HC Deb 28 April 1969 vol 782 cc951-81

3.39 p.m.

Mr. Speaker

The House will remember that, on Friday morning, 25th April, the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) raised a question of privilege affecting a Sub-Committee of the Select Committee on Education and Science. He submitted that the events attending the visit of the Sub-Committee to take evidence at the University of Essex constituted a grave contempt of this House and a breach of privilege.

As the House knows, it is not Mr. Speaker's duty to pronounce on whether the events which took place at Essex University were a breach of privilege. All the Chair has to do is to rule on whether the hon. Gentleman, in his submission, made out a prima facie case of breach of privilege to the extent that the matter may be given priority over the Orders of the Day.

Accordingly, having considered all the circumstances and having studied the precedents, I now have to rule that a prima facie case has been established. It is now necessary, in accordance with the practice of the House, for a Motion to be moved and it is then up to the House to decide what course to follow.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)

In view of your Ruling, Mr. Speaker, I am required, in accordance with precedents, formally to move, That the matter of the Complaint be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

I should like to add that this is essentially a matter for the wish of the House, and that if there were indications that such a course was not generally welcomed I should be happy to seek leave to withdraw the Motion. As we are to have some important debates this afternoon, there would be advantage in reaching a decision quickly.

3.41 p.m.

Mr. Edward Heath (Bexley)

I find myself in something of a dilemma. I rise to support the Leader of the House. I agree that this matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges, but I cannot recall any occasion when this Motion has been moved in the terms which the right hon. Gentleman used this afternoon.

We look to the Leader of the House to lead the House in a particular direction and not to endeavour to lead it in two directions at once. I am sorry to differ from him, because this is an important question for the traditions of the House. When the Leader of the House does not honestly think that a matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges, it is his responsibility to tell the House so quite frankly. He is not required by any tradition of the House to lead it in a direction which he does not honestly believe to be right.

I should like to give my reasons for thinking that this matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges and I ask for the support of the House. It is the purpose and the duty of the Committee of Privileges to facilitate the business of the House by examining in detail any case which Mr. Speaker rules to be a prima facie case of privilege, by obtaining details of the circumstances which might affect the matter, something which often has to be done in some detail and may not conveniently be done by the House as a whole, by eliciting the arguments pro and con the matter, and finally to recommend to the House whether action should be taken. This has in no way ever limited the House in taking action upon a particular matter, but it greatly facilitates the business of the House by doing what is often the considerable preliminary work before a decision is reached.

During recent months, three such cases have been before the Committee of Privileges, which it has handled to the satisfaction of the House. A debate followed one and in two cases, after following the procedure I have described, the Committee came to the conclusion that it was best to advise the House to take no action, and the House did not even ask for the Reports to be debated. This testifies to the fact that the Committee of Privileges has been doing its work in facilitating the business of the House.

I recognise that on the last occasion a matter was referred the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) said that it was the last occasion on which he would support a matter going to the Committee of Privileges, not on its merits, but because he, and no doubt other hon. Members on both sides of the House, believed that the Leader of the House ought to have facilitated a full debate upon the Report of the Committee of Privileges which has now been before the House for some time. In this, I do not differ from the hon. Gentleman one scrap; I think that that Report ought to have been debated.

At the same time, the fact that the Leader of the House has not been able to arrange a debate since the hon. Gentleman raised the matter ought not to preclude us from judging on the merits of this matter whether it should go to the Committee of Privileges, and I hope that, on reflection, the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale will take that view himself.

I now come to this matter. As a member of the Committee of Privileges, I obviously wish to make no judgment upon it now, but it cannot be denied on the evidence so far available to the House that it is an important matter. That could not be contested. Some matters may be so obviously condemned as a breach of privilege, or contempt of the House, that a decision upon them can be reached straight away. During my experience in the House, which is limited and less than 20 years, to my knowledge there has not been a case in which the House could immediately come to a decision.

On the other hand, there have been occasions when a matter has been of such triviality that the House has decided that it could not be concerned with it. I can recollect two cases in which this has happened and which the House has rightly dismissed on the spot.

First, I do not believe that this case enters either of those two categories. It is undoubtedly important. A Select Committee or a Sub-Committee of a Select Committee represents the House and if it is prevented from carrying out the work which it decides to do that is undeniably a matter of importance as a public issue.

Secondly, the activities of a Sub-Committee of a Select Committee in putting itself in a position, to use a neutral term, in which this can occur to it is also a matter of great importance to the House. Those of us who have been much concerned with the work of Select Committees, particularly the broadening of their work, which the Secretary of State for Social Services inaugurated when he was Leader of the House, are obviously greatly concerned about the future of Select Committees and their Sub-Committees if such an occurrence is likely to be repeated.

For those two reasons, this is undeniably an important matter and as such, therefore, merits preliminary consideration by the Committee of Privileges before the House itself reaches a conclusion. I therefore hope that the House will agree that this is plainly a matter which should be referred to the Committee of Privileges for examination and recommendation to the House.

In conclusion, I wish to say one word about a matter regarded as important by some hon. Members. If the Select Committee were to recommend, or the House were to decide, that no action should be taken, that would not in any way absolve the university authorities themselves from taking whatever action they deemed, after examination, to be right. Whatever the House may do in no way absolves them from their responsibilities.

I therefore submit that the right course is to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges for recommendation and for the House to decide what action, if any, should be taken.

3.49 p.m.

Mr. Peart

The right hon. Gentleman put the point to me quite fairly. I moved the Motion in the terms I did after listening carefully to the observations on Friday of the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Longden) and the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle), who took the view that the matter should not be referred to the Committee of Privileges. I thought it right, therefore, to hear the views of hon. Members, having moved the Motion formally.

