HC Deb 14 December 1971 vol 828 cc278-400
Mr. Speaker

Before I call the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I should explain to the House that there is a technical difficulty about the Amendment to the Government Motion put down by the Opposition, which is, to leave out 'charged on the Consolidated Fund' and add: 'payable out of moneys provided by Parliament'. Were I to announce now that I had selected the Amendment and asked the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition to move it forthwith, the debate might be restricted solely to the question of how these sums of money should be paid. Therefore, I suggest that any argument which might be used on the Amendment should be made in debating the general proposition and that perhaps during the wind-up speech of the Opposition the Amendment should be formally moved so that there may be an opportunity for a separate Division if the Opposition so wish. If that is satisfactory, that is how we shall proceed.

4.10 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Anthony Barber)

I beg to move, That further provision be made for Her Majesty's Civil List, for the members of the Royal Family for whom provision has been made by the Civil List Acts of 1937 and 1952 and for the payment of certain pensions and allowances, and that provision should be now made for Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester and any future wife of a younger son of Her Majesty in the event of any of them surviving her husband; and that sums payable in pursuance of provision so made should be charged on the Consolidated Fund. First, I express my gratitude to right hon. and hon. Members from both sides of the House who served on the Select Committee. It was for all of us a unique experience, and my task as Chairman was made the easier by the courtesy and, if I may say so, the good humour which was evidenced throughout the many deliberative sessions' which we held which, in accordance with custom, are not recorded in the report.

This debate has been foreseen for a long time. I think that one might say that the prospect of it has been with us ever since 1952. I say that because the 1952 Select Committee, with every hope of a long reign and with a well-founded suspicion of a long period of price increases ahead, realised that the arrangements that it recommended might in due course need to be reviewed by Parliament. I remind the House that the Select Committee said that if: …any considerable change should take place either in the burden of public functions laid upon Her Majesty or in the level of prices, it would be in complete accordance with constitutional practice for Her Majesty to send a further Gracious Message to Parliament asking that the original grant should be reconsidered. That was almost 20 years ago and both things—an increase in the burden of work and an increase in the level of prices—have taken place since 1952. So our task now is to devise new arrangements which will take account of these changes.

I will remind the House of the recent history of the matter which led to the setting up of the Select Committee and to this debate. The need for further action by Parliament within the foreseeable future was made clear in November, 1969. The then Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson), made a statement to the House in which he set out the position. He disclosed that Civil List expenditure had begun to exceed the amount provided in the 1952 Act as early as 1962 and that, therefore, the reserves accumulated during the earlier years were being run down. He went on to inform the House that the reserves would be exhausted and the Civil List would move into deficit by 1970—that is, last year.

In the light of this situation, the Labour Government informed the Queen's advisers that a new Select Committee would be appointed at the beginning of the next Parliament. The General Election and change of Government occurred in the summer, 1970. Discussions with the Queen's advisers began almost at once after the election, and in due course Her Majesty's Gracious Message was sent to this House, which led to the setting up of the Select Committee and the report which we are considering in the context of the Financial Resolution authorising the introduction of a Bill.

The report has been in the hands of hon. Members for nearly two weeks now, and I therefore need not take up time by going over its contents in detail. I want to deal with three main points—first, the nature of the inquiry; second, the nature of the problem; third, the solution which the Select Committee has recommended.

I first draw the attention of the House to the thoroughness of the Select Committee's investigation. Although I was Chairman of the Committee throughout, I must admit that I claim no personal credit for the thoroughness of the investigation because, in the early stages at any rate, I personally had hoped that we would be able to present our findings to the House a little sooner than we did eventually. But the Committee was very rightly concerned to explore every possible solution before reaching its conclusions. In the event, it held more meetings, saw more witnesses, collected more evidence and considered more schemes than any other Civil List Committee, at least in this century, and, I would guess, in the last as well. The results of our inquiry and the evidence on which it is based are set out in the printed report as a document of more than 250 pages.

The publication of evidence is, as the House knows, an innovation. Never before has a Select Committee on the Civil List reported the evidence submitted to it. But I think that all of us in the Committee reached the conclusion that this evidence would be of the utmost value in enabling the House to get to grips with the somewhat complicated financial arrangements under review. I want particularly to draw the attention of the House to the evidence given by Sir Michael Adeane about the burden of work falling on the Queen and the other members of the Royal Family, the evidence of Sir Basil Smallpeice about the possibility of achieving economies and the evidence of Lord Cobbold about the financial situation, because all this evidence, I think it is fair to say, was the crucial evidence which led a majority of the Committee to accept the need for further financial provision.

At this point I want to deal with one major misconception which bedevils the whole subject for those who do not know what the Civil List really is. There seems to be an impression, at least in some quarters, that the Civil List is in some sense the Queen's salary and that a proposal to increase it therefore amounts to a pay claim. Nothing could be further from the truth. One has only to glance at the facts to know that it is absolute nonsense to speak of the Civil List as the "Monarch's salary".

The Civil List represents the operating expenses of performing the public duties of Head of State. It is the cost, at Head of State level, of performing national functions of representation and hospitality which are also exercised at a lower level by Her Majesty's Ministers and by others of Her Majesty's subjects. As the published evidence shows, the greater part of the Civil List expenditure covers the executive staff dealing with the mass of State papers and correspondence and with organising the State occasions, visits and other public engagements, together with the many interviews and investitures, and so on, undertaken by the Queen.

In this respect, the costs are in many ways comparable with some of those which are incurred within the Government, for example, in connection with Government hospitality. No one would pretend that because the expenses of Government receptions had increased by such and such a percentage over a period of 19 years this represented a pay rise for the Ministers of the day. In the same way, it is ridiculous to describe the Civil List as "the Queen's pay". It is primarily the operating expenses of part of the machinery of State, and to a large extent the increased expenditure represents the cost of pay increases given to Palace staff over the last 20 years.

An increase in the Civil List is not, therefore, a pay award either for the Queen or for anyone else. This is just as well perhaps, because anyone who thinks that he would be on to a good thing if his pay moved in line with the increase in Civil List expenditure would, I fear, be grievously disappointed. A few figures will make that clear.

What is the increase in Civil List expenditure? The figure most frequently quoted in the Press is 106 per cent. This is the increase from £475,000 to £980,000, but, in fact, it understates the real increase because it takes no account of the different composition of the two figures. For example, the £475,000 includes a contribution to the Privy Purse which the £980,000 does not. Moreover, neither of the figures represents the actual cost of the Civil List in the years in question. In each case there is a margin to be held in trust by the Royal Trustees until such time as it is required.

There is no simple way of comparing figures of this sort. A much more reliable approach for the purpose of comparison is to look at the out-turn on the two main classes comprising salaries and expenses of the Royal Household. In 1953 the figure was just over £316,000. In the current year the out-turn is expected to be £770,000. This is an increase of about 143 per cent. This figure is slightly overstated because it does not take account of some items which were transferred to Vote-borne expenditure during the period; but expenditure on these in 1953 was relatively small and would not greatly affect the figure. It might have made it about 150 per cent.; so an increase of 150 per cent would be a very fair figure to take as the increase in the Civil List.

Over the same period the income of the average wage and salary earner has increased by over 200 per cent., and the retirement pension by 260 per cent. Incidentally, taking account of the proposals made last week, the pay of Members of this House will have increased by 350 per cent., even disregarding the separate expense allowance, which did not exist at all in 1953. The hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), who continues to describe the Gracious Message as a pay claim, will, I hope, draw the appropriate conclusion. The fact is that we are spending relatively less on this part of the machinery of State than we were at the beginning of the reign, and this will still be true when the increases now proposed have taken effect.

Having stated what the Civil List is not—that is, a pay increase for the Queen —let me now turn to what it is. The 1952 Civil List provision of £475,000 is in three main parts: a payment of £60,000 to the Queen's Privy Purse, a payment of just over £300,000 for the salaries and expenses of the Household and supplementary provision of some £70,000 to meet future cost increase in the second item. The Gracious Message of 19th May indicated that Her Majesty was content to forgo any further provision for the Privy Purse, and the Civil List provision with which we are now concerned is confined, therefore, almost entirely to the operating costs of the official aspects of the Royal Household; that is, everything that is done in connection with Her Majesty's official and public functions as Head of State.

The greater part of it, as with any Department of Government, represents the salaries of the staff, who are now almost entirely paid and pensioned on a basis analagous to the Civil Service. At one time it may have been practicable, and indeed acceptable, to achieve economies by expecting staff to work for less than they could get elsewhere. But those days, if they ever existed, have gone. The Monarch, like every other employer, has to pay the going rate; and the Civil Service Union was quick to press this point in the evidence it gave to us in the Committee.

At this point I should perhaps refer to the payments to other members of the Royal Family which do not form part of the Queen's Civil List but are in many respects closely analogous. They represent in the main the operating expenses incurred by the other Royal Households in carrying out a share of the royal functions. To some extent they also represent, as the Committee's report points out, compensation for the fact that the Queen's closest relatives are precluded from earning a living in the ways open to the rest of us. In these circumstances, a payment from public funds is justified, and it is more appropriate that each member should be separately provided for than that a much larger sum should be given to Her Majesty to be distributed at her discretion.

To the extent that these payments are on account of expenses of office, they, like the Civil List itself, are largely attributable to staff costs and have also suffered from the effect of inflation. In any organisation faced with rising costs, good management will consider, first, whether all the functions are necessary, and, second, whether they can be carried out more cheaply. The Select Committee looked into both these possibilities. Neither, however, offered any prospect of substantial savings. It is certainly true that costs could be cut if the public functions and appearances of the Monarch within the United Kingdom were to be substantially reduced; but there is no evidence that this is what a majority of people in this country want.

Again, it is true that some money no doubt could be saved if Royal tours abroad were restricted, but it is generally accepted that the value of these events to this country as a whole vastly exceeds their cost; so the Committee concluded that there was no case for seeking savings in this direction.

The second possibility of securing economies by more efficient administration was also gone into by the Committee. The Committee questioned Sir Basil Smallpeice, the administrative adviser, on this aspect. A good deal has already been achieved, because, despite an increase in the amount of work, staff numbers have actually been reduced by 13 per cent. since 1953. No doubt further improvements will be made. But the scope for economies is insignificant in relation to the cost increases which have to be met. So, failing major economies under either of these two heads—greater efficiency or a cutting down of functions —there was another possibility of avoiding increases in the Civil List itself, and that was by carrying further the process of transfer to departmental Votes. As the House knows, a number of items have been transferred from the Civil List to Votes since 1952. But the further this process is carried, the more difficult it becomes to find additional items to transfer to Votes. In fact, already more than three-quarters of all expenditure connected with the Monarchy is borne on Votes.

So one reaches the conclusion that to attempt to make further major transfers would amount to transforming the Household as it now exists into a Government Department, and this, of course, is the solution favoured by the Opposition. I will return to it in a few minutes. At this point I need only to say that, although we went into this particular suggestion with great care, in the end it was not acceptable to a majority of the Committee. We were able to identify only two relatively minor items which could be transferred to Votes, and these, though useful, made no great reduction in the total Civil List requirement.

The Committee therefore recognised—and I do not think any single member disagreed with this—that extra money had to be found. The difference of views which emerged in the Committee, and which can be seen very clearly from the report, were concerned not with whether extra money need be found but with how the money should be found. It was, in fact, a problem of finance and accountability, rather than expenditure, which faced the Committee.

The Committee went very thoroughly into all the possible ways of tackling this problem. As hon. Members who were not on the Committee will know from the report, there were in all no fewer than five schemes favoured by one or more members of the Committee.

I do not propose to take the House into the detail of each of these schemes. No doubt individual hon. Members will be elaborating them during the course of the debate. The report makes clear that careful consideration was given to two new, and very different, schemes: first, to finance the Civil List in whole or in part from annual Votes, and, alternatively, to provide for an increasing annual payment from the Consolidated Fund by means of some form of index-link. As the House will realise, these two schemes are at opposite poles so far as the House is concerned, because the first would bring the subject before us every single year, while the second—if it worked—would remove it from us for the rest of the reign.

There is, of course, much which can he said—and which certainly was said during our deliberative proceedings—both for and against each of these schemes. I think that the best service I can do for the House is to comment briefly on the scheme put forward in the Committee by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), who is to follow me.

Most of the attention given to the right hon. Gentleman's scheme, at any rate in the Press, has focused on the paper which he submitted as an alternative draft report. This appears at page 48 of the Committee's report. But this paper, though it sets out in some detail how a scheme for a Department of the Crown could be made to work, and what it would look like in terms of the financial estimates and organisation chart, does not attempt to argue the case for such a solution. Unlike the report which was adopted by the Committee and which argued the pros and cons of each of the possible ways of tackling the Civil List problem, the right hon. Gentleman's scheme merely describes a solution without setting forth any of the arguments in its support. I do not doubt that this afternoon we shall have this from the right hon. Gentleman.

But as the right hon. Gentleman's scheme has, as I understand it, the support of the official Opposition, the House's attention should be drawn to an earlier paper called "Proposal to set up a Department of the Crown", which the right hon. Gentleman circulated to the Committee in July and which is printed as Appendix 3 to the minutes of evidence of the Committee.

This is a very significant paper because it is there made crystal clear that the advantages of what might be termed the Houghton Plan, or now the Opposition Plan, are in the main presentational. I do not for a moment deny that this is a very relevant and important consideration, but it is right that the House should realise that if the Opposition Amendment on the Order Paper is pressed to a division, the issue on which we shall be dividing is essentially one not of how much money Parliament should provide but of how the payment should be presented, financed and controlled. This is why I ask the House to consider the earlier paper submitted by the right hon. Gentleman and the arguments it puts forward for a Department of the Crown. It points out that any solution along traditional lines would almost certainly be headlined as "The Queen's Pay Increase" and comparison made with other pay increases.

Mr. Douglas Houghton (Sowerby)


Mr. Barber

I said that the right hon. Gentleman was right. This is a matter of presentation. The right hon. Gentleman, like the rest of us, knows perfectly well that this is not a pay increase. He was right in the presentational aspect. That is why I am dealing with it. It is important.

I ask the House to bear in mind that the paper states that a Department of the Crown would result in a reduction of the Civil List provision while at the same time relieving the strain on the existing Civil List and … to some extent … … upon the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Queen's private income. I must say that this particular argument for a new Department of the Crown may have little appeal to some of the right hon. Gentleman's friends.

Further on in this paper the right hon. Gentleman describes the advantages of his proposals as obvious from the point of view of public understanding. He continues: It is as important for the Queen as for M.P.s not to be credited in the public mind with a gross income which bears no relation to the net personal value of emoluments. I agree that this is an important point. But the question is whether we really take the view that a short-term embarrassment of this sort is adequate justification for the constitutional change involved. There are different views sincerely held about this. After all, the right hon. Gentleman recognises, very fairly—this point is made—that from the point of view of the Monarch there could be what he describes as loss of security and stability of resources because of the procedure of annual Votes for the new Department.

I repeat that I recognise to the full the importance of presentation in these matters, as I believe the whole Committee did, but I do not believe that I exaggerate when I say that the Opposition's proposals appear to be directed—I put it mildly; I have in my notes "almost entirely", but perhaps I had better change that and say "to a very considerable extent"—to ensuring certain presentational advantages, which in this context means trying to "lose" Royal expenditure in amongst ordinary Government expenditure, apparently in the hope that the man in the street will not notice how much the Monarchy is costing.

Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

I fully agree with the points that my right hon. Friend is making about the presentational aspects of the problem, but is it not true that, with very few exceptions, the Press presented this Bill precisely as a measure for expenses for the Monarchy and not as a pay rise? I refer particularly to the Daily Telegraph and The Times, for example.

Mr. Barber

From looking through the Press cuttings, I think it varied, but, certainly as a result of some of the things written in the Press or said on television by certain individuals who are supposed to know about these things, the impression got into the minds of some members of the public that this was in some sense a pay claim, in the same way as are the emoluments of Members of Parliament or any other public persons. As I say, I accept generally that that is not so.

But what is important is that certainly the proposals of the Opposition would not save any money, because the staff are already paid on the same basis as civil servants. The Committee found nothing to show that significant economies could be achieved by setting up a new Department of State. Indeed, such evidence as there was pointed the other way.

But the real objections to the right hon. Gentleman's proposal do not relate either to costs or to the level of public understanding or misunderstanding of those costs. The first point is that the Royal Household would be an entirely different kind of institution if it were treated as simply another Department of State. There are some, like the right hon. Gentleman, who would say that they would prefer that, but the arguments in favour of the existing concept are held not only by what might be called the "management side". The Civil Service Union, in oral evidence to the Committee, made it clear that the staff would themselves prefer to be part of a Household and not of a Government Department. The right hon. Gentleman has tried in the alternative draft report which I mentioned to suggest some differences between the proposed Department and any existing Department of State. In particular, he has tried to draw a parallel with the staff of this House, who, as hon. Members know, are not civil servants although they are paid from annual Votes. But this suggestion, though superficially attractive, is very far from convincing. Those of us who know any-think about the staffing of this House realise that it is very far from being anything like a Household, Royal or otherwise.

Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)

On that point, as this appears to be one of the major arguments that the right hon. Gentleman is putting forward about the argument of the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), would the right hon. Gentleman agree that, taking the staff of No. 10 Downing Street as an example, each successive Prime Minister has his own particular stamp and creates his particular body of advisers around him? Surely it is not suggested that the fact that they are on a departmental Vote in any way depersonalises or subtracts from the Prime Minister's right of initiative and the ability to make his particular imprint upon the Administration which he runs and his own staff? Is this not a comparable case?

Mr. Barber

I know that the right hon. Gentleman takes the view that it would not make any difference to the Royal Household if the overwhelming majority of the staff were civil servants and formed part of a Government Department and a Royal Department of State. I can only say to him that I take an entirely contrary view. I believe that it would change the whole nature of the Royal Household if that were done.

Since the evidence certainly did not indicate that it would mean any saving for the taxpayer—on the contrary, all the evidence that there was indicated that it would be more expensive—what is the advantage of doing what is proposed? It is purely presentational. Perhaps I can disclose that in our deliberative sessions we dealt with the question of presentation, which we recognised as an important factor. But I do not believe that it is worth the major change proposed merely to avoid what I consider to be possibly a short-term embarrassment.

The point that I was making, which the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) fairly questioned me about, is not the only objection. There are other important constitutional implications in the right hon. Gentleman's proposal. Her Majesty is Queen not only of this country but of no fewer than 10 other self-governing Commonwealth Monarchies. She is their Queen as much as ours. Although the cost of the Monarchy in this country is and always has been borne by the United Kingdom, it would be a major change if the cost were to be borne in such a way as to intrude a piece of United Kingdom Government machinery—that is what a Department of the Crown would be—between the Queen and the Commonwealth countries.

Mr. Houghton

What is the contribution from those other Governments to the support of the Monarchy? Do we receive a financial contribution from them?

Mr. Barber

No. Perhaps I had better repeat exactly what I said, because the right hon. Gentleman obviously did not hear me. I said that the cost of the Monarchy in this country is and always has been borne by the United Kingdom. It would be a major change if the right hon. Gentleman would have us say, "Because they do not make a contribution, to hell with them. It does not matter what they think about it." I do not take that point of view. We are bound to ask whether they could be expected to relish a situation in which their normal and regular channel of approach to the Monarchy lay through a Department controlled by the United Kingdom Government. That is a real problem. I do not say that there is no possible solution, but the change could hardly he welcome to them. That it is another factor to be taken into account in deciding whether for purely presentational reasons we should adopt the right hon. Gentleman's proposal.

Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)


Mr. Barber

I will not give way. I have quite a lot more to say.

As we found in the Committee, no solution is likely to be ideal in the sense that it will satisfy every criterion and be equally acceptable from every one of the different points of view put forward in the Committee. The scheme which the Committee eventually adopted was intended to meet the main criticisms made on both sides of my original proposals. I withdrew them to produce a scheme which took account of the criticisms. The great merit of the scheme now before the House is that it avoids the need to submit an annual Vote to the House while giving the House a periodic opportunity to review the amount of the provision for the Civil List. It relies for its impetus on the periodic preparation of a report by the Royal Trustees, which will be laid before the House, followed by a Treasury Order authorising any increases in provision that the report shows to be necessary. I believe that a scheme on those lines is the only way to deal with the problem to which I referred in opening—to continue to provide for the expenses of the Head of State on traditional lines while allowing for the possibility of future cost increases and without having to resort to new legislation every few years.

I must say something further about the proposed payments to the other members of the Royal Family. These annuities are all subject to tax, and exemption can be given only to the extent that the Treasury is satisfied that the annuity is being spent wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of Royal duties.

Important as these matters are, it is also important not to get them out of perspective. The Palace costs rather less to run than our Embassy in Paris or our Embassy in Bonn. The total cost of all aspects of the Monarchy, including all the Vote-borne services, does not much exceed the cost of our Embassy in Washington. The annual sum which we are considering in the Civil List is less than the Arts Council's subsidy to Covent Garden opera. I mention these facts to put the matter into perspective, not to minimise the importance of the proper scrutiny by Parliament.

A Select Committee of the House has already had 20 meetings on the subject, and now we have a full day's debate. Thereafter, we shall have the stages of a short but necessary Bill. The basic reason why we are giving such considera- tion to the matter is that we all, whatever view we took in Committee and whatever the view of individual hon. Members who were not on the Committee, know that we are taking decisions about an institution which, just as much as Parliament, is an essential part of our history, our constitution and our way of life. It is with those thoughts in mind that I commend the Motion to the House.

Mr. Stewart

Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down, will he deal with this point? He suggested that the Queen's realms other than the United Kingdom would not relish the sort of change which my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) suggests. What evidence has he for that? Have any of them expressed an opinion, or has he himself consulted them?

Mr. Barber

No, Sir. They have not been consulted. The right hon. Gentleman will find that what I said was that this is a question that we should certainly have to pose. I added that I did not doubt that the right hon. Gentleman might be able to find a solution to that aspect. I respect what is said by the right hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart), with his experience as Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. My basic point is that the difference between the two schemes concerns not the amount but purely the method of payment, and the question is whether for the advantages of presentation, which I agree are very real, we should take upon ourselves the disadvantages, some of which I mentioned and others of which were discussed in the deliberative sessions of the Committee.

Mr. Stewart

So the answer to my question is, "No".

4.48 p.m.

Mr. Douglas Houghton (Sowerby)

This is a somewhat unusual debate, since the Chancellor of the Exchequer has replied to my proposals before I have put them to the House.

Another curiosity about the debate is that I must refrain from moving my Amendment lest it restricts the scope of the debate. I must leave it to my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) at the end of the day. However, I shall go over my proposals carefully in the hope that I can persuade the House that they have more merit than the Chancellor has suggested.

As one who was fortunate enough to attend all the 20 meetings of the Select Committee—quite a record, if I may say so—I should like to pay tribute to the right hon. Gentleman's genial and patient chairmanship throughout all our proceedings. It is a strange thing that when hon. and right hon. Gentlemen get into the atmosphere of this House impulses seem to be generated which are never seen in Committee. The Chancellor has been rather less patient this afternoon than he was throughout the whole course of the proceedings of the Select Committee. However, we thank him.

One of the features of the Committee was that we probably had more deliberative sessions than has ever been customary. Members of the Committee from both sides of the House were anxious to get to the heart of the matter, which was how to make adequate provision for the support and expenses of the Monarchy during a period when inflation and changes in values and prices made it extremely difficult to decide upon an adequate amount for a considerable period of time in the future.

As for my own scheme, I make it clear that it is not primarily devoted to money. It is more to do with the method of providing money, having regard to the circumstances to which I have referred. The proposal I made in my memorandum means paying the cost of the upkeep of the Monarchy—the Queen's personal expenditure and personal staff excepted—out of moneys provided by Parliament instead of it being a permanent charge by Act of Parliament on the Consolidated Fund. The Government Motion proposes the continuance of the past and present practice of fixing the amounts payable by Act of Parliament, by the Civil List Act, and charging them to the Consolidated Fund. My scheme makes the main expenses of the Monarch open to scrutiny and, if it is thought fit, to debate in this House. They would require the approval of the House, along with other estimates of Government expenditure.

