§ Again considered in Committee.
§ [Sir ALFRED BROUGHTON in the Chair]
§ Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.
§ 10.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Lever
I must first apologise to my right hon. Friend for leaving him so long and inadvertently in suspended sentence. The Galileo philosophy is the consolation of all unsuccessful evangelists and it runs thus: When Galileo affirmed that the world went round the sun everybody told him he was talking nonsense. But who proved right? Galileo. So if ever a person is accused of talking nonsense he can always fortify himself with the reflection that 368 others who have been wrong in the past have proved to be right later.
On the question of the referendum and the special act of consent, when my right hon. Friend quotes to us all those great authorities in the past who have wrung their hands at what are now regarded as great constitutional reforms, he consoles himself and says that at every move forward of the franchise someone said it was awful, shocking and would undermine the constitution. He is quite right; but that must not be used as a cover to justify saying, whenever anyone claims that a change of the constitution is bad, that previous changes that were thought bad are proved to be good. The case must be proved on its merits, and I propose to examine the merits of the question we are discussing.
I will deal first with the relevant questions that it seems to me must be asked. Do we need a special act of consent to enable the Bill to be legislated in a way 369 which does not outrage the consent of the people, which is necessary really to support any legislation in this House? I would like a General Election, but Parliament has been made aware that this issue will come before the House. I must leave it to the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) to analyse, as if it were a holy text, the speech by the Prime Minister and the hierarchical texts of the Conservative Party—namely, their manifestoes and the like. That is a matter for them. I do not attach this supreme importance to every leader word of the Prime Minister as do some hon. Members on the Government side. I will comment about what the Prime Minister said and what was put out. That is another matter. The attempt to construe the Prime Minister, as if his words created the British constitution, when we have to ask ourselves what it means when he talks about the consent of Parliament and the peoples of this country is not a matter which concerns me. My concern is to judge whether the people, quite apart from what the Prime Minister has said, were seized of this matter.
One thing is clear to me. My constituents, and I think the constituents of most of my hon. Friends, were perfectly well aware that we regarded it as within the competence of Parliament if we were elected to pass this sort of Bill—not this Bill but a very much better-designed Bill—to achieve entry into Europe.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths (Manchester, Exchange)
My right hon. Friend will be aware that his own constituency Labour Party was wholly opposed to entry into the Common Market.
§ Mr. Lever
I am talking about what happened at the last election. Textual analysis of the Prime Minister's speech does not help me on this question. My electorate knew that we said this would come within the competence of Parliament. It does not mean that we must approve the Bill in this form, but the competence to decide the terms and legislation on the treaty was, to the knowledge of the electorate, assigned to Parliament. I shall have a good deal to say about that. It has nothing to do with the views of my constituency party on this point. As far as I know, they are critical of entry into the Market. That is a separate question.
370 The point I must make, from which I have been diverted, is that while I do not take my judgment of whether Parliament is or is not competent to pronounce upon the treaty and legislation necessary for taking us into the EEC from any other right hon. Gentleman, I take leave to say that no right hon. Gentleman, least of all the Prime Minister, is entitled to criticise any of my right hon. or hon. Friends for what they said at the election, because what he said was ambiguous. It was not accidentally ambiguous; it was deliberately and calculatedly so.
It is a very sad thing that the Leader of the Opposition as he then was, and the Prime Minister as he now is, entered into power in the House of Commons on this very important question with what are called in the Civil Service "weasel words". I am not to be held to say that the Prime Minister is a weasel, but I cannot help availing myself of the very convenient Civil Service phrase, which is carefully drawn to mean one thing to one man and something else to another and to be defensible as having a third meaning if challenged later on.
It is a great pity that the Prime Minister did not say straight out, as did my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition—he may have applied a different rule in the changing circumstances—[Laughter]—it is all very well laughing. I know how I would choose between a man who spoke his mind in unmistakable language, as did my right hon. Friend, at a General Election, and who at least made plain what he was saying, or somebody who engaged in double talk at election time—[Interruption.]—double talk intended to deceive, as opposed to candour that was in no way intended to deceive, because my right hon. Friend says now that if we had been elected and had got the right terms we should not have wanted a referendum.
However, I conclude, first, that this is within the competence of Parliament. The question is whether Parliament should proceed in this way without some form of special action to render effective and satisfactory this very important legislation.
The key question, put very fairly by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, was "Is it irreversible?" The right hon. Gentleman is a very skilful advocate of his cause. He said that it is 371 the intention at any rate that it should be irreversible. Then, having carefully reserved the truth, which is that it can be reversed, as some of my hon. Friends would very much want, having carefully put himself right on the record, he proceeded to argue his case not as if it were merely a desire or wish that it should be irreversible but as if it were in fact irreversible. That is absolutely wrong, and it is the mistake my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) makes. He takes the Government's intentions as being binding upon Parliament, and that argument cannot be sustained.
§ Mr. English
Will not my right hon. Friend accept that it is irreversible in international and Community law, and that, once we are in the Community, Community law will be superior to English law? In other words, it is irreversible in law. Will he accept that any State which still maintains control of its army can break the law if it wishes, but would he regard that as moral?
§ Mr. Lever
If my hon. Friend will wait, I will cover that point completely. The question is whether the Bill is in any sense irrevocable in the sense that it is handing over, as has been alleged by both the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West and by my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney part or all of parliamentary sovereignty so that the sovereignty of the next Parliament is reduced. The answer to that question is, of course not. It does not matter what anyone's intentions are or whether one thinks that it will offend Community law or any other kind of law; it will not in English law reduce the sovereignty of Parliament. I will come to the point about the referendum, when I will show that, unlike the Bill, it would reduce the sovereignty of Parliament.
Wherein lies the sovereignty of Parliament? It is that it can declare anything it likes, irrespective of whatever any other Parliament has enacted, and that is binding and must be excuted by the courts of the country.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckinghamshire, South) rose——
§ Mr. Lever
I cannot keep giving way. I want to put my points.
372 The sovereignty of Parliament will not be reduced if the Bill is passed precisely because the next Parliament will be entirely free to reverse it. [Interruption.] I ask hon. Members to listen to the argument. I am putting it sincerely.
I find it impossible to see how my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney can get up and say, first, what a vile and terrible Bill this is, bringing about permanent and irrevocable loss of sovereignty by taking us into the Common Market, and then say "As soon as we are back in power we will go to the Community and tell it our terms for remaining in the Common Market". That is not the talk of men about to be enslaved but, rightly, the talk of free men who will be as free as we are today to decide what has to be done.
I do not want to keep on creating fallacies. But there is here something of an anticipatory fallacy. We look at something people are doing, draw dreadful conclusions about how it will escalate in horror, firmness and rigidity and then say "All our liberties are gone; therefore we have lost our sovereignty. If this Bill is passed, because it is designed to take away our sovereignty, the social contract is broken and none of us is obliged to observe the law".
The Tories, it is argued, are passing an Act we do not want, but the price we pay for preserving parliamentary democracy is that we have to obey Acts which we do not like, coming from the Conservative Party when it is in Government; and the price the Conservatives have to pay is that they have to lump our Acts of Parliament. I tell my hon. Friends—not too loudly—that ours is the more agreeable task. I do not mean that as a compliment to hon. Members opposite. Because they are a reactionary and out-of-date group, they suffer far more in their subjective folly from our progressive measures towards Socialism than we can suffer from their mental recidivism, which is kept within limits by our sturdy trade union movement and the democratic power of our people.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ That does not end the case because even if, as I hope I have demonstrated, the bogey man of the permanent loss of sovereignty and the irreversibility of this has been disposed of by the intended election programme of my party, which is to 373 control the matter in exactly the way it wants, there remains the question: Is there such a temporary abdication which even before the next election will mean that this country will have imposed on it conscription or the destruction of some of its major interests by faceless, presumably not maliciously armed, bureaucrats as in Brussels?
§ I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) in finding very unsatisfactory aspects about the way in which we are compelled to debate this Bill, and in the drafting of it. I cannot see why membership of Europe need have us bound by an antiquated rule of the House—if it is a rule of the House, and we must accept that it is because the Chair has so ruled. I cannot see why we cannot debate every Clause of the treaty by Amendment, why we cannot debate every Clause of future treaties by Amendment. The Government were foolish not to give in to the reasonable demand for safeguards. They will not save themselves any parliamentary time—Governments never do by these devices.
§ I will back my hon. and right hon. Friends to the hilt in fighting for the maximum safeguards to alert and inform the Committee so that it will scrutinise searchingly all the legislation that comes before us.
§ Mr. Lever
Perhaps my hon. Friend will consult with me in the Whips' Office on this interesting but not directly relevant question. I assure him that I will vote with my hon. Friends and speak with them and fight with them for every possible safeguard to assist the House of Commons in the exercise of its continuing sovereignty. It is insisted that these dreadful things might happen such as the imposition of conscription. Does anyone really think that parliamentary sovereignty is abdicated by this Bill so that we would not react, if one Minister were mad enough—and the Europeans were mad enough to conspire with him to do it—to enact conscription without getting proper legislation in this Parliament? We would soon find out whether parliamentary sovereignty was still in existence as a great steel-tipped parliamentary boot was put behind the backside of the Minis- 374 ter who had the effrontery to do this, the entire Government and, if necessary, the entire Parliament! That is what would happen if such an outrage were committed.
If we are subject to some temporary loss of sovereignty because we are forced to debate these matters in an unsatisfactory way this should not lead anyone to dangle great bogeymen in this way. I assure my hon. and right hon. Friends that my honest and deep conviction is that parliamentary sovereignty remains absolutely intact, not merely from now to the General Election but thereafter.
The test is a simple one, and I am not being flippant in giving it. Whatever this House enacts the courts are obliged to enforce it. If the House were foolish enough to enact in proper form that I should be deemed to be Miss Brigitte Bardot, then for all legal purposes I would be female, French and considerably more attractive than I am. [Laughter.] I am not inviting any hon. Members to treat me as the equivalent: they will have to restrain themselves because the reality will remain me; it will only be for the purposes of legal proceedings and insofar as it is relevant to those proceedings that my French nationality, my female sex and my beautiful form will exist. That kind of total sovereignty will remain with Parliament.
The other thing that confuses a great many hon. Members is that it is said that this is a constitutional change of a kind that must be preceded by some sort of referendum or election. The kind of constitutional change which must by convention, not by law, be preceded by an election or a referendum is a constitutional change which alters the way in which we elect Parliament or the way in which Parliament exercises its powers within Parliament itself, such as the power of the other place or the way in which people vote. It is not the Bill which creates the bogeymen possibility, but the total sovereignty of Parliament itself.
If my previous example was not unattractive enough, I can give another one. Parliament could pass an Act which provided that at the next General Election everyone had one vote for each pound he had in his current account at the bank. [Laughter.] In some areas this would have entirely beneficial conse- 375 quences. No one could believe that a Government that did that could survive or could have the consent of the people to any legislation because the reversibility of the Act had been tampered with by the Government altering the electoral machinery.
No such constitutional change is effected here. The electorate will be the same, they will be voting under the same rules, and if they elect my right hon. Friends on this question my right hon. Friends have said what they will do about it. So the case for a special Act of Parliament with or without a referendum is not made out.
Although there are no good reasons for a referendum, there are some excellent reasons against it. We come to the third fallacy, that of the right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith). It is extraordinary how a man can so misuse his intelligence, learning and desire to be honest as he has done tonight. He said calmly that the referendum is not alien to the British parliamentary system. It does not mean it is wrong or that it would not be a great improvement of the parliamentary system. That it is alien to our parliamentary system is absolutely unchallengeable. The fact that people have challenged it at one time or another as silly, dangerous and reactionary does not mean that it is part of our parliamentary system. It is alien to our parliamentary system. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has a reason for denying it is alien. Not everything foreign is bad. One hon. Member who is strongly pro-European spat out the word "Continental" as though he resented everyone who is not a British citizen. We have to be careful. We have such a complicated system of checks and balances that we must be sure before we introduce alien bodies such as referenda that they are valuable and useful.
Those who support the idea say that a referendum would not be damaging to our constitution, but they always conclude by saying that they are conscious that it is alien and damaging but, if it is alien and damaging, it is not as alien and damaging as joining the EEC. That should be a good argument against enter- 376 ing the EEC, but it is not a good argument for a referendum, which is what the right hon. and learned Gentleman argues.
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
If it be alien to the practices of this country, as the right hon. Gentleman erroneously suggests, how does he explain and justify his own conduct as a Member of this House in legislating for those countries for which this Parliament has responsibility?
§ Mr. Lever
The right hon. and learned Gentleman must think I am in a childish condition by this hour of night if he presents me with such a silly question. He is a lawyer and knows exactly what I said. I said that it is alien to the British constitution. He asks how I justify these other things. We had a good and liberal constitution when we were handing out worse things than referenda in areas which were dependent on us. We at one time caned and flogged people who preached sedition. That does not alter the fact that certain matters are alien to the British rule of law and the constitution. It is to our shame if we have misapplied a constitutional principle.
I am opposed to the referendum being injected into the most mature parliamentary system in the world, the British parliamentary system. When the right hon. and learned Gentleman says that the system is not alien to us, he knows I am talking of our own parliamentary system, not about the system in Zambia or the Canary Islands. [An Hon. Member: "They are inferior."] No, they are not inferior. They have different constitutional arrangements; they are at different stages of economic and political development. [Interruption.] I resent anybody saying to people who hold my view that I am elitist because I wish to defend what I believe to be the most democratic parliamentary constitution in the world. There is nothing elitist in that. [Interruption.] I hope that my hon. Friend does not believe that it involves contempt for my constituents, because he ought to know better if he really means that. Contempt for constituents lies in disregarding their opinions without understanding them, in not having any respect for what they believe. It is false if this charge is being levelled at me. I have a deep and affectionate bond with my 377 constituency and with my constituency party——
§ Mr. Will Griffiths rose——
§ Mr. Lever
I have almost finished and do not want to give way now so late in my remarks.
The sovereignty of Parliament depends on the fact that no one law has a higher rank than another. It is that alone that gives to an incoming Parliament total sovereignty over the country's affairs. [Interruption.] Of course one can tear up the Rome Treaty in the next Parliament if one wishes to do so, but if we have a constitution which has embodied within it a referendum, then that is a quite different matter. [Interruption.] I do not happen to be a Conservative. I happen to be a man who is anxious to transform our society. Hon. Gentlemen have a fund of self-righteousness which leads them to believe that they are necessarily superior in good intentions than are some of their colleagues. They are quite mistaken.
I do not criticise any country which embodies within its constitution the referendum principle, but we must remember that this may involve a mechanism which will affect the actions of a future Government. It may sound agreeable for us to impose a referendum, but let us not forget what it does to a Government's successor. It will mean a diminution of parliamentary sovereignty. If there were a referendum to give sanction to this measure, any Conservative in future would be entitled to say "This Act has the sanction of the will of the people, a sanction which has been directly expressed. It can only be repealed by a second referendum". We should have fallen into the trap which the British constitution has always avoided and which all liberal, radical and progressive thinkers have fought against like the plague. Because what looks like the present gripping the present, historically speaking is always the past gripping the future. The next Labour Government will be as free as air, but not if legislation is supported by a referendum.
The reason why I am so concerned on this question of a referendum is that I believe it is a derogation from the power of Parliament and a derogation of the 378 responsibility of Government and Parliament. I will not enlarge on that.
I believe that we enjoy a system of parliamentary democracy in this country which should be especially precious to hon. Members on this side who within a lifetime have watched how under it we can have accepted meekly and as law the most radical reforms required by our people. My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale is living proof that the most militant, sincere and courageous Socialist can occupy a position of power and influence in our Parliament. It would be no regret to me if he had more. How is that possible? It is because Parliament is sovereign and because we do not have special rank in laws. Each new Parliament as it enacts, pleasant and unpleasant, is accepted by everyone.