The right hon. Gentleman asked what was my advice. My advice is that we should let this matter go to the Committee of Privileges. This is a House of Commons matter and it is, therefore, right to allow the House to decide. I think that it should go to the Committee of Privileges, with but little discussion now. The matter can be further discussed when the House receives the Committee's Report.

3.50 p.m.

Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)

I thank the Leader of the House for his second intervention, which was very much more worthy of him than his first. I would also like to thank my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are on a serious issue. Hon. Members ought to be listened to.

Sir D. Glover

The last thing I want to do is to raise the temparature of the House in dealing with this matter, but there is a very important point that the House has to consider. It would be far better if it were considered by the Committee of Privileges, in the privacy of its own room. We want to do without the emotive forces which have already been too much involved, and which would result from a long debate on the Floor of the House.

I want to submit three reasons why the subject should go to the Committee of Privileges. I am a supporter of our Select Committees which, with the exception of the Public Accounts Committee and the Estimates Committee, are an innovation. It seems that we have not quite got the procedure of these Committees right—

Sir G. Nabarro

Or their powers.

Sir D. Glover

—or their powers, if they are to deal with these very controversial questions.

It is undeniably right that the Select Committee on Education and Science had every right to go to Essex University or to the L.S.E. Equally it would have been right, and within the powers of the Football Association, to have held a disciplinary meeting about Malcolm Allison outside Manchester Town Hall on Sunday. I do not think that anyone would have thought that either of those places was the right place to hold those meetings. There is the same criticism in the operation of the Select Committees.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not widen the debate too much. What he must argue is whether or not this matter should go to the Committee of Privileges.

Sir D. Glover

It is very relevant for the Committee to examine how Select Committee handle their affairs.

The next point of criticism—and notice that I have not so far mentioned the students—is of the Principal of Essex University. He knew that this Committee was going to the university but had apparently been unable to make arrangements for it to take its evidence with the dignity and in the quietude that one would expect of a Parliamentary Select Committee. The Committee of Privileges ought to find out from the Principal of Essex University why better arrangements were not made for the protection of the Select Committee.

The third matter I would like investigated is whether the students have had made quite clear to them the difference between five Members of Parliament going to a university as a Select Committee, and a Member of Parliament going simply as a politician. People are used to a "barney". We all accept that as party political speakers. But was it made clear that when we go as a Select Committee of this House students were attacking Parliament as such, not the individual Member?

These are all matters which would be far better investigated by the Committee of Privileges than on the Floor of the House, at great length. Therefore, I hope that the House will allow this matter, which is of some importance, to go to that Committee. I hope that it will not make recommendations, trying to turn us into a sort of prefects' council, but there is an issue here which ought to be investigated, quietly.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Charles Pannell.

Hon. Members


3.55 p.m.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

I understand that other hon. Members have an appointment in another place but the business of this House takes priority.

The Report of the Select Committee on Privileges was ordered by this House to be printed on 1st December, 1967, and it is a matter for reproach that the House has not got on with its business. Only last month, when the case of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short) and Alderman Farmer came before the House, the Select Committee reported—and there has been no dissenting voice: At the same time, Your Committee wish to emphasise that the task of the Sub-Committee in question is one with which it has been charged by the House and they would take a grave view of any attempt to obstruct any Committee or Sub-Committee of the House or any of their members in the execution of their duty. The Members who went to Essex University were on a like errand and we cannot pass that sort of Motion one month and run away the next.

It would have been perfectly in order for the Leader of the House to move, as was the custom in the old days, that he did not think the matter was of sufficient importance and that we should get back to the business of the day. This did not involve asking Mr. Speaker to rule that there was a prima facie breach of privilege—that, again, is one of those comparatively new-fangled innovations.

The Leader of the House could have done what I want to suggest now, with respect to the Leader of the Opposition, namely, that the House records that there has been a contempt of Parliament and passes on. That is the way to deal with this matter. There is no question at all that this is a breach of privilege.

Since 1733—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am sorry, but these are the traditions of this House. Since 1733 it has been held that the assaulting, insulting or menacing any Member of this House … is an high infringement of the privilege of this House, a most outrageous and dangerous violation of the rights of Parliament and an high crime and misdemeanour. Nothing could be plainer than that. I would have thought that all of this matter came into this category.

In our Report of 1967, we go on to say that we think that The House should exercise its penal jurisdiction … only when it is essential in order to provide reasonable protection for the House, its Members and Officers …". I do not know what we will do with this matter if it is sent to the Committee of Privileges. Obviously, we would have to summon the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. I do not know which which other people we would summon. [HON. MEMBERS: "Students."] Some say students. That is a general term. Some of my hon. Friends are students of sorts. There are many people who brawled and rioted and were referred to as "nut cases", and who interfered with a Sub-Committee of this House. What we really need is for the Leader of the House to direct his mind to a means of protecting these Select Committees in future. This is not the sort of situation we had in mind. There is a plain duty resting on the Vice-Chancellor to see that the civil power, the police, ensures that Members are suitably protected.

I could address the House at much greater length, but I defer because of the matter to which you referred earlier, Mr. Speaker. This is not a case—and I do want to get this home to the House—where it is necessary for the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) to ask that a prima facie case be established. He could have moved straight away that this matter was a contempt of the House, and the Sunday Press would not have been able to play about with it because we would have passed on.

Having put Mr. Speaker in the position of ruling that a prima facie case has been established, I am anxious not to do anything which appears to reflect upon your judgment, Sir. If I may say so with great respect to you, Mr. Speaker all that you have been asked to say is whether there is a prima facie case of breach of privilege. It is no reflection upon you if we refuse to act upon that.

As a member of the Committee of Privileges, I must vote for the Motion, but I would ask the Leader of the House to reconsider this, and to see whether it is not possible for him to accept the Motion that we record that there has been a contempt of Parliament and that we pass on to our next business.

