§ Again considered in Committee.
§ Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.
I was explaining why the Boundary Commission had recommended in some cases constituencies of more than 80,000. On page 47 of the Report we read in respect of Newton:We felt that it would be undesirable to embark upon the far-reaching redistribution that would be necessary to achieve a reduction of one further seat in advance of any changes in local government boundaries.201 The Commission did not say the same about the constituency of Huyton. In that case it stated:We considered that the existing Huyton county constituency … could not be left unchanged …".It also recommended in some cases, and gave the reasons in each case, why there should be constituencies of fewer than 40,000. For example, the Commission said of Northumberland:We according proposed no change in the existing Parliamentary constituencies in Northumberland, subject to a further review of the situation when the pattern of local government had been settled.It is clear that, in recommending constituencies of more than 80,000 or fewer than 40,000 the Commission was fully able to take into account the possible effects that the Redcliffe-Maud recommendations might have later.
The Government may argue that we have taken the wrong limits, that we have drawn the line wrongly in adopting the figures of 80,000 and 40,000. If they take that view they will not be criticising us, because the Boundary Commission adopted these limits as the criteria within which to work. We have taken exactly the same criteria in framing this series of Amendments.
Many of my hon. Friends would like to argue each constituency on its merits, but that is impossible in view of the time allowed for this debate. Time is needed to argue each case coherently, let alone the time needed if we are to receive a coherent reply from the Government on each issue. We are also faced with the difficulty that there is to be no Report stage for the Bill. This means that, however cogently our arguments may be adduced, the Government will not accept our proposals. We shall therefore be left at the end of the debate with the only sanction open to us—to divide upon each of these Amendments on which it is open to us to divide the Committee.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I have been chided for not rising early enough to speak in these debates, and it may be convenient to the Committee if I say some preliminary words about my general attitude to the Amendments at the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long debate.
The hon. Member for Melton (Miss Pike), whom we have known and re- 202 spected for many years, put up what was undoubtedly a good case for having redistribution as is recommended for her constituency. I say at once that I do not know of anything which would prevent me from accepting Amendments if I believed that they were justified. Certainly, I am under no mandate to refuse to accept Amendments. However, having been through all these carefully, I think that to accept Amendments would probably create more difficulties than it would solve. I want it to be clear, however, that, although I cannot see any Amendment which would be acceptable, that does not prevent me from listening to the arguments if hon. Members are convincing.
The hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Sharples) tried to turn the barb a little by saying that he was sure that I would talk about drafting errors. He said that no one who did not have the resources of a great Department at his disposal could be expected to draft Amendments without drafting errors. How well I know that! I tried to do it for 13 years. But these are more than drafting errors. Both right hon. and learned Gentlemen have tried to do redistribution, and to do that maps, among other things, are needed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Boundary Commissioners."] I absolutely agree. Hon. Members come to my point with a quickness and percipience which I can hardly hope to emulate. It cannot be done from the Opposition Front Bench., and one needs Boundary Commissioners. [Interruption.] I hope that hon. Members are not trying to argue the principle of the Bill again, for we have settled that already.
§ Mr. Callaghan
No, the House has, and it is time that the hon. Gentleman realised that he cannot always carry the House with him.
The point about a number of the Amendments, I regret to say, is that they have ragged edges. Their general impact is that in some cases constituents are included in two constituencies while in others they are left out of any constituency.
This has arisen because local government boundaries have been adjusted since 203 the 1954 Boundary Commission. The general principle upon which the Opposition have proceeded, as I understand, having looked carefully through the Amendments, is that they have taken the new local government boundaries and applied the Boundary Commissioners' recommendations to those boundaries. That is fine as far as it goes, but it neglects the fact that the Commissioners could not neglect, that a number of old local government boundaries have not been incorporated in the new constituencies.
By taking an additional bite at another cherry, the right hon. and learned Gentleman has included a group of electors in his new group of constituencies who are still included in the old group of constituencies because he has not taken them out of those by making the necessary adjustments. Conversely, where the size of a local government area has been diminished since 1954, he has now taken the new local government area—
§ Mr. Callaghan
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will leave me alone, for this is an intricate argument; I hope that he is trying to understand it.
§ Mr. Callaghan
This is the case against accepting the Amendments. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has taken a new local government area and applied the Boundary Commissioners' results to it and thought that that was bound to give the right answer. What it neglects is that there may well be an area which was in the local government area and is now excluded by this process, with the consequence that those constituents are neither in the hon. Gentleman's batch of constituencies nor in the batch recommended by the Boundary Commission. It is not a very big problem, but it affects several thousand people over a large number of areas. We are not talking about the drafting of Amendments. This is one of the technical difficulties of trying to do a boundary redistribution in Committee. It cannot be done.
According to the best estimates that have been made for me, the effect of the hon. Gentleman's proposals would be to alter 147 constituencies outside Greater London. The Amendments would give 204 effect to 138 of the 209 major changes proposed by the Commission outside Greater London and to nine of the 63 minor changes. It would leave out a substantial number of other constituencies in which this ripple effect is felt and could be met only by having other Amendments, which, in turn, would prompt even smaller fleas, upon their backs, to bite them. This is the reason why the Government have put the proposal in this way. We either have to take a clear set of boundaries, such as the Greater London area—
§ Mr. Callaghan
If the hon. Gentleman says "really", in that scornful fashion, he cannot have been following the argument.
We have to take a clear group of boundaries such as the Greater London area, which has been settled, is fixed and is known and which can be taken as a whole, and even then when we wanted to put those into effect, it has been necessary to deal with what I call the "straddle" constituencies—that is, the three or four partly in Greater London, partly outside, and which if we did not take this step in the Schedule to the Bill, would be left out altogether. We either have to do that, or to leave it alone. I cannot see on any just basis that it would be possible to accept the Amendments.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Just as between one constituency and another. The hon. Gentleman may not understand the term.
§ Mr. Callaghan
No, I will not give way. The hon. Gentleman has interrupted me twice from a sedentary position. He can make his own speech later, and I have no doubt that it will be in his usual offensive terms and that I shall be entirely unmoved by it—unless it is rational, and at the moment I regret to say that the Amendment being moved is not rational in the sense that it overrides the boundaries I have spoken of.
Not only would these Amendments do that, but they would cut across the principle of the Bill—no one can really say that Amendments which give effect to 178 out of the 209 major changes proposed by the Commission are doing 205 anything other than cutting across the principle. They must be, and the House has already decided—
§ Mr. Tom Boardman (Leicester, South-West)
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what number of people will be affected, if any, by this Amendment?
§ Mr. Callaghan
I cannot give the exact figures for people in Melton and Belvoir, but there is a tiny group of people in Melton and Belvoir rural district, who are in the Parliamentary constituency of the hon. Member for Melton, but who are in another local government boundary, Rutland and Stamford. There is a small group in Rutland and Stamford for local government purposes and in her constituency for Parliamentary purposes. It is a small number, and I will gladly give the figure later. This is not what I would regard as a bad example of this.
§ 10.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I agree. The hon. Lady is right. She has had this overspill effect in her constituency for a very long time. The House has decided to ask her to put up with it for three or four years more. She has already put up with it for 20 years—[Interruption.] I cannot remember when the hon. Lady became a Member.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The Bill will not cause disruption. It proposes that the hon. Lady should fight the next election on the same boundaries as she fought the 1966, 1964, 1959 and 1955 elections. There will be no disruption at all. I do not think the hon. Lady's example is one of the major cases. There are far bigger cases in which the effect would be quite important.
The Opposition want to include all constituencies with electorates over 80,000. That is not the principle of the Bill. It cuts against the principle. When 206 I hear their full-throated cheers at the mention of Huyton, I see the political cloven hoof coming through. [Interruption.] The Opposition Whip, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Mr. Eyre), usually makes agreeable speeches, but this time he seems to be pursuing his avocation in a different way. He is not one of those I would accuse of this, but there is a determined attempt by the Opposition to pursue a mean and nasty vendetta against the Prime Minister.
That is why the Opposition give full-throated cheers every time they hear the word "Huyton". That is why they want to vote. The case for Huyton is as good as that for anywhere else. Right hon. and hon. Members opposite will not convince me that they are not interested in the politics of this matter as long as they make the sort of approach which they have made.
Although I shall be happy to listen to the arguments on the Amendments, none of them will stand up on technical grounds. Further Amendments would be needed to other constituencies which are not included.
§ Mr. Robert Cooke
I am glad to have the opportunity of speaking to my Amendment No. 13, which is complemented and amplified by Amendment No. 70 in the name of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg).
I am encouraged by what the Secretary of State said. He complained that some of our Amendments were not complete and that they would have consequential effects which could not be coped with. He said that we had done only 138 out of 209. That was not too bad in the four days which we had at our disposal and with the help which we could get. However, I had the benefit of the help of a department of the House in getting my proposal on the Notice Paper. I therefore hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take note of it.
There are no ragged edges left over in the Bristol area as dealt with by my Amendment. It deals with the constituencies within the City of Bristol and the consequential effect on South Gloucestershire, and nothing else.
§ Mr. Cooke
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. He may be able to find a few square yards here and there, but it is fair to say that this is an easy case to deal with.
I was disinclined to get involved in the rather squalid debate about the Bill. Some of the speeches which I heard from the benches opposite earlier today almost confirmed me in my reluctance. However, I shall try to stick to the important practicalities without getting involved in the political squalor.
I am the only Opposition Member for a city of nearly 500,000 people. Therefore, I thought it unlikely that anyone would put the case for dealing with Bristol effectively if I did not say a few words. My Amendment would enact the Boundary Commission's proposals for Bristol, and the consequential Amendments would deal with all the other matters related to it.
I would like to speak only briefly about the City of Bristol. I have had no representations whatever from the political party to which I belong, either in the city or outside, either to put down an Amendment or to intervene in the debate. I speak as a Bristolian who is anxious to see my city represented in a balanced and effective manner and to see the uncertainty removed which certainly now exists following the proposals of the Boundary Commission and the reluctance of the Government to enact them. Redcliffe-Maud is no excuse in this case. None of the suggestions in that report need prevent the Government enacting the Bristol proposals.
What are, briefly, the Bristol proposals? The Boundary Commission makes a major change in the abolition of the Central Division of Bristol, now represented by the hon. Member for Bristol, Central (Mr. Palmer), who sits opposite, to whom, it must be added, this fate has happened twice before. One must have some sympathy with the hon. Member, who has made valuable contributions in the House, having had this unhappy event happen to him on two previous occasions, in having his constituency abolished by the Boundary Commission. One must feel for him when he finds that it is happening yet again.
I had not intended to refer to the hon. Member personally but for his remarks in 208 the Bristol Evening Post of last week—I have told him that I would refer to him—where he attacked me. The headline stated:Mr. Palmer hits at 'foolish' Tory move.He accused me of making a "very foolish move" by putting down an Amendment to enact the Boundary Commission's proposals for our city and said:He proposes to eliminate the separate representation of the business heart of the City which has existed from ancient times.That was the burden of the hon. Member's complaint. He said that I was foolish in putting down my Amendment which, he said, would have that effect.
To start with, it is not particularly foolish in the view of many hon. Members, on both sides, to enact the Boundary Commission's proposals. Secondly, it is not true that the business part of Bristol is all in the Central division. It is half in Central Bristol and half in West Bristol. West Bristol has been represented by the Tory Party since 1885, and, incidentally, by myself in four Parliaments, rather more than twice as long as the hon. Member.
One does not, however, want to make play about this, because the representation of the City is a partnership between all the Members—although it must be admitted that Socialists, by their very nature, tend to make it difficult to work in partnership with the world of business, believing, as they do, that profits are immoral. However, I welcome the help which I hope to get from hon. Members opposite in getting on with the West Dock proposal and all the other things that Bristol needs so badly but which are vetoed by the Government.
To revert to the serious point of the Boundary Commission's proposals, they arose out of a thorough study of the city's population statistics and they were subject to a public inquiry at which the hon. Member for Bristol, Central appeared, together with two of his hon. Friends. The evidence which the hon. Member for Bristol, Central gave flatly contradicts his attack on me. At the local inquiry, held in September, 1967, at which there were no objections whatever from the Conservative Party, the hon. Member for Bristol, Central and his friends were represented and, indeed, appeared in person.
209 The general view of the Commission was that the City should have five and not six Members of Parliament due to the population changes. It said:This acceptance is, in the case of the Bristol Central Labour Party and its present M.P."—mentioning the hon. Member for Bristol, Central—understandably less than enthusiastic—and one can sympathise with that; but the hon. Member himselfconceded it to be inevitable.Yet he attacks me for attempting to enact the very proposal.
§ Mr. W. A. Wilkins (Bristol, South)
As a matter of correction, it was the Conservative Party which was represented and the Labour Members for Bristol who turned up and spoke for themselves.
§ Mr. Cooke
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention. The Conservatives in the city felt it was quite wrong that they should get entangled in these squalid arguments; they merely sent learned counsel to demolish the case put up by hon. Members opposite.
The hon. Member for Bristol, Central contested the suggestion that his constituency continued to lose electors. However, says the inspector, hedoes not actively seek to disturb the Commissions provisional determinationand the inspector said that it should be looked at again in the future should it need revision. The present figure for Bristol, Central is 35,081, which is 5,000 less than it was when this discussion took place. So that it is 35,000 and going down.
That, I think, is the argument for dealing with the case of Bristol, Central as a matter of urgency, and I want now to refer briefly to the other seats in Bristol, and to say that I have no quarrel whatever with the recommendations affecting Bristol, West. They are neither to my advantage nor disadvantage, and whatever they were I would not seek to upset them because I am making the case that the Commission's proposals should be enacted for the city as a whole.
This brings me to the general matter, and the point I want to make is that here was a case where the Labour Party 210 did not like the look of fie proposals and sought to have them altered at the public inquiry and that the Labour Members for Bristol fell out amongst themselves. The supporters of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn) produced an extraordinary scheme which was condemned out of hand by the hon. Member for Bristol, South and the hon. Member for Bristol, Central—and very right, too. I shall not refer to either of those hon. Gentlemen again, so they need have no fear that they need to challenge what I am going to read out from the findings of the inspector.
The figures which were produced by the supporters of the right hon. Member for Bristol, South-East to put their case and to alter the electorate in certain wards to their advantage were produced, according to the inspector, bya method about the scientific basis of which I am far from satisfied, purporting to demonstrate the future numbers of electors to be expected. Unfortunately, however, a comparatively cursory survey by"—counsel for the Conservative Partyof no more than the first table revealed that, quite apart from any criticism which there might be of the basis of calculation, there were a number of copying and arithmetical errors".He went on that the Labour agentwas obliged in the end to agree with me that in these tables the figures for the past are approximate and those for the future speculative".The inspector said that he would feel safely able to place no reliance whatever on the material.
I hope that I have made the point clear without reading out the whole passage, but perhaps I had better read it all:This is not on any view such case, but even if it were I should not, in the circumstances to which I have referred above, feel safely able to place any reliance whatever upon this material.In conclusion, the inspector says that the constituencies should be reduced from six to five and that the disturbance proposed by the Labour Party to the electors of South-East Bristol to bring about its political aims was quite unjustified.
That, really, sums up the whole case. The contentions of the party opposite would involve a disturbance which would be quite unjustified. The proposals 211 which I and my hon. Friends are making in respect of this one city and the other places we speak about in the Amend- 212 ments are all of them neat, tidy, sensible proposals, and I hope that the Government will think again before they reject them.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Sir D. Glover
In rising to speak on Amendment No. 22, as many right hon. and hon. Members know, I speak as an independent Member of the House. The Home Secretary knows that I do not agree with the recommendations of the Boundary Commission in their entirety. I criticise the Home Secretary and the Guillotine, because here we are dealing with complicated matters and time should be given for adequate discussion by the House of Commons.
The Boundary Commission had to deal with constituencies represented by very distinguished Members: Huyton, represented by the Prime Minister; Ormskirk represented by the hon. Member now addressing the Committee; Crosby; and Liverpool, Walton. This caused the Boundary Commission a great deal of worry, as it was faced with a difficult problem.
The Boundary Commission started off with the Prime Minister's constituency, Huyton, which it said, was grossly overlarge and about which something must be done, as was said at the opening of the Inquiry. My constituency of Ormskirk, it said, was also too large, and action had to be taken. The constituency of Crosby was too small, as was the constituency of Bootle. The Boundary Commission started to deal with this problem long before the Government of the day decided to alter the voting age from 21 to 18.
The change in the voting age altered the whole complex of the problem, because Huyton has the largest number of people between the ages of 18 and 21 in the whole of North-West England. So when, in 1966, the Boundary Commission started to consider the figures of 87.000 plus, for Huyton even without the natural growth year by year, the result of reducing the voting age to 18 automatically produced an electorate of 100,000 plus in the Prime Minister's constituency. With the present constituency boundaries and electorate this is probably the fastest growing constituency in the North-West, and it will remain in that state for a long time.
§ Sir D. Glover
I am speaking to Amendment No. 22. I hope that the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) will not, as usual, keep on interrupting from a sedentary position.
§ Sir D. Glover
I will not give way.
The Boundary Commission solved this difficult problem by moving one-third of my constituency into the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page)—to which I did not object although it contained some of the best Conservative areas; it removed one-third of his constituency into Bootle, thereby making Bootle and Crosby viable and, if the situation had stopped there, making my constituency viable. But the Commission then removed from the Prime Minister's constituency into my constituency the urban district of Kirkby, thereby making the Prime Minister's constituency viable and transferring the problem from him to me by making by constituency as big as his.
This is my major reason for objecting to the Boundary Commission's proposals. I tell the Committee bluntly that, although I have opposed the boundary recommendations all along the line—and the Home Secretary knows that I have written to him and opposed the recommendations—at least the Commission has solved the problem of Bootle, Crosby and Huyton. It started off with three problems and has reduced them to one, very much to my detriment or to my constituents' detriment.
That was done by a neutral nonpolitical organisation. Although I have fought this tooth and nail, all along the line, I have no feeling, nor have my constituents or Conservative supporters, that this was a squalid political deal. We realise that the Boundary Commission has made a disastrous mistake in its proposals, but there is no suspicion in our minds that this has all been done for a political purpose.
What has now happened as a result of the Home Secretary's action? To he frank, my Conservative colleagues in my constituency are as pleased as Punch. But that is not the point. The point with 215 which the House is dealing is that during the past 150 years there has been a good deal of gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries to suit political power. Because of this evil—and it is a very great evil—Parliament in its collective wisdom, has said that it must be put in the hands of people with no political axe to grind.
