HC Deb 27 January 1971 vol 810 cc561-89
The Chairman

The next Amendment selected is No. 56, in page 3. line 19, leave out 'of itself'

I think that it will be for the convenience of the Committee if, with that Amendment, we take Amendment No. 362, in page 3, line 20, leave out from first 'proceedings' to end of line 27. Mr. Arthur Lewis.

Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North): rose

Mr. Paul B. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)

On a point of order. Sir Robert, these two Amendments are to be taken together. I seek your leave to move the first Amendment although I should, of course, defer to my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) if he wished to move it.

The Chairman

The practice of the Committee has been that if an hon. Member's name is the first to an Amendment, he is entitled to be called first. Mr. Arthur Lewis.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

I beg to move Amendment No. 56, in page 3, line 19, leave out "of itself".

I appreciate what my hon. Friend has said, but I am sorry that I cannot give way to him. I should willingly do so, but for a slight altercation that I had on an earlier occasion when I had my name to an Amendment which was selected but I had to wait for seven other hon. Members to speak before I was called by the Chair. As much as I should like to give way to my hon. Friend, as it may seem that I made a complaint against the Chair, which I did, now that the Chair has called me first to speak to the Amendment I think that I should follow precedent.

The Clause as it stands makes it virtually possible for a person to be faced with being taken before an industrial court or industrial tribunal, but it says that failure…to observe any provision of a code of practice which is for the time being in force under this Part of this Act shall not of itself render him liable to any proceedings … Nevertheless, he, or she, will be liable to proceedings.

Perhaps I may say in parenthesis that it is amazing how this antifeminist Government always refer in their legislation to "he" and not to "he or she". This legislation can apply to women trade unionists, just as much as to men. The Clause as it stands means that a person could be drawn before a court, and I am asking the Committee to delete the words "of itself", which would mean that such a person could not he drawn before the court.

One of the troubles—and I ask hon. Members on both sides of the Committee who are members of the legal profession to appreciate this—is that trade unionists do not like the law and lawyers. They do not like to have anything to do with courts, industrial or otherwise, because their history has been built up on a basis of voluntary negotiation and settling their problems and difficulties by means of the accepted negotiating machinery.

When trade unionists threaten all sorts of action, one reason for their doing so is that they have an antipathy towards anything to do with courts, be they industrial or any other type. If we leave out "of itself" as the Amendment suggests, a worker will not be liable or susceptible to actions in the industrial court even though he may inadvertently or, on the other hand, with malice aforethought, have broken any code of so-called conduct.

There will be a lot of trouble in the months and years ahead if this legislation is passed, and trade unionists find themselves dragged before the courts if they happen to be lower-paid industrial workers or ordinary trade unionists, while they see the better-off sections of the population, those in the higher income groups who are not covered by the Bill, not being so pilloried. They will see that some top civil servant can get a 66 per cent. increase without breaking any code of conduct—[An HON. MEMBER: "What about Mr. Chapple?"] But I have criticised the principle. Mr. Chapple has not supported the Government on their 10 per cent. norm. He has been against it. It is the hon. Member and his Government who have talked about a 10 per cent. norm and who then give 66.2 per cent. to those selected friends of theirs; this is preferential treatment.

Trade unionists do not have confidence in these courts. They say—this is not me saying it—that this is a twisted, crooked Government—[An HON. MEMBER: "Oh."] The hon. Gentleman may say, "Oh". The trade unionists call this Government a crooked Government. They say that they cannot trust them, that they are dishonest. They say that they twist the so-called "independent" tribunals by putting on them their friends who have contributed to Tory Party funds.

They know that the man who has given to Tory Party funds large sums of money also receives an honour. Then they find that the chairman of such a court, who is getting about £20,000 a year, also gets 18 guineas a day expenses while sitting on the court—and he is the man who has to decide whether these ordinary workers should be dealt with fairly, impartially and dispassionately by the sort of court which they say this crooked Government are going to set up.

Therefore, they say, "Why should we have to go before a so-called impartial industrial court or tribunal, which will be weighted by self-confessed Tories, those who have contributed to Tory Party funds, and those who are not a bit interested in the ordinary lower paid workers but only in looking after themselves?" They say, "Therefore, we cannot agree that we should have this treatment".

I have not spoken to all trade unionists, but they may have said that, if this were to be applied to everyone, if it were to be applied, say, to the director of Guest Keen and Nettlefold, who is getting his high income, and to the judges and lawyers and to that great, democratically elected body, the House of Peers, they would agree to it. But what happens? They can be accused of breaking a code and be dragged before an industrial court or tribunal because they may have broken a code to which they have never agreed.

Those great, democratically elected members in the House of Lords, who get 6½ guineas a day tax free, will pass judgment on whether the poor little dustman is entitled to a few shillings a week extra, or whether he should—[An HON. MEMBER: "Oh, come on."] It is true, although hon. Gentlemen sneer and laugh. It happened and it is happening today. I am not speaking airy-fairy hypotheses.

The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has admitted that he made an incorrect statement on the average pay of the Post Office workers. Those workers are striking today because they feel that they have a just case which they cannot put to arbitration, because there is no fair arbitration tribunal which they can rely on. They saw that their colleagues in the power industry were twisted and caught by this Government, and they say, "Why should we have to go before an industrial tribunal when we are alleged to break conditions, when such conditions are not imposed upon the people who are making the rules?"

They say, "We have a so-called democracy in Parliament, under which we are supposed to have our representatives debate matters which we want them to debate, but which they are not allowed to debate at length because of the Government's attitude." They say that they have imposed upon them conditions of employment which they do not want and have never accepted. Yet when we ask the Government to apply those conditions to the very lawyers who are drawing up the rules to hamstring the unionists, we are told that that cannot be done. The legal profession can have £80,000 costs for a few days in court.