4.0 p.m.

Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)

The House is obviously in some difficulty, in that there is a great deal to be said on this subject, but this is not a very appropriate time to say it. The House has other business with which it is anxious to proceed and I would, therefore, put forward some brief points, unsupported by arguments of very great length.

I do not entirely share the criticism of the Leader of the House. Those of us who think that back benchers have too little opportunity for making their views known cannot complain if occasionally the Government announce that they will listen to their advice. This is such a rare occasion that I feel more inclined to congratulate the sponsor.

I dissent from his eventual advice on two grounds. First, I do not think that it will facilitate the business of the House to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges. Secondly, we have been advised by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee that in his view the matter should not go to the Committee. If I am wrong, I know that he will correct me. These are my two arguments for thinking that we should drop the matter.

I fully share the view that the conduct at the university was disgraceful, and I also believe that it may be necessary to examine the position and rights of these new Committees. All this may be true. But I am not convinced that this is a matter for the Committee of Privileges. The Committee may be put into a difficult position if this matter is referred to it. I do not believe that it will welcome the widening of the issue suggested by the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover).

It may be that the University of Essex is badly run. I do not know. It may be that the students do not understand the position of Select Committees of the House of Commons. But I am not very clear that this is a matter which should now be examined at length by the Committee of Privileges. All we are asked is whether or not we should refer this particular case to this particular Committee. Although I fully assent that a prima facie breach of privilege has been established, I personally hope that the House will now drop the matter.

4.2 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Marks (Manchester, Gorton)

To take up the point which was raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, that it will facilitate the business of the House if this matter is referred to the Committee of Privileges, I suggest that it would do no such thing. The business of the House in this particular case is the business of the Select Committee. As I see the matter, to refer it to the Committee of Privileges will delay that work.

In my opinion, the Select Committee ought to be asked to make a special report on its visit to Essex University. It has agreed to invite the Vice-Chancellor to give his evidence here next Monday. I suggest that further consideration by the whole House should await a report by the Select Committee.

4.5 p.m.

Mr. Gilbert Longden (Hertfordshire, South-West)

When, on Friday morning, I used the word "trivial" to describe these incidents, I may have laid myself open to being misunderstood. I did not, of course, mean that it should be considered trivial by the university authorities. What I meant was that they are comparatively trivial when compared with the many other weighty matters which come before the House.

I make no complaint that my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) should have raised this as a matter of privilege. I did wonder why he had not asked me first. I now fully accept the reason for his not having been able to do so.

I respectfully concur that there is no question—I never thought there was—but that the action of the militant students at Essex University constituted a breach of privilege. Their behaviour showed gross contempt of the House. Although my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths) believes, wrongly as I think, that it is a feeling more widely shared, it is, happily, not expressed in this manner elsewhere.

But the House need not feel too deeply aggrieved because, there is nothing that these particular young people do not hold in contempt. To paraphrase, They care for nobody, no, not they"— and so it is hardly surprising that nobody, except possibly their mothers, for whom I cannot answer, cares for them. It is their misfortune that of the two conflicting sentiments which Baudelaire tells us he felt in his youth, the horror of life, on the one hand, and its ecstacy, on the other, they feel only the horror.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is going wide of the subject.

Mr. Longden

On Friday, I ventured to suggest that the House should not invoke the solemn machinery of privilege, but should leave the offenders to be disciplined by the university authorities, whose job it undoubtedly is. [An HON. MEMBER: "They do not do it."] My hon. Friend says that they do not do it. It is true that in many cases they have not done so.

Would it not be possible—I do not know the answer to this—for the House, if it should think fit, to suspend judgment on this Motion until the Sub-Committee has had an opportunity of taking evidence from the authorities—evidence which it was prevented from taking last Thursday, but which it has every intention of doing in the near future? If the matter is referred to the Committee of Privileges, the Sub-Committee will not be able to take such evidence in the near future.

4.7 p.m.

Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)

First, I should like respectfully to concur with the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) about the position in which the House is placed, and the position in which you, Mr. Speaker, are placed in being invited to say whether a particular application is one of a prima facie case of a breach of privilege.

I do not think that it is at all the case that after Mr. Speaker has pronounced that he believes a case to be a prima facie case of breach of privilege the House would in any way be questioning his judgment if it took a view that the matter should not be proceeded with. Mr. Speaker is not pronouncing on whether he thinks that this is a matter with which the House of Commons should deal by referring it to the Committee of Privileges. Mr. Speaker is passing his judgment on the precedents, and he is bound to do so—he has no other option.

But the House of Commons is not in that position. The House is the master of its own procedure. Therefore, the House can at any time, if it wishes, decide that it is better to deal with such matters by referring them to the Committee of Privileges or by not doing so. Therefore, I submit that no one should hesitate if he is opposed to referring the matter to the Committee of Privileges to do so because he feels that it might reflect on the Chair.

Moreover, in reply to what was said by the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond), that he was not sure that this was a convenient moment to discuss the matter, I submit that the House has decided that it is par excellence the convenient time for discussing this question. Because the House of Commons on previous occasions has decided that matters of privilege are so important that they should have priority of business, we are following exactly that course.

I cannot think of any better occasion for discussing this matter, even if we have to do so at some length. I myself am not proposing to address the House at any length, but others might be tempted to do so. I certainly cannot think of any better day for discussing such a matter than a Tory Supply day. I hope that nobody will be inhibited on that account. Business has been interrupted on other occasions during recent days without hon. Members losing their temper. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not be too hasty. I thought that he put the matter fairly and put very well the dilemma which he said he was in. I wish to put the other side of the case.