I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South-East on what Parliament is about. It is a secret ballot. It is freedom of speech and our careful complex of parliamentary institutions. With that complex as we now enjoy it, so surely as the Crown tamed the barons and others by the unique possession of gunpowder, so surely as this House tamed economic power, we have it in our capacity to enact what is required democratically for this country.
The problem is not the economic barons. The democratic process is difficult, painful and slow. It costs something to get things done decently and in freedom. It costs something to advance the nation in decency and freedom. It costs a little time and patience. But is not it sweet when we have got it, and is not it great to know that we operate in this country a parliamentary system which is free to attain in triumph the highest, the noblest and the most altruistic ideals of the people and to have them accepted by other people without the blood, misery and corpses as the price which has to be paid in other countries?
I warn my right hon. and hon. Friends not to support the Amendment calling for a referendum. I will gladly go with them in support of the Amendment calling for a General Election. I will gladly do anything to fight this Government at a General Election, even though I happen to be in agreement in principle about the Common Market——
§ Mr. Lever
We did not go into the Division Lobby to defeat them on the Northern Ireland Bill, when we should have had better justification. For my part, I would have preferred to have found some factitious reason for defeating the Government on the Northern Ireland Bill than to have given my support to this Amendment calling for a referendum.
If I believed as my right hon. and hon. Friends believe that this Bill was likely 380 to have the evil consequences to the sovereignty of our country that they fear, there is no step that I would not take in desperation to prevent that outrage on the constitution. But I could not support a proposal for a referendum because I do not make those assumptions.
I am sorry to have detained the Committee for so long. But I had a few points to make.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Geoffrey Howe)
The speech to which the Committee has just listened has, I am sure, given pleasure to all who heard it—[Interruption.]—pleasure certainly for its sincerity and integrity, though some hon. Members, for different reasons, may not have agreed with it, and pleasure because it gave us a little insight into some of the secret dreams of the right hon. Member for Manchester, Cheetham (Mr. Harold Lever).
It was touching to hear the right hon. Gentleman's touching faith in the majesty of the law. However, it is my sad conviction that the law is more likely to have success in transforming his electoral potency, in the way that he described, than in enhancing his pulchritude in the way he hoped.
The issues covered by the right hon. Gentleman reveal the different strands of the argument running through the debate. In many ways it has been a confusing debate, but three arguments have flowed across each other. The first is the argument on which we have already spent so much time: are we or are we not to go into Europe on the terms negotiated? Secondly, as a different argument, are we to have a General Election forced upon us partly because of differences over Europe, and much more in terms of a General Election, because the Opposition disagree with the policies of the Government? Thirdly, can a referendum possibly be justified in the context of this or any other Bill?
On the much debated issue of whether we go into Europe, I do not propose to waste any time at this stage of the evening.
The right hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) has today made basically the same speech on the same issue as in many previous debates. He continued to astonish us that he found it possible to remain a member of the Government which launched the present application. However, his speech was disposed of and dismissed by his right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. George Thomson) when he told us that they knew full well the constitutional implications of that application when it was made, that it was upon that basis that the 382 application was made and supported last October and that it would have been even more generously supported in the context of a free vote.
I turn now to the Amendment in favour of a General Election which was approached in different ways by hon. Members on both sides. From one point of view—this is the view which commends itself to some hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side—the call for a General Election is a familiar and transparent device. It is the standard cry of Oppositions on all Government policies with which they disagree. It was in that way that the right hon. Member for Dundee, East tended to see it. Certainly it was upon that basis that he dismissed the pretentious constitutional nonsense, as he put it, advanced by his right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney. If that is the object of the General Election Amendment, if it is merely another attempt to force an election on an issue between the two parties, it is right to dismiss the Amendment on that basis.
However, I take in a different spirit the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell), who sees the call for a General Election in the context of this debate as a more fundamental issue. He makes his call for a General Election upon the basis that we have not got the mandate, the authority or the consent with which to proceed with this legislation. He founds himself in part upon the Tory Party's manifesto and upon the words, so often analysed, of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.
The relevant passage from our manifesto has been read and reread time and time again, but I invite the Committee to look at it in the context that at the last General Election the country was facing an application to join the European Communities already made after due deliberation by the previous Government, supported over 10 years by the Liberal Party and supported in principle, as the country must have well known, by the Conservative Party. There was no room for doubt that each of the three parties was applying for Europe basically upon the same premise. When we said that our sole commitment was to negotiate, no more, no less, we were saying no more and no less than every 383 other party. That was well known and had been well known to the people of this country for many years.
No one could commit himself in advance of the outcome of the negotiations. That is why our election manifesto made plain thatAs the negotiations proceed we will report regularly through Parliament to the country. A Conservative Government would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament, nor would Members of Parliament approve a settlement which was unequal or unfair.It was there plainly for all to see, as no one really doubted, that the question whether or not we acceded to Europe at the conclusion of the negotiations was a question on which the decision would be taken by the House of Commons, exercising its rights and duties on behalf of the people of this country.
§ Mr. Ronald Bell
If that is so, and if we were saying no more, no less than the other parties, how could anyone who thought that the ultimate decision should not be taken by the House of Commons give expression to that view electorally?
§ The Solicitor-General
There were some places, as my hon. and learned Friend knows, where that option was specifically left open to the people. I do not know whether that was a point placed before the electors in my hon. and learned Friend's constituency. There were certainly occasions, as there have been since, when people campaigned on the issue of the Common Market in one form or another. For example, in the Greenwich by-election and the Maccles-field by-election they received only derisory votes, because the decisions were taken between the two or three main candidates.
It is on the same footing that my right hon. Friend's statement aboutthe full-hearted consent of the Parliaments and peoples of the new member countrieshas to be understood and has always been understood. Anyone reading reports of that statement by my right hon. Friend will know full well that, for this country, he was talking about a decision in Parliament and only in Parliament, in accordance with our traditions. He made it perfectly clear earlier in that speech when he said:Whatever the Government in power in Britain I do not myself believe that Parliament 384 will approve a settlement which in the opinion of its members is unequal and unfair.My right hon. Friend made it doubly clear in his BBC broadcast on 27th May when he said:We will report the whole time to the country through Parliament what is going on in the negotiations; at the end when they see what has been negotiated, Parliament can judge completely as to whether it is in the interests of the country to go into the Common Market or not.My right hon. Friend made it trebly clear in his televised Press conference on 2nd June when he concluded his answer to a question by saying:This is handled through the Parliamentary system.
§ Mr. Marten
That we all accept; that was put out by Conservative Central Office. But so was the document about the Paris speech on "full-hearted consent". If, as my hon. and learned Friend says, my right hon. Friend was referring to Parliament, why did he mention the people?
§ The Solicitor-General
Because, as I have explained, and as my right hon. Friend has explained many times, the views of the people would be transmitted to Parliament. [Interruption.] Indeed, as my hon. Friend knows equally well, when my right hon. Friend outlined the programme for the consideration of this legislation last June, he outlined step by step the process which would be followed. That process, not involving any referendum or further reference of that kind, was welcomed, I think, three or four times by the Leader of the Opposition, and welcomed by my hon. Friends, even those who disagreed with the proposal for entry into Europe. But there was no suggestion then that the procedure, the customary one, was unacceptable.
I conclude, and the House is entitled to conclude, along the lines of the analysis of the right hon. Member for Cheetham, that it is certainly not above the competence of this Parliament. Parliament is considering and has been considering these proposals and has registered its approval. But for other constraints, whether of party or for other reasons or on account of other tensions, parliamentary approval at this stage would have been even larger than it has been so far.
385 It is upon that basis that the will of the people is being expressed in relation to this legislation. How can one argue—and this has been done by hon. Members on both sides—that that situation could be helped, resolved or furthered in any way by a General Election? How can the discussion in a General Election be confined to this one issue?
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ My hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) made the point. How could a decision in such a General Election even be meaningful on this issue, quite aside from the question of what the posture of the Opposition or Members of the Opposition might be? I do not want to dwell on that now but, apart from these difficulties, how could a General Election on that footing endorse, vary, or change the situation meaningfully at all? The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) explained, I think, that the cross-party divisions on this issue would make a General Election wholly inappropriate on this issue.
§ I turn to the question of the referendum.
§ Mr. Jay rose——
§ The Solicitor-General
The Committee is indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart) for his book on the subject of the referendum which many people have obviously read with interest and which has provided much raw material for speeches throughout this debate. For many people, consideration of the referendum gives a fresh chance in a different context for challening entry into Europe.
My hon. Friend the Member for Ban-bury (Mr. Marten) and my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) are both advancing the argument for a referendum on those grounds and others are doing so for narrower and more party reasons. Yet others, like my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, support the referendum because they see it as grounds to get the election which, as I have explained, would not be related to this point.
The general case for a referendum in the most expansive terms came from the 386 right hon. Member for Bristol, South-East (Mr. Benn). Many hon. Members must have been excited and fascinated to see revealed in the House of Commons for the first time the full phrenetic force of his enthusiasm which has swept its erratic way through the Labour Party on this issue in the last six or nine months, but even he had to concede that to accept the concept of a referendum would be a major change in constitutional procedure and he put it forward on that basis. The difficulty is on the one hand that he puts it forward as a potential revolutionary weapon, or, at least, an instrument, for creating further contact between Parliament and people in support of further revolutionary changes, whereas others of his hon. Friends put it forward and reject it as a weapon of black reaction. I do not want to parody what they say—but as an obstruction to the kind of progress for which they strive.
But whether it is the one or the other, whether to shackle parliamentary democracy with the instrument of reaction or to energise it with some revolutionary machinery from Bristol, South-East, it represents a major change in our constitution and I do not think the British people would thank us for accepting a change of that kind, certainly not at the conclusion of a debate of this kind, of seven or eight hours in comparison with the time spent on the great European question. Nor would a referendum be helpful on this issue. So on the grand revolutionary scale it is too much to be acceptable, and even on this issue it simply would not work.
What question could one put to the electorate?
§ The Solicitor-General
The right hon. Gentleman says "The same question as that before the Committee", but that is precisely to miss the point that has been made by several of my hon. Friends this afternoon. The question before the Committee has been discussed for 21 days—11 days on the run-up to the Second Reading and 10 days in Committee—in a whole range of forms.
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) explained 387 clearly the way in which one question posed in an opinion poll was answered. People were asked whether they thought that joining Europe was in the national interest. That evoked a 51 per cent. majority in favour. In the same poll the question "Do you think that joining Europe is in your interest?" evoked a 52 per cent. majority against. That shows how difficult it would be to produce a meaningful question. If we were to consider, for example, whether to preface our referendum with the phrase adopted by M. Pompidou about the new perspectives opening up for Europe, would that be regarded as an unfair loading of the question? Or would one choose a different preamble?
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
I wonder whether the Solicitor-General would give the information which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish) was not able to give—namely, how Norway and Denmark have formulated their questions.
§ The Solicitor-General
I cannot give that information; but I think there is still a vacancy for my right hon. and learned Friend because I understand that they have not drafted their questions.
Even on the Norwegian scene a referendum is not an unknown instrument. It has not been used many times—aboutfive or six times this century—so again it is in a different setting. The truth of this analysis, however, was enunciated by the right hon. Member for Dundee, East when he asked whether, even with an almost perfectly modulated, elegantly drafted question anyone seriously believed that the vote on the question could be, or would be, confined to the issue in the referendum.
The truth is that the referendum would be an inappropriate instrument to introduce into this debate. It would be inappropriate on a wider scale. As the Leader of the Opposition said about two and a half years ago,It is contrary to our traditions in this country….Hon. Members on either side of the House do not usually feel that referenda are a way in which to conduct our public affairs. I am sure that a referendum would give 100 per cent. support for increasing expenditure on every item. It would give 100 per cent. support for abolishing income tax….It is not a way in which we can do business." 388 —[Official Report, 25th November, 1969; Vol. 792, c. 199–200.]That, plainly, is the sensible verdict on referenda in general and in this particular case.
The long-term consequences of introducing such a change in our constitution would be incalculable. Ministers of the day are responsible to Parliament for the general conduct of affairs. To remain in office now and in the future, inside the Market or not, Ministers must continue to command a majority in the House of Commons on important issues. It would be a negation of that principle, not just for once, but for all time, to seek the verdict of the electorate on an issue that was before Parliament and, indeed, on which Parliament had already given its verdict. To accept the proposal for a referendum on this issue would be to transform—and I mean that literally; not juristically, but in practice, and on an unforeseen range of issues, which might embarrass both sides of the House as much as each other—the whole representative character of our constitution.
It is that which would do irreversible damage to the sovereignty of Parliament, because once that had been done Parliament would never again be the same. It is upon that basis that I invite the Committee to reject both these Amendments.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
Everyone who has heard the debate today on the two interlocked subjects included by these Amendments will agree that the debate has been fascinating, on a subject of major importance for anyone concerned with our parliamentary system. No one who has heard the debate would think that it was superfluous, out of place or unnecessary. The Patronage Secretary should understand too that the time which has been available for discussing these matters is that which the House properly insists upon, because there are many hon. Members on both sides, as has been shown by the debate, who think that these matters are of paramount importance.
Possibly the only Member who has spoken who would qualify that view is my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Cheetham(Mr. Harold Lever). He has presented a view about the nature of the Bill which certainly does not accord with the view put by most 389 other hon. Members, whatever views they may happen to take about entry to the Common Market. I am happy to know that my right hon. Friend will attend our future debates on these subjects—he is always telling us that he is more interested in the future than in the past—but if he had been able to attend our past debates he could not have reached the conclusion about the nature of the Bill which he sought to present so eloquently to the Committee.
Of course it is formally true that anything we do under the Bill is formally revocable. I should be happy to have that stated in an Amendment. I hope that we shall have the support of my right hon. Friend when we make assurance doubly sure, if that is how he would like it put, by having an Amendment to make it clear, perhaps by a single affirmative Resolution, that we could reverse the process under which we had got into the Common Market. As, under the Government's proposals, it might conceivably be only under a single affirmative Resolution that we would have to agree to a Financial Resolution, my right hon. Friend could not possibly agree that we should revoke this by a single affirmative Resolution. So we could possibly accommodate that matter in that way.
My right hon. Friend was hardly being serious, however, when he presented the case as he did. There is an argument for subordinating the sovereignty—or, as I would prefer to say, the democracy; the arguments about sovereignty are arguments about democracy—of this country to the institutions which have been provided or assembled in Europe. I understand the argument. I do not agree with it, but I know that many hon. Members make the proposition that this is what we should do in the interests of the economy and for a variety of other reasons. But what no one who has heard our debates can contend is that there is no substantial reduction in the sovereignty or the decision-making power of the House of Commons.
The reason why I assert that—I cannot argue that again now, because it is what we have been arguing about in the days past and will be arguing about in the months that are to come—is that these matters are included in the fact that the right to tax and the right to legislate over major matters will be transferred 390 from the House of Commons and many important questions will be subject solely to a single vote—matters which hitherto in the history of Parliament have been debated through all the processes of Acts of Parliament. The Government have rejected Amendments which would insist on our retaining our legislative sovereignty.
I therefore assure my right hon. Friend—I will not argue at great length, because this is a side issue to the major part of the debate—that his definition of the nature of the Bill will not stand investigation. The Bill itself proves that the diminution in the sovereignty of the House of Commons is far greater than he suggested. No one who treats this seriously can say that it will be easy later to reverse it and that therefore one need not worry too much about it.
When we join the Common Market I hope that this country will insist upon its right to try to rearrange the settlement—to revoke it altogether, perhaps. I certainly hope we shall retain that right. But it would be an infinitely difficult and complicated process which would lay this country open to the charge of bad faith from many of the countries in Europe. Anyone who denied that and tried to dismiss it with the kind of flippancy that my right hon. Friend the Member for Cheetham did tonight would be guilty of misleading the House of Commons. They may have been unwittingly said but his remarks about the nature of the Bill would have the effect of misleading the House of Commons about the surrender of some of its essential rights.