[Miss HARVIE ANDERSON in the Chair]

That is not inflationary; that is nothing to be attacked.

Also, a noble Lord who is getting hundreds of thousands of pounds a year income—[Laughter.] Oh yes, many noble Lords get hundreds of thousands of pounds income—[HON. MEMBERS: "Name them."] One has only to look at the list of directors of public companies and see the directors' fees shared out in the little family circle to be able to work it out. These millionaire peers are there and drawing this money. In addition, they get their 6½ guineas a day tax free, when they put in an appearance at the House of Lords.

4.15 p.m.

So I say that the Government should not go ahead with this penal legislation against lower-paid workers, without allowing contracting out. The Government are always in favour of the value of contracting out. Let us give the trade unionists the opportunity of contracting out of this penal legislation. The Amendment would mean that we gave fair pay and fair treatment to trade unionists who up to this moment have never got it from this Government and do not look like getting it.

Mr. Rose

I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) will forgive me for having tried to pre-empt him but we are debating at an unusual time—that is, in the daylight hours.

These Amendments deal not with the principle of the Code of Practice but with the legal status of the code. We see here yet another injection of quasi-criminal legalism into our existing industrial tribunals. This will undermine those tribunals. The imposition of the code will also apply to the N.I.R.C. I believe that this is already overburdened and that it is likely to blow a fuse because of the enormous legal complexities already imposed on this new monster.

The words "of itself" automatically imply a presumption that a breach of what can only be a generalised highway code—I agree with hon. Gentlemen opposite that this is the closest and best analogy—will lead a person to be found guilty of virtually a criminal offence. Some of my hon. Friends might feel that this is rather more analogous with the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, with one exception—namely, that it is per- missible to hit below the belt when fighting against the trade union movement.

From being a speedy and formal tribunals capable of dealing with three cases a day, industrial tribunals will now have the problem of the magistrates' courts when dealing with "not guilty" pleas in cases of driving without due care. If every driver were to plead not guilty, the courts would be prevented from carrying out their work.

In this case the courts are enjoined to follow a code which has not yet been put before the Committee. We have not had a chance to examine it and there is no doubt that a breach of the code will automatically mean culpability for those appearing before the courts. Despite the rôle of the so-called civil tribunal and the hypocritical acceptance by the Government of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) on expedition, there is no doubt that the criminal powers include power to fine, attach earnings and eventually to imprison for contempt, not to mention the new concepts, such as aiding and abetting, culled from the criminal law.

There is at least one important difference between this code and the Highway Code. The code being presented here deals with an infinite permutation of cases that will arise in the diverse conditions of industry, considering the various trade unions and industries. We are willing to accept rough guidelines from the Secretary of State, but not as evidence in court, because this will mean disaster not only for those appearing before the court but for the court itself. Counsel will have to distinguish his case from a case foreseen in the code and appeals will abound. We shall find ourselves with a whole set of legal precedents.

It is vital to understand the difference here. The concept of the Highway Code was set out in Section 74 of the Road Traffic Act, 1960 in that we were specifically told that … observation or non-observation of the Highway Code may be relied on in any civil or criminal proceedings as tending to establish or negative liability. Here, on the other hand, Clause 4 merely tells us that this code is to be taken into account by the court or tribunal. In spite of the analogy drawn between this and the Highway Code, there are considerable differences. The first difficulty that will face the court is the construction to be placed on the difference relating to those words, and I am waiting for the Solicitor-General to tell us why the words applying in the two cases are different and what they mean. Whatever the Solicitor-General tells us in his wisdom, and whatever his intention may be, this will have no relevance when a matter of this kind comes before the courts. Members of the legal profession should be preparing a brief to take this as the first problem when they appeal to the N.T.R.C. from the industrial tribunal.

We know from Highway Code experience the problems that arise when the directions of the Secretary of State have been in conflict with the Highway Code and the murky waters into which one can get.

Mr. Albert Booth (Barrow-in-Furness)

Would my hon. Friend agree that there is another essential difference between this code and the Highway Code; namely, that the Road Traffic Acts were in existence prior to the publication of the Highway Code. Here, on the other hand, we are being asked to pass legislation which will allow a code to be used as evidence before we have a chance to see it.

Mr. Rose

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We are faced with an as yet unpublished code and although we have not had a chance to debate it, it will be entered as evidence.

The classic example of what can happen is when a code does not lay down a particular principle in a particular case. Although this may not seem relevant to industrial relations, I hope that the Solicitor-General will deal with the case of McIntyre v. Coles at 1966 All England Law Reports page 723. This case erected the idea of "priority to the right"—a concept which is not out of place in this case—by applying the analogy of the International Shipping Regulations and particularly by applying the regulations for the prevention of collisions at sea to cases of accidents on the road.

I urge the Solicitor-General to look at Lord Justice Sellars' judgment, because it shows the sort of quagmire into which one can get when one descends into legally binding codes. Even Napoleon, when drafting his code, could not have based it on the assumption that all eventualities must be foreseen, and the Secretary of State will surely not pretend to be a Napoleon, even if he makes free use of the guillotine.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stanford)

I trust that the hon. Gentleman acknowledges that Napoleon lost at least one battle.

Mr. Rose

The Secretary of State will meet his Waterloo as well. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may have won the skirmish on the introduction of the guillotine, but when it comes to the real battle they will meet the same fate as Napoleon, though we may send them to somewhere a little more pleasant that St. Helena.

These generalised rules will apply to all unions, as diverse as actors and seamen and teachers and miners. If applied in this generalised way, only chaos will result, in the wake of the N.I.R.C. and the sanctions being proposed against both individuals and trade unions.