I do not complain about the Leader of the House being reluctant. I prefer him in his reluctant moods to when he is dynamic and aggressive. I think that we should agree, whatever dispute we have about this matter, to settle it in a proper frame of mind in discussing an important question. If anybody will assist me, I propose to oppose the Motion if it is pressed to a vote because I think that it would be foolish for the House to proceed with the course which has now been supported from both Front Benches.

My first ground for objecting is that to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred. I said on a previous occasion that if it was further proposed on future occasions that matters should be referred to the Committee of Privileges, I would oppose all such proposals. I hereby renew that undertaking. I shall oppose all such proposals until the question of privilege has been examined properly and the House has dealt with it.

Reform of the procedures of the House has been most exhaustively examined. The House received a Report from the Committee of Privileges in December, 1967. I do not put all the blame on the shoulders of the Leader of the House, because he has shown some sympathy in this matter. I think that he wishes to introduce the general reforms. But he must understand, and the rest of the House must understand, that until we have solved the problem, the Committee of Privileges is in no way fitted to deal with these matters.

The law and practice of privilege has got into such confusion—it is impossible to discriminate between serious and trivial cases, or to discover how it applies to such cases as the one we are concerned with—that we should not submit any further cases to the Committee of Privileges until that Committee has been reformed. That is my first point. It is a substantial one.

Mr. Peart

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. I believe that the House must discuss the Report one day. I have given a promise. Naturally, there must be a collective view on this matter, but I take the view that there must be a debate. However, until we have a debate, and until the House of Commons decides to change the procedure, I am bound to take the course of action which I have taken today.

Mr. Foot

I concede that, in some degree, my right hon. Friend is placed in a difficulty and that, to some extent, he shares Mr. Speaker's difficulty, namely, that he is manacled by the precedents. But the rest of us are not, because the House of Commons is master of its own procedures. If the House comes to the conclusion—and those who have read the Report of the Committee of Privileges will, I believe, come to the conclusion—that the Committee is unfitted, in its present state, to discharge its duties, the deduction which must be made is that we should refer no more cases to the Committee of Privileges until the elementary reforms of that Committee are carried out.

The second major reason why I oppose the Motion is that it touches a question which previous Committees of Privileges have not been able to examine properly, and that is the status, rights, duties and protection for Select Committees and, in particular, travelling Select Committees. I am not a great enthusiast for Select Committees, but if they are to be appointed it is absolutely right that they should travel up and down the country and take evidence in the way that they have been doing.

It is excellent that representatives of the House should travel to the universities to obtain first-hand evidence. But the idea that we can solve the problems of the rights and protections of such Committees by referring this matter to the Committee of Privileges is a fallacy. It goes much wider, or much narrower, whichever way one likes to put it. It does not fit in that slot.

The Committee of Privileges is, to some extent, bound by precedents until we decide to change them. That is why the Committee of Privileges, in its unreformed state, is not qualified to decide awkward questions concerning Select Committees. Only a Committee of Privileges reformed, at any rate partly, along the lines which some of us have suggested would be qualified to deal with these matters. That is my second ground for saying that it would be wrong for the House to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges.

My third ground is practical. There will be a terrible mess if this matter is referred to the Committee of Privileges. I do not envy those who will have to carry out these duties. Nobody knows who is to be summoned. The Committee has the right to decide who is to be summoned. But in a matter such as this there will be great difficulties. There is always the difficulty before the Committee about whether people charged with supposed crimes or breaches of privilege should be represented. What about the students who are to be charged, if they are to be charged? What about those who may be accused of breaches of privilege? Are they to be represented?

If the House were to pass the Motion, now supported by the two Front Benches, we could have a distraction for weeks and months in which students, not merely from Essex, but from the London School of Economics, might be involved. I understand that students at the London School of Economics do not need any encouragement to engage in expressions of opinion about Parliamentary democracy. I can imagine no more stupid course for the House to take than to elevate the misdemeanours, or alleged misdemeanours, at Essex University into a matter for presentation to the Committee of Privileges. If it does, there will be marches from Essex, London School of Economics and all the other universities, with students saying, "If Essex is to have this privilege, why should not we all join in the fun?"

The House will make a fool of itself if it persists with this proposal. I mean to save the House from that embarrassment. It is very difficult to deal with student revolt and student protest. I object strongly to their apparent hatred of or opposition to the ideals of free speech. I rigorously oppose them on such matters. But, to deal with this phenomenon of student revolt, I can think of no more foolish instrument to use than the lugubrious paraphernalia of Parliamentary privilege. Therefore, if the House is not to make a fool of itself, I plead for the back benchers to join together, not for the first time in this Parliament, and instil a little common sense into the two Front Benches.

4.17 p.m.

Mr. John Boyd-Carpenter (Kingston-upon-Thames)

It is an utterly unacceptable argument that, because the Leader of the House has not, as he should have done, provided time to discuss the Report of the Select Committee on Parliamentary Privileges, the House should completely abdicate its duty to defend its privileges and decline even to consider—and this I understand was the argument of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot)—the reference of any case, however flagrant, to the Committee of Privileges so that the existing machinery may operate. This is an argument which the House cannot accept without abandoning its rights and duties.

The great argument for committing this matter to the Committee of Privileges is that it would enable the House to decide it on the basis of the facts. If I may say as a member of the Select Committee of Privileges, the strength of that Committee is that it proceeds on the evidence. With due respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), we do not have the full facts. We are not able to judge or prejudge a case without ascertaining the full facts, who has been involved and what the circumstances were. The fact that this debate has shown that this is a controversial matter in the House surely makes it desirable that the House should consider it when the facts have been obtained and the evidence has been sifted. A decision could then be taken.