§ Mr. Harold Lever
I said that it was impossible to contend that sovereignty was being irreversibly given away when it was part of my right hon. Friend's case that they will reverse the process as soon as they are back in power.
§ Mr. Foot
I think I put the case in reply to my right hon. Friend perfectly fairly. It is quibbling for him to suggest that if the Bill becomes law, if all the processes are gone through, if the declaration is made on 1st January, 1973, and all the machinery is then in operation, the reversal of that process is just as easy on this Bill as on any other. To say that is to mislead the House of 391 Commons and the country. That is not the situation we have to deal with.
§ Sir T. Beamish
Does the hon. Member believe that the merging of sovereignty which will result from joining the Community this year will be greater in any single respect than it would have been if the application made by the Labour Government of which the hon. Member was a supporter had been successful?
§ Mr. Foot
There are many respects in which it would be so, and these are some of the matters we have been debating throughout the Bill. It is one of the reasons why even my right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East (Mr. George Thomson), a strong pro-Marketeer, said that this is a much more brief and brutal Bill than the Labour Government would have introduced. The meaning of the "brutal" is precisely that the Government are trying to force through a Bill which takes away the rights of the House of Commons in a way which would not have been necessary for joining the Common Market. That is the direct answer to the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Sir T. Beamish).
Let me turn to another aspect, because I wish to deal directly with the Amendments. My right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East said at the beginning of the debate and my right hon. Friend the Member for Cheetham said later that they are quite prepared to vote for the Amendment dealing with a General Election. They have no objection to voting for that Amendment, but there is a slight difference of emphasis in the way they suggested that they would be willing to vote tonight. They say that they are willing to vote tonight because they wish to remove the Government on other grounds. There are plenty of other grounds and we all understand that.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, East talks, however, as if it is very difficult, a near impossibility, to have a General Election on the issue of the Common Market, although not ruling that out quite as all-embracingly as did the Leader of the Liberal Party. My right hon. Friend says, in effect, that we cannot have an election of this character in these political circumstances on the question of the Common Market.
392 The consent of the people to British entry into the Common Market is a matter that has figured prominently in the debates about the Common Market ever since the proposal was made, not merely in the last few weeks or months but over the years. I therefore take leave to read to the Committee again a quotation which I have read before, but it is one which I address particularly to my right hon. Friends the Members for Birmingham, Stetchford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) and for Dundee, East, who have argued how difficult or awkward or unnecessary it is to have a General Election on the Common Market issue.
I ask them to remember what was said—I repeat it because I believe that it states the case with classic irrefragability—by the late Hugh Gaitskell to the Labour Party conference on this precise Amendment point in 1962:I repeat again my demand: If when the final terms are known this party—the major opposition party, the alternative Government of the country—comes to the conclusion that these terms are not good enough, if it is our conviction that we should not enter the Common Market on these terms, so that there is a clear clash of opinion between the two major political groupings in the country, then the only right and proper and democratic thing is to let the people decide the issue…Of course, Mr. Macmillan has given a pledge in his broadcast. He said: 'When we know the final position, then it will be for us here in Britain to decide what to do'. For us here in Britain? Who does he mean? Does he mean the Government? Or the Tory Party? Or the British people?We are now being told that the British people are not capable of judging this issue"—we have heard some undertones of that today—the Government knows best; the top people are the only people who can understand it; it is difficult for the rest. This is the classic argument of every tyranny in history…We did not win the political battles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to have this reactionary nonsense thrust upon us again.In the face of that it is not possible for any member of the Labour Party who respects that statement which was made to that conference to say that the demand to have a General Election predominantly on the issue that divides the parties on the Common Market is an improper demand. It was one which was made by Hugh Gaitskell.
I take a quotation from another Leader of the Labour Party whose 393 opinion will be respected by all my hon. Friends. When the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) was Prime Minister, he talked about the circumstances in which we might be taken into the Common Market. A Sunday Express article in December, 1963, carried this report of the right hon. Gentleman's view of possible British entry into the Common Market and Lord Attlee's commentsAsked about entry into the Common Market at the Kinross by-election"—the right hon. Gentleman—said that the opportunity might not recur but that, if it did, it would be up to Parliament to decide what to do. This is just not good enough, said Lord Attlee. It means that the Government would decide to go in and seek support from Parliament by a vote in the House, no doubt with the Whips on. It is the electors who have the right to decide on a vital matter of this kind.The view expressed in Amendment No. 23 is not a view which has been concocted at the last moment. It is a view which has been expressed by the Labour Party—[Hon. Members: "What about the Leader of the Labour Party?"]—and it is a view which is supported by the Labour Party today precisely for the reason that if there is a divergence between the major parties in the State on a matter of such supreme importance, as this is, it is only the people of the country who have a right to decide. That is what we are discussing.
That brings me to the statement of the Prime Minister which has been so often referred to in this debate about the full-hearted consent of the British Parliament and people. The Prime Minister's argument on the question of consent seems to be that the consent of the people does not matter. That is the only interpretation that can be placed on the repeated statements that the Prime Minister has made in the House of Commons and elsewhere. Whenever he has been challenged on this subject and what he meant by the full-hearted consent of Parliament and people, he has said "Well, we must forget about the people. We lop off that. I only meant the full-hearted consent of Parliament." Therefore, the first defence of the Prime Minister is that consent of the people does not matter.
Or is it the right hon. Gentleman's defence that he got the mandate? We 394 have had much debate about that in this discussion. I certainly did not read those words in the Conservative manifesto or in the various statements that were made by other Ministers at the election as saying that they wanted the British people to know that the Common Market was an issue in the General Election and that if they were elected it was very likely that they would have to proceed to secure, or attempt to secure, entry into the European Economic Community. [Hon. Members: "That was precisely what was said."] No, it was not. They said that, but they said something else as well. They said "to negotiate", no more, no less. The purpose of putting in those words was precisely not to make it an issue in the election but to remove it from being an issue in the election. We know what the Government wanted to fight the election on. They wanted to fight it——
§ Sir Gilbert Longden (Hertfordshire, South-West)
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. He is an honourable man. Will he put his hand on his heart and tell the Committee whether, when he heard the Prime Minister make that statement, the word "referendum" ever entered his head? It was against the policy of all three political parties at that time.
§ Mr. Foot
I am coming to the question of a referendum, if the hon. Member will permit me. I will not try to escape from it. I understand that that is the second part of the second Amendment. Our principal Amendment, however, and much the most important in our view which we are presenting to the Committee today, is the demand for a General Election. We say that that is the best way of dealing with it.
I have tried to show to the Committee, I would have thought conclusively, that it has always been the view of the Labour Party, over not merely the last weeks but over the years, that if on the terms of entry there was to be a major divergence between the major parties, if there was a division between the major parties on the issue of the terms, that should be put to the electors. [Hon. Members: "Where is the Leader of the Opposition?"] It may be that hon. Members on the Government side do not like it all that much, and the 395 Prime Minister, who gave the pledge about full-hearted consent, has not shown himself in the debate. [Hon. Members: "Where is the Leader of the Opposition?"] I said it in reply to the hon. Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Sir Gilbert Longden) who interrupted from the Government side. So I say to the Committee that the only way in which this matter can be honourably settled is if it is referred to the people of the country. I shall come in a moment to the arguments of the Leader of the Liberal Party who says that such a conclusion is impossible.
Now let me turn, however, to the alternative proposition of a referendum.
§ 11.30 p.m.
§ Sir D. Renton
If the General Election Amendment were carried, if we had a General Election and if by some mischance the Labour Party was elected and then renegotiated the terms, is the hon. Gentleman assuming that we on this side would necessarily agree with the renegotiated terms? If we did not, would he expect to have another General Election before those terms could be passed into law?
§ [Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]
§ Mr. Foot
It happens to be my view that the people who should settle the question of whether Britain is to go into the European Economic Community are the people of this country, not Parliament alone. [Hon. Members: "Answer."] I am answering. Therefore, I give the right hon. and learned Gentleman the answer absolutely clearly that if a Labour Government renegotiated terms of entry into the EEC, and those terms were deeply disputed by the official Opposition party, we should have exactly the situation described in Mr. Hugh Gaitskell's speech. [Interruption.] We would indeed. We would then have exactly the circumstances that were described in Mr. Gaitskell's speech, and the only way to settle a matter between major parties in those circumstances would be by an appeal to the electorate. [An Hon. Member: "How many General Elections?"] There have been quite a number of occasions in the history of this country when we have had a number of elections to decide these questions. It 396 would be better to have an extra election than to take Britain into the Common Market against the people's will, which is the proposition the Government are trying to put to us.
There has been some attempt to suggest that the referendum has been considered by many of us on this side only because we thought it might be a convenient way—[An Hon. Member: "To split the party."]—of securing a vote against the Government. That thought of a vote against the Government did cross my mind. I cannot say it was excluded. After all, we cannot exclude the national interest altogether. The long-term national interest of securing the removal of the Government from office cannot be excluded from our thoughts and calculations. But that is not the only reason. There are plenty of other reasons.
When some of my hon. Friends, including my right hon. Friends the Members for Cheetham and Dundee, East, argue that there is something improper about a referendum, they have not the basis for doing so. There may be a few hon. Members who came into the House at the last election who have never partipicated in recommending a referendum, but for the rest none of us can say, perhaps, that we are consistent on the subject—[Laughter.] Yes, indeed, but to those who say that a proposal for a referendum is so outrageous that it would subvert the constitution altogether I reply that it is a very strange doctrine from those right hon. and hon. Members who have frequently recommended and carried through referenda to be applied to other people.
Many, if not all, of the colonial territories have had referenda built in to their constitutions—for example, the West Indies and Gibraltar. Of course hon. Members may say that that is all right for them. My right hon. Friend the Member for Cheetham said that it was all right for the Canary Islands. But the point is that those referenda were applied precisely because a constitutional issue was involved, because it was thought necessary and desirable that, in the subsequent rule and conduct of their affairs, sanction should be given to what was done. In other words, they said "We have to have popular approval for what is done in these territories." It is no 397 good saying that these were small territories. They were as concerned about their future in the West Indies, in Ghana or any other territory where referenda applied as we are concerned about the EEC. No right hon. or hon. Member, certainly not if he was a member of the Labour Government, can say that he dismisses altogether the idea of a referendum to settle these matters.
Of course we have argued that it would be very much better to have a General Election to settle this thing. That is our first choice. What is the situation that faces the House of Commons? What is the judgment that is passed on our electoral system?
§ Mr. Foot
I think it would be better, when discussing the question of the whole future of parliamentary democracy, if a higher proportion of sober hon. Members on the Government side were to come in.
What will be the judgment on our electoral system if at the end of the debate we have to say "The situation is such, our electoral system is such, our rejection of a General Election to deal with this matter is such and our rejection of the alternative of a referendum is such, that there is no method under the British constitutional and electoral practice whereby the British people shall have their opportunity of saying whether we should go into the EEC"? If that were to be the conclusion it would be a sorry verdict upon our electoral system. If that were the result of differences of opinion between the parties, if on such an issue the people were exempted from voting, it would be a serious reflection on the electoral system and on our whole constitutional processes.
§ But it is not the case. The right hon. Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) says that a General Election on the question of whether Britain should join the EEC on these terms is totally impossible. He thinks so because there are differences between the parties—[Interruption]—differences between the parties and within the parties. This is not the first occasion in British history that there have been differences within the parties. The British party system has to adapt itself to this. The Liberal Party has not always gone into our electoral battles absolutely united on every issue. So what is the use of the right hon. Gentleman, who can remember the story of Ireland and possibly the whole history of his party, saying that because there are divisions within the parties the British people are to be denied the right to vote, denied the right to make the final settlement?
If the House of Commons were to reach that conclusion in this and future debates—that this must be done without consulting the people—we would have inflicted the gravest possible damage on our whole democratic process. We have not got the right to do that. Junius wrote:
The Power of King, Lords and Commons is not an arbitrary power. They are the trustees not the owners of the estate. The fee simple is in us.
That means the British people, and we have no right to use arbitrary power to insist that the British constitution shall be changed in the way proposed in the Bill. If we do this we will have betrayed the trust of the people who sent us to the House of Commons and the consequences will be serious, not only for the party that does it but for the whole British constitution.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 272, Noes 301.403
|Division No. 128.]||AYES||[11.41 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur|
|Albu, Austen||Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton)||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Baxter, William||Bradley, Tom|
|Allen, Scholefield||Beaney, Alan||Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)|
|Ashley, Jack||Bidwell, Sydney||Buchan, Norman|
|Ashton, Joe||Bishop, E. S.||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James|
|Barnes, Michael||Booth, Albert||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Cant, R. B.||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Hunter, Adam||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)||Pendry, Tom|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Janner, Greville||Pentland, Norman|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Conlan, Bernard||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||John, Brynmor||Prescott, John|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Cronin, John||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Probert, Arthur|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham,S.)||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Richard, Ivor|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda. W.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Judd, Frank||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Kaufman, Gerald||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kelley, Richard||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Kerr, Russell||Roper, John|
|Kinnock, Neil||Rose, Paul B.|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Lambie, David||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Deakins, Eric||Lamond, James||Rowlands, Edward|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Latham, Arthur||Sandelson, Neville|
|Delargy, Hugh||Leadbitter, Ted||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Leonard, Dick||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dempsey, James||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'ctle-u-Tyne)|
|Doig, Peter||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Lipton Marcus||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lomas, Kenneth||Sillars, James|
|Driberg, Tom||Loughlin, Charles||Skinner, Dennis|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Small, William|
|Dunn, James A.||Mabon. Dr. J. Dickson||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Dunnett, Jack||McBride, Neil||Spearing, Nigel|
|Eadie, Alex||McCartney, Hugh||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Edelman, Maurice||McElhone, Frank||Stallard, A. W.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||McGuire, Michael||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Ellis, Tom||Mackie, John||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|English, Michael||Mackintosh, John P.||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Evans, Fred||Maclennan, Robert||Strang, Gavin|
|Ewing, Harry||McManus, Frank||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Faulds, Andrew||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McNamara, J. Kevin||Swain, Thomas|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Taverne, Dick|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Marks, Kenneth||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marquand, David||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Foley, Maurice||Marsden, F.||Tinn, James|
|Foot, Michael||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Tomney, Frank|
|Ford, Ben||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Torney, Tom|
|Forrester, John||Mayhew, Christopher||Tuck, Raphael|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Meacher, Michael||Urwin, T. W.|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Varley, Eric G.|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mendelson, John||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mikardo, Ian||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Millan, Bruce||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wallace, George|
|Gourlay, Harry||Milne, Edward||Watkins, David|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Weitzman, David|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Whitlock, William|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Moyle, Roland||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hamling, William||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Murray, Ronald King||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Htchn)|
|Hardy, Peter||Oakes, Gordon||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Harper, Joseph||Ogden, Eric||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||O'Halloran, Michael||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||O'Malley, Brian||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Hattersley, Roy||Oram, Bert||Woof, Robert|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Orbach, Maurice|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Orme, Stanley||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Horam, John||Oswald, Thomas||Mr. Donald Coleman and|
|Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Mr. John Golding.|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Padley, Walter|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Paget, R. T.|
|Adley, Robert||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fortescue, Tim||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Foster, Sir John||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Fowler, Norman||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)|
|Astor, John||Fox, Marcus||Longden, Sir Gilbert|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone]||Loveridge, John|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fry, Peter||Luce, R. N.|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Gardner, Edward||MacArthur, Ian|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Gibson-Watt, David||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||McLaren, Martin|
|Batsford, Brian||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Macmillan. Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Goodhart, Philip||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)|
|Benyon, W.||Goodhew, Victor||Maddan, Martin|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Gorst, John||Madel, David|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gower, Raymond||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Blaker, Peter||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Mather, Carol|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Gray, Hamish||Maude, Angus|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Green, Alan||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Grieve, Percy||Mawby, Ray|
|Bowden, Andrew||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Bray, Ronald||Grylls, Michael||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Gurden, Harold||Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Money, Ernle|
|Bryan, Paul||Hail-Davis, A. G. F.||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Buchanan-Smith,Alick (Angus, N&M)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Monro, Hector|
|Buck, Antony||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||More, Jasper|
|Burden, F. A.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Haselhurst, Alan||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. G.(Moray&Nairn)||Hastings, Stephen||Morrison, Charles|
|Carlisle, Mark||Havers, Michael||Mudd, David|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hawkins, Paul||Murton, Oscar|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hay, John||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Channon, Paul||Hayhoe, Barney||Neave, Airey|
|Chapman, Sydney||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Heseltine, Michael||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hicks, Robert||Normanton, Tom|
|Churchill, W. S.||Higgins, Terence L.||Nott, John|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hiley, Joseph||Onslow, Cranley|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Clegg, Walter||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Osborn, John|
|Cockeram, Eric||Holland, Philip||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Cooke, Robert||Holt, Miss Mary||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Coombs, Derek||Hooson, Emlyn||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Cooper, A. E.||Hordern, Peter||Pardoe, John|
|Cordle, John||Hornby, Richard||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Peel, John|
|Cormack, Patrick||Howell, David (Guildford)||Percival, Ian|
|Costain, A. P.||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Critchley, Julian||Hunt, John||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Crouch, David||Iremonger, T. L.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Crowder, F. P.||James, David||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Jessel, Toby||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Dean, Paul||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Jopling, Michael||Raison, Timothy|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Dixon, Piers||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmond, Robert|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kershaw, Anthony||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kilfedder, James||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kimball, Marcus||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Dykes, Hugh||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Eden, Sir John||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Kinsey, J. R.||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Kirk, Peter||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne.N.)||Kitson, Timothy||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Emery, Peter||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Knox, David||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lambton, Lord||Rost, Peter|
|Fidler, Michael||Lane, David||Royle, Anthony|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Legge-Bourke. Sir Harry||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Scott, Nicholas||Sutcliffe, John||Wall, Patrick|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Sharples, Richard||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Simeons, Charles||Tebbit, Norman||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Temple, John M.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wilkinson, John|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Soref, Harold||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Speed, Keith||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Spence, John||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Sproat, Iain||Tilney, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Stainton, Keith||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Worsley, Marcus|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Trew, Peter||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Steel, David||Tugendhat, Christopher||Younger, Hn. George|
|Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Waddington, David||Mr. Bernard Weatherill and|
|Stokes, John||Walder, David (Clitheroe)||Mr. Oscar Murton.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
Amendment proposed: No. 205, in page 2, line 23, at end add:
(5) This Act shall come into force on a day to be appointed by Statutory Instrument passed by affirmative resolution of each House of Parliament, but no such date shall be appointed until a consultative advisory referendum, having no binding effect upon
§ the Government, has first been held, thereby enabling the Government to assess the extent to which the Treaty of Accession has the full-hearted support of the British people.—[Mr. Marten.]