Nobody objects to guidelines being laid down by the Secretary of State, but their intrusion into the enforcement agencies, with the implication that their breach is evidence of culpability, proves that we have good reason not to be prepared to accept this state of affairs, and I urge my hon. Friends to show their true feelings in the Lobby.

Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)

When read as a whole, the Clause makes it abundantly plain that a man cannot be exposed to penalties merely because his actions contravene some part of the code. When reading the Clause in that way, it does not matter twopence whether the words "of itself" are left in or are deleted.

The fact that so much time has been spent by hon. Gentlemen opposite discussing the phrase "of itself" exposes the frivolity of at least some hon. Gentlemen opposite—[HON.MEMBERS: "Shame."]—and some of us are anxious to see that adequate discussion is given to the really important parts of the Bill which—

Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)

On a point of order. As your name appears on the list of selected Amendments, Sir Robert, is it not a fact that as the hon. Gentleman is complaining about frivolous arguments being used by my hon. Friends, he is inferring that you have selected frivolous Amendments for debate?

The Chairman

I did not put that construction on his remarks.

Mr. Waddington

I will not delay the Committee any further. It does not matter twopence whether the words are left in or are deleted and I trust that hon. Gentlemen opposite will not waste any more time on this matter. [Interruption.]

The Solicitor-General (Sir Geoffrey Howe)

The hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) accused the Government of anti-feminism. I assure him that "himself" includes "herself".

Mr. Arthur Lewis

I was aware of that. The hon. and learned Gentleman's answer does not alter the fact that the Government are anti-feminist.

The Solicitor-General

Perhaps that matter will be debated in another committee on another occasion.

The fact that the code which we are discussing will not of itself attach liability to anyone will ensure that it can be regarded as a yardstick for conduct. Infringement of the code can be called on by those involved in negotiations on both sides of industry without either side feeling obliged to take the other to court. It is not intended that it should have any penal or wider significance.

As my right hon. Friend has pointed out, the intention is very much that the code should lay down guidelines and yardsticks for conduct which will bear as heavily, and probably more heavily, on management. It will be something to which negotiators can refer as regards information—one of the points with which the code of the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) would have dealt was information—but for other matters as well. The intention is certainly not to drive people towards the courts.

The parallel drawn with the Highway Code and the words here, and the assertion that the form of words here, in contrast to the form of words in the Highway Code, will cause embarrassment is not valid, or one that we can accept. With the Highway Code the courts are concerned primarily only to establish liability or non-liability, whether civil or criminal. Here it is expected that the code will, for example, deal with such matters as the facilities that employers should make available for trade union representatives, the basis on which recognition should be approached—matters which would not necessarily attract liability but which people would want to follow. That is why we believe that there should be a wider reference —

4.30 p.m.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

The hon. and learned Gentleman says "it is expected." Does that mean that not only the Committee and the country do not know, but that he himself does not know?

The Solicitor-General

When I say that it is expected, 1 meant that it is expected by my right hon. Friend. This is one of the matters that is being canvassed. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary referred to it and, as my right hon. Friend has made clear, it is one of the matters that will be discussed before the code is laid before Parliament. It is because the code will have that wider, more helpful and encouraging significance that it would not be appropriate to tie it only to liability.

The hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Booth) made some point of the fact that the code has not yet been laid before the House. The code will require, as the Bill makes clear, parliamentary approval before it takes effect. It will be discussed by my right hon. Friend with those concerned on both sides of industry.

I cannot invite the Committee to accept these Amendments, because if they were to be accepted the Bill would have the effect of excluding even some of the substantive provisions in it. For example, the effect could be to deprive employers or unions of the right to information which the Bill lays down, and the right to apply for recognition in accordance with tests laid down in the Bill. That is why I invite the Committee to say that the Amenments are not acceptable.

Mr. Orme

We heard the other day, and we have again heard today, about consultation with the people affected. Can the hon. and learned Gentleman tell us what consultation has already taken place with the trade union movement on this code, particularly following the cavalier manner in which the Government dealt with the trade unions on the Consultative Document?

The Solicitor-General

I do not want to be turned too far from the context of the debate. My right hon. Friend is anxious and willing to get ahead with consultation with the trade unions and everyone on both sides of industry about the contents of the code which, I may say, he intends to promulgate as soon as maybe after that consultation.

The form of the code produced in this way, not laying down anything intended to be a civil, still less a criminal, offence is designed to deal with the point made by the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose). We are not here asserting a Napoleonic document designed to meet every kind of situation that can arise. That being so, it would not be appropriate to include it in legislation as, say, a schedule to the Bill, or anything like that. It is because it is intended to be flexible, to apply to employers and management at least as much as or even more than to trade union members that we are doing it in this way, and as something to which the tribunals or anyone else will be able to refer.

I want to make it crystal clear to the Committee, as it must be made clear to the country, that it is wholly wrong to assert that this code or any other aspect of the Bill is penal or criminal in substance, form or effect.

Mr. Rose

Will not the Solicitor-General accept that if a breach of the code occurs it will touch on liability or otherwise in that class of case where it is alleged that there is, say, a bit of bad practice; and that the court will have to take that fact into consideration? The hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well that the Highway Code is taken into consideration, and that a breach of it almost automatically leads to conviction.

The Solicitor-General

The point made by the hon. Gentleman underlines what I have said. The Highway Code is taken into account both in the criminal and in the civil courts because it is possible to bring proceedings relating to driving in the criminal as well as in the civil court. This code will be taken into account by courts and agencies set up under the Bill which, in stark contrast, are not criminal. It is all very well to speak of quasi-criminality here, but the remedies provided in the Bill are civil—compensation, or orders which have to be complied with. They are remedies of precisely the kind that can be awarded by the civil courts in civil disputes against anyone.