The only other point which I wish to make is this. As a member of the Committee of Privileges, I must not even appear to prejudge the matter, but I think that it is a reason why we should investigate it in the light of your Ruling, Mr. Speaker. I am one of those who think that the House has been far too free during recent years in suggesting that its privileges were involved, sometimes involving silly and irresponsible charges by silly and irresponsible people. But the subject matter of this complaint is wholly different.

I do not know whether it will be proved, but the allegation is that the work of a Select Committee of this House was, first, hindered and, secondly, stopped. If there is anything which justifies Parliamentary privilege, it is the right to protect our proceedings, including those of our Select Committees. This is surely what parliamentary privilege is for. It is not designed as protection simply because our feelings are hurt or because somebody has been rude or insulting to us. It is so that we can do the job of work which we have been sent here to do.

I do not pronounce whether the. Select Committee was wise or unwise to 'go on this particular occasion to this particular place, but, it went in its own judgment of its responsibilities to carry out what it regarded as its duty. For this House to say that an allegation that its work has been impeded and stopped by other people and its Members manhandled is not worth even consideration by the Committee of Privileges would be a hopeless abdication of the rights and duties of this House.

4.21 p.m.

Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)

I wish to raise a slightly different point. I agree with a great deal that has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) and also by those who have argued the course which the House must take to protect its interests.

We have here, however, a case of two Select Committees of the House. There is already a Select Committee whose work has been impeded, and that Select Committee, we are told, is at present investigating what has happened to its own Sub-Committee. It would seem to me wrong that we should now appoint the Committee of Privileges to examine the Select Committee and what has happened to it. It would seem to me to be more appropriate that we should defer discussion of the Motion until such time as the Select Committee which was involved reports to the House and gives us authentic information as to the facts and what it considers to be the circumstances in which this offence or alleged offence took place.

I wonder, therefore, Mr. Speaker, whether it might not solve the problems both of my hon. Friends who want this matter to be considered in slightly different circumstances and those who see the difficulty of examining it while a Select Committee is already in process of doing so, if we could postpone discussion of the Motion until such time as we have had a report from the Select Committee and at that time the Motion could be moved or not, as the case might be.

I wonder whether it would be in order to suggest that the moving of the Motion be postponed until such time as we have a report from the Select Committee which is itself dealing with this matter.

4.23 p.m.

Sir Harry Legge-Bourke (Isle of Ely)

I shall not delay the House for one minute longer than is necessary. I had hoped not to intervene at all, but that the whole matter would have been cleared up after the speeches from the Front Benches and from the two hon. Members of the sub-Committee who witnessed what happened when they visited the University of Essex. As matters stand, however, I feel that the issue has not been resolved and that we are rapidly getting into a position where, unless we are careful, we will do something which the House will live bitterly to regret.

It seems to me that those of us who serve on Select Committees and particularly those of us who serve on Select Committees of which Sub-Committees have to carry out the job of the whole Committee and travel around the country, are now in a very difficult position. It has been made even worse by the threat, subsequent to the events at Essex University, that the London School of Economics students will not be prepared to give evidence before the Select Committee unless it virtually becomes a public meeting. If these sort of things happen, the whole work of our Select Committees will break down.

Although, with the greatest respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Longden) and the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks), who are members of the Sub-Committee concerned in this case, I would say that the privileges of the House have prima facie been abused, I submit to the House that this matter goes beyond the scope of that Sub-Committee. It is for this reason, and this reason only, that I feel that the House would be wise to accept the advice which it has received from the two Front Benches.

4.24 p.m.

Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)

I want to emphasis the point made by the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Mr. Longden), because a real difficulty faces us. The incident in question is part of the evidence which has been given to the Sub-Committee, and the House is asking the Committee of Privileges contemporaneously to consider a matter which is in evidence before the Select Committee. Again, the sub-Committee was enjoying the hospitality of the university which, according to the evidence which has been given to us, is responsible for maintaining order on the campus. These are both matters which affect the inquiry that the Select Committee is carrying out.

I should have hoped that the House could devise a way of suspending consideration of this issue by the Committee of Privileges until the Sub-Committee has had its opportunity of considering the matter and reporting to the House. There is a grave disadvantage in having two inquiries which are concerned about different aspects of something which is very relevant to the inquiry by the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Heath

Is the right hon. Member aware that the Committee of Privileges faced a rather similar situation with a case directly affecting a Member of the House, the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell)? It lies within the power of the Committee of Privileges to arrange the timing of the evidence which it takes. Obviously, in the case to which I have referred, it took cognisance of the fact that the Specialist Committee on Science and Technology was involved and had to consider the matter, and then presented its evidence to the Chairman through the Committee of Privileges.

4.27 p.m.

Mr. David Crouch (Canterbury)

The House is facing a serious problem. It is not a question of interfering with the activities of a Select Committee examining education, but of the position of the House and its Members.

Members of the House act outside this Chamber on many occasions in Select Committee, where they are representatives of the House and of the people. If we, as Members of the House, are to be denied an opportunity of proper investigation of problems which are brought before us, we are not sufficient Members elected under our democratic system.

We are not seeking to stand on privilege in a pompous attitude. Surely, that is not the question which is before the House. The question before the House is that we should stand on our position of being able to do our duty. That is what we are seeking to debate and further examine. I feel that there is a case here for examination by the Committee of Privileges. It is not that we are so concerned that the Select Committee in question has been inhibited in its opportunity of examining the problem, but that members of that Committee have been denied an opportunity of performing the task for which they are elected.

I submit that this is something much more important than the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) has suggested. He has suggested that we are acting from a feeling of pomposity. That is not the case. This is a serious question, and I hope that the House will agree that it is one which we should decide should be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

4.30 p.m.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)

The point I want to make is very short indeed. I do not think that the House should rely on the procedure of privilege when the criminal law provides an alternative. From what we have heard from the Sub-Committee, here we have a case of assault and riot. Let the criminal laws deal with it, let a summons be taken out, for the law has effective sanctions and we have not. If we take up a position where we have no effective sanction with which to enforce it we merely make ourselves look ridiculous.