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 235, Noes 284.407
|Division No. 129]||AYES||[11.57 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Deakins, Eric||Hattersley, Roy|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Delargy, Hugh||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Dempsey, James||Hooson, Emlyn|
|Ashley, Jack||Doig, Peter||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Ashton, Joe||Dormand, J. D.||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Atkinson, Norman||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Driberg, Tom||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Duffy, A. E. P.||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Baxter, William||Dunn, James A.||Hunter, Adam|
|Beaney, Alan||Dunnett, Jack||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Bell, Ronald||Eadie, Alex||Irvine, Rt. Hn. SirArthur (Edge Hill)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Janner, Greville|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Bishop, E. S.||English, Michael||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Evans, Fred||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Ewing, Harry||John, Brynmor|
|Body, Richard||Farr, John||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Booth, Albert||Fell, Anthony||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)|
|Buchan, Norman||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Foot, Michael||Judd, Frank|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Forrester, John||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Kelley, Richard|
|Cant, R. B.||Freeson, Reginald||Kerr, Russell|
|Carmichael, Neil||Fry, Peter||Kinnock, Neil|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Garrett, W. E.||Lambie, David|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Gilbert, Dr. John||Lamond, James|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)||Latham, Arthur|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Golding, John||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Goodhart, Philip||Leonard, Dick|
|Cohen, Stanley||Gourlay, Harry||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Coleman, Donald||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Lipton, Marcus|
|Cronin, John||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||McBride, Neil|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J,||McCartney, Hugh|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||McElhone, Frank|
|Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)||Hamling, William||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Hardy, Peter||Maclennan, Robert|
|Davidson, Arthur||Harper, Joseph||McManus, Frank|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||McMaster, Stanley|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)|
|McNamara, J. Kevin||Pendry, Tom||Strang, Gavin|
|Maginnis, John E.||Pentland, Norman||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Perry, Ernest G.||Sutcliffe, John|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Pounder, Rafton||Swain, Thomas|
|Marks, Kenneth||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)|
|Marsden, F.||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Prescott, John||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Probert, Arthur||Tinn, James|
|Meacher, Michael||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Tomney, Frank|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Torney, Tom|
|Mendelson, John||Rhodes, Geoffrey||Tuck, Raphael|
|Mikardo, Ian||Richard, Ivor||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Millan, Bruce||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Miller, Dr. M. S.||Robertson, John (Paisley)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Milne, Edward||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Molyneaux, James||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Rowlands, Edward||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Russell, Sir Ronald||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Sandelson, Neville||Wallace, George|
|Moyle, Roland||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Watkins, David|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)||Weitzman, David|
|Murray, Ronald King||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Oakes, Gordon||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)||Whitlock, William|
|O'Malley, Brian||Sillars, James||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Orbach, Maurice||Skinner, Dennis||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Orme, Stanley||Small, William||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Spearing, Nigel||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Oswald, Thomas||Spriggs, Leslie||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Paget, R. T.||Stallard, A. W.||Woof, Robert|
|Palmer, Arthur||Steel, David|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||Mr. Neil Marten and|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John||Mr. Roger Moate.|
|Adley, Robert||Coombs, Derek||Gorst, John|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Cooper, A. E.||Gower, Raymond|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Cordle, John||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Gray, Hamish|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Cormack, Patrick||Green, Alan|
|Astor, John||Costain, A. P.||Grieve, Percy|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Critchley, Julian||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Crouch, David||Grylls, Michael|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Crowder, F. P.||Gummer, J. Selwyn|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Gurden, Harold|
|Balniel, Lord||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||d'Avigdor-Goldsmld.Maj. -Gen. James||Hall, John (Wycombe)|
|Batsford, Brian||Dean, Paul||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hannam, John (Exeter)|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Dixon, Piers||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)|
|Benyon, W.||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Blaker, Peter||Drayson, G. B.||Hastings, Stephen|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Havers, Michael|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Dykes, Hugh||Hawkins, Paul|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Eden, Sir John||Hay, John|
|Bowden, Andrew||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Bray, Ronald||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Heseltine, Michael|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Emery, Peter||Hicks, Robert|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Eyre, Reginald||Higgins, Terrence L.|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Hiley, Joseph|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Fidler, Michael||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)|
|Bryan, Paul||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstaad)||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Buck, Antony||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Holland, Philip|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Fookes, Miss Janet||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Fortescue, Tim||Hordern, Peter|
|Carlisle, Mark||Foster, Sir John||Hornby, Richard|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Fowler, Norman||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Fox, Marcus||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Channon, Paul||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Hunt, John|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Gardner, Edward||Iremonger, T. L.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Gibson-Watt, David||James, David|
|Churchill, W. S.||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Jessel, Toby|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Cockeram, Eric||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Cooke Robert||Goodhew, Victor||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)|
|Jopling, Michael||Murton, Oscar||Soref, Harold|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Speed, Keith|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Neave, Airey||Spence, John|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Sproat, Iain|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Normanton, Tom||Stainton, Keith|
|Kilfedder, James||Nott, John||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Kimball Marcus||Onslow, Cranley||Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Osborn, John||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Kinsey, J. R.||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Stokes, John|
|Kirk, Peter||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Kitson, Timothy||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Pardoe, John||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Knox, David||Parkinson, Cecil||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Lambton, Antony||Peel, John||Tebbit, Norman|
|Lane, David||Percival, Ian||Temple, John M.|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Le Marchant, Spencer||Pink, R. Bonner||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Lloyd, Rt.Hn.Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Longden, Gilbert||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Tilney, John|
|Loveridge, John||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Luce, R. N.||Raison, Timothy||Trew, Peter|
|McAdden, Sir Stephen||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|MacArthur, Ian||Redmond, Robert||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|McLaren, Martin||Rees, Peter (Dover)||Waddington, David|
|Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|McNair-Wilson, Michael||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Wall, Patrick|
|Maddan, Martin||Ridsdale, Julian||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Madel, David||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Warren, Kenneth|
|Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Mather, Carol||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Mawby, Ray||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Rost, Peter||Wilkinson, John|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Royle, Anthony||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||St. John-Stevas, Norman||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Scott, Nicholas||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Scott-Hopkins, James||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Money, Ernle||Sharples, Richard||Worsley, Marcus|
|Monks, Mrs. Connie||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Monro, Hector||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Younger, Hn. George|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Simeons, Charles|
|More, Jasper||Sinclair, Sir George||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Skeet, T. H. H.||Mr. Bernard Weatherill and|
|Morrison, Charles||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Mr. Walter Clegg.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
On a point of order. I wonder, Sir Robert, whether you would accept at this stage a Motion,
That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
I hope that it would be an appropriate time to move that Motion, particularly in view of the debate we have had and the time. I ask for leave to move such a Motion.
§ Mr. Foot
I am most grateful to you, Sir Robert. I beg to move,That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.408 The Committee has debated the matters under discussion now at possibly greater length than some people had forecast. But I do not believe that anyone would question the necessity for all the time that has been allocated to the Bill. Indeed, a considerable number of hon. Members, on both sides of the Committee, would have been eager still to continue the debate. Moreover, a fact which I think everybody should take into account is that in the last debate, owing to circumstances of the matters under discussion, many Privy Councillors were called, which meant that many back-benchers were excluded from participation.
The debate has possibly continued much longer than some had foreseen, so that if we start on the next group of Amendments we do so at a very late hour on matters which are of a serious character and which we very much hope 409 can be fully debated. It would be well nigh impossible, if the Committee is to do its business properly, for any conclusion on the next round of Amendments to be reached tonight. It would be much better and for the great convenience of the Committee if we were to move to report progress now so that we can start the next bunch of Amendments when the Committee meets tomorrow. I ask the Government to accede to this suggestion.
§ Mr. Rippon
I do not entirely share the views of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) on this occasion. It is true that the debate took rather longer than expected, but only about half an hour longer. On a number of occasions during the Committee stage we have had a major debate followed by a relatively shorter debate on a group of Amendments which did not raise issues of great substance. I am not suggesting that the next group does not raise points of importance, but it raises points which have been gone over fairly substantially already, not only on Second Reading but in discussion on a number of other Amendments. In those circumstances it would be reasonable to make the further progress tonight which is necessary if we are to proceed to conclude our discussions on Clause 1 in what I am sure hon. Members recognise to be reasonable time.
§ Mr. Foot
I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman to reconsider that reply, first on the time we took for the last debate. Nobody knows what was the original calculation and can say for certain what extra time has been used. None the less, many expected that we might reach an end at about 10.30 p.m. There would then have been a stronger case for embarking on a new run of Amendments. Possibly, if that had been the state of affairs, the moving of the new Amendments could have taken half an hour or so, the Committee could then have moved to report progress and we could have come back to resume the debate tomorrow. However, the fact that the previous debate has taken almost two hours longer than was foreseen should influence the decision on whether to start the next debate. The last debate was sustained not only from one side of the Committee. It was a debate which many right hon. and hon. Members on both sides were sustaining.
410 The debate on the last Amendments, far from being extensive, did not touch very much on a number of Amendments grouped with the main ones. We do not accept that the next group of Amendments are on subjects already discussed. If that were true, in the sense in which the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has described them, the Chair would not have accepted them in their present terms. If the next group of Amendments had been discussed previously the Chair would have bracketed them with other Amendments, because in the selection of Amendments the Chair has on many occasions taken steps to bracket together as many Amendments as possible. Indeed, some of us argue that that has been carried to lengths which warrant our criticism.
§ 12.15 a.m.
§ If what the right hon. and learned Gentleman says is true, the next group of Amendments could have been incorporated with other Amendments. They touch on matters which we have not been able to discuss so far. They touch on questions of treaties which have never been debated properly. I therefore urge the right hon. and learned Gentleman to reconsider his decision and agree to adjourn the debate now. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is prepared to accept this proposition it will be much more satisfactory and much fairer to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) who is to move the next Amendment, if, after the debate we have had on the previous Amendments, he is able to do that tomorrow.
§ If the Government will not accept that proposition, will they be prepared, so that hon. Members on both sides of the Committee know what the situation is, to accept the proposition, which would be a concession from our point of view but one which would ease the position from the point of view of the Committee, for my right hon. and learned Friend to move the next Amendment and then for the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to move to report progress? If that were done, we should adjourn and meet again tomorrow. In that case, the time at which the Committee adjourned would be roughly the time that had been estimated by the Government's business managers.411
§ Mr. Rippon
I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman is trying to be helpful. I do not want to go into the substance of the Amendments or to take up further time in discussing this issue. If the next Amendment is moved, the Committee will be able to judge the substance of it and of the Amendments being taken with it. It may be found that they can be dealt with quite quickly. But let us see what progress can be made and then consider the matter further.
§ Mr. Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Ardwick)
On a point of order, Sir Robert. Am I to take it that the Motion to report progress is debatable?
§ Mr. Kaufman
That being so, it is open to hon. Members on both sides of the Committee, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman is unwilling to accept my hon. Friend's reasonable proposal, to debate the Motion for some hours.
§ The Chairman
The hon. Member is correct. It is a debatable Motion, otherwise I should not be allowing a debate now.
§ Mr. English
Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that his attitude does not encourage the co-operation that he received during the previous debate? I do not know whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman recollects that on the last debate no Closure had to be moved by the Patronage Secretary. That was because of the co-operation of hon. Members.
I had wanted to speak in the last debate, as had my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) and, from a slightly different point of view, my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. Barnes). We all restrained ourselves, merely for the convenience of the Committee as a whole; so that the Committee could vote on the previous Amendments before 12 o'clock and the Government's business managers could, as they anticipated, despatch the Committee at about midnight.
Had any hon. Member stood up to speak after my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) had concluded his winding up, the Patronage Secretary would have had to move the 412 Closure and there would have been a further vote, at the very least, with what outcome, in the circumstances of the Bill, no man knoweth. When that sort of co-operation is given and we are faced by the right hon. and learned Gentleman's attitude—at first blankly suggesting that we should go through a whole new series of Amendments, and then even rejecting the reasonable offer of my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale—we shall know what to do in future when we reach midnight, the whole House wants a vote and the Government managers want the co-operation of back benchers. If that is his attitude, we can act in the same way.
§ Mr. Paget
I hope that the Chancellor of the Duchy will reconsider. He will gain no more time for his Bill by being stubborn on this point. We feel that his attitude is genuinely unfair. Today we have had not an ordinary Committee stage at all but what was expected to be, and was treated as, a major debate. Many of us who were here throughout were not called. A large number of Privy Councillors were called and there were many long speeches. I am not complaining: on both sides, they were very good, serious and interesting speeches. To a great degree, hon. Members refused interventions, which is most unusual in a Committee stage, so as to save time. At the end of that debate, those of us who had not been called did not get up to assert our right to speak after my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) thereby forcing the Government to move the Closure.