I do not want to return to the sterile argument about penalism or non-penalism, but the point to be accepted is that the code is to be taken into account in the civil courts that we are establishing to deal with these matters. On that basis I invite the Committee to reject the Amendments, because their acceptance would destroy this valuable concept of a code of conduct which will energise and help to advance standards of industrial relations across the board.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman will not want to leave a false and misleading interpretation on the record. He knows very well that what we are arguing is that when the code is to be used as terms of reference when there is a charge being brought, not because of an offence against the code but for another reason—unfair industrial practice—the determination of that other charge will in part depend on references to certain parts of the code, and that if that other charge is found proved by the judge there can, in the end, be fines, and if those fines are not paid there can be imprisonment. Surely that is the correct interpretation.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman has got it right to the point that the code will be taken into account in deciding whether or not a complaint of a specific non-compliance with the provisions of the Bill has been established. I emphasise that the complaint can, on the one hand, be about an unfair practice by or on behalf of a union or, on the other hand, about an employer failing to give recognition or information. In that sort of contention the code can be taken into account, but I emphasise that it is a complaint brought before a civil court. It is not a charge, so that it is not a foundation for criminal sanction. The hon. Member suggested that I was misleading the Committee, but I did no such thing. We are dealing here with civil law supported by civil remedies, and it is intended to apply across the board.

Mr. Tom Driberg (Barking)

I shall detain the Committee for only a moment or two, but I must ask the Solicitor-General one question arising directly out of something he said, but on which he refused at the time to give way. I hope that he does not consider parliamentary discussion to be completely sterile. He said that the code would need parliamentary approval. Can he tell us in what form the code will be presented for parliamentary approval? If it is to be a very long document, like the Highway Code, with perhaps hundreds of clauses, will there be a one-day debate on the approval of the document, without amendment, with the Whips on, or how is it to be presented and debated?

The Solicitor-General

I want to make it clear that the code will be laid before both Houses of Parliament within the time specified in Clause 3(1). The draft will be approved, or disapproved, by each House in that way. The precise way in which the House will consider it at that time will depend upon the arrangements then made. That is the way in which it will be dealt with.

The code is not to be regarded in the way that right hon. and hon. Members opposite are regarding it—in substance, as an engine for the enforcement of some harsh law. It is to be regarded as an important part of the movement, which this legislation will create, for management to look to its standards of performances to see whether it is performing well enough to measure up to the standards laid down in the code, or management will find itself in trouble. In that way and in that spirit, I invite the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mr. Driberg

The right hon. and learned Gentleman says that it will depend on the arrangements which will be made at that time. Will the usual channels be consulted in this case?

The Solicitor-General

That is not a matter with which I can deal at this moment. I have endeavoured to deal with the hon. Gentleman's point. An affirmative Resolution by both Houses of Parliament will be required before the code takes effect.

Mr. F. P. Crowder (Ruislip-Northwood)

I think that hon. Members opposite are on to a real point concerning the code. I should like to know how it will be laid before the House, in what form, and to what extent it can be amended, if need be, line by line. What was the position and the procedure which was adopted with the Highway Code in that respect?

The Solicitor-General

The Bill provides that the code is to be laid before each House. It requires debate on an affirmative Resolution, but it is not amendable—[Interruption.] For that reason, as with the Highway Code, if I may take the parallel, my right hon. Friend will consult as widely as he has indicated to ensure that the code represents a basic standard of fair and reasonable conduct to which everyone in industry must have regard.

Mr. F. A. Burden (Gillingham)

The Code of Practice is important. We have seen codes before. We know that they come before the House for affirmative Resolution, or not, and that they cannot be amended. In view of the importance of this matter, may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend whether some licence can be given as there is obviously great concern on both sides, and whether there is a possibility of the code being taken back and amended in some way to meet the concern which is being shown on both sides?

Mr. George Darling (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

I understand that an affirmative Resolution coming before the House in draft can be amended. The only Resolutions which cannot be amended are those which come under a different procedure where we have to vote for or against. Surely, in a matter of this importance, we should have a chance to amend the code. When we were in Government and brought forward legislation of this kind, we were pressed consistently, as the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) knows, to adopt the procedure for which we are now asking—namely, that Resolutions of this importance should come before both Houses and that there should be an opportunity of amending them. It is altogether wrong to suggest that a Resolution of this kind is so unimportant that the House should not be allowed to amend it.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

As the Government have clearly not considered the matter fully, may I ask whether they will bear in mind the possibility of this House seeing this code of practice in advance of it being laid as a Resolution, either in a White Paper or in answer to a Parliamentary Question, so that hon. Members on both sides may make representations if they think that the code should be varied in one degree or another?

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

I hope that my hon. and learned Friend realises, from the question put by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ruislip—Northwood (Mr. Crowder) and the interventions of hon. Members on both sides, that this is a matter which concerns us all, extends right across the Committee, and is deemed to be of great importance. I recognise that this is a difficult matter for my hon. and learned Friend. On the other hand, I do not believe that the normal procedure outlined by the Solicitor-General will be adequate. I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will at least be able to tell the Committee today that this will be considered as a special matter requiring some special remedy in view of its unusual importance.

Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)

As the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling) was kind enough to mention me, perhaps I might say a word on this point. The matter is not quite as bad as the Committee assumes. When the affirmative Resolution procedure is adopted, it is not put into force unless and until the House approves of it. That is the great distinction between the affirmative and the negative procedure. When the negative procedure is adopted, there is little that the House can do except to reject it in toto. But when it is in draft, as is envisaged in this and in many of the cases with which the right hon. Gentleman and myself have had to deal in the past, in practice it is possible to amend it because it has not yet been put into force, and Governments can and have withdrawn one draft and substituted another when the Committee and the House so indicated.

