§ 3.33 p.m.
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. William Whitelaw)
I beg to move,
That the Order [25th January] be supplemented as follows:—1. The proceedings on Consideration of the Lords Amendments shall be completed in five allotted days, and shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion at midnight on the fifth of those days.2. In accordance with the Order [25th January], paragraph 6 of that Order (which relates to dilatory motions), paragraph 7 of that Order (which relates to extra time on allotted days), paragraph 8 of that Order (which relates to motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at the commencement of public business), paragraph 9 of that Order (which relates to private business), and so much of paragraph 14 of that Order as relates to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted business) shall have effect in relation to the Proceedings mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Order.3.—(1) For the purpose of bringing to a conclusion any Proceedings which are to be brought to a conclusion at a time appointed by this Order, if those Proceedings have not previously been brought to a conclusion, Mr. Speaker shall proceed forthwith to put the following Questions (but no others), that is to say,—
- (a) Mr. Speaker shall first put forthwith any Question which has been already proposed from the Chair and not yet decided, and, if that Question is for the amendment of a Lords Amendment, shall then put forthwith the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Lords Amendment or, as the case may be, in the said Lords Amendment as amended;
- (b) Mr. Speaker shall designate such (if any) of the remaining Lords Amendments as appear to him to involve questions of Privilege and shall then forthwith—
- (i) put the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in all the remaining Lords Amendments except those designated by Mr. Speaker or, if none of the remaining Lords Amendments have been so designated, in all the remaining Lords Amendments, and
- (ii) if any of the remaining Lords Amendments have been so designated, put separately, with respect to each of those Amendments so designated, the Question on any Motion, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.(2) Proceedings under sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.576(3) If, on the fifth of the allotted days mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Order, a Motion is made under Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration), the bringing to a conclusion of the Proceedings on the Bill shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the Proceedings on that Motion.4. In paragraph 11 of the Order [25th January] (which relates to Supplemental Orders) any reference to that Order shall be construed as including a reference to this Order.5. In this Order 'the Bill' means the Industrial Relations Bill and 'allotted day' means any day (not being a Friday, but including the day on which this Order is made) on which the Bill is put down as the first Government Order of the Day.
§ The Motion supplements the original Allocation of Time Order for the Bill, which the House approved on 25th January. I think it will be for the convenience of the House if I mention briefly the procedure which is proposed.
§ The original Order provided for a timetable at this stage of the Bill. Under the supplemental Order now proposed, discussion of the Lords Amendments would take up to a maximum of five days of debate, each day's proceedings ending at midnight. There would not be a day-today timetable providing for Divisions at midnight. Instead, all the remaining Amendments, except where privilege is involved, would be subject to a single vote taken at the end of the fifth day. This procedure is in accordance with sound precedent on the consideration of Lords Amendments.
§ The exceptions would be the Amendments which you, Mr. Speaker, have selected as raising questions of privilege. I understand that there are nine such Amendments. Some or all of them may be reached and voted upon before the end of proceedings on the fifth day. If they have not been so dealt with, they will fall to be voted upon separately at the end of the fifth day. The House will note, therefore, that the number of possible Divisions at the end of the proceedings under the Motion is strictly limited.
§ I proposed five days for consideration of this stage of the Bill because I accept that there are a number of Amendments, 343 in all, many of them Amendments proposed by the Government—[Interruption.] Just wait a moment; there is more to come. It is right that there should be a generous allocation of time 577 for this important and valuable Bill. The House will find if it studies the precedents that the amount of time allotted compares very well with that on some previous Bills. Let me give some examples.
§ In the case of the Town and Country Planning Bill, 1947, the 309 Lords Amendments were taken in 7½ hours on a single day. There were 240 Lords Amendments to the Transport Bill of the same year. They were taken in under 12 hours, spread over two days. The 272 Lords Amendments to the London Government Bill, 1963, occupied under seven hours on a single day. On the Transport Bill, 1968, of the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), there were 258 Lords Amendments. They were taken in 22 hours, spread over three days.
§ As I have said on a previous occasion, the allocation of five days for this Bill is, so far as I have been able to discover, the longest time provided for the consideration of Lords Amendments in the whole history of Parliament.
§ Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)
Before the right hon. Gentleman moves on, will he explain in a little more detail what the arrangements are for voting on outstanding Amendments, apart from the privileged Amendments, at the end of the fifth day, and tell us the precedents for the procedure suggested?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I thought I had made that clear. In the first instance, all those Amendments, except those where privilege is involved, which are outstanding at the end of the fifth day will be taken in one single vote.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Certainly, but it is a perfectly good precedent none the less. There was also the Transport Bill, 953——
§ Mr. Whitelaw Certainly, but they are perectly good precedents for what I have done. 578 In view of all that was said inside and outside the House, I am surprised to find hon. Members objecting to a sensible procedure for voting and Divisions. [Interruption.] Perhaps I might continue with what I was saying.
§ I have conceded that the number of Amendments is large. It is equally fair to point out that many of them, some 135 out of the 343, are either non-Government Amendments which the Government have accepted or Amendments which they have themselves put down to meet Opposition points. Some 32 other Amendments seem to be of a purely drafting nature, and no fewer than 137 are Amendments which are consequential on others.
§ It is also worth pointing out that in this House alone the Bill has had 200 hours of discussion—21 days, all of them on the Floor of the House, in addition to the five now proposed for the consideration of the Lords Amendments. It certainly makes it a very generous allocation of time, as Labour Members seem to concede.
§ When the original timetable Motion was tabled in January, the House went over the general arguments for and against this course, and I do not propose to repeat those arguments now. I only re-emphasise that the amount of time now allocated is the longest for Lords Amendments in the whole history of Parliament. This is a generous allocation of time, and I challenge any fair-minded person to say otherwise. On that basis, I commend the Motion to the House.
§ Mr. Speaker
Before I call the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), may I point out that although the clocks have started again, it is still P.A.N.S. time—post all-night sitting time? The clocks are about 25 minutes slow.
§ 3.41 p.m.
§ Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)
The Leader of the House is in a self-congratulatory mood this afternoon and has clearly been working very hard to try to dazzle the House with a whole flood of precedents to prove that he is the most generous man living today, though I noticed that he was a little coy about the exact precedents for the new procedure that we shall be facing at the end of the fifth day.
§ The most endearing quality about the right hon. Gentleman is that he loves to be loved. [HON. MEMBERS: "What about you?"] Perhaps I succeed more easily than the right hon. Gentleman does. It is a very appropriate quality for the Leader of the House, because if the Leader of the House arouses animosity and antagonism and mistrust in any part of the House, he fails in his job. The right hon. Gentleman has obviously worked hard this afternoon to retrieve the affections which he realises he has forfeited in recent weeks on this side of the House, and this allocation of five days is a desperate exercise to try to win back the trust of the Opposition in him as an impartial Leader of the House.
§ But, for reasons which I shall explain, this exercise will not be sufficient to restore him to the high opinion which we once had of him, because, apart from anything else, that will not happen until the right hon. Gentleman has the honesty to stop shielding the Government over their abuse of public funds by the free distribution of their propaganda material through the Post Office. I warn the right hon. Gentleman that that is a serious blot on his reputation and it will mean that our high opinion of him will not be restored until it is removed.
§ The right hon. Gentleman is not clearing his good name by giving us five days to consider the Amendments from another place. The allocation of time which he has just announced is a confession of guilt, because it is a tacit admission that the right hon. Gentleman and the Government has mishandled this whole matter from the very moment the Bill first came before the House. They mishandled it by rushing the Bill through in the first place as the overriding priority in their legislative timetable, and they have mishandled it by giving us a grossly disproportionate allocation of time between the two Houses of Parliament.
§ The Bill was a monstrous growth in the first place—150 Clauses and eight Schedules. That was its size when it first came, but by the time it left the Commons it had already been expanded to 160 Clauses. Now it has come back to us from another place 170 Clauses and nine Schedules long. The right hon. Gentleman cannot find any comfort for his argument by calling in aid my own 580 Transport Bill. There are two profound differences between that Bill at this stage and this Bill at this stage. First, my Transport Bill actually shrank during its process through Parliament. It ended up three Clauses shorter than when it started, not 20 Clauses longer. Secondly, and I return the challenge to the right hon. Gentleman when he quotes the amount of time spent on that Bill, he knows perfectly well that the Lords Amendments to the Transport Bill of 1968 were never timetabled by the Labour Government.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
That is a very fair point and I do not seek to disguise it for a moment. Has it occurred to the right hon. Lady that the reason for that—and it may be the position at the moment—was that the Chief Whip of the time was very reasonable in the matter? If the right hon. Lady and her hon. Friends do not want a full five days on the Bill, it is perfectly possible for them not to have the full five days but just as much time as is needed.
§ Mrs. Castle
The right hon. Gentleman knows that what we are objecting to is the time table Motion. I repeat what I have said before during our discussions—at no time have the Government approached the Opposition about this important constitutional Bill to try to reach a voluntary timetable. That was our complaint in the earlier stages of the Bill, and our complaint this afternoon is that this timetable Motion, which hon. Members opposite are being asked to support so lightheartedly, is in fact a derogation of some of the basic rights of Parliament, as I will proceed to show.