When we play the game like that, when we accept it as a major debate and it goes on as an extended debate almost until midnight, it is most unfair of the Government not to act in the same spirit by saying "We have had co-operation in this debate and we will not now try to coerce the Opposition to start a Committee stage which they are reluctant to do because they are tired and have been here continuously and they feel a grievance". The right hon. Gentleman has had the good will and the co-operation. He will make little progress and will simply throw it away if he continues to be stubborn on this.
§ Mr. Orme
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has not got the sense of the House on this issue. We have had not just a major but a historic debate today. No one would have thought that it was the Committee stage of a Bill. It was more like a major Second or Third Reading debate on central issues. The Leader of the House is laughing about this sort of thing, but he will laugh on the other side of his face if the Opposition set out to see that he does not get any more business tonight, as they easily could.
If the Chancellor had read the House correctly, he would have recognised that we have had a debate in which the Chamber has been full from 3.30 to 11.30. Both sides of the Committee were intensely interested. In these Common Market debates we have often been criticised by the Press for lack of attendance or interest. Today hon. Members have outnumbered the Press in their attendance, and it will be interesting to see how the debate is reported tomorrow. Some hon. Members regard this as funny. Others think that the subjects we have debated today are of major importance.
We are now debating a Motion to report progress. If the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster wants to run the debate on through the night, I can tell him that many of us have had experience on other Bills, as the Leader of the House knows. The next Amendments that will come before the Committee are of major importance, dealing with treaties and with EFTA, issues which have not been dealt with fully in the Bill before. If, instead of adjourning now and starting again at 3.30 p.m. tomorrow, the right hon. and learned Gentleman intends to force the Committee on through the night, he might not see any of those Amendments tomorrow without a tremendous battle and the moving of Closures.
The absence of the Patronage Secretary today has been interesting. He has realised that the debate has been allowed to run. My hon. Friends who might have wished to speak after my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) did not do so, having taken the sense of the Committee and in the knowledge that the Committee wanted to reach a decision. The votes were taken. Now, we are kept in here by the right hon. and learned Gentleman who feels that he will 414 force through a little bit more business tonight.
We have news for the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He will not get any more business. If he wants to run the Committee ragged he can attempt it, but I warn him that not only will he have difficulty tonight but he will have extended difficulty tomorrow.
This is the tenth or eleventh day on the Bill. There has been no filibustering in the sense of deliberate delaying tactics. Hon. Members on both sides will recognise that the great difficulty is getting in to speak in the debate. It is not a question of making long filibustering speeches.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has had long supporting speeches from both sides. I do not quarrel with my right hon. Friends who have made important speeches from their point of view. They were not speaking against the Government or the Bill, although they took a considerable part of the time. Therefore, many of my hon. Friends and hon. Members on the Government side were not able to take part.
§ Mr. Kaufman
Is my hon. Friend aware, for example, that my right hon. Friend and neighbour in Manchester, the Member for Manchester, Cheetham (Mr. Harold Lever), whose speech was listened to with enormous appreciation by the Committee, took up almost an hour, including the time for the Division? Nobody would have begrudged him a moment of the time he took, but he took all that time to support the Government—again, something we would not deny him out of his conscience. Nobody could say, however, that my right hon. Friend was delaying the Government's business. From his point of view he was attempting to facilitate the Government's business.
§ Mr. Orme
That is the whole point. I make no criticism against my right hon. Friends who made their contributions in a serious setting. They were listened to by the whole Committee, as I think all the speeches have been listened to today. In many ways the Hansard of today's debate is likely to become a classic because of the content and nature of the debate. It will probably be quoted for many years to come.
415 I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman to reconsider his decision. He has misread the mood of the Committee and he has misread what business he thinks he can get. In the circumstances, I urge him to support the Motion to report progress.
§ 12.30 a.m.
§ Mr. Laurie Pavitt (Willesden, West)
I wish to underline what my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) has said about the special character of today's debate. Many of us have listened to many debates in Parliament, but rarely to a debate consisting of speeches of such a high standard and with conflicting views. At the end of the day the Chancellor of the Duchy would do well to get the feeling of the whole Committee about the importance of the occasion rather than to allow it to dwindle or taper away in his effort to get a few more Amendments debated. He should realise that today has been, even for hon. Members who have served for many years in the House of Commons, a memorable occasion. One of the aspirations of those of us who try to do a good job of work in whatever sphere we serve is to be good House of Commons men.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman would do well to allow hon. Members to depart retaining the sense of participation they had throughout today's memorable debate, rather than with a sense that they have been part of a manoeuvre or a brawl or a delaying tactic. We are not trying to be obstructive at this stage.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles (Winchester)
I had intended to ask my right hon. and learned Friend to change his mind and allow the Committee to report progress, for two reasons—first, because the Opposition has already shown that they have had enough and want to stop and, therefore, will be in a very weak position when at any later stage it might be necessary to bring in a timetable Motion in connection with the Bill; and, second, because I believe—this has not been said often enough—that the country at large thinks that we are daft to continue our affairs after midnight. The general public criticise us for seeking to run the country but not being able to run our own affairs sufficiently sensibly to be able to pack up at midnight. We 416 do not want to go on into the middle watch. I have kept enough middle watches in my life not to want to go on keeping any more.
However, having heard the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), and having heard the left wing of the Labour Party threaten to disrupt the work of the House of Commons in the way that they encourage so many of their friends in other spheres to disrupt the work of the country, I now tell my right hon. and learned Friend that I, for one, will sit here all night if he wants me to.
§ Mr. Buchan
The Chancellor of the Duchy should think again. He has seriously misjudged the mood of the Committee and that of his party. We have had an extraordinary and memorable day. The hon. and gallant Member for Winchester (Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles) has shown that the lower deck in his party feels the same way about it. Both sides of the Committee, and the lower deck on both sides, urge the right hon. and learned Gentleman to reconsider his attitude.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
Earlier I made the perfectly reasonable suggestion that my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) should move the next Amendment and that our proceedings should then be deferred. I gather that the Government resist that proposal and wish to proceed to the end of the debate on the next group of Amendments. We do not like that proposition, because it would be much better if these extremely important Amendments were discussed tomorrow.
We could continue to debate the Motion for another hour or so and vote upon it at about 2 a.m. If the Government survived that test we would start on the Amendments, and two or three hours debate upon them would take us to about 4 a.m. I do not think that is the best way for the House to proceed.
I suggest what would be a most far-reaching concession by us, to ask leave to withdraw the Motion in a moment and ask my hon. Friends to accept that. We should then discuss the next batch of Amendments on the understanding that immediately these Amendments were concluded the Government would be prepared to move to report progress.
417 But I shall make one thing clear. One of the reasons why we wish to protect the business of the Bill both tomorrow and on the next day when we meet to discuss it is that we believe that the debate which will take place on the Question "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill" will be one of the most in-port ant debates that will take place on the Bill. On this side of the House we would regard any abbreviation of that debate as a serious inroad into our rights. Many references have been made in the course of the debate to the fact that the only way in which we can discuss certain propositions will be to discuss them on the Question. You, Sir Robert, have ruled on a number of occasions that, because of the way in which you believed it was necessary to rule that certain Amendments were out of order altogether, the only way in which certain major questions could be dealt with was on the debate on the Question "That Clause 1 stand part of the Bill".
This figured most prominently in some of our earlier discussions. So, when I make this suggestion of how we should proceed tonight it is certainly not how we would have preferred it. I hope the Government will be under no illusions about what we consider to be the rights of the House and the Committee about how we should proceed tomorrow. If we agree to the proposal which I have now made, the Government should understand that there is no undertaking or agreement from this side about how we should proceed tomorrow. Tomorrow we wish to see a proper discussion on the Amendments which deal with EFTA and the rights of the EFTA countries under the Bill, which we have not debated previously in the Committee. Thereafter we wish to have a debate on whether the Clause should stand part of the Bill, which would presumably start tomorrow. We do not, however, believe that that debate on this major Measure can be disposed of in anything like half a parliamentary day. It would require extensive debate. If that were not permitted, it would be an abrogation of the undertakings and suggestions and indications which were made earlier in the discussions.
I am not proposing that the Government should give any undertakings about what will happen here tomorrow. I am 418 just making clear to the Government our attitude towards the situation. I trust that if we agree to this proposal, which is not the one we had wished, but which would enable the Committee perhaps to have a considerable discussion on this group of Amendments and still get home a bit earlier than four or five o'clock in the morning, the Government will immediately give the undertaking that they will move the Motion to report progress immediately there is a vote on these Amendments.
We have gone very far in meeting the Government. It may be suggested that we have gone too far. [Hon. Members: "Yes."] I understand why my hon. Friends say that. I am doing it in order to protect what I believe is the far more extensive debate tomorrow which we must have on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." Those who have followed the Bill carefully will see that the proposal I make is one which is best designed to protect the critical debates on that Question, which I believe it is essential for the Committee to have.
§ Mr. Rippon
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the proposition he has made about how we should proceed tonight. It is a very fair and reasonable proposition. No one wants to run the Committee ragged. As for tomorrow, we must see what progress we make.
§ Mr. Alex Eadie (Midlothian)
Back benchers on this side cannot accept the undertaking given by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, which was given in very bad grace. I protest at the Government's arrogant display, particularly by the Leader of the House, who saw fit to laugh when we tried to exert our right as back benchers. The Government's arrogance on this Motion has done great harm to the House. Anyone listening to our debate on very important items of principle could only have felt very high regard for the standard of debate and for the Committee. But the Government are starting to behave very arrogantly. They are not concerned about back benchers' rights.
I am sorry to say that we have recently had a new Leader of the House. I would have hoped to hear him reminding the Committee that he is the custodian of 419 all hon. Members' rights, and not just trying to put the Government's view or trying to protect the Government.
Some of us are becoming a bit concerned about the Government's arrogance in many matters. In this debate some of us on the back benches have had to reprimand members of the Government who made "We are the masters now" speeches.
At the weekend I went into my constituency, where I was under great criticism because I sought to argue that what we wanted to try to do in this country was to bring back the politics of persuasion. I was told I was talking a lot of nonsense, because this Government will not listen to anybody. Things are happening that none of us can be very proud of. Some of us are mystified by what is happening outside today. The Government must take full responsibility for what is happening, since people are becoming disillusioned with the Government and believe that they are not prepared to listen.
The Government are arrogant in seeking to take away back benchers' rights. The Government should not seek to denigrate Parliament or seek to harm it. I am sure my hon. Friends feel that we should debate these matters at a more reasonable hour. I have as much experience of night shifts as anybody, and if we are required to debate these matters at these uncivilised times we shall be prepared to do so, but I am asking whether it is necessary. We are certainly not prepared to accept the so-called concession by the right hon. and learned Gentleman.
§ 12.45 a.m.
§ Mr. Michael Foot
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) about the Government's attitude to this matter as shown by the reply given to the Committee by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. I did not expect the right hon. and learned Gentleman to give an undertaking about the business tomorrow. I was seeking to stress the importance which we attach to the debate on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
I say to my hon. Friends that I suppose we could continue to discuss the 420 Motion to report progress for an hour and a quarter before we get to the Closure, but I do not believe it would achieve anything. It would merely mean that we should get to the debate on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" an hour and a quarter later than otherwise would be the case. Along with my hon. Friends, I am in favour of teaching the Government a lesson on this matter, but I do not want the Committee to be in a position of having less time to discuss the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. Foot
If that were the situation no one would be happier than myself. If we were able to inflict a procedural defeat on the Government and hold up their business I would listen eagerly. Such points have not altogether escaped me but I do not believe that is the situation. I do not think we shall achieve anything of the sort. If it is agreed that I should withdraw the Motion, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) will move the Amendment and we will discuss it. We regard this group as being important, and even if we object to the hour we think a debate should take place. When we have debated the Amendments it will become more evident how important they are.
If we merely proceed with this debate we shall still have to debate the Amendments, but about an hour later. My hon. Friend's argument might apply in different circumstances; there may be circumstances when it would be advisable to take the matter through the night. We have to resist the scandalous attempt of the Government to discuss this through the night. We have an understanding from the Government—my hon. Friend says it is no concession—that they will not try to proceed further than this group of Amendments. There should be no misapprehension about the view we take on the Clause stand part debate.
§ Mr. Charles Loughlin (Gloucestershire, West)
My hon. Friend says that if he withdraws the Motion we can have a full and extensive debate. What does he mean by that?
§ Mr. Foot
I am not certain because it depends on how many of my hon. Friends wish to speak, but my guess is that it would take about a couple of hours. At this moment we do not have a majority and we have to take that into account and use the situation to suit us. If my hon. Friends imagine that the procedure on the Bill has been conducted in a manner that has suited the Government I do not believe that the Government are likely to agree.