I say with deep feeling that although personally I believe that the Commission has made a mistake in the way the proposals have affected the Ormskirk constituency, what has been done by the Commission has been done without any political bias. But we are now in danger of putting in the minds of the public the fact that a political axe is now being ground.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I am not altering any boundaries. The hon. Gentleman will fight his election next time on the same boundaries he fought last time, and so will I and everybody else. What the hon. Gentleman said when he wrote to me was that he thought the proposals for South-West Lancashire a disaster. I do not know whether they are a disaster or not, but what the hon. Gentleman has not mentioned—and I hope that he will mention it when talking about his constituents—is that under the Redcliffe-Maud proposals Bootle will be split between two units, Huyton between two units, Ince between three units, and Ormskirk between three units. If we are going ahead with that reorganisation, does it make sense to implement a disaster now and then to have to have another go at it in three or four years' time?
§ Sir D. Glover
I am grateful to the Home Secretary for that intervention. The Ormskirk constituency is at the moment split between four authorities. Under the proposals, the right hon. Gentleman has said that we are to be split between three. When it comes to parliamentary boundaries, the local government area does not make all that much difference.
I have not the slightest difficuty in dealing with three urban districts and one rural district. I would have very little difficulty in dealing with the municipal Borough of Crosby. I deal with each of my constituents individually. I deal with their problems, and I would have little difficulty about that. I am not 216 responsible for sewerage, drainage, and dustbin collection. The actual boundary of the constituency does not make all that much difference. But the Home Secretary is insisting that a problem which the Boundary Commission started off by saying must be dealt with will not in fact be dealt with.
The Huyton constituency had 87,000 electors in 1966. With the alteration in the voting age, that is automatically over 100,000. With the growth of the constituency rising rapidly, it will very soon be 110,000. Yet the right hon. Gentleman proposes that it should remain as it is for as long as we can see into the future.
We have argued on other Amendments how long it will be before these changes take place. We on this side of the Committee are more realistic in thinking that the changes will be much longer delayed, to deal with this vast reorganisation of local government, than hon. Members opposite will admit. Yet we are leaving unchanged for perhaps the next 10 or 15 years what is already the largest constituency. Before the next boundary changes take place, the constituency of Huyton will probably be 120,000 strong. That cannot be the right way for this House to conduct its affairs.
The right hon. Gentleman knows my detailed view about what the Boundary Commission recommended for this part of South-west Lancashire. But I am sure that it would be far wiser for the Committee to accept the recommendations of the Commission, with all their disadvantages, rather than leave the strong suspicion that these changes are being made not to suit the hon. Member for Ormskirk, but the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson).
§ Mr. Tony Gardner (Rushcliffe)
As an hon. Member on this side of the Committee who is put to considerable disadvantage by the action proposed by my right hon. Friend, perhaps I might be permitted a few remarks.
One point made by the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) was that he was not very favourable to the Boundary Commission's recommendations. I am in a similar position, though for the opposite reason, in that the Commissioners recommended substantial changes to my constituency which would be to my advantage, for two reasons.
217 First, it is a sprawling constituency which is split in half by the river Trent and difficult to manage and organise, much as we try. Secondly, although the Government have been accused of gerrymandering, the Commissioners proposed to take away a substantial rural part of my constituency and add a substantial industrial and mining area, the political implications of which are obvious.
The accusation of gerrymandering has been made throughout these debates and, in that connection, I want to look at the proposals for the city and county of Nottingham generally.
I am not sure why we appear at all in Amendment No. 71, since the only substantially large constituency in the county is Carlton, which has an electorate of only 74,000. But perhaps we can come to the reason for it later.
Let us be quite frank: we are discussing politics and political issues. When we look at the proposals made in Nottinghamshire—proposals which will not be implemented for the moment as a result of the Bill—let us consider the realities of the situation.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite are optimistic if they imagine that they will get back to a 1959 election situation. In 1959, there was only one Labour Member of Parliament for the whole of the City of Nottingham and the immediately surrounding county, though there were others in the north of the county. The effect of the Boundary Commission's proposals would be to give three safe seats to the Labour Party in Nottingham and its surroundings. There would be another marginal Labour seat and a Conservative marginal seat.
As far as I can make out, in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the only people in favour of the Boundary Commission's proposals are some local Labour Party associations and myself. The local councils, dominated by Conservatives, and local Conservative Party associations are opposed to them. If this is gerrymandering I wish that my right hon. Friend would get it right.
I want now to refer to the reasons why the Boundary Commissioners took the decision that they did about the City and County of Nottingham. It is important in the context of the way that the 218 Amendments were moved. They say that the only substantially large constituency is Carlton, but on page 53 of their report they say:We concluded that, whether ten or eleven scats were allocated to the county, it would be preferable to separate the county borough from the administrative county for the purposes of parliamentary representation.This was why they went through an exercise which involved substantial changes to many constituencies.
Now we have the Redeliffe-Maud Report, which says that the administrative City of Nottingham should be part and parcel of the administrative County of Nottingham. So this exercise has been gone through to no purpose. There are no hugh constituencies of 100,000 there, so there is no reason for this kind of redistribution.
Suppose that these proposals were imagined by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to suit the advantage of the Conservative Party. In that event, the Opposition would not be here tonight arguing that—[HON. GENTLEMEN: "Yes."] Let me finish. Rt. hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite would not be here tonight arguing that because of the imminence of local government reform this must be put off because we could not have two upheavals one after the other.
I am sure that the hon. Member for Ormskirk would not be one of those leading the argument. I think that my right hon. Friend was wrong not to announce, when the decision to set up the Royal Commission was made, that the boundaries decision would be put off until after the local government reorganisation.
§ Mr. Callaghan
In the light of those "Hear, hears", it would be interesting to know whether the Opposition would have agreed at that time to it being put off.
§ Mr. Gardner
I hope that the private argument is now finished. My point was that we have been discussing an accusation of gerrymandering. I said, and I maintain the view, that the Government were wrong not to announce at the beginning that, because of local government 219 reorganisation, it would be necessary to hold up the process of Parliamentary boundary reorganisation. But they did not do this. The facts are still, however, that there will be substantial changes brought about by the changes in local government and it is not worth going through this exercise time and again.
For these reasons, despite the obvious disadvantage to myself, I hope that the Amendment will be rejected.
§ Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)
I want to return to Amendment No. 22, which deals with the Prime Minister's constituency—Huyton. The recommendations of the Boundary Commission in respect of Huyton are like a pebble in a pool, as they affect the four neighbouring constituencies of Ince, Bootle, Ormskirk and Crosby.
I readily admit, before being accused of anything, that if the Commission's recommendations were carried out they would be of great political advantage to me. I wish that the Prime Minister would as readily admit that if the Commission's recommendations were carried out they would be of great political disadvantage to him. This is not something which one can giggle off.
§ Mr. Callaghan
What evidence has the hon. Gentleman for that last statement that carrying out the recommendations would be of political disadvantage to the Prime Minister?
§ Mr. Callaghan
It is no good hon. Gentlemen saying, "Oh". Has that been examined, and can the hon. Gentleman say which constituencies would be which?
§ Mr. Graham Page
The right hon. Gentleman has only to look back on the political history of Kirkby to realise that it is staunchly Labour. There are 30,000 to 35,000 such voters in that district.
The provisional recommendations of the Commission were to divide these five constituencies into almost equal numbers of constituents, between 59,000 and 68,000. The Commission said:We consider that the existing Huyton C.C. (87.379 electors) could not be left unchanged and our provisional recommendations reduced the size of its electorate by transferring Kirkby U.D …220 My hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) has shown that that 87,000, which is a large enough constituency as it stands, has in it a large number of people between the ages of 18 and 21. The right to vote at 18 will increase the constituency by 13,000 to 15,000, bringing it up to a 100,000 constituency, and rising over the next 10 years to 120,000.
The Commission then had representations made to it, and an inquiry was held by the assistant commissioner, which produced the revised recommendation:The assistant Commissioner therefore supported our scheme on the ground that the present Huyton C.C. could not be left unchanged with 87,379 electors.That was the second time the report said that this constituency could not be left unchanged.
Further representations and objections were made to the Commission, and some modified recommendations were made after a further inquiry. That was the third time the Commission confirmed that Huyton was so large that it could not be left as it was.
There were yet further representations, and then a fourth inquiry, following which there was a final recommendation which stuck to the first provisional recommendation that Kirkby should be removed from Huyton.
The whole theme of those four thorough inquiries was merely that Huyton was too large, and could not be left as it was. The obvious and almost undisputed solution was to remove the urban district of Kirkby. There was no real dispute that Huyton had to be reduced in size. The whole issue in those four thorough inquiries—and I do not know anywhere else in the Commission's Report where there has been such thorough inquiry as in this case—was where to put Kirkby, into whose constituency? My hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk was landed with it in the end, unfortunately for him. I do not mean that in any ill reference to the constituents in Kirkby.
§ Sir D. Glover
I think the Committee ought to be aware that I was given Kirkby even though the assistant commissioner, after the last inquiry, recommended that it ought to go to Liverpool, Walton.
§ Mr. Graham Page
Despite that, the Boundary Commission stuck to its first recommendation. After all these inquiries it was satisfied that that recommendation was right. Is there any reason why this House should set aside this politically independent recommendation, after so much inquiry into the facts and the ascertaining of the best thing to be done for these five constituencies?
The only answer we have had is, "Well, the recommendation would split up the constituencies over a number of local government boundaries." This has never troubled us in the district before. As my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk pointed out, a Member deals with his individual constituents all the better if he has to consult a number of local authorities in dealing with his constituents' problems. No hon. Member should be considered to be a Member for a local authority, and represent a local authority, or even be an Ombudsman for a local authority; he should be a Member for his individual constituents. There is no logical reason for not carrying out this recommendation.
So we have to look for an illogical reason—or perhaps even this is a logical one: there is no doubt that the Prime Minister would lose his seat if these recommendations were carried out. That is something that we must bear in mind throughout the course of this debate.
§ Mr. James Dunn (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
Many people on Merseyside who have studied this matter of the four inquiries very closely do not believe that my right hon. Friend's constituency position would be damaged, but that the Ormskirk seat would become a Labour seat. No doubt the Prime Minister would have taken it, as he did before.
§ Mr. Graham Page
Is the Prime Minister going to change his constituency from Huyton to Ormskirk? Is that a fact?
§ Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)
This was to have been one of the great debates. This was to have been about gerrymandering, involving the Prime Minister. Naturally, it was to be a set piece. The trouble is that the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) has lowered the temperature a little. He is a most engaging hon. Member and a fine Parliamentarian, but on 222 this occasion I wonder whether he is being absolutely honest with the Committee.
I have a reasonably good memory, and I remember the representations made—
§ Mr. Heffer
Yes, the hon. Member said so. He had to say so. The facts are there. If he had not done so I would have said it for him.
I repeat it. What happened? When it became known that there was a possibility—a remote chance—that Kirkby, which had always been a strong Labour centre, was once again to go to the Ormskirk constituency—it was part of that constituency when my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister won it in 1945 —with a few additional people from Liverpool, the screams ccming from the hon. Member were unmerciful. He did not want Kirkby in the Ormskirk constituency, and he had a million reasons why it should not be in. The main reason was that it would make Ormskirk a somewhat doubtful seat for the Conservatives.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Sir D. Glover
The hon. Member had better explain to the Committee that the Kirkby Urban District Council, at that time heavily Labour-controlled, also opposed the Boundary Commission changes and wanted eventually to go into the hon. Member's constituency. They did not want to come to Ormskirk.
§ Mr. Heffer
They did not want to go over into the hon. Gentleman's constituency. The local authority felt that there should be a new authority, comprising Kirkby and two wards from my constituency. I objected to the Commission, but not because I did not want that arrangement. Those two wards are the two strongest Labour wards in my constituency, which would have made the new seat the strongest Labour seat in Lancashire. I should have had no worries for the next five years.
The truth of the matter is—this brings out the hypocrisy of hon. Gentlemen opposite—that it looked as though Kirkby was going in at that stage, which would have made Ormskirk a doubtful Conservative seat, and the hon. Gentleman's screams were unmerciful. But, he says, things are different now: he does not like the Commission's proposals, but he will 223 reluctantly accept them, and, knowing that he will not win the vote, will throw in his lot with his hon. Friends.
§ Sir D. Glover
The whole of the hon. Member's speech is an attack on me, which is a little unfair. The whole point is that there was not much point—he knows this, because he attended the inquiries—in dealing with a constituency of 87,000 and making another of 87,000. That would only transfer the problem from one constituency to another. That was the basis of my argument.
§ Mr. Heffer
The hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends keep saying that we are gerrymandering by changing constituency boundaries, but we are not changing constituency boundaries. Like me, the hon. Gentleman was asked by the Liver-pool Daily Post for his reaction to the Redcliffe-Maud proposals, which would mean substantial changes in the Liverpool - Ormskirk - Bootle - Kirkby - Huyton area. He said that it did not matter that there were various local authorities in his constituency. As the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page) said, we do not represent local authorities. But we would need much more money and many more secretaries if we had to deal with county boroughs and county councils as well as the smaller authorities on any large scale. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why? "] Perhaps some hon. Members do not do their job properly. I do, and it costs me a lot of money to deal with only one local authority.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Sir Barnett Janner)
Order. If the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) does not give way, he must be allowed to proceed.
§ Mr. Heffer
I have given way a number of times, Sir Barnett. My right hon. Friend has never suggested that there should be no changes in Parliamentary boundaries. He has said that there should not be changes at this point in time. Once the Redcliffe-Maud proposals have been thoroughly discussed throughout the country and there has been the thorough change in our local government system which we all admit to be essential, it will become very sensible to look at the Parliamentary boundaries again and to make changes. But hon. Members opposite 224 say that we are gerrymandering and trying to protect Labour seats. They know that they are being thoroughly politically dishonest. Unfortunately, the hon. Member for Ormskirk, whom I greatly admire, has perpetuated the same dishonest argument.
§ Mr. Frank Taylor (Manchester, Moss Side)
I support many of these Amendments and particularly No. 69, which refers to Manchester.
§ Mr. Taylor
It is all right, Sir Barnett. They are always like that over there, on those benches below the Gangway.
The Home Secretary made several errors in his speech. He spent a long time telling us of the ripples which would be set up if we made piecemeal amendments to constituencies without considering the repercussions to other constituencies. That is the most potent argument for adopting the Boundary Commission's Report in toto, because if we accept only little bits of it we do set up ripples.
On the other hand, in considering the changes proposed for Manchester and Bristol, for example, we see that the adoption of the Commission's proposals would cause no ripples at all. In Manchester, two Labour seats would become one—which may be another matter.
Large numbers of people are already disfranchised in the country, partly by legal processes and partly by circumstances. The Bill will partly disfranchise many thousands more, in the sense that some constituencies have only 20,000 voters while others have 100,000 voters. Six votes in one constituency equal one vote in another. This situation builds up because of movements of population over the years. It is obviously wrong, and the Boundary Commission, looking to the future, wanted as nearly as possible to achieve one man, one vote. But the Labour Party will not accept this.
More people than one might think are disfranchised. Even if 80 per cent. of the voters take part in a General Election—the percentage is never as high as that—that still leaves about 6 million not taking part. Many do not vote because they are too lazy—because they prefer television or the local "pub" but many others are disfranchised.
225 For example, in my constituency of Moss Side there is an overall population movement of about 15 per cent. There is a greater movement in East Moss Side because of the bigger immigrant population. However, about 80 per cent. of that 15 per cent. do not vote because it is not practicable for them to do so. In a city as large as Manchester, with its present nine constituencies, somebody who has moved from one part of the city to another may have to travel eight or nine miles to register his vote. Perhaps he cannot get a postal vote. In any event, many people are not aware of the postal vote system or are made aware of it too late. In other cases the postal voting arrangements are not efficient enough.
There are other reasons why people are disfranchised. Errors occur in electoral lists. I have seen the names of babies recorded on the lists and adults being excluded from them. Sometimes electoral forms are placed through letter boxes in houses where many people lodge, but because the forms are lost or destroyed nobody in those houses appear on the lists. I do not want further disfranchisement to occur, but that will happen under the Bill.
From a selfish point of view, I would not welcome the Boundary Commission's recommendations being implemented, because my area would have two wards, and at present these are dripping with Labour councillors.
§ Mr. Taylor
This Socialist area adjoins my sensible, Conservative and highly-respected constituency of Moss Side. But I can cast any selfish views I might have to one side because I appreciate that Manchester should be broken down into eight, rather than nine, constituencies. The Boundary Commission's recommendations in this respect are, therefore, wise. I accept its recommendations not only because they are fair, but because I would like a chance to make the people living in the adjoining Socialist area see the light.
In Moss Side I have 12 Conservative councillors holding the 12 wards. The six Labour councillors in the area next door might, if the Boundary Commission's proposals were implemented, find themselves unseated and being re- 226 placed by Conservatives. The Government will not accept the Commission's recommendations for Manchester because they fear the loss of a seat.
We have had nothing but diversionary arguments from the Government against adopting the Boundary Commission's recommendations in full. The Government are obviously politically motivated in this matter and I must describe as a fraud their case against accepting the independent proposals of the Commission. Although the Bill may seem an S.O.S. to the Labour Party, it is really an S.L.S.—" Save Labour Seats "—exercise. Unfortunately, because of the weight of votes on the benches opposite, we cannot simply tear up the Bill and throw it away.
§ Mr. Callaghan
Does not the hon. Gentleman appreciate that there is a serious point at issue in that, under Redcliffe-Maud, Gorton would be split between SELNEC (e) and (i) and Openshaw would be split between SELNEC (e) and (f). In these circumstances, the Amendment standing in his name deals only with five of the constituencies in the area completely ignores the other three. Apart from the political argument which the hon. Gentleman is adducing, he must see that there is a logical argument as well.
§ 11.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Taylor
I quite agree that there is a logical argument; that is what I am putting to the Committee. I was saying that this Bill should be torn up; that it should be destroyed. I do not pretend—
§ The Temporary Chairman
If the hon. Member will come to the Amendment we are discussing, rather than continue to follow the general aspects of the Bill, he would be more in order.
§ Mr. Taylor
I was bringing to the attention of the Committee Amendment No. 69, and on that, I would point out that the Boundary Commission's Report was the result of a clear investigation and a clear decision. My support is for the Amendment to it for lYlanchester, or part of Manchester. There would be no ripples flowing from that. There is surely no answer—
§ Mr. Callaghan
Would the hon. Member give way? He is dealing with only five constituencies in Manchester out of 227 eight. How can he possibly approach a redistribution on those lines?