As the Chancellor has said, a substantial part of the comprehensive expenses of the Monarch are dealt with in that way. Expenses for the Royal yacht, for example, of which we have heard a great deal at times—that it is too expensive, we cannot afford it, it is not adequately used, and so on—amounting to about £750,000 a year are not chargeable to the Consolidated Fund but are on the Estimates of the Ministry of Defence and are open to debate at any time when estimates can appropriately be discussed. If people want to torpedo the Royal yacht they can do it in this House now. If they want to ground the Queen's Flight they can do that now in this House because that again is chargeable to the Estimates of the Ministry of Defence.

The maintenance and repair of the Royal Palaces is on the Vote of the Department of the Environment, in the old Ministry of Public Building and Works. If it is a matter of which colour the windows are painted, whether there is enough varnish on the door and other such matters relating to the upkeep of the Royal Palaces, it is on the Vote of that Ministry—£900,000 a year. These are not chargeable to the Civil List or to the Consolidated Fund. Royal Household pensions and Civil List pensions, while chargeable to the Consolidated Fund, are separately provided for in the Civil List Act and are not therefore chargeable to the moneys made available to Her Majesty for normal administration purposes.

As the Chancellor said, we have just short of £3 million a year of expenditure related to the institution of the Monarchy, borne by departmental Votes. If we want to "lose" expenditure on the Monarchy by scattering it across departmental Votes we have gone a long way towards doing that already. My proposal would be to bring all these together so that they would be seen to be part of the comprehensive expenditure of the Monarchy. They would not be lost at all; they would be there year by year, not lost for 10 years under the Government's proposals.

There is another item to be brought into the reckoning, and that is the £52,000 a year postal charges which are borne by the Post Office Board. It allows the Crown free postal facilities. I will not stop to examine the effects of that concession on the finances of the Post Office; all I would say is that it is the gift of a grateful Post Office Board to Her Majesty. I do not criticise it; I state it as a fact. The Amendment would transfer all this and a substantial portion of the costs of staff and administration to the new body to be created, the Commissioners of the Crown, a body similar in functions and responsibilities to the Commissioners of the House of Commons. We are not reluctant to have our financial affairs as Parliamentarians put in the Estimates of the country or to have them debated in the House.

This would not be, as the Chancellor pointed out—or did he?—a Government Department. It would not be a Government Department in the usual sense any more than the staff and officers of this House are within a Government Department and any more than they are civil servants, because they are not civil servants. There is much in the conditions of service of officers and staff of this House which is comparable with similar grades in the Civil Service, and that is the principle which has now been accepted by the Crown to govern the conditions of service to apply to all the 450 staff employed in the Royal Household.

Another quite unusual feature about the existing arrangement is that not only is the principle of fair comparability accepted but in the event of a dispute the union can go to the Civil Service arbitration tribunal and the Crown is honour bound to accept the award of that tribunal in the same way as this House and the Chancellor accept the awards of the tribunal for the rest of the Civil Service. We can see how close this is to the Civil Service already. Under this proposal these people would not be civil servants.

Why are we proposing this? What is the motive behind it? I can say sincerely that we are out to help the people and the Monarchy towards a better understanding of the realities of running an important institution within our parliamentary system. I can say without any qualification that there is nothing personal against Her Majesty in what we are proposing—certainly not so far as I am concerned, and I am sure that goes for my hon. and right hon. Friends. Her Majesty is held in great respect and deep affection by millions of Labour voters. No one can doubt her dedication to her duties and responsibilities, her constant care to uphold the dignity of the Crown, and the contribution which she makes towards the unity of the Commonwealth. I was rather sorry that there was any note introduced suggesting that She would not be able to do that so well under my proposal as under the existing system. Let that be taken as sincere and as being said with conviction. May I suggest that it sets the tone of this debate?

Is it worth while even spending a moment on any alternative? Do we want a President? One of my American friends said that if I wanted to know the real cost of the Presidency I should go to the United States and take a look. He said that it costs more just to elect the President than it costs to keep Her Majesty year by year. If we were to have a national poll on a President, a new form of election would be brought into our constitutional arrangements. If we were ever to consider having a President elected by Parliament, we need only look at the jam Italy is in.

I mention this more freely in your presence, Mr. Deputy Speaker, than in the presence of Mr. Speaker, but we seem to be having difficulties even in electing a Speaker. I recently read a suggestion that this should be done by secret ballot, with an eliminating contest if necessary. If that is our taste in Heads of State, let us get on with it, but it is not mine, and I do not think it would commend itself to the general opinion of the House.

Sir Robin Turton (Thirsk and Malton)

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will refrain from quoting a document which is confidential and, therefore, privileged.

Mr. Houghton

I am not quoting from anything that I have read. I am saying what people have told me about this matter. It is common knowledge that these things are being talked about.

Our Monarchy is better suited to our history and traditions. We might all agree right now to retain the Monarchy and consider how we should finance it. What sort of Monarch should we have? Should we have a Monarch who goes about on a bicycle or in a gold coach? From what I have seen of two right hon. Gentlemen on bicycles, one wearing a bowler hat and one without a hat, I should not think that is a particularly impressive way of presenting oneself to the people. There is nothing to be said for a Monarch, a President or even a Chairman of the Trades Union Congress who does not have some glamour. It is a matter of degree, and the degree is a matter to be decided by the House of Commons as representing the people. This is what we have to decide, because it is implicit in the method of financing which we adopt.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the draft report, which went before the Select Committee and was rejected by the narrowest majority of any division throughout its proceedings, contains no arguments in support of it. He was good enough to refer to the memorandum which I presented to the Committee and which contained my first thoughts. It is reproduced on page 88 of the report. I acknowledge that my original ideas were all my own work, but the draft report was not. Like the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has more need of assistance in these matters perhaps than I have, I had a bit of extra help to draft the report, and I acknowledge the great services rendered to me by the officers of the Committee in that connection. I said there one or two things which I will repeat.

Whatever the historic claim of the Crown to the Throne, the practical position is that the Monarchy in a British democracy, with a free Press and universal franchise, exists at the will and pleasure of the people. No Monarch should be ashamed to be in that position. The position carries with it mutual loyalties, obligations and duties. It implies a sense of obligation to the Head of State to maintain the holder and the office in a suitable style to enable the duties to be performed without financial strain or a feeling of ingratitude.

The fulfilment of the requirements of the Monarch as part of the institution of Parliament as the titular Head of State and Commonwealth can be accomplished only by supporting the Queen with, first, staff, accommodation and services needful for these purposes and, second, with an income to cover personal and family expenditure. By these means the financial provision for the Queen's person can be seen to be separate and distinct from the expenses of the Crown as an institution.

The Amendment, if the House saw fit to pass it, would pave the way to the introduction of a scheme on these lines in the same way as the Motion proposed by the right hon. Gentleman paves the way to the introduction of the Bill next week.

The disadvantages of the present system are to be seen in the very task set to the Select Committee—a review only at long intervals when the fall in the value of money might call for such a big increase that there are large headlines which start public debate and generate discontent. That is what we get now. The right hon. Gentleman gave some examples of it. I warned him what would come, and it came. I subscribe to a Press cutting agency, which is nearly ruining me. Here is one example from the Western Daily Press of 3rd December: A million for the Queen. Her pay will be doubled in 1972. I did not hear it myself, and I mention it with reserve, but I was told that in a television programme it was said that the Queen would get £1 for each of the million unemployed. That is a deeply offensive suggestion, and a most wounding one in present circumstances. I stress to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that presentation is all-important with the media that we have—the flashpoint, the Press, the television interviews, the street talks, which are all presented to millions of people. The existing arrangements lend themselves to that kind of misunderstanding and misrepresentation.

Mr. Jeffrey Archer (Louth)

Will not that cause a great problem in the middle of next year, when we bring down the unemployment rate and the Queen gets only £1 per person?

Mr. Houghton

I do not think that is very helpful. I was dealing with what is offensive now.

The House knows that hidden in the appendices of the Select Committee Report are many of the true facts of the matter. I agree with the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it is a good thing, though unique, to publish the whole of the evidence. Very little has been left out under what is known as the sidelining procedures.

Of the approximately £1 million a year which is to be provided under the Government Motion, nearly one-half is paid out in staff wages and salaries, which is an increase from £175,000 a year in 1953. The figures are given on page 93. There was some ambivalence in the evidence of the Civil Service Union. It is there in the record and hon. Members may read it for themselves. The union said, first, that it wanted comparability with similar grades in the public services. It was acknowledged that there might be difficulty in getting comparability if the strain on the Royal finances was getting unduly heavy. After all, the position might conceivably be reached when Her Majesty might have to say, "I am sorry, I cannot pay".

The proposals we are now making are to enable the Crown always to have adequate remuneration for the staff. It seems to me that the staff of the Royal Household cannot have it all ways. If they wish to be part of the Royal Household, personal servants of Her Majesty, they cannot necessarily expect to be treated on the same lines as civil servants without some of the risks of their occupation. Under the proposals I put to the Committee, it would be possible to take most of the expenses of staff and officials off the Civil List and put them on the Vote of the Commissioners of the Crown.

In an appendix to my draft report I gave a specimen estimate of what should be put before the House of Commons. Instead of paying increases and other charges, like National Health contributions, and putting a heavier and heavier strain on the Civil List provision as years go by, these would be taken care of in the Annual Estimates. The advantages of transferring the bulk of the Civil List expenditure from the Consolidated Fund to the Annual Estimates is clear enough. In my view, this would be by far the better way of making sure of the money.

Furthermore, under my proposals there will be no need to make excess provision at the outset to build up an accumulated fund in the hands of trustees to be used against the deficit which might emerge later—in other words, anticipating the rise in expenditure and the fall in the value of money. Under my scheme that would not be necessary since this could be dealt with from year to year. I believe this would lead to a better understanding of the institution of the Monarchy and the cost of upkeep than by personalising it all in the Queen's money. It would also get rid of a lot of curiosity and unfair comment.

I made this point of principle in the evidence I gave to the Boyle Committee. This is absolutely essential not only for presentational purposes but in terms of the truth of the matter—and truth is worth something in whatever we are doing. The truth of the matter is that neither the Queen nor Members of Parliament get the pay the public think we get because we have essential expenses which have to be borne out of the gross amount. I impressed on the Boyle Committee the need to identify well-established and unavoidable expenditure and to provide for it separately in order not to mix it up with the misconception of gross remuneration. In the case of Members of Parliament there is an evil which we do not find in relation to the Monarchy.

Members of Parliament are left in the position of contending with the Inland Revenue for the highest net income we can get by means of taxable deductions from our assessable income. That is not a desirable feature of the existing arrangements for payment of Members of the House of Commons, any more than it is a desirable feature of the remuneration of anybody else. We as Members of Parliament know what it feels like to be credited as Members of Parliament with income that we do not get. But, apart from presentation—and the Chancellor of the Exchequer appeared to think there was very little else in this—I stress that the truth of the matter is also important.

It also would provide proper and more certain provision for the staff pay and conditions and many other items of expenditure which are exposed to the consequences of inflation. It would relieve the Crown of a great worry about rising costs in maintaining the large palaces and the Monarchy. Secondly, it would bring about more control by Parliament. Is this, in 1971, a matter to be brushed aside? I stress that this is a more democratic way of proceeding, and I attach importance to democratic methods. It would also be a more efficient way of proceeding.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

The right hon. Gentleman is now contradicting himself since he suggests there should be greater control by Parliament, which obviously means more frequent control by Parliament. This would mean that the kind of bad publicity of which he complained a short while ago would be repeated more frequently. Would that not be a disservice to the Monarchy?

Mr. Houghton

I do not accept that judgment of the matter. Indeed, it would come to be regarded as a normal part of the provision of expenditure for public purposes. There are many things which appear in our Estimates which, if dealt with by this method, would attract adverse publicity—which does not happen in present circumstances. The more one allows people to have frequent access to facts and the more one allows freedom of comment, the greater the number of people who accept the underlying principles of what one is doing and much of their curiosity and ill-feeling is removed. This is the psychology of the matter, and I am sure we are right. If we were to accept the hon. Gentleman's suggestion, we should want to hive off far more public expenditure into 10-year slabs of forward provision, rather than to have them come before this House. What I propose is not only more democratic but would make for a healthier condition in regard to the position of the Monarchy.

What are the disadvantages of my proposals? I refer to some of them on page 88 of my memorandum, but I will dispose of one straight away. It suggested that there would be no saving of expense under the plan and that the Monarchy might cost more and not less. Saving is not the real purpose of the plan. Savings may come or they may not—and I do not want to appear to be indifferent to public expenditure—but I am saying that I do not know, and for my purposes at this moment I do not care, whether the expense would be greater or less. I am concerned with the principle of the matter. The point is that there should be better presentation, greater parliamentary control and, therefore, more democratic control and recognition of the Monarchy for what it truly is—namely, part of the institution of British Government. I do not think there are any objec- tions to this scheme put forward in the Amendment from the point of view of Parliament. Certainly, if we are conscious of our duties and responsibilities as Members of Parliament, there is none.

What, then, are these objections, and how do they arise? One has to deal with great discretion with what might be supposed to be the view of what are sometimes called the Palace authorities. I can only rely on the evidence which has already been given. I should like to draw attention to the evidence of Lord Cobbold. When I first put this idea to him at Question 131, Lord Cobbold made a provisional observation, and then later, in reply to a question by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House at Question 180, Lord Cobbold said: Although Mr. Houghton was not asking for any immediate answer to his proposition, may I just make three observations on it. Although the Household is in one sense a Department of State, it is also a family administration and the two things are slightly intermingled and it is not a straightforward department. Secondly, the employees from top to bottom certainly think of themselves as Her Majesty's servants and Her Majesty certainly thinks of them as her servants. Another comment is to be found on page 28, in reply to Question 214 by the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas). When Lord Cobbold was asked whether he had any objection in principle to the procedure of transferring expenses and salaries on to the votes, Lord Cobbold said: Yes, mainly from the point of view of efficiency. If you transfer them on to a vote, it is not clear whether this one is in your own service and that one in someone else's service. It appears to be very much easier to run a Household like the Royal one if you are precisely clear that everyone is working for you under your control. That is all that I can trace or remember of the reactions of the Palace authorities to this proposal.

The central issue appears to be one of control. Who is to be in ultimate control of the Royal Household? Is it to be the Queen or Parliament? Here again, I speak with great respect. If the Monarch could manage without coming to Parliament, there could be only one answer. In other words, she would run her own Household and pay for it. But the Monarch is maintained by Parliament, and the Crown does not admit that the private resources of the Crown are relevant to the discussion. I do not say that there is any real conception of the rate for the job. But I have no doubt that Her Majesty acquiesces in the view that the expenses of a constitutional Monarchy are the responsibility of the State. Certainly I accept that view and all that goes with it in terms of reasonable and responsible parliamentary control, and that is the substance of the matter.

Would such a system lead to difficulties or even to friction between the Crown and the Commissioners or between the Commissioners and Parliament? Would the detail of administration make for divided responsibility and inefficiency? If hon. Members will study the management chart in the appendix to my draft report, they will probably feel that there would be little difference in the form and substance of the running of the Household under the new conditions compared with the old.

The real issue and difference would be of ultimate control. Staff pay and negotiations, the principal feature of rising costs, would be dealt with on a more satisfactory footing where fair comparability could be fair and free from any element of strain on the Royal finances.

I do not anticipate any difficulty. Ministers in official residences who want double beds can usually get them. I have never heard of a case where a Minister has been told that he must have twin beds instead. I have never known cases where requirements are not met for the furnishing, decoration, and repair and maintenance of official premises.

I believe that we should get greater efficiency by the adoption of our proposal. It would give an opportunity to the Commissioners of the Crown to have a constant review of expenditure and not feel that they were inhibited from undertaking it in the interests of parliamentary scrutiny.

Captain Walter Elliot (Carshalton)

The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the Palace authorities. I think that he said that Lord Cobbold put forward the view that they looked upon themselves as the Monarch's servants and that the Monarch looked upon them as her servants. Surely, in those circumstances, they have a responsibility to the Monarch. In what the right hon. Gentleman proposes, the Palace authorities, so called, would be under the authority of the Monarch's Government and the Government would exercise an influence on the Palace authorities.

Mr. Houghton

I do not think that that is a material point. In the circumstances, I think that we should find that authority for administration would rest where it rests now, in the hands of Palace officials. The ultimate control of expenditure would rest with the Commissioners of the Crown. I do not think that we in this House are conscious of having the Commissioners of the House of Commons looming and brooding over us in the expenditure in this House. The responsibility and immediate direction is in the hands—

Captain Elliot


Mr. Houghton

No, I shall not give way again. I must finish my speech, because a large number of hon. Members wish to speak.

I was about to comment that I do not attach importance to the status of "servant" to the Monarch. In any case, I see little distinction between service to the Monarch and service in the Civil Service. Both are service to the Crown.

There are other items of expenditure with which we are all familiar. I have in mind garden parties, and the rest. I see no reason why they should not be transferred to the Commissioners of the Crown. The genius for smooth relationships and administration would prevail in the arrangements made under my proposals.

There is one matter with which I should deal. There could be a fear on the part of the Monarch that under my proposals and those of the Opposition some future Government more bent on reducing public expenditure than the present one might begin their economies within the Royal Household in order to set an example to everyone else. What is even worse, some anti-Monarchist Government might assail the Monarchy itself—

Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, West)

Hear, hear.

Mr. Houghton

Perhaps a Government led by my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton). I believe these to be groundless fears. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] If my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West ever became Prime Minister, I am sure that he would make a good one. I am sure, too, that he would soon be an Establishment figure and as devoted a Monarchist as many of the rest of us.

I believe that the Monarchy would be strengthened rather than weakened or even made less secure by the adoption of this plan. If the Monarchy were to be assailed, it would not be a matter of the financial provision that should be made for it. It would be a matter of whether it stayed or went. In democratic societies, Monarchies no longer tight; they go quietly. I have no doubt that the Monarchy is an established institution of State in Britain for as far ahead as anyone would care to see.

I believe that this scheme would be a gesture of confidence and of mutual trust. I believe that the Monarchy and its finances should be entrusted to the will of Parliament, like all our other institutions. Even our defence forces are entrusted to the annual Vote of the House of Commons. Who, then, is to say that the Monarchy must be enshrined in financial security for 10 years ahead when the House would be very willing to make provision year by year? Continuity and security rest upon approval and loyalty and not upon safeguards based on any sense of insecurity.

The acceptance of the Amendment would be a symbol of the unity of Crown and Parliament and would strengthen the institution of the Monarchy in the minds of the people.

5.28 p.m.

Dr. Alan Glyn (Windsor)

I am honoured to be called immediately after two very senior Privy Councillors and I feel duly humble in making my contribution. The House will know that I represent a constituency where the Monarch and many of her family spend a great deal of time. Windsor Castle lies within my constituency.

Perhaps I might take up one point made by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), who rather good naturedly referred to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and said that my right hon. Friend was a little ahead in referring to what he had said during the Committee's proceedings. It is only fair that my right hon. Friend should have referred to what the right hon. Gentleman said in Appendix 3 of the Report of the Select Committee.

As I see it, the difference between my right hon. Friend and the right hon. Gentleman concerns the method of accountancy adopted by the right hon. Gentleman. It is one with which I cannot agree. However, there is some substance in what the right hon. Gentleman said about there being already Royal expenditure which is part of Government expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned the Royal yacht, the Queen's Flight and the postal charges.

The right hon. Gentleman said that he wanted to help in this extremely difficult and highly complex matter. I believe that the relationship between the Monarch and her staff is quite different. I will elaborate on this matter later. It is a friendly and close relationship. There is a mixture in this Household of a private family and the public duties which they perform. It is extremely difficult to make a clear-cut division between the two. This was brought out in the Committee's report. The close relationship between the Monarch and her staff should be maintained, and I will deal later with the question of financing the Monarchy.

One point which the Committee has very clearly brought out is the immense amount of travel and hard day-to-day work in which not only the Monarch but all members of the Royal Family have been engaged. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor said that since 1952—this was brought out in the report—the amount of work had increased enormously. Like many hon. Members, I spent the entire weekend reading the Select Committee's report. It is a comprehensive document about an extremely complicated constitutional matter. It has shown to the public that not only the Monarch but other members of the Royal Family perform enormous service for the country, both at home and abroad. My constituents are deeply conscious of the many favours which all members of the Royal Family show to the people of Windsor which is apparent on the many occasions when we see members of the Royal Family carrying out public duties.

I should now like to turn to a somewhat different point. My right hon. Friend explained that most of the expenditure was due to the increase in wages. Another important matter, which I am sure many hon. Members will want to take up, is that this country has a special relationship with the Monarch. As the right hon. Member for Sowerby said, there is no vote of money from the Commonwealth for the monarchy. Yet Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family have to enjoy visits to Commonwealth countries. I do not think that any taxpayer would grudge a single penny spent on tours not only to Commonwealth, but other countries.

The problem which arises—it is simple but difficult to resolve—is the necessity to give the Monarch adequate financial provision as foreseen in the 1952 Act. I should like to suggest how this can best be achieved without continuous reference to Parliament and embarrassment for both the Monarch and Parliament.

A very good suggestion made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-on-Thames (Mr. Boyd Carpenter)—I know that if he catches your eye, Mr. Speaker, he will elaborate—was for a method of combating inflation, as I saw it, and ensuring that we did not have to review continuously. The right hon. Member for Sowerby put forward another solution, namely, changing the method of accountancy. I should like to suggest a third solution. However, before doing so, it is appropriate to mention another matter to which so far reference has not been made.

I refer to the staff, from the equerries to the typing staff—everybody who works for the Royal Household. It is a great tribute to the work they do—the evidence given by Sir Michael Adeane was particularly interesting—that here is a department the workload of which has increased considerably but the staff of which has hardly increased at all. Furthermore, Sir Michael Adeane did not want an increase in staff. In other words, there is a special relationship of duty between the staff and the Monarch in that they are willing to undertake a great deal of work on the Monarch's behalf. No one can deny that it is a very efficient organisation.

I should like to refer to the Investiture of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales which was carried out under the auspices of the Earl Marshal and the Heralds. All those officers are members of the Royal Household. I was only privileged to be one of the Earl Marshal's very junior Green Staff Officers, but I was impressed by the amazing efficiency with which that operation was carried out by the small number of people employed to do it. The set-up may be illogical in some instances, but to me it is an extremely efficient organisation.

Those who work for Her Majesty are most approachable people to the public. They are not remote beings. They not only look after Her Majesty's interests but they carry out a number of difficult duties when demands are made on them by the public.

I tabled a Question on 8th June, which appears at column 297 of Written Answers, in which I asked my right hon. Friend exactly how much the Monarch gave up in exchange for the Civil List. Incidentally, that Question was put down before the Question in another place which was mentioned by the Select Committee. The answer was the immense sum of about £5½1 million which, if we take the evidence given to the Select Committee, is a rising sum annually. The country should know that this is what the Monarch surrenders voluntarily in exchange for a fixed income.

Mr. A. E. P. Duffy (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

How did she get it?

Dr. Glyn

If the hon. Gentleman has read the report he will have seen the evidence which was given. Specific questions were asked on this point. The hon. Member will appreciate that questions on extremely complex constitutional points are difficult to answer. The evidence which was given was the best available. There was no question of anyone trying to hide anything. I agree that there is a great division between the responsibilities, fiscal and others, and it is difficult in some instances to define the exact responsibilities.

Mr. Joel Barnett (Heywood and Royton)

The hon. Gentleman said that nobody tried to hide anything, but that was what they did. They would not answer the direct question of how much money was available.

Dr. Glyn

The hon. Gentleman is referring to something outside the scope of the report. There are two entirely different matters to consider. One is the Sovereign's personal wealth, which is a private matter, and the other is the amount which is used directly for the maintenance of her duties as Head of State. This was made quite plain in the evidence.