For those reasons I appeal to my hon. Friends to accept the course I have suggested. It is the best way in which we
§ can proceed not merely in our interests but in the interests of all those who wish to debate properly this group of Amendments and the Amendments we shall discuss tomorrow.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Francis Pym) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
§ Question put, That the Question be now put: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 199, Noes 141.423
|Division No. 130.]||AYES||[12.56 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Lane, David|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Fowler, Norman||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederiok|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fox, Marcus||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Gibson-Watt, David||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Longden, Gilbert|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Glyn, Dr. Alan||Loveridge, John|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Luce, R. N.|
|Blaker, Peter||Goodhart, Philip||MacArthur, Ian|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Goodhew, Victor||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Body, Richard||Gorst, John||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Gower, Raymond||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Gray, Hamish||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Bowden, Andrew||Green, Alan||Madel, David|
|Bray, Ronald||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mather, Carol|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Grylls, Michael||Mawby, Ray|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Gummer, Selwyn||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Gurden, Harold||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Bryan, Paul||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Mitchell. Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Moate, Roger|
|Chapman, Sydney||Haselhurst, Alan||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Havers, Michael||Monro, Hector|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hawkins, Paul||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hayhoe, Barney||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Heseltine, Michael||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Clegg, Walter||Hiley, Joseph||Morrison, Charles|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Mudd, David|
|Cooke, Robert||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Murton, Oscar|
|Coombs, Derek||Holland, Philip||Neave, Airey|
|Cordle, John||Holt, Miss Mary||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Normanton, Tom|
|Costain, A. P.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Nott, John|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Onslow, Cranley|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Hunt, John||Osborn, John|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James||James, David||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Dean, Paul||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Jessel, Toby||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Jopling, Michael||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kershaw, Anthony||Ouennell, Miss J. M.|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kimball, Marcus||Raison, Timothy|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Redmond, Robert|
|Eyre, Reginald||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Farr, John||Kinsey, J. R.||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Kitson, Timothy||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Fidler, Michael||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Knox, David||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Stanbrook, Ivor||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Rost, Peter||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Royle, Anthony||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.||Sutcliffe, John||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Tebbit, Norman||Wilkinson, John|
|Sharples, Richard||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Tilney, John||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Simeons, Charles||Trafford. Dr. Anthony||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Tugendhat, Christopher||Younger, Hn George|
|Soref, Harold||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Speed, Keith||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Spence, John||Waddington, David||Mr. Tim Fortescue and|
|Sproat, Iain||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)||Mr. John Stradling Thomas|
|Stainton, Keith||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Hamling, William||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Ashton, Joe||Hardy, Peter||Oakes, Gordon|
|Atkinson, Norman||Harper, Joseph||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Orme, Stanley|
|Bishop, E. S.||Horam, John||Oswald, Thomas|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Paget, R. T.|
|Booth, Albert||Huckfield, Leslie||Palmer, Arthur|
|Buchan, Norman||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Hunter, Adam||Prescott, John|
|Cohen, Stanley||Janner, Greville||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Coleman, Donald||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Conlan, Bernard||John, Brynmor||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Judd, Frank||Sillars, James|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kaufman, Gerald||Skinner, Dennis|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Kerr, Russell||Small, William|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kinnock, Neil||Smith, John (Lanarkshire N.)|
|Deakins, Eric||Lambie, David||Spearing, Nigel|
|Dempsey, James||Lamond, James||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Doig, Peter||Latham, Arthur||Stallard, A. W.|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Strang, Gavin|
|Duffy, A. E P.||Loughlin, Charles||Swain, Thomas|
|Dunn, James A.||McBride, Neil||Tinn, James|
|Eadie, Alex||McCartney, Hugh||Tuck, Raphael|
|Edwards. William (Merioneth)||McElhone, Frank||Varley, Eric G.|
|Ellis, Tom||Mackenzie, Gregor||Wainwright, Edwin|
|English, Michael||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Evans, Fred||McNamara, J. Kevin||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Ewing, Henry||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfleld, E.)||Wallace, George|
|Faulds, Andrew||Marks, Kenneth||Watkins, David|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Marsden, F.||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Whitlock, William|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mayhew, Christopher||Wilson. Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Foot, Michael||Meacher, Michael||Woof, Robert|
|Ford, Ben||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mendelson, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gordon Walker. Rt. Hn. P. C.||Mikardo, Ian||Mr. John Golding and|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Millan, Bruce||Mr. James Wellbeloved.|
|Grant, John D. (Islington. E.)||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mitchell. R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Question put accordingly, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again: —424
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 136, Noes 196.427
|Division No. 131.]||AYES||[1.6 a.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Atkinson, Norman||Booth, Albert|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Buchan, Norman|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Clark, David (Colne Valley)|
|Ashton, Joe||Bishop, E. S.||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Huckfield, Leslie||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Coleman, Donald||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Concannon, J. D||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Orme, Stanley|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Osborn, John|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hunter, Adam||Paget, R. T.|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)||Janner, Greville||Palmer, Arthur|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||John, Brynmor||Pentland, Norman|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Prescott, John|
|Deakins, Eric||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dempsey, James||Judd, Frank||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Doig, Peter||Kaufman, Gerald||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Kerr, Russell||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Kinnock, Neil||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lambie, David||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lamond, James||Sillars, James|
|Dunn, James A.||Latham, Arthur||Skinner, Dennis|
|Eadie, Alex||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Small, William|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Ellis, Tom||Loughlin, Charles||Spearing, Nigel|
|English, Michael||McBride, Neil||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Evans, Fred||McCartney, Hugh||Stallard, A. W.|
|Ewing, Harry||McElhone, Frank||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Strang, Gavin|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Swain, Thomas|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Tinn, James|
|Foot, Michael||Marks, Kenneth||Tuck, Raphael|
|Ford, Ben||Marquarrd, David||Varley, Eric G.|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Marshall, Dr. Edmund||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mayhew, Christopher||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Meacher, Michael||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Wallace, George|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mendelson, John||Watkins, David|
|Hamling, William||Mikardo, Ian||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Millan, Bruce||Whitlock, William|
|Hardy, Peter||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Woof, Robert|
|Harper, Joseph||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Mr. John Golding and|
|Horam, John||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Mr. James Wellbeloved.|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Oakes, Gordon|
|Adley, Robert||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Dean, Paul||Havers, Michael|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hawkins, Paul|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hayhoe, Barney|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Heseltine, Michael|
|Balniel, Lord||Drayson, G. B.||Hiley, Joseph|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Dykes, Hugh||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)|
|Blaker, Peter||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Holland, Philip|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)|
|Body, Richard||Eyre, Reginald||Holt, Miss Mary|
|Boscawen, Hn. Robert||Farr, John||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Bowden, Andrew||Fidler, Michael||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)|
|Bray, Ronald||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Hunt, John|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||James, David|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Fortescue, Tim||Jessel, Toby|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Fowler, Norman||Jopling, Michael|
|Bryan, Paul||Fox, Marcus||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Gibson-Watt, David||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn)||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Kimball, Marcus|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Glyn, Dr. Alan||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Chapman, Sydney||Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Goodhart, Philip||Kinsey, J. R.|
|Churchill, W. S.||Gorst, John||Kitson, Timothy|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Gower, Raymond||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Gray, Hamish||Knox, David|
|Clegg, Walter||Green, Alan||Lane, David|
|Cockeram, Eric||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Langford-Hott, Sir John|
|Cooke, Robert||Grylls, Michael||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Coombs, Derek||Gummer, J. Selwyn||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Cordle, John||Gurden, Harold||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Longden, Gilbert|
|Costain, A. P.||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Loveridge, John|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Luce, R. N.|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||MacArthur, Ian|
|McCrindle, R. A.||Pink, R. Bonner||Sutcliffe, John|
|McLaren, Martin||Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|McNair-Wilson, Michael||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Tebbit, Norman|
|McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Madel, David||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Marten, Neil||Raison, Timothy||Tilney, John|
|Mather, Carol||Redmond, Robert||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Mawby, Ray||Reed, Laurance (Botton, E.)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Roes, Peter (Dover)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David||Waddington, David|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Moate, Roger||Rost, Peter||Warren, Kenneth|
|Monks, Mrs. Connie||Royle, Anthony||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Monro, Hector||Scott, Nicholas||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Montgomery, Fergus||Scott-Hopkins, James||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Sharples, Richard||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wilkinson, John|
|Morrison, Charles||Shelton, William (Clapham)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Mudd, David||Simeons, Charles||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Murton, Oscar||Skeet, T. H. H||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Neave, Airey||Soref, Harold||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Speed, Keith||Younger, Hn. George|
|Normanton, Tom||Spence, John|
|Nott, John||Sproat, Iain||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Onslow, Cranley||Stanbrook, Ivor||Mr. Victor Goodhew and|
|Osborn, John||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Mr. John Stradling Thomas.|
|Page, Graham (Crosby)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Parkinson, Cecil||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ [Mr. BREWIS in the Chair]
§ Mr. Arthur Latham (Paddington, North)
On a point of order, Mr. Brewis. I am in some difficulty in raising this point of order, but I mention it now as there may not be a suitable opportunity later. It concerns the action of the Chair in the last few minutes. The difficulty is that you were not at the time the occupant of the Chair. I do not know whether you were in the Chamber and were witness to the events that took place. But, as a back-bench Member, I should like some guidance from the Chair as to a ruling that was given a few minutes ago.
§ 1.15 a.m.
§ At nine minutes past midnight my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) asked the then occupant of the Chair whether he would accept a Motion that the Committee should report progress. The then occupant of the Chair indicated that he was willing to accept such a Motion. We then spent some time in an exchange between the two Front Benches and in a limited number of contributions from the back benches on both sides of the Committee, but mostly from this side.
§ My query to the Chair is that when the Motion "That the Question be now put" was moved and accepted by the Chair, my hon. Friend the Member for 428 Ebbw Vale was seeking the Committee's permission to withdraw his Motion, and there were a number of objections and several of my hon. Friends were on their feet and wished to speak. My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) was seeking to obtain some further explanation from my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale as to the reasons for his seeking to withdraw his Motion.
§ The point that concerns me as a backbench Member is that I did not understand that it was customary practice for the Chair to accept a Closure Motion, even on a Motion to report progress, within as limited a span of time as 46 minutes, most of which time had been taken up by spokesmen of both Front Benches, and when very little had been heard of the views of back-bench Members, particularly those who wished to contribute to the discussion of that Motion.
§ A further point of order is that, to avoid raising my point of order, I have sought guidance from my hon. Friends who have served in the House of Commons for much longer than I have, and what has been put to me, on which I should like further clarification from the Chair, is that if the Opposition spokesman who has moved such a Motion then wishes to withdraw it, this seems to imply that the rights of other back-bench Members disappear.429
§ I ask, first, why does the Chair accept a Motion for Closure after only 46 minutes' debate when so few of us had a chance to take part in the discussion? Furthermore, is it not accepted that it is not simply the prerogative of one hon. Member to indicate that which he is convinced should now take place? Have not other hon. Members the right to express their views, to have them heard, and to have replies from both the mover of such a Motion and the Government, about whose peculiar undertakings many of us were complaining and wished to complain?
The Temporary Chairman
I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman for raising his point of order. I am sure that he will appreciate that it is always a difficult question for the discretion of the Chair when such a Motion is accepted, and that it must be left purely to the discretion of the Chairman when he does accept such a Motion. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to criticise any action of the Chairman, there are ways, within the rules of the House of Commons, within which he can do so. I am sorry that I cannot help the hon. Gentleman any further.
§ Mr. Latham
Further to that point of order—[Interruption.] I am sorry, but when I raised the point of order and received a lot of unwelcome assistance from hon. Members opposite that tended to make the point of order somewhat more difficult to express with the brevity I originally intended. All I wish to pursue—[Interruption.]—if I may be excused the contributions of hon. Members opposite and be allowed simply to address myself to the Chair—is that I genuinely seek guidance, as a back-bench Member. I understand that it is within the discretion of the Chair, but I have always been led to believe that the Chair generally acts according to custom and practice and that, whilst there may not be strict conventions, one has a reasonable idea from past practice and from the general conduct of all occupants of the Chair as to what time may be reasonably anticipated as permissible time in which to discuss a particular proposition. What I am seeking is guidance.
§ The Chairman
The hon. Gentleman has put his point clearly. It is a point on which I cannot comment. It is some- 430 thing entirely within the discretion of the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
Yes, but further to that point of order, Mr. Brewis, you were not in the Chair when my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) moved the Motion. He said to the Chairman of Ways and Means that he hoped there would be a reasonable time for discussion—betwexen an hour and an hour and a quarter—and I noticed that the Chairman of Ways and Means made no adverse comment on that suggestion. My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale knew, as most of us know, that an hour to an hour and a quarter is the usual precedent for that sort of Motion. If my hon. Friend looks that up, he will find it.
§ The Chairman
Once again, I cannot comment on the point the hon. Gentleman has made. I think we should move on to Amendment No. 40.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones (West Ham, South)
I beg to move Amendment No. 40, in page 2, line 23, at end add:(5) The texts of the pre-accession treaties to which reference is made in subsection (2) above and which are described in Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act are printed as Schedules to this Act.
§ The Chairman
With this we can discuss Amendment No. 151, in line 23, at end add:(5) The texts of the treaty relating to the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Economic Community and to the European Atomic Energy Authority signed at Brussels on 22nd January 1972 and the decision of the Council of the European Communities relating to the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Coal and Steel Community, which are referred to in subsection (2) above, are printed as Schedules to this Act.
§ Amendment No. 200, in line 23, at end add:
§ (5) The pre-accession treaties referred to in subsection (2) above are listed in Part I of Schedule 1 of this Act.
Amendment No. 101, in Clause 2, page 2, line 26, after 'Treaties' insert
'as are set out in Schedule 5 hereof'.
Amendment No. 102, in line 27, after 'Treaties', insert
'as specified in Schedule 6 hereof'.
§ Mr. Powell
On a point of order. I gather that this Amendment is grouped 431 with Nos. 151 and 200. I wonder whether, in your discretion, Mr. Brewis, you would permit a separate Division to take place on No. 200? The reason is that this raises a substantially narrower point than the two other Amendments, a point on which a different view might be taken by some right hon. and hon. Members of the Committee from that which they would take on other Amendments in the group.
I hope, therefore, that you feel that, although Amendment No. 200 has not been previously indicated for Division, you would be able, on those grounds, to allow a separate Division when the debate on the Amendment comes to an end.
§ The Chairman
It is not within my competence to tell the right hon. Member whether a Division will take place on that, but I will bring his remarks to the attention of the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
The purpose of Amendment No. 40 with Amendment No. 151 is to remedy what I submit is a serious defect in this Bill: its failure to ensure that its material provisions will be accessible to and reasonably available to those who will be concerned with it.
Since I have been in the House—and that goes back a very long time—a perennial theme when we have considered new legislation has been to express strong objection to the practise of legislation by reference, and that is because the practise of legislating by reference tends to make confusion worse confounded and makes the task of understanding the new provisions of a Bill much more difficult by making it more necessary to seek out what is contained in the Statute to which reference is made.
Sometimes in some legislation more than one Statute or part of a Statute is referred to. For instance, there were many cries of complaint from the other side when it was my task to deal with the Rent Bill in the last Parliament. There, it is true, there was legislation by reference to two or three previous Rent Acts.
I remember vividly also complaints of that kind when we were debating the Leasehold Reform Bill, and particularly 432 a paragraph in a Schedule which said that for the purposes of the Bill a church was a railway because it was a reference to an earlier Rating Act.
Complaint about legislation by reference has rightly been voiced throughout the decades, but the sort of difficulty which arose in those Bills is nothing compared with the problems that we are faced with by reason of the form and content of this Bill. I can see massive difficulties to members of the public who will try to understand what it is all about, to lawyers who will have to advise members of the public, to judges who will have to interpret and apply Community law and, finally, to Members of Parliament themselves, to whom the public ought to be able to look to see that the law is good law and capable of being understood.
To carry out our responsibilities as Members of Parliament is difficult enough with straightforward legislation, but I submit that those difficulties are nothing to what we are confronted with here and will be confronted with so long as we remain members of the Community if the Bill is passed. I submit that the Bill presents the Committee with the most massive piece of legislation by reference ever known in our long legislative history, and certainly the most momentous and most far-reaching in its consequences.
It is not two or three legal instruments, as in the Rent Acts, that we are having to deal with and that are referred to in Clauses 1 and 2 and sought to be brought into our law, but more than 100, in a Bill which is as broad as it is short. What the Government seek to do is to achieve their purpose not by scheduling or annexing the relevant treaties. What the Bill does is merely to identify by a title and date six of the treaties in Schedule 1, Part I, and then there follows the astonishing paragraph 7 which adds to the identified list of six pre-accession treaties the words:Any treaty entered into before the 22nd January 1972 by any of the Communities (with or without any of the member States) or, as a treaty ancillary to any treaty included in this Part of this Schedule, by the member States (with or without any other country).As I understand it, there are 109 of these treaties and they are in the 10 volumes of Community treaties and related instruments. They are not listed in 433 the Bill, or even identified in it, and yet, along with the other six treaties, the Community law which this massive corpus of legal instruments creates is not only made above all our law, at a stroke to coin a phrase, but, as I understand it, is apparently to have precedence over our own internal law in case of conflict.
Clause 2 provides that all the rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions from time to time created or arising by or under those treaties are to be recognised and available in law and to be enforced, allowed and followed without further enactment. That, I submit, in the circumstances of the form and content of the Bill is the most brazen piece of legislation by reference that any Government have ever attempted to inflict on Parliament.
§ 1.30 a.m.
§ It will be said, no doubt, and it is the case, that when we make international treaties and conventions part of our law they are not always scheduled or annexed to the revelant Bill. But the process is often carried out in respect of international agreements infinitely less important and less significant in their impact on our law than the Community treaties.
§ There are many examples in post-war years. Schedule 1 of the Carriage by Air Act, 1961, sets out the relevant convention, in both English and French. That conjures up interesting reminiscences as to the meaning of aura à coeurin our earlier deliberations. The Arbitration Act, 1951, schedules conventions, and there is a similar scheduling in the Geneva Act, 1957, and the Arbitration (International Investment Disputes) Act, 1966. None of those Acts is comparable in significance or importance with this one. It is the Government's duty to schedule treaties of this importance.
§ No doubt it will be said that this would be very inconvenient and would make the 1972 volume of Statutes far more bulky. It would, but that is an inadequate answer. I understand that a new edition of Statutes in force is being published in groups, by subject matter, and there should be no difficulty in including the Bill in the form suggested.
§ But any administrative or practical difficulties are trivial compared with the mischief of making it intolerably difficult 434 for the public, legal practitioners and judges to discover the relevant Community law and to discover where it can be found. The place for that community law, if it is to become part of our law, is on the Statute Book. Bits of information there will be, of course, but the bulk of Community law will not be found in the Bill. Those concerned will have to look outside the normal sources of the law in this country for enlightenment.