§ Mr. Taylor
I am not attempting to do that, and there would be no ripples about the five. The other three would present no difficulties. There would be one Labour seat the fewer, and that, to my mind, is the over-riding factor.
I know that the Government will not listen to anything we say. Right hon. and hon. Members opposite have no time for sound logic and I can only hope that the electors, when they learn what this Amendment is about, and the others grouped with it which are equally sound and logical, will realise that their votes are being devalued. I hope that they will fully understand, what is more, that this is the action of the Prime Minister who devalued the money in their pockets. This is a thoroughly unscrupulous action.
I hope that the electors will remember that it is this Government, and the Prime Minister, who is not here, who are unscrupulous. I hope that they will realise that, in his class, the Prime Minister is absolutely outstanding in that, during this century, there have been only two men in that class—the Prime Minister and Horatio Bottomley.
§ Mr. Howie
I realise that the hon. Member for Manchester, Moss Side (Mr. F. Taylor) did us the service of getting us away from the southern part of Lancashire—a part of the country with which I am not very familiar—but in his closing words he came to the only reason why we have been talking so much of that part of England, namely, to draw attention once again to the constituency of Huyton.
I will not dwell on that subject, except to say that I have noticed during this debate that the merest reference to Huyton seems to draw spite—I would even say malevolent spite—from hon. Members opposite. It is spite of which I did not think that they were capable—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am a man of mild disposition.
I have considerable regard for many hon. Members opposite, including our good friend the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover), who is not here at the moment, but whom we know to be a good Parliamentarian who has a great 228 love for the House of Commons. I exclude him from the allegations of spite. It seems unreasonable that the Opposition's hatred of the constituency of Huyton should show, and it would be better for the Committee as a whole if they dropped that aspect of this argument.
§ The Temporary Chairman
With all due respect to the hon. Member, I must say that he is drifting from the Amendment.
§ Mr. Howie
I am trying very hard to remain in order, but I was tempted and, unfortunately, I yielded, because of my friendship for the hon. Member for North Fylde.
The Opposition have chosen to put down an Amendment about Huyton and to vote upon it because their spite is for them a sufficiently strong motive, but they have also put down Amendment No. 24 which deals with my constituency, and there is no possible reason why any hon. Member opposite, or on this side of the Committee, should feel any spite towards me, except for a small incident in my career which affected one or two of my hon. Friends some time ago, when I was playing another part.
I do not know why there should be an Amendment about Luton. Just as I have no wish to discuss Huyton and other constituencies in that part of the country, because I do not have that detailed knowledge of them which is important in a debate of this kind, I am amazed that the right hon. and learned Gentleman and his hon. Friends should have suggested an Amendment 229 concerning my constituency when even a cursory knowledge of the Report would have led them to hold their hand.
I think that my remarks will show the general strategic error into which many hon. Members opposite have fallen, including the hon. Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke), who spoke some time ago and who has now left us, presumably to give his speech to the representatives of the Bristol newspapers outside. He returned for a few moments and then left again.
The burden of his argument, and it is sometimes the burden of the argument of other hon. Members opposite, is that we as Parliament should merely rubber stamp the proposals of the Boundary Commission. These Amendments are holus bolus taken directly from the Commission's Report without much detailed thought about them.
§ Mr. Cwilym Roberts (Bedfordshire, South)
The Amendment seems to suggest that the electors of Linslade should vote in the two constituencies of Buckingham and South Bedfordshire, which would seem to be an abnormal state of affairs.
§ Mr. Howie
This is another example of the slipshod approach of hon. Gentlemen opposite. My hon. Friend is much more aware of the feelings of the voters of Linslade than I am, and I would hesitate to tamper with the relationship that he has with them. I sometimes think that it might be a good thing if voters were to vote twice. The argument is that we should accept the report of the Commission, merely rubber-stamp it, to resign as Members of Parliament, to give up our responsibilities to our constituents. I am totally in favour of distributions of this kind being handled not by Boundary Commissions, but by politicians.
§ Mr. Howie
It may he, but I will tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman why I say it.
We already allow politicians at local level to distribute or redistribute constituencies in the boroughs. We have a local inquiry and that sort of thing, but we do not call in any Boundary Commission. Borough councils are allowed 230 to do this, but we are not. If it is good enough for borough councils it is good enough for us, with the safeguard of the public inquiry.
The idea of a Boundary Commission seems fair and reasonable and in many ways it is. In the proposals which gave rise to Amendment No. 24 we can see that the results of the Boundary Commission can be arbitrary and capricious in their results. Amendment No. 24 is taken from the Boundary Commission's Report, and was the original proposal of the Commission. That proposal became the subject of a public inquiry in February, 1966. This was an impartial and proper public inquiry. There were only two main witnesses—myself on the Labour side, and I am well known for my impartiality and broad views in this matter—and on the other side the agent for the Luton Conservative Party.
The agent's impartiality can be shown by the fact that when he got on to the witness stand he said that the actual line, wherever it was drawn through Luton, did not matter twopence. It was a very proper and important comment from that man, especially as he was the functionary of a political party. He said that the boundary line did not matter twopence. Not long after that he got the sack and he is now the agent for Colchester, I think. If the hon. Member for Colchester (Mr. Buck) is present, perhaps he will make sure that he becomes the witness at the next public inquiry there, if there is one.
§ Mr. Roebuck
It is interesting to hear the attitude of the Conservative Party. Can my hon. Friend tell us what was the attitude of the National Liberals in Luton?
§ Mr. Howie
The National Liberals did not surface in Luton, nor have they since, and I do not think they ever will.
The assistant commissioner, who heard the evidence and pondered on it, went on a tour of the division with the town clerk, examining the ground to familiarise himself with the constituency—a thing which the Commission had not done and which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite who tabled Amendment No. 24 had not done, either. The inquiry altered the proposals of the Commission. I am not very satisfied with the extremely 231 barren account of the assistant commissioner's report in this blue document I have here.
The Boundary Commission's Report states that his recommendations were for a Luton, East of 50,840 electors and a Luton, West of 47,775 electors. In a sense that is true, but the assistant commissioner made two recommendations. For some reason, the Commission has not honoured us with the second recommendation. That is not quite the standard of accuracy which I expect from a Boundary Commission.
The other very intelligent proposal of the assistant commissioner was to accept the evidence which I had put before the inquiry, which was, as he put it,that the proposalsof the Boundary Commissionbe altered by transferring the whole Dallow ward to the constituency of Luton, East and by transferring the whole of Wardown ward to the constituency of Luton, West.That happened to be the evidence which, with my knowledge of the constituency and my known impartiality, I put to the commissioner and which he, having heard the evidence and studied and examined the ground, agreed with. He put that recommendation in a report to the Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission merely turned it down with a somewhat legalistic excuse, very slenderly put in the report which has come before Parliament and which has misled right hon. and hon. Members opposite.
The suggestion which had been turned down by the public inquiry is the proposal which is included in Amendment No. 24. Since it has been impartially examined and found wanting, it should be found wanting here, too, and we should turn it down.
There is one other point which I wish to make with regard to Amendment No. 24, and I hope that my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Gwilym Roberts) will forgive me for trespassing li ahtly on his constituency, which, he knows, I try not to do. For one thing, it is bigger than mine. The Redcliffe-Maud proposals, which have been mentioned from time to time during this debate, have an effect in this part of the country. A new unitary authority—No. 49—is proposed which includes 232 Luton, the Luton Rural District Council and part of West Hertfordshire. The interesting thing from this point of view is that the eastern boundary of unitary authority No. 49, if I may call it by such a resounding name, goes into Hertfordshire and contains three parishes in that county. That is something which cannot be left out of account in dealing with the constituencies of Bedfordshire. South and Hitchin.
In this respect, my right hon. Friends proposals meet precisely the actualities and the requirements. They leave my constituency alone and they group Bedfordshire, South and Hitchin and then revise the boundaries of those two constituencies.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)
I listened with great interest to the hon. Member's description of his evidence to the Boundary Commission. At that time, of course, he knew very well that the Government were contemplating, by way of the Redcliffe-Maud Report, changes in local government. When the hon. Member was giving evidence to the Commission, did he say that if the Redcliffe-Maud Committee was to report he would come to the House and say that the recommendations for which he was giving evidence would not he accepted by his Government?
§ Mr. Howie
I am extremely interested in the care and attention with which the hon. Member has listened to my evidence, because I did not give my evidence tonight. All that I said was that I gave my evidence and that the assistant commissioner agreed with it. I did not say one word of what that evidence was. This is a sheer fabrication by the hon. Member. I congratulate him on his inventiveness at this late hour. The hon. Gentleman is known to be inventive. This never arose in the evidence.
The last point which I wish to make to my right hon. Friend is this. It is not so long ago that he had occasion to bring in a Bill to reform another place. During the interesting debates on that Bill, which proved abortive, the hon. Member for Ormskirk and I put to the Government proposals which the Government found unacceptable, and sometimes uncomfortable, although they were excellent proposals and very mildly put. Under the promptings of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, should another place take 233 it into its head to tamper with the constitution of the House of Commons, and should my right hon. Friend feel obliged to bring forward other legislation, he will find that this time he will have my full, complete and confident support.
Amendment No. 24, as I have shown, is a shoddy, slipshod piece of work, and should be rejected.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)
The point which my hon. Friend enables me to put to the Committee is that 2,953 electors would vote as a result of this Amendment in Bedfordshire, South and in Buckingham, and I would have thought that 3,000 people having two votes would be a very good reason why this Amendment should not be made.
§ [Mr HARRY GOURLAY in the Chair]
§ Sir Edward Boyle (Birmingham. Handsworth)
We have enjoyed an interlude by a very temporary Celtic occupant of Bedfordshire—
§ Sir E. Boyle
The hon. Gentleman sounded rather Celtic to me, and so did his hon. Friend. I must say I was surprised to hear him at such length oppose Amendment No. 24, whatever its drafting deficiencies, because the hon. Gentleman, as lie must be aware, by supporting the Government, is depriving Bedfordshire of one Member to which it is entitled, and is wanting to keep Luton with an electorate of 98,000. I am surprised that he thinks that a good idea.
§ Sir E. Boyle
The hon. Gentleman can look, as I can, at the figures on page 29 of the Boundary Commission's Report, but may I now turn—
§ The Deputy Chairman (Mr. Harry Gourlay)
Order. If the right hon. Gentleman does not give way the hon. Member must remain seated.
§ The Deputy Chairman
Order. Hon. Members must respect the Chair. The right hon. Member fcr Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) has the Floor, and unless he is prepared to give way hon. Members must remain seated.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I think that now we should turn to Amendment No. 27, which deals with the West Midlands. I ask the Committee, and, in particular, the Government representatives, to consider very carefully that Amendment, which we put down for four reasons. The first—I begin on purpose with this one—is that the West Midlands includes the constituency of Meriden, which last year had 85.000 electors, and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mr. Speed) has pointed out in these debates, the figure is likely to rise to 100,000 electors in 1969 and 120,000 next year.
The Home Secretary, in his speech at the start of this debate, devoted some time—we are grateful to him for having proved conclusively how desirable it would have been to accept all the recommendations of the Boundary Commission —said that he realised—he talked in his rather cavalier manner on this occasion —that we want to consider all constituencies with over 80,000 electors.
But here we are not just considering a constituency over 80,000 electors. We are considering the constituency of Meriden—among others—which already has 85,000 electors, will this year have 100,000 and in all probability next year 235 120,000; and even that ignores the 18year-old voters, of whom, my hon. Friend assures me, there are a very considerable number in his constituency.
Therefore, by any normal standards of reason there can be no doubt that the present position of Meriden alone is a justification, and an overwhelming one, for redistributing the West Midlands area in accordance with the proposals of the Boundary Commission.
But that is not the only reason. I want to mention three more. I shall not spend too long, because many of my hon. Friends wish to speak. My second point is the very gross disparity that already exists in constituencies in the City of Birmingham. We all know, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) pointed out, of Ladywood, which has only 18,000 electors, whereas the constituency of Northfield has 89,000. It is absurd that we should continue longer with this grotesque disparity in the City of Birmingham.
There has been extensive redevelopment involving substantial movements of population from the centre of the city out into the south-west. It is not surprising, because, as many will know, it is exactly in that part of the city that the motor industry has grown most rapidly. Anybody would have expected that in the 1950s and the 1960s. Since the 1955 redistribution there has been a notable growth of population.
Compare the 1956 and the 1969 electorates. I have a number of figures in front of me, and I mention to the Committee that there have been substantial reductions in all the constituencies near the centre—a substantial reduction in All Saints, in the present Aston constituency, in my constituency of Handsworthw here the electorate has fallen from 58,000 to 45,000—a more than 50 per cent. reduction in the Ladywood constituency, a substantial reduction in the Small Heath constituency, and, balancing that, a very big increase in the Northfield constituency.
But there is a third reason for this Amendment. In 1962 there was a major alteration to the boundaries of the municipal wards in Birmingham. It involved the abolition of five wards and the creation of six new wards, and alterations, 236 many of them major ones, to the remaining wards. In 1960 the town clerk reported publiclythat should a revision of ward boundaries be approved by the Privy Council, an interim report could, and almost certainly would, be made by the Parliamentary Boundary Commission regrouping the new wards into constituencies so that the ward and constituency boundaries would be kept co-terminous.No such revision of the constituency boundaries has ever taken place since 1960.
In May, 1966, the Commission published its proposals for Birmingham as part of the general review of parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales. These proposals provided, perfectly properly, for the reduction in the number of constituencies from 13 to 12.
In view of the unsatisfactory position of the wide discrepancies between the boundaries of the municipal wards and the boundaries of the Parliamentary constituencies, the city council, in October, 1967, with the support of all parties, made representations to the Boundary Commission for early implementation of the recommendations for Birmingham. The Commission's view was that it did not consider it appropriate to accord special treatment to Birmingham, but that the most practicable and sensible course for it was to deal with the matter as part of the general review.
Nobody in those days would have conceived a situation in which the Boundary Commission made perfectly proper proposals—which except in one detail were never contested and are now generally accepted—for redistribution which were not acted on. Birmingham, therefore, will continue to suffer from these great disadvantages. I put it to the Under-Secretary that this is itself a serious matter, not as serious as the disparity in numbers, but one which should not be underrated. I know from personal experience the difficulty of a situation in which there is a complete mix-up between ward boundaries and constituency boundaries persisting over seven years.
Therefore, on all these grounds—the grotesquely enlarged size of Meriden and the fact that the electorate is likely to increase next year to 120,000; secondly, the extreme disparity in constituency sizes within Birmingham; and, thirdly, this 237 persistent situation with the ward boundaries and constituency boundaries not coinciding—I put it to the Under-Secretary that there is an overwhelming case for giving the West Midlands special consideration.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
On the Ladywood question—and I see the new hon. Member is here—I understand that Birmingham City Council is about to take a decision. What the decision will be is not for me to say, but I am advised that Ladywood will again produce a high population density.
§ Sir E. Boyle
The hon. Gentleman is correct in the general point that the population of the inner part of Birmingham is beginning once again to rise, and I see no difficulty about immediately great disparities between the centre and the outer ring of Birmingham constituencies provided that the Boundary Commission's proposals are accepted.
It is rather different from Meriden where, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the Boundary Commission, in its Report imply that Meriden, even after redistribution, might have to be reviewed under Section 2(3) of the 1949 Act. This is not the same situation as in Birmingham, where, I agree, after the redistribution, there is considerable hope that there will then be reasonable stability in sizes of constituency electorates. But this is no excuse for leaving Ladywood and Northfield in their present shape with this enormous disparity.
I believe that "waiting for Maud" is an extremely threadbare excuse in the overwhelming majority of cases. As we have said constantly, it is no excuse for postponing general redistribution. One has only to look at a large number of particular cases to see how threadbare is this excuse, and nowhere more than in the West Midlands. Let the Under-Secretary once again look at the map. Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield could certainly be redistributed without interfering with Maud or prejudging what is contained in Maud.
However, I would agree that to redistribute small areas without considering the whole of a wider area is unsatisfactory, and if the Under-Secretary of State would look at the West Midlands as a whole he would see that the redistribution proposals of the Boundary Commissioners 238 virtually do not effect the Maud proposal for unitary area 28. That is to say, there need be absolutely no prejudging of what Maud recommends for Warwickshire.
To be strictly accurate, if Maud were accepted there would have to be a small alteration on either side of the County Borough of Solihull—nothing more. But when one looks at the new map proposed by Maud, one sees that Maud is no valid excuse at all for not proceeding to a redistribution of the West Midlands area.
In the light of the evidence I have given to the Committee as to the position of the Borough of Meriden, the disparity of constituency electorates in Birmingham and the fact that ever since 1962 ward and constituency boundaries have failed to coincide, I submit that this is an area in which the Government should do the right thing, and should do it at once. We intend to press these proposals by all possible means as ones that should be implemented without, delay.
§ Mr. Roebuck
The arguments advanced by the Opposition could be summarised by saying, "Whatever happens as a result of this, whatever other boundaries are cut across, the recommendations of the Commission should be carried out forthwith." I support my right hon. Friends on the Front Bench in resisting the proposals.
I am fortified in thinking that I have a good case by some words of Sir Winston Churchill in 1948, when he was the right hon. Member for Woodford. When I sought to address the Committee a little earlier and produced evidence by Sir Winston Churchill on this aspect of the matter, it did not appear to be conclusive to hon. Gentlemen opposite. I can only hope they will find the argument a little more convincing if I quote Churchill's actual words:I well remember in my youth seeing the placards, One man, one vote,' to which the answer was nut up, 'One vote, one value, too.' Of course, in regard to one vote, one value,' there can only be an approximation. It can only arise out of the process of gradual improvement, because of the rights of Scotland, and Northern Ireland and Wales, because of the sparsely inhabited districts, and because of the need not to cut needlessly by Redistribution Bills across the entities and historic continuity or boundaries of particular constiuencies. But we are all agreed that this process should be constant and active."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 16th February, 1948; Vol. 447, c. 858–9.]239 Sir Winston's words on that occasion have a direct application to the business before the Committee today. What he was saying was that it is all very well to go for the mathematical or arithmetical approach, but there are other things to be considered in relation to constituencies. One is to have regard for the historic continuities and the boundaries.
If some of the aspects of the Redcliffe-Maud Report are accepted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, it is ridiculous to suggest that we should now immediately start carving up constituency boundaries. If we accept the philosophy behind that, we would again have to redraw constituencies. This would be a waste of time and would lead to great confusion among the electors.