If the hereditary dues were set aside and used for the maintenance of the Monarchy, there would be considerable difficulties. One is that the Monarch could be put in the position of being a direct landlord—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because she would be the head of the Crown estates. But if a separate administration were set up and the Monarchy had no control, this would be better. I have a great deal to do with this type of property for constituents and have a large number of queries, and I have to point out to my constituents that the Monarchy is not the actual landlord. There is a constitutional difference.

Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West)

The hon. Member is puzzling me. He seems to assume that there are the Crown estates and the Queen's private income distinct from them. But he never mentions the Duchy of Lancaster. This is treated as if it is the Queen's private income. It is not subject to income tax but it is inherited by her as Queen—otherwise it would be a possession of the Duke of Windsor—and there she is a direct landlord.

Dr. Glyn

I was coming to that point. It was referred to in the Committee. I interpret the Select Committee's findings in this way. There is a special relationship, and it seemed to work. I accept the hon. Member's point that, in a very much larger estate, which runs into many millions of pounds a year, the obligations of being a direct landlord are very much greater. So far in the Duchy of Lancaster this has been overcome by a personal relationship. There has been no problem, but I would not say that those problems would not appear in Piccadilly or somewhere like that where valuable properties are involved. Therefore, they would have to be administered and the Sovereign would have at her disposal a sum of money which could be apportioned according to her needs. There would be no necessity to come to Parliament.

The statistics and the graph of those dues show that they now stand at over £5 million and are likely to appreciate. My right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames suggested using this as a yardstick, but it would be easier if we simply used that amount of the dues which was essential for expenses. We had this in 1952. We have it now and we will, no doubt, have it again. I would prefer a system which did not have to be continually reviewed by Parliament.

I pay a tribute not only to the work of the Select Committee and to those who gave evidence but to the day-to-day work done by all members of Her Majesty's staff which sometimes goes very ill-appreciated, the extraordinarily difficult position they occupy and the way in which they discharge their duties.

If the hereditary dues were allocated to the Soverign there would be the difficult question of how much money should be allotted to the various members of the Royal Family. It would be possible for Her Majesty's advisers to say how much each individual member of the Royal Family should get, and that amount should be in respect of the services and work which they do for the community.

I am very grateful to have been allowed to speak in this debate because it is something which is keenly felt by many members of Her Majesty's staff who live in my constituency and by my constituents who think it a very real and great privilege to have an increasing number of State visits at Windsor, to which the whole constituency looks forward. We are very grateful for the privileges which we enjoy.

5.44 p.m.

Mr. Richard Crossman (Coventry, East)

I hope that the hon. Member for Windsor (Dr. Glyn) will forgive me if I do not follow him in the tone which he has adopted in this debate. I am sure that he represented in it the attitude of many of his constituents who voted for him. I have to reflect those of Coventry, where we take a somewhat more abrasive attitude towards the Monarchy. That is to say, apart from some of my Irish voters who I suppose are republicans, most of us are honest-to-God monarchists, in a strange sense. We believe in the institution and see its value but we see nothing lacking in respect if we deal with it in a matter-of-fact way, getting value for money, and if we require above all that, when we are discussing money, there shall be full disclosure of the necessary evidence.

My impression is that my constituents would not be grateful to me if I doffed my cap and said how grateful I was to the Select Committee. They share my view that it failed in its function—not owing to the efforts of my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) who is sitting beside me.

If my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) were present, I should like to say to him how much on this occasion I found myself not disagreeing with him. It is a pleasant moment for me in his absence to say that I read with great appreciation the delicacy of his attack and the deadliness with which the rapier was pressed home. I slightly regretted that it was withdrawn at the critical point when it was actually drawing blood and that it was not kept going round after round. Still, I congratulate my hon. Friends. They did a good job. They did enough to show the public how much was being concealed. As we all know, this was the essential thing.

I would say to the hon. Member for Windsor that there has been a considerable change in public opinion even over the last six months. A few months ago, when the Civil List was announced, I dared to publish in my journal an article headed "Royal Tax Avoiders". There was quite a stir and I got hundreds of letters. One-third of them were strongly in favour but two-thirds were strongly against, saying how terrible it was to suggest that there was anything wrong, that they did not pay their taxes or that we did not know the truth. Last week I published an article, quite a sharp, lively article, in much more detail. There was only one letter against. The public now accept, as a result of public education—

Mr. Thorpe

Or they have given up reading that paper.

Mr. Crossman

—with virtually no disagreement, what our side of the Com- mittee was demanding—full disclosure and the transfer of the management of these affairs to a Government Department. No one can say that public opinion, outside Windsor, will be against this. Certainly, in the Midlands we should all welcome it.

I regretted that there was a deliberate censorship. We cannot even know the answers to the questions of my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett). They were suppressed. Even the little which was extracted had to be put aside because it touched on the one issue where there had been a deliberate and systematic mystification.

That mystification is on the subject of the Royal private fortune. We are told that the Crown has just told the Chancellor that this cannot be disclosed because it is irrelevant. But the Committee's report and the evidence given show that it is not irrelevant. It was not irrelevant to extract at least the truth about taxation. That proof was not known before the report was published, and even the gentlemen who, in the House of Commons Library, composed their excellent paper to enable us to make speeches got it all wrong. They gave us the best available evidence but it was wrong. They said that it might be £50 million. We now hear from the hon. Member that this is an hysterical or extravagant exaggeration.

Dr. Glyn

I have no knowledge whatever of these details. In my view the private life, private fortune and private possessions of the Crown have nothing to do with this debate. [Interruption.] This debate is about the Monarchy in relation to her public duties as distinct from her private duties.

Mr. Crossman

I am disappointed at that intervention because this is the sole issue with which I wish to deal. We on this side of the House believe that it has a great deal to do with the debate. It is a scandal, if a minor one, that owing to pressure on the part of the Crown this information was denied to the Select Committee.

I must make a contrast between the Civil List paper and the emolumentary paper—I must not refer to pay awards—relating to hon. Members and Ministers. I have not found any refusal of disclosure on the part of hon. Members. In considering the whole question of awards to hon. Members, I find all the economic and financial background to enable me to discuss the whole issue. Of course it was known that when one filled up the necessary forms about one's life, one was giving details which were highly relevant, including details of one's private income.

I accept that it may be difficult to deal with a matter such as this but it is an extremely relevant factor. Indeed it is a basic factor. I am saying that it is just as relevant when dealing with the Royal Family and even more relevant when dealing with their private—

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

May I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Crossman


Mr. Lewis


Mr. Crossman

I want to explain the position to the hon. Gentleman before he tells me I am wrong. I am explaining why I think it is relevant. Surely he cannot interrupt me before I have finished telling him why I think it is relevant.

It is relevant because a huge, untaxed, increasing private income is bound to be brought into account in a case where, as the Committee discovered and as the Court officials agreed, no clear distinction can be made between the private and public duties of the Monarch—or, therefore, between her private and her public income. One cannot distinguish between them.

Consider, for example, the Royal pictures which can be regarded as public as distinct from the areas that can be regarded as private, e.g., Balmoral and Sandringham. Then we have the Royal Stamp collection, libraries and jewellery. We have been told that they must be considered public in the sense that they are not things that can be privately disposed of.

It is agreed that there is no clear and sharp distinction here and that, the life of the Monarch being what it is, it is impossible sharply to distinguish even between what clothes she buys for herself and those she buys for her public duties. Thus, if the expenditure of the Monarch, public and private, overlaps, and if the incomes overlap, it is highly relevant also to know the extent to which not only what public capital she owns or what public property she has but also what private capital and property she has.

The whole thing is utterly illogical. Consider, for example, the Prince of Wales. The extent of his private property is not said to be a great disgrace. What is in the Duchy of Cornwall can be discovered. We know the amount. In the case of the Prince of Wales, it is possible to estimate, from the evidence provided by the Committee, the extent of his private fortune. In terms of real estate it is about £20 million, which is quite a formidable private fortune, tax-free. This comes out of the evidence because he is dependent on the Duchy of Cornwall, and that information cannot be concealed. It does not make sense that in a family such as this we can see, examine publicly and discuss the private fortune of the Prince of Wales, whereas part of the Queen's fortune can be disguised.

Are the finances in this context of the Duchess of Lancaster private or public? These matters should be discussed publicly because when she is short of cash she can ask for a £300,000 transfer from the Duchy of Lancaster to make up any shortfall. That is not reported to the Commons and is, therefore, not discovered or investigated until the Select Committee is appointed. These things can go on between one part of her fortune and another so as to make things go as they have gone in the last 10 years.

The evidence to the Committee was, therefore, overwhelming—overwhelming in the sense that this is a relevant factor. I welcome it, as I welcomed my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford pressing the point that it was ridiculous to have a situation in which all that Lord Cobbold could do was to guess and say that £50 million was not an extravagant sum. [Interruption.] I gather he said that that was a "wildly extravagant" guess. My right hon. Friend said that even if it were wildly exaggerated it might still produce an income twice as high as the total Civil List. It must be relevant to have this information in considering the needs of the Royal Family.

It is a great pity that this issue, which was raised tentatively on this occasion was not finally decided because, frankly, it does not do the Royal Family any good if there are suspicious abroad that they do not want the truth known about how wealthy they are. It would have been very much wiser for the Palace to have allowed the Committee to have the information it felt it required.

It was a great mistake to force the Committee to divide on party lines so that only the Conservative side wanted to deny the information or to support the Crown in denying it, while the Labour side had to insist that the information should be given. For this reason I say that we shall be voting tonight largely on this issue. [Interruption.] I shall be voting not only on the technical issue of the Department of State.

I want that Department as a symbol of the transfer of responsibility so that there is no more concealment and to enable all these matters to be taken into account by the Department of State next time. It is important to go behind the Amendment. We need to have this one residual issue cleared up because this is the residual issue that is causing a great deal of comment.

Frankly, I was surprised when I read in the Committee's report that no tax had ever been paid and that since estate duties were established in 1894 the Royal Family had not paid a penny in estate duty, income tax or surtax and that even purchase tax can be reclaimed. I was also surprised to discover that Royals have very special treatment in that when they pay tax it is dealt with by the Treasury and not the Inland Revenue. The lavishness of the expense account grant is striking. It is done in a very different way from anything I have experienced.

In my view, we should be equal. When it comes to money we should, whether we are Royals or commoners, have common accounting systems. We should be willing to subject ourselves to full investigation and disclosure. The more royal we are and the wealthier we are, the more willing we should be to disclose. The reluctance to do so deeply disturbed me.

What disturbed me more was the failure of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give the right advice. As a monarchist, he should have used every pressure pos- sible on the Crown and should have said "This is the time to do it. Let us clear the whole thing up, get it out into the open, transfer it to a Government Department and have no nonsense about refusing disclosure. It should be total. While there might be some disagreement, because not every detail should be disclosed, the position in future will be recognised and the wealthiest family in Britain will pay tax on its genuine private income, income which is left over, just as every other citizen pays."

I appreciate that the Royal Family probably strongly prefer not to pay tax and to retain the prerogative. I offer them this alternative. If they do not pay tax, let them support the whole lot of the Royals, or at least the cost of maintaining the Royals. Let them pay tax on their genuinely private income, but if they wish to support the Royals more lavishly than we would let them do so tax-free out of their income.

One could therefore offer an alternative to the Queen. One could say "If you feel that you would rather support the lot, we will let you off having to pay tax on that area of your private income." She knows their standards better than we do. It she wants to be more generous to Prince Philip or Princess Alexandra than we would, let her be more generous, tax-free. But what is genuinely private income, left over, cannot be allowed to accumulate without the payment of estate duty and so on.

It is ridiculous and it is undignified for the Royal Family to claim back purchase tax or to extract the right not to pay surtax or income tax. I repeat that it is undignified, and it was a gross mistake by the Government to have used all their influence on the Committee to prevent what the Committee would otherwise have done. I admit that it had clear indications from the Palace about what the Palace wanted, but it is the duty of Ministers to advise and I warn the Government that if this advice is not given fairly soon there will be suspicion among people about what is happening.

The whole matter could be cleared up by acceptance of the principle that, whether we are Members of Parliament, kings, queens or princes, we accept as part of our responsibility of public life that our private incomes after meeting expenses, are taxed in the same way as the incomes of ordinary citizens, and that in order to get our emoluments we must make full disclosure of any facts about private incomes for which the Committee asks.

6.1 p.m.

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

Like the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I can claim to have attended all the meetings of the Select Committee, and a further reason why I am particularly glad to be able to take part in this debate is that, although not a member of the Select Committee of 1952, as what was then colloquially described as Mr. Butler's under-butler I was very much concerned with its workings.

Before I seek to deal with the main issue posed by the Amendment, I should like to comment on one of two observations which the House has had the pleasure of listening to from the right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman). The right hon. Gentleman commenced his speech by saying that his constituents were all monarchists in a strange sort of sense, and in that sense at least they are very appropriately represented.

I thought, too, that the right hon. Gentleman showed a surprising ingenuousness in his account to the House of the reactions of his correspondents to the leaders he writes in the paper he edits. He seemed to suggest a shift in public opinion because his first outburst produced a lot of correspondence while his second produced only one letter in response.

Mr. Crossman

One negative letter.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. He is, as always, helping me. Putting aside the incredible suggestion that the right hon. Gentleman's readers did not bother to read his second article at all having been bored sufficiently by the first, is it not possible that the reason for this diminution in protests was that it became apparent to his correspondents that the editor of this journal was wholly impervious to reason and it would be a waste of postage stamps, at the present high rate, to communicate with him?

I must take issue with the right hon. Gentleman on a more serious point. He suggested that the Select Committee had failed. The right hon. Gentleman charges us with failure for not doing what no other Select Committee on the Civil List has ever thought it its duty to do, and that is to use the position in which we were placed in the light of the Gracious Message to extract from the Monarch or her representatives details of her private fortune. In the distinguished language which the right hon. Gentleman always uses, he called it a deliberate and systematic mystification.

I put two points to the House. First, are we to accept the right hon. Gentleman's statement that this is relevant? It is not, I suggest to the House, regarded as relevant in respect of the expenses of office of any other office holder. It was not thought necessary by the Boyle Committee to inquire into the personal means of individual Ministers of the Crown, or of the Leader of the Opposition, or, indeed, of the Opposition Chief Whip, or of hon. Members. What Lord Boyle did, as those who know him would expect him to do, was to apply his considerable mind to the point at issue, which was: what are the necessary expenses of doing the job which Ministers of the Crown and hon. Members try to do in this place and in Whitehall? Nowhere in the Boyle Report, or, as far as I can recollect—and I speak subject to contradiction—in respect of any other public appointment, is it thought necessary that the incumbent of the office, or a future incumbent, should disclose publicly what his private resources may be. That is a privilege which the right hon. Gentleman, for whatever reason it may be, wishes to reserve solely to the Crown.

The relevancy or irrelevancy of the private fortune exists irrespective of what the tax arrangements may be. The right hon. Gentleman can if he wishes attack the tax arrangements as a separate issue. Historically it has been thought that, as taxes are raised in the name and, indeed, on the express recommendation of the Crown, there would be an element of the ludicrous in imposing them on the wearer of the Crown. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite may not like it, but it is an argument which our predecessors in this House have accepted for 200 years. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that it has happened under Tory Governments—

Mr. English


Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, not at the moment.

As I was saying, hon. Gentlemen opposite may say that this has happened under Tory Governments, but the position was the same under Labour Governments. That was the position when the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) was Chancellor of the Exchequer. It has been accepted for 200 years.

On the right hon. Gentleman's other tax point, that of the treatment of other members of the Royal Family, the position as it was explained to us in the Select Committee is clear. The Permanent Secretary to the Treasury—not my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but the highest permanent official—deals with the decision as to what percentage of the Civil List allowances should be treated as not being chargeable for tax because the expenditure involved is required for the performance of the very functions for which the Civil List is granted. The only difference is that this is done, in view of the peculiar delicacy of this case, by a very senior official in the Treasury, rather than by a more junior one in the Inland Revenue as in the case of the rest of us. That again is a provision which has lasted for many years under a variety of Chancellors of the Exchequer of all colours.

I must come back to the central point on which I quarrel with the right hon. Gentleman. It seems to me that the Select Committee was right to follow the example of all its predecessors and not regard it as its duty to investigate the private fortune of the Monarch, any more than other Select Committees, or other Departments, or this House, have thought it necessary to investigate the private fortunes of other holders of public office who receive payments to enable them to discharge the duties of those offices. Therefore, on behalf of my colleagues on the Select Committee, at any rate the majority of us, I reject the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion that we have failed.

In the circumstances of this investigation, it would have been a peculiarly wrong attitude for the Select Committee to have taken. This Committee was not making provision such as was made in 1952 when it was hoped to make it at the beginning of a reign for a whole reign. In 1952, as I explained to the House, I was in a subordinate capacity not unconnected with the discussion on that matter. It was hoped that a provision would be made which would cover the whole of the reign. Indeed, it was on that basis that Her Majesty surrendered the hereditary revenues of the Crown for the duration of the reign and six months thereafter. It was intended to be a reign-long arrangement. That we were not wholly unaware of the risks of inflation is shown by the provision made for making excess provision in the earlier years in order to constitute a reserve which would meet rising costs if inflation were to develop.

It is only because the degree of inflation has been far greater than we have ever faced in this country's history before that Her Majesty has had to come to Parliament to suggest a change in these arrangements—arrangements which have not been, on the whole, profitable for her. Under the 1952 Act she exchanged, in investment terms, an equity investment for a debenture, and all of those who have done that over the last 20 years know what has happened to them. Therefore, Her Majesty comes to Parliament in circumstances for which she has less personal responsibility than any of us in this House, and certainly less responsibility—and I remind the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, Stechford that this applies to him and, to a lesser degree, to myself—than those of us who have served in the Treasury. To take advantage, in this situation, of the approach to Parliament which the Queen has been bound to make, in order to change the practice which was determined on in 1952 and intended to last for the reign would be grossly unfair.

This leads me to the Amendment. The right hon. Member for Sowerby proposes a basic change in the arrangements. Again, his only opportunity to propose such a change is due to the inflation and the situation in which it has placed the Monarch, as it has placed many other people. In these circumstances, I would be no party to such a fundamental change unless I were positively convinced that it was agreeable to the wearer of the Crown. I do not have any more right than any other right hon. or hon. Member who sat on the Committee to make the judgment as to whether or not this would be agreeable to the Queen, but I do not believe that it would be.

The right hon. Gentleman quoted Question No. 215. He did not go on to quote Question No. 216, which goes as far on a delicate matter of this sort as anything could be expected to go. My hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) asked the then Lord Chamberlain: But it is only an objection in relation to efficiency—there are no other objections? If you could meet the efficiency argument would there be other ideological objections? Lord Cobbold replied: Whether or not there is an argument of principle it is almost an item of principle that the Queen regards these people as her own servants and they regard themselves as her servants. I think they have the idea of the dignity of the Monarchy, which is supported by the idea that the Queen is controlling her own Household. When foreign State visitors come to stay at Buckingham Palace the whole aura is one of, if not a private household, at any rate a family household welcoming the State visitors, and the same applies to large entertainments and official lunch parties. The right hon. Gentleman has not discharged the onus, which rests upon him, of establishing that the change would be acceptable or agreeable to the Monarch. So far as we have evidence on that, the contrary seems to be the case.

There are two other arguments which seem to me to be decisive. The first is that on the evidence we have the right hon. Gentleman's proposal would cost more. He will recall that at one stage he was of the view that the new Department of the Crown should boast a deputy-secretary and a couple of undersecretaries. Obviously, the costs of a department like that would exceed those of the present Royal Household. He indicated today that he did not really mind that much; but from the point of view of the Queen it would be a matter of considerable significance. She would be made to appear, unfairly, to have her household set-up costing more than it really need to. The evidence to the Committee was that it was efficiently run. Sir Basil Smallpeice had inspected it from the efficiency point of view and said that he was satisfied that it was efficient and economical. If, due to the sort of change proposed, the Royal Household were made more expensive and less efficient, it would be grossly unfair to the Monarch, quite apart from being unfair to the taxpayer.

Secondly, this proposal would involve annual Votes. Whether an annual Vote would be challenged annually would depend on the mood of the Opposition of the day. Apart from that the expenditure would, if I understand it rightly, be subject to Parliamentary Questions and investigation by the Public Accounts Committee and by the Expenditure Committee. I suppose we could, if anyone wanted to, have a great deal of detailed examination year by year of the minor points of what my right hon. Friend pointed out is not a very major element in the totality of our national expenditure.

The right hon. Member for Sowerby, in a passage with which I wholly agreed. emphasised the unfortunate reactions, based on complete misunderstanding of the position, which certain of the public media had adopted in the light of the Committee's Report. Do we really want to make that an annual event? Do we really want to present annual Estimates for a Department of the Crown which, like other annual Estimates, will rise and will cause those who wish to do so to say, "Another rise for the Queen. Royal expenditure 5 per cent. up"—or whatever it may be. Do we really want to give an annual opportunity so to do to people who, like the right hon. Member for Coventry, East, wish for one reason or another to raise particular issues on Royal finances?

My only criticism of the Government's proposals is that they will provide such an opportunity, in my view, far more frequently than is necessarily desirable. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Dr. Glyn), I would have preferred a system of index-linked Civil List arrangements which would have eliminated this risk, at any rate for a considerable number of years. I do not think that it would be good for the Monarch, and I doubt whether it would be good for the House, to have an annual inquest into this expenditure made possible. It would merely result in cross-examining the Monarchy about sums of money which the holy. Members concerned would not be interested in if the expenditure were in any other direction.

I regret that my right hon. Friend did not adopt the idea which I suggested for an arrangement which would have lasted a good deal longer than I fear his arrangement will last. But I shall support the Government's proposals. It is essential that provision should be made, and quickly, for the Monarchy.

We are—and here I echo the right hon. Member for Sowerby again—singularly fortunate both in the institution of constitutional Monarchy and, if I may say so without presumption, in the personality of the wearer of the Crown. I have had impressed on me the advantage of a system in which the highest office, the personalised representation of a people, the ceromonial duties of Head of State, are placed in the hands of a person who is not the political or executive head. It was illustrated to me many years ago.

In 1945, when as president of a military government court in Rome I was presiding over the trial of some spies, President Roosevelt died. Two American officers were members of the court. When the news came of the President's sudden death, I said to my colleagues—we were sitting in the Palace of Justice in Rome—that we would go into court and stand in memory of the late President. Both my American colleagues objected, one of them in terms which I do not propose to repeat. We carried through this tribute only because, for about the only time in my military career, I pulled my rank and made it an order.

This is an illustration of the sort of situation which arises from confusing the highest office in the State with political controversy and politically controversial characters. It made me aware again of how fortunate we are to have inherited a system of constitutional Monarchy—and we are doubly fortunate in that this tremendous burden, a burden from which death alone can relieve her, is borne by a lady of such high character, hard working responsibility and gracious charm. Long may she reign!

6.20 p.m.

Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)

The right hon. Member for Kingston upon Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter), as one would have expected, has argued the case cogently. He and I had different formulae which we put forward, not always in agreement with each other, but each of us had the temerity to believe that we could improve on the Government's recommendations.

I rise to support, as I did with my vote in the Committee, the proposals put forward by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton). I must confess that the case which he put forward, both in the Committee and in the House today, has in no way been weakened by the arguments put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Chancellor said that in his view it was largely a question of presentation. Even if I were to accept that that be the case I believe that presentation in a democracy, both as far as Parliament is concerned and as far as the Monarchy is concerned, is of the very essence of the institution. We could no doubt get on perfectly well in this House if we no longer referred to each other as "the hon. Gentleman", "my hon. Friend" and "hon. Gentleman opposite". No doubt any other term would suffice, provided that it was within bounds. But the convention and the hope is that by formalising the method of address we shall perhaps address each other in a rather more civilised way than might otherwise be the case.

