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Knight, Mrs. Jill Smith, John (London & W'minster)
Carlisle, Mark Lane, David Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Clegg, Walter Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Tapsell, Peter
Costain, A. P. Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor Edward M.(G'cow Cathcart)
Currie, G. B. H. Longden, Gilbert Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Dalkeith, Earl of Tilney, John
Dance, James Lubbock, Eric Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Digby, Simon Wingfield MacArthur, Ian van Straubenzee, W. R.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Mackenzie, Alasdair(Ross&Crom'ty) Waddington, David
Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Maude, Angus Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Errington, Sir Eric Mawby, Ray Walters, Dennis
Eyre Reginald Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. c. Weatherill, Bernard
Fortescue, Tim Mills, Peter (Torrington) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Foster, Sir John Miscampbell, Norman Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Monro, Hector Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Glover, Sir Douglas Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Glyn, Sir Richard Murton, Oscar Wright, Esmond
Goodhart, Philip Nabarro, Sir Gerald Wylie, N.R.
Gower, Raymond Neave, Airey Younger, Hn. George
Grant-Ferris, R. Osborn, John (Hallam)
Grieve, Percy Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Page, Graham (Crosby) Mr. Jasper More and
Gurden, Harold Pardoe, John Mr. Anthony Grant.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Percival, Ian

Remaining Lords Amendments disagreed and agreed to.

Mr. Buck

Lest I should be thought churlish, perhaps I might just say how glad we are to have had the assistance of the Minister and congratulate him on his promotion. We are grateful that he kept himself in his previous job for this evening.

Committee appointed to draw up Reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to certain of their Amendments to the Bill: the Attorney-General, Mr. Buck, Sir Peter Rawlinson, Mr. Ennals and Mr. Harold Walker; Three to be the quorum.—[Mr. Ennals.]

To withdraw immediately.

Reasons for disagreeing to certain of the Lords Amendments reported and agreed to; to be communicated to the Lords.