I want to refer to the Amendment which deals with the constituency of Huyton. [HON. MEMBERS: "Pronounce it properly."] Hon. Gentlemen opposite have such an opposition to the constituency that I can well understand the hurt they feel if its name is mispronounced.
The underlying reason for the Amendment was well brought out in an intervention by the hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg) in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Luton (Mr. Howie). My hon. Friend the Member for Luton accused the Opposition of feeling spiteful about this constituency in Lancashire. Up popped the hon. Member for North Fylde and said, "No, we are not spiteful about the constituency; we are spiteful about the Member who sits for the constituency".
The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) talks all the time about gerrymandering. However, hon. Members will recall that he used to legislate in another place without being elected by anyone.
§ Mr. Roebuck
I have a good recollection of that incident. The right hon and learned Gentleman was not sent there by my late noble Friend Lord Attlee, but because of the hereditary 240 system. He did not try to oppose the hereditary system. It was a right hon. Member on this side who was sent to the other place because of the hereditary system, who refused to go, and who fought and changed the system. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is now so concerned for democracy, he should tell us why he did not fight, instead of going willingly.
§ Mr. Roebuck
Mr. Gourlay, before bringing the debate back within the rules of order, perhaps I might be permitted this final comment. My right hon. Friend the Member who now represents Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn) did not defy the law. He sought to have it changed. I hope that in future the right hon. and learned Gentleman will try to follow the good example of constitutionalists on this site and not sit there "chuntering into his beard" and periodically accusing the Government of gerrymandering.
To get back to that more commonsense corner of Lancashire called "Hoyton" [HON. MEMBERS: "Huyton."]which is splendidly represented by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, who will continue to represent it for many years, just as he will continue to occupy No. 10 Downing Street for many years, it is nonsense to suggest that even if the constituency were redistributed on the lines suggested by the Opposition, that would make any difference to its representation in this House.
It could be argued that the very suggestion reinforces the view of the hon. Member for North Fylde that the Amendment is the result of personal spite against the Prime Minister—
§ Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)
It is a plot to get rid of the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover).
§ Mr. Roebuck
If it is, it appears to have succeeded. We hope that he will be quickly restored to us. We all enjoy his speeches, especially late at night, when we are trying to sleep.
241 However, if the Amendment were accepted, it would make no difference to my right hon. Friend's constituency. That shows that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite are consumed with spite, envy and malice. That is no good reason for legislating.
What is the reason for their spite? Is it because they do not have a leader? Is it, as my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) suggested, that they had an election, found themselves with a Jonah, and are now looking for a whale? If that is so, it would have been more logical for them to have tabled an Amendment affecting the Bexley constituency, possibly seeking—
§ Mr. William Molloy (Ealing, North)
I am sure that my hon. Friend wants to be fair to the Opposition. Would not he agree that it is not a question of their not having a leader, but that they have more than one, which makes it difficult for hon. Members on this side to know who is Leader of the Opposition?
§ The Deputy Chairman
Order. The hon. Member for Ealing, North (Mr. Molloy) must not attempt to lead his hon. Friend astray. This has nothing to do with the Amendment.
§ 12 m.
§ Mr. Roebuck
The suggestion is that I might take the road to Wolverhampton, but I shall resist that. There is something in what my hon. Friend says when we know that, eventually, the leader of the party opposite absorbs ideas from north of the Trent. I think that Wolverhampton is north of the Trent. Anyway, I do not think that we should legislate as a result of the spite of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, as a result of their not having a leader.
They could have elected the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone. After all, he gave up his coronet and came back to us. He sought democratic election, which is a first-class thing. Any step which could persuade the right hon. and learned Gentleman to become a democrat is to be welcomed. For those reasons, I do not think that it is asking too much of the Committee not to legislate along those lines.
242 I come now to another of the Amendments referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Luton and by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Gwilym Roberts. This is an extraordinary Amendment, because it seeks to give people votes in two places. I do not want to offend hon. Members for representing Northern Ireland constituencies, but many of my hon. Friends, particularly those representing Liverpool constituencies, will know of the old Irish saying that people should vote early and vote often. I am surprised that this is not added at the end as a sort of injunction: "You will now vote in Linslade and elsewhere, and please vote early and vote Conservative".
It is an impertinence for the Opposition to come forward and present us with one Amendment which, admittedly and avowedly, is inspired by spite and another which is so slipshod that it gives people votes in two places. The Opposition are presenting a complete nonsense. I hope that the Amendments will be voted down, and the sooner the better.
§ Mr. Mark Carlisle (Runcorn)
I am sure that the Committee will not be surprised to hear that I do not propose to follow up the remarks of the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Roebuck). However, I found his contribution as irrelevant as any that I have ever heard him make, but perhaps not quite as offensive as most of his speeches.
I come back to the various Amendments with which we are dealing, particularly those relating to the North-West of England.
I should like, first, to take up the point made by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), at the end of his speech. He seemed to object strongly that we on this side have repeatedly attacked the Home Secretary for gerrymandering on the Bill. He seemed to think that this was an unfair charge.
If the Government choose to ignore the impartial recommendations of the Boundary Commission and, instead, pick and choose the alterations which they will make in boundaries, they must not be surprised if they are accused of gerrymandering. If there is an explanation other than that of political expediency or of gerrymandering which brings the Home Secretary to this decision, it is surprising that 243 he does not wish to justify it in debate. If the right hon. Gentleman had any justification for the various reasons why the recommendations and Amendments put forward by this side should not be accepted, he could have justified them in debate rather than choose to rely upon a Guillotine to avoid that justification.
I turn to those seats in the North-West with which the Boundary Commission has dealt. I wish to deal particularly with the two Amendments relating to Liverpool and Manchester. The Home Secretary made what seemed an incredibly foolish intervention in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Moss Side (Mr. Frank Taylor), when he asked how, in Amendment No. 72, we could possibly propose to deal only with five Manchester seats when there were eight Manchester seats. The answer is quite simple: the Boundary Commission recommended alterations in only five of those seats, and not in the other three. Therefore, it is wholly consistent with the Commission's proposals to recommend changes in those five seats, and not to recommend changes in any of the others, and the same applies to Liverpool.
Why have the Government chosen to ignore those parts of the Commission's report which deal with changes in boundaries in Liverpool and Manchester? The Home Secretary cannot rely on Redcliffe-Maud, because the seats in Manchester are not only in the same metropolitan area, but in the same metropolitan district, and, therefore, even if Redcliffe-Maud is brought in in its present form that can have no effect on the Commission's proposals for Manchester.
The proposal was that because of the drop in population in Manchester in recent years that city should no longer have nine seats, but only eight. The same applies to Liverpool. The recommendation, again, was that because of the overall drop in population, rather than have nine seats, Liverpool should have only eight.
§ Mr. Heffer
The hon. Gentleman is aware that the Redcliffe-Maud proposals would extend the boundaries of Liverpool. On that basis it would mean that we would be altering the Parliamentary boundaries at this stage, and we would 244 have to look at the position again in the light of the Maud proposals.
§ Mr. Carlisle
I think that I am right in saying that even the unitary authority within the Liverpool area is slightly extended, but these are small matters on the periphery which can, if necessary, be dealt with by later changes. What are not affected are the Commission's recommendations for reducing the nine seats in Manchester and Liverpool to eight. One is driven to the conclusion that the only possible reason for ignoring those recommendations is that in both cases it would mean the removal of one Labour seat. That is the only reason that one can assume, until one gets some justification from the Home Secretary, which he has so far not chosen to give, for the Government's decision.
The position suggested for Manchester is, roughly, the amalgamation of the Exchange and Cheetham divisions. They were last altered in 1954. At that time the Cheetham division had 53,000 electors, and the Exchange division had the same number. Over the intervening years the numbers have dropped, and now the Exchange division is down to 18,309, and Cheetham is down to 30,079. The Commission recommended the amalgamation of those two divisions.
In 1955, Liverpool, Exchange, had 55,000 electors, while the Liverpool, Scotland division had 56,000 electors. Now both divisions have just over 30,000 electors. The Commission recommended that Scotland and Exchange should be amalgamated into a seat to be called Scotland Exchange, but, again, this is being ignored.
If the Government choose to ignore the Commission's recommendations in this way, they cannot be surprised to hear the cry made against them that they are choosing to gerrymander. The Home Secretary says that Redcliffe-Maud is the reason for the delay, but he must realise that the earliest possible moment in which, under his proposals, the recommendations of the Boundary Commission which are not being implemented now can be implemented is 1976. So for at least two elections we are continuing, through the Bill, the wide discrepancies that exist in seats such as Manchester, Exchange, on the one hand, and Huyton, on the other.
§ Mr. Heffer
I am sorry to keep interrupting the hon. Member, but is it not equally true that if this time factor were correct—I am not certain that it is, but I accept the hon. Member's premise for the sake of argument—by the time we had reached 1976 both in the Exchange division and the Scotland division of Liverpool—because the re-entry of population into the centre of the city—it could well be that there was an even bigger electorate than at present?
§ Mr. Carlisle
The hon. Member knows Liverpool better than I do, but since it now has a Conservative council some rebuilding may have been done in that city. Whether or not that be right, if, in 1976, the figures show that another redistribution is required we shall be a further seven years beyond now, and ready for another redistribution. What is wrong is deliberately to extend that period of time, with the grave discrepancies that exist between the size of the constituencies.
I do not know what the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) may feel, but I am surprised that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) and the hon. Member for Liverpool, Scotland (Mr. Alldritt) will wish to be thought of in this House as representing Mr. Callaghan's rotten boroughs—because that is what they will be.
I come back to the point made by the hon. Member for Walton. If the party which he supports chooses to ignore the impartial recommendation of the Boundary Commission and continue, apparently to its political advantage, discrepancies in the existing electorates which will be carried on during the next 10 years or so, it cannot be surprised if the cry of gerrymandering is heard, and unless it can justify its argument it will be shown clearly that that cry is true.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths (Manchester, Exchange)
I thought that we would hear the name of the Manchester, Exchange division from time to time during this stage of our proceedings. I well understand the Opposition's interest in the division.
I want to refer to their charge of gerrymandering and to the question of the 246 proper representation of the people by Members of Parliament. From 1918, when the Exchange constituency of Manchester was first formed, until 1945 it was constantly represented by either a Conservative or a Liberal Member. The reason was that we had plural voting. We had the business vote. I do not recall that in those days we had any great demand from hon. Members opposite for the doctrine of "one man, one vote"; indeed, when I first came into the House we had university seats.
Hon. Members opposite will remember how they argued then what an affront it was to democratic practices to deal with the university seats. But most objective observers today would say that that redistribution was to the disadvantage of the Labour Party. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) used exactly the same words then about the gerrymandering Labour Party using the Bill to their advantage—as did Sir Winston Churchill. No one could possibly make that accusation now.
§ 12.15 a.m.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)
That example could come under the heading of gerrymandering, because Mr. Speaker's Conference of those days recommended that the university seats should be retained, and the Labour Party gerrymandered by going against Mr. Speaker's Conference.
§ Mr. Griffiths
This is a gift from the gods, that there is a Conservative Member—the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls)—who today, in 1969, regrets the departure of the university seats, at the very moment when the Opposition are accusing us of having impure thoughts about our election.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls
The hon. Member for Peterborough was regretting that a Government in power should disregard the impartial report of Mr. Speaker's Conference.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I must part company with the hon. Member. I have never believed that the House of Commons should surrender its autho-ity to any outside body. Certainly, there should be representations and objective references, but the ultimate decision in a free society must rest with the elected assembly, with this House.
§ Mr. Hogg
The hon. Gentleman has referred to me. It is true that, in 1948, I accused the then Labour Government and the Home Secretary of gerrymandering the constituencies. I was referring to the creation of 17 new urban seats, contrary to the findings of the Boundary Commission, by the then Home Secretary in response to pressure from the back benchers of his own party. And I have no reason to regret my charge.
§ Mr. Griffiths
I am sure that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is quite right, because I took the trouble to read his speech before referring to him. But, however much he regretted it then, that does not alter the fact that every objective assessor and so-called psephologist has decided that, on balance, the 1948 redistribution was unfavourable to the Labour Party. Bearing in mind the right hon. and learned Gentleman's recorded objections, and remembering the history, we are entitled to consider with some objectivity what the Opposition are saying now—
§ Mr. Griffiths
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is an endearing senior Member of the House.
I want to spend little time on this point and to revert to Manchester, but it is a fact, and he should know it, that in the 1951 General Election the total vote of the Labour Party was the highest in its history, exceeding the total vote cast for the Conservative Party—and yet the Labour Party lost the election. Does not that suggest to any reasonable observer that the constituency boundaries were weighted in favour of the Conservative Party?
§ Mr. Hogg
No, it does not. It means only that the seats in which Labour Party candidates won were won by larger majorities than those in which Conservative Party candidates won. That point was fully dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Gordon Campbell) in our first debate this afternoon.
§ Mr. Griffiths
That was a very interesting exchange. Perhaps we could pursue it a little later, elsewhere, when we meet from time to time.
I return to the argument of the hon. Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle) that the Redcliffe-Maud Report would have no effect on Parliamentary redistribution in Manchester. He knows the city very well and he knows that the borough boundaries, for example, between Salford and Stretford, are hopelessly entwined. Even a Mancunian is in some doubt whether he is in the City of Salford or the Borough of Stretford, and he has to remind himself when he crosses the border.
The sensible proposals of Redcliffe-Maud mean that the Manchester metropolitan area will include such neighbouring boroughs as Stretford, Salford. Swinton, Pendlebury and Eccles—and others. It will give a total population of about 900.000. Clearly, within that conurbation we shall have much more sensibly drawn Parliamentary constituencies than we have today. Anybody who knows the area knows that the boundaries raise the most absurd anomalies, to the inconvenience of all parties concerned.
We should look at Parliamentary redistribution in that context, but I am the last to deny that I have a rather small electorate. That is due to a successful slum clearance programme. The hon. Member for Runcorn gave the figures. But there is also redevelopment. I refer to three Manchester constituencies in which clearance and redevelopment have been taking place. These are Cheetham, Ardwick—I regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Ardwick (Mr. L. M. Lever) is unwell and unable to be here —and my constituency. What has taken place is astonishing.
I have armed myself with the Registrar General's estimates of population. While I agree that these are not electoral figures, they show the fluctuation of populations in the centres of great cities, of which Manchester is a reasonable example.
For the three constituencies of Ardwick, Cheltenham and Exchange the estimated population in mid-1966 was 175,689. It is estimated that at the end of this year the figure will be 139,068. However, we have the astonishing estimate that by the end of 1970, that figure 249 will have risen to 155,800, an increase in one year of 16,732; and the increase in population in the coming year in the Exchange constituency is expected to be 8,700. Even so, I will not be overburdened and I hope that more people will come into my constituency.
As the hon. Member for Cheadle (Dr. Winstanley) said the other day, we cannot regard the present vast areas of desolation in the centres of our great cities as a permanent feature of society. The population in the cities is fluctuating enormously and the figures I have given show that trend. While there is no danger of the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange having to share the burdens carried by my hon. Friend the Member for Billericay (Mr. Moonman), the situation is not as bad as some hon. Members have suggested.
The hon. Member for Runcorn said that the electorate of Manchester, Exchange numbered 18,000. In fact, it is 20,000 and it is going up. I am not boasting about these figures, but we should get them right.
§ Mr. Carlisle
The hon. Gentleman mentioned this matter to me the other day and I said that if I got a chance I would refer to his constituency. The figure I gave was obtained from the Library as being the 1969 figure. I have seen the same figure quoted on several occasions, and not the one which he says is the correct figure.
However, would the right hon. Gentleman answer two questions? First, would he not agree that the Boundary Commission is required to look at the facts as they are and not as they may be at a future date? Secondly, with the new town of Leyland—irrespective of what may happen in his constituency—is not the electorate of Manchester likely to decline, meaning that a ninth seat cannot be justified?
§ Mr. Griffiths
I do not complain about the hon. Gentleman quoting figures for my constituency. I just want him to know that he is wrong. I appreciate that he must go by the figures given to him from the sources available to him.
§ Mr. Griffiths
Whatever differences the hon. Member for Runcorn and I may have about statistics, we are not talking about the Midlands. We are discussing an area about which we know.
§ Mr. Griffiths
The hon. Member for Runcorn obtained figures from the Library and quoted them in good faith. I assure him that they are wrong. That is what I am saying. I was saying that this sympathy is simply an illustration of the growth of a constituency where one can envisage the consequences of Redcliffe-Maud.
I would like to come to the other point about the declining population of Manchester as a whole and my answer to that is that the geographical boundaries are not a permanency if we envisage the local government structure into which they must be fitted. That is what the Home Secretary is saying. The constituencies must be related to the new local government arrangements which will emerge. I can see nothing disreputable about that argument at all. It is a perfectly reputable and defensible argument.
I conclude as I began, by saying I hope that, at least, we have done a little to retrieve the reputation of those of us who represent small constituencies, and to assure the hon. Member for Runcorn that I have not the slightest desire to regard him as the representative of a rotten borough. At the same time, it does not lie in the mouths of right hon. and hon. Members opposite, with their record of plural voting, university seats, and their attitude to previous redistributions, to make sort of charges against this side of the Committee which they have made tonight.
§ [MR. J. C. JENNINGS in the Chair]
§ Mr. Christopher Chataway (Chichester)
I thought that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. William Griffiths) was extremely unconvincing when he sought to rehearse the argument about waiting for Redcliffe-Maud, but it seemed to me that he spoke 251 with more conviction when putting forward an argument which we have not heard from the Front Bench opposite; and that is that the Boundary Commission is unfair to the Labour Party.
The hon. Member for Luton (Mr. Howie) said that he wanted no Boundary Commission, but wanted things fixed by the Government of the day. At least that was an interesting argument, and I am not surprised that hon. Members opposite should use it; and I say that because the excuses put forward from their own Front Bench have not exactly persuaded the country. I have yet to see a single independent commentator who has even begun to believe what the Front Bench opposite is saying. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] All right, I can think of The Guardian, which is not always a loyal supporter of the Conservative Party, speaking now of gerrymandering; and the Observer, which does not always espouse the Conservative cause, says that it is gerrymandering.