Likewise, I suppose we could survive without slamming the door in Black Rod's face, but we do so still, as a presentational matter, in order to assert the independence of this House from the Crown, so that the representative of the Crown is allowed in on sufferance. On each occasion we assert whether or not we wish to admit the representative of the Monarch; and no Monarch has entered this Chamber since Charles I tried to arrest certain of our colleagues. It may not be thought very important but it is presentational, and enshrined in it are certain principles to which we adhere and in which we believe.

I do not take the right hon. Gentleman's view that because inflation has caused Her Majesty to come to Parliament there is something wrong in discussing a revision in the 1952 Agreement, because I believe if an individual or a Government believes in the constitutional Monarchy—and I personally do—as a system of government, as one of the three partners in government, then I believe it is the duty of that Government, as the logical corollary, for that Government to protect the holder of that office from all unfair criticism. I believe the present proposals are manifestly unfair and that the way in which they have been treated in the Press, which is not renowned always for the accuracy of its presentation, has been unfair to the Monarchy.

We in this House will no doubt be explaining to our constituents that the Boyle recommendations, as far as hon. and right hon. Gentlemen are concerned, are not simply a salary increase but a means whereby we can meet the expenses which we have to meet, unlike almost any other profession, out of our own pocket, expenses which no business executive and almost no other profession has to meet in a similar way. The Chancellor at least got the point I was making in Committee that the sum which we are being asked to vote is less than the cost of running the British Embassy in Paris. But it is accepted that we must have an embassy in Paris and that if we are going to run it we must do so properly. But nobody pays £1 million to the ambassador to do it. If that was done there would be a banner headline: "£1 million ambassador. Highest paid diplomat in the world"; and when owing to some protracted strike in Paris the cost of indoor and outdoor staff went up by 15 per cent. and the ambassador found that the estimates had to be revised some Left-wing newspaper or weekly journal would ask, "Why does not the ambassador's wife sell her jewels, for he is the highest-paid diplomat in the world?" We would know that that would be unfair because here we are talking of the official expenses of the ambassador doing the job. That is why I do not believe the Government have made a convincing case that there should not be a Department of the Crown. I prophesy that it will come about, though perhaps not straightaway; but it is an inevitable move which will take place.

After all, it has been mentioned that £3 million of the Royal expenditure is on departmental Votes anyway. Is anyone suggesting that the captain of the "Britannia" or pilots of the Royal Flight are any less Her Majesty's servants or have some impossible division of loyalty because their salaries happen to be met on departmental Votes? It is not as if this has not already happened. This is really an extension of it, and I do not accept the logic of the Government's case that by extending what is already the case for £3 million worth of expenditure we are in some way undermining the independence of the Sovereign.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

When the right hon. Gentleman refers to the commander of the Royal yacht or pilots of the Queen's Flight, is he not overlooking the fact that those distinguished officers serve in the capacity for a year or two and then pass on to other appointments in the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force? They are only in that special relationship with the Monarch for quite a short time. But many members of her Majesty's Household remain for life.

Mr. Thorpe

But even if that be so—and I do not accept the right hon. Gentleman's statement—I really cannot accept that this is in some way going either to undermine their sense of loyalty or the Monarch's authority and control over those individuals. I was personally impressed by the efficiency with which the Royal Household is run. I believe it is run, and achieves what it achieves, for a very low input economically. I see no reason whatsoever why there should be any increase in the size or cost of staff, apart from perhaps some minimal increase. But it would immediately make apparent to the country that we were bearing the expenses which every country in the world has to bear, namely the expense of the rôle being discharged of the Head of State, whether it be a Monarch or a President; and experience is that Presidents are much more expensive and far less satisfactory. Therefore, I do not accept this argument.

As to the argument that the Commonwealth might object, already a Commonwealth country that happens to be a Monarchy has the advantage of a Monarch who is retained in that particular office financially by a Vote of the United Kingdom Parliament; therefore, I cannot see where the logic of that argument comes in, because it is a position that we have already. Frankly, so long as the Monarch and the Royal Family are held firmly in the affection and loyalty of the people of this country, which I believe is the case today, I do not think they have anything to fear by the creation of a Department of State.

I believe it will relieve the Monarch and the Royal Family of the enormous amount of very unfair publicity which they have to suffer at the moment. Therefore, I am not convinced in the very slightest by this argument which the Government have put forward; nor do I believe the Monarch need feel any less a personal relationship with her own staff by reason of the creation of such a Department. If one wanted to be controversial there could be many arguments on the Royal yacht. I take certain views on that. That is already open to this House, but it is very seldom in this House that the defence Estimates are challenged. I believe the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) had the Whip withdrawn from him by his own Front Bench for voting against certain defence Estimates some years ago.

On this question I say merely that I believe that so long as we have a Royal Family which is respected and which enjoys the affection of the people of this country—which it does—it has nothing to fear from a loyal House of Commons ultimately creating a Department of State which will, I believe, in the ordinary course of events pass, almost "on the nod", the funds which are required to keep great Departments of State, of which the Monarchy is but one, sufficiently supplied with the finances required to run that operation. I believe that this is, perhaps, the modern move that is required for our Monarchy. There is no monarchy in the world which is more secure or which does a more effective job of work.

But I also believe that Monarchy, like Parliament, is a plant that has withered in many parts of the world. Monarchies and Parliaments have been under attack and both have, in many other countries, been successfully attacked. That being so, it is of the essence of our case that the Monarchy, just like Parliament should be protected from unfair publicity and unfair criticism.

This is the formula which the right hon. Gentleman has put forward, albeit it could be improved upon. This is the way in which we can protect the Monarchy from attacks of that sort and make it even more secure in the position that it occupies in this country.

6.31 p.m.

Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas (Chelmsford)

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party will forgive me if I do not follow him in the first part of his speech, in which he seemed historically, to be fighting the civil war over again.

I turn instead to the most important speech that was made by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton). I say that not because I agree with the proposal that he is putting forward but because of the manner and the tone of his contribution. No greater disaster could befall this country than the Monarchy becoming a matter of party political dispute—if it was thought or represented, for example, that somehow the Conservative Party was the Royalist party and that the Labour Party was the opposite. On the Select Committee I did what I could to avoid a division precisely because I feared that as a possible outcome. Unfortunately, we could not reach all-party agreement, and we shall have a Division tonight. But the right hon. Member for Sowerby has drawn the sting out of this Division, and that has been not the least of his contributions to the political life of the country.

I turn to the very different contribution made by the right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) on one of his bi-monthly visits to this Chamber. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] It may be a shame, but that is the truth. I will add the word "brief".

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

You are away all the time.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Already we have—

Mr. Orme

Get back to Strasbourg.

An Hon Member


Mr. St. John-Stevas

Hon. Members must make up their minds on the city to which they wish me to depart.

I see that the right hon. Member for Coventry, East has entered the Chamber, so I amend "bi-monthly" to meaning twice a month and not once every two months, which was my original meaning.

What the substance of the right hon. Gentleman's contribution amounted to was that the Sovereign should pay out of his or her pocket for the privilege of serving the nation in the manner in which the nation wishes the duties of the Monarch to be undertaken. If that is not so, there is no relevance in considering the private fortune.

Mr. Crossman

I thought I made the point clear, first, that I thought that obviously we should pay the cost of the expenses of the Monarchy; second, I said that I thought a genuinely private income —if we can make that distinction—should be taxed in the normal way; third, I said that as long as the Queen did not pay tax on it, its size was highly relevant in estimating the costs of the Monarchy.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Yes, I accept that explanation, and I followed what the right hon. Gentleman was saying. But it does not invalidate my point that the size of the private fortune is quite irrelevant to the discharge of public functions. We must agree to disagree on that.

I pass to the standpoint of the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) who has put into the report of the Select Committee a minority report in which he characterised the Gracious Message of last May as the most insensitive and brazen pay claim made in the last 200 years". Those are words which are highly offensive and misleading. They have been given wide publicity and they were intended to receive wide publicity. The fact is, as was made abundantly clear by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in opening the debate, that there is no element of pay claim in the Civil List whatsoever. Quite the contrary, because the contributions from the Privy Purse were surrendered by Her Majesty as part of the Gracious Message.

I cannot think why the hon. Member for Fife, West, who is normally such a kindly and friendly person, should in this respect take up this untypical role of Gradgrind to Her Majesty.

Mr. William Hamilton

Flattery will get the hon. Member nowhere.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I do not know why that is so, but it is a particularly unsuitable attitude to adopt, in view, if I may presume to say so, of the unselfishness and the devotion to duty and dedication of Her Majesty in the discharge of her duties. That is all I propose to say about the hon. Member for Fife, West. I might say de minimis non curat lex. [HON. MEMBERS: "Translate."] "We all know Willie's views." [HON. MEMBERS: "Which Willie?"] I do not know whether it is Willie I or II.

I turn away from what divides us to what unites us—the institution of the Monarchy. This is the essential background against which we have to consider the report. The truth—and we all know it, as has been stressed by the right hon. Member for Sowerby and my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter)—is that the value of the Monarchy to Britain is incalculable. It provides us with a symbol above party politics and which epitomises both the contemporary life of the nation and its historic past. In Britain, however fierce the party strife may be, no citizen ever has to be against the country. That is an inestimable boon and advantage.

Second, the Monarchy not only promotes stability but paradoxically promotes change because it provides a stable focal point for society which enables the country to absorb radical changes in the social and political structure without rending the social fabric. So it is no exaggeration to say that liberty under law, which is the most precious fruit of government by discussion, while it is owed partly to the character of the people and partly to the traditions of Parliament, is owed also very largely to the Crown, to the existence of constitutional Monarchy. That should never be far from our minds when we are considering this question. [Interruption.] These are the realities of the situation, these are the principles of our constitution which are involved in the debate.

No price tag can be placed on those contributions to the life of the country any more than we can place a price tag on the prestige and influence of the ancient institution of the Crown throughout the world, of which we, living here, are the residual beneficiaries. This is symbolised by those who each year come to this country and throng the approaches to Buckingham Palace and who are fascinated by the mystery and the awe that the Monarchy still arouses even in this utilitarian age.

But the Monarchy cannot survive in a vacuum. It needs both the moral and financial support of the nation. Those who will the end must also will the means. It was common ground on the Select Committee, the Member for Fife, West perhaps excepted, that we did not wish to change the character of the Monarchy. I think that that is right. There is something to be said for having no monarch, a republic, and there is something to be said for a splendid monarchy. But there is nothing to be said for a mean monarchy. If that is true in general it is true particularly in Britain. It is a mistake to think that a reserved people cannot also be a theatrical people. We in this country certainly care about the show, and it is the show which is provided by the dignified parts of our constitution.

That brings me to the point of division on the Committee, which was about means and not ends. The majority in the Committee supported the proposals put forward by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide a reasonable competence, which is all it is, for Her Majesty to carry out her duties, subject to a decennial review. That is right, because it is undesirable and undignified to expect the Monarch continually to ask the House for money. We know from our own experience how distasteful it is for us to discuss our own salaries. If it is bad for us, it is much worse for the Crown.

The view held by the minority is that the best way out of the difficulty would be to convert the Royal Household into a Department of State. That is a reasonable view, and I do not dispute that it is sincerely held. But there are grave objections to that course, however much people may justify it on Benthamite principles of utility.

First, it would lead to a constant inquisition into the Sovereign's financial affairs, which is undesirable. Second, it would lead to greater inefficiency, not to greater efficiency; it would substitute for a small bureaucracy acting on the scene a larger bureaucracy away from it. Therefore, the operation would be more expensive, not less expensive. Third, it would be an unconstitutional innovation in the sense that it would run counter to a fundamental principle of our constitution.

The right hon. Member for Sowerby announced that the Monarchy existed by the will and pleasure of the people. That is not true. No one who studies the constitution can possibly accept such a statement. There are three estates of the realm, not one. It is not this House that is sovereign. The constitutional Sovereign is the Queen in Parliament. That is the sovereign power under our constitution.

Mr. Ted Fletcher (Darlington)

We are on to theology now.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The hon. Gentleman shouts out "theology". As though that would be a point of reproach to me! But it is not in fact theology; it is good constitutional principle and law, accepted for many hundreds of years in our country and still accepted. The Queen is a co-ordinate estate of the realm. If the Commons comes first in efficiency, it is the Crown that comes first in dignity.

Therefore, the Monarch's Household is his or hers not by grace or favour of the Commons but as of right. As was made clear by the evidence given to the Committee by Lord Cobbold, that is how Her Majesty regards her Household and it is the way in which the Household has been regarded by every Monarch that has ever sat upon our Throne.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham)

Then let her pay for it.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

So much for the Opposition scheme. I come now to another major point, a point of criticism made by some in the country at large. We heard echoes of it in our debate today. It is that while the provision made for the Queen is acceptable there should not be provision for other members of the Royal Family.

Mr. Orme

Hear, hear.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am glad that we are in agreement at any rate that the point is of substance and importance.

That criticism ignores an important point, that we do not have a single person on the Throne. In fact, a family occupies the Throne. Every member of the family helps Her Majesty in the discharge of her duties. Without the aid of other members of the Royal Family, she would be overwhelmed by the demands and burdens placed upon her. That came out clearly from the evidence to the Committee. Hon. Members can see it in Sir Michael Adlane's memorandum, a most important document, showing the existing burden which Her Majesty carries. I remarked at the time that it was astonishing that any human being could undertake such a burden of ceremonial duties, but how much that would he increased if there were not others to help her with it. For example, a report that was made on Prince Philip's duties showed that he carried out 800 engagements a year.

Mr. William Hamilton

Cocktail parties.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

No. That is unworthy of the hon. Gentleman. Those engagements include visits to establishments of every kind, such as educational and other institutions, and foreign visits, many of them intensely exacting and boring, undertaken out of a sense of duty. How many hon. Members could equal 800 engagements a year? The services of Prince Philip are not confined to public engagements. He has been the driving force behind the necessary modernisation of the Monarchy, retaining the best of its traditions but getting rid of the inessential accretions.

It was a century ago that Walter Bagehot wrote of the Prince Consort We shall never know, but when history is written our children may know what we owe to Prince Albert. Those words are equally applicable today to the Duke of Edinburgh. As to the other members of the Royal Family who are prevented by propinquity to the Throne from the normal commercial and other relations—perfectly harmless in themselves but not acceptable in this context—it is necessary that public provision should be made for them. They all do their part, Princess Margaret, Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Kent, the Gloucester family. It is all in the report; their engagements are set out and every one of them has shouldered a fair share of the burden.

I believe that the proposals set out in the report are fair and reasonable. They are neither extravagant nor are they mean. From them Her Majesty the Queen gains nothing. Such a consideration would be quite repugnant to one who has devoted her whole life to the service of other people. I trust today that hon. Members will be both realistic and generous as the Commons always is when important questions and considerations come before it. I hope that we will be sensible in appreciating the value of a constitutional Monarch and I hope to that we shall be generous to Her Majesty since she has been so generous to the country giving unstintingly both of her life and her person.

6.53 p.m.

Mr. Joel Barnett (Heywood and Royton)

I have heard the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) for many months on the Select Committee. He did not convince me then and he will not be surprised to know that he has not convinced me now. He said a moment ago that the Queen will have nothing for herself out of this and that this is not being extravagant. I would hope to argue that the hon. Member just does not know that. He certainly cannot prove it. He did not prove it in his speech and he was not able to prove it throughout the whole of our discussions in Committee.

I do not want to deal with the Amendment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) except to say that I agree with it and found the Chancellor's remarks even less rewarding than the ones we heard in our debates in Committee. One of the arguments that the Chancellor put forward today—that any change would be welcomed for example by 10 countries abroad—was a rather strange one. It was made to look rather silly when my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) asked him whether any of the 10 countries had been consulted and he had to answer that they had not. Those 10 countries are not terribly bothered about who pays, provided it is not them.

It has been argued that this debate is not about money but I say it is very much about money and it is about that which I wish to speak. I am not arguing about whether we should have a President or a Queen, although listening to the hon. Member for Chelmsford for months on end is enough to turn anyone into the most raging republican. When one listens to the hon. Gentleman one realises that he does a very poor service to those whom he attempts to serve. The Monarchy would be much better served with less servile comments of the sort the hon. Gentleman makes.

But I am not making the republican case today—the hon. Member makes it only too well. Neither am I attacking the reduction in the work load for the cheaper-style running of the Monarchy. However, I must say that the Royal yacht, for instance, is an interesting case. The last figures for 1969–70 showed total expenditure of £943,723. In 1971 the Royal yacht did two trips, one to the Pacific for Prince Philip and one to British Columbia for the Queen. If we are talking about a cheaper style, do we know whether Prince Charles needs £105,000 a year tax-free? We have no information or evidence about that. It may well be that it is not enough and that he is using some of his own resources.

I start with the assumption that we retain broadly the existing system although on another occasion I would certainly wish to argue that the worst kind of snobbishness and the most class-ridden element in the structure of society depends to a considerable extent for its existence upon the Monarchy. That is not the case I am making now. I am talking about the amount of money in the report. The real figure is the total amount used by the Monarchy. This is not one person but several, and the total figure is £4,714,000. The Chancellor was telling us that the growth since 1952 was probably in the region of 150 per cent. Actual total expenditure on the Vote and on the Civil List in 1952–53 was £1,240.000.

That is the growth and it is absurd to argue as some have attempted that we should deduct from that the revenue from the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall or from the Crown estates. That should no more be considered the income of the Monarch than it should be considered the income of myself or my hon. Friend the Member for Fife. West (Mr. William Hamilton). That is the real cost, the real increase comparing like with like, although I accept that within that figure is the total cost of the Monarchy for all sorts of expenditure, much of which is not personal.

I am not arguing that it is necessarily too much. For a president it may well be higher but I am arguing that on the information we received, no figure can be justified because we do not have adequate information. I accept that any figure must inevitably be arbitrary and the hon. Member for Chelmsford is literally prepared to accept any figure. This House should not be prepared to do the same. If we have a Monarchy it should have sufficient, and more than sufficient, to do the job that we give to it. I do not believe in the mystique of the Crown like the hon. Gentleman and others although I can understand the argument of those who say "If it is an extra £1 million, it is a small price to pay." It is not a price which we in this House should be prepared to pay on behalf of the taxpayers. This is not in the interests of the Monarchy.

There is nothing personal in this; I am not making any personal case. It is not in the interests of Parliament, because any figure which we vote must be defensible and this figure is not. We do not know the extent to which the taxpayer is perhaps being subsidised by the Queen or the reverse. It is impossible to separate public and private expenditure. For example the whole of the expenditure for clothing of the Queen is clearly public expenditure and we should pay for it, but we do not. It is paid for by the Queen.

It is important to all hon. Members that when we vote funds we should know the total expenditure. We do not know that expenditure. When the Chancellor says that this is not a pay claim, I would submit that he cannot say that. He just does not know whether any element of this is a contribution to personal expenditure. We do not know, for example, how much of the £918,000 goes on private expenditure on food, wine, laundry, palaces, the yacht, holidays, travel, and so on.

Mrs. Peggy Fenner (Rochester and Chatham)


Mr. Barnett

If the hon. Lady disagrees with me, I shall be delighted to give way to her.

Mrs. Fenner

May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he agrees that we know that £448,000 goes on staff wages and salaries, and that that is more relevant than what we do not know?

Mr. Barnett

The hon. Lady has not answered the point I was making but has taken up another point, which I shall be delighted to deal with on another occasion. We do not even know to what extent staff expenditure might be on staff who are carrying out personal duties. There is almost certainly a personal element in that.

One could ague that all expenditure of the Monarchy is public and that it should be met by the taxpayer. As has been rightly said, the Queen is a totally public figure who has no private life. If we are to pay all the expenditure, apart from a few personal gifts, we cannot have a large private capital free from every form of taxation—income tax, surtax, capital gains tax and estate duty.

One consequence of that is that other members of the Royal Family also receive tax-free income, because any gift which they receive from the Queen towards their personal and public expenditure is not taxed. If an hon. Member makes a gift to his family, in the normal way it is not taxed because our income has already been subjected to tax, but the Queen's income has not.

If we are paying all the Queen's expenditure we are surely entitled to know the net result of that on the private capital. Has it been increased by £5 million or £10 million since 1952? We just do not know. We know that £50 million, according to Lord Cobbold, is a wildly exaggerated figure, but £20 million would be a reasonable figure and that may have been substantially increased since 1952. With the present substantial increase, that private capital may grow to an even greater extent.

The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) said that the private capital is not relevant because Lord Boyle did not take it into account. Lord Boyle found it highly relevant to know what was the income of hon. Members. He made extensive inquiries about it and took it into account. It is a spurious argument to suggest that we as hon. Members should regard private income as irrelevant and that previous Select Committees did not inquire into the amount of the private income. There are many things which previous Select Committees and previous hon. Members of the House did not do. There were not so many Labour Members then as there are now and Select Committees had a different rôle. It would be absurd for us to agree these or any other figures without having the faintest idea whether at the end of the reign the Queen will have increased or decreased her capital by £1 million or £10 million as a result of our Vote.

This is not just a matter of presentational effect. Of course it is offensive to say that this represents £1 for each of the 1 million unemployed. At such a time, however, when 1 million are unemployed and millions are having difficulty in living inside their incomes, it is vital that any figure we vote should be justified up to the hilt. It would be the height of irresponsibility to agree any amount without further information. Without that further information, I certainly cannot vote for any sum, whether it is a penny more or a penny less.

7.5 p.m.

Sir Robin Turton (Thirsk and Malton)

I think the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett) has Lord understood the Boyle Report. Lord Boyle was not looking at the "outside" salaries of hon. Members, and it is quite impertinent to ask what is the private income of the Monarch. We are being asked what Civil List expenses we recommend in view of the change in the value of money since 1952. I know the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that it was very hard to make comparisons, but one has to do so. The public want to make this comparison to see whether the Select Committee, as the hon. Member for Heywood and Royton suggested, is being unduly generous, unduly mean or about right.

There are three ways of looking at this. First, we can look at it from the point of view of the Select Committee which examined the Civil List, and from the point of view of the Boyle Committee which examined the salaries of hon. Members. The Boyle Report increased the parliamentary allowance from £1,000 in 1952 to the equivalent of £5,800, by an increase in salary, an increase in the secretarial allowance and increased travel for wives. The Select Committe has recommended increasing the Civil List from £475,000 to £980,000. In other words the Select Committee awarded an increase of 106 per cent. whereas the Boyle Report awarded an increase of 480 per cent. On the face of it, it would appear that the Select Committee was on the low side compared with the Boyle Report. There will be a debate on the Boyle Report on Monday, but this comparison is of interest today.

Mr. John D. Grant (Islington, East)

Would not the right hon. Gentleman accept that it is grossly misleading to quote these percentages? It all depends on the base one starts from. An increase of 10 per cent. on £100 is rather different from an increase of 10 per cent. on £1,000.

Sir R. Turton

The allowance is for staff costs in the Royal Household; equally, the parliamentary allowance is for expenses. To my view they are strictly comparable, but I agree that each comparison by itself is insufficient and we must look at the others.

Let us compare what we recommend with the inflation that has taken place in the Crown Estates and the hereditary revenues. In 1952 our predecessors recommended £475,000 on the Civil List. The Crown Estates and hereditary revenues had an annual income of £1,529,000. In other words, it was recommended that the Civil List should be 31 per cent. of the income of the Crown Estates. Today the Crown Estates and hereditary revenues income is £5,777,000 and we are recommending an amount of £980,000, which is only 16 per cent. of the Crown Estates and hereditary revenues. Therefore it would look as if this were a less generous award for expenses than was recommended by the 1952 Committee.

The salaries and expenses, of which the Committee was given full details, account for more than two-thirds of the recommended amounts. If we consider that £475,000 was provided for in the 1952 recommendations and realise that the £ is worth only 51p today as compared with its purchasing value in 1952, then it can be seen that our recommendation in 1952 values of £499,800 is virtually the same as was recommended in 1952.

On those three tests my great worry is whether we have not made a mistake, at this time of great inflation, by setting the level for expenses in the Royal Household at too low a level. My only justification for agreeing to the report is that we have provided for a review to take place at least once in the decade, and, indeed, it can take place more frequently.