Nevertheless, I feel that there is great force in what hon. Members on both sides have said, and perhaps it will be possible to devise some extra-special protection in view of the fundamental nature and novelty of this code.

Mrs. Castle

May I ask the Solicitor-General whether he agrees that the fact that so many hon. Members opposite have intervened compared with hon. Members on this side does not really indicate that we are not interested in this point, but merely that we know that there are far graver abuses waiting to be discussed and that we are anxious to get on and discuss them? We think that it is intolerable that we should have a legal rôle given to a Code of Practice which it is impossible for Parliament to amend. We stand by this.

The Solicitor-General

As a matter of principle, the point made by the right lion. Lady is no different from points which can be made on the Highway Code—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"]—indeed not. The code will be considerable. It will have to be considered by both Houses of Parliament and it will, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) pointed out, come into effect only when it has been approved.

We have gone as far as we can to provide that the House will consider the code before it comes into effect. It is important that the views of the House, as well as the views of those whom. my right hon. Friend will consult, should be taken into account. The draft on and in respect of which consultation will be taking place with both sides of industry will be widely available long before any final draft is laid before this House. My right hon. Friend is anxious that the views of everyone who wishes to make representations about it are taken into account in preparing the document. I take the point made by my hon. Friend about its importance. When the matter is debated here or in the other place, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) pointed out, it can be taken back for reconsideration if any substantial points are put which would justify that action.

The different point about the power to amend something which comes before the House of Commons on affirmative Resolution is a matter with which the Procedure Committee would have to concern itself. In the context of the Bill, it is clear that the code in draft, before it comes to the House of Commons, will be fully and carefully considered, and every opportunity for its consideration will be given. It is upon that basis that I invite the Committee to reject the Amendment which would adversely alter the nature of the code.

Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth)

My hon. and learned Friend has said that the code will be available to the House before it is considered under the affirmative Resolution procedure. That is important. Hon. Members would have time to look at it and discuss it amongst themselves before it came to be considered under the affirmative Resolution procedure.

The Solicitor-General

My right hon. Friend has in mind, as with other documents of this kind, that when the code is under preparation and he is having consultations with both sides of industry and other bodies, a draft of the document will be more widely available so that hon. Members will be able to consider it and discuss it among themselves, as will other people widely representative of informed opinion on both sides of industry. I emphasise the importance my right hon. Friend attaches to this document as a yardstick for the improvement of standards on both sides of industry.

Mr. Charles Curran (Uxbridge)

I should like my hon. and learned Friend to address himself to the one word "amendable", which seems to be the kernel of this discussion. Is he telling us that the code is not amendable by hon. Members? He has said that the code will be presented in draft and submitted to various outside bodies whose opinions will be taken into account. That is very satisfactory, but it does not go far enough. To say that this basic document is comparable to the Highway Code is an understatement. When the code has been chewed over by the outside bodies, will hon. Members be able to go through it and, if necessary, change it word by word?

The Solicitor-General

I take my hon. Friend's point. The early drafts which will be available for consideration and discussion within and outside industry—[HON. MEMBERS: "And the House."] I am about to conclude the sentence—will of course be available to hon. Members for consideration and discussion. All observations that may be made or submitted to my right hon. Friend will be taken into account in preparing the draft which is finally laid before the House.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Acton)

On a point of order. Is it in order for the Solicitor-General to address the Committee with his back to the Chair?

The Deputy Chairman

That is not a question for the Chair.

The Solicitor-General

Any points made in that kind of debate in the House or in the other place could either lead the House to reject the draft or lead my right hon. Friend to undertake to withdraw it and amend it.

To go beyond that with a document coming before either House under this procedure would require a change in the rules of the House, and it would not be appropriate to go further than this with a document that was intended to proceed in the way I have indicated.

Mr. Burden

I understand that the code as laid should not be amended. What is worrying us is that, if this is so, the Whips might be put on and many hon. Members might have serious reservations about a subject that could inflame rather than damp down industrial relations. We are trying to be helpful, and both sides of the Committee are concerned about this. I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to bring us some comfort and make it perfectly clear that there may be some form of consultation.

Mr. Peter Hordern (Horsham)

There is one point which has not been mentioned, apart from the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Curran) about the code being amendable. The main point is that the Committee should have sufficient time to examine the draft when it appears, and that point does not seem to have been answered fully by my hon. and learned Friend. This is a major item, and the Committee should have proper time for consideration when the draft is laid before both Houses.

Mr. A. E. Cooper (Ilford, South)

I hope that my hon. and learned Friend and my right hon. Friend will not take this short debate too lightly. This is an important Clause, and it is unfortunate that we should have used the Highway Code as an analogy to the Code of Practice, which has nothing to do with the Highway Code. I hope that we can forget the Highway Code in this context. We are laying down a code of conduct which we hope that both sides of industry will practise.

I hope that the right hon. Lady during the course of these debates will be a little more gracious than she has been this afternoon. On this side of the Committee there are hon. Members who have far more experience of industry and industrial relations than she has ever had, and who have a far greater desire to see that industrial relations are put on a high plane. I want this Code of Practice to be put on a level which people will understand, appreciate and accept. The word "amendable" is important to us all. The possibility that a document of such vast importance should have only one and a half hours of debate is indefensible in the extreme—

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

The Deputy Chairman

Order. It will not help the debate if interruptions of this kind still further limit it.

Mr. Cooper

I suggest to my hon. and learned Friend that after considerable consultation with both sides of industry and with hon. Members adequate time should be made available for the House to discuss the code and, if possible, amend it.