What is the point of putting ourselves into the position where all we can do is to summon to the House a young man who will glory in the publicity which we give him? That is a very silly thing to do. Let the criminal courts deal with this matter.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. I am wondering whether the House might hasten to a decision.

4.31 p.m.

Sir Gerald Nabarro (Worcestershire, South)

I want to be very brief in supporting my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition in saying that this matter should go to the Committee of Privileges.

It seems to me that the speech made by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot), in the words of the unruly student at the University of Essex, was "bloody irrelevant". I quote the words used at the university when a table used by members of the Select Committee was overturned on them.

The critical matter here, surely, is the powers which are enjoyed, or the lack of powers, by these itinerant Select Committees or Sub-Committees. It is difficult enough to establish what are the powers enjoyed inside this House by Select Committees, for permanent officials cock snooks at Select Committees and refuse to reply. Many people outside this House cock snooks at Select Committees and refuse to reply. Yet Erskine May states pompously, because it has never been revised and brought up to date, that a Select Committee has powers to send for persons and for documents.

What is the position of a Select Committee operating outside this House, one of the itinerant Select Committees, if it sends for persons who are not Members of this House and those persons cock a snook at members of the Committee and refuse to reply? What is the position if they refuse to produce documents? The fact is that Select Committees have no powers whatever to compel them. The most that Mr. Speaker of the House of Commons could do would be to report the matter to the police and ask for a person to be arrested.

Does any Member of this House really believe that any Speaker of the House of Commons would call on a member of the general public to be arrested on a charge of a contempt of Parliament simply because that person refused, in the terms of Erskine May, to produce his body or documents for examination?

I say that the reason, as supported by my right hon. Friend, why this case ought to go to the Committee of Privileges is that an effort should be made to determine what are truly the powers of a Select Committee. That seems to me to be the critical issue. If, as the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale feels, the Committee of Privileges is not the place to deal with things of this sort, still let the Committee of Privileges, in the instance of the University of Essex, say that a gross contempt of Parliament has been established; its report will then be brought back to this House to debate; the House will then have to decide upon the punishment to be accorded to these unruly students.

Does any hon. Member really believe that those unruly students will, as in the case of Mr. John Junor, some years ago, be summoned to the Bar of the House for contempt of Parliament? As the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) has just observed, those students would revel in the publicity achieved, but in any event would cock a snook at Parliament and say, "You are all bloody irrelevant, anyway"—in the words of the student at Essex University.

It is, therefore, my wish that the Committee of Privileges should examine this case while the Select Committee goes on with its work, and report that there has been a gross contempt of Parliament, which there certainly has been, and then, perhaps, the House of Commons can bring Erskine May up-to-date and decide for in the future what punishment is to be accorded to people who are not Members of this House who indulge in gross contempt of Parliament itself.

Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)

Is the hon. Member seriously suggesting that we should summon a portion of the population, namely, these students, and use them as guinea pigs? I cannot imagine anything more appropriate to bring the House into great disrepute.

Sir G. Nabarro

I am not suggesting anybody should be a guinea pig. I am suggesting that the Committee of Privileges should rule, as it will rule, undoubtedly, that a gross contempt of Parliament has occurred, and then let the House of Commons decide what kind of punishment it will accord.

I believe that there will be no punishment at all. It will then be seen that the whole system of broadened and itinerant Select Committees is absolutely futile and serves no purpose in its present form at all. There may be another form of machinery which can be evolved for them, but at present the Select Committees, which are supposed to have powers, enjoy no powers whatever.

4.35 p.m.

Mr. Christopher Price (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

The speech of the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) has raised in me all the worst fears that I have about what the results of referring this matter to the Committee of Privileges might be. I would agree with him that we are here in an area of great uncertainty and great innovation.

I believe that I was the first person to chair a Sub-Committee of this Select Committee outside the House and sitting in public—at Guildford College of Art. It was suggested from various quarters that the sort of trouble which occurred at Essex University might occur there, at Guildford, and that we might be involved in difficulties. Indeed, the whole question whether the Committee, sitting outside this House, was privileged or not, was raised at our first sitting by someone from the body of the hall who was not a witness.

I ruled, upon the advice of the Clerk, that the Committee was absolutely protected by privilege. I would agree with that, and I would agree, in the light of this, that obviously a prima facie breach of privilege has been made out.

However, where I differ is on the question whether the appropriate body to deal with this is the Committee of Privileges. The Select Committee on Education and Science is right in the middle of an investigation, and one of the areas being investigated is probably the most delicate area of investigation in this country—indeed, in the world generally. My suggestion is that the Committee itself should be allowed to resolve this particular matter and that if the House wants to judge the desirability of Select Committees travelling around the country it should at least let this particular investigation be completed, see the results of it, and see the thing as a whole, before it comes to the conclusion of shoving it to the Committee of Privileges.

We have heard from the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South of the sort of attitude which many people have. They would like to fold up all the innovations we have, and with special Select Committees going round the country, and to come right back to square one. My great fear is that, if we hand this matter over to the Select Committee of Privileges, all the pioneering work of parliamentary reform, and the establishment of these Special Select Committees which my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) introduced, will be lost, and that the whole movement for parliamentary reform will suffer a very severe setback indeed.

So I would plead very strongly indeed that we admit that there has been a grave breach of privilege, but, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) said, pass on, and not go through the paraphernalia and pomposity of referring it now, at this critical stage, to the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. C. Pannell

On a point of order. Would you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, accept a manuscript Amendment—I know that there is a precedent for this—"That this House records that the matter of the students of Essex University is a contempt of Parliament" and that we forthwith pass on to the business of the day?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harry Gourlay)

It would be in the interest of the House if the House would come to a decision on the Motion before it. I am not disposed to accept the right hon. Member's Amendment.