It is vitally important that the Royal Household should be properly provided for. The evidence which was given to the Committee convinced me that the finances were being managed in a scrupulously economical way. Having heard the evidence of Lord Cobbold and Sir Michael Adeane, I felt that it was dangerous not to award a larger amount. Indeed, very little has been said about the amount, and there would appear to be general agreement in the House.

I come to the much more interesting proposal put forward by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) on the means by which the Royal Household should be managed. There was a certain attraction in the idea of having it put on a departmental Vote. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Liberal Party said it was a novel idea. It is not. It is the normal habit of the Middle Eastern Monarchs to have a Department of the Palace and for it to run the Palace with a Ministerial head. In the Middle Eastern Monarchies this leads to intrigue and gross extravagance. The right hon. Member for Sowerby is well aware of this danger and altered his proposals in the course of our deliberations to avoid some of the pitfalls which might have come from too close an analogy with what happens in that area between Asia and Europe.

As I listened to the evidence, I became convinced that this was not the best way to deal with the situation. I feel that there is no real party difference between us. I consider that the right hon. Member for Sowerby did not make out his case for running the Royal Household as a Department of State. The first consideration—and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer alluded to this point—is that if one is to make such a change, whatever may be the advantages for Parliament, it is vital that the change should be appreciated by those who work for the Royal Household and by those who represent those workers in the trade unions.

The Committee heard evidence from Mr. Vickers and Miss Edwards. Mr. Vickers said: There are special questions … about employment in the Royal Household which call for a degree of flexibility and understanding on the part of the staff and its union as well as on the part of the management and the Crown. We are very happy to go along with this …". It was thought that to make these staff civil servants would not be the answer, and this was brought out quite clearly in the evidence of Miss Edwards, which is to be found at the bottom of page 80: It is the fact that working for the Monarch requires a little bit more flexibility on the part of employees because they know there are special problems and if they are required to take a little time off in the middle of the day and perhaps work a little longer in the evening, they will do that for the Monarch, whereas for the Civil Service Department they might expect something more hard and fast. Clearly the evidence of the unions and employees was against the change recommended by the right hon. Member.

I was not present throughout the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's speech since I had to attend a meeting of the Comonwealth Parliamentary Association executive, but I do not think he stressed in his speech the danger of getting the Monarch mixed up in parliamentary controversy. This to me is the vital matter; namely, that the Monarchy should be above the clash of party politics. I am sure that the right hon. Member for Sowerby is as keen on this aspect as I am.

We see in paragraph 10 of the draft report of the right hon. Member for Sowerby the following: Thus, it would be necessary to establish ministerial responsibility for the new Vote; this would presumably fall either to the Prime Minister or to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This would avoid the difficulty involved in my Middle Eastern analogy which would involve having a Palace Minister. Could the House imagine what would happen during Prime Minister's Questions on Tuesdays and Thursdays if the Prime Minister were responsible for the Royal Household Vote. No longer would there be Questions about whether the Prime Minister intended to visit a cer- tain place. This is one great objection to the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

There would be more inspired Questions.

Sir R. Turton

It is vital to keep the Royal Household out of the parliamentary battle. If there were to be Ministerial responsibility for this expenditure, it would be subject to parliamentary Questions. If the Prime Minister were put in charge of them, obviously, whether it be the right hon. Member for Huyton (Mr. Harold Wilson) or my right hon. Friend the Member for Bexley (Mr. Heath), the Prime Minister must be the chief target of parliamentary controversy.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

No. The right hon. Gentleman would get them transferred as he does now.

Sir R. Turton

To my mind, this is the worst solution, for that very reason. Unless some way round this problem of parliamentary questioning can be found, I do not see how the Royal Household can be placed on a departmental Vote.

If we could ensure that the Royal Household salaries and expenses were dealt with efficiently, as they are now under the Lord Chamberlain, and were subject to a periodic review, as they will be under the suggestions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I believe that the ordinary man and woman in the street would say, "I would prefer it to be done in this way to having it done under the more bureaucratic system of a Department for the Royal Household."

For that reason, I hope very much that we shall not have a Division tonight on what is not a matter of party difference. I do not believe that those of us who say that the system should not be changed are any more keen on the Monarchy than those like the right hon. Member for Sowerby who asked for this change. I except the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), but I always regard him as the chief traditionalist in this House. Having succeeded Willie Gallacher, the hon. Gentleman has to go on as Willie used to. To that extent, he is Willie II. I realise that, with his constituency history and tradition, he has to take that view. But here is a matter which does not really divide the rest of us, and I appeal to the right hon. Mem- ber for Sowerby not to press the Amendment to a Division.

There would be very great parliamentary procedural difficulties in what the right hon. Gentleman suggests. The people realise that they have a wonderful system of Monarchy. It is one of which we can be proud. It is economical, and there is no waste or extravagance of the sort that one finds elsewhere in the presidencies of the world.

7.23 p.m.

Mr. William Hamilton (Fife, West)

Strangely enough, I agree with the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir R. Turton) about the undesirability of having a Department of State for the Crown. Although my name appears on the Amendment, with my agreement and consent, I think that it was simply to give it an aura of respectability. I think that it was to get hon. Members into the Division Lobby that my name was added. I may say that some of us intend to vote twice tonight, once officially and once free-booting. We are doing so for reasons which I shall try to explain.

Up till now, this has been a very quiet debate. No feathers have been ruffled. There is not a hair out of place anywhere.

Quite clearly, my own plan was the best one that was put to the Committee. I do not think that it is widely recognised in the House or in the country that I was the only member of the Committee to recommend a substantial wage increase for Her Majesty the Queen. I did not get a single supporter for that proposition. I said that she ought to have the rate for the job. I estimated that, if the rate for the job was £60,000 a year tax free in 1952, it was worth something like £100,000 now. That was the figure that I recommended. To some degree, it was an arbitrary figure, but it was generous. Sometimes I am appalled at my own generosity. It was £160,000 more than the Queen expected. She had volunteered to give up the £60,000. I said not only that she should not be allowed to give it up but that I proposed to give her £100,000 in addition. I was proposing to give Her Majesty, as the rate for the job, £160,000 as her wages. That is the wage element in the Civil List. I am still waiting for a letter of gratitude from the Palace for my proposition. I wait in vain.

The Government propose to take away this salary element. When I asked Sir Michael Adeane why the Queen had volunteered to give this up, he said that he believed that she had been born into the job and was just resigned to doing it. That is one way of looking at it, and one does not know why Her Majesty chose voluntarily to make this gesture before the Committee had started its inquiry. This is one of the very many unknowns which we sought to unfurl, unsuccessfully as it happens, and which made my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett) take the view that he did. I was less persuaded than he, although, illogically, I supported him. But logic is not my strong line in the matters. I have often been called a republican, but I think that I have shown that in my opinion the Queen does a good job, because I was the one who recommended the increase.

What disturbs me, first of all, is the proposition that the Government have put up in their recommendation that if the proposals in the report are accepted Parliament will have even less control over Royal expenditure than it has now, and, heaven knows, it has little enough.

We had this Select Committee. It will be the last Select Committee on the Civil List that we shall ever have if the Government's proposals are accepted. That is what the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) and the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) want. They want a minimum of parliamentary control. As the hon. Member for Chelmsford has returned to the Chamber, I might say that he was the most diligent sycophant on the Committee. He never missed a chance of getting on his knees. He was bettered in that exercise only by the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames. This is one of the most undesirable aspects of the Monarchy. We have a right to criticise our institutions. If they cannot stand criticism or if they are too weak to stand it, they are not worth preserving.

I return to the point which disturbs me. This bit of public expenditure, small as it is in the content of the whole national expenditure, nevertheless is a very important element. It is out of all proportion to its absolute size. But we are to have no more inquisition by Select Committee. Any future supplementary benefit required by the Royal Family will be granted—I quote from page xiv of the Report— by an Order laid before Parliament by Treasury Ministers and would not involve the appointment of a Select Committee. No doubt pressure for that has come from the Palace because it has clearly been embarrassed by the probing of inquisitive nosey Members of Parliament like myself. In effect, the Monarchy has said: "The role of Parliament is to provide us with the cash we need, and no questions asked." My answer to that is: "Not on your Nellie". Or should it be: "Not on your Margaret"?

The Select Committee broke new ground in certain important ways. For the first time, the evidence was taken down and reported to the House. This is the first time in history that this House has got such facts as are contained in the report. A lot more evidence and time was taken on the inquiry than ever before. We had unique evidence from the Treasury and the Inland Revenue which revealed for the first time the fabulously privileged tax position of members of the Royal Family. This has never been revealed in such great detail before.

The shortcomings of our procedure were as follows. First, I thought that they should and could have been held in public. There was and is great interest in the matter not only among the Press but among the general public and even Members of Parliament. Hon Members were excluded from the Committee's proceedings.

The second shortcoming, which has already been mentioned, and I pass over it quickly, though I shall return to it later, was the refusal of the Crown to disclose what my hon. Friends and I think is vital information about their private wealth.

The third shortcoming was the one-sided nature of the evidence. All the evidence was from paid nominees of the Crown, all living in tied cottages—grace and favour houses—and all no doubt comfortably salaried, so hardly likely to be objective in their evidence. One was even called Lord Tryon.

In the event, the Monarchy has survived its frisking by the parliamentary plebs. It has got away with the loot. By a mixture of Bank of England charm and Trappist monk silence the Select Committee was denied information which it most required; namely, what the Queen and her family are worth privately. In my view, it was useless and naїve to try to fob us off by saying that estimates of private fortunes of up to £50 million were widely exaggerated. As my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton said, £50 million would have been wildly exaggerated if their private wealth were £20 million. We do not know whether it is £10 million, £20 million or £30 million. The difference between the Royal Family disclosing their private wealth and Members of Parliament disclosing it is that we are taxed. The Royal wealth has been built up not so much by the diligence of members of the Royal Family, but by the unique tax preference which they get: not paying a penny of tax from birth to death. We must know the wealth that has accumulated or it must be taxed.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

That applies only to the Queen, not the whole Royal Family.

Mr. Hamilton

I will come specifically to other members of the Royal Family, because I am getting shoals of letters, 95 per cent. of which agree with me.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

How many?

Mr. Hamilton

I will show any hon. Member the letters. I have had more letters on this subject during my 21 years in this House than on any other, and 95 per cent. of them—I will quote some—say: "Of course the Queen does a good job and she ought to get the pay for it, but the hangers on"—what some of them call the parasites—"ought not to get what they are getting."

We are proposing to give the Queen Mother £95,000 a year. Some time ago, when the Labour Government were in power, I tabled a Question asking what is the estimate of the annual taxable income required to yield a net income of £100,000 a year. Bearing in mind that that £95,000 will be tax free, the annual income required, assuming it is all earned, to give a net income of £100,000 is £1,079,014. That is the taxable income we would be giving to the Queen Mother to give her £95,000 a year.

We were told in evidence that that is not income; it all goes on expenses. Sir Douglas Allen, in reply to Question No. 398 on page 50, said: at the moment, according to our knowledge, the expenditures of all these households vastly exceed their annuities". I took the trouble to look up the Queen Mother's Household. It is in the Imperial Calendar and can be checked in the Library. I will run through it. Lord Chamberlain, the Earl of Dalhousie. Comptroller, Lord Adam Gordon. Private Secretary and Equerry, LieutenantColonel—note the pleb titles—Sir Martin Gilliat. Treasurer and Equerry, Major Sir Ralph Anstruther. Press Secretary, and Equerry. Major John Griffin. Assistant Private Secretary and Extra Equerry, Captain Alastair S. Aird. We are getting down the pecking order. Equerries, Major the Hon. Sir Francis Legh and Captain Ian Farquhar. He is temporary. Extra Equerries, Major Raymond Seymour and the Lord Sinclair. Apothecary, Ralph Southward. Surgeon-Apothecary to the Household at Royal Lodge, Windsor, J. Clayton.

Mistress of the Robes, Duchess of Abercorn. Ladies of the Bedchamber: Dowager Viscountess Hambleden and Countess Spencer. Extra Ladies of the Bedchamber: Dowager Countess of Halifax, Dowager Lady Harlech, Dowager Countess of Scarborough. Women of the Bedchamber: the Dowager Lady Fermoy, the Hon. Mrs. John Mulholland, Mrs. Patrick Campbell-Preston and Lady Jean Rankin. Extra Women of the Bedchamber: Lady Elizabeth Basset, the Hon. Mrs. Geoffrey Bowlby, Lady Hyde, Lady Delia Peel, Lady Katherine Seymour and Lady Victoria Wemyss.

Clerk Comptroller, Malcolm Blanch. Clerk Accountant, J. P. Kyle. Clerks: Mrs. D. C. Beattie, Mrs. L. A. Gosling and Mrs. A. M. Sheppard.

That is a total household of 33. I ask the House: what the blazes do they all do? What do the Ladies of the Bedchamber do that the Women of the Bedchamber do not do? Why all the extras? Why all the reserves? No football team has so many reserves—three extra ladies of the bedchamber, six extra women of the bedchamber. What size of bedchamber is this? How many of them are paid? I look at the engagements—

Dr. Glyn


Mr. Hamilton

No, I am in the middle of my discourse.

The Queen Mother had 211 official engagements in 1970, including 25 luncheons, 47 what are called "audiences"—I do not know what they are—seven dinners and six films or concerts. Assuming that she does the same number in 1972, that is an average of £450 per engagement. Georgie Best would do it for less than that. [Laughter.] My hon. Friends are laughing, but old-age pensioners are not laughing at this. The Queen Mother is an old-age pensioner and we say, "Oh, she always has a pleasant smile on her face." If my wife had that pay, she would never stop laughing.

It is obscene that this House should be spending its time voting on giving an old lady £95,000 a year, when I will be going up to my constituency on Friday to an old folks' treat where they will be asking me why we are not giving them an extra couple of quid a week to prevent them from dying from cold and starvation this winter. This is one of the obscenities of what we are discussing—

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

And this is an obscene speech.

Mr. Hamilton

From the hon. Gentleman, that remark is a compliment.

I now turn to Princess Margaret. She does even less than her old Mum. On average last year she did about three or four engagements a week, including luncheons, dinners and London shows. For that we, the taxpayers, give her free housing, free lighting and heating. The house alone has cost us, up to now, more than £80,000. That is what it costs the taxpayer to house one family, when we have thousands of homeless in this very city. She gets £15,000 a year tax-free. We are proposing to give her £35,000 a year tax-free. That is an increase of 133 per cent. Why, oh why, are we giving this expensive kept woman that kind of salary increase for what she is doing —£700 a week tax-free?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

On a point of order. May I draw your attention, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to page 415 of Erskine May—

Hon. Members

Oh, no.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Yes, because we have had enough.

This page says: … disrespectful use of Her Majesty's name would normally give offence outside of Parliament; and it is only consistent with decency, that a member of the legislature should not be permitted openly to use such language in his place in Parliament. Does not that rule, by analogy, apply to the former Queen of this country and to the Queen's sister?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)

The Chair is watching order very carefully. I think that the hon. Member was trying quite hard, and I hope that he will not stray further along the path of his last sentence.

Mr. Hamilton

I am obliged. I understand the sensitivity of the hon. Member for Chelmsford. I watched his behaviour on the Committee. I was appalled by it. I did not think that a Member of this House could behave in that kind of sycophantic way. His views are radically different from mine—thank goodness for that. He must accept that if we are paying individuals these salaries—this is what they are—they must accept criticism from us as guardians of the taxpayers' money. The hon. Gentleman made snide remarks about Members' salaries. We will have to defend those in our constituencies and in this House, and if our constituents do not like it, they will kick us out. But that does not apply to these people whom we are talking about. [Interruption.] If they do not like it, they can give up the money which we are proposing to give them. But so long as they are a charge on public funds, we have the right to criticise them. That is the whole purpose of this House.

I turn now to the Gloucesters. The Duke of Gloucester is now in receipt of £35,000 a year tax-free. The recommendation is £45,000 a year, tax-free. And what do they do? Last year there were 147 engagements by the Duchess, for private reasons of which we are all aware. Very few of them have any significance or importance. That is less than three a week, yet the proposed untaxed rate would be £900 a week—for a family remote from the Throne who can and should be encouraged to earn their own living. Is it not the principle of this Government that we should all stand on our own feet? I thought that that was the sentiment paraded around the country 18 months ago and ever since.

We go further. We provide for any future wife of a youngest son of the Royal Family. In 1952, when Prince Charles was four years old, we provided for his widow. My God—that was long-term planning, was it not? Now, we are going even further and we will provide for the others as well. The incomes of youngest sons after marriage will go up to £50,000, for youngest sons at age 18 and before marriage from £10,000 to £20,000, and for youngest sons after marriage from £25,000 to £50,000.

Then there is the provision for the widows of young princes who are aged, I think, 11 and 12. We are also providing an income of about £60,000 for the widow of Prince Charles—a fellow who is not yet married. We should scrap that kind of absurdity. When that becomes applicable, with the rate of inflation going at its present rate, those figures will be meaningless.

I come now to possibly the worst example of all, and that is the strange story of Prince Charles. He has been left out in the cold in this report. He is not even mentioned. At least, he is mentioned, but we make no provision for him. But he is not likely to starve. By the age of four he was already earning £10,000 a year—the greatest genius in the country. By 1970, still in his early twenties, he was up to £105,000. That was what he got last year, tax-free, which, according to the table that I quoted, was worth a taxable income of more than £1 million.

He could double that at the drop of a hat. Just the year before he had said to the Chancellor, "I take only half of what I am entitled to." Half of the net revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall were £105,000. But at any time he could write to the Chancellor—he could phone tonight—and say, "I want the whole revenue", and immediately, overnight, his non-taxable income would go up to £210,000. I have calculated that between 1953 and 1970 Prince Charles had received £413,021, completely tax-free—nearly half a million.

If the Queen reigns another 20 years, Prince Charles will have amassed a private fortune of no less than £5 million, excluding all inherited or investment income—and it could easily be double that. Yet we are asked in these proposals to make separate provision of £60,000 a year for his widow.

All this and a lot I have not had time to mention is presumed to arise from the fact that the Queen has not had a rise since 1952—that her income has remained static for 20 years. That is just not so. Payments to the Privy Purse from the Duchy of Lancaster went up from £110,000 in 1952–53 to £300,000 in 1970. It is no good saying that these are private estates. The Duchy of Cornwall is run as a public estate and presents annual details to this House. The Chancellor of the Duchy is answerable in this House.

We received evidence to this effect. I elicited the information. This is a public estate and should be recognised as such. At present it is just a charade that is being performed. By this charade the Queen is presumed to give it back, along with the revenues from it, at the beginning of the reign, but this is simply a nonsense designed for the apologists of the Monarchy. They have always produced this argument, but it does not stand up.

Many facts and figures have been bandied about, but the debate does not revolve around facts and figures. Some hon. Members have said that the Monarchy should be above party, but it is not. [Interruption.] I mentioned in evidence an incident shortly after the 1970 General Election. The present Prime Minister went to Chequers and arranged for President Nixon to visit him there. He also arranged for the Queen to be there at the same time. They had a photograph taken outside Chequers, and a week or two later that photograph appeared in an official Tory magazine. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] I have no doubt that it will feature in the American elections next November and perhaps in our next General Election as well.

My objection to the Monarchy is that it is at the apex of the class structure of our society. It is the top of the pecking order in our society, with everybody knowing his or her place in the order of things. It is indefensible in a democratic society in an age when we are increasingly approaching egalitarianism—we have a long way to go but it is the inevitable trend—for us to spend our time bolstering up a pinnacle of society in which we do not believe, which it ill-becomes my party to support and which I for one, whatever anybody else does, will vote against on every possible occasion in opposition to these provisions.

7.55 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

The speech of the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) was entirely predictable and if there was anything calculated to convert one into a monarchist, it was his remarks.

I do not believe that the hon. Gentleman represents anyone but himself on this subject or that the majority of people in even his own constituency share his views, because he was clearly calling for a complete demolition of the Monarchy —[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—the Queen and the Royal Family. It flowed from his desire to refuse them finance, that they would be unable to carry out the duties of a Monarchy.

The right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) refused to give way to me when he was trying to equate what was being proposed here with the increases proposed for hon. Members. He said that whereas hon. Members had been asked to give information about their outside incomes and had done so, the Queen when asked to do so had refused.

The right hon. Gentleman should be aware that hon. Members were not asked to reveal their outside incomes. I filled in one of the forms about which he spoke. Hon. Members were asked on a voluntary basis to state what incomes they were getting from other professions. They were not asked what private incomes they had. There is, therefore, no analogy between hon. Members being asked to declare their professional incomes to a private Committee—which this was not, now that it has reported—and the details which the right hon. Gentleman wanted to have disclosed. Neither hon. Members nor people outside know what we answered on the forms that were supplied to hon. Members. The right hon. Gentleman was, therefore, being misleading in his remarks on this subject.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

Every witness before the Committee was warned that the evidence would be taken down but the Chairman agreed that if there was anything to which a witness took objection that would be sidelined and his agreement to this course would not be unreasonably withheld. Certain matters were withheld and anyone, including the Queen herself, could have reported to the Committee in the utmost privacy.

Mr. Lewis

I accept that. The fact remains that the evidence put on paper by hon. Members for submission to the Boyle Committee was not subject to public scrutiny or the scrutiny of this House.

I was interested in what the hon. Member for Fife, West said about the Select Committee being closed and not open to the public or to hon. Members. That is only half correct. It was open to hon. Members and I attended the Committee's first sitting. I sat and listened although there were not any witnesses present. The Chairman of the Committee was extremely courteous, and, after certain discussions with his clerk and others, he left me alone to enjoy the first meeting, which I did.

I went to the second meeting and was accompanied by the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English). By that time the Chairman and members of the Committee had obviously discussed what they would do. We had quoted at us a passage from page 635 of Erskine May about the admission of strangers. We were told by the Chairman in the friendliest manner that we were perfectly entitled, as hon. Members, to be there—that hon. Members could attend a meeting of that kind; it seemed that there were no rules against our being present, unless the Government laid an order before the House saying that hon. Members should not attend.

We were asked if we would leave because one of two things would happen if we stayed; either the Committee would adjourn, which I gathered would be the result of our staying, or we would be allowed to stay but there would be a great deal of embarrassment. Having been treated in such a civilised manner, and not wishing to create any embarrassment, we left.

I do not regret having attended the Committee's deliberations because it was made clear that unless the Executive states its wish that hon. Members should be debarred we are entitled to attend. While there may not be similar occasions involving the Civil List, I hope that in future the Executive will lay such orders before the House if it does not want hon. Members to attend such meetings.

Mr. Barber

My hon. Friend has been fair in the way that he has put his case, but I must correct him on one matter. It was not the wish of the Executive that my hon. Friend should leave. It was the wish of the majority of an all-party Committee that he should do so.

Mr. Lewis

Perhaps instead of referring to the Executive I should have referred to the usual channels. Certainly I enjoyed seeing the usual channels sitting together and displaying a certain amount of amity, which may not always be reflected on the Floor of the House.

I believe that most people are in favour of the Monarchy and of providing the money that it requires to do its job. The question is whether the Monarchy is expensive. I do not believe that it is. I believe that it is cheap at the price. Earlier today the Chancellor announced that he is to give away about £130 million in post-war credits.

Hon. Members

Give away?

Mr. Lewis

Yes. It is even more of a give-away operation than most tax concessions, because it is a repayment of money that was paid in tax many years ago. Usually when the Chancellor reduces taxes the reduction relates to future levels of tax. The money now to be paid out was obtained from taxes paid many years ago. I shall be a beneficiary, and I thank my right hon. Friend for paying these post-war credits, but if we relate that sum to the sum that we are being asked to agree to today, £1 million, we realise that the Monarchy is cheap at the price.

The hon. Member for Fife, West said that the money we are providing for the Monarchy ought to be given instead to old-age pensioners. He knows that next week Members are to receive an increase in salary. The increase may be justified for many hon. Members who have no other income. I, for one, could do without it, but I believe that there are hon. Members who need the extra money. I shall pay tax on the extra money.

