§ Motion made, and Question proposed, That—
- (1) Standing Order No. 6 (Precedence of Government business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications, namely:—
- In paragraph (2) the word 'twelve' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 5 ; and in paragraph (5) the word 'eight' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 30;
- (2) Private Members Bills shall have precedence over Government business on 21st and 28th January, 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th February, 24th March, 14th, 21st and 28th April, 5th May and 16th June;
- (3) Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence over Government business on 26th November, 3rd and 10th December, 3rd, 10th and 17th March, 12th and 19th May, and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on 10th, 17th and 24th November, 16th and 23rd February, 1st March. 26th April and 3rd May;
- (4) On Monday, 13th December, Monday, 7th February, Monday, 1st May and Monday, 12th June, Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence until Seven o'clock and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on Thursday, 25th November, Thursday, 20th January, Thursday, 13th April and Thursday, 25th May respectively;
- (5) No Notice of Motion shall be handed in for any of the days on which Private Members' Notices have precedence under this order in anticipation of the Ballot for that day.—[Mr. Whitelaw.]
§ Mr. Kaufman
We have before us a Motion allocating legislative time for Private Members' Bills. Before passing a Motion of this kind we should, I suggest, consider the implications of what the Lord President is proposing.
The right hon. Gentleman is proposing, and generously, that there should be more days than the Standing Order lays down for legislation and, correspondingly, and fairly, fewer days for Motions. In other words. he is providing that this House should be empowered not simply to express an opinion, as it did, for example, last Thursday night, but to pass legislation of the kind that we shall be invited to pass early next year and in the Measures that have been announced today.
One question must be cleared up. At what point in the process of hon. Members introducing Bills on these 12 days that are being allocated to us will it be clarified whether the Bills that will be introduced, and which many of us would like to be able to introduce, are in any way incompatible with the wide-sweeping regulations which the Government will introduce to bring us into the E.E.C.?
We know very well that some legislation will in future be the prerogative not of this Government or this House but of the European Economic Commission. It will be the Commission which will lay down the taxes that will be levied in this country, the regulations that will be enforced, and which will designate the special development areas and tell us whether we can have a regional employment premium and matters of that kind.
169 It has already been made clear—and misgivings have been expressed by, among others, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol. South-East (Mr. Benn)—that this will gravely impinge upon the sovereignty of this House. What the Government intend to do in their legislation is, of course, their affair, but my lion. Friends have made clear their intention of contesting such legislation. It strikes me that it is utterly pointless and almost a contempt of the House to allocate, with apparent and no doubt well-meaning generosity, time for hon. Members to legislate themselves, to go through the difficulties of preparing Bills, getting them through, whipping them, manning Standing Committees, making sure that they have majorities—[Interruption] Hon. Members whose experience of this place is infinitely greater than mine—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear"] —certainly—must therefore demonstrate their knowledge of matters which I simply read about in the newspapers, namely, that when contentious Private Members' Bills are introduced. hon. Members who wish to get them through arrange their own whipping, just as the Patronage Secretary, on a free vote last week, so effectively arranged his whipping.
Therefore, the introduction of Private Members' legislation, which is a privilege of back benchers on both sides, is not to be taken lightly and is extremely relevant to the kind of legislation about which the Prime Minister was so reluctant to he frank yesterday.
How are we to know, in preparing legislation, what effect this will have? I should like, for example, to introduce Bills with regard to great problems of my own constituency, such as seeking to designate Greater Manchester as an intermediate area. What on earth is the point of introducing such legislation if, at the end of it, we are to be told that it is incompatible with some diktat from the Common Market Commission?
That being so, some of us will have to vote against what the Lord President is proposing and also show our displeasure in many other ways that we can find unless we receive outright assurances that whatever Bills we may introduce for the benefit of our constituents, many of whom are suffering grave problems of unemployment. will not be regarded as incom- 170 patible with other legislation the details of which the Government have not yet told the House.
It is in that spirit that I object to the Motion and it is in that spirit that, unless we receive assurances from the Lord President, I shall feel obliged to divide against it
§ Sir R. Turton
I believe that the House wants to get on to other business, but if my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House is going to reply to the hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman), would he also say, since the Select Committee on Procedure has recommended that the Ballot should be taken in July, whether this Motion means that the Government have rejected that recommendation? Or will the House be able later, on considering those recommendations, if necessary in future Sessions, to have the Ballot in July, with a later date for Private Members' Bills to be introduced?
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. William Whitelaw)
Perhaps I may reply first to my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton). This Motion certainly does not mean that the Government have rejected the proposal of the Select Committee on Procedure as to when the Ballot shall be held before the Summer Recess and Bills introduced afterwards. I hope that it will be possible for me soon to give an indication of the Government's views on the Committee's Report. But I felt that we could not fulfil that recommendation in this Session in any event. Therefore, to do my best to help and to move in that direction, I thought that it would be right to arrange the Ballot before the Christmas Recess and the first Bill day after the Recess, so as to give further time for the sort of preparation that the Committee had in mind. That is the wav in which the Motion is framed.