So hon. Members opposite are casting about for something new, and what has been said tonight amounts to arguing that the Government of the day should be allowed to do exactly what they like in the matter of fixing boundaries, and there is no room at all for any independent tribunal.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths
That is certainly not my case. What I say is that, whatever Parliament decides to do in appointing such bodies as the Boundary Commission, the ultimate decision—whatever may be the recommendations of that body—in accepting or rejecting that advice, must rest with the House of Commons.
§ Mr. Chataway
That is, then, if the Government do not agree with the referee, they will reject his ruling.
I am tempted to follow one or two of the earlier remarks about the constituency of Huyton, but out of regard for the delicate feelings of the Home Secretary, I will not tread that ground, because all of us will have been moved by the outraged loyalty of the Home Secrtary to the Prime Minister and the very real anguish and grief with which he protested that there was a sense of personal spite towards the Prime Minister on this side of the Committee.
252 I want to concentrate on one area where the Boundary Commission's recommendations are manifestly superior to those of the Bill and where not one of the excuses advanced by the Home Secretary will withstand scrutiny for a moment. I refer to West Sussex, where the Boundary Commission proposes that there should be created one extra constituency and where the Bill proposes that there should be created on extra constituency.
The difference, however, is that under the Commission's proposals three constituencies would produce four, while under the right hon. Gentleman's proposals two constituencies would produce three. It may be said that there does not seem to be anything manifestly unreasonable about that. However, under the Commission's proposals the three constituencies which are to spawn another will produce four roughly equal constituencies drawn in a way which respects the character of the area and which has found general favour.
Under the right hon. Gentleman's proposals, two constituencies are to be divided up to produce a third, with the effect that one other, my own constituency of Chichester, will be substantially larger than the other three. The largest, Chichester, is left untouched, while the other three will be on average about 20,000 constituents smaller.
Why would the right hon. Gentleman propose this? Hon. Members opposite would probably concede that, other things being equal, as long as it did not harm the Labour Party, they were not averse to having constituencies of roughly equal size and were, therefore, predisposed towards the recommendations of the Commission. Why does the right hon. Gentleman seek to alter the Commission's recommendations in this area and propose that only two constituencies should be taken and divided into three? It is nothing to do with Redcliffe-Maud.
§ Mr. Chataway
We have many Roman remains, but it has nothing to do with Julius Caesar, although it has as much to do with Julius Caesar as with Redcliffe-Maud.
Neither set of alterations would be affected by any decisions likely to be taken as a result of the Redcliffe-Maud 253 Report under which there would be no proposals for boundary alterations needing greater revision after the implementation of the Boundary Commission's proposals than after implementing the right hon. Gentleman's proposals.
Would there be a ripple effect? We have heard a great deal from the Home Secretary about the ripple effect.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The hon. Gentleman has made great play about gerrymandering, but he is now deploying the one case which he knows all about and where there is not a ha'porth of gerrymandering.
§ Mr. Chataway
Perhaps the Under-Secretary will contain himself patiently. I was hoping that he might be able to produce some justification for the argument that the Redcliffe-Maud proposals were leading him and his right hon. Friend to make these manifestly inferior proposals.
I do not believe that the Minister would be able to justify the suggestion that there would be a ripple effect on other constituencies. There is no other constituency affected, not in Hampshire, not in Surrey, not in East Sussex. Are there any ragged edges? Conceivably, with the help of his Department, he might be able to find a drafting mistake here and there, which may mean that half a dozen electors are not included, but I doubt it.
Here is a self-contained set of proposals, recommendations of the Boundary Commission which could be implemented and which are obviously preferable to the hasty, makeshift suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman. The Under-Secretary asks why should the Commission have done it, and put forward a proposal that was obviously inferior if there was no electoral advantage. There could be an electoral advantage. It may be coincidence, but in this area there is Crawley, which contains a substantial number of Labour voters, or, to be more accurate, which used to contain a large number of Labour voters.
It has a population of 39,000 and is in the constituency of Horsham. Take three constituencies, as the Boundary Commission did, Horsham, Chichester and Arundel and Shoreham, and make four constituencies out of them. Then, 254 clearly, the 39,000 labour stronghold will count for rather less. But if we keep one constituency, Chichester, much larger than the others, then make the other three where two were before, as proposed by the Home Secretary, the 39,000 bulk much larger within a smaller constituency.
§ Mr. Callaghan
That is very tortuous. If I wanted to gerrymander I would do it in a far more efficient way than that.
§ Mr. Chataway
I am sorry to have touched the right hon. Gentleman on what is obviously a sore point—his efficiency in gerrymandering. I am at a loss to know what other explanation there could be for putting forward a proposal of this kind.
§ Mr. Chataway
The right hon. Gentleman has not taken the point. There are three constituencies there, which are contiguous, from which he could make the extra constituency, as the Commission proposes. Why take the two in this way? I will willingly give way again—
§ Mr. Callaghan
Because there must be a pattern—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Do you want me to answer the point or do you not'? If so, shut up, then.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman was referring to other hon. Members and not to the Chair when he said that.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I was not referring to you, Mr. Jennings. The hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) always provokes when he sits there and shouts from the back benches.
There must be a pattern in the redistribution that has to take place and this is an example of not picking and choosing. Any hon. Member can pick and choose particular illustrations that will suit his point. What has happened here is that we are following a pattern throughout. It so happens that the two constituencies there could have become three if I had chosen to try to do something different, but I was following a consistent pattern.
255 Perhaps some time hon. Gentlemen might try to concede that there is something in the case besides their consistent arguments of pure gerrymandering and spite.
§ Mr. Chataway
If we are to concede that, we need to have a stronger argument than that. To say that, in his picking and choosing, the right hon. Gentleman is providing a pattern, is stretching belief beyond breaking point. What he has done is to take three pairs of constituencies and one single constituency outside London. What kind of pattern is that? Why not take one single constituency, two pairs and one trio of constituencies? It is just as much of a pattern. In this group of constituencies, as in a number of others mentioned by my right hon. and hon. Friends today, there is absolutely clear evidence—
§ Mr. Chataway
The right hon. Gentleman may keep up his spirits by saying "Rubbish", but I believe that if he starts to discuss this matter outside the House and outside his band of devoted supporters he will find few people who believe that his excuse of waiting for Redcliffe-Maud is the reason for the Bill.
The right hon. Gentleman said that if an argument were put forward for any of these Amendments which he found acceptable which did not have a ripple effect, which did not lead to increased difficulties as a result of Redcliffe-Maud and which did not have ragged edges, he would accept it. I hope that Amendment No. 20, which I have dealt with, will on those grounds be accepted by him.
§ 12.45 a.m.
§ Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)
I want to refer to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths) concerning the proposals for Manchester and the greater conurbation area affected within a population of something like 2 ¼ million people. The constituency which I represent—Salford, West—has a declining population of, at present, 46,000 256 electors and the figure is declining each year. The same applies to Salford, East.
The interesting this is that the Boundary Commission made no recommendation regarding our constituencies. The reasons for that are very simple. It is not possible to go beyond the present boundaries of a county borough and the surrounding county councils. Therefore, the constituencies within the South-East Lancashire conurbation cannot be rewritten until we get widespread local government reform. That is the whole basis.
If the Boundary Commission recommendations were enacted in their entirety, we would not have an equally based constituency system throughout the country. We would still be left with constituencies of 80,000-plus and constituencies, like mine, of 44,000 or 45.000 because local government reform has not taken place.
The point made by the right hon. Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle), that, even so, within that conurbation area, with the new cities outside, and so on, there would be a declining number of Members in the Manchester conurbation, is quite correct, but the boundaries cannot be rewritten efficiently and correctly, taking into account Stretford, Salford, Manchester and the other surrounding areas, until we have the Greater Manchester area where we can go across the current boundaries, which are bedevilled by county boroughs, cities, counties, urban districts and all the rest. The whole thing is nonsense.
I want to know what is so sacrosanct about the Boundary Commission, a nonelected body, which, in effect, as I have tried to show, cannot operate in a fully democratic manner until we have local government reorganisation. This is affecting the large conurbations outside London. We have the reform in London. My right hon. Friend has fully implemented the recommendation of the Boundary Commission.
We did not hear the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) remonstrating against that, because the G.L.C. wanted it. As my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) said, what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said is part of the fiddle. He does not separate this from his criticism. Oh, no. It is a blanket criticism of the whole of the proposals. About like one-eighth 257 of the population of the country is excluded entirely—
§ Mr. William Hamling (Woolwich, West)
Is my hon. Friend aware that this change will give Bexley fewer votes than has my hon. Friend's constituency?
§ Mr. Orme
I do not know about that, but I understand that the right hon. Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath) is looking for a fresh seat.
Anybody would think that the Boundary Commission's proposals which were presented to my right hon. Friend were a hard and fast set of rules for all time. We have a continuously moving population; we have new developments; we have the development which is taking place in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange, and in my own, and within many other central areas of population. What my right hon. Friend is doing is implementing proposals which necessarily need to be implemented at present. He is saying that the Redcliffe-Maud Report should be implemented as soon as possible. [Interruption.]
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Roebuck) has had his turn and should rise if—
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. If the hon. Member has got anything to say, let him rise in proper fashion.
§ Mr. Roebuck
On a point of order. I rose in what I understood to be a proper manner. If, Mr. Jennings, you are complaining because I allowed a sound to emit from me in response to a noise which came from the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), across the Chamber, and if I am required to sit here and to utter nothing in reply, then I shall have to consider the position very carefully.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. I also have to consider the position very carefully. The hon. Member has been long enough a Member of the House of Commons to know that neither he nor any hon. Member opposite him is entitled to make rude remarks, or any other remarks, in a recumbent position. There is a proper way to make interventions.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. I do not know what the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Roebuck) is trying to do, whether he is making an intervention with the acquiescence of the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), who has the Floor, or whether he is rising to address me on some other point of order. I would be glad to have clarification.
§ Mr. Roebuck
I will give that instantly. I was assuring my hon. Friend that I was not in a recumbent position, nor had I been in a recumbent position, but that in a sedentary position I was listening to what he had to say, and with the greatest interest. I hope that I shall not be interrupted by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone.
§ Mr. Daniel Awdry (Chippenham)
If I might intervene while the hon. Gentleman is collecting his thoughts after that last interruption, he is saying that the Government are justified in not implementing parts of the Boundary Commission Reports until they have the Redcliffe-Maud proposals. If that is the correct attitude, why did they let the Boundary Commission go on year after year with its work? They must have known of the fact several years ago. Would it not have beer fairer to have told the Boundary Commission four years ago to stop all that work?
§ Mr. Orme
Nobody could have anticipated what the Redcliffe-Maud Report would suggest.
The point that I want to put to the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) and his party—I address it as much to the right hon. and learned Member as to anybody because he will obviously be leading for the Opposition on this—is whether his party, when the time comes to discuss the Redcliffe-Maud Report and its application and implementation, will press for the early implementation of the report or will it hold it up and filibuster it, as many of his hon. Friends will try to do. 259 I believe that my right hon. Friend and the Government will be under pressure from this side, in the interests of local government and efficiency, to ensure that the Redcliffe-Maud Report is implemented as quickly and as fully as possible. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] The scoffing over this is very interesting. If the report is to be implemented—I am talking not about detail, but about the larger units—we can either get down to it as a Parliament and implement the major reforms that are needed in local government and thereby allow the Boundary Commission to redefine the boundaries in a way that will be acceptable to Parliament as a whole, or frustrate the implementation of local government reform, which I fear the Conservatives, despite their fine words, will endeavour to do when the time comes. It will be very interesting to see their reaction and attitude to the implementation of the Redcliffe-Maud proposals or the principle of them.
I believe that it will be possible to implement these proposals in a much shorter period than has been envisaged. The uncertainty that will be created in local government and in the large conurbations which many of us represent will be very frustrating both to local authorities if we as a Parliament do not get down early and quickly to resolving the matter—
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Maurice Macmillan) knows full well that he cannot intervene from beyond the Bar of the House.
§ Mr. Roebuck
On a point of order, Mr. Jennings. Is it possible for any hon. Member of the Committee to see beyond the Bar? Can you explain in some detail what this extraordinary manifestation is? Is it right, as I hear from my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson), that the Leader of the Opposition is causing a disturbance?
§ Mr. Orme
The point about the implementation of the Redcliffe-Maud Report is a very serious and valid on. It particularly affects those of us from large conurbations that are involved, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Will Griffiths), my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. L. M. Lever), my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Cheetham (Mr. Harold Lever), and many other constituencies in Liverpool, Birmingham and elsewhere.
We are saying that the redrawing of the boundaries as recommended by the Boundary Commission is insufficient, inadequate and not properly representational of the areas. I defy the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone to deny that those facts are correct. The argument about the size of the constituencies, on which so many crocodile tears are shed by hon. Gentlemen opposite, is the biggest piece of hypocrisy that this Parliament has seen.
We have never heard these arguments about Northern Ireland and Rhodesia. This point was raised by the Leader of the Opposition, and I was interested to hear him do so; he has never mentioned it before. The party opposite has been whipping up a campaign of hysteria, using words like "gerrymander", with the help of some newspapers. There has never been such a one-sided presentation of an issue than there is at present in the Press. It is as if hon. Gentlemen opposite are frightened to mention the case in its entirety and hear it properly argued.
We should not be put off by these attacks. We have nothing of which to be ashamed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am prepared to defend this issue. The more hypocrisy shown by hon. Gentlemen opposite the more I am convinced that we are right. If they were to call in aid another place, an unelected Chamber, I would welcome the confrontation. If the Boundary Commission cannot dictate to Parliament, we are certainly not having another place dictating to the elected Chamber.
If my right hon. Friend implements the London decisions, refers constituencies back to the Boundary Commission 261 for the redrawing of boundaries, and defers implementation so that the Redcliffe-Maud Report can be implemented, to speak of that as gerrymandering is a load of nonsense. I hope the Committee will give its answer in the only way possible, by rejectng the Amendment.
§ Mr. Corfield
Whether or not one is ashamed depends on one's own standards. On that aspect, I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme). He has made it abundantly clear, by drawing attention to the fact that an eighth of the population is excluded from the Bill because the Redcliffe-Maud's recommendations do not apply, that this could equally be done throughout the wider areas of the country to which they equally do not apply.
My hon. Friend the Member for Chichester (Mr. Chataway), my hon. Friend the Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle) and several of my hon. Friends have tabled Amendments covering areas to which Redcliffe-Maud has no application whatever. The most enlightening comment from the hon. Member for Salford, West was in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Chichester, "We waited until we saw what the Boundary Commission produced."
When we opened these debates the Home Secretary commented that some of the Amendments either excluded constituents in error or included them in more than one constituency. Whether or not that is true, it is no possible reason why these relatively minor matters could not be put right by the Government at a later stage or in another place, if they were minded to do so. Nor is it any argument for not considering on their merits the various Amendments which, through no fault of ours, we are forced to discuss together.
I suggest that Amendment No. 70 to which my hon. Friend for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke) has already spoken, falls into a category where Redcliffe-Maud has no application at all.
When the Home Secretary replied to my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Miss Pike) he implied that all that was being asked was that she should fight the election on the present boundaries and that a change could be expected three or four years afterwards. Does 262 the right hon. Gentleman, or any member of the Front Bench with any experience of these matters, imagine that this enormous reform of local government, which has been described in this debate as the largest reform for a century, will be carried through quickly, will be bulldozed through irrespective of all the local reactions? I assure the Home Secretary, from my moderate experience of the 1958 Act at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, and of the London Government Act, that local reactions to those modest proposals were very substantial.
Here we have a scheme to abolish the whole principle on which local government has been based in the past, namely, the distinction between rural and urban areas. It abolishes county councils, the one geographical unit to which people feel a local loyalty. It abolishes all the intermediate county districts to which, in the past, the countryman, because of the larger distance he had to travel, has looked for the most intimate of the personal services for which local government is responsible. It produces a massive problem of finding the proper terms on which surplus local authority personnel can be pensioned off or by which they can be found other jobs. It is a myth to think that all this can be done quickly.
The Home Secretary said to my hon. Friend the Member for Melton that all that really mattered was that she should fight the next election on the present boundaries. We are not concerned with fighting the next election on the present boundaries. We are concerned to serve our constituents decently, and there comes a time when sheer numbers makes this increasingly impossible.
We live in a time when there is more and more Government intervention in matters which concern the ordinary individual. Increasingly, one's postbag refers to matters to which the Member of Parliament is the only person to whom the individual can turn. The Member must look at their problems thoroughly and sympathetically. The problem concerns numbers and the character of the constituency. It is in the expanding constituencies that housing problems arise, that roads fail to keen up with houses, that schools fail to keep up with the children, and the rest of it.
263 It is not a question of the number of local authorities with whom one has to deal. The idea that constituency boundaries have to follow local authority boundaries is a convenience to Members of Parliament, but it has no relevance to the man in the street, and the contravention of it does not add greatly to the burden of Members of Parliament.
Replying to other Amendments, the Home Secretary said that in these areas the county boroughs and boroughs are recommended by Redcliffe-Maud to go into different units. There is no question of that happening in Bristol. I pressed him earlier to give a reason why, if he believes that Clause 1(3)(a) enjoins him to go ahead as soon as possible, he should put on the brake and not go on. He has not given us a reasonable answer.
Looking at a map of the Bristol area, it is clear that it would be quite impossible to implement a scheme which did not break the principle of Maud, and at the same time make irrelevant the proposals of the Boundary Commission. The Home Secretary and others referred to the ripple effect. As the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Gardner) said, the time to have thought about that was in 1966, when the Redcliffe-Maud Committee was set up. It must have been apparent then that if anything other than minor changes were to be made the recommendations of the one body were bound to cut across those of the other. Yet the Government allowed them to go on in parallel and, as the hon. Member for Salford, West said, they had to wait for the results to see what they looked like. Then they wonder why we suspect that there is some political motivation.
An hon. Member opposite made great play with the fact that this is a matter for the House of Commons because it affects the loyalties and relations between Members of Parliament and their constituencies. If that is so, the corollary is that time should have been allowed by the Government for hon. Members representing constituencies affected in different ways to put forward the views of their constituents. The fact that the Government have not done that is another measure of their integrity. It is the handling of the Bill, every bit as much as what is in it, that undermines my trust of the Home Secretary and the motives behind his proposals.
§ Mr. John Mendelson
The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) surprised me when he said with great emphasis that, in his opinion, local government and local government boundaries had nothing to do with the drawing of Parliamentary boundaries. That was an astonishing statement, in view of the fact that the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) interrupted my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) earlier, pointing out that he himself supported the principle that boundaries for constituencies should be related to local government boundaries and, moreover, that it was included in the principal Act which he supported.