The hon. Gentleman could argue that nobody should receive any more money because old-age pensioners need more. We all know that these old people need more money, particularly at Christmas time. It could be argued that Members' salaries should not be increased because old-age pensioners need the money. The hon. Gentleman has an easy remedy to back his argument. He can refuse to accept the increase when it is proffered to him. He can offer it to the Chancellor and ask him to distribute it to old-age pensioners, or he can distribute it himself.

I do not believe that the Monarchy is an expensive institution. Is it justified? If there were not a Monarchy, there would be a republic. That would mean changing our constitution, and it would lead to increased costs, because no large republic of which I know is as cheap as the British Monarchy.

What we are really debating is the question asked by the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton): is the existing method the right one for dealing with the Royal Household? I think that the right hon. Gentleman has a point, but I do not altogether agree with him, and I shall tell him why in a moment. The Royal Household is run as cheaply as possible, and if there were a Department of State it would do two things. First, it would upset the existing relationship between the people, Parliament and the Monarch, which might be described as a kind of friendly remoteness. Second, there would be a continuous debate in the House on any proposals for increasing the amount of money to meet increases in wages and the rising costs of other items in the Royal Household. Indeed, I hesitate to think what it would be like if the hon. Member for Fife, West were able to debate this matter nearly every year.

It is interesting to note from the Report of the Select Committee the increases that have taken place in all those items that are not in the Civil List but have been transferred to various Departments. I shall not itemise them, but the increase in the cost of several of those items is much greater than that of many items in the Civil List. Costs in respect of the Royal yacht, the maintenance of palaces, and so on, have increased to a greater extent than those provided for in the Civil List. If the Civil List were brought under a Department of State—if the Queen were nationalised, as it were—costs would escalate even more.

Most hon. Members have referred to the Queen's wealth. I take a rather different view from that expressed by some of my hon. Friends. As this matter has been raised by the Committee, and as there is obviously some mystery about it, perhaps I should make my position clear. I take the view that there should continue to be privacy in this matter. I do not think that the Queen should be asked to disclose her private wealth. It must be accepted, however, that if a sizeable sum is involved it will grow at a considerable rate if no taxes are paid on it.

I do not think that the constitution should be changed so that the Queen pays tax. I do not think that she should pay estate duty, either. But I wonder whether the Queen and her advisers would consider putting some of the income from investments into some form of trust for the Commonwealth, or for the benefit of public, rather than give it back to the Treasury in the form of tax.

Now that the matter has been raised, I think that it would be in the interests of the Monarchy as a whole to add to the answer given to the Committte and, if possible, to do something to dispel the disquiet which has been expressed in this House and in the Press, and which can, I think, fairly be said to be felt by not only those who express themselves, as the hon. Member for Fife, West does, as Republicans, but by many people who certainly would not want to change the Monarchy.

I believe that this institution has provided great benefits for this country and for the Commonwealth. It is very highly regarded. In days when there are more republics than monarchies, it stands out as an example of permanence, and I think that the present holder of the office, having regard to the way in which she suddenly found herself the Queen of this realm, is to be congratulated upon the way in which she has carried out her duties. I hope, therefore, that we shall do what the Government are asking and that she will be able to carry out these duties in future feeling that she is not in any way financially embarrassed.

8.10 p.m.

Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)

I thought I had better say a word about this because I have been asked in correspondence why my signature was not on the end of the Select Committee's Report. The fact is that the Committee was set up early in the year and the Chancellor of the Exchequer optimistically thought that he could get the matter out of the way by the time the House rose in July. He went through a period of disenchantment, not only because of my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), but because of others as well.

There is no doubt that when the Committee started it did so on the assumption that this would be 1952 all over again. There was a feeling in the Committee that, of course, the evidence would not be published; that decision was left to the end. The feeling was, "It was not done in 1952, so why do it now?" Of course, it seemed to me that the official Treasury thinking was that we could simply take the figure for 1952, allow for inflationary escalation and fill in an appropriate figure for 1970 or 1971, and that would settle the matter. It did not happen that way. The Committee was a very good committee on both sides. There was a great deal of cross-examination.

I want to say something now about my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West. He may resent what is said by hon. Members opposite, but I do not think that he will find anything I say unwelcome. I ask hon. Members opposite to remember, when he speaks, that he was for six years the Chairman of the Estimates Committee. To a degree we all live on public funds, so we should not be too sensitive. I do not think that royalty should be too sensitive either. My hon. Friend has put in a terriffic amount of work on this. No one can doubt the degree of scholarship he has brought to bear on the subject. His type of person in the history of this House has always fulfilled a function.

Let us look back over the history of the Monarchy itself. Even the view taken by Earl Attlee about the Monarchy was a rather stuffy view, which would not be tolerated now, not even, I believe, by the Royal Family. Or let us recall 1910 and the goings-on then. The behaviour of royalty of those days would not be accepted by the public today. In effect royalty yields to the passing scene and to the changing climate.

I want now to come to the proposal for having Royal Commissioners. The idea was taken completely from the set-up of having Commissioners of the House. These Commissioners were appointed between 1812 and 1847 and—believe it or not—prior to the insttiution of the Services Committee those Ministers whose offices were extant in 1812 were Commissioners of the House. Their appointments reflected changing climates.

In those days, Mr. Speaker used to sell the gold plate back to himself and also had a share in private litigation—things which you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, would not tolerate today. Yet they reflected the climate of the day. It was this sort of thing which brought about the appointment of Commissioners of the House. It seems to me that if we were to set up a body of Crown Commissioners to whom the whole knowledge of royalty would be given, it would be far better to give give such a body, which would be a trustee body, some of the Queen's private wealth. This would have been an effective answer to my hon. Friend.

But, of course, this sort of thing applies to everything that we touch. We all yield to changing climate all the time. It so happens that I had accepted in the expectation that the Select Committee deliberations would be over by last July, an assignment to go on a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association visit to New Zealand—and even that had to be put back for the Common Market vote, so eventually I arrived a day too late to take part in the voting. But at least I speak with a little extra authority because I have listened to the evidence.

Because I am interested in this matter I, too, have had a fan mail. Although not as large as that of my hon. Friend, it reflects what lie has said. No one is grumbling about the Queen but there is considerable grumbling and alarm about what has occurred with regard to the other members of the Royal Family. The figures are set out on page XV. These are some of the categories: Younger sons at age 18 and before marriage… Younger sons after marriage… Daughters at age 18 and before marriage… Daughters after marriage… There is almost a Gilbert and Sullivan quality about this. People think that this is quite ridiculous. That view is shared by a number of journals, including the Spectator, which is not left-wing. It had this to say: But much more questionable than the Queen's Civil List are the state pensions dished out to the other royals. The amounts are peculiar, and large—in most cases sums excessively greater than salaries paid to the Prime Minister, or to heads of nationalised industries, are proposed. A great deal of the public activity of these royals is opening things and eating things. Much publicity and commercial value is attached to functions where royalty is present. I do not see why the organisers of such functions should not pay the royal dukes and duchesses, princes and princesses, earls and so forth appropriate fees. I do not go as far as that, but that indicates that the Spectator can use language on this issue not dissimilar from that used by my hon. Friend, which shows that there is a degree of alarm.

Royalty will only prosper to the degree at which it enjoys the increasing respect of all of us here, and when there is an element of charade, which is what we have here, then the feeling of respect for royalty itself will fall.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Select Committee. I only got up tonight to justify how necessary I think it is to have a body of Crown Commissioners to look after this sort of thing. I think that the Government have made a great mistake by standing on the same old rampart. Presumably the Chancellor said that he had been convinced by Her Majesty or the people close to her and they refused this quite reasonable request.

If we divide at the end of the debate, it is because we must, because it is fundamental within our party itself that we do not just give out largesse like this with no effective check. I think that Parliament is a respecting and respectable institution. We should remember also that the whole truth was not told before the Select Committee. Nothing was said about the continual transfers to Votes since 1952. The situation has been represented as though nothing had been done since 1952. I am all in favour of Her Majesty being given what my hon. Friend called "the rate for the job", and I would not have the office played down at all, but I do not think that this report, taken as a whole, is sensible unless we agree to the Amendment.

8.20 p.m.

Mr. John Stokes (Oldbury and Halesowen)

I am glad indeed to have been called after listening for over four hours to other hon. Members, because I am one of those Englishmen who like the Monarchy very dearly. I was somewhat puzzled, after reading the excellent report and in view of the care that had been taken, to hear many of the remarks made today by hon. Member's opposite.

We were treated earlier to what I can only call a dazzling display in psychological warfare by the right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman). I listened particularly carefully to his words because I know he is an exceedingly clever man and a very good writer, and he is editor of a magazine. In the course of his remarks he said that he represented a large number of car workers. I also, in my constituency, represent a large number of car workers. It was the votes of those people and of many other working people who sent me here. I take the trouble, as I am sure the right hon. Gentleman does also, to see those people regularly both at their places of work and at their leisure on Friday and Saturday evenings, and all I can say is that in my experience the royalism of car workers in my constituency is a good deal warmer than apparently is the royalism of some of the workers in Coventry.

There have been occasions in this debate when I felt that if such a detailed scrutiny had been made 100 years or so ago, there would have been something of a bedchamber crisis. There certainly would have been if some hon. Members opposite had been in the Government. I appeal to those moderate hon. Members opposite who must still have a spark of chivalry in their hearts that will, I hope, prevent them from prying too deeply into the control of the Royal Household. [Laughter] An hon. Member laughs. Let me bring it down to a much humbler plane. Let us imagine that he and I were to submit our wives to the same kind of public scrutiny about how they used their housekeeping money.

I believe that one of the least attractive traits in the British people is that they can get public service on the cheap, whether from the Monarchy, from noble Lords in another place or from us, the faithful Commons; and I know that many hon. Members dread the debate on their own emoluments next week.

Mr. Albert Booth (Barrow-in-Furness)


Mr. Stokes

I have waited a long time and many other hon. Members want to speak.

Mr. Booth

So have some hon. Members on this side.

Mr. Stokes

These things are ordered differently in other countries, where usually much more generous provision is made for public service. The prime purpose of the Civil List, as I understand it, is to pay for the upkeep of the Monarchy; and I believe I share the view of most other people in this country in that I do not want there to be one penny less provided in order that we may maintain those ceremonies and that order which for so long have been the hallmark of English monarchy. I was privileged to witness the recent State visit of a foreign potentate. I believe hon. Members in all parts of the House will agree that there is not another country in the world that can hold a candle to us in Royal ceremonies of that kind.

We have heard before that our Monarchy is much cheaper than a presidency, and its cost is much less than the revenue which the State receives from the Crown lands. One cannot read the report all through, as I have done, without being overwhelmed by the dedication to duty shown by the Queen. My immediate reaction on reading that long report was that the Royal Family was cheap at the price and marvellous value for money. I find it very hard that the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) with whom I have served on Committees and who is, I believe, at heart a kindly man, should have made such a vile attack against certain Royal personages who are unable to defend them selves. That can only leave a very nasty taste in the mouth.

Of course, the Monarchy is not just matter of money or hard cash. It represents a vital strand in our national life, an imperishable link with the past and something which I believe is of incalculable benefit to the nation. I am glad to see that we have a distinguished historian on the Opposition Front Bench at the moment, but I believe a fearful struggle may be taking place in the breasts of some hon. Members opposite, because they are faced with an awful dilemma as a result of their Socialist and egalitarian principles. On the one hand they are bound to dislike the hereditary principle, privilege, tradition and the archaic nature of much of the ceremony. But on the other hand they know that the Monarchy and everything for which it stands is extremely popular with the public at large. I am certainly glad that I do not have that conflict within my breast and I shall vote, if there is a vote tonight, for the Motion without any trimming or equivocation.

8.25 p.m.

Mr. Michael English (Nottingham, West)

I hope that hon. Members opposite will get it clear that we are not really arguing about the Monarchy versus a republic president. I do not believe even my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) said that he wanted to get rid of the Queen. On the contrary, he was quite proud of the fact that he was offering her a pay increase. Let us be quite clear what we are arguing about. I thought at the beginning that this was to be a debate in which the Front Benches were putting us in the position of arguing a narrow point. The great difference between my right hon. Friend and the right hon. Gentleman opposite appeared to be whether we should decide on the amount the Queen is to cost every year or every 10 years. I began to think we would spend the whole day's debate on a very narrow point because that, technically, is what will be before the House when my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) moves his Amendment.

Fortunately, as sometimes happens in this House, back benchers on both sides who have spoken seems to have rescued the debate from the possibility that it would be confined within that channel; but something else I expected has occurred. We have had a lot of strange, distorted history from back benchers on both sides and we have had a lot of strange arguments.

The hon. Member for Windsor (Dr. Glyn) mentioned the Crown estates. People often mention things like the Crown estates and they assume that they are something the Monarchy voluntarily gives away every reign. There are many things that we do by precedent in the House which could be argued to be voluntary, but we have been doing them for a long time. There is nothing which says that we should have a Chaplain to come to Prayers, save that in 1558, when Queen Elizabeth I came to the Throne, Parliament wanted to demonstrate, contrary to the law, that it was going to be Protestant, although Parliament had not passed the Act in that Parliament.

Let us get it clear that the Queen does not give up the Crown estates. If she gives anything up, she gives up lands which have come to be called the Crown estate. She does not give up the Duchy of Lancaster. Some £300,000 was paid from it into the Privy Purse—not the part of the Civil List; that relates to the payment of employees—free of tax in the last period for which accounts are available. The Queen has not given that up. To whom has she given it? It is not a piece of personal estate, because the personal estate of the Monarchy is not published. If it were personal estate, it would have been retained, presumably, by the Duke of Windsor when he abdicated. Furthermore, in the absence of a will, it would have eventually descended not to the Queen alone but to the Queen and her sister, such are the inheritance laws of the country.

We have here a piece of public land that goes with the Crown. It is not inherited by a private person.

Dr. Glyn

The hon. Member is quite wrong. I refer to a Question I put to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 8th June, in which I asked what was the income from all the hereditary revenue surrendered by the Sovereign in exchange for the Civil List. The answer was given that it was in the neighbourhood of £5½ million. That is surrendered for the Civil List and it has been for a very long time. All that I was wishing to show the House was that if the Monarch took that amount of money she would be far better off than under the Civil List arrangements.

Mr. English

One could say the same thing about Customs. At one time Customs were granted to the Crown for life, but we stopped doing that in the reign of Charles I. In the reign of George III we stopped doing what the hon. Gentleman was talking about and stopped leaving the Crown with certain lands.

Another point about it is that if the hon. Member deliberately limits his question to lands which were surrendered instead of including those which were not, the only legal distinction between what is called Crown estate and what is called the Duchy of Lancaster is that one is not being kept by the Queen and the other is. That is the difference between them in this context.

The debate has come to centre upon the basic point of whether the Queen and members of the Royal Family can have their cake and eat it. Do they want to be treated for official purposes as officials, for which I agree entirely that they should not pay a penny out of their private sources? Do they want to be treated for private purposes as private persons? If so, I agree that no one should inquire what they do with their money, any more than people inquire what we do with ours. But they should pay tax on it.

The basic point of the debate is whether the Royal Family are to have all the benefits of being Royals and none of the disadvantages. That is what it amounts to. For example, we do not know what the Queen's fortune is. I do not particularly want to know, nor do I want to know the personal wealth of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But I am satisfied that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister pay tax on their wealth. I am satisfied that when it is inherited by a person other than a Monarch, tax is paid upon it. Estate duty is not paid upon it in the case of the Monarchy. We do not even know what it is. No Royal will has been published since the reign of George III. That is carrying secrecy a little far.

I do not see why we should not know about Queen Victoria's will for example. I imagine that every possible recipient or legatee under it is now dead. We now have a 30-year rule for publication of most documents. We should come around to publications of this character. This is an application of the principle. The principle is that Royal wills will not be published because they are Royal wills. The Royal estates will not be taxed because they are Royal estates. But Royal servants will not be paid for by the Monarch because they are Royal servants. They will be paid for by the taxpayer. That is where the provision goes too far.

The Monarchy should be treated as what it is, the official, ancient, highly respected by all parties and all persons, Head of State of the community in which we live, which, by a historical process, although it was once elected, has come to be an hereditary Monarchy, and which should have all its expenses paid for in the ordinary way by the taxpayer. But, since private persons hold offices, be they ancient or modern, the holders of those offices should be treated as private persons whose private fortunes and private income should not be inquired into, provided they accept the same obligations as everyone else in the community and pay the taxation imposed upon the whole community by the Parliament of which the Queen as well as ourselves is a part.

8.35 p.m.

Mrs. Peggy Fenner (Rochester and Chatham)

I am very pleased to catch the eye of the Chair. I had wondered with some diffidence whether it was fair that yet another member of the Select Committee should speak in the debate. I was privileged to serve on the Committee with distinguished hon. Members who were in the House in 1952, when the Civil List Act determined the level of provision contained in paragraph 2 of our Report.

I began my service in the Select Committee with no preconceived notion beyond what I estimated to be a good, cross-section view of the majority of people—admiration for the job done by the Monarch and the Royal Family. It is always a presumption to make guesses about the majority view. Even the opinion polls have failed from time to time to make accurate predictions. But I have been confirmed in my assumptions today by the comments of the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton), who said that many of his supporters were monarchists, and by the right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Cross-man), who said that his supporters, too, are monarchists, even if he added "in a strange sense".

It seemed to me, as I took my part in the Select Committee, that I required to be satisfied by the evidence on three criteria. First, I needed to be satisfied that there was a sustained and increasing wish of the Parliament and people for royal attendance at and participation in a wide range of events and functions at home and abroad. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has referred to the weight of evidence of the burden placed upon the Monarchy and the Royal Family, and that criterion was fully met by the weight of evidence set out in paragraph 17 and at length and in detail in Annex III, which also shows the great support for the Queen given by other members of the Royal Family. Clearly, a Monarch could not sustain the enormous number of engagements without the support and participation of other members of the Royal Family. It would not be humanly possible. I am obliged to my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) for putting the matter in the context of history and reminding us that we have not merely a Monarch but a constitutional Royal Family.

The wide and democratic range of those engagements I accept as clear evidence of the wish of Parliament and people for the sustained and increasing rôle of the Monarchy. Since 1952 while that rôle has been performed there has been an increase of 126 per cent. in average wage rates and an increase of 74 per cent. in consumer prices. Although it was obviously the intention of the Civil List Act, 1952, to provide wholly for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, as far as could be seen, the range and scope of the role of the Monarch and her family, combined with the extraordinarily inflationary spiral, has inevitably rendered the provision inadequate. This is graphically demonstrated by Statement II. The hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett)—and I am sorry to have to refer to him when he is not present—would argue with me that the scale of increase in staff applies only to the work done as it were in the rôle of the Monarchy in respect of State occasions and so on. I regard the case as being clearly made with a rise from £196.000 in respect of salary scales to £448,000 in 1971.

I accept that the mere proof of expenditure is not of necessity proof that the expenditure is necessary. Again I required another criteria and that was to be assured that the organisation was run with business efficiency. There was clear evidence from Sir Basil Smallpeice on page 19 that the Organisation and Methods Division at the Treasury had been at work inside the Palace and that the implementation of its recommendations had assured budgetary control and cost effectiveness. It seems that the criteria of the rôle, sustained and increasing, of the Monarchy has been made and that business efficiency and cost effectiveness have been applied to the organisation in the Palace.

The rate of inflation cannot be gainsaid, and I will not be drawn into any arguments about whose fault it is. It is clear that since 1952 there has been an extraordinary inflationary spiral. Given the rôle that the job demands, given the rate of inflation, given the business efficiency and cost effectiveness, all of which I find well proven, the provision is inadequate and requires to be increased. This inadequacy was accepted by the majority of the Committee and the point at issue was how adequate provision could be made. Much of our debate has turned on the proposals put forward by the Chancellor and the counter-proposals put forward by the right hon. Member for Sowerby.

I could not accept the solution of the right hon. Gentleman. At first sight it seems a reasonable idea. After all, as has been pointed out, £2,500,000 plus the £50,000 from the Post Office already come on the Vote, and what we are seeking is that the last £980,000 recommended by the Committee should not come on to the Vote in this House. To me that last £980,000 is granted because therein lies the difference between the Monarchy and all that our traditional and historical Monarchy stands for and a mere Head of State.

The proposal for a Department of the Crown, while I understand it and accept the sincere way in which it has been put forward by the right hon. Gentleman, would emasculate and diminish the rôle of the Monarchy. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman seeks to do that, but I would not say that some of his supporters behind him do not. I recognise only too well that he had to put forward a proposal which meets the views of the fringe republicans in his party, and he has my sympathy there.

I make this point particularly because during the Divisions that arose on the proposals of the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) I noted with interest that the right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members on his Front Bench registered a "No vote". I cannot believe that some of the comments made by the hon. Member for Fife, West find an echo in their hearts. I believe that what I detect in the comments of the right hon. Gentleman is a sincere wish that we should continue with our constitutional Monarchy and a sincere searching for the best way in which this should be done. In my view such emasculation and diminution of the rôle of the Monarchy as would follow the setting-up of such a Department of the Crown is not the majority wish of the people and it is certainly not mine.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Richard Crawshaw (Liverpool, Toxteth)

It is true to say that as many institutions have been destroyed by those who sought to support them as by those who opposed them. That is why I make my contribution tonight. I do not want to vie with hon. Members in professing loyalty to the Monarch, I hope that goes without saying, but there is justifiable criticism at the present time. Some Ministers have not done their job properly, either because they were over-ruled by the Monarch or were not sensitive to public opinion.

If anyone were to ask me whether I thought the Monarchy was worth £1 million or £5 million, I should say that if it costs £10 million it is worth £10 million. But we must show that the system under which the Monarchy operates is a fair system, and that is why I cannot support what has been put forward by so many hon. Gentlemen on the Government side of the House. They fail to appreciate that a person with a private source of income which is not taxed is in a different position altogether from the rest of the population. If it is the belief that the Monarchy will continue whilst this archaic rule continues, I can understand them supporting it, but I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) that in the foreseeable future there is no alternative to a Monarchy, and I hope that there will never be an alternative.

I am not so complacent about that, because members of the public are appalled that there should be a source of income which is not disclosed, even to a Committee. I say that that is all right if that is the way the Monarchy requires it, but there should also be an obligation on the Monarch to provide funds out of that source of income. That source of income should be disclosed, and I believe that it will be disclosed in the next few years. I hope Ministers will pay regard to this, because it is essential that the public should see that the system is being run fairly whether it applies to the ordinary individual or to the Monarch.

Hon. Members are deceiving themselves if they think that what has been disclosed by the Committee has not brought considerable criticism from many members of the public which they are entitled to have expressed in the House. I hope that I am helping in that way.

The second point with which I wish to deal refers to the other members of the Royal Family. I make no personal issue on this. There are many members of the Royal Family for whom I have the highest regard and who have carried out, as Her Majesty has done, a difficult task in a way which is a credit not only to themselves personally but to the institution they represent. We have listened to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) giving details of the people who are maintained by the Royal Households, but we are living in 1971, and people are questioning these things.

The hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) will know that it is not only about the Monarchy that questions are being asked when formerly there was none. He will know that the Church of which he is a member is also in these modern times subjected to questions. People are not prepared today to support ad lib either a Monarchy or the Church without question. I intend to put certain questions because the Monarchy means as much to me as it does to hon. Members opposite.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am following the hon. Member's argument closely, but he should know that the various officials mentioned by the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) are honorary positions. They may be archaic, but they are not costing anybody anything.

Mr. Crawshaw

I would like to accept what the hon. Gentleman said, and, of course, many are honorary positions, but others are not. If the hon. Gentleman is trying to suggest that they are all honorary positions, then why are we now allocating this amount of money? I think I am entitled to an answer.