It is in the interests of every hon. Member who cares about the rights of the Commons in our constitution to note that we have suffered from a treatment amounting to contempt of the rights of the House of Commons itself. Under the guillotine Motion which the right hon. Gentleman introduced almost at the beginning of our proceedings, the House was allowed a total of 170 hours to discuss what by common consent was a highly complex, highly legalistic and deeply constitutional Bill. We were allowed 170 hours for all the stages through the House of Commons. About 1,300 Amendments were tabled. Only a fraction, thanks to 581 the guillotine, were ever discussed, let alone accepted.
At the end of our proceedings, only 100 Amendments had been made. That was not because the Bill was so perfect that the Government had admitted that it needed no altering. On the contrary, a lot of our time was spent discussing Government Amendments and hundreds of Amendments we wanted to press were never reached. When the Bill went to another place it was largely undiscussed because of the guillotine. In addition, in Committee a succession of new Government Clauses came pouring in. We have had this imbalance in the use of Parliament to debate something like over two-thirds of the Bill. Over 100 Clauses of the original Bill were not discussed at all by Parliament. Their Lordships had to take up the task. Because they do not have to suffer what we have to suffer—restrictive orders on their discussion by the Government—they spent, not 170 hours as we did, but 237 hours discussing 1,113 Amendments compared with the limited number which we were allowed to discuss.
The Bill did not leave this House in a state fit to enable it to go on the Statute Book, because of the 351 Amendments made in another place. Of those, 294 were Government Amendments introduced either to tighten the net still further or to remedy the drafting and policy muddle into which the Government had got themselves by imposing on us an intolerable, restrictive guillotine.
We now have before us a Bill which was longer in Committee and on Report in the Lords than any Bill since before the war; a Bill to which more Lords Amendments have been made than to any Bill since the war; a Bill in which one line in three has been amended in another place; a Bill to which whole new sections have been added so that this House now receives virtually a new, additional Bill.
It is a Bill which, since it left us, has acquired new and even more iniquitous principles, such as the contemptible new provision slipped into Schedule 2 to amend the redundancy pay scheme. It is something that ought to have been contained in a Redundancy Pay Bill. It has nothing to do with the Industrial Relations Bill. It is a contemptible scheme, with advantage taken of another place to slip 582 this change into the law under which an employee who is off sick when a redundancy notice is served on him will no longer be able to draw the sick pay due to him under the firm's sick pay scheme because the employer will be able to deduct it from his redundancy pay.
I do not suppose that half the hon. Members opposite who were cheering on the Leader of the House have any idea what has happened to the Bill in another place or what new principles have been added while our backs were turned, and how it has been extended even further into a petty little "Employers' Benefit Bill".
Take another vital matter of principle and policy. Consider whether the Government will take their petty revenge against unions which refuse to register to the point of robbing them of tax relief on their provident funds. This was a matter which—I was going to say we debated it at length, but we did not get the chance—we had to debate hurriedly under the guillotine Motion. We told the Secretary of State that what his Bill meant was that if a union did not register it would be fined, probably to the tune of some millions of pounds in toto. The right hon. Gentleman staked his honour on assuring us that this was not——
§ Sir Harmer Nicholls (Peterborough)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is the right hon. Lady not cheating? I thought we were discussing the guillotine, not the Bill. It is taking time away from the House to discuss the Bill and she knows that she is taking an unfair advantage.
§ Mrs. Castle
I am trying to discuss whether the timetable Motion is inadequate for us to discuss and supervise changes in the Bill as it comes from another place. When we discussed this we received an assurance from the Secretary of State that this was the last thing he intended. He assured the House that had he thought it necessary to set up a special register, for example, for those trade unions which did not wish to register in an industrial sense but wanted to keep their provident fund tax relief he would have done it. But he said, "I am assured that it is not necessary." He had gone into it most carefully and 583 had been told that there were no technical, constitutional or legal difficulties.
This matter was re-ventilated in another place because in the meantime the T.U.C. also had been taking advice which was that the tax relief on such funds would be forfeited, that there were legal, technical and constitutional difficulties. After all, the T.U.C. is not exactly anxious to exaggerate the disabilities of not registering. The T.U.C. is concerned with the protection of its members' funds. There were long discussions in another place and an Amendment was moved to clarify the position and negatived on the assurance of the Lord Chancellor that he did not see any reason to believe that the Solicitor-General was wrong in this case.
Are millions of pounds of trade union money to rest on that frail barque, or shall we have the opportunity in these five days to discuss vital new developments such as this? The right hon. Gentleman retorts that he is giving five days and that it is more than has been given during such a stage to any equivalent Measure. This House has not discussed a Bill of such far-reaching implications or such constitutional importance as this for many a long year, and none of the right hon. Gentlemen precedents covers a similar Bill. Moreover, it is five days not just for drafting Amendments dealing with Government second thoughts about their own phraseology but five days for dealing with all the stages of important new Clauses and vital matters of principle. There are 351 Amendments to start with and this House has a right to amend Lords Amendments if it pleases. The number of Amendments could rise much higher. Most serious of all, we know why this apparently generous allocation of five days is being given. It is to cloak the surreptitious introduction of an undemocratic principle, a principle of preventing this House from voting on Amendments individually. This is really the key to this Motion.
§ Mr. Ian Lloyd (Portsmouth, Langstone) rose——
§ Mrs. Castle
I cannot give way. The hon. Gentleman may be able to intervene later. This is what the Motion means. At the end of the fifth day all the Lords Amendments which are not privileged, that is to say which do not involve 584 money, are to be put en bloc, and the rights of this House of Commons to amend the Bill adequately already denied us are taken away from us yet again. Some of the Lords Amendments are, naturally enough, concessions to points raised during our debates either by the Opposition or by back-bench Members opposite. Therefore, we would not wish to vote against them. But we would want to go into the Lobby against other Amendments, such as the iniquitous Amendment No. 301 about sick pay.
Suppose that we are asked on the fifth night to accept a whole block of Amendments, some of which we wanted, some of which were as repugnant to us as Amendment No. 301? Where will the rights of the Opposition have gone then? Are we not reducing Parliamentary activity, at least in this place, to a farce which makes us the subject of ridicule in another place?
The Leader of the House has said a lot about precedents. There are no precedents, except Conservative precedents, for this procedure. From time to time the House has agreed to adopt a compressed procedure for hurrying Measures on to the Statute Book. For example, it adopted such procedures during the war when the Germans were at our gates. We had emergency procedures then for voting in globo and we adopted them voluntary. In fact, they were not necessary, because Parliament was united in its anxiety to clear the decks to prosecute the war. What war do the Government think they are prosecuting now? As Erskine May says in the Fourteenth Edition,ߪ such procedure is clearly inapplicable beyond the end of the war ߪErskine May reckoned without the present Government.
It was two Conservative Measures which were earlier treated in this way by a Conservative Government—the Transport Bill of 1952 and the London Government Bill of 1962. The Minister has not been able to produce a single other precedent. But I say advisedly that there is no precedent for the mutilation of the rights of this House on the proposed scale. The right hon. Gentleman knows why he has done it, just as we know. There were no protests from right hon. and hon. Members opposite against the earlier guillotine on our debates. They 585 were only too ready to acquiesce in restricting the House's freedom of action. But then they found with a shock that, although they had suppressed debate, they had not been able to suppress the voting. That soon woke them up. They were only too ready to support the counter-revolution as long as they personally did not have to man the barricades as we voted night after night, exercising our democratic right to vote on Amendments which were to be embodied in the law.
When that stage was over, the murmurs began. I heard them from a number of hon. Members opposite. It was said, "What is all this old-fashioned nonsense about proposals not becoming law unless Parliament has had a chance to vote on them? We have stopped them debating. Do you mean to say that we cannot stop them voting, too?" [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes. I heard it in the House only last Thursday, when the hon. Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) challenged the Leader of the House about his timetable Motion, asking whether the right hon. Gentleman would produce a Motion which made it absolutely clear that when the debating had been silenced at midnight the voting could be silenced too. The right hon. Gentleman, who has forfeited the high opinion which we once held of him, has been only too happy to acquiesce.
This apparently generous allocation of five days is just a smokescreen for the further entrenchment of a dangerous new principle. Why does not the Leader of the House say, "Remove this bauble and have done with it"? We oppose the Motion, first, because we object to this miserable, shambling Bill. We object to it in globo as being malicious and irrelevant. We object to the wasted time in the last 13 months which this House has had to spend on the Bill while other urgent matters piled up. Secondly, we object to the Motion because—and I say this advisedly—it erodes the freedom of all of us on both sides of the House. We should stop and think rather more carefully before we create this additional, massive precedent for Governments claiming the right, because they have a majority, not only to restrict debates but to stop hon. Members voting.
The Government have proved that they can get their Measures through only by 586 perverting the procedures and rights of Parliament. That is why we shall vote against the Motion.