§ I am particularly concerned about the judges. As Professor Wade points out in a striking article in today's The Times, it will fall to them to apply Community law and to determine, for instance, as the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) said on Second Reading, what would happen if a future Act produced an irreconcilable conflict with Community law to be found in the pre-accession treaty. No answer has been given to that. We may have to go into it in detail, in particular on Clause 3. The judges, however, will face great difficulties in the tasks they have to perform in applying and construing this Community law. It will be hard enough without adding to the problems created by having to rely on this amorphous bulk of treaties existing in detached limbo.
§ I have wondered whether the Government have done this purposely to prevent what is involved in this legislation becoming fully known, whether they have done it to limit the possibility of detailed discussion of the relevant treaties that are being introduced into our law. Whether that is their motive or not, however, I submit that the public and Members of Parliament are entitled to have those treaties clearly made part of the Bill and that the appropriate way of doing so is to schedule them to the Bill.
§ Mr. Deakins
There are five Amendments before the Committee, and, although they are all mainly on the same subject they are, as the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) pointed out, slightly different. Amendments Nos. 40 and 151 ask that the texts of the Community treaties should be set out as annexes to the Bill. Amendment No. 200, in the names of myself and some of my hon. Friends, asks merely that there be a list of the titles of the treaties set out in Schedule 1 to the 435 Bill. In addition there are Amendments Nos. 101 and 102. The former refers to the fact that the treaties should be set out in a Schedule. I am not sure whether that means the texts or merely a list. Amendment No. 102 uses a different form of words: that the treaties should be specified in another Schedule to the Bill.
I think that all four expressions—texts, lists, setting out and specifying—mean roughly the same thing: that we do not think there is sufficient information in the Bill so that when it becomes law members of the public, apart from members of the legal profession, certainly all those affected by the wide-ranging provisions of the Bill, will be able to know exactly which piece of Continental legislation in the form of the treaties in the 10 volumes we have considered on and off will necessarily affect them. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) pointed out, it will be very difficult even for the legal profession necessarily to know which treaties apply and where to lay hands on them.
I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend that it is surely unprecedented in a Bill—a would-be Act of Parliament—that we should have a statement of the kind which appears in paragraph 7 of Schedule 1, which is vague indeed and possibly open to misinterpretation. If we do not say exactly which treaties are to be regarded as Community treaties but merely use a blanket phrase, as is used in paragraph 7 of Schedule 1, we are not doing our job properly as a Committee of the House in ensuring that, whatever our views on the rights and wrongs of the legislation, when eventually it gets completely through the parliamentary process it shall be intelligible and not in any way liable to confuse or mislead either the public or the legal profession.
It cannot be argued that paragraph 7 is there because the treaties are too trivial and numerous to bother to list and that listing them would unduly lengthen the Bill. I am not sure whether this argument will be adduced by the Chancellor of the Duchy. If it is, I will anticipate it.
Although it is clear that some of the treaties are minor and trivial and, there- 436 fore, may not be considered by those who wish to take Britain into the Community to be worthy of inclusion in an Act of Parliament—I could instance a large number of these which were set out in one of the annexes to the Treaty of Accession—nevertheless a large number of treaties are very important. Therefore, it cannot be argued that the first six paragraphs of Schedule 1 set out the really important treaties—the Treaty of Rome, the Paris Treaty, the Luxembourg Treaty on Financing, and so on—and the rest are not considered to be of sufficient importance to warrant setting them out. That cannot be the case.
I will deal with that point by taking only one of the 10 volumes of the treaties and taking a few examples there from. Can it be honestly claimed that matters such as the two conventions in 1968 on matters affecting the civil law in Britain are not sufficiently important to warrant scheduling in a separate paragraph of Schedule 1? There is the convention of September, 1968, on jurisdiction and the enforcement of civil and commercial judgments. I am not a lawyer, but can it be argued that such a convention, which under the peculiar language we have to use in dealing with Community matters is a treaty, because it is an international agreement, is unimportant, particularly when it takes up 26 pages of volume 5 and deals with a very large number of matters relating to the enforcement of civil and commercial judgments as between one Community member and another and when it is something that we must accept without question?
Further, Clause 3 seeks to specify certain requirements of the United Kingdom legal system in connection with the adoption of future Community law and past Community law. Therefore, if the general legal issue of carrying into effect Community law is considered important enough—as I am sure the Committee will agree that it is—to warrant a separate Clause, surely a treaty which has a bearing on that legal system and the way in which it will have to operate in future should at least be considered to be of sufficient importance to be scheduled and listed separately.
There was a convention in February, 1968, on the mutual recognition of companies and bodies corporate. From the commercial point of view—after all, we 437 are told that one of the major reasons for going into the Common Market is the alleged commercial advantage—such a treaty is of major importance to a very large section of the British community. Yet there is no direct mention of it in Schedule 1 as drafted.
Further, the Government themselves recognise the importance of the effect of Community legislation on our company law by the fact that there is a separate Clause—Clause 9—dealing with various matters of changes which are required to be made in our existing company legislation.
One would have thought, therefore—not that this convention should have been embodied as a separate Clause; none of the Amendments goes that far; it would be going too far to ask for that—that a convention which is of great importance to the future commercial life of Britain if we join the Common Market should at least be listed separately.
§ 1.45 a.m.
§ I want to conclude this part of my remarks with two other examples which have been mentioned on a number of occasions, also in volume 5. We have that famous final communiqué of the Hague Conference in December, 1969, where a large number of decisions were taken, not merely those which affected the opening of negotiations between the Community and the applicant States. No one in his right mind could possibly expect that this communiqué was so trivial that it should not even be mentioned. It is most certainly on a par with the Treaty of Rome, the Treaty of Paris and the Luxembourg Agreement.
§ Surely the resolution of the Council of Representatives of the Governments of Member States of March, 1971, about economic and monetary union is, above all, as important as, if not more important than, any of the six treaties and agreements which are set out in Schedule 1? Therefore, I do not think that the Government can possibly claim, if they are going to resist in particular Amendment No. 200, that the compendious nature of paragraph 7 embraces, by and large, treaties which are trivial, because this is not the case. Surely when these Community treaties become law in this country it would be in accordance with all our traditions that they should be in the Act of Parliament which gives 438 them legal effect, at least in name if not in content.
§ I do not know—perhaps my legal friends could advise me—whether there are any precedents for treating legislation in this way. By legislation I am referring to Community treaties, which are a future form of legislation for this country. Some of the treaties which will become law under Schedule 1 are not in the 10 volumes. The Government might say that anyone who wants to know what the treaties are should purchase, at an exhorbitant cost the 10 volumes where many of the official texts are set out. But there are a number of treaties and arrangements made since November, 1971, which will need in some way to be published, and I would have thought that the safe way of proceeding was to ensure that all treaties affecting the legislation and constitutional processes of this country should be set out in Schedule 1.
§ I wish to refer briefly to the other Amendments which go wider than Amendment No. 200 and relate to the text of the treaties being set out in the index to the Bill. First, I must deal with "official" and "authentic" texts. The Chancellor of the Duchy when discussing this on a previous occasion would make no distinction between the two words, but he implied in response to an interjection from this side of the House that there was some distinction. Could he tell us what the distinction is or whether the two words are interchangeable?
§ But, whether it is "official" or "authentic", we understand from what has been said by the Government that none of this legislation will become law in this country until we have passed the Bill and it has received the Royal Assent and until it has been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. In that case we have a fair amount of time to amend Schedule 1. It would not take very long. The Government have already done it as an annex to the Treaty of Accession. There seems to be no reason why it should not have been done in Schedule 1. If there is any dispute about the validity of the texts, such disputes would be resolved. If the text were set out authoritatively as an annex to an Act there could be no dispute.439
§ It may be suggested that there would not be any dispute because we have some of the treaties set out in the various volumes published a couple of months ago, but it has been pointed out that there have been over the past 10 years at least two semi-official versions of the Treaty of Rome in English, and they differ somewhat. Surely, therefore, from a legal point of view, if no other, we should have authentic texts in a place where people can see them and know that they are authentic? We would not countenance having different versions of an Act, particularly if it had to be translated into a foreign language. We would make certain that there was only one official and authentic translation.
§ Although under the Bill treaties are in future automatically to have the force of law, just as an Act does now, the position under our present constitutional practice, as I understand it, is that treaties should be enacted in some form. They do not automatically become the law of our land until Parliament has passed a Bill which more or less enacts them in the language of an Act. Therefore, whether they be about setting out the texts or listing the treaties, these are not a series of trivial Amendments which the Government can reject just like that, as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster perhaps suggested earlier. I hope they will take the points raised and realise that we are on not a political point, not an anti-European point, not an anti-Common Market point but a point of clarification, a good Committee point which will enable us to ensure that there is no confusion, that there is complete clarification of what we mean by Community treaties and that no one, whether a judge, a director of a company or the ordinary citizen, can be in any doubt what is the law and where it is set out.
§ Mr. Powell
I have great sympathy with the plea made by the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham. South (Sir Elwyn Jones) in moving his Amendment. It was a proposition in the main highway of legislation that that which by reference is to become part of the law should be available as part of the Statutes or uniform with the Statutes and, if possible, attached to them.
I suppose, however, that my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the 440 Duchy of Lancaster is bound to refer to the immense bulk which would be added to the Bill, if it ever becomes an Act, by compliance with the right hon. and learned Gentleman's request. Judgments may vary as to what is the permissible bulk of a Schedule to a Statute. I do not know how the bulk of these treaties compares with the length of the Book of Common Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer is a Schedule to an Act of Parliament; namely, the Act of Uniformity, 1662. It may be that a comparison between the length of that document and this would not be too disproportionate. But if my right hon. and learned Friend is to rely on length and bulk in rejecting what he must surely otherwise accept—namely, the plea of the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South—I must point out that this ground itself throws into relief the unique and novel character of what we are doing.
Under Clause 2, to which the Committee has not yet come, the mere fact of a document being a treaty gives it and its consequences a validity in law and a direct operation on the citizens of this country. There cannot be many parallels in earlier treaties which have not been scheduled to the Acts which give them the force of law in this country.
In whatever way my right hon. and learned Friend deals with Amendment No. 40, we shall have to conclude that we shall be left with a symptom of the far-reaching inconveniences which this kind of legislation will involve in future for the people of this country.
Amendment No. 200 has a much narrower ambit, and, if it cannot be accepted in its present form, effect surely can be given to it. It is a request that the treaties should all be set out by name and should be identified in a schedule to the Bill. This surely is an irreducible minimum requirement.
The hon. Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Deakins) has given a number of reasons to show that these important treaties are deserving of specification as well as those which appear in paragraph 6 of Schedule 1. Another reason why it is essential that all the treaties which come under the definition should be specified in the Schedule is that if this is not done, then nobody will be sure what they are.
441 I wish to refer to two replies on this matter given by my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General. On 8th March in answering the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South he said:I wish to respond to that"—which refers to the question of how past treaties should be identified.They are, of course, identified with the principal accession treaties by reference to the categories listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1"—that is the first six paragraphs, and he went on:…and the seventh category is listed by reference to the Appendix of the first volume of the Accession Treaty…"—[Official Report, 8th March, 1972;Vol. 832, c. 1532.]That takes one to the appendix and to the list set out on eight or nine pages of the appendix to the Accession Treaty, in part I of Cmnd. 4862. The unsuspecting might assume that all that was necessary was to take the instruments listed in the appendix and to add them to Part I of Schedule 1 of the Bill.
Not so. Complete uncertainty still reigns after the debates we have had as to which of the instruments in the appendix are or are not treaties within the meaning of Schedule 1.This was made clear on 15th March by my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General. I will not weary the Committee by giving all the examples of uncertainty which he admitted, but I will quote a couple. He said:The matters to which my right hon. Friend"—I think that was me—referred on page 141…are probably not treaties but are no more than related instruments.This really is a remarkable position in which the Committee finds itself. Here is the legal adviser of the Government and the Committee who cannot be sure whether the document listed in the appendix is or is not a treaty. It is not just a question of reluctance on the part of my right hon. and learned Friend to take up five or six pages of the Bill by setting out an undisputed list of pre-accession treaties, other than the six set out in the first six paragraphs; he does not know. We have the preposterous 442 result that the Committee is being asked later, in Clause 2, to give the force of law to the consequences of treaties the very identity of which is not certain in the minds of the Government's legal advisers.
As another example, the Solicitor-General said:The two on page 144 are agreements, and probably international agreements and, therefore, treaties depending on the status of the organisations there listed."—[Official Repo Rt, 15th March, 1972; Vol. 833, c. 615.]I emphasise that these cases are taken at random by me from several which were given at random by my hon. and learned Friend. My hon. and learned Friend is in ignorance and uncertain whether one of the instruments is or is not one of the pre-accession treaties. He is not sure whether they are international agreements. Without being sure of that, he cannot be sure whether they are treaties. We cannot possibly leave it like this.
I do not think my right hon. and learned Friend could possibly defend a Bill which refers to treaties the total list of which is not only not set out in the Bill but is not capable of being known by the Committee or subsequently by the public because on the confession of the Government's legal adviser he does not know. It must be cleared up. The Law Officers must decide. They must take responsibility for deciding which instruments in their opinion are treaties, or, alternatively, ought to be treated as treaties for the purpose of the Bill. They must then list those instruments and treaties and expand paragraph 7 of Part I of Schedule 1 so that treaties which are to be pre-accession treaties for the purposes of the Bill appear on the face of the Act, if it ever becomes an Act.
It would be impossible to ask the Committee to add to the Bill a Schedule the meaning and extent of which is unknown to the Government or to leave a subsequent adjudication on this important issue perhaps to the courts, perhaps to the courts of the Community. It could be important for individual citizens to know which treaties and instruments have the effect given to pre-accession treaties by the terms of the Clause.
I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to address himself not only to the major 443 point of the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South but to the narrower and much more precise and demanding issue raised by Amendment No. 200. It is probable that my right hon. and learned Friend will have to ask for time. This is clearly a matter which will have to be sorted out. The least my right hon. and learned Friend can do is to admit that there must be a list of the pre-accession treaties which is open to no doubt or query, and, if there is to be such a list, there is no reason why it should not form part of the First Schedule to the Bill.
§ [Miss HARVIE ANDERSON in the Chair]
§ Mr. Nigel Spearing (Acton)
I do not speak at this late hour with any great enthusiasm, and if I am rather tart in my advocacy of the Amendments the Committee will understand that we have been through an exhausting and important debate. If hon. Members think that the possibility of an advisory referendum is an unthought-of constitutional innovation and come in large numbers to debate it, they must be equally aware of the importance and constitutional significance of this group of Amendments.
I asked the Solicitor-General why he could not have produced a Bill which set out, albeit in extenso, the terms and provisions of the accession treaties, easily understandable and not wrapped up in highly condensed and dehydrated legal jargon. I have yet to hear from him or his right hon. and learned Friend why that has not happened. The major part of Clause 1 is concerned with the main Community treaties, their powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions, lock, stock and barrel. They become for all practical purposes part of the statute law of the realm. That being so there is no reason why the terms of the Community treaties should not become part of the Bill.
This is our very argument about the conversion mechanism. Even to those who believe in going into the Common Market on the terms negotiated, the Government are almost denying the possibility of conversion Statutes. We can do that at this stage if we wish because the treaty has not been ratified, but the Government are excluding even the main 444 terms of the treaties from the Bill. I see no reason for this. There is perhaps the unworthy reason that our Statutes, Schedules and Statutory Instruments are not easily understood by those to whom they apply.
Any member of the public going into his local public library—an example I have used before—will be foxed by a great deal of our legislation. Those of us who are perhaps a little more used to dealing with it can get to grips with it relatively easily, at least with the cross-referencing, the idea of sections, subsections, schedules and the cross-referencing of enactments, even if we cannot understand the English, so-called, written into them.