The Solicitor-General

The Committee of course appreciates the force of the points made by my hon. Friend, and my right hon. Friend appreciates their importance. My right hon. Friend has made clear, and asks me again to make clear, that consultation about the code will be wide ranging and thorough, and that ample time will be allowed for that consultation to take account of the views expressed by hon. Members of the House and of the other place. The possibility mentioned by my hon. Friend of giving more time for discussion of it in the House will be considered by my right hon. Friend. The one important feature upon which I am sure all members of the Committee are agreed is that we want to have this document firmly laid as a good foundation for fair and reasonable practice. My right hon. Friend will strive to do everything he can to take account of the importance of that and of the points made by hon. Members in this Committee.

On that basis, I invite the Committee to approve the Clause as it stands and reject the Amendments.

Mrs. Castle

We do not regard that as a satisfactory answer to a debate which clearly reflected the concern on both sides. I hope that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Waddington) will now have the grace to withdraw his original remark about the moving of the Amendment.

Mr. Waddington

I was speaking with reference to Amendment No. 56, the first name against which is that of the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis), to delete the words "of itself". I was discussing that, and it is no fault of mine that a number of hon. Members on both sides went wide in the debate and, to my mind, talked more about Clause 3 than about Clause 4.

Mrs. Castle

The hon. Gentleman ought to know, and will know, no doubt, when he has been in the House of Commons a bit longer, that Amendments are often grouped together and that to take just a small part of a group of Amendments and make gibes about that in isolation is merely to show that he does not understand the principles at stake. I am glad that other hon. Members opposite realise that there is an important principle here.

We are not prepared to leave the rights of the House of Commons at the discretion of this Government, and we ask the Committee to support the Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

Division No. 79.] AYES [5.2 p.m.
Abse, Leo Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McGuire, Michael
Albu, Austen Foley, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Foot, Michael Mackie, John
Allen, Scholefield Ford, Ben Mackintosh, John P.
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Forrester, John Maclennan, Robert
Armstrong, Ernest Fraser, John (Norwood) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Ashley, Jack Freeson, Reginald McNamara, J. Kevin
Ashton, Joe Galpern, Sir Myer MacPherson, Malcolm
Atkinson Norman Garrett, W. E. Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Gilbert, Dr. John Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Barnes, Michael Ginsburg, David Marks, Kenneth
Barnett, Joel Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Marquand, David
Beaney, Alan Gourlay, Harry Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Grant, George (Morpeth) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Bidwell, Sydney Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Meacher, Michael
Bishop, E. S. Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Blenkinsop, Arthur Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mendelson, John
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Mikardo, Ian
Booth, Albert Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Millan, Bruce
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Bradley, Tom Hardy, Peter Molloy, William
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Harper, Joseph Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshtawe)
Buchan, Norman Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hattersley, Roy Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Moyle, Roland
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Heffer, Eric S. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hilton, w. S. Murray, Ronald King
Cant, R. B. Hooson, Emlyn O'Halloran, Michael
Carmichael, Neil Horam, John O'Malley, Brian
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oram, Bert
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Orbach, Maurice
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Huckfield, Leslie Orme, Stanley
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Oswald, Thomas
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Cohen, Stanley Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Paget, R. T.
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Roy (Newport) Palmer, Arthur
Concannon, J. D. Hunter, Adam Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Conlan, Bernard Irvine,Rt.Hn.Sir Arthur(Edge Hill) Pardoe, John
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Janner, Greville Parker, John (Dagenham)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Crawshaw, Richard Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Pavitt, Laurie
Cronin, John Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Pendry, Tom
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) John, Brynmor Pentland, Norman
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Perry, Ernest G.
Dalyell, Tam Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Prentice, Rt. He. Reg.
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Prescott, John
Davidson, Arthur Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Price, William (Rugby)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Probert, Arthur
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Rankin, John
Davies. S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kaufman, Gerald Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Deakins, Eric Kelley, Richard Rhodes, Geoffrey
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Kerr, Russell Richard, Ivor
Delargy, H. J. Kinnock, Neil Roberts, Albert (Nermanton)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lambie, David Roberts,Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Dempsey, James Lamont, James Robertson, John (Paisley)
Doig, Peter Latham, Arthur Roderick,Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n & R'dnor)
Dormand, J. D. Lawson, George Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Leadbitter, Ted Roper, John
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Rose, Paul B.
Driberg, Tom Leonard, Dick Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lestor, Miss Joan Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Dunn, James A. Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Dunnett, Jack Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Eadie, Alex Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lipton, Marcus Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lomas, Kenneth Sillars, James
Ellis, Tom Loughlin, Charles Silverman, Julius
English, Michael Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Skinner, Dennis
Evans, Fred Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Small, William
Fernyhough, E. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Fisher, Mrs.Doris(B'ham,Ladywood) McBride, Neil Spearing, Nigel
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McCartney, Hugh Spriggs, Leslie
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McElhone, Frank Stallard, A. W.

The Committee divided: Ayes 264, Nose 303.