§ 4.5 p.m.
§ Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)
The right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) has fooled nobody. She has used her histrionics but has produced no facts which are contrary to the statement that the Motion proposes a very generous allocation of time if the House decides to use it properly. It is completely within the power of the House to use the proposed five Parliamentary days to ensure that the Amendments are properly examined or to waste time. The right hon. Lady's histrionics have done no more than give a hint that the Opposition intend to waste time purely for propaganda purposes, as they did during earlier stages of the Bill.
§ Mrs. Castle
Has the hon. Gentleman made any calculation of how much time was taken in Committee by hon. Members opposite compared with the time taken by the Opposition? Does he agree that it was equivalent and in some cases more? If so, does he think that his hon. Friends were wasting time?
§ Sir H. Nicholls
It is well within my recollection that many excellent, constructive speeches were made by the right hon. Lady's colleagues and by my hon. Friends. But it is also within my recollection that for sheer propaganda purposes others wasted time in order to delay the passage of the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name them."]
This is an important Bill. It concerns a fundamental matter. It is right that the House should give it detailed and careful consideration. I ask for co-operation to ensure that that happens. If Members follow the line taken during the earlier stages of the Bill, Parliament will not be doing its duty. Five full parliamentary days will allow detailed examination to be made even of the number of Amendments on the Notice Paper. If Members are genuine in their belief that Amendments should be made and that other provisions should be thrown out, and if they are prepared to spend the time allocated wisely and properly and according to their duty. But if the Opposition continue to make this a great national propaganda exercise in order to keep the 587 friendship of their trade union paymasters, the time will be wasted. The responsibility for ensuring that we do our duty is in the Opposition's hands.
I make this appeal to the Opposition. I ask them to ignore the histrionics, exaggeration and venom of the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn. I ask them to act as responsible Members dealing with a responsible Bill. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) always does that. He is not one of the time-wasters. I suggest to the House that it should do its duty and should spend the five days allocated to the Bill properly. If it does so, the Bill will be examined in the sort of detail upon which Parliament should always insist. But if the hon. Member for Feltham (Mr. Russell Kerr), who is an acknowledged and self-confessed disrupter, has his way, that will not happen.
§ Mr. Heffer
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in order to examine the Bill in detail over five days we would have to examine 60 Amendments per day? Does he think that that is possible and that at the same time we can examine the Amendments in the detailed way he suggests?
§ Sir H. Nicholls
I compliment the hon. Gentleman because his reputation soared during the earlier discussions on the Bill. He was a worthy occupant of the Opposition Front Bench.
As for the hon. Gentleman's intervention now, his right hon. Friend admitted that quite a number of Amendments included in the calculation were needed in any case and should take no time. The right hon. Lady made that perfectly clear.
I have had some experience of this House, and I would say that if these five days are properly used by both sides we can do our duty and do it properly, and my appeal to hon. Members opposite is to see that they do just that.
§ 4.10 p.m.
§ Mr. James Tinn (Cleveland)
I had not intended to speak at this moment, but the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) has certainly provoked me and I want to rebut the allegations he has made about time wasting by this side.
588 I cannot imagine any task more difficult than that which confronted the Opposition during the Committee on the Bill, faced as we were with a whole range of Amendments, most of them Government Amendments—and only an hour and a half before a sitting of the Committee. The Opposition tried desperately to allocated the time so that those aspects which we felt most vitally concerned our constituents and our members could be discussed. We were faced with an utterly impossible task, but we did our utmost to deal with it. Indeed, a very strong restraining influence was exerted on back-bench Members on this side, and I can tell the hon. Member that there was considerable resentment among many back-bench Members on this side, because they were constantly restrained by our Front Bench and asked not to speak on some Amendments, because, while the Front Bench realised that those Amendments were of importance, there were others which were thought to be even more important and it was hoped they could be reached and debated. That was the dilemma which we faced throughout, and with which we did our utmost to grapple. It presented us with a problem which it was entirely impossible to resolve and it is entirely wrong for hon. Members opposite to accuse us on this side of wasting time.
There was no need to waste time even had we been so disposed, because the Government themselves felt required to introduce regularly a wealth of Amendments of their own to so many of the contentious and damaging Clauses. So there was no need to waste time.
Indeed, if we on this side had confined ourselves to speeches of no more than two or three minutes' duration each on each Amendment we still could not have concluded proper discussion of the Bill in the period which was allocated to it. That proper discussion has been denied not only to the Opposition but to the House as a whole, and that on a complex Bill, because of the narrow restrictions of the procedural Motion so that we had no opportunity to deal with the Bill at all constructively.
I speak now as one who has spoken only infrequently during the debates on the Bill, and I hope that on those occasions when I did speak I did so constructively, even though there were times 589 when I felt it almost impossible to be constructive because the Bill was so inherently bad in its drafting and in its intentions and would be so inefficient in its application.
I will end on a cautionary note. My right hon. Friend has pointed to the absence, with one or two exceptions, of Members on the opposite side. Remembering the votes which they were called upon to make and their reluctance to register their votes we should bear in mind that the Government are now setting a precedent of which a future Labour Government might want to take advantage. No Labour Government have ever confronted the House of Commons in this manner; we have always had our parliamentary conventions; but we must reserve our right likewise to act should at some future time a Labour Government be faced with obstruction from the other side.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Ian Lloyd (Portsmouth, Langstone)
Like the hon. Member for Cleveland (Mr. Tinn) I had not intended to intervene, and had the right hon. Lady given way when I rose to interrupt perhaps 1 should not be on my feet now, but it seems to me that there is nothing more difficult for hon. Members on such occasions as this than to distinguish between two things, the one, the genuine indignation which we all know, acknowledge and respect, and the other, synthetic indignation with which in this House we are all familiar because we know that both parties at times have shown synthetic indignation. Sometimes back benchers expect it and sometimes Governments expect it.
There are occasions when we ought to deal with the facts as they are, and one of the facts, especially apparent when we have a complex Bill of this type, is simply this, that in the last two or three years the Government have put more legislation before the House than our procedure is really equipped to deal with. It is a fact, clear and unequivocal, that many of our procedures appear obsolete. Alternatively, when matters of high principle are involved—and no one would dispute that this Bill is a matter of high principle—we are forced, because of our procedure, and because, in some sense, of the generosity of our procedure, to behave in a 590 fashion which the country regards as ludicrous.
The right hon. Lady said she was defending the reputation of Parliament, but the reputation of Parliament does not reside only in this Chamber and is not contingent only on the respect held for it by Members of Parliament but also upon the respect in which Parliament is held in the country as a whole. It is not only respect in this House of Parliament. If we are honest with ourselves, we here all know, and the country is beginning to know, that the majority which a Government have is required systematically and automatically time after time to go through the process of walking through the Lobbies, and that that automatic majority is conferred upon the Government of the day at a General Election; and that majority, as the right hon. Lady knows, and most hon. Members know, with a few exceptions which, I would concede, may be significant and important, and perhaps adjusted by such devices as pairing, will lead on every single occasion to a predictable result, and we know it.
The essence of the matter is quite simple. Are we to regard our procedure, and its effects in relation to legislation, as the sole, dominating criterion? Or are we to pay some attention to the fact that the country looks at what it regards as our antics—and I would share that view, that hundreds of Members walking round the Lobbies between midnight and 4 a.m. is nothing more than our antics—and wonders whether they are the only way of governing the country?
§ 4.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)
I speak as one who has not generally spoken during the previous stages of the Bill, not because I had no desire to speak but because many of my trade union colleagues and others of my hon. Friends wished to speak in the limited time available and I exercised a sort of self-denial to allow them to get on with the job. I hope that the Leader of the House is not leaving us, because it is a most important matter. I am glad that he has come back again. What concerns me most is that, if I understand the Motion correctly, there is in it a very significant point which the right hon. Gentleman did not mention and which, I believe, derogates from respect for the 591 House in a most significant and sinister manner. As I understand the Motion it is not possible for hon. Members to raise Standing Order No. 9 Motions on four of the five days of discussion of these Lords Amendments.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
That would be perfectly in order. Perhaps I had better explain. It is perfectly in order for anyone to raise a Standing Order No. 9 Motion and perfectly in order for Mr. Speaker to grant it if he wishes, but, of course, the three hours would come out of the total time allocated to the Bill. But it is perfectly possible for such a Motion to be raised.
§ Mr. Hughes
In a sense, that is an answer to the point I had intended originally to make, that I thought that the Motion entirely denied hon. Members the right to move Standing Order No. 9 Motions and took away from hon. Members the right to raise important matters, but, in a sense, it makes the matter worse.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the right hon. Gentleman correct in what he is saying? I am advised, following discussions through the usual channels, that the Motion means that there can be an emergency debate under Standing Order No. 9 on the fifth day only. That is the child's guide to the right hon. Gentleman's Motion which was given to me by a source whom I understood had had it explained to him by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I understand that that is not so. I will check it at once. My understanding is that an Adjournment under Standing Order No. 9 can be moved on any one of the days during the passage of the Bill and not on only the fifth day. That is my understanding, but I will check the facts.