The proposals with regard to times for Private Members' Motions and Bills are exactly in accordance with what was done in the last Session, which seemed to be acceptable then. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) for saying that it was a reasonable allocation of time. He then 171 produced a whole lot of reasons why it might be wise to deny Private Members the right to have Private Members' Bills and Motions. That seemed an extraordinary argument. In the course of it, he mentioned a whole lot of Bills which he might wish to introduce if he had the opportunity, and which, I expect he will appreciate, were Bills which no Private Member could introduce in any event. So that was not a particularly wise example.
However, I should think it reasonable that the House should have the same facilities for Private Members' Bills and Motions as the hon. Member himself says is a generous allocation. I could not give a blanket assurance about every Bill that any hon. Member might intro-
§ duce, because it might impinge on the rights of the House in some other way, but I should have thought it reasonable to proceed like this, for hon. Members to introduce their Bills; Private Members' business should then proceed exactly as before.
§ Bearing in mind my desire to help over the Select Committee's Report, I should have thought that this Motion was a reasonable proposition. If it is generous of the Government to give it, I should have thought it right that the House should give that generous allocation the assent which I am sure it deserves.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 157, Noes 52.173
|Division No. 1.]||AYES||[2.48 p.m.|
|Astor, John||Goodhew, Victor||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Gorst, John||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Batsford, Brian||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Neave, Airey|
|Bell, Ronald||Gray, Hamish||Nicholls, Sir Harmer|
|Benyon, W.||Green, Alan||Normanton, Tom|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Grylls, Michael||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Biffen, John||Gurden, Harold||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Blaker, Peter||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Boscawen, Robert||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Percival, Ian|
|Bowden, Andrew||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Haselhurst, Alan||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hastings, Stephen||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Havers, Michael||Prior, Rt. Hn.J. M. L.|
|Burden, F. A.||Hawkins, Paul||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hayhoe, Barney||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Higgins, Terence L.||Raison, Timothy|
|Channon, Paul||Holland, Philip||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Redmond, Robert|
|Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hunt, John||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Clegg, Walter||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Cockeram, Eric||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Cooke, Robert||Jessel, Toby||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Coombs, Derek||Jopling, Michael||Rossi. Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Costain, A. P.||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rost, Peter|
|Davies, Rt. Hn.John (Knutsford)||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Royle, Anthony|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Dean, Paul||Kinsey, J. R.||Sharples, Richard|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kitson, Timothy||Simeons, Charles|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Knox, David||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Lane, David||Spence, John|
|Drayson, G. B.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Dykes, Hugh||Le Marchant, Spencer||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Eden, Sir John||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshaiton)||MacArthur, Ian||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||McMaster, Stanley||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Maginnis, John E.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Farr, John||Mather, Carol||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Maude, Angus||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Miscampbell, Norman||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Fortescue, Tim||Mitchell.Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Fowler, Norman||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Fox, Marcus||Money, Ernie||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Fraser,Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone)||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Fry, Peter||Montgomery, Fergus||Wall, Petrick|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Wells, John (Maidstone)||Winterton, Nicholas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|White, Roger (Gravesend)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher||Mr. Keith Speed and|
|Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William||Woodnutt, Mark||Mr. Bernard Weatherill.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hunter, Adam||Oakes, Gordon|
|Atkinson, Norman||Janner, Greville||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Orme, Stanley|
|Booth, Albert||John, Brynmor||Prescott, John|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Judd, Frank||Short, Mrs. RenÉe (W'hampton,N.E.)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Kaufman, Gerald||Skinner, Dennis|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kerr, Russell||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Driberg, Tom||Lamond, James||Stallard, A. W.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Latham, Arthur||Steel, David|
|Evans, Fred||Leonard, Dick||Stewart, Rt. Hn, Michael (Fulham)|
|Ewing, Henry||Lipton, Marcus||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McElhone, Frank||Torney, Tom|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marks, Kenneth|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mikardo, Ian||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Molloy, William||Mr. Sydney Bidwell and|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Mr. Clinton Davis.|
|Huckfleld, Leslie||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
(1) Standing Order No. 6 (Precedence of Government business) shall have effect for this Session with the following modifications, namely:—
In paragraph (2) the word 'twelve' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 5; and in paragraph (5) the word 'eight' shall be substituted for the word 'ten' in line 30;
(2) Private Members' Bill shall have precedence over Government business on 21st and 28th January, 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th February, 24th March, 14th, 21st and 28th April, 5th May and 16th June;
(3) Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence over Government business on 26th November, 3rd and 10th December, 3rd, 10th and 17th March, 12th and 19th May, and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on 10th, 17th and 24th November, 16th and 23rd February, 1st March, 26th April and 3rd May ;
(4) On Monday 13th December, Monday 7th February, Monday 1st May and Monday 12th June, Private Members' Notices of Motions shall have precedence until Seven o'clock and ballots for these Notices shall be held after Questions on Thursday 25th November, Thursday 20th January, Thursday 13th April and Thursday 25th May respectively ;
(5) No Notice of Motion shall be handed in for any of the days on which Private Members' Notices have precedence under this order in anticipation of the Ballot for that day.