§ Mr. Corfield
I said that it was a convenience to Members of Parliament, but that it did not matter to the constituent. I do not think that it does. I believe the principle to be a sound one, but it is not an overriding one.
§ Mr. Mendelson
The hon. Gentleman will find, when he reads HANSARD tomorrow, that I quoted him correctly. I do not want to spend more time on that. I merely want to put on record the complete contrast between the argument put forward by the Opposition Front Bench and by the hon. Gentleman in his speech just now. The Opposition are utterly and completely unscrupulous in the way that they have put forward their opposition to the Bill. They have no regard for principle, fact or truth. It is a cheap propaganda match from beginning to end. We had an inadvertent example just now in the speech of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South. A serious debate has been reduced to the level of a cheap propaganda match.
I am glad to see the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) in his place, because he is one of the few hon. Gentlemen opposite who made a serious contribution to our debates on the Bill. I refer to what the hon. Gentleman said on 8th July. I know that his right hon. and hon. Friends become 265 nervous when I refer to his speech. On that occasion they tried to prevent me interrupting him to agree with him and to express my sympathy with his point of view. I hope that they will not try to prevent me referring to it now.
The hon. Member for Tavistock, in a very sincere speech, said:In South Devon, we are hoping that whatever organisations consider the future of the area they will be able to take action relatively quickly so that conclusions may be reached so as to consolidate the views of people living in the area and make it possible for them to persuade the Government to include Tavistock within the economic circumstances prevailing in Plymouth."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 8th July, 1969; Vol. 786. c. 1284.]The hon. Gentleman went on to develop the point of his great anxiety. He said that Tavistock must be linked with and closely related to the Plymouth area. He was making a serious case on behalf of his constituents, of whom we have heard so much in these propaganda speeches but without any right hon. or hon. Gentleman opposite paying serious attention to their real interests. But the hon. Member for Tavistock did. He demanded a reorganisation in local government boundaries so that the benefits he wants for his constituents should come about. When I interrupted him, he did not disagree because he could not and did not want to. I pointed out that what the Government were proposing was directly in line with what the hon. Gentleman was demanding.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine (Tavistock)
I am grateful for the rendering of my speech, even if it totally contradicts the point that I made. The hon. Gentleman is fully aware that my point was that the Boundary Commission's Report would have achieved exactly what we in South Devon wanted. This Government, with all the other ridiculous policy that they have applied to South Devon, have delayed and postponed the things that we in South Devon want.
§ Mr. Mendelson
The hon. Gentleman will not ride off as easily as that. For most of his speech he was not talking about anything to do with Parliamentary boundaries, but about local government and economic links. The hon. Gentleman's speech is on record and hon. Members can check it for themselves. That was what the hon. Gentleman was arguing about, and it would be wholly illogi- 266 cal to blame the delay in bringing about constituency boundary changes for not receiving the kind of local government and economic development area benefits that he wants for his area.
Whenever a real attempt is made to look at the Bill, not in terms of cheap political propaganda, we find there is an issue which should be seriously debated. That issue is: as we are looking forward to a period of considerable and radical change in local government arrangements, is it right to subject the country in this area to two upheavals and basic changes within four or five years, or is it right to wait until other changes have taken place?
§ Mr. Mendelson
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will allow me to develop my argument. I shall give way to him in a moment.
This is a serious argument, because it has implications for local government, for economic development, and for national politics. We ought to discuss the matter calmly, because it is a serious problem, and one to which we ought to find a commonsense solution.
I do not expect the Redcliffe-Maud proposals—and this happens whenever a Royal Commission reports—to be accepted in full. Instead of some saying that the whole report will be implemented, and others saying that none of it will be implemented—I do not know whether any of it will be implemented—why not accept the commonsense view that the main principles may be accepted by the Government, but the details will have to be discussed and consultations will have to take place; that emendations will be made, perhaps by the local government associations, and perhaps, as a result of our experience, by various groups of specialists; that opinions will then crystalise, and then proposals will be made by the Government?
As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said earlier today, the first step will be to make a decision about the new local government boundaries. One thing about which we can be sure is that whatever proposals are accepted, and whatever changes are made, the picture at the end will be radically different from what it is today.
§ Mr. Hordern
The hon. Gentleman has very fairly, in his own way, questioned whether it is right for the Committee to accept two sets of changes in a relatively short space of time—the changes proposed by the boundary commission, and those proposed by Redcliffe-Maud. How does the hon. Gentleman explain the fact that in the Bill the Government are doing just that? The Government are proposing that the commission should issue a special report on my constituency and that of Arundel and Shoreham, both of which are directly affected by Redcliffe-Maud. The whole thing will have to be looked at again.
§ Mr. Mendelson
I think that there is a slight misunderstanding here.—[HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] I allowed the hon. Gentleman to intervene. I hope that hon. Gentlemen will allow me to answer. I did not contrast Redcliffe-Maud with the proposed boundary changes. I said that it would be unwise to have two upheavals within four or five years.
I think that I have established that whatever emerges after the debate on the local government proposals, the position will be radically different from what we have today. Nobody can fail to accept that simple point. I hope that I can carry the Committee with me to this extent, that more than 200 constituencies will be radically affected by the changes. Surely it is reasonable for the Government to say that it is better to wait until that process has been completed before introducing the next changes in the political boundaries of the constituencies? This is a commonsense point and there is no politics in it whatsoever.
§ Mr. Gower
The hon. Member has been describing what will happen. Does not he appreciate that he was describing a prolonged and difficult process, which will involve formidable changes in local government, described by his hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) on a previous occasion as the biggest changes for 100 years? During that time will not the disparities and the objectionable features of Parliamentary constituencies become much more pronounced?
§ Mr. Mendelson
I cannot address myself to the point about the nature of the timing, because we decided that in 268 Committee, on another Amendment. The hon. Member knows that I dealt with that point then. Now I repeat, in reply to his question, that whatever time scales we assume for these changes—and they will be important ones—the Home Secretary pointed out this afternoon that he expected us to have made very good progress by the early 1970s, and all talk about 1983 and 1984 is much piffle and propaganda. The time scale was indicated in a speech by my right hon. Friend this afternoon, and he is on record. That speech can be read tomorrow and it will be seen that he was quite precise in what he said.
I move from the point that I have established—which is a completely nonpolitical one—concerning good government and administration, to my next point, namely, the attitude that the House should adopt to a report by the Boundary Commission. There is no need to distract the Committee by making propaganda on this point. It has always been accepted doctrine by hon. Members on both sides of the House of Commons that it is the House that must make the final decision. I carried the hon. Member with me this afternoon in a previous debate when I pointed out that this was the accepted doctrine.
It therefore follows that the Boundary Commission cannot be in a special position compared with a Royal Commission or other bodies appointed by the Government or the House to make reports and recommendations. The Boundary Commission must be in the same position as other bodies, because any other attitude would mean abandoning the essential constitutional doctrine that the final decision must be within the rights and powers of the House.
That being so, there can be no doubt the attack from the other side of the Committee has been wholly misdirected, because by that attack hon. Members opposite have started the process of undermining a constitutional doctrine which they had accepted. I see on the benches opposite several right hon. Gentlemen who belonged to the Administration when I was sitting on the Opposition benches and who accepted this doctrine publicly in their own Administration. They cannot get away from it. If that was the view they held then, why should they now attempt to 269 mislead us about the doctrine? They are on record as having supported that doctrine in the past. The Government and the right hon. Gentleman are not doing anything that departs from the essential principle of conduct that governed the previous Administration and is governing the conduct of this Administration.
I move now to the other half of the argument. If the Boundary Commission cannot have the final say, what is to be the relationship between the Government, the Commission and Parliament—that is, the precise circumstance that the implementation of the recommendations must be related to by the House, by the Government of the day, and by the circumstances of the time. The reason why the House of Commons must have the final decision is not a matter of form; it is a matter of good government and good constitutional practice. The Commissioners, who are working away on plans and proposals cannot, three or four years in advance, judge the precise administrative situation in which the country will find itself when the report is finally published and the House can pass judgment on it.
This is not a political matter; it is a matter of good government. If there is a prospect in the early 1970s of the essential changes in local government arrangements which we all agree must take place, if they are to be of a radical and revolutionary nature it cannot be left to the Commissioners, working on the details of constituency boundaries to make a decision for Parliament three years in advance as to what is good government and good constitutional practice.
I cannot see how serious hon. Gentlemen could oppose this argument. They have always advanced it in the four Parliaments of which I have been a Member, and it is common ground.
My third and last point—[HON MEMBERS: "At last."] They will not be patient with me because I am producing a calmly-reasoned case and they do not like it. They would rather have a lot of shouting and paper throwing. I have only arguments, with which I intend to continue. My third and last point in this commonsense analysis deals with the choice of implementation which my right hon. Friend faced. Surely he had to 270 make a sensible division between that part of the work which affected London, where no change in local government boundaries is contemplated in the early 1970s, and the rest of the country, where changes are proposed. Surely that makes the action of the Government consistent.
Instead of this hot, blistering campaign of propaganda, the Opposition should have considered these arrangements practically for weaknesses to see whether it might be against the principles of good government to proceed in this way instead of trying to gain passing political capital. They must not kid themselves that they will mislead the public with this cheap campaign.
In conclusion, I react in the Sunday newspapers that the Tories are now employing a new public relations company instead of Prentis and Varley, who apparently did not serve them very well. I do not know whether this new company should take the blame for having suggested this daft campaign. I do not know whether it is true that the Leader of the Opposition has made it clear that he is using this company only for market research, or whether—
§ The Deputy Chairman (Mr. Harry Gourlay)
I am sure that the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) will help the Chair and the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ Mr. Mendelson
I said a moment ago that I was concluding in this point. I do not know why the right hon. and learned Gentleman should be so nervous about letting me conclude. In making these hot, blistering political charges, have they been advised by this new organisation? If they have, my advice to the Leader of the Opposition is to dismiss this firm in the next few weeks. It is a daft campaign, which will mislead no one and will not redound to the credit of the Opposition.
§ Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)
I shall be brief, because the Committee is in an intolerable position. The Government have used their majority to stifle our 271 debate. Such truncated time as we have been allowed has been taken up to a regrettable extent with speeches from the Government benches which have been farcical or incoherent, and sometimes both, and have culminated in the thoughts of the hon. Member for Penis-tone (Mr. John Mendelson) which were obviously designed to kill the debate stone dead.
I wish to speak in support of Amendment No. 27, which deals in particular with Birmingham constituencies and especially with Ladywood. My reason for intruding into a territory which I admit is foreign to me is that I represent a constituency in the South of England which has at present over 85,000 electors, which is likely at the next election to have 95,000 electors and which at the General Election after that may well have 110,000–115,000 electors. By contrast, Ladywood has an electorate, I understand, of 18,000. I understand that the hon. Member who has the honour to represent it won his place in the House by polling 5,100 votes in a by-election. I once fought an election in which I polled nearly as many-4,500—and it won me a seat too— on Kent County Council.
I hope that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. Lawton) will not take offence if I say that his 5,000 votes, had he polled them in my constituency at the last election, would not have returned him to Parliament; they would have lost him his deposit. At the next election he could poll twice 5.000 in my constituency and still lose his deposit. I make these comments in no sense criticising the hon. Member but in an attempt—and I hope a relevant attempt—to illustrate the anomalies and the anachronisms which exist and which the Home Secretary, if he does not accept these Amendments, will be perpetuating.
§ Mr. Onslow
I do not wish to detain the Committee, and the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) will only make me angrier than I already am.
§ Mr. Lubbock
On a point of order. Is it not the custom of the House that one does not refer to an hon. Member in detail without first giving him notice and, secondly, that one does not refer 272 to an hon. Member who has not yet made his maiden speech and therefore has not the opportunity to reply?
§ The Deputy Chairman
The hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) is quite in order to make a passing reference to other hon. Members and other constituencies.
§ Mr. Onslow
Were the electorate of that constituency nearer the norm, I should not need to refer to it.
I mentioned that I have an abnormally large number of constituents. I make no complaint about that. I am not anxious to part company with any of them, and I hope that I can serve them reasonably well. But the issue which we are debating ought not to be settled by the personal preferences of hon. Members, whether they retain the company of or part company with their present constituents; the Boundary Commission should have the final say in that, and all of us should be prepared to accept that the Boundary Commission serve a purpose which only they can serve as the custodians of the law.
Why, then, are we in this position, having these Amendments to this bad Bill, keeping us so late from our beds? Whose little gerrymander is it? I do not think we can blame the Government Chief Whip, who is only a clumsy apprentice in the cult of Parliamentary thuggee. Nor could we blame the Leader of the House—even if he were with us—for we know him only as an amiable cipher. Nor can we blame the Attorney-General, even if, after his attempt to differentiate between the way in which the present Report was laid and the way in which the last Report was laid, he can expect to be held in honour wherever hairs are split. The true reason why we are here and why we have these Amendments before us is the course of action which two men have chosen —the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister. I do not give the Home Secretary the credit of supposing that the Bill is his own or that he has introduced it in defiance of a veto from higher up.
The Home Secretary comes before us as the custodian of law and order. But he speaks against these Amendments in the capacity of gamekeeper turned poacher. We need not be surprised at that, but we can regret it and comment 273 that the present ambition of the right hon. Gentleman appears to be to rehabilitate the Duke of Newcastle, hitherto famous as the biggest Parliamentary fixer in our history, just as the Prime Minister has rehabilitated Lord North.
When earlier the Prime Minister's constituency of Huyton was mentioned the Home Secretary sought to warn us off by suggesting that if we pursued the subject we would be guilty of a personal vendetta. My only comment on the subject is that I would be more convinced by his case for the Bill if Huyton was a constituency more closely approaching the norm.
My real complaint against the Prime Minister, as the co-author of this bad Bill, is that he is not simply afraid of the consequencies of redistribution in his own constituency. It is more serious than that. He is afraid of the consequences of redistribution according to the recommendations of the Boundary Commission throughout the country. This is, therefore, not a matter affecting one constituency but affecting the whole country,
Nor am I convinced by the arguments which the Prime Minister has sought to adduce to the effect that if the Boundary Commission's recommendations were followed there would be no advantage in favour of one party or another. It might have been more convincing if the reports to that effect, which the Prime Minister claims he has received, were on paper and available to hon. Members in the Library. Instead, however, the Prime Minister has shown that he is not prepared to trust the people. He has abused his high office to distort and devalue the franchise, just as the Home Secretary has abused his office to place his thumb on the scales of electoral justice for selfish political advantage.
These are the two men who keep us here tonight, who have presented this bad Bill to us and whom we must really blame. I find this conclusion inescapable, just as you may find it wrong of me to voice it, Mr. Gourlay. The actions taken by these two men amount to, and must be recognised as, the grossest political cowardice.
We find ourselves in this shocking situation, with democracy standing in danger, because we have a Prime Minister who, in the exercise of his democratic 274 responsibilities, has proved himself to be a coward and a Home Secretary who has shown himself, by the same token, to be a cheat.
§ Mr. Hamling
I will not follow the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) in his hyperbole. Nor will I follow him into the gutter. I will refer briefly to Ladywood in view of the remarks of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock). It seems unfair to chide the Liberal Party with over-representation in Ladywood when one remembers how under-represented Liberal voters are and have been for the last 40 years in the House of Commons.
This brings me to one of the main points made in the debate so far, and particularly to the speech of the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Chataway), who until recently was a London hon. Member. He was at pains to talk generally of Conservative criticism. He found it singularly difficult to prove in the case of Sussex that there was no gerrymandering, especially when we have never had a Socialist elected for a county constituency in Sussex or in Surrey, since Adam was a lad. We are never likely to have that, and we are not likely to have a Socialist representing these toffee-nosed places.
§ 1.45 a.m.
§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
Surely my hon. Friend has more faith in the British people than his remarks about Surrey and Sussex would lead us to believe. The day will come when even in rural Sussex this party will be well represented.
§ Mr. Hamling
Not at the next General Election; and it is the next election which we are being told is being gerrymandered. I know Sussex. I was in East Sussex supporting one of our people, so I am not afraid to go into the backward areas. I have fought more solid Tory seats than any person in this Chamber at the moment, and I have won one—and I shall hold it next time.
§ Mr. Chataway
I am pretty sure that the hon. Member is right. The party opposite will not win any seats in Sussex, but under the Home Secretary's proposals there would be a very small constituency in Sussex in which Crawley new town will bulk very large.
§ Mr. Hamling
That merely shows the inferiority complex of hon. Members of the party opposite, because in the past, they have always tried to tell us how the new towns have changed and become Tory supporting. They cannot have it both ways. They cannot say that the new towns have seen the light and turned Tory and then crawl into the Chamber at this hour of the morning and talk about Crawley. The hon. Member is frightened of losing it.
What the party opposite is really complaining about is the fact that some of the older urban areas like Bristol, Liverpool, and Manchester will be over-represented as a result of the policy of the Home Secretary. I say that that comes a little ill from the party which for generations was wedded to the over-representation of the rural areas.
§ Mr. Hordern
I am sorry, but I missed the hon. Gentleman's point a couple of minutes ago which related to my constituency. I hasten to assure him that I acquitted the Home Secretary of any sort of gerrymandering in trying to win a seat in East Sussex.
§ Mr. Hamling
Then the hon. Member should get together with the new towns. The trouble is that he has lived for so long in London and been tarred by the brush of the previous hon. Member for Horsham that he sees chicanery behind every tree and has lived for a long time in the company of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg)—and what he does not know about politics is not worth knowing—that he is suspicious of everything. Then, when he finds some honest, decent chaps like my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Gwilym Roberts) he finds things a little strange.
I come now to the main burden of some of the speeches of hon. Members opposite. It is that there is over-representation of some of the older urban areas. The problem of the drift of population cannot be resolved in Parliamentary terms until the Redcliffe-Maud proposals are put into operation. That is precisely what happened in London. The London Government Act was introduced by the Conservative Party to do precisely what my right hon. Friend wants to do for the urban areas.
276 I come to a major complaint against the Bill in connection with London. I have a bitter complaint about this. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) has a constituency of 58,000 electors, below the English quota, and yet complains that his constituency is not being messed about. "One vote, one value", he says, and yet he has a constituency of 58,000 whereas in London, as a result of the work of the Boundary Commission which my right hon. Friend is implementing, there will be many constituencies with more than 70,000 electors. One vote, one value?