§ Mrs. Castle
Will the right hon. Gentleman intervene to inform the House of what the position actually is?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Either I or my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment will at the end.
§ Mr. Hughesrose——
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. If I may just give a hint, it might be different if the 592 Motion were granted for the same day rather than for the next day.
§ Mr. Hughes
As a comparatively new Member, and after that multiple intervention, I am not quite sure if I remember exactly where I was. Whichever is the case, and it has been suggested by my hon. Friends who have considerably more experience in the House than I have that my interpretation of the Motion is correct, it would be a serious matter; because I do not believe that the House has a right, whether it wishes to or not, to take from Mr. Speaker his duty as the servant of the House to decide whether an hon. Member's application for an emergency debate on matters of extreme public importance should be granted. I should be very pleased if I am wrong on this matter.
I hope that the Leader of the House will tell us the result of the advice which he is so urgently taking. It is a very serious matter. We come here to represent our constituents. We believe that we have the right at various times to raise matters which are beyond the planning stage. We are all subject to the disciplines of the rules of order, and to the procedures of the House. We must try to plan our work ahead. We have to put our Questions in at fortnightly intervals. I interpret the Motion as meaning that Private Notice Questions will be out of order on these days. We should not allow these two things to pass without serious discussion and, if I am right, serious dissent.
On the other hand, if my interpretation and that of others is wrong and it is possible for the Adjournment of the House to be moved under Standing Order No. 9 or for a Private Notice Question to be asked, in a sense it puts the individual Member in an intolerable position, because he will have to judge whether the matter he seeks to raise is of such importance that it should hold up the discussion on this very important Bill.
We have made our protests that the five days which are being allocated are not sufficient time to enable us to give all the Amendments serious consideration. If a Private Notice Question were to be asked or an Adjournment under Standing Order No. 9 granted, from the five days we should be taking the three hours, the six hours, or the nine hours, as the case may be.
593 I accept that it is a good thing that hon. Members should not apply for a Private Notice Question or for a debate under Standing Order No. 9 without the case being very urgent and compelling. It is a good thing that this fact is brought to the attention of hon. Members. What this will also do is place on Mr. Speaker the intolerable burden, not only of having to decide whether to grant a debate under Standing Order No. 9, but also to weigh in the balance how far he will be the servant of the House in allowing a debate under Standing Order No. 9. It places Mr. Speaker and hon. Members in an invidious position.
I hope that the matter can be cleared up by the Leader of the House. It is impossible to go further than the Motion, which allows us on the fifth day only the possibility of a debate under Standing Order No. 9, but then the proceedings would be pushed forward by three hours. Some of my hon. Friends may be able to enlighten me as to whether there can be more than one Standing Order No. 9 debate on any one day. If it is possible for there to be two or three debates under Standing Order No. 9 on one day, on the fifth allotted day the debate on the Bill could be postponed for as long as nine hours which would mean that we would be discussing all through the night the Bill the important points of which we are only now beginning to see. I hope that the House will reject the Motion.
§ 4.26 p.m.
§ Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)
Two things are clear. First, the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) arrived at the House today with a lengthy speech, carefully written out, which she was determined to read. She read it. The whole House must now hope that she feels better for having read it. I do not believe that it was a contribution to a debate. It was immensely predictable and largely repetitive, and we have heard batches of it before.
Second, she had the mortification of delivering her speech to benches on her side which were almost totally silent, except for one dutiful "Hear, hear" uttered by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). She had the extra mortification of having to listen to an additional point 594 raised by the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Robert Hughes), which had apparently been overlooked by her.
The right hon. Lady's speech today cannot be counted as one of the greatest triumphs of her parliamentary career, and it is best forgotten on that account. When my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House commended the Motion to the House as one which would be supported by all fair-minded hon. Members, he was right. No one who before she spoke would have judged the right hon. Lady to be fair-minded would have put her in that category when she sat down. By these criteria, it is clear that this is a Motion which the House should support.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
During the course of this year, many of my hon. Friends and I have had to argue with our trade union colleagues in the country that they should not take industrial action in opposition to a political matter. We have told them that the importance in this issue Is that of letting Parliament discuss the issue democratically. We have dissuaded them from taking industrial action on the ground that elected representatives would have the opportunity of discussing the Bill and expressing their opinions of it and of voting on the provisions of the Bill.
Neither of those conditions can prevail. We shall not be able to vote on each of the Lords Amendments, nor will it be possible for us to speak on all of them. I do not share the cynicism of the hon. Member for Portsmouth, Langstone (Mr. Ian Lloyd), who discounts the voting procedure in the House entirely by saying that, because of pairing arrangements, the result is always known in advance. If that attitude were to prevail, we might as well, after a General Election, forget voting in the House until the next General Election. This is a nonsensical argument. We on this side think that we owe it to our trade union colleagues, whose feelings are so high, to have the right to vote on the Clauses in the Bill. But this Motion will deprive us of the opportunity.
§ Mr. Ian Lloyd
The hon. Gentleman has misinterpreted my view of the rubber-stamp philosophy. It is not my idea that the House should not vote between one 595 election and another but that it should vote a substantial number of times on a substantial number of issues, and that is all.
§ Mr. Golding
A number of my hon. Friends want to pursue that point but I think that the hon. Gentleman himself has seen the absurdity of his argument and that is why he has made this qualification, for which I thank him.
If there are no speeches on the Government side, we on this side of the House will have four minutes per Amendment and we do not, in these circumstances, believe that we can go back to our trade union rank and file and tell them honestly that we have debated the Bill as thoroughly as we should have done. For these reasons, I oppose the Motion very strongly.
§ 4.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)
We seem to be embarking on a self-elongating exercise in that every speaker provokes two from the other side into replying.
I can only endorse what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls). [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] Those of us who spent so many hours on the Bill earlier in this House can see the same process evolving again. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding) quotes yet again the statistic of four minutes per Lords Amendment. We all know perfectly well that many of the Lords Amendments are the fruits of our own earlier efforts in this House, while another batch are consequential. It is bogus for hon. Members opposite to approach the subject in that way.
I believe that if we were making proper use of our time, we would not be spending so long on the Lords Amendments but would be debating the Code of Industrial Practice, and I am disappointed that there has not been more information from the Opposition about the possibility of debating the code. The best use of our time would be by genuinely attempting to create the best possible Act out of these provisions. I appreciate that a number of hon. Members still wish to speak on the Motion, but I hope that we can now get down to debating the Lords Amendments and constructively applying ourselves to creating the best possible final result.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)
It is interesting to note that some of the lectures by hon. Members opposite to which we have been subjected have been brief and that the lecturers, having made their points, have left the Chamber. The question of how many hon. Members have been in attendance in the House has been raised. The table is now reversed in the light of the number of hon. Members opposite compared with the number of hon. Members present on this side of the House. It is somewhat odd that the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) should lecture us about the Bill, since one does not remember him taking part in the debates earlier, apart from the equity debates. The hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) knows that this is true because he took part in the Committee and Report stages in a serious manner.
We regard this Bill as very serious indeed. We reject its philosophy. We have opposed it as strongly as we could and will continue to oppose it. No one can level charges at us that debate has not been carried on in a parliamentary way. I believe that it has, indeed, been a credit to Parliament itself—almost too creditable in view of the manner in which the Government have introduced and forced the Bill through.
We in this House were unable to discuss very many important Clauses in detail. Indeed, it was left to a non-elected Chamber to discuss the basic points about agency shops and so forth. The Lords Amendments are now back here, but we still cannot discuss in detail many of the basic facts. We shall have to attach our arguments to some of the Amendments and not have the frontal debates that we wanted. The result is that when the Bill finally reaches the Statute Book large sections of it will not have been debated properly by the elected assembly of the country, and that is a disgrace.
The hon. Member for Portsmouth, Langstone (Mr. Ian Lloyd) and the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow)—who has also left the Chamber—have criticised the voting procedure. When we were deprived of the right of discussing this Bill properly, many of us felt that we had to register every form of constitutional opposition, and we exercised 597 our right of voting. If the truth were only known—and perhaps the Leader of the House and the Government Chief Whip could tell us—the restriction to voting only on the Amendments involving privilege has been brought about because back-benchers opposite revolted and insisted that there shall be no voting during these five days.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Perhaps I can correct the hon. Gentleman. The suggestion that there will be no voting during these five days is not correct. Whenever an Amendment is reached and a Division is desired on it, there will be a vote.
§ Mr. Tom King
I specifically exclude the hon. Gentleman from the comment that I am about to make. He feels strongly about the right to exercise his vote, but do not the voting figures of the last day of the Bill in this House before it went to the Lords show that an awful lot of hon. Members opposite do not feel as strongly as he does?