Steel, David Tuck, Raphael Whitehead, Phillip
Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham) Urwin, T. W. Whitlock, William
Stoddart, David (Swindon) Varley, Eric G. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Strang, Gavin Wainwright, Edwin Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Swain, Thomas Wallace, George Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Taverns, Dick Watkins, David
Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.) Weitzman, David TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Tinn, James Wellbeloved, James Mr. William Hamling and
Torney, Tom White, James (Glasgow, Pollok) Mr. John Golding.
Adley, Robert Dean, Paul Hutchison, Michael Clark
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Iremonger, T. L.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Digby, Simon Wingfield James, David
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Dixon, Piers Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Dodds-Parker, Douglas Jessel, Toby
Astor, John Drayson, G. B. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Atkins, Humphrey du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Jopling, Michael
Awdry, Daniel Dykes, Hugh Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Eden, Sir John Kaberry, Sir Donald
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Kellett, Mrs. Elaine
Balniel, Lord Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Kershaw, Anthony
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Eyre, Reginald Kilfedder, James
Batsford, Brian Farr, John Kimball, Marcus
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Fell, Anthony King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Bell, Ronald Fenner, Mrs. Peggy King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Kinsey, J. R.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Kirk, Peter
Benyon, W. Fookes, Miss Janet Kitson, Timothy
Berry, Hn. Anthony Fortescue, Tim Knight, Mrs. Jill
Biffen, John Foster, Sir John Knox, David
Biggs-Davison, John Fowler, Norman Lambton, Antony
Blaker, Peter Fox, Marcus Lane, David
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Langford-Holt, Sir John
Body, Richard Fry, Peter Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Boscawen, Robert Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Le Marchant, Spencer
Bossom, Sir Clive Gardner, Edward Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bowden, Andrew Gibson-Watt, David Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Longden, Gilbert
Brains, Bernard Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Loveridge, John
Bray, Ronald Glyn, Dr. Alan McAdden, Sir Stephen
Brewis, John Goodhart, Philip MacArthur, Ian
Brinton, Sir Tatton Goodhew, Victor McCrindle, R. A.
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Gorst, John McLaren, Martin
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gower, Raymond Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) McMaster, Stanley
Bryan, Paul Gray, Hamish Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Green, Alan McNair-Wilson, Michael
Buck, Antony Grieve, Percy McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Bullus, Sir Eric Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Madden, Martin
Burden, F. A. Gummer, Selwyn Madel, David
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Gurden, Harold Maginnis, John E.
Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Carlisle, Mark Hall, John (Wycombe) Marten, Neil
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mather, Carol
Cary, Sir Robert Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Maude, Angus
Channon, Paul Hannam, John (Exeter) Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald
Chapman, Sydney Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Mawby, Ray
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Maxwell-Hyslop R. J.
Chichester-Clark, R. Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Meyer, Sir Anthony
Churchill, W. S. Haselhurst, Alan Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hastings, Stephen Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Havers, Michael Miscampbell, Norman
Clegg, Walter Hayhoe, Barney Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire, W)
Cockeram, Eric Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Cooke, Robert Heseltine, Michael Moate, Roger
Coombs, Derek Hicks, Robert Molyneaux, James
Cooper, A. E. Higgins, Terenc L. Money, Ernle D.
Cordle, John Hiley, Joseph Monks, Mrs. Connie
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Monro, Hector
Cormack, Patrick Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Montgomery, Fergus
Costain, A. P. Holland, Philip More, Jasper
Critchley, Julian Holt, Miss Mary Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Crouch, David Hordern, Peter Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Crowder, F. P. Hornby, Richard Mudd, David
Curran, Charles Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Murton, Oscar
Dalkeith, Earl of Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Davies Rt. Hn. John (Knutstord) Howell, David (Guildford) Heave, Airey
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Nicholls, Sir Harmar
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack Hunt, John Normanton, Tom
Nott, John Rost, Peter Tilney, John
Onslow, Cranley, Royle, Anthony Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Russell, Sir Ronald Trew, Peter
Osborn, John St. John-Stevas, Norman Tugendhat, Christopher
Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Scott, Nicholas Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Page Graham (Crosby) Sharples, Richard van Straubenzee, W. R.
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Shelton, William (Clapham) Vickers, Dame Joan
Peel, John Simeons, Charles Waddington, David
Percival, Ian Sinclair, Sir George Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Skeet, T. H. H. Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Pike, Miss Mervyn Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Pink, R. Bonner Soref, Harold Wall, Patrick
Pounder Rafton Speed, Keith Walters, Dennis
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Spence, John Ward, Dame Irene
Price, David (Eastleigh) Sprost, Iain Warren, Kenneth
Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Stanbrook, Ivor Weatherill, Bernard
Proudfoot, Wilfred Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Quennell, Miss J. M. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Raison, Timothy Stokes, John Wiggin, Jerry
Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Wilkinson, John
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Sutcliffe, John Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Redmond, Robert Tapsell, Peter Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Rees, Peter (Dover) Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart) Woodnutt, Mark
Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Worsley, Marcus
Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Tebbit, Norman Younger, Hn. George
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Temple, John M.
Ridsdale, Julian Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) Mr. Hugh Rossi and
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Mr. Paul Hawkins.
Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Mr. Philip Holland (Carlton)

I beg to move Amendment No. 58, in page 3, line 24, after '(b)', insert 'the observance or otherwise of'.

I seek to know here whether paragraph (b) calls the attention of the court or tribunal to the behaviour of the parties before it or to the nature of the code which by then will have been passed by the House. The court or tribunal, in my view, will be more interested in the behaviour of the parties than in the precise terms of the code. The code will be the standard against which the behaviour of the parties before the court or tribunal can be judged.

Having tabled my Amendment, I am still not clear whether, in legal terms, the existing wording implies what I am trying to do in my Amendment. Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General will give the Committee some explanation.

The Solicitor-General

When the court or tribunal is looking at a provision of the code, it will do so in the course of considering any question arising in the proceedings. In other words, there will be before the court or tribunal the question of how a party has conducted himself. On the one hand, it will be looking at what was done. On the other hand, it will be looking at the code and comparing the two. The extent to which one or other party observed the code will be the very question before the court or tribunal, and I suggest that my hon. Friend's point is met by the existing wording.

Mr. Holland

In view of my hon. and learned Friend's explanation, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

We on this side of the Committee wish to make it clear that we would have preferred to debate this issue at some length since it raises a series of very important questions. However, we recognise that, by virtue of the guillotine Motion, it is not possible to give each Clause the scrutiny that it deserves. In the circumstances, and because we feel that Clause 5 contains some of the most important principles and issues in the Bill, I ask my hon. Friends to refrain from speaking on the Question, That Clause 4 stand part of the Bill, but, instead, simply to register our strong opposition to it.