There will be many constituencies in London with an electorate of fewer than 45,000—St. Marylebone, 48,000; Surbiton, another Tory seat, 45,000; Bromley, Ravensbourne, 44,500, Bexley, Sidcup, 43,000. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] Where is this representative of a rotten borough? Harrow, Central will have 45,000—all good Socialist seats !
§ Mr. Hamling
The right hon. and learned Gentleman should recognise irony even at seven minutes to two in the morning. I was about to come to some of the Tory seats—Hammersmith, North, 72,000; Fulham. 72,000; Brent-ford and Isleworth, 74.000; Southwark, 71,000; Peckham, 78,000. My right hon. Friend is in the infants' class when it comes to gerrymandering. What the Bill does is over-represent Tory voters in London and under-represent Labour voters—and hon. Members will not see that in The Times tomorrow.
§ Mr. Hamling
Nor will it be seen in the Evening News tomorrow.
Under the Bill, 11 seats in London will have less than 50,000 electors and 10 seats will have more than 70,000. So much for the one vote, one value from the Boundary Commission. Where is the one vote, one value in that?
Where is "one vote, one value" there, when there are 43,000 in Bexley and 78,000 in Peckham? It is almost twice as much. Then the Opposition have the cheek to talk about Huyton. One of the 277 central issues is the under-representation of the English vote. One of the major difficulties in the Boundary Commission set-up is the insistence that Wales and Scotland shall have a minimum number of seats. The result is that England has a maximum number. We have a large population in England, where the vote is 59,000. What is the quota in Wales, or Scotland? In Wales the quota is many thousands less than the quota for England. Where is the "one vote, one value" principle in this? This is what the Opposition say should take precedence over this Parliament.
§ Mr. Hogg
The hon. Gentleman is wrong. The minimum number of seats for Wales and Scotland, which govern the quota, by a mathematical calculation, are set out in the Act of 1949 which the Government do not propose to alter. If the English representation had been equal in numbers, and I am not complaining, there would have been a Conservative Government far more often than there has been.
§ Mr. Hamling
All I would say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman is that he could not have had many more in the last 50 years. What he also cannot deny is that in every one of those Parliaments but two his party has been over-represented when one compares the votes with the seats. He knows that. They were even over-represented in 1964. It is only now, when we have a slight overrepresentation of Labour voters, that they start belly-aching. They want it for every General Election, not just nine out of ten. It is a fair comment to argue that in relation to the quotas, in relation to the principle of "one vote, one value", on which they are basing their campaign, England is under-represented.
We have had no such suggestion from the other side of the Committee, no suggestion that there should be a change in this relationship between votes in England and Scotland and Wales.
§ Mr. Hamling
I would remind the hon. Member that I and my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) have tabled a new Clause because 278 we do not like the scheme in London. We think that this is gerrymandering in favour of the Tory Party. We think it is unfair to the Labour Party, and I do not believe in being unfair to the Labour Party. It is poetic justice now and again to be unfair to the Tories, because the electoral system has been unfair to us for so long and it is a bit of a change to have the boot on the other foot. [Interruption.] That was not really intentional.
It is fair to argue in debating the principles, that when the party opposite complain about unfairness in their parts of the country it is right that we on this side should point out to my right hon. Friend that he is being unfair to us. I am complaining about it, and it is right that we should make these complaints to offset the belly-aching from the party opposite. We have listened to them long enough on this and it is about time that the voice of London was heard instead of voices like that of the newcomer from West Sussex, the hon. Member for Chichester, the one-time leader of the I.L.E.A. in London and one-time hero of Lewisham, North. He ought now to be pleading for his old friends and asking why they are not represented fairly. But here he is, the newcomer, the nouveau riche, one might say—new friends, new ideas.
I must express my gratitude to you, Mr. Gourlay, for allowing a certain amount of straying perhaps on the Amendment, but it is only right to point out that in all these arguments that we have had the only thing; that has motivated the party opposite is that they are feeling a bit cheated. They have not proved their case, and I will tell the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone why.
I have been talking only about London, where my right hon. Friend has been unfair to us. Right hon. and hon. Members opposite have not once examined in great detail any of the changes in the Bill to indicate any advantage to the party opposite. It may well be that if we have changes in Birmingham that might benefit us. Let me take the Committee into my confidence and say what some of our party organisers have been saying outside.
The Bill means a loss to Labour in London of at least seven seats. Everyone 279 knows that. Some of our people outside are saying that we are prepared to accept that because we think that under the Boundary Commission's changes Labour would benefit in many parts of England. But my right hon. Friend has stopped it. I often wonder whose side he is on. He reminds me of the late Herbert Morrison who, way back in 1948, was being attacked by the party opposite for gerrymandering.
§ Mr. Hamling
All I would say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman is that I do not know where he would have rated in the scale.
§ Mr. Roebuck
Would my hon. Friend adopt the words of another hon. Member that the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) would make a good mayor in Marylebone in a lousy year?
§ Mr. Hamling
Can we now come back to Herbert Morrison? I was saying that he was attacked by the party opposite for gerrymandering in 1948, and yet everyone knows that he was blamed for our electoral defeat in 1951. [HON. MEMBERS: "It was Chuter Ede."] Herbert was Leader of the House. I can remember Herbert coming to us and arguing in favour of those changes, saying that they were fair. Herbert Morrison was blamed for our defeat in 1951. We were attacked for gerrymandering, and yet when the votes were counted in 1951 the party opposite won the election with fewer votes than we got, and that was as a result of the electoral changes brought about by a Labour Government.
§ Mr. Ian Gilmour (Norfolk, Central)
It is quite true that the Labour Party did win more votes in 1951 than the Conservative Party, but there were four safe Tory constituencies with large electorates which returned candidates unopposed, and so the point the hon. Member is making is largely bogus.
§ Mr. Hamling
The hon. Member is right about the four constituencies, but 280 he will also remember the vast reserve of Tory votes in Northern Ireland, and that takes away from his point.
The point I was making was that when the history of this Bill is written it will be shown that my right hon. Friend is giving the party opposite a certain bonus in London—of seven seats. Nobody has argued at any stage of this debate, either tonight or previously, what disadvantage the party opposite is suffering in the rest of England.
§ Mr. Wellbeloved
My hon. Friend referred earlier to Bexley and Sidcup. He is aware that the Bexley Heath seat occupied by the Leader of the Opposition becomes rather marginal and that there is some suggestion that the right hon. Gentleman may be moving to Sidcup. I wonder if my hon. Friend would give his views on that sort of conduct.
§ Mr. Hamling
I would never dream of commenting on the political wanderings of any hon. or right hon. Gentleman opposite.
§ Mr. Martin Maddan (Hove)
I have been waiting for a very long time for the hon. Member to come to the Amendment. I wonder, Mr. Gourlay, if you could ingeniously help him to do that.
§ The Deputy Chairman
I understand that the hon. Member is adducing reasons to show why he is opposed to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Hamling
I am grateful. Mr. Gourlay, for your protection—though why one Royal Marine should require protection from another, heaven knows.
I was just saying in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Cray-ford (Mr. Wellbeloved) that I would not deem it my duty or responsibility to comment on the political wanderings of the Leader of the Opposition.
I return to the point I was making and on which I was concluding. We are giving the party opposite a sure and certain bonus in London.
§ Mr. Hamling
Newham, Tower Hamlets, Southwark—seven or eight. Look up the figures and see. What we do not know and what has not been proved in this debate by the party opposite is that it will suffer any disadvantage in the rest 281 of the country. Hon. Members opposite have not proved this. They have not proved this in detail. What is quite possible—and this is the case I have argued—is that if we were to follow the Boundaries Commission there might be gains in certain places for us too. I think of places like Hitchin, where Labour is under-represented by seats. I think of Buckingham.
§ Mr. Hamling
think of places like Epping—a great many large constituencies represented by only one Labour man or Labour woman and where, if there were redistribution, we would profit by an increase in the number of our seats. I am glad to have one Member of the Opposition agreeing with me and showing that he is an honest man in this debate. There he is, the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls).
§ Mr. Hamling
It is about time we had a few more like the hon. Member.
I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman, when he replies to or intervenes in the debate, as he might wish to at some stage of the morning, will really come down to the fact that there are certain advantages for the Conservatives in the Bill and that the disadvantages to them are by no means certain.
§ Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)
An illuminating remark was made by the hon. Member for Rushcliffe (Mr. Gardner), who suggested that if the Conservatives were in power they would have held up the implementation of the Boundary Commission's Report if it was to their political disadvantage. My answer is simply that were that to be so I would not wish to be associated with such a party.
§ Mr. Gardner
I was not saying anything of the kind. I was saying that the boot would be on the other foot, that if the Boundary Commission's recommendations had been in favour of the Labour Party now the Opposition's arguments would be very different. I was not talking about a Conservative Government at all.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Even if I misunderstood the hon. Gentleman, the sense of what he said was said by several hon. Members opposite during the debate. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members are well aware that points in that sense have been conveyed a number of times during the debate.
I wish to draw attention to Amendment No. 33, which concerns the constituency of Basingstoke. It is very carefully drafted precisely to follow the recommendations of the Boundary Commission, the whole recommendations and nothing but the recommendations. Naturally, there was a certain temptation to suggest other boundaries which would be to the political advantage of my party, but in framing the Amendment I did not allow myself to fall to that temptation. It is a pity that the Home Secretary has not resisted that temptation elsewhere.
The Basingstoke constituency now has an electorate of 83.000. When the 18year-old voters come on the register it will have an electorate of 92,000. So it will take more than four times as many electors in that part of Hampshire to influence the result of a General Election and to return a Member of Parliament as in many other parts of the country, and by no possible means can that be considered a fair form of representation of the people in that part of Hampshire.
The town of Basingstoke is receiving from London 11,500 overspill houses, which is bringing into the constituency between 3,000 and 4,000 overspill population per year. A Member of Parliament with this sort of change has a substantial amount of Parliamentary work. I do not complain about that. Some hon. Members on both sides talk of receiving 20 or 30 letters a week from their constituents. From the fact that I get 130 to 150 one can realise just how much the difference in work load is to Members.
My point is that some members of the public are fortunate in having very few electors to elect one Member of Parliament, and one Member of Parliament is able to devote his time to 18,000 or 20,000 electors. It is unfair on the electorate when a Member of Parliament has to spread his efforts over some 80,000 or 90,000 people, and when it is 283 in defiance of the independent Boundary Commission one has just cause to complain.
The Home Secretary's case has rested on the Redcliffe-Maud proposals. He has said that he does not want to implement the findings of the Boundary Commission because the Redcliffe-Maud proposals will be in contravention of them. But the chief proposal of the Redcliffe-Maud Commission affecting my constituency is to take Andover and Andover Rural District out of area No. 52 and put them into area No. 57, which is almost exactly the proposal of the Boundary Commission for the largest transfer of population in my constituency.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Therefore, one of the main arguments put forward by the Home Secretary does not apply to the largest change proposed by the Boundary Commission. As several of my colleagues have shown, there are constituencies which are not affected by the Redcliffe-Maud Report, but in spite of this the recommendations of the Boundary Commission are not to be implemented.
If the Home Secretary were genuine in his expressions to the Committee he would have allowed a free vote tonight. If he were genuine in what he is seeking to do he would have accepted the findings of the independent Boundary Commission and he would have accepted and been bound by the proposals of the other side.
The Home Secretary is also Treasurer of the Labour Party—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members express surprise. I do not suppose for one moment that he is incompetent in that capacity, and he must have had reported to him the consequences of his actions on the likely prospects. Already in some parts of the country the Labour Party is saying that it will gain as a result of this—
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Hon. Members opposite may not like it. I will give an 284 example from my local paper for last week, where the chairman of the local Labour Party is reported as saying that he anticipated raising his own constituency next time—and that is in the same week as the Home Secretary is gerrymandering the Boundary Commission—[Interruption.]
§ Mr. Hogg
I notice that it is feeding time for sea lions at the zoo! As the Guillotine is about to fall, I thought it might not be wholly wrong to make one or two general observations about the group of Amendments which we are discussing. We began well by discussing the Amendments, but the last four or five speeches have turned the debate into a Second Reading debate. That is not what we had intended or hoped by these Amendments.
This group of Amendments originally to be taken together and subsequently at our request divided into two by the Chair was designed to deal with two quite separate propositions. The first which we have been discussing was designed to deal with the problem of the over-sized constituency and our Amendments were designed to restore the Boundary Commission Report in relation to those over-sized constituencies.
The second, which we shall not now reach, was designed to deal with a totally different proposition, namely the periphery of London. We based our case there not on the size of the constituency but on the proposition that if the London recommendations themselves were to be implemented by the Government, which is the line upon which the Bill has proceeded, the correct thing in making the necessary peripheral adjustments would have been to implement an area of the Boundary Commission's Reports instead of making what we think is a botched job of some selected constituencies on the periphery.
It had been our intention, had this occurred, to discuss in detail the London constituencies and their relationship to the periphery. We did not do so only because that set of Amendments is not under discussion at present. It is for that reason and that reason only that I do not reply to the speech of the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Ham-ling), with which I differed in almost every respect.
285 When we came to discuss the oversized constituencies in the area outside London and its periphery, we were not on this series of Amendments concerned precisely to argue—although we have done so on Second Reading and no doubt will be doing so in a few hours' time on Third Reading—which party, if either, would gain as a result of implementation of the Boundary Commission's Report. We consider that to be something more appropriate to Second Reading and Third Reading debates.
We were concerned to show two things. First, that a gross injustice was being done to certain of the electors of this country, whichever party gained, by not implementing the Boundary Commission's Report. Although I feel as strongly as any of my hon. Friends that we are being cheated out of a number of seats, the ground on which we base our case is not the disadvantages to the Conservative Party—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—but the gross injustice to the constituencies concerned.
The second point which we were seeking to bring out was that having dealt, as we did in the previous set of Amendments, with Wales and Scotland, we wished to show in relation to the groups of constituencies which we had selected as showing over-size as a result of fifteen years non-implementation of any boundary changes that the excuse about Redcliffe-Maud and local government reorganisation is threadbare and nonexistent. My right hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Miss Pike) showed it in relation to Leicester. My hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) and my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke) established it in relation to the Bristol area. My hon. Friend the Member for Runcorn (Mr. Carlisle) established it in relation to the Liverpool area—
§ Mr. Hogg
—which seems to be a sore point with hon. Members opposite—those, at least, who can pronounce it. My hon. Friend the Member for Runcorn established it again in relation to Manchester. My right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) 286 established it in relation to Birmingham and the West Midlands area generally. My hon. Friend the Member for Chichester (Mr. Chataway) established it in relation to West Sussex. My hon. Friend the Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) established it relation to Surrey, even if it had not already appeared from the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee). My hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) established it in relation to Hampshire. In each case, it has been established—
§ Mr. Hogg
Not at the moment. I am half-way through a sentence. In each case, it has been established in detail in relation to each group of Amendments that the Boundary Commission's Report could have been implemented with a greater realism than any status quo will possess for a large number of years, whatever is done as a result of the Redcliffe-Maud proposals.
§ Mr. Hogg
No, I am not ready for the hon. Gentleman yet. The argument based upon the alleged necessity to await Redcliffe-Maud in all the great urban areas of the country is wholly untrue and contrary to fact.
When the right hon. Gentleman talked airily of 94 constituencies and what he called the ripple effect and the smaller fleas, as he delicately put it, beyond the immediate ripple, he failed to make out any detailed case. Knowing as one does and as he happened to show in relation to some of the constituencies which he mentioned that some of these infringements of the boundaries deal with pockets of voters of 500 or even less, he failed to establish any serious case on the scale necessary to justify a departure from the constitutional principle.
When hon. Gentlemen apposite seek to comfort themselves with sophistical argument that we in 1951 obtained majorities in this House on a minority of votes, the fact remains that we did it in accordance with existing law and not by fiddling and, when we got into power, we implemented the Boundary Commission Reports which ex hypothesi, if the argument was true, were to our disadvantage, 287 by doing exactly what the Statute told us to do. Although a parliamentary majority, under the Statute, can either reject or amend the Boundary Commission Report, that argument is dealt with in the Statute, and it was the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to do his duty and to bring forward draft Orders in Council so that the House of Commons could pronounce upon them. That is why we support these Amendments and resent the right hon. Gentleman's gerrymander.
§ 2.30 a.m.
§ Mr. Lipton
On a point of order. The Business Committee Resolution, which was adopted by the House earlier today, lays down in paragraph 4(1)
§ The Chairman
Order. The time expiring under the Business Resolution is at 2.33. If the hon. Gentleman goes on with his point of order he will deprive the Committee of that further three minutes.
§ Mr. Callaghan
I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman let the cat out of the bag, amid all his protestations, when he gave vent to the sentiment that they believed that they were being cheated out of a number of seats. That is the case that the Opposition make. They hide it behind a great deal of constitutional persiflage, but in fact some psephologist has convinced them that
§ they will lose seats if the Boundary Commission's recommendations are not accepted. That is all that they are interested in and that is what the whole debate is about. Everything else is sheer camouflage, except when it is not a personal vendetta against the Prime Minister—[Interruption.]
§ I never expected to hear, even from the hon. Member for North Fylde (Mr. Clegg), that the Amendment was not dictated by any dislike of the people of Huyton, but out of spite—that was his word—against the Prime Minister. That is the level of conversation and language to which some of us have become accustomed throughout the whole debate. I deplore it. I do not resent it; I take it whence it comes.