§ Mr. Orme
We registered our votes, but whether the voting be one or 630 no one has the right to deny the opportunity to vote to hon. Members. It is an antidemocratic proposal. It says, in effect, "Do not let us vote because we want to get on with business." We see this sort of tendency under all Governments. Hon. Members opposite should guard their constitutional rights a little more carefully. I would point out to them that, assuming the proposal to join the Common Market is carried in the substantive vote on 28th October, we shall then have a year of legislation to implement that decision. What if the Leader of the House introduces legislation to curtail the democratic rights of the House? What will some hon. Members opposite do then? They know very well that voting habits are not fixed from the time one enters this House until the next election. Indeed, many hon. Members opposite abstained on certain Amendments during the Committee and Report stages of the Bill in this House. One or two hon. Gentlemen opposite told me that for cer- 598 tain reasons they had not supported certain Amendments. The hon. Gentleman is trying to deprive us of the opportunity of expressing our opinions and upholding parliamentary democracy.
§ Mr. Ian Lloyd
What the hon. Gentleman is saying is that if we are to have what is virtually an infinity of legislation we must have an infinity of time. That is not possible. All I am saying is that we have to choose between a maximum of discussion and a maximum of voting. Surely the House and the country want a maximum of discussion?
§ Mr. Orme
Certainly we want a maximum of discussion. That is what we are trying to get on this controversial Measure. When the Bill was introduced we pointed out that the 1906 Act, which contains only five Sections, took the best part of a parliamentary year to get through Parliament. This Measure involves vital constitutional matters. That is why it has been taken on the Floor of the House. It is creating a new high court. It is creating precedents and new laws, and the House has not been able properly to debate the issues involved. One cannot get round that fact.
It is not a question of wasting time on pinpricks or small matters of detail. Every word of the Bill, when it becomes law, may well have to be tested in the courts. These matters will have to be discussed outside the House. When the trade union movement sees the whole issue reduced to a farce in the House, why should its members take notice of legislation to which they are bitterly opposed? They know that their opinions have not been properly presented in the House.
The hon. Member for Bridgwater need not exclude me from his criticisms. All my hon. Friends who have taken part in the debate on the Bill are a credit to the Labour Party, and the fight that we have put up is one of the best parliamentary fights that has ever been seen in the House.
§ Mr. Tom King
The hon. Gentleman knows why I excluded him. I think he felt the strength of his principles so strongly that he wished to vote on every occasion, as did many of my hon. Friends, but he will note from a study of the 599 majorities that he was not adequately supported by many of his hon. Friends.
§ Mr. Orme
I am satisfied with the action taken by my hon. Friends who voted throughout the night and the morning. I am satisfied, too, that those of my hon. Friends who were not here were absent on the direct instructions of the Labour Party. I am convinced that those who stayed here to carry on the fight did so out of a sense of conviction. I am satisfied with the fight that my Parliamentary colleagues put up before, and I know that they will continue it.
What worries me is a remark that I heard during the Committee stage of the Bill. During one of the all-night sittings I heard a Conservative Member say to a group of his hon. Friends, "This situation is intolerable. We are the boss party, why are we putting up with it?". That is the attitude to which we are opposed. That is what we are going to fight.
I took part in the struggle against the Parliament (No. 2) Bill, which my Government introduced. I should take just as strong action again if I were on that side of the House and thought that parliamentary democracy and institutions were being removed. I am not expressing the view that I am today merely because I am on this side of the House. I expressed much the same view when I was on the benches opposite, and I shall express that kind of view again if once more I find myself on the benches opposite and it is necessary to do so.
This is not just a fiddling debate about an unimportant matter. This Motion is the final act of a guillotine procedure that has operated in the House since the Bill was first introduced. We are opposed to this Measure in principle. We shall discuss the Amendments as far as we can, and as economically as we can. We are determined to fight to the very end for what we consider to be our rights.
I said in the absence of the Patronage Secretary that it was the pressure from his hon. Friends behind him that had brought about this change in voting procedure. If we cannot speak and we cannot vote, we are in the position of being a rubber-stamp Parliament, and it is that to which I am opposed. Those who are 600 showing indignation about this issue this afternoon are doing so because they regard this matter as extremely important. The Bill will affect millions of working people. It will affect their working lives. It will affect democratic institutions which have been fought for, created and nurtured over the last century and a half. My hon. Friends and I are not going to allow to go through this House this sort of Measure, this sort of guillotine Motion, this sort of farce. That is why we are opposing it this afternoon, and we shall continue to oppose it until the Measure is removed from the Statute Book.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)
I think that perhaps I should acquaint the House with the fact that, as far as I know, both the time-pieces of the House are right now.
§ 4.47 p.m.
§ Mr. John Nott (St. Ives)
As a member of what the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) calls the boss party, I can understand the hon. Gentleman getting very heated on this issue because these are, after all,matters of great importance to the vested interests which are financing the campaign which is currently being launched in the country against the Bill."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th March, 1968; Vol. 760, c. 1748.]I am quoting the words of the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) during the debate on the Allocation of Time Motion on the Transport Bill. I would not myself cast such aspersions across the Floor of the House.
As an hon. Member who foddered the Lobby throughout the course of the Bill, and as this is the first occasion on which I have spoken on it, I thought it might be appropriate if I were to say a few words in its concluding stages.
I think that it has been a very worthwhile political exercise. Why hon. Gentlemen opposite should complain when they are given five days by the Government in which to re-create unanimity in the Labour Party, I fail to understand. There is evidence enough from the short debate that we have had already that five days will be more than enough to re-create happiness and harmony in the Labour Party on this and other important issues. Also, if I may say so, the right hon. Lady will have further opportunities during these five days on which once again to 601 stand on her head and thereby give further precedents and examples to her leader, the Leader of the Opposition.
I cannot understand why hon. Gentlemen opposite should complain after my right hon. Friend has given the noble Lords plenty to do to occupy their time at night by considering Government Amendments. What would the noble Lords have been doing during the long summer nights had they not had more than 300 Amendments to debate in the other place?
The hon. Member for Salford, West mentioned the Parliament (No. 2) Bill. Perhaps I may be allowed to quote one passage from the speech of the former Member for the Cities of London and Wesminster during that debate. Mr. John Smith said of the House of Lords:It is an illusion that it will have any power.ߪ It is much betterߪ to settle down to the ideaߪ that it is a highgrade debating society, or Press Conference.ߪ It is in a way a high-class version of Speakers' Corner."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st April, 1969; Vol. 781, c. 262–3.]Perhaps the hon. Member for Salford, West is right. Perhaps this is what the House of Commons could become should we enter the E.E.C. We shall be watching the Government on this matter. But I am sure that the Leader of the House does not need to be lectured by the hon. Member about the problems which he will have when the long Bill to ratify the regulations comes before the House. We are all conscious of the parliamentary and procedural difficulties which that will create. So I am sure that my right hon. Friends need no warnings on that score.
Five full days is plenty of time in which to debate the Lords Amendments; the Government have been very generous.
§ Mr. Heffer
Has the hon. Gentleman actually looked, for example, at Amendment No. 301, which raises the whole question of redundancy payments? This is a Bill within a Bill and would require at least two days debate and Amendment itself.
§ Mr. Nott
The right hon. Lady also mentioned Amendment No. 301, which is certainly interesting and important. But I am sure that my hon. Friends will not interfere if right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to have practically the whole of one day on a particular Clause 602 within the guillotine Motion. [Interruption.] That is reasonable: right hon. and hon. Gentlemen can do that. He will have a whole day, if he so wishes, to debate Amendment No. 301.
The Opposition are… panting for a martydom in a great cause, demanding to sit all night."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 14th March, 1968; Vol. 760, c. 1746.]Again I quote the right hon. Lady in her allocation of time Motion on the Transport Bill. We have been around this course on several ocasions——
§ Mr. Nott
I was merely quoting from the right hon. Lady's words.
We have been round this course on several occasions. We are all convinced of the sincerity of hon. Members opposite, just as we are convinced of the intellecutal integrity and sincerity of the Shadow Foreign Secretary and the Leader of the Opposition on the Common Market. I am convinced of it, of course, but I do not believe that hon. Gentlemen opposite wish to debate Lords Amendment for more than five days. They do not wish to be here all summer. In the circumstances, five days is perfectly adequate for the Amendments to be properly discussed.
§ 4.53 p.m.
§ Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)
We have had three flippant and superficial speeches from the party opposite. We had one from the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), who is clever enough to know exactly what he was doing and to know that he was evading the central core of my right hon. Friend's argument with the Leader of the House. We had the speech of the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow), who said that the performances of my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) today was not one of her greatest parliamentary triumphs. His own performance was hardly a glittering success. And we have just heard the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott), who again has evaded our central argument.
The hon. Member for Peterborough gave us a lecture, and then left the classroom—and we have not seen him since. He accused us first of histrionics this 603 afternoon and, more important, of wasting time in Committee. It is a fault of all of us—we all think that all other hon. Members waste time but never ourselves. It is certainly a fault inherent in the hon. Member for Peterborough.
I remember the Equity debate. I said that I did not object to the House spending a considerable time arguing about roughly 20,000 people, but I was most concerned that, having argued about 20,000, we should have no time to argue about another 10 or 20 million people. The hon. Member for Peterborough took up at least 30 minutes in that debate and would have been prepared to argue over and over again on something which he was most concerned. We have disciplined our speeches very well, which is more than can be said about some hon. Members opposite.