The Solicitor-General

Perhaps I might re-emphasise, in the context of this code, the importance which my right hon. Friend attaches to the fullest consultation taking place before the code comes before the House and to giving the House the fullest opportunity to consider it at that point. It is on that basis that I invite

the Committee to agree to the Clause as it stands.

Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 303, Noes 264.

Onslow, Crarley Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Rost, Peter Tilney, John
Osborn, John Royle, Anthony Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Russell, Sir Ronald Trew, Peter
Page, Graham (Crosby) St. John-Stevas, Norman Tugendhat, Christopher
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Scott, Nicholas Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Parkinson, Cecil Edward Sharples, Richard van Straubcnzee, W. R.
peel, John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Percival, Ian Shelton, William (Clapham) Vickers, Dame Joan
Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Simeons, Charles Waddington, David
Pike, Miss Melvyn Sinclair, Sir George Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Pink, R. Bonner Skeet, T. H. H. Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Pounder, Rafton Smith, Dudley (W'wick& L'mington) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Soref, Harold Wall, Patrick
Price, David (Eastleigh) Speed, Keith Walters, Dennis
Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Spence, John Ward, Dame Irene
Proudfoot, Wilfred Sproat, lain Warren, Kenneth
Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Stanbrook, Ivor Weatherill, Bernard
Quennell, Miss J. M. Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Raison, Timothy Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Wiggin, Jerry
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Stokes, John Wilkinson, John
Redmond, Robert Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Sutcliffe, John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Rees, Peter (Dover) Tapsell, Peter Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Woodnutt, Mark
Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart) Worsley, Marcus
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Younger, Hn. George
Ridsdale, Julian Tebbit, Norman
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Temple, John M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) Mr. Hector Monro and
Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.) Mr. Walter Clegg.
Abse, Lee Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)
Albu, Austen Dalyell, Tam Griffiths, Will (Exchange)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Darling, Rt. Hn. George Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.
Allen, Scholefield Davidson, Arthur Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Armstrong, Ernest Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Hannan, William (Glasgow, Maryhill)
Ashley, Jack Davies, I for (Gower) Hardy, Peter
Ashton, Joe Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Harper, Joseph
Atkinson, Norman Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Bagier, Gordon A, T. Deakins, Eric Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Barnes, Michael de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Hattersley, Roy
Barnett, Joel Delargy, H. J. Heatey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Beaney, Alan Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Heffer, Eric S.
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Dempsey, James Hilton, W. S.
Bidwell, Sydney Doig, Peter Hooson, Emlyn
Bishop, E. S. Dormand, J. D. Horam, John
Blenkinsop, Arthur Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Booth, Albert Driberg, Tom Huckfield, Leslie
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Duffy, A. E. P. Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Dunn, James A. Hughes Mark (Durham)
Bradley, Tom Dunnett, Jack Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Eadie, Alex Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow Provan) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hunter, Adam
Buchan, Norman Edwards, William (Merioneth) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur(Edge Hill)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Ellis Tom Janner, Greville
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) English, Michael Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Evans, Fred Jeger,Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras,S.)
Campbell, I (Dunbartonshire w.) Ferny hough, E. Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Cant, R. B. Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Carmichael, Neil Fitch, Alan (Wigan) John, Brynmor
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm Northfield) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Carter-Jones lewis (Eccles) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Castle, Rt. Hn Barbara Foley, Maurice Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)
Clark, David (Colne valey) Foot, Michael Johnston, Russell (inverness)
Cocks Michael (Bristol, S.) Ford, Ben Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Cohen stanley Forrester, John Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Coleman Donald Fraser, John (Norwood) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Concannon J. D. Freeson, Reginald Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)
Conlan Bernard Galpern, Sir Myer Kaufman, Gerald
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Garrett, W. E. Kelley, Richard
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Gilbert, Dr. John Kerr, Russell
Crawshaw Richard Ginsburg, David Kinnock, Neil
Cronin, John Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Lambie, David
Cronin, John Gourlay, Harry Lamond, James
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Grant, George (Morpeth) Latham, Arthur
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Lawson, George
Leadbitter, Ted Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Sillars, James
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Murray, Ronald King Silverman, Julius
Leonard, Dick O'Halloran, Michael Skinner, Dennis
Lestor, Miss Joan O'Malley, Brian Small, William
Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Oram, Bert Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Orbach, Maurice Spearing, Nigel
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Orme, Stanley Spriggs, Leslie
Lipton, Marcus Oswald, Thomas Stallard, A. W.
Lomas, Kenneth Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Steel, David
Loughlin, Charles Paget, R. T. Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Palmer, Arthur Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Strang, Gavin
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Pardoe, John Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
McBride, Neil Parker, John (Dagenham) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
McCartney, Hugh Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Swain, Thomas
McElhone, Frank Pavitt, Laurie Taverne, Dick
McGuire, Michael Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Mackenzie, Gregor Pendry, Tom Tinn, James
Mackle, John Pentland, Norman Torney, Tom
Mackintosh, John P. Perry, Ernest G. Tuck, Raphael
Maclennan, Robert Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Urwin, T. W.
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Prescott, John Varley, Eric G.
McNamara, J. Kevin Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Wainwright, Edwin
MacPherson, Malcolm Price, William (Rugby) Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Probert, Authur Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Rankin, John Wallace, George
Marks, Kenneth Reed, D, (Sedgefield) Watkins, David
Marquand, David Rees, Mertyn (Leeds, S.) Weitzman, David
Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Rhodes, Geoffrey Wellbeloved, James
Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Richard, Ivor White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Meacher, Michael Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Whitehead, Phillip
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy(Caemarvon) Whitlock, William
Mendelson, John Robertson, John (Paisley) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Mikardo, Ian Roderick,Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Millan, Bruce Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Miller, Dr. M. S. Roper, John Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Rose, Paul B. Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Molloy, William Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.) Mr. William Hamling and
Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Mr. John Golding.
Moyle, Roland Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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