I was about to refer to other members of the Royal Family. I believe the days have gone when whole retinues of royal families were supported at public expense. It does no credit to the Royal Family. I do not believe many of them wish it to happen to them. We know that there are members of the Royal Family who have made their mark in the outside world. If members of the Royal Family are not entitled to involve themselves in industry, and so on, it seems rather remarkable that one or two of them do so. With the greatest respect to them, I should have thought that, with all their advantages from the point of view of social upbringing, education, and their association with people in industry, if they cannot make their mark in the outside world, then nobody can. I do not say this out of disrespect to any of them. I say this because this system which most of us wish to support will be destroyed not by people like my hon. Friend for Fife, West, but by people who have a sense of loyalty which is completely misplaced and which allows of no criticism of the Royal Family.

My sense of loyalty means that, if I have a criticism of somebody, then I feel I have a right to say he is wrong. I believe that Her Majesty is wrong on this particular issue. I believe that it will bring discredit to the Monarchy, and I feel that, unless this matter is rectified, it will ultimately destroy the Monarchy. I believe that this is an important issue because the Monarchy is important to this country. This debate is important because things have been said which I believe ought to have been said many years ago. I only hope that sufficient regard will be paid to what has been said in this debate today.

8.54 p.m.

Captain Walter Elliot (Carshalton)

Those of us who support a democratic system must agree with the hon. Member for Liverpool, Toxteth (Mr. Crawshaw) that proper criticism, made in a reasonable manner, can do nothing but strengthen any institution at which it is directed, including the Monarchy. The hon. Gentleman's manner was persuasive simply because he put his arguments reasonably.

I wish to look at another aspect of the debate which is set out in paragraph 16 on page XXXV of the Committee's report dealing with the Queen's official duties. Paragraph 17 goes into those in a little more detail. It refers, for example, to the burden of reading papers, receiving large numbers of important people, Privy Councillors, investitures, and so on. Those are important and arduous duties, but they represent only a part of the institution of the Monarchy.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said: The Royal Household is quite different from a Government Department. It is part of our history, our constitution and way of life. I agree entirely.

The right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) said that there was nothing personal to the Monarch in his proposals. I accept that, of course. But the importance in his proposals is not the extent to which they affect the Monarch but the extent to which they affect the institution of the Monarchy.

Having said that, the right hon. Gentleman went on to ask What sort of Monarchy should it be? That is the real point of his proposals. I was surprised to hear the right hon. Gentleman say, immediately afterwards: The degree of glamour that we give to the Monarch is to be decided by the House of Commons. I wondered why he should use the word "glamour" immediately after asking what sort of Monarchy it should be.

What did the right hon. Gentleman mean by that? If he meant the style in which the Monarch lives or the duties set out in paragraph 17 of the report, there is some truth in saying that the House of Commons decides the amount of glamour. But that is only part of the Monarchy. As we know, there is an aura, an influence and a respect built round the Monarch. I shall not go into the reasons why that should be so. It is the case, and it is important. As a result, the Monarchy tends to unify and form a rallying point for the nation. It exerts a persuasive and pervasive influence.

Was the right hon. Gentleman referring to that influence when he used the word "glamour"? I suspect that he was. If he was, I must tell him that that is not decided by the House of Commons. In the past, there has been criticism of the way in which this influence has been exerted. By that, I do not necessarily mean criticism of the present Monarchy. I mean criticism of others. The criticism has been directed at the Palace authorities, as the right hon. Gentleman called them. Constitutionally these people are called irresponsible because they are not elected, and it may be that that criticism was justified in the past.

It has been suggested many times that the Palace authorities, again to use the right hon. Gentleman's expression, should come from a cross-section of the nation. I confess that that suggestion seems reasonable. The obvious purpose is for people from different sections of the nation to exert differing influences on the Monarch and the Monarchy. However, the right hon. Gentleman's proposal was not to do that. It was to bring all the Palace authorities under the control of the Government of the day. In my opinion, undoubtedly that would change the character of our Monarchy. It would tie the Monarchy much too tightly to the Government of the day and that, I believe, would be wrong. It could damage the Monarchy and in certain circumstances it could be dangerous for the nation.

For those reasons, I shall oppose the Opposition Amendment.

9.0 p.m.

Mr. John D. Grant (Islington, East)

Unlike so many right hon. and hon. Members who have spoken I am not a Privy Councillor, nor was I a member of the Select Committee. I do not have the personal and intimate knowledge which others have been able to display, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) with his knowledge of the Royal Bedchamber. However, I think I can bring to the debate what I should call a clean, fresh, untarnished brand of prejudice.

I intend to support the Amendment although I do not do so with any real enthusiasm. I also intend to go into the Lobby with those of my hon. Friends who described themselves as freebooters to oppose the Motion.

I am not enthusiastic about the Amendment because it does not satisfy me. Although I accept the logic of the argument advanced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) about the need for a Department of State which would at least make the Monarchy more directly accountable to this House, the Amendment does not really go far enough for me.

Fundamentally I believe in democracy, which means that I cannot accept the hereditary principle; but I accept that the future of the Monarchy is not in any way at issue at this point. The vast majority of people are either content with the system or possibly disinterested in it, although there are the minority views of the enthusiastic loyalists and people who would like to see the system abolished.

Much of the ground that I would have covered has already been covered. I was the first Member to be called after the Chancellor made the announcement about the appointment of the Select Committee, and I posed two questions to him. I asked, first, whether in view of the fog surrounding the Royal finances it would be possible for the Committee to sit in public and, secondly, whether the vast private income of the Royal Family would be examined by the Committee. On the first point we have already heard that despite the efforts of hon. Members from this side of the House in the Select Committee, the majority party demurred.

One result is that running through the report we have those rather irritating gaps where witnesses presumably requested that certain items should be kept secret.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. William Whitelaw)

Perhaps I can help the hon. Gentleman. I think that he exaggerates the position very much indeed. The evidence has been published and remarkably few parts have been taken out. That has been generally accepted by Members who served on the Committee.

Mr. Grant

That may be so. If the Committee had sat in public, these misgivings would not have arisen in the minds of hon. Members.

On the second point which I raised, concerning an examination of the whole of the Royal income, the Chancellor was unsympathetic. In my view the Committee subsequently failed to secure anything worthwhile—that has been amply demonstrated tonight—in terms of knowledge of the size and extent of the private fortune. In that respect the fog remains.

For the hon. Member for Windsor (Dr. Glyn) to call the report a comprehensive document was, to put it mildly, somewhat misleading. All that we know with certainty, where the fog has been lifted, is that this large private fortune rests to a considerable degree on tax concessions. Those of us who argued that way have been fully vindicated because we have learned—this is the most valuable piece of information to come from the inquiry —that the Queen pays no income tax, surtax, capital gains tax or estate duty. The whole of her income is tax-free. Many people go abroad to get that kind of benefit. What that has meant in cash terms to the Royal fortune over the years we are in no position to know.

The Lord Chamberlain talked about "wild exaggeration" of the Royal fortune. I should have thought that the best way to deal with exaggeration and rumour on any occasion is to tell the truth about it, otherwise people are bound to conclude that there is something that somebody wants to hide. In the circumstances, the Lord Chamberlain's reply to the Committee was more than simply unsatisfactory. In my view, it was nothing short of insulting to people who, after all, had been elected to do a job for this House and were trying to do that job to the best of their ability.

The point was probably most succinctly put by my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett) —who in a letter to The Times said that, without the relevant information, a responsible Parliament should not approve one penny more or less". I am sure that he was right anyway about not providing a penny more in those circumstances. I accept that if the nation wants a Queen—I believe that the nation does—she should be properly provided for. But it is surely reasonable that the full cost to the taxpayer, including these tax concessions, should be fully known.

The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) said that this was totally irrelevant because it had gone on for 200 years. If that is the basis on which the House operates, the sooner that hon. Members with that kind of view take off to other occupations—I take this opportunity to wish the right hon. Gentleman well—the better, because this is the kind of attitude which we should get away from.

We have yet to know why these tax concessions are allowed anyway. What is the principle behind it? I have not heard it explained tonight. What is the cause of them other than outdated tradition and custom? It is regrettable that the Chancellor failed to deal with this and I hope that the Leader of the House will do so.

There is something else that we must get straight. Talk of a million-pound monarchy is sheer baloney. Hon Members on both sides agree with that although for different reasons. The Civil List, of course, is just one very small part of the cost of the Monarchy. We have heard about the real bill in direct costs being another £3 million or so on things like the Royal yacht, free post and telephones, maintenance of palaces, and so on. But there are additional costs which have to be borne either by the taxpayer or by the ratepayer. Every time that a member of the Royal Family pays an official visit, heavy costs are incurred. There is all the paint, all the "bull" all the red carpet treatment—and it all costs public money.

Whatever the affection for the Queen in the country, I do not think that people go along with all the trappings and trimmings which go with the Monarchy on the present grand British scale or see them as necessary or either socially or economically desirable in the 1970s—any more than I accept what the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Capt. W. Elliot) said about the reading of State papers, which is in the evidence of Sir Michael Adeane.

I do not see what possible difference it makes to the nation whether the Queen reads State papers daily or not. I do not know what decisions are made as a result. If, as we are told, she has to do this, she has my sympathy. But it is very hard to understand why it matters a jot whether she reads them or not. She would be better off with a quick précis of the morning papers, which might give her a better idea of what people were doing and thinking in the country that day.

The more I look at the report the more I wonder what it is all about. I accept that overseas visits, trips to hospitals and charity work are important, but so much of what goes on at the centre seems to centre around the same kind of people who attend garden parties—the diplomats, the civic dignitaries, and so on. We are told that this is all part of the necessary glamour and mystique, but I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West that much of this simply provides for an exercise in sycophancy.

Certainly much of what we have heard tonight from hon. Gentlemen opposite matches up to that. Indeed, at one point I thought that the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) would burst into the National Anthem. It is said that this sort of sycophantic exercise is harmless, but I doubt whether it is. It is too costly and it is not simply a question of the cost of the Queen, which brings us back to the subject of the cost of the whole Royal Family.

I am sure that some hon. Members have been right to draw the conclusion that members of the public are dissatisfied with the present arrangement. They cannot see the need for the extra cash for all these members of the Royal Family, whom my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West rightly described as hangers-on. When people look at these substantial increases for the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, the Duke of Gloucester and so on, they must feel that somebody is taking them for a ride, and perhaps it is the Keeper of the Privy Purse, Lord Tryon.

In all of this I prefer the view of my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West although I have reservations about some of the proposals which he made in his customary over-generous way. Lacking something more positive, I shall support the Amendment as a step in the right direction, albeit a small step. It should be said that it is a step which apparently the Queen herself has seen fit to oppose, and this is regrettable.

9.12 p.m.

Mr. J. Selwyn Gummer (Lewisham, West)

It has been noticeable that hon. Members on both sides have felt a sense of unease in discussing this subject.

Some have felt that, because of their principles, being rather more republican than monarchist, yet holding democratic views and recognising the popularity of the Monarchy, they are in a dilemma. Others, supporting the Monarchy wholeheartedly, find that in discussing the subject they must make comments about individual members of the Royal Family, thus making this not the sort of discussion in which they would wish to engage.

These last views have obviously been at the back of the minds of most hon. Members who have spoken, and their moderathe comments have, therefore, been particularly persuasive.

This basic unease leads one to believe that the Amendment has a major disadvantage. It must be agreed that anything which brings the Monarchy into the ambit of the party political change of Government which must arise should it become in any greater sense a Department of State is to be deplored for it would only mean our having this type of discussion more frequently.

While that may have been the general point to be made in speeches the point on which I wish to concentrate is about the Royal Family. Our Monarchy is unique in the sense that we have always believed it to be comprised not just of the Monarch but the Royal Family. One reason for its great popularity is that there is within this family a number of people who in different ways serve the nation.

One advantage of a Monarchy over the presidential system is that with a Royal Family one has a number of people with different interests and appeals. It is easy to make points about particular members of the Royal Family who are not as popular as others, in general, it is right to say that if someone believes that a Monarchy is valuable he must believe that a Monarchy which presents a Royal Family is considerably more valuable; and if that is so the Royal Family cannot be divided. It cannot be said that some members of it are suitable for jobs which arise while some are not. That is one of the drawbacks of the hereditary system. It means that provision must be made for all members of the Royal Family.

It was suggested by one moderate speaker on the benches opposite that some members of the Royal Family would be able to make their way in the world because they were the kind of people who had established considerable associations. I think that was the phrase used by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Toxteth (Mr. Crawshaw). I believe that that is one reason why it is important to protect the Monarch and the Royal Family from a situation in which associations which many feel ought not to be used would be used by them in the course of the business in which they would have to engage were they not provided for by the Civil List.

I do not believe that in the context of this debate it would have been necessary to discuss in such detail the position of the Royal Family had it not been for the fact that it is on this aspect that so much of the criticism of the proposals before the House has been concentrated. The concentration of that criticism arises partly because of a misunderstanding of how the Monarchy works, and partly because some hon. Members do not wish to criticise the Monarch but wish to go some way towards criticising the institution.

Just as we must not be led astray into arguing the principle for and against the Monarchy, so we must not be led astray into suggesting that the Monarchy can be stripped of its mystique without losing something of the glamour which it clearly has. I cannot believe that a regular public searchlight on the details of the way in which the Royal finances are organised is a satisfactory means of going about things, and it is important that we should not feel it necessary to bring into the public light all that the Royal Family has from hereditary and historical revenue.

I cannot see the argument which suggests that there is a connection between the way in which we changed our Customs arrangements and the direct and straight deal that was done by the Monarch with the people whereby the Monarch exchanged hereditary lands for a regular sum of money. It may be that some people wish it had not happened, but it did.

In these circumstances it is wrong to criticise the concept of dealing with the Royal Family as a family, and not just as a Monarchy, and it is wrong to suggest that we should in some way make the Royal Family a political Department of State and thus bring it more clearly and directly into association with what must be party political Government.

9.19 p.m.

Mr. Roy Jenkins (Birmingham, Stechford)

The hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Selwyn Gummer) began by saying that there was some sense of unease about the debate, and I agree with him to the extent that I do not find this an enjoyable or exhilarating debate in which to take part, and the same comment applies to my experience of the sittings of the Select Committee as a whole. I prefer exchanging views with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the broader and wider issues of national finance rather than on personal finance as we have to do on this occasion. Nonetheless, the matter has been raised, and is before us, and we therefore have to put forward the views which we respectively hold with conviction as legislators who have to pronounce upon this matter.

There is, I suspect, some regret that this should in any way be a matter of party controversy, which it is to some extent, because there will be a Division on the Amendment, but in my view the blame for that rests upon the Government.

The drawings from the Duchy of Lancaster are up from £100,000 at the begin- ning of the reign to £300,000 at the present time, and I understand they will probably continue at that rate. The drawings from the Duchy of Cornwall, owing to the coming-of-age of the Prince of Wales but none the less substantially increasing the resources available to the family as a whole, are up from £10,000 at the beginning of the reign to £105,000.

Thus, so far the increase will not be from £475,000 to £980,000 but from £812,000 to £1,640,000. That is allowing for the other annunities as well as the Civil List and also for increased drawings from the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster. But beyond this there has, of course, since 1952 been a really enormous increase in the amount of Royal expenditure borne on Votes. In some cases, as I understand it, this represents new or expanded services which did not exist previounsly and in other cases a transfer of the cost of things which were there previously, and to this extent there has been a relief to the Civil List itself as time has gone on. In any event, expenditure borne on the Votes has increased from £343,000 in 1952–53 to £2,932,000 today and will continue at this level or higher in the future.

Looked at in this way, the increase in the total cost of the Monarchy from 1952 to next year under the proposed scheme will not be from £475,000 to £980,000 or even from £812,000 to £1,640,000, but from £1,240,000 to £4,714,000, an increase not of 106 per cent. but of 280 per cent. This compares with an increase in prices of about 100 per cent. during the same period and rises in wages and salaries of around about 200 per cent.

In fairness, I should say that I think this presentation slightly overrates the development of cost because travel costs in the widest sense of the word are the biggest item and have gone up from £87,000 to £1,789,000. I think that some proportion of the costs of the Queen's Flight, and possibly the Royal yacht too. would be there and would have to be provided for in some form, whatever the arrangements here.

Looking at costs—which broadly is the true way to do it subject to the reservation I have just made—on this basis shows three things: first, that the rise proposed is really, at the very least, generously proportionate to the rise in price level and cost which has gone on during the period of the reign, and probably quite a bit more; secondly, that transfers to Votes, which is the essence of my right hon. Friend's scheme, has been done, and done on a big scale, without disaster; and thirdly, that the maintenance of the Monarchy is now a fairly substantial item and a fairly substantial cost.

Comparisons made with the cost of the White House are not valid because the White House is part of the executive apparatus of the most powerful country in the world and involves a great deal else. The valid issue is not whether the Queen is cheaper than a president but whether the Queen is more suitable and preferable to the people of this country. On the whole, I believe that to be so. But there has been a substantial increase in cost and this may well mean that we should not assume that the informal and personal methods of control which have been appropriate in the past will necessarily be so in the future.

The Chancellor referred to the courtesy and good humour which prevailed throughout the Committee. I must say to him that he showed these two qualities himself to an outstanding degree. He was, in my view, a remarkably good-tempered Chairman. But at the same time at a fairly early stage, at any rate during the Summer Recess, he clearly decided that he was not going to get an agreed report and therefore he had better go for an imposed result. It was not his first draft but his second which he changed; but, having changed it, altered it and produced a second draft, he decided to stick pretty rigidly to that draft.

The Committee, as the House knows, divided very narrowly indeed, on the Second Reading proposal, for the alternate report of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton). It was defeated by only one vote; and had my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds. West (Mr. C. Pannell) not been fulfilling a long-standing Commonwealth engagement, the Chancellor would have had to use his casting vote in order to defeat my right hon. Friend's proposal; so it could not have been much narrower.

If agreement was desired, the Government ought surely to have paused at this stage and to have considered very hard whether the basis of their arrangement should not be reconsidered. But they did nothing of the kind. They pressed firmly ahead and got the Chancellor's report through by the use of their party majority on the Committee; and at this stage they preferred Divisions to arguments. I am bound to say Divisions had this to be said for them: they were quicker than argument although by their very nature they were, and were bound to be, divisive. The result was that there was very little change in the substance of the Chancellor's draft report although such changes as there were were in a direction which made it somewhat less acceptable to some of us.

Of course it cannot be denied, as my right hon. Friend pointed out with quotation and example this afternoon, that the report has aroused considerable public controversy and criticism outside. It is not the least surprising that this should be reflected in the House this afternoon. Indeed, in many ways the House has been more moderate and restrained than much of the criticism that there has been in the Press and much of the reaction from the public.

The size of the increase compared with the beginning of the reign is large. It is much larger than the £505,000 increase from £475,000 to £980,000, which is the superficial figure, or the 106 per cent. which has been widely mentioned. It is bigger because this only allows for the increase in the Civil List itself, but, in addition, there are three other factors which have to be taken into account. First, and by far the least important of the three factors, is the other Royal annuities apart from the Queen herself, which make only a small difference, although I feel some of the individual increases here are very hard to justify, particularly as they are, as we now know, automatically 80 per cent. tax-free. They amount to a further £28 million above the 1952 figure, which is small, although it is £89 million above the current position, because some members of the Royal Family have died between 1952 and the present time.

Much more important, however, in considering the overall financial position is not that first point but the second, and after that the third point. The second relates to increased drawings from the two Duchies. I am not necessarily arguing that the costs are too high. We are all always in favour of economy in general, but I am not in favour of a cut-price Monarchy. The institution demands a certain amount of display, and display costs money. It also involves the receiving and entertaining of a great number of people. I have no doubt that that is on the whole widely appreciated.

The one occasion during the Select Committee on which I felt constrained, with my right hon. Friend, to vote directly against my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) was when he proposed that the Queen should give up the physical bestowal of decorations and awards and the receiving of those departing for appointments or those retiring. Probably this sort of national cement is an essential part of the work of any Head of State and is probably better performed in a constitutional Monarchy than in most if not all other forms of Government. The acceptance and the appreciation of the Monarchical function does not preclude proper consideration by this House of how financial provision should be made.

I must turn briefly to the question of the private fortune. My right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Grossman) complimented me on my use of the rapier. I am always nervous about compliments from him, particularly when they come from behind, and particularly when rapiers are mentioned. But he fairly quickly reassured me by at least half withdrawing the compliment, by accusing me of half withdrawing in my pursuit of Lord Cobbold. So, indeed, I did. In the Committee, having informally given notice beforehand, I said that I thought it would be desirable if he could give us a substantially greater degree of precision than saying that the £50 million sometimes quoted was wildly exaggerated. Lord Cobbold did not feel able to answer further. I regretted that. I do not feel any prurience about this matter, which would certainly be a very undesirable feeling. But this is a legitimate part of the whole picture. It is so partly for reasons which some of my hon. Friends have given, though I would put it in that way and in a slightly different way.

The tax position of the Sovereign is unique, and so has that of her forebears been, since death duties were first introduced—this is the relevant date—in 1894. There is no liability to death duties, to income tax, to surtax or to capital gains tax. This clearly makes a very substantial difference to the size of the fortune today and to its income-producing value. It makes a difference precisely because Her Majesty and her forebears are or have been Sovereigns of this country. If their job and rôle were different, the private fortune would be much smaller. Even if it were the same size, its value in tax terms would be enormously less. Therefore, quite unlike the position of any other individual, it is not possible or reasonable wholly to detach it from a consideration of the whole financial picture and of the Queen and the Royal Family, and to work out balancing advantages and disadvantages over the period of the reign and how likely this is to develop in the future.

I therefore think that it would have been better if Lord Cobbold had been authorised to give the whole picture. He was not. I regret it. It leaves me a little in the position of my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett). It certainly makes me, without that full information, less enthusiastic for voting an increase. I think that that goes, too, for quite a considerable part of public opinion. An error of judgment was made here, but I do not pursue the matter any further.

I return to the plan of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby and the Amendment which I shall move at the end of my speech, which is now very near, the Leader of the House will be glad to hear.

Mr. Whitelaw


Mr. Jenkins

Perhaps the right hon Gentleman would rather I went on.

It is a little paradoxical that I should move the Amendment, whereas my right hon. Friend naturally devoted more of his speech to arguments in favour of it, but I thought it desirable to raise one or two wider questions. It is necessary that I should move it because if my right hon. Friend had done so that would have restricted the debate. I understand that the Leader of the House will not be so restricted, as he, replying, is in a special position.

We have heard some fairly doubtful arguments against my right hon. Friend's scheme. The Chancellor raised the question of great Commonwealth difficulty—indeed, possible great resentment at having, not exactly a Government Department, but machinery of government interposed between the Sovereign and the Commonwealth countries. But when my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Michael Stewart) questioned him it was obvious that he had made no inquiries and had had no representations of any kind made to him, and that it was pure surmise on his part.

The right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) thought that the proposed scheme would be less efficient. I do not believe that any of us in the Select Committee are in the position to make a judgment about that. We were told that it was less efficient, but we were told that by devoted servants of the present arrangement, who want to stick to it. They put forward their views fairly and modestly, and I am sure, honestly, but it is natural that those who like an existing arrangement and work within it, if asked whether they think that it is more efficient than another scheme, should answer that on the whole they do. That is a reasonable point of view for them to put forward, but it cannot be conclusive evidence.

The right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) replied strongly to my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East. Like the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas), the right hon. Gentleman is to some extent a Jacobite defending a Hanovarian monarchy. I am not always sure how welcome their defence will be. The right hon. Gentleman took the view that there was no room for choice by the House because of the position into which we have forced the Queen by the inflation we have engendered. I can see some basis for that argument, but I do not think that I can accept the conclusion, because if the House is powerless the Select Committee should not have had 20 sittings and we should not have been having this debate. If the right hon. Gentleman argues that there is no possible freedom of choice—

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I argued that there was freedom of choice. I advocated the scheme I put to the Select Committee, which would have been even better than my right hon. Friend's.

Mr. Jenkins

It is, as a general proposition, always true that it is easy to suggest that anyone is welcome to freedom of choice in adopting a scheme which one has put forward, which is exactly what the right hon. Gentleman did. I do not think that detracts from the point I have been making.