There are arguments about guillotines. I have only been here a year and a half, and I have experienced one or two guillotine debates. There are always arguments. I do not believe that they are synthetic, because the Opposition, whatever their political complexion, are bound to argue that they are not getting enough time. Any Opposition will argue that genuinely. But that is not my concern. I want to bring the Leader of the House back to the central point—the important issue of the massive new precedent that the House of Commons is not allowed to vote individually if it so chooses.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
I accept the hon. Member's point. When he says that this is a new precedent, he is wrong. It has been done on two occasions before, and I gave the precedents. I admit, as I did at the start, that both were under Conservative Governments, but it is not right to say that this is a new precedent.
§ Mr. Sillars
I accept that factual correction and would point out that we have had these dangerous precedents only under a Conservative Government. I notice that the Labour Party Chief Whip is in the Chamber now. I would say to him and to anyone else who is in the next Labour Government that, no matter what precedents are settled this afternoon, the next Labour Government should not be tempted to operate this provision.
I give my right hon. Friend notice that it, at any time, we attempt to introduce 604 a Motion of this sort, I will vote against it. I regard it as very important—[Laughter.] I am not making a joke: this is very important. Governments can be of different complexions and have different majorities. If we give any Government the right to present the House of Commons and their supporters with a package deal of this sort, we would be giving an administration far too much power.
§ Mr. Tom King
I speak with all the extra wisdom and seniority of having been one week longer in this place than the hon. Member. I was intrigued that, in his right hon. Friend's great denunciation, there was no equally firm announcement that this procedure would never ever be invoked by a possible future Labour Administration.
§ Mr. Sillars
However unhappy it may make me, I cannot commit a Labour Government on this or a number of other things. I can only say what I believe. We are all politicians of varying experience, and not many politicians would commit to themselves as categorically as I have done on this issue. I repeat—if a Labour Government tried to do what the Tories are trying to do today, I would vote against them on a democratic principle.
I urge hon. Gentlemen oposite to bear in mind what I said about Governments sometimes having small majorities. I urge them to think twice about the way they vote tonight because the time may come when they will have to vote on a package of decisions taken by their Government when they may not approve of the entire package. The Government are set on a dangerous course and this is why I will vote against them.
I noticed that when my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn was speaking about the danger of these precedents the Leader of the House showed concern. It has been said in the Press that the right hon. Gentleman has the most expressive face in politics. I am not being discourteous in saying that. We have found it to be one of his most helpful and endearing features.
When his Cabinet colleagues sit stone-faced—when we were not sure whether the Prime Minister bankrupt Rolls-Royce as a matter of policy—we are able to look at the face of the Leader of the 605 House and know current feeling in the Cabinet. We want an assurance that the Conservatives will never again be tempted to use this undemocratic procedure.
§ 5.2 p.m.
§ Mr. J. R. Kinsey (Birmingham, Perry Barr)
It is clear that the central core of this discussion is the desire of hon. Gentlemen opposite to vote. I, too, am jealous of my right to vote, and my record in this matter is there for all to see.
On the last night of the Committee stage of the Industrial Relations Bill I voted on every Amendment. I walked through the Lobby throughout the night and during the following morning. We should bear in mind the tactics of hon. Gentlemen opposite on that occasion. It was a propaganda and disruptive exercise on which they were engaged—[Interruption.]—because half their number were off duty.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite have a peculiar sense of democracy. The right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) admitted that only 50 per cent. of her colleagues were voting. That is the sort of part-time democracy we get from the Labour Party. Fifty per cent. of them voted for 50 per cent. of the time, whereas, with many of my hon. Friends, I was here the whole time while they called the tune.
§ Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)
I was under the impression that we were working double time.
§ Mr. Kinsey
We were, but even when we are working one-quarter of the time, that looks like double time compared with hon. Gentlemen opposite. [HON. MEMBERS: "Get on."]
We were told that hon. Gentlemen opposite would oppose the Bill line by line. What a miserable job they made of doing that. If the unions contributed to their party by results, they would get part-time contributions.
§ Mr. Paul B. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)
As we were given no alternative but to vote in that way, may I ask the hon. Gentleman how else we could have made our opposition to the Bill manifest? Is he aware, therefore, that the Government, rather than the Opposition were calling the tune?
§ Mr. Kinsey
We are now giving the hon. Gentleman a different opportunity, and he should grasp it with both hands. He and his hon. Friends were embarrassed sufficiently on that occasion. We had large majorities and won hands down every time, showing up the sleepy Opposition.
§ 5.6 p.m.
§ Mr. J. D. Concannon (Mansfield)
That was one of the most frivolous speeches I have heard since coming to Parliament. It is clear that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Kinsey) does not understand the position. I urge him to read a few books or consult some of his senior hon. Friends.
§ Mr. Kinseyrose——
§ Mr. Concannon
Sit down. I have not started yet.
I assure the hon. Gentleman that my hon. Friends were extremely genuine that night. Indeed, I had quite a job calling a halt to the voting. Many of my hon. Friends would have gladly gone on for much longer in an effort to prevent the Bill going through. I had to order quite a lot of them to call it a day. The question of majorities aside, we simply must have the chance to register our disapproval and objection to Government policy, if that is the step we wish to take.
One might get the impression from the remarks of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), the hon. Member for Perry Barr and others that we were filibustering. I recall the unique occasion when I had to move the Closure because it was only too obvious that hon. Gentlemen opposite were filibustering. If I had moved it five minutes earlier we would have won because the Government majority on that occasion was down to two. In other words, what matters is the opportunity for individual hon. Members to register their votes and not the size of the majority.
I have had some responsibility in handling the Bill on this side. There have been many occasions when I should have liked to have spoken. I spoke once and left it at that because I wanted to allow more time for my hon. Friends. In view of the guillotine, I wished to set a good example.
I have been asked why the Prime Minister did not guillotine the Bill in 607 the House of Lords—from where, incidentally, this new proposal undoubtedly comes—and the answer is simple. The right hon. Gentleman could not find a way to do it. The Prime Minister has set his masculinity on getting this Measure through Parliament within a certain time, come hell or high water, no matter the democratic needs of Parliament.
I wish to be brief and I give no secrets away in saying that there is a guillotine on my speech. I am anxious that my hon. Friends should have an opportunity to speak. I recall that when we were in power the Conservatives were continually telling us to be fair. In endeavouring to be fair, we often leaned over backwards and hammered our own supporters. I am now beginning to learn a few things from hon. Gentlemen opposite. They are teaching me some bitter lessons. I am taking them in. Some day we on the Opposition Benches will be on the Government Benches, and my right hon. Friends will be on the Government Front Bench. I hope that they are all taking in these lessons. I shall not be as soft as my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars)——
§ Mr. Sillars
I assure my hon. Friend that I have no intention of being soft on policy, but if one is a democrat one sticks to democratic principles on procedure as well.
§ Mr. Concannon
That is fair enough, but I do not like running my head against a brick wall. I do not complain about guillotines, because the Executive at times must use them, but only sparingly and wisely. The Government are not using the guillotine wisely today by setting this precedent of voting in globo. We shall remember this precedent, as we shall many other precedents set by this Administration. When we are in Government hon. Gentlemen must not come crying to us with synthetic indignation. Our indignation on this Bill is not synthetic.
§ Amendment No. 301 was slipped into the Bill at 2.30 one morning in another place. The right hon. Gentleman has had a fast one worked on him by the Department of Social Security. The Amendment has no business in the Bill and the Department of Social Security has done as much damage as it can. It 608 is disgraceful, but I will have my say on that when the Amendment is discussed. In case it is not discussed, I will get in my main point now. The only argument used for the Amendment was that it was at the request of the National Coal Board. The Government do not realise what they are doing to 65-year-old miners, and if this is the last act of Alf Robens at the National Coal Board I shall make sure it goes on his tombstone.
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Walker (Doncaster)
My hon. Friends have chastised and rebuked quite properly, the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), who I regret after an intemperate speech has left the Chamber, and the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King). I will not cover the same ground, except to identify the Front Bench with the condemnation the hon. Gentlemen deserve, particularly the hon. Member for Peterborough for his splenetic outburst. It is deeply offensive to my hon. Friends and to me, with our clear recollection of the events in Committee and on Report, that we of all people should be accused of time-wasting and filibustering. When my right hon. Friend was Chief Whip, to the great irritation of my hon. Friends he went round telling them to shut up, and was to be seen leaning across to the Solicitor-General saying "Get up", so that we could wind up the debates. The entire Report stage was occupied with the Government's new Clauses and it ill lies in the mouths of hon. Gentlemen opposite to condemn us.
One of the crucial Amendment debates was on Clause 5, which deals with the closed shop. My right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) said to me, "Harold, you do it". I said that I would take 15 minutes on it, and she said, "No you will not, you will do it in 12 minutes", and I took no more than 12 minutes. That is in sharp contrast to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the night before, which lasted for 50 minutes. When we contrast the length of the speeches which alternated between the two sides of the House, we see that we behaved with great restraint.