§ The plain truth is that we have established our case—[Interruption.]—that it is impossible to isolate the large urban areas from the effects of a general redistribution and that the Redcliffe-Maud Report is the best way of proceeding to ensure that local government and Parliamentary boundaries are established on a a stable basis for some time to come. That is the case which we must get across to the country and which is now made out.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 235, Noes 277.291
|Division No. 323.]||AYES||[2.34 a.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.Sir Walter||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Digby, Simon Wingfield|
|Astor, John||Bryan, Paul||Dodds-Parker, Douglas|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Doughty, Charles|
|Awdry, Daniel||Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Drayson, G. B.|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Bullus, Sir Eric||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Burden, F. A.||Eden, Sir John|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)|
|Batsford, Brian||Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Elliott, R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Carlisle, Mark||Emery, Peter|
|Bell, Ronald||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Errington, Sir Eric|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Channon, H. P. G.||Eyre, Reginald|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Chataway, Christopher||Farr, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Chichester-Clark, R.||Fisher, Nigel|
|Biffen, John||Clark, Henry||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Clegg, Walter||Fortescue, Tim|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Cooke, Robert||Foster, Sir John|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)|
|Blaker, Peter||Cordle, John||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Corfield, F. V.||Gibson-Watt, David|
|Body, Richard||Costain, A. P.||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Crouch, David||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Crowder, F. P.||Glover, Sir Douglas|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Cunningham, Sir Knox||Glyn, Sir Richard|
|Braine, Bernard||Currie, G. B. H.||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.|
|Brewis, John||Dalkeith, Earl of||Goodhart, Philip|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Dance, James||Gower, Raymond|
|Grieve, Percy||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||McMaster, Stanley||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Gurden, Harold||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Royle, Anthony|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F,||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh)||Maddan, Martin||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Scott, Nicholas|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Marten, Neil||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Maude, Angus||Sharples, Richard|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Mawby, Ray||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Silvester, Frederick|
|Hastings, Stephen||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Hay, John||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Smith, Dudley (W'wick&L'mington)|
|Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Miscampbell, Norman||Smith, John (London & W'minster)|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Speed, Keith|
|Hese1tine, Michael||Monro, Hector||Stainton, Keith|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Montgomery, Fergus||Stodart, Anthony|
|Hiley, Joseph||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Hill, J. E. B.||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Holland, Philip||Murton, Oscar||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Hordern, Peter||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Temple, John M.|
|Hornby, Richard||Neave, Airey||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Nicholls, Sir Harmer||Tilney, John|
|Hunt, John||Nott, John||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Onslow, Cranley||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Waddington, David|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Waiker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Jopling, Michael||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Walters, Dennis|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Peel, John||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Percival, Ian||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Kerby, Capt. Henry||Peyton, John||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Kimball, Marcus||Pink, R, Bonner||Wiggin, A. W.|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Pounder, Rafton||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Kirk, Peter||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Kitson, Timothy||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Prior, J. M. L.||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Lambton, Viscount||Pym, Francis||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Worsley, Marcus|
|Lane, David||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Wright, Esmond|
|Lawler, Wallace||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Wylie, N. R.|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Younger, Hn. George|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Longden, Gilbert||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Lubbock, Eric||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Mr. Jasper More and Mr. Anthony Grant.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Abse, Leo||Broughton, Sir Alfred||Delargy, Hugh|
|Albu, Austen||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Dell, Edmund|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Dempsey, James|
|Alldritt, Walter||Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Dewar, Donald|
|Anderson, Donald||Buchan, Norman||Diamond, Rt. Hn. John|
|Archer, Peter||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Dobson, Ray|
|Ashley, Jack||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Doig, Peter|
|Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw)||Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Driberg, Tom|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Cant, R. B.||Dunn, James A.|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Carmichael, Neil||Dunnett, Jack|
|Bacon, Rt, Hn. Alice||Carter-Jones, Lewis||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)|
|Barnett, Joel||Chapman, Donald||Eadie, Alex|
|Baxter, William||Concannon, J. D.||Edelman, Maurice|
|Beaney, Alan||Conlan, Bernard||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)|
|Bence, Cyril||Crawshaw, Richard||Edwards, William (Merioneth)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Cronin, John||Ellis, John|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||English, Michael|
|Binns, John||Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Ennals, David|
|Bishop, E. S.||Dalyell, Tam||Ensor, David|
|Blackburn, F.||Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)|
|Booth, Albert||Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Faulds, Andrew|
|Boston, Terence||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Fernyhough, E.|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Fletcher,Rt.Hn.SirEric(Islington, E.)|
|Boyden, James||Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)|
|Bradley, Tom||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Foley, Maurice|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Loughlin, Charles||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Ford, Ben||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Forrester, John||McBride, Neil||Probert, Arthur|
|Fowler, Gerry||McCann, John||Rankin, John|
|Freeson, Reginald||MacColl, James||Rees, Merlyn|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Macdona1d, A. H.||Richard, Ivor|
|Gardner, Tony||McGuire, Michael||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Garrett, W. E.||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy|
|Ginsburg, David||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mackie, John||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mackintosh, John P.||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St.P'c'as)|
|Gregory, Arnold||Maclennan, Robert||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Grey, Charles (Durham)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Roebuck, Roy|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Ryan, John|
|Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Sheldon, Robert|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Manuel, Archie||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Hamling, William||Mapp, Charles||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Hannan, William||Marks, Kenneth||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Harper, Joseph||Marquand, David||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Silverman, Julius|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Haseldine, Norman||Maxwell, Robert||Slater, Joseph|
|Hattersley, Roy||Mayhew, Christopher||Small, William|
|Hazell, Bert||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mendelson, John||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Mikardo, Ian||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Henig, Stanley||Millan, Bruce||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Hilton, W. S.||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Taverne, Dick|
|Hooley, Frank||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Molloy, William||Thornton, Ernest|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Moonman, Eric||Tinn, James|
|Howie, W.||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Tomney, Frank|
|Hoy, Rt. Hn. James||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Morris, John (Aberavon)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Hunter, Adam||Moyle, Roland||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Murray, Albert||Wallace, George|
|Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)||Neal, Harold||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Newens, Stan||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Oakes, Cordon||Weitzman, David|
|Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Ogden, Eric||Wellbeloved, James|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||O'Malley, Brian||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Oram, Albert E.||Whitlock, William|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Orbach, Maurice||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham. S.)||Orme, Stanley||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Oswald, Thomas||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Judd, Frank||Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Williams, Clifford (Abertilery)|
|Kelley, Richard||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Kenyon, Clifford||Palmer, Arthur||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'tcr & Chatham)||Pannell, Rt, Hn. Charles||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Park, Trevor||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Lawson, George||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Winnick, David|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Pavitt, Laurence||Woof, Robert|
|Lee, Rt. Hn, Jennie (Cannock)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Lee, John (Reading)||Pentland, Norman|
|Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Mr. Alan Fitch and Mr. Ernest Armstrong.|
|Lipton, Marcus||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Lomas, Kenneth||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
§ Proceedings in Committee on the Bill having continued for four hours and thirty-three minutes after Ten o'clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to he concluded.292
§ Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 276, Noes 235.297
|Division No. 324.]||AYES||[2.43 a.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Alldritt, Walter||Ashley, Jack|
|Albu, Austen||Anderson, Donald||Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Archer, Peter||Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Garrett, W. E.||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Ginsburg, David||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Bagier, Gordon A, T.||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mendelson, John|
|Barnett, Joel||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Baxter, William||Gregory, Arnold||Millan, Bruce|
|Beaney, Alan||Grey, Charles (Durham)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Bence, Cyril||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Molloy, William|
|Binns, John||Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Moonman, Eric|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Blackburn, F.||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Hamling, William||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Booth, Albert||Hannan, William||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Boston, Terence||Harper, Joseph||Moyle, Roland|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn, Arthur||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Boyden, James||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Murray, Albert|
|Bradley, Tom||Haseldine, Norman||Neal, Harold|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Hattersley, Roy||Newens, Stan|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Hazell, Bert||Oakes, Cordon|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Ogden, Eric|
|Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Heffer, Eric S.||O'Malley, Brian|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Henig, Stanley||Oram, Albert E.|
|Buchan, Norman||Hilton, W. S.||Orbach, Maurice|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hooley, Frank||Orme, Stanley|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Oswald, Thomas|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Cant, R. B.||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Howie, W.||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Hoy, Rt. Hn. James||Palmer, Arthur|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Chapman, Donald||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Park, Trevor|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hunter, Adam||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Cronin, John||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Probert, Arthur|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Judd, Frank||Rankin, John|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Kelley, Richard||Rees, Merlyn|
|Delargy, Hugh||Kenyon, Clifford||Richard, Ivor|
|Dell, Edmund||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dempsey, James||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy|
|Dewar, Donald||Lawson, George||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Leadbitter, Ted||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dobson, Ray||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as)|
|Doig, Peter||Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lee, John (Reading)||Roebuck, Roy|
|Dunn, James A.||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Ross, Rt. Hn, William|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Lipton, Marcus||Ryan, John|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lomas, Kenneth||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Eadie, Alex||Loughlin, Charles||Sheldon, Robert|
|Edelman, Maurice||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McBride, Neil||Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McCann, John||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Ellis, John||MacColl, James||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|English, Michael||Macdonald, A. H.||Silverman, Julius|
|Ennals, David||McGuire, Michael||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Ensor, David||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Slater, Joseph|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Small, William|
|Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Mackle, John||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mackintosh, John P.||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Fernyhough, E.||Maclennan, Robert||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Fletcher,Rt.Hn.SirEric(Islington,E.)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Taverne, Dick|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Foley, Maurice||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)||Tinn, James|
|Ford, Ben||Manuel, Archie||Tomney, Frank|
|Forrester, John||Mapp, Charles||Tuck, Raphael|
|Fowler, Gerry||Marks, Kenneth||Urwin, T. W.|
|Freeson, Reginald||Marquand, David||Varley, Eric G.|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Gardner, Tony||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Wallace, George||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Winnick, David|
|Watkins, David (Consett)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)||Woof, Robert|
|Weitzman, David||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Wellbeloved, James||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Wells, William (Walsall, N.)||Willis, Rt. Hn. George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Whitlock, William||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and Mr. J. D. Concannon.|
|Wilkins, W. A.||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Alison. Michael (Barkston Ash)||Fortescue, Tim||Maude, Angus|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Foster, Sir John||Mawby, Ray|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Astor, John||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Gibson-Watt, David||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Glover, Sir Douglas||Monro, Hector|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Glyn, Sir Richard||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Batsford, Brian||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||More, Jasper|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Goodhart, Philip||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Bell, Ronald||Gower, Raymond||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Grant, Anthony||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Grieve, Percy||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Murton, Oscar|
|Biffen, John||Gurden, Harold||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Neave, Airey|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh)||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Blaker, Peter||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Nott, John|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Body, Richard||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Harvie Anderson, Miss||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Hastings, Stephen||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Braine, Bernard||Hay, John||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Brewis, John||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Peel, John|
|Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter||Heseltine, Michael||Percival, Ian|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Higgins, Terence L.||Peyton, John|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hiley, Joseph||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Bryan, Paul||Hill, J. E. B.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus, N&M)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Pounder, Rafton|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Holland, Phillip||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Burden, F. A.||Hordern, Peter||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Hornby, Richard||Pym, Francis|
|Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hunt, John||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Iremonger, T. L.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Chataway, Christopher||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Clark, Henry||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Clegg, Walter||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Cooke, Robert||Jopling, Michael||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoake)|
|Cordle, John||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Corfield, F. V.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Costain, A. P.||Kershaw, Anthony||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Crouch, David||Kimball, Marcus||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Crowder, F. P.||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Kirk, Peter||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Kitson, Timothy||Sharples, Richard|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Dance, James||Lambton, Viscount||Silvester, Frederick|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Lane, David||Smith, Dudley (W'wick&L'mington)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Lewis, Wallace||Smith, John (London & W'minster)|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Speed, Keith|
|Doughty, Charles||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Stainton, Keith|
|Drayson, G. B.||Longden, Gilbert||Stodart, Anthony|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Lubbock, Eric||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Eden, Sir John||MacArthur, Ian||Tapsell, Peter|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Elliott,R,W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)|
|Emery, Peter||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Errington, Sir Eric||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Temple, John M.|
|Farr, John||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Fisher, Nigel||Maddan, Martin||Tilney, John|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|van Straubenzee, W. R.||Weatherill, Bernard||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Wells, John (Maidstone)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Vickers, Dame Joan||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William||Wright, Esmond|
|Waddington, David||Wiggin, A. W.||Wylie, N. R.|
|Walker, Peter (Worcester)||Williams, Donald (Dudley)||Younger, Hn. George|
|Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Walters, Dennis||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Ward, Dame Irene||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard||Mr. Reginald Lyre and Mr. Anthony Royle.|
§ Clauses 2 to 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Schedules 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Bill reported, without Amendment.
§ Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to the Standing Order298
§ (Sittings of the House, (Suspended Sittings)), That the Proceedings of this day's Sitting be suspended.—[Mr. Harper.]
§ The House divided: Ayes 275, Noes 236.301
|Division No. 325.||AYES||[2.55 a.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Dewar, Donald||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)|
|Albu, Austen||Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Dobson, Ray||Howie, W.|
|Alldritt, Walter||Doig, Peter||Hoy, Rt. Hn. James|
|Anderson, Donald||Driberg, Tom||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Archer, Peter||Dunn, James A.||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Ashley, Jack||Dunnett, Jack||Hunter, Adam|
|Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw)||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Eadie, Alex||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Edelman, Maurice||Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Barnett, Joel||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Baxter, William||Ellis, John||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Beaney, Alan||English, Michael||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Bence, Cyril||Ennals, David||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Ensor, David||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)|
|Binns, John||Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Judd, Frank|
|Bishop, E. S.||Faulds, Andrew||Kelley, Richard|
|Blackburn, F.||Fernyhough, E.||Kenyon, Clifford|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)|
|Booth, Albert||Fletcher,Rt.Hn.SirEric(Islington,E.)||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)|
|Boston, Terence||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lawson, George|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Boyden, James||Foley, Maurice||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)|
|Bradley, Tom||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock)|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Ford, Ben||Lee, John (Reading)|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Forrester, John||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Fowler, Gerry||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Freeson, Reginald||Lipton, Marcus|
|Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Buchan, Norman||Gardner, Tony||Loughlin, Charles|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Garrett, W. E.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Ginsburg, David||McBride, Neil|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||McCann, John|
|Cant, R. B.||Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||MacColl, James|
|Carmichael, Neil||Gregory, Arnold||Macdonald, A. H.|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Grey, Charles (Durham)||McGuire, Michael|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret|
|Chapman, Donald||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mackle, John|
|Conlan, Bernard||Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Mackintosh, John p.|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Cronin, John||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Hamling, William||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Hannan, William||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Dalyell, Tam||Harper, Joseph||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Mallalieu,J.P.W.(Huddersfield,E.)|
|Davies, Ednyfed Hudson (Conway)||Haseldine, Norman||Manuel, Archie|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Hattersley, Roy||Mapp, Charles|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Hazell, Bert||Marks, Kenneth|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Marquand, David|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Heffer, Eric S.||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Henig, Stanley||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Delargy, Hugh||Hilton, W. S.||Maxwell, Robert|
|Dell, Edmund||Hooley, Frank||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Dempsey, James||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Mikardo, Ian||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George|
|Millan, Bruce||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)||Tinn, James|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Price, William (Rugby)||Tomney, Frank|
|Molloy, William||Probert, Arthur||Tuck, Raphael|
|Moonman, Eric||Rankin, John||Urwin, T. W.|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rees, Merlyn||Varley, Eric G.|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Richard, Ivor||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Morris, John (Aberavon)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Moyle, Roland||Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy||Wallace, George|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Murray, Albert||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)|
|Neal, Harold||Robinson, Rt.Hn.Kenneth(St.P'c'as)||Weitzman, David|
|Newens, Stan||Rodgers, William (Stockton)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Oakes, Gordon||Roebuck, Boy||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Ogden, Eric||Ross, Rt. Hn. William||Whitlock, William|
|O'Malley, Brian||Ryan, John||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Oram, Albert E.||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Orbach, Maurice||Sheldon, Robert||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Orme, Stanley||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Short,Rt.Hn.Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Owen, Will (Morpeth)||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Page, Dereh (King's Lynn)||Silverman, Julius||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Palmer, Arthur||Skeffington, Arthur||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Slater, Joseph||Winnick, David|
|Park, Trevor||Small, William||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Spriggs, Leslie||Woof, Robert|
|Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Pavitt, Laurence||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley||Mr. Charles R. Morris and Mr. Ernest Armstrong.|
|Pentland, Norman||Taverne, Dick|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cordle, John||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Corfleld, F. V.||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Costain, A. P.||Harvie Anderson, Miss|
|Astor, John||Crouch, David||Hastings, Stephen|
|Awdry, Daniel||Crowder, F. P.||Hay, John|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Cunningham, Sir Knox||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Currie, G. B. H.||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Dalkeith, Earl of||Heseltine, Michael|
|Batsford, Brian||Dance, James||Higgins, Terence L.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bell, Ronald||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Hill, J. E. B.|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm)||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Doughty, Charles||Holland, Philip|
|Biffen, John||Drayson, G. B.||Hordern, Peter|
|Biggs-Davison, John||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hornby, Richard|
|Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Eden, Sir John||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Hunt, John|
|Blaker, Peter||Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Emery, Peter||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Body, Richard||Errington, Sir Eric||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Eyre, Reginald||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Farr, John||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward||Fisher, Nigel||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Braine, Bernard||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Jopling, Michael|
|Brewis, John||Fortescue, Tim||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Foster, Sir John||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter||Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Kerby, Capt. Henry|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Gibson-Watt, David||Kimball, Marcus|
|Bryan, Paul||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Kirk, Peter|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Glover, Sir Douglas||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Glyn, Sir Richard||Lambton, Viscount|
|Burden, F. A.||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Lancaster, Col. C. G.|
|Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.)||Goodhart, Philip||Lane, David|
|Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn)||Gower, Raymond||Lawler, Wallace|
|Carlisle, Mark||Grant, Anthony||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Grieve, Percy||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Longden, Gilbert|
|Chataway, Christopher||Gurden, Harold||Lubbock, Eric|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||MacArthur, Ian|
|Clark, Henry||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Maclean, Sir Fitztoy|
|Clegg, Walter||Hamilton, Lord (Fermanagh)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain|
|Cooke, Robert||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||McMaster, Stanley|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Tapsell, Peter|
|Maddan, Martin||Pink, R. Bonner||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Pounder, Rafton||Taylor,Edward'M.(G'gow Cathcart)|
|Marten, Neil||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Maude, Angus||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Temple, John M.|
|Mawby, Ray||Prior, J. M. L.||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Pym, Francis||Tilney, John|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||van Straubenzee, W, R.|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Monro, Hector||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Waddington, David|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|More, Jasper||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Ridsdale, Julian||Walters, Dennis|
|Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Weatherill Bernard|
|Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Murton, Oscar||Royle, Anthony||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Russell, Sir Ronald||Wiggin, A. W.|
|Neave, Airey||St. John-Stevas, Norman||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Scott, Nicholas||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Nott, John||Scott-Hopkins, James||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Onslow, Cranley||Sharples, Richard||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Orr, Capt, L. P. S.||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian||Silvester, Frederick||Wright, Esmond|
|Osborn, John (Hallam)||Sinclair, Sir George||Wylie, N. R.|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Younger, Hn. George|
|Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Smith, John (London & W'minster)|
|Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)||Speed, Keith||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Peel, John||Stainton, Keith||Mr. Timothy Kitson and Mr. Humphrey Atkins.|
|Percival, Ian||Stodart, Anthony|
|Peyton, John||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|