My right hon. Friend's scheme, and it is very much his scheme although I support it fully, has great merit. It is appropriately respectful of the Monarchy as well as of the legitimate rights of the House of Commons. It would protect the Monarchy from a great deal of criticism, and I strongly suspect that we shall do something very near to this when we next have to make arrangements in this area. My right hon. Friend is often ahead of his time, and I shall certainly vote with him, and I urge my hon. Friends to do so.

Accordingly, I beg to move to leave out 'charged on the Consolidated Fund' and to add: payable out of moneys provided by Parliament".

9.42 p.m.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. William Whitelaw)

We all know in this House that Select Committees and even Standing Committees, with their inevitable party divisions, achieve a form of corporate spirit when their members come on to the Floor of the House to rehearse their arguments. Today's debate has been no exception, and I am the 12th member of the Select Committee on the Civil List to take part in the debate.

I hope that I may be able to start with a comment which will have universal acceptance: I believe that the decision to publish the evidence taken before the Select Committee has been proved to be the right one. This has been shown by the frequency with which the evidence has been used in the debate. This was a wise and right decision. As one of the members of the Committee I would like to agree with the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins). He knows, and the right hon. Member for Sowerby (Mr. Houghton) knows, that most of us on the Committee genuinely wanted as near a unanimous solution as was possible.

We all appreciate that we were unlikely to gain the support of the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton), to whose speech I will return later. My main thought in preparing for the debate has been one of regret that, on a subject affecting the relationship between the Queen and Parliament when many hon. and right hon. Members in all parts of the House would have liked to agree, we have not succeeded in doing so. Nevertheless, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) said, the right hon. Member for Sowerby, in what if I may say so without any presumption was an extremely powerful and amusing speech, did much to compensate for this feeling of mine. He appealed first to the House that the debate should be conducted in the same manner and tone. There have been a few minor exceptions to this but in general it is true to say that that has been the case. I particularly regret that I did not hear the speech of the right hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell), who was on the Committee, and whose moderate tone in these matters I have always greatly appreciated. I am sure he will understand the reasons for my absence.

That has been the tone of the debate, and I will do my best to follow that tone and respond to that feeling which the right hon. Members for Sowerby and Stechford so clearly set out.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

Say something!

Mr. Whitelaw

In the first instance I would like to concentrate on those areas where there is a wide measure of agreement before coming to those matters on which we disagree.

It has been widely agreed on both sides of the House that our Monarchy is a great and unique asset. I agree with the right hon. Member for Sowerby in his eloquent testimony to the value of the work done by Her Majesty the Queen and, indeed, her complete dedication to the task. That same sentiment was echoed by the right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe), the Leader of the Liberal Party. This shows that there is a wide measure of agreement throughout the House.

The right hon. Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) described himself as an honest to God monarchist of a sort. The hon. Member for Fife, West said that the Queen did a good job and should get the pay for it. We can therefore say that there is a substantial measure of agreement that our Monarchy is a great and unique asset which we are extremely lucky to have.

It was also widely agreed that this provision was in no sense a pay claim. There is necessary expenditure in carrying out the duties required of a Head of State, and my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Dr. Glyn) pointed to the increased amount of work that the Queen carries out and has carried out over recent years.

There was also broad acceptance in the Select Committee, which has been endorsed in the House today, of the evidence that the Palace administration was economically run, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir R. Turton) so clearly pointed out. The evidence for that came from Sir Michael Adeane and Sir Basil Smallpeice and from the memorandum on the staff submitted by the Palace which appears on page 93 of the Select Committee Report, part of which reads as follows: A comparison of the number of full-time Members of the Household, Officials, Clerks and Staff in 1953 with those employed in 1970 shows an overall reduction of 72 or 13½ per cent., from 530 in 1953 to 458 in 1970. I should be interested to hear of many organisations either in public life or outside who could say the same. Certainly it cannot be said of the administration of the House of Commons.

If that is agreed, as I believe it is, it follows from that same evidence that the extra provision required is to ensure that the staff of the Royal Household are properly rewarded. I have no doubt that the House as a whole would be unanimous in supporting that proposition. So it is reasonable to claim that there is a wide measure of agreement on what is required. I noted that my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Kenneth Lewis) pointed out that a Monarchy was cheaper than a Republic, and I suspect he is right.

The hon. Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Joel Barnett) has maintained an absolutely consistent position. As perhaps befits an accountant, from what I know of them, he pointed out that he had not enough information on which to found a judgment one way or the other. I respect his argument but I do not agree with it.

The right hon. Member for Coventry, East talked about disclosing details of the Queen's private money. For many years the House has become accustomed to exceptionally powerful debating exchanges between my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) and one of my predecessors as Leader of the House, the right hon. Member for Coventry, East. Today was no exception. They had a high-powered exchange on the subject of disclosing the Queen's private money. Sometimes the right hon. Gentleman—

Mr. Heffer

Why does not the right hon. Gentleman answer the debate?

Mr. Whitelaw

—has described me as a ponderous and slow sheepdog, which seems to be the view taken of me at this moment. At any rate we witnessed a fight between two Alsatians in the debate; that is to say, between the right hon. Gentlemen concerned. Suffice it to say that, so far as I am concerned, I believe that my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames effectively answered the points put forward by the right hon. Member for Coventry, East and I do not think there is any need for me to say anything further.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

If the right hon. Gentleman thinks there is no need to reply to the arguments of my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Crossman) because his right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) spoke afterwards, perhaps he could reply to my argument since I spoke after the right hon. Member for Kingston-upon-Thames.

Mr. Heffer

It would be nice if he would reply to anybody's argument.

Mr. Whitelaw

I think this particular case has been argued throughout the debate on the Select Committee's Report, and I appreciate the points put forward by the right hon. Member for Stechford. The right hon. Member for Sowerby fairly said that there was no real argument about what is required in this case. I believe that goes a long way to answer what was said by the right hon. Member for Stechford.

Mr. R. T. Paget (Northampton)


Mr. Whitelaw

I am sorry but I must get on.

I turn to what I believe to be the main argument which has been put forward today, not about ends but about means. The right hon. Member for Sowerby, as always, argued his case persuasively for a Department of the Crown He was powerfully reinforced by the right hon. Member for Stechford. I accept at once the conviction with which this proposal is put forward, but I wish to say why I believe it is wrong and I believe this as genuinely as other hon. Gentlemen hold their views. I believe that this is not a proposal which would commend itself to this House.

Mr. Heffer

Then tell us why.

Mr. Whitelaw

I will certainly now tell the House why I believe that to be so. In the first case I am certain it would be more expensive than the present arrangements, and I cannot believe that there can be any sense deliberately to increase the cost of the Monarchy.

Mr. Paget

Then what are we doing?

Mr. Whitelaw

It is no disrespect to our Government organisation and the Civil Service to say that it has some inbuilt tendency to expansion. I feel certain that before long a Department of the Crown would be a large organisation. Secondly, I believe that if a Department of the Crown were set up, much of the valuable personal and family nature of the Monarchy would be lost. [Interruption.] I know this argument is disputed but I am entitled to put forward my view. I believe that if that were to happen, the nature of the Palace as a family home could easily be changed. I also agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. J. Selwyn Gummer) about the family nature of the Monarchy which I believe to be extremely important. In this regard, the evidence of the wishes of the staff as expressed by the Civil Service Union is valuable. I do not wish to overstress it—in fact, I wish to be careful not to do so—but my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton quoted some of the relevant extracts from the evidence, and I think that they are very powerful and important.

Thirdly, as my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, we have to remember that Her Majesty is not only Queen of this country. She is also Head of the Commonwealth. I believe that Commonwealth countries, on occasions, like to have the chance of dealing with her and her staff direct rather than through the British Government. If there were a Department of the Crown, I believe that such exchanges would not be as free as they are today.

Fourthly, I am convinced that whatever efforts were made to prevent it, the Monarchy, serviced by a Department of the Crown with a Minister answerable to Parliament on detailed questions, might well become increasingly involved in party politics. Not only would the Monarchy find it much more difficult to maintain a position outside party politics if there were a Department of the Crown; over the years the danger would arise of the Monarchy being subjected to the control of the Government of the day in quite unnecessary detail and in a way which we have never thought appropriate hitherto. I think that the right hon. Member for Sowerby accepted that in some of his comments.

For these reasons, I also argue that if right hon. and hon. Members conclude that there is even the possibility of a Department of the Crown having some of the consequences which I fear, it would be wrong for us, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames said, to take that risk and to make such a significant constitutional change.

I believe that the proposals put forward by the report of the majority in the Select Committee continue in a modified form the arrangements which have worked well over the last 20 years. Equally I claim, in answer to the hon. Member for Fife, West, that they give more parliamentary control than hitherto, because any Treasury Order which was brought for-

ward for an increase would be subject to the normal scrutiny of the House.

In concluding this debate, which I think has been conducted in the tone which the right hon. Member for Sowerby requested that it should be, it is right to stress again the broad areas of agreement amongst many hon. Members in all parts of the House. It is clear that most hon. Members believe that we should have a Monarchy broadly on the present basis. It is agreed further, if that is accepted, that more money is required after nearly 20 years when costs have risen considerably. It is also accepted, as is shown by the evidence, that the extra money required is needed to ensure that the staff who serve the Monarchy are rewarded properly.

The basic argument in the debate has been about the best method of providing the necessary finance. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite believe that this should be done through a Department of the Crown. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I have argued that such a proposal would be more expensive, that it would remove the personal and family nature of our Monarchy, and that it would in some ways be inconsistent with the position of the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.

There is a perfectly fair area of disagreement amongst those who join together in seeking to make proper provision for the Monarchy which we all admire and value. As I understand it, it is on this comparatively narrow basis of means as opposed to ends on which the House is now about to divide. While I welcome the broad area of agreement on the nature of the Monarchy, I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to reject the Amendment seeking a Department of the Crown and to support the proposals of the majority of the Select Committee as the best way, in all the circumstances, of making the necessary finance available.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 263, Noes 300.

Division No. 29.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Bagier, Gordon A. T. Beaney, Alan
Allen, Scholefield Barnes, Michael Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood
Armstrong, Ernest Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Asliton, Joe Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Bidwell, Sydney
Atkinson, Norman Baxter, William Bishop, E. S.
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hattersley, Roy O'Malley, Brian
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Oram, Bert
Booth, Albert Heffer, Eric S. Orbach, Maurice
Boitomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hooson, Emiyn Orme, Stanley
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Horam, John Oswald, Thomas
Bradley, Tom Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sulton)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Paget, R. T.
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Huckfield, Leslie Palmer, Arthur
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Broivn,Ronald(Shoredltch & F'bury) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchanges)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pavitt, Laurie
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hunter, Adam Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill) Pendry, Tom
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Janner, Greville Pentland, Norman
Cant, R. B. Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Perry, Ernest G.
Carmichael, Nell Jeger, Mrs. Lena Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfleld) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Prescott, John
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) John, Brynmor Price J. T. (Westhoughton)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Price, William (Rugby)
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull,W.) Probert, Arthur
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Rankin, John
Cohen, Stanley Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Concannon, J. D. Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Conlan, Bernard Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworin, C.) Jones,Rt.Hn.SirElwyn(W.Ham.S. I Rhodes, Geoffrey
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Richard, Ivor
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Judd, Frank Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Kaufman, Gerald Robertson, John (Palsley)
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Kelley, Richard Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Dalyell, Tam Kerr, Russell Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Kinnock, Neil Roper, John
Davidson, Arthur Lambie, David Rose, Paul B.
Oavias, Denzil (Llanelly) Lamond, James Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Latham, Arthur Sandelson, Neville
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lawson, George Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Leonard, Dick Short,Rt.Hn.Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Deakins, Eric Lestor, Miss Joan Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton.N.E.)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deplford)
Delargy, Hugh Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sillars, James
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lipton, Marcus Silverman, Julius
Dsmpsey, James Lomas, Kenneth Skinner, Dennis
Doig, Peter
Dormand, J. D. Loughlin, Charles Small, William
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire. E.) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Spearing, Nigel
Driberg, Tom Mabon, Or. J. Dickson Spriggs, Leslie
Duffy, A. E. P. McBride, Neil Stallard, A. W.
Dunn, James A.
Dunnett, Jack McCann, John Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Eadle, Alex McCartney, Hugh Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Edelman, Maurice McElhone, Frank Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McGuire, Michael Strang, Gavin
Ellis, Tom Mackenzie, Gregor Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
English, Michael Mackie, John Summerskill, Hn. Or. Shirley
Evans, Fred Maclennan, Robert Taverne, Dick
Ewing, Henry McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Faulds, Andrew McNamara, J. Kevin Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Tinn, James
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mallaileu, J. P. W. (Huddersfieid. E.) Torney, Frank
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Marks, Kenneth Torney, Tom
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Marquand, David Tuck, Raphael
Foley, Maurice Marsden, F. Urwin, T. W.
Foot, Michael Marshall, Dr. Edmund Varley, Eric G.
Forrester, John Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Wainwright, Edwin
Freeson, Reginald Meacher, Michael Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Galpern, Sir Myer Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Wallace, George
Garrett, W. E. Mendelson, John Watkins, David
Gilbert, Dr. John Mikardo, Ian Weitzman, David
Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Millan, Bruce Wellbeloved, James
Golding, John Miller, Dr. M. S. Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Milne, Edward White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Gourlay, Harry Mitchell, R. .C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Whitehead, Phillip
Grant, George (Morpeth)
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Molloy, William Whitlock, William
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Griinths, Will (Exchange) Morris, Alfred (Wylhenshawe) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Moyle, Roland Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Murray, Ronald King Woof, Robert
Hardy, Peter Oakes, Gordon TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Ogden, Eric Mr, William Hamling and Mr. Joseph Harper.
Hart. Rt. Hn. Judith O'Halloran, Michael
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Fry, Peter MacArthur, Ian
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Galbraith, Hn. T. G. McCrindle, R. A.
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Gardner, Edward McLaren, Martin
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Gibson-Watt, David Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Astor, John Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk. C.) McMaster, Stanley
Atkins, Humphrey Gilmour, Sir John (Fife E.) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Awdry, Daniel Glyn, Dr. Alan McNair-Wilson, Michael
Balier, Kenneth {St. Marylebone) Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Goodhart, Philip Maddan, Martin
Balniel, Lord Goodhew, Victor Madel, David
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Gorst, John Maginnis, John E.
Batstord, Brian Gower, Raymond Marples, Kt. Hn. Ernest
Bell, Ronald Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Marten, Neil
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gray, Hamish Mather, Carol
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Green, Alan Maude, Angus
Benyon, W. Grieve Percy Mawby, Ray
Berry, Hn. Anthony Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Biffen, John Grylls, Michael Meyer, Sir Anthony
Blaker, Peter Gummer, Selwyn Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Gurden, Harold Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Body, Richard Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Miscampbell, Norman
Boscawen, Robert Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)
Bossom, Sir Clive Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moate, Roger
Bray, Ronald Hannam, John (Exeter) Molyneaux, James
Brewis, John Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Money, Ernie
Brinton, Sir Tatlon Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Monks, Mrs. Connie
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Haselhurst, Alan Monro, Hector
Brown Sir Edward (Bath) Hastings, Stephen Montgomery, Fergus
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Havers, Michael More, Jasper
Bryan, Paul Hawkins, Paul Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Hay, John Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Buck, Antony Hayhoe, Barney Morrison, Charles
Burden. F. A. Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Mudd, David
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Heseltine, Michael Murton, Oscar
Campbell,Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Hicks, Robert Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Carlisle, Mark Higgins, Terence L Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Channon, Paul Hiley, Joseph Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Chapman, Sydney Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Normanton, Tom
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Nott, John
Churchill, W. S. Holland, Philip Onslow, Cranley
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Holt, Miss Mary Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hordern, Peter Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Clegg, Walter Hornby, Richard Osborn, John
Cockeram, Eric Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Page, Graham (Crosby)
Cooke, Robert Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Coombs, Derek Howell, David (Guildford) Parkinson, Cecil
Cooper, A. E. Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Peel, John
Cordle, John
Corlield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Hunt, John Percival, Ian
Cormack, Patrick Hutchison, Michael Clark Pike, Miss Mervyn
Costain, A. P. Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Pink, R. Bonner
Critchley, Julian James, David Pounder, Rafton
Crouch, David Jonkin, Patrick (Woodford) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Crowder, F. P. Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Dalkeith, Earl of Jessel, Toby Proudfoot, Wilfred
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Quennell. Miss J. M.
d'Ayigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. James Jopling, Michael Raison, Timothy
Dean, Paul Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Deedes. Rt. Hn. W. F. Kaberry, Sir Donald Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Digby, Simon Wingfield Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Redmond, Robert
Dixon. Piers Kershaw, Anthony Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Kilfedder, James Rees, Peter (Dover)
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Kimball, Marcus Rees-Davies, W. R.
Drayson, G. B. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Dykes, Hugh Kinsey, J. R. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Eden, Sir John Kirk, Peter Ridsdale, Julian
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Kitson, Timothy Rippon, Rt. Hn. GeoHrey
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Knight, Mrs. Jill Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Farr, John Knox, David Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Fell, Anthony Lambton, Antony Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Lane, David Rost, Peter
Fidier, Michael Langford-Holt, Sir John Russell, Sir Ronald
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Leggc-Bourke, Sir Harry St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Le Marchant, Spencer Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Fookes, Miss Janet Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Scott, Nicholas
Fortescue, Tim Lloyd,Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Sharples, Richard
Foster, Sir John Longden, Gilbert Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Fowler, Norman Loveridge, John Shelton, William (Clapham)
Fox, Marcus Luce, R. N. Simeons, Charles
Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) McAdden, Sir Stephen Sinclair, Sir George
Skeet, T. H. H. Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Ward, Dame Irene
Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Tebbit, Norman Warren, Kenneth
Soret, Harold Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret Wells, John (Maidstone)
Speed, Keith Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Spence, John Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Sproat, Iain Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Wiggin, Jerry
Stainton, Keith Tilney, John Wilkinson, John
Stanbrook, Ivor Trafford, Dr. Anthony Winterton, Nicholas
Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper) Trew, Peter Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Stodarl, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Tugendhat, Christopher Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Stokes, John van Straubenzee, W. R. Woodnutt, Mark
Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Vickers, Dame Joan Worsley, Marcus
Sutcliffe, John Waddington, David Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Tapsell, Peter Walder, David (Clitheroe) Younger, Hon. George
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Waiters, Dennis Mr. Reginald Eyre and Mr. Bernard Weatherill.

Main Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 300, Noes 27.

Division No. 30. AYES [10.12 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hay, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) d'Avigdor-Goldsmld,Maj.-Gen.James Hayhoe, Barney
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Dean, Paul Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Heseltine, Michael
Astor, John Digby, Simon Wingfleld Hicks, Robert
Atkins, Humphrey Dixon, Piers Higgins, Terence L,
Awdry, Daniel Dodds-Parker, Douglas Hiley, Joseph
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Drayson, G. B. Hill, James (Southampton, Test)
Balniel, Lord du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Holland, Philip
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Dykes, Hugh Holt, Miss Mary
Batsford, Brian Eden, Sir John Hordern, Peter
Bell, Ronald Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hornby, Richard
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Hornsby-Smith.Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Benyon, W. Farr, John Howell, David (Guildford)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Fell, Anthony Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Biffen, John Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Hunt, John
Blaker, Peter Fidler, Michael Hutchison, Michael Clark
Boardman, Tom (Leicester. S.W.) Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hempstead) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Body, Richard Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) James, David
Boscawen, Robert Fookes, Miss Janet Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Bossom, Sir Clive Fortescue, Tim Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Foster, Sir John Jessel, Toby
Bray, Ronald Fowler, Norman Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Brawis, John Fox, Marcus Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Jopling, Michael
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gardner, Edward Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Gibson-Watt, David Kaberry, Sir Donald
Bryan, Paul Gllmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Gllmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Kershaw, Anthony
Buck, Antony Glyn, Dr. Alan Kilfedder, James
Burden, F. A. Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Kimball, Marcus
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Goodhart, Philip King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Goodhew, Victor King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Carlisle, Mark Gorst, John Kinsey, J. R.
Channon, Paul Gower, Raymond Kirk, Peter
Chapman, Sydney Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Kitson, Timothy
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Gray, Hamish Knight, Mrs. Jill
Churchill, W. S. Green, Alan Knox, David
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Grieve, Percy Lambton, Antony
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Lane, David
Clegg, Walter Grylls, Michael Langlord-Holt, Sir John
Cockeram, Eric Gummer, Selwyn Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Cooke, Robert Gurden, Harold Le Merchant, Spencer
Coombs, Derek Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Cooper, A. E. Hall, John (Wycombe) Lloyd.Rt.Hn.Geoffrey(Sul'nC'dfield)
Cordle, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Longden, Gilbert
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Loveridge, John
Cormack, Patrick Hannam, John (Exeter) Luce, R. N.
CoMain, A. P. Harrison, Brian (Maldon) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Critchley, Julian Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) MacArthur, Ian
Crouch, David Haselhurst, Alan McCrlndle, R. A.
Crowder, F. P. Hastings, Stephen McLaren, Martin
Dalkeith, Earl of Havers, Michael Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Hawkins, Paul McMaster, Stanley
Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Pounder, Rafton Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
McNair-Wilson, Michael Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Sutcliffe, John
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Price, David (Eastleigh) Tapsell, Peter
Maddan, Martin Proudfoot, Wilfred Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Madel, David Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Maginnis, John E. Quennell, Miss J. M. Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Raison, Timothy Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Marten, Neil Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Tebbit, Norman
Mather, Carol Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Maude, Angus Redmond, Robert Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Mawby, Ray Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Rees, Peter (Dover) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon. S.)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rees-Davies, W. R. Tilney, John
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Trew, Peter
Miscampbell, Norman Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Tugendhat, Christopher
Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W) Ridsdale, Julian Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey van Straubenzee, W. R.
Moate, Roger Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Vickers, Dame Joan
Molyneaux, James Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Waddington, David
Money, Ernie Kodgers. Sir John (Sevenoaks) Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Monks, Mrs. Connie Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Monro, Hector Rost, Peter Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Montgomery, Fergus Russell, Sir Ronald Walters, Dennis
More, Jasper St. John-Stevas, Norman Ward, Dame Irene
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Sandys, Rt. Hn. D. Warren, Kenneth
Morrison, Charles Scott, Nicholas Wells, John (Maidstone)
Mudd, David Sharpies, Richard White, Roger (Gravesend)
Murton, Oscar Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Shelton, William (Clapham) Wiggin, Jerry
Nicholls, Sir Harmar Simeons, Charles Wilkinson, John
Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Sinclair, Sir George Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Normanton, Tom Skeet, T. H. H. Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Nott, John Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Woodhouse, Hn, Christopher
Onslow, Cranley Soref, Harold Woodnutt, Mark
Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Speed, Keith Worsley, Marcus
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Spence, John Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Osborn, John Sproat, Iain Younger, Hn. George
Page, Graham (Crosby) Stainton, Keith TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Stanbrook, Ivor Mr. Reginald Eyre and Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
Parkinson, Cecil Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Peel, John Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Percival, Ian Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Pike, Miss Mervyn Stokes, John
Pink, R. Bonner
Bidwell, Sydney John, Brynmor Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Kerr, Russell Prescott, John
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Lambie, David Rhodes, Geoffrey
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Latham, Arthur Skinner, Dennis
Davidson, Arthur Leonard, Dick Stallard. A. W.
Delargy, Hugh Lestor, Miss Joan Torney, Tom
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Loughlin, Charles Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Duffy, A. E. P. McElhone, Frank
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) McNamara, J. Kevin TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Huckfield, Leslie Paget, R. T. Mr. William Hamilton and Mr. Robert Hushes.

Resolved, That further provision be made for Her Majesty's Civil List, for the members of the Royal Family for whom provision has been made by the Civil List Acts of 1937 and 1952 and for the payment of certain pensions and allowances, and that provision should be now made for Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester and any future wife of a younger son of Her Majesty in the event of any of them surviving her husband; and that sums payable in pursuance of provision so made should be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

Bill ordered to be brought in upon the foregoing Resolution by the Chairman of Ways and Means, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, Mr. Maudling, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Mr. William Whitelaw, Mr. Geoffrey Rippon, Mr. Gordon Campbell, Mr. Peter Thomas and Mr. Patrick Jenkin.

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