Mr. Pannell

With great respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I bow to your Ruling, but I was asking whether at any point the Motion which I put before you is in order. I think that it is.

Mr. E. Shinwell (Easington)

Further to that point of order. How is it possible for us to determine that a contempt of the House has occurred without having some evidence before us? I have never listened to such nonsense as we have heard this afternoon in all my experience of the House. I am baffled by the stupidity embodied in some statements which have been made.

How can we determine that there has been contempt with no evidence before us? I am being asked to vote one way or the other, but all I have before me is a statement by Mr. Speaker that there is a prima facie case, that is all, and a proposal by the Leader of the House that this matter should be referred to the Committee of Privileges. Do we require to debate this further?

4.42 p.m.

Mr. Stephen Hastings (Mid-Bedfordshire)

I am sorry that the short debate to which we have been listening strikes the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) as nonsense, as to some of us it is a fairly important matter.

I rise to ask the House two questions. First, if the work of a Select Committee had been hindered and stopped, to use the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), by any body that one can reasonably imagine other than a university, should we be in the dilemma in which we consider ourselves to be? Suppose, for instance, a trade union had refused to listen to a Select Committee and stopped it in its work, as happened at Essex University, or suppose that a company or management—

Sir Arthur Vere Harvey (Macclesfield)

—or Colin Jordan.

Mr. Hastings

—or Colin Jordan, or any other body that one can reasonably envisaged, had maltreated a Select Committee of the House in that way, should we this afternoon be hesitating for one moment in referring the matter to the Committee of Privileges? In my view, no.

Moreover, far from being exempt, universities should be the very opposite; they should be among the first to be called into account on any matter of this kind, if we are to remain responsible for the prestige and position of Parliament. A university is the last institution which should escape. My second question—

Mr. Longden

Before my hon. Friend goes on to his second question, may I say that there is no question of the universities escaping. The difference between a student body and any other body which my hon. Friend has named is that a student body is already subject to a disciplinary body which can take action, whereas the other bodies which he mentioned are not.

Mr. Hastings

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for leading me straight into the second of the two questions which I wish to put to the House. I listened carefully and with sympathy to his intervention and to others, which seemed to suggest that the matter could be left to the university authorities, and he has repeated more or less the same thing.

My second question is this. Is there any right hon. or hon. Member of this House who, if he searches his experience, his memory and his heart, seriously thinks that in the light of what we have experienced in this country in recent years this or for that matter any other university is likely to pay attention to this in the terms of which my hon. Friend has suggested? I doubt it. The hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), who is always to be listened to with deep attention on matters such as this, suggested that the matter should perhaps be left to the criminal law. I would be inclined to go along with him if I could see how this would come about. But who is to bring the charge? Who is to bring the summons? Unless that can be made clear to me, I am quite sure that we have no other sensible course than to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

In view of the important occasion about to take place in the Royal Gallery, would it be the wish of the House to reach a conclusion on the Question?

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

A number of hon. Members wish to speak. I am not making any fuss about it, but is the debate to be brought to an end in the absence of the Leader of the House and without him having heard some of the arguments?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am in the hands of the House. As long as hon. Members wish to speak, I am bound to call them.

4.45 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Silkin)

I must apologise to the House for the absence of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, who is detained in the Royal Gallery on an invitation which I think the House would have wished him to accept. I hope that the House will forgive me if, in his place, I briefly endeavour to wind up.

The House is in a very real difficulty. All the points that have been made on both sides of the argument have been made with sincerity and with feeling, but, broadly, it comes to this, that every hon. Member accepts that a Sub-Committee of a Select Committee of this House has been very badly treated, and has had its work interfered with by a group of irresponsible students; there is no doubt about that.

It seems to me that the real question boils down to one small matter, and that is whether the House, in following the mandated advice of the Chair and referring the matter to the Committee of Privileges, is using a steam hammer to crack a nut case, in the words of the Chairman of the Sub-Committee, and whether it should not go so far. I must support the view of my right hon. Friend, but this is essentially a matter for the House and, for that reason, I recommend hon. Members to follow their own convictions and their own opinions entirely upon this. I shall be voting for the Motion.

Mr. Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield)

Before my right hon. Friend sits down, will he assure those of us who take the view which he has half-expressed that this is going too far, that the protection of Sub-Committees will be looked into and, secondly, and equally important, that before long there will be a reformed Committee of Privileges to which we would be happier to send an issue such as this?

Mr. Silkin

The first point of my hon. Friend is an important one, although it is not directly related to the Motion. It is important that whenever a Select Committee or a Sub-Committee of a Select Committee of this House goes about its official duties, it should be protected, and I know that my right hon. Friend will look into this matter with the Services Committee as speedily as possible. This is something which should be done as a matter of urgency.

I can give my hon. Friend no assurance on his second point, but I will convey the matter to my right hon. Friend, and we will consider it in due course.

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

I do not wish to make a speech. I wish to ask the Deputy Leader of the House one question, the answer to which would be helpful to some of us in making up our minds on this issue. It is a question about which the Leader of the House was in two minds.

Has either Mr. Speaker or the Leader of the House received any communication from the authorities of the University of Essex expressing regret or an intention to take any course of action regarding this incident or any possible recurrence of such an incident? This seems to be relevant, especially as some hon. Members have said that there should be some delay by the House in proceeding until more is known about what is happening in the university.

Mr. Silkin

As far as I am aware, my right hon. Friend has not received such a communication. Perhaps that is not surprising. It was common knowledge that the House would be debating this matter this afternoon.