This is the first guillotine debate in which I have participated and I sincerely hope it will be the last. It is a sad and sorry business that discredits Parliament. 609 In Committee and on Report parliamentary democracy was reduced to mere head-counting, but now, when we consider the Lords Amendments, there will not even be head-counting. No wonder parliamentary democracy is discredited.
The need to introduce a guillotine Motion to enable the House to deal with the enormous number of Lords Amendments proves two things. It proves, first, that the Bill was conceived in haste and was dedicated to the proposition that all trade unionists should be clobbered and, secondly, that the Bill is far too long. I know this point always arises when guillotine Motions are introduced, but the Bill could have been sub-divided into separate Bills running parallel through the House, so that Parliament could have dealt with them properly. If we were to allow this monstrous steamroller to go through without massive protest, it would be a clear indicator to every Minister that the way to get through the House a controversial Bill would be to make it as long as possible by padding it out. Ministers could then say to the House that because of the enormous length of the Bill and the need to get it through during the Parliamentary Session they would have to introduce a guillotine Motion. This is an affront to parliamentary democracy.
I wonder how many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have studied the Bill itself, apart from the Amendments. I spent two years at the Department of Employment and Productivity and for the whole of my adult life before then I was involved with industrial relations, but the enoromus complexities of the Bill demand of me hours and hours of study. Adequate time is needed to get to grips with what is involved but, instead, discussion of far-reaching and fundamental issues is to be crammed into five days. There are Amendments which raise issues of greater consequence than some of the matters which have recently been allocated a whole day's debate.
Reference has been made to Amendment No. 301, but what about the monstrous constitutional issue of the proscription of political strikes? In the ordinary way that would be the subject of a Bill on its own, which would be a source of major controversy and pro- 610 longed debate, but we are expected to let this proposal go through at the snap of our fingers, perhaps on the nod late at night, and never debated.
It has been pointed out that only on three occasions since the war have Lords Amendments been subject to a guillotine Motion and that on each occasion they were Tory Government Bills. What distinguishes this occasion from the two precedents is the far-reaching, fundamental and biased transformation that the Bill makes in our industrial relations system. Because it is biased, because it reflects the hostility of the State towards one section of the community, those who are on the receiving end, and their representatives in Parliament have a right to protest. But the Government want to stifle even the screams of protest. The Government must not underrate the strength and depth of feeling on this side of the House about the denial of the right to vote on these issues. By voting we should declare our opposition to our friends outside and to the community at large and our view would be on record.
At earlier stages of the Bill it was doubly insulting for some of us to be told, "You did not oppose the matter at the time", when all that happened was that we did not oppose for the sake of making progress. We merely decided not to move certain Amendments, and it will be remembered how many times we did that.
We repeatedly pointed out during earlier stages that if this Bill were passed we would be paving the way to the creation of a corporate state. This view has been more than confirmed by the fears which have been expressed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn. I believe that the approach of the Government, which has led to a stifling of discussion and denial of free expression in the House, is the sort of philosophy which led to the eventual destruction of the German and Italian corporate states. Therefore, we shall vote against this Motion tonight.
§ 5.22 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Robert Carr)
I hope that it will be convenient for the House if I deal first with what would be the situation following a Standing Order No. 9 debate, which was a matter raised by the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Robert Hughes) 611 and also by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle). I can confirm that there is nothing in this procedure to prevent a Standing Order No. 9 debate on any of the five allotted days. A Standing Order No. 9 debate could take place on any of those days.
However, there is a difference between what could happen in the first four days and on the fifth day. On the first four of the five allotted days, if Mr. Speaker were to allow a Standing Order No. 9 debate on the day on which the subject was raised, that is to say at 7 o'clock in the evening—which Mr. Speaker normally does only in regard to matters of gravity and immediate importance—the time taken up by such a Standing Order No. 9 debate would be added after midnight for our debates on the Bill.
If, however, Mr. Speaker were to follow the more normal practice nowadays of granting time for a Standing Oder No. 9 debate on the following day at the beginning of business, the time taken by that debate would not be allowed after midnight. However, if a Standing Order No. 9 debate were to take place on the fifth day, whether at the beginning of the proceedings or at 7 o'clock, the extra time would be added after midnight.
§ Mrs. Castle
Does not this mean that if on three of the five allotted days any hon. Member wants to exert his normal rights and seek to obtain a Standing Order No. 9 debate, which is taken in the usual way the following day, he will be able to do so only by robbing other hon. Members of the right to discuss this Bill in the time which the Government say is appropriate for it?
§ Mr. Carr
The right hon. Lady is quite right. On the other hand, if Mr. Speaker regarded the matter as sufficiently urgent and important, he could grant the debate the same evening and in those circumstances the debate on the Lords Amendments would carry on after midnight. The House must look at that provision in the context of the number of days which have been given to Lords Amendments to this Bill. I feel that by any standards the time allowed is reasonable.
§ Mrs. Castle
May we be clear as to the net time likely to be taken by Private Notice Questions and statements? We are now in the last few days of the parliamentary Session when all sorts of issues tend to be raised as matters of urgency, since this is the last chance to do so. If such matters are raised, then the amount of time allotted by the Government to this Bill will be reduced by that amount. Is that not a fact?
§ Mr. Carr
The right hon. Lady is right that the time taken by a Private Notice Question or statements would not be added after midnight—any more than they have ever been in any other guillotine Motion introduced by the Labour Party when in Government and by the Conservative Party when we were previously in power. We are therefore following a perfectly normal procedure.
I come to one of the main issues in the debate, the denial of the right to vote on individual Amendments after the guillotine falls. I notice that the Opposition has taken great care to avoid giving any commitment that they themselves would not follow this precedent if they were ever in power. If the right hon. Lady would like to give such a binding commitment for her Party for the future, I should be delighted to give way to her.
§ Mrs. Castle
If we were to give such an undertaking, would the right hon. Gentleman withdraw this timetable Motion?
§ Mr. Carr
Certainly not. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] I am answering the question, which is more than the right hon. Lady did. We have tabled this Motion and are standing by it. Since the right hon. Lady and her hon. Friends seem to take such objection to this feature, I am giving her the opportunity to say that the Labour Government will never do this in future.
§ Mrs. Castle
This is a matter of great seriousness to Parliament. The Labour Government have never introduced such a procedure to gag Parliament and prevent voting. Can we not make a bargain on both sides of the House? We think that this is bad for Parliament and that neither of us should do this. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to respond.
§ Mr. Carr
This has never been done, except in regard to Lords Amendments. But it has been done before on Lords Amendments, and we are doing it again. I notice that the right hon. Lady is wriggling away. [Interruption.] She is refusing to say that the Labour Government would not do the same thing. We must leave it there.
I should like the House to consider the time allowed for the number and nature of the Amendments we have before us. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House in moving this Motion gave examples of other Lords Amendments on various Bills produced by both parties when in power. These showed that in comparison with those Bills the time allowed on this Bill is generous by any standards. My right hon. Friend gave chapter and verse on the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, of the first postwar Labour Government and the Transport Act, 1968, introduced by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn. Both these examples show that the amount of time we are providing for consideration of Lords Amendments is more generous than has ever been the case in parliamentary history.
I have only three minutes to make my final remarks—[HON. MEMBERS: "Four minutes."] I understand that the clock is a minute slow. I should like to consider the Amendments which we have before us. There were 343 Amendments made to the Bill when it left the other place. Of these 44 were either proposed or supported by the Opposition in the other place. Again, 91 were Government Amendments specifically put forward to meet points coming from the Opposition and the cross-benches in another place. So there we have nearly 150 of the Amendments—not far short of half of them—designed to meet points put to the Government by the Opposition in both Houses.
Of the remaining half, or thereabouts, 32 are really nothing more than drafting Amendments. Another 18 are Government Amendments which, though significant
§ are not controversial. Only 21 basic Amendments are of a major controversial nature. There are 137 consequential Amendments, but only 21 are basic Amendments of a controversial nature.
§ We have five days in which to discuss these Amendments. The timetable Motion has been designed to allow maximum flexibility for debate, to give the right hon. Lady leading for the Opposition maximum opportunity to lead the debate and take the time which she, in the name of the Opposition, would wish to have in those five days.
§ We have here a period of time allocated which, in relation to the number of Amendments, is more generous than ever before, and also a form of timetable Motion which gives the maximum freedom to the Opposition to use the time as they think best. I believe that the House as a whole, and those who study our affairs outside, will regard this as a most reasonable time for the business before us. If we use that time constructively, we can in the coming five days, I believe, cover in a proper manner all the major points which the Opposition wish to discuss.
§ It must be remembered that, when this stage is concluded, the Bill will have had 56 days of parliamentary debate, occupying no less than 481 hours. In addition, we had a full one-day debate on the Consultative Document. I do not believe that in the history of our Parliament—certainly not in the history of any other Parliament—this can be said to be any sort of denial of democracy or be objected to in the kind of claptrap which we have heard from the Opposition this afternoon. By any standards, the Bill will have had adequate time for constructive and detailed debate, and it is without any doubt or lack of confidence that I commend the Motion to the House.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 308, Noes 263.619
|Division No. 439.]||AYES||[5.33 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Awdry, Daniel||Bell, Ronald|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Balniel, Lord||Benyon, W.|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Berry, Hn. Anthony|
|Astor, John||Batsford, Brian||Biffen, John|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Biggs-Davison, John|
|Blaker, Peter||Green, Alan||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Grieve, Percy||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Body, Richard||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C. (Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Boscawen, Robert||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Grylls, Michael||Moate, Roger|
|Bowden, Andrew||Gummer, Selwyn||Molyneaux, James|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Gurden, Harold||Money, Ernle|
|Braine, Bernard||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Monro, Hector|
|Bray, Ronald||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Brewis, John||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Mudd, David|
|Bruce-Cardyne, J.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Murton, Oscar|
|Bryan, Paul||Hastings, Stephen||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M)||Havers, Michael||Neave, Airey|
|Buck, Antony||Hawkins, Paul||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Hay, John||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Burden, F. A.||Hayhoe, Barney||Normanton, Tom|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Nott, John|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G.(Moray&Nairn)||Hicks, Robert||Onslow, Cranley|
|Carlisle, Mark||Higgins, Terence L.||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hiley, Joseph||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Osborn, John|
|Channon, Paul||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Holland, Philip||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Holt, Miss Mary||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hordern, Peter||Peel, John|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hornby, Richard||Percival, lan|
|Clegg, Walter||Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Cockeram, Eric||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cooke, Robert||Howell, David (Guildford)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Coombs, Derek||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Pounder, Rafton|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hunt, John||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Cordle, John||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Iremonger, T. L.||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Cormack, Patrick||James, David||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Costain, A. P.||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Critchley, Julian||Jessel, Toby||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Crouch, David||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Raison, Timothy|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Curran, Charles||Jopling, Michael||Redmond, Robert|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.James||Kershaw, Anthony||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Dean, Paul||Kilfedder, James||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kimball, Marcus||Rhvs Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Dixon, Piers||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridsdaie, Julian|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kinsey, J. R.||Rinpon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrev|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kirk, Peter||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kitson, Timothy||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Knox, David||Rodgers. Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Eden, Sir John||Lane, David||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Rost, Peter|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Le Marchant, Spencer||Royle, Anthony|
|Emery, Peter||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Rt.Hn.Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Fell, Anthony||Lloyd, lan (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Scott, Nicholas|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Longden, Gilbert||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Fidler, Michael||Longden, Gilbert||Sharples, Richard|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Loveridge, John||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh ߪ Whitby)|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Luce, R. N.||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Simeons, Charles|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||MacArthur, lan||Sinclair. Sir George|
|Fortescue, Tim||McCrindle, R. A.||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Foster, Sir John||McLaren, Martin||Smith, Dudley (W'wick ߪ L'mington)|
|Fowler, Norman||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Soref, Harold|
|Fox, Marcus||McMaster, Stanley||Speed, Keith|
|Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford ߪ Stone)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Spence, John|
|Fry, Peter||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Sproat, lain|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Gardner, Edward||Maddan, Martin||Steel, David|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Madel, David||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|Gilmour, lan (Norfolk, C.)||Maginnis, John E.||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Marten, Neil||Stokes, John|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mather, Carol||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maude, Angus||Sutcliffe, John|
|Gorst, John||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Tapsell, Peter|
|Gower, Raymond||Mawby, Ray||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Gray, Hamish||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Tebbit, Norman||Viewers, Dame Joan||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Temple, John M.||Waddington, David||Wilkinson, John|
|Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Walder, David (Clitheroe)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wall, Patrick||Worsley, Marcus|
|Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy||Walters, Dennis||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Tilney, John||Ward, Dame Irene||Younger, Hn. George|
|Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Warren, Kenneth|
|Trew, Peter||Weatherill, Bernard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Tugendhat, Christopher||Wells, John (Maidstone)||Mr. Reginald Eyre and|
|Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin||White, Roger (Gravesend)||Mr. Jasper More.|
|van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Abse, Leo||Eadie, Alex||Kerr, Russell|
|Albu, Austen||Edelman, Maurice||Kinnock, Neil|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lambie, David|
|Allen, Scholefield||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lamond, James|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Ellis, Tom||Latham, Arthur|
|Ashley, Jack||English, Michael||Lawson, George|
|Ashton, Joe||Evans, Fred||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Atkinson, Norman||Faulds, Andrew||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Leonard, Dick|
|Barnes, Michael||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold|
|Barnett, Joel||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Beaney, Alan||Foot, Michael||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Ford, Ben||Lipton, Marcus|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Forrester, John||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Bishop, E. S.||Freeson, Reginald||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Garrett, W. E.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Booth, Albert||Gilbert, Dr. John||McBride, Neil|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Ginsburg, David||McCann, John|
|Bradley, Tom||Golding, John||McCartney, Hugh|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Gourlay, Harry||McElhone, Frank|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||McGuire, Michael|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch ߪ F'bury)||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Buchan, Norman||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mackie, John|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Hamling, William||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Cant, R. B.||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hardy, Peter||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield. E)|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfietd)||Harper, Joseph||Marks, Kenneth|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Marquand, David|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Marsden, F.|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Hattersley, Roy||Marshall, Dr. Edmund|
|Cohen, Stanley||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Coleman, Donald||Heffer, Eric S.||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Concannon, J, D.||Hilton, W. S.||Meacher, Michael|
|Conlan, Bernard||Horam, John||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mendelson, John|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Huckfield, Leslie||Millan, Bruce|
|Cronin, John||Hushes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Molloy, William|
|Darling, Rt Hn. George||Hunter, Adam||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Davidson, Arthur||lrvine, Rt.Hn.SirArthur (Edge Hill)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Janner, Greville||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Davits, Ifor (Gower)||Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H' b'n & St.P'cras, S.)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Ogden, Eric|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Deakins, Eric||John, Brynmor||O'Mallcy, Brian|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Oram, Bert|
|Delargy, H. J.||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Orme, Stanley|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Padley, Walter|
|Doig, Peter||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Paget, R. T.|
|Dormand, J. D.||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir EIwyn (W.Ham, S.)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Driberg, Tom||Judd, Frank||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Kaufman, Gerald||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Dunnett, Jack||Kelley, Richard||Pendry, Tom|
|Pentland, Norman||Sillars, James||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Perry, Ernest G.||Silverman, Julius||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg||Skinner, Dermis||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Prescott, John||Small, William||Wallace, George|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Spearing, Nigel||Watkins, David|
|Probert, Arthur||Spriggs, Leslie||Weitzman, David|
|Rankin, John||Stallard, A. W.||Wellbeloved, James|
|Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Rhodes, Geoffrey||Storehouse, Rt. Hn. John||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Strang, Gavin||Whitlock, William|
|Robertson, John (Paisley)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n & R'dnor)||Swain, Thomas||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Taverne, Dick||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Roper, John||Thomas, Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff, W.)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Rose, Paul B.||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Sandelson, Neville||Tinn, James||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Tomney, Frank||Woof, Robert|
|Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Torney, Tom|
|Short, Mrs. Reneé (W'hampton, N.E.)||Tuck, Raphael||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Urwin, T. W.||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Varley, Eric G.||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
That the Order [25th January] be supplemented as follows:—
1. The Proceedings on Consideration of the Lords Amendments shall be completed in five allotted days, and shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion at midnight on the fifth of those days.
2. In accordance with the Order [25th January], paragraph 6 of that Order (which relates to dilatory motions), paragraph 7 of that Order (which relates to extra time on allotted days), paragraph 8 of that Order (which relates to motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at the commencement of public business), paragraph 9 of that Order (which relates to private business), and so much of paragraph 14 of that Order as relates to Standing Order No. 3 (Exempted business) shall have effect in relation to the Proceedings mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Order.
3.—(1) For the purpose of bringing to a conclusion any Proceedings which are to be brought to a conclusion at a time appointed by this Order, if those Proceedings have not previously been brought to a conclusion, Mr. Speaker shall proceed forthwith to put the following Questions (but no others), that is to say,—
(2) Proceedings under sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph shall not be interrupted under any Standing Order relating to the sittings of the House.
(3) If, on the fifth of the allotted days mentioned in paragraph 1 of this Order, a Motion is made under Standing Order No. 9 (Adjournment on specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration), the bringing to a conclusion of the Proceedings on the Bill shall be postponed for a period equal to the duration of the Proceedings on that Motion.
4. In paragraph 11 of the Order [25th January] (which relates to Supplemental Orders) any reference to that Order shall be construed as including a reference to this Order.
5. In this Order 'the Bill' means the Industrial Relations Bill and 'allotted day' means any day (not being a Friday, but including the day on which this Order is made) on which the Bill is put down as the first Government Order of the Day.