Mr. Longden

I have received from the Vice-Chancellor a letter expressing regret and also stating that he intends taking disciplinary proceedings, but that he cannot do anything until he knows the decision of the House. I should like to correct the Deputy Leader of the House in one respect. The advice that he said I gave Mr. Speaker was not mandated.

Hon. Members


Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)


Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The House must hear the hon. Member.

Mr. Molloy

Some hon. Members seem to be behaving worse than the students they are attacking.

It might well have been that the issue which has prompted this debate was an extremely serious one—a question of ordinary people being denied certain democratic rights. We would be in a position of not knowing how to deal with the matter. I echo the sentiments expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot), that the House is in a difficult situation and that the only way to resolve it is not to pick on this issue and make it a guinea pig case but, as quickly as possible, to decide how to resolve this issue and debate the main issue of the Committee of Privileges and how it should operate.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes, 197, Noes 110.

Division No. 169.] AYES [4.50 p.m.
Albu, Austen Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Oakes, Gordon
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Onslow, Cranley
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Orbach, Maurice
Baker, Kenneth (Acton) Hastings, Stephen Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Balniel, Lord Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Osborn, John (Hallam)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Higgins, Terence L. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Bell, Ronald Hiley, Joseph Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Bence, Cyril Hirst, Geoffrey Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hobden, Dennis Peel, John
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm) Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin Percival, Ian
Biffen, John Holland, Philip Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)
Biggs-Davison, John Hooley, Frank Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Binns, John Hordern, Peter Price, David (Eastleigh)
Blackburn, F. Howell, David (Guildford) Prior, J. M. L.
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hoy, James Pym, Francis
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hunt, John Rhys Williams Sir Brandon
Braine, Bernard Iremonger, T. L. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Brooks, Edwin Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ridsdale, Julian
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Jeger, George (Goole) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St. P'c'as)
Buchanan-smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Buck, Antony (Colchester) Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Bullus, Sir Eric Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Cant, R. B. Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Royle, Anthony
Carlisle, Mark Jopling, Michael Russell, Sir Ronald
Clegg, Walter Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Ryan, John
Cordle, John Kerby, Capt. Henry St. John-Stevas, Norman
Costain, A. P. Kershaw, Anthony Scott-Hopkins, James
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthome) Kimball, Marcus Sharples, Richard
Crouch, David King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Cunningham, Sir Knox Kitson, Timothy Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.
Currie, G. B. H. Lancaster, Col. C. G. Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Dance, James Lane, David Sinclair, Sir George
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Langford-Holt, Sir John Skeffington, Arthur
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Leadbitter, Ted Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Dempsey, James Ledger, Ron Stainton, Keith
Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Doughty, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Drayson, G. B. Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Dunn, James A. McBride, Neil Temple, John M.
Edelman, Maurice McCann, John Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Eden, Sir John McKay, Mrs. Margaret Tilney, John
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain Tomney, Frank
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) McMaster, Stanley Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John
English, Michael MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Vickers, Dame Joan
Ensor, David Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Waddington, David
Eyre, Reginald MacPherson, Malcolm Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Fortescue, Tim Maddan, Martin Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Galpern, Sir Myer Maginnis, John E. Walker, Peter (Worcester)
Ginsburg, David Marten, Neil Ward, Dame Irene
Glover, Sir Douglas Maude, Angus Watkins, David (Consett)
Glyn, Sir Richard Mawby, Ray Weatherill, Bernard
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Maydon. Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Wellbeloved, James
Goodhew, Victor Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Gower, Raymond Monro, Hector Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Grant-Ferris, R. Montgomery, Fergus Wilkins, W. A.
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony More, Jasper Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Cresham Cooke, R. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Grey, Charles (Durham) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Morris, John (Aberavon) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mott-Radciyffe, Sir Charles Worsley, Marcus
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Hall, John (Wycombe) Nabarro, Sir Gerald TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.) Neave, Airey Mr. Alan Fitch and
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.) Mr. Joseph Harper.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Blenkinsop, Arthur Chapman, Donald
Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw) Booth, Albert Conlan, Bernard
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Boston, Terence Crawshaw, Richard
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Boyden, James Dalyell, Tam
Awdry, Daniel Bradley, Tom Darling, Rt. Hn. George
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)
Barnett, Joel Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dickens, James
Bidwell, Sydney Carm chael, Neil Driberg, Tom
Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Lestor, Miss Joan Perry, George (Nottingham, S.)
Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Lipton, Marcus Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Ellis, John Longden, Gilbert Probert, Arthur
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Luard, Evan Rankin, John
Finch, Harold Lubbock, Eric Rees, Merlyn
Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir Eric (Islington, E.) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) MacDermot, Niall Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Macdonald, A. H. Roebuck, Roy
Forrester, John Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Scott, Nicholas
Gardner, Tony McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Garrett, W. E. McNamara, J. Kevin Sheldon, Robert
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)
Gregory, Arnold Manuel, Archie Silverman, Julius
Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Mapp, Charles Silvester, Frederick
Griffiths, Wilt (Exchange) Marks, Kenneth Slater, Joseph
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Marquand, David Spriggs, Leslie
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mendelson, John Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mikardo, Ian Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
Hamling, William Millan, Bruce Tinn, James
Hazell, Bert Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Hornby, Richard Molloy, William Wallace, George
Horner, John Murray, Albert White, Mrs. Eirene
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Newens, Stan Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Howie, W. Ogden, Eric Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Huckfield, Leslie Orme, Stanley Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Owen, Will (Morpeth) Woof, Robert
Judd, Frank Paget, R. T.
Kelley, Richard Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Park, Trevor Mr. Emrys Hughes and
Lee, John (Reading) Pentland, Norman Mr. Michael Foot.

Resolved, That the matter of the Complaint be referred to the Committee of Privileges.