But we are trying to marry together two types of legislation—the sort we have in the Community and the sort we are used to here. We are asking that the part to which the Government wish us to be espoused should be spelt out, something we have not got in the Bill as drafted. We have our own familiar legal enactments but we have not got the equivalent and important parts of the treaties, not even extracts of the more important parts. They come in a descending order—articles,annexes, statements, letters and the rest. No wonder the Solicitor-General does not know where one category ends and another begins. We are thus in the difficulty outlined by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell).
This illustrates my point that the sort of legislation which the Community has is of a different character in terms of interlocking substances. Later, perhaps we can put some examples of the difficulties we have in passing from one document to another. Even those of us who have been involved in this Committee for many hours find it almost impossible to sort out this mass of documentation, even after spending hours trying to do so. How the ordinary man or even the ordinary lawyer is to cope, I do not know. By this Amendment we should be simplifying it a little by putting the main parts of the treaties in the enactment so that they would become, as they will be anyway, part of our Statute law.
Perhaps the Government wish this great and difficult system of Statutes to be difficult for ordinary people to under- 445 stand. I suggest that it would perhaps not have been difficult to put into the Bill some of the key articles of the Rome Treaty. For example, Article 3 (f) says:the institution of a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not distorted.Sub-paragraph (h) says:the approximation of the laws of Member States to the extent required for the proper functioning of the common market.These are two key parts of Article 3.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman may say that we cannot put in any of the articles. Why not? Each of them will have force comparable to that of any Section of many Acts of the House of Commons. If the Government are sincere in their wish to let everyone know what is perfectly clear, they would have put in, if not all the articles, at least the most important parts which will be referred to by members of the public or by lawyers.
The second group of Amendments concerns the listing of the Schedules. There are over 100 treaties to which we are to be bound in the Bill and which are not even mentioned in the Schedules. I can understand the Government's reasons for not setting them out in the Bill. That is what Schedules are for. But paragraph 7 in Part I of Schedule 1 says:Any treaty entered into before the 22nd January 1972 by any of the Communities…It does not even differentiate between those which are with the consent of member States and those which are not, and, as we have discovered in dealing with Clause 1, that is a very important distinction. There is not even any distinction made in this paragraph. It is all in brackets as though it is merely by the way. But we know that it is not and that there is a very important distinction between them.
I do not understand why the treaties cannot be listed. The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West referred to the appendix in the Treaty of Accession volume. They are also listed in the first volume of the European Communities Treaties and Related Instruments. I cannot quote any number. That is the 446 almost farcical stage that we have reached. However, hon. Members will know the document to which I refer.
In the preface on page 1, it says:The following list indicates where English texts of Community treaties and related instruments are to be found either in the present series"—that is, the 10 volumes of treaties—or elsewhere.The appendix to the Accession Treaties lists them but does not give the details. This document which purports to say where they are obtainable says in the introduction thatrelated instruments are to be found either in the present series or elsewhere.They are not even in the series of volumes that we have been given.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster looks puzzled. He is not half as puzzled as some hon. Members have been. Yet the Government come forward with this serious piece of legislation which is taking legislative powers from the House of Commons, and they are not even doing it in a decent way in the legislative instrument that they put forward. We have inexactitude, muddle and mess.
Even if these Amendments cannot be accepted, they give the Government an opportunity to say why they cannot do what we ask. I cannot conceive of any reason why the Schedule should not contain the names of the hundred-odd treaties to which we are bound by the Bill. The conduct of the Government is wholly in character with the way in which the Bill is drafted.
I leave it at that. I hope that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will understand that our proceedings earlier and the nonsense with which we are confronted in this documentation do not bode well for fraternal across-the-Floor exchanges during the remainder of this Committee stage.
§ Mr. Denzil Davies (Llanelly)
I wish to support Amendment No. 40. My object in doing so is to suggest that there is another reason why these treaties should be annexed or scheduled to the Bill. If they were scheduled, we should have an opportunity of discussing the various articles of the treaties. The Government would not like that, of course. However, 447 they are introducing legislation into this country without going through the normal parliamentary procedures in relation to legislation. These treaties will form part of the law of the land, and the regulations made under them will become binding on the British people without any parliamentary process of scrutiny after the regulations have been issued in Brussels.
The Government have always said that it is not necessary, as it were, to incorporate these treaties into the law of the land, because the constitutional doctrine is that the Crown concludes treaties by reason of its prerogative powers and that all that is necessary is that there should be a kind of nuts-and-bolts Bill, such as we have here, to incorporate into the law the necessary changes to enable our domestic law to follow and obey the changes carried out by the provisions in the treaties.
I do not want to go over that kind of argument again tonight. I do not fully accept the Government's view on the constitutional position. However, if the Government were right on the general basis, I submit that the treaties are wholly different, because they are not only the primary sources of legislation and create liabilities and obligations in themselves, but they are a source of secondary, massive legislation emanating from Brussels which will not go through the House of Commons in the normal and accustomed form.
Therefore, we are not dealing with the normal kind of treaty. For instance, the United Nations Charter does not impose obligations and liabilities on individuals in this country. I do not purport to know the full details of the NATO Treaty, but I should not think that it imposes obligations or lays down a framework whereby obligations can be imposed upon individual citizens in this country rather than upon Government. That is the normal kind of treaty to which we have been accustomed—a treaty primarily establishing obligations upon Governments. Consequential Amendments in our law may be necessary, but we are dealing with something quite different.
The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South-West (Mr. Powell) put it very well when he said that this was 448 prerogative legislation. It is treaty legislation, because the treaties are different. Indeed, I believe that it is part of the general deception which has been perpetrated upon people in Western Europe to suggest that this is a matter of treaties between different countries, with the Heads of States agreeing, and that nothing more needs to be done. However, the Bill introduces legislation into this country without its going through the normal parliamentary process.
Most of the articles of the treaties have not been debated, but they could be debated if they were incorporated into the Schedules as an annex to the Bill.
I will illustrate what I mean by giving an example of special concern to the area which I have the honour to represent dealing with regional development aids and incentives. Article 92 of the Treaty of Rome lays down what a Government can and cannot do in giving inducements to particular areas. I will not go into the matter in detail except to say that this article has not been debated on the Floor of the House of Commons. Hon. Members representing constituencies such as mine have not had satisfactory answers from the Government on these matters. We have raised these questions, but we have not had the answers because the machinery does not exist to provide them.
According to Article 92, it is possible to give aid to areas where there is under-employment. I have looked at the French text to see whether there is any magic in the word "under-employment" as opposed to "unemployment". Economists tell me that there is a difference. We learn that the whole of the incentive policy of the Communities is geared towards alleviating under-employment in agricultural areas in Europe where people eke out an existence by temporary and seasonal work on the land, whereas our problem in industrial areas is unemployment as a result of the decline of our industries.
This is the kind of point which we put forward in the two lengthy debates which we had on principle before the Bill was introduced. We did not get an answer, because that kind of debate did not provide the framework within which an answer could be given. The Minister who spoke in one of the debates was not 449 even winding-up; he was intervening in the debate. We never got an answer for that reason. If the articles were scheduled to the Bill, these matters could be discussed. It is very important, in the interests of parliamentary democracy, to which all right hon. and hon. Members who have taken part in the debate today subscribe, that this should be done. The Government should have introduced a Bill in which these provisions were annexed and could be debated.
It would not be a particularly impractical thing to do. The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West mentioned, I think, the Act of Uniformity. Perhaps that was significant because some of us see the European Communities Bill as an act of uniformity. In the part of the country which I represent we dislike uniformity, because in matters of religion, culture and language the imposition of uniformity has caused grave danger to certain social factors and our way of life. But that is mere digression.
It would not be difficult to annex these treaties. They have been printed and published. All that would have to be done would be to attach them saying that they are annexes to the legislation, part of the Statute. If that had been done we could have debated them. But the Government do not want to do that because they want to get the Bill through as quickly as possible. This is another instance of the deceit. I am sorry to have to use that word. I am a new Member of the House and the impression that I have gained since this legislation was introduced is not favourable; it is not favourable to parliamentary democracy. Hon. Members who have been in Parliament for much longer than myself have been waxing eloquent today about our parliamentary democracy. Perhaps some of us who will still be Members in 10 or 15 years' time will not forget what we have seen in the last few months and how this legislation, on this important issue, has been pushed through Parliament.
If the Government are concerned about democratic processes and parliamentary democracy, let them schedule and annex these treaties, articles and provisions to the Bill. We can then discuss them and vote upon them. Our constituents will then feel that at least 450 we have done our best to represent their interests in Parliament as we should.
§ Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison (Edinburgh, South)
Will my right hon. and learned Friend explain to me why the treaties cannot be published in the Bill so that we can discuss them and so that the public may know what is in them? That seems to me to be the point, and it is quite reasonable.
§ Mr. Rippon
I will do my best to satisfy my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South (Mr. Michael Clark Hutchison). At least he made his point as clearly and concisely as anyone could conceivably hope for.
All these Amendments call for the scheduling of additional material to the Bill. Amendment No. 40 would add as Schedules to the Bill the full texts of all the treaties listed in Part I of Schedule 1—that is, the pre-accession treaties. These would include not only the European Economic Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community treaties but also all the treaties which have been entered into by any of the Communities and treaties ancillary to the main treaties which have been entered into by the member States.
Amendment No. 151 would schedule the Accession Treaty and the decision of the Council dealing with United Kingdom accession to the European Coal and Steel Community. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) referred to the bulk of the treaties that would be added to the Bill, and this is certainly a factor to be borne in mind, remembering that the texts are available. On the other hand, there is a distinction which one must accept, as my right hon. Friend pointed out, between those Amendments and Amendment No. 200, which would add to Part I of Schedule 1 the title of any treaty entered into by any of the Communities. I accept that the purpose of these Amendments is to make clear on the face of the Bill itself exactly what commitments the United Kingdom is entering into.
The statement of purpose which we have heard from hon. Members on both sides of the Committee covers much of the same ground as did the debate on 6th 451 March on the Opposition Motion of censure on the Government for the framing of the Bill. My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General went over much of this ground very fully, as reported at cols. 1158–1160 of the Official Report.
The right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) spoke of the convenience of the public, legal practitioners and others. That is undoubtedly a factor which must be borne in mind.
My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General on the former occasion emphasied the practical considerations which the Government had in mind and the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South drew attention to differing practice on various Bills which had been before Parliament. As my hon. and learned Friend said on 6th March,Whether to schedule a treaty to a Bill is determined largely by how best provisions affecting changes in the law of the country can be made available to the people concerned. In many cases it is convenient for the relevant new part of United Kingdom law to be made available in that way. In others it is not so convenient and other methods are adopted. The European Free Trade Area Act did not proceed in that way. It proceeded by using regulations and other powers made under other Acts and provided for in that Act.The reason why the matter was handled this way was clearly foreshadowed by the Government of which the right hon. and learned Member was a member.He went on to say:It was made clear in that debate that the way in which the treaties, the regulations, and the whole Community law would be made available would be by their publication in the form in which they have been published, for them to be available to the public in that way. It has never been suggested that the treaties, or any part of them, would be scheduled to the Bill. The way that we are proceeding has always been foreseen as appropriate in connection with our accession to the Community."—[Official Report, 6th March, 1972; Vol. 832, c. 1159.]On the question of the scheduling of treaties, the inclusion of the text of treaties not susceptible to amendment by the United Kingdom Parliament would be inappropriate, and not simply because it would make the Bill unmanageable but it would be unnecessary because the treaties have been published and are easily accessible to Parliament and the public.
§ Mr. Deakins
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has quoted from the remarks of the Solicitor-General who was surely, in the matter of scheduling the treaties, in the context of that debate, dealing with whether the texts should be available and was not addressing himself to the purposes of Amendment No. 200, which merely proposes that in place of the compendious nature of paragraph 7 of Schedule 1, we should have an authentic list of treaties which come within the Bill and the texts of which become part of our law.
§ Mr. Rippon
I was considering the question of the scheduling of treaties in full as suggested in Amendments Nos. 40 and 151. Amendment No. 200 is more restrictive in its scope, and the hon. Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Deakins) asked me what distinction one could make between what was an authentic text and what was an official text.
The main historic treaties are in authentic texts and have already been published. The appendix to the Treaty of Accession volume lists the treaties within Schedule 1 to the Bill. Official texts of these treaties have been published. Volume 1 of the 10 volumes of treaties shows where the official texts are. If any of these treaties have to be treated as authentic for legal purposes, clearly an authentic text of each treaty in question will have to be published, but there is no question of such legal effect before accession. After accession there will be authentic texts in English all the time and they will be published in the Official Journal.
§ Mr. Rippon
We have the authentic texts of the historic treaties. We have official texts of the other documents. There may be a distinction between the two in the period between now and accession, but there cannot be such a distinction if any question of legal action arises thereafter.
We are in the difficulty, which many of us regret, that the Community has been in existence for a long time and has been engaged in a great many acts of one kind 453 or another. It is impossible to publish an authentic text of everything which the Community has done in the last 10 years.
That brings up again the question which my right hon. Friend raised about how far the list of treaties is complete and why cannot we be certain which of the agreement sin the list are treaties. I submit to the Committee that in all the circumstances the inclusion in the Bill of the details of any treaty entered into by any of the Communities is unnecessary, in so far as the titles appear in the appendix to the White Paper containing the Treaty of Accession, which is Cmnd. 4862, Volume I. The texts of the instruments listed in the appendix to the White Paper have also been published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
We went carefully into the list with the Commission and with the Council Secretariat's legal advisers. The list which we published in the White Paper was drawn up with them and it is to the best of our knowledge and belief as comprehensive as it is possible to make it at present. In so far as there can be any doubt about whether these are treaties or not, as my right hon. Friend knows there is a provision in Clause 1 (3) to deal with that situation.
§ Mr. Rippon
What has been asked for is a list. That list is available, and this seems to be a proper way of dealing with the situation, bearing in mind the difficulty of the Community having been in existence for 10 years. There may be a slight possibility, but at any rate a possibility which one must acknowledge, that something might be omitted which ought to have been included, or something included which ought to have been omitted. If there was any doubt after accession, these matters would have to be determined by the courts, but there is no reason to suppose that the lists are not complete or that the House of Commons and the practitioners will not have before them all the information that can conceivably be provided. In those circumstances, I suggest that the Amendments are unnecessary and ought to be resisted.
§ Sir Elwyn Jones
When the right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to the White Paper, to which White Paper was he referring in that context? Was he referring to the annex to the Treaty of Accession volume which has been printed, or to what? It seems an extraordinary way of proceeding. Why does not the Minister list the documents or the treaties? This is not a great demand to make. What is the trouble? Why should it not be done?
§ Mr. Powell
Before my right hon. and learned Friend replies, may I put this to him? He referred to Clause 1 (3) and said that an Order in Council under that subsection could make it clear if necessary whether all the instruments specified in the appendix were or were not pre-accession treaties for the purpose of the Bill. Is he saying that, immediately after the enactment of the Bill, an Order in Council comprehensive in character and setting out authoritatively the remainder of the pre-accession treaties will be presented to the House? Or is he saying that it may or may not happen? If he is saying the latter, the matter will still be left unresolved. If he is saying the former, and a comprehensive and authoritative list can be drawn up, why cannot such a list be put into the Schedule?
§ Mr. Rippon
To deal first with the point made by the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South, the titles already appear in the appendix to the White Paper which contains the treaty itself, which is Cmnd. 4862, Vol. I. Then the instruments listed in the White Paper have been published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
In reply to my right hon. Friend, the provision in Clause 1(3)enables a pre-accession treaty to be regarded as a Community treaty if it is declared to be so by Order in Council and is intended to cover any cases of uncertainty where a decision is necessary. We are bound to accept that, however hard we tried and whatever view we took of the Amendments, which I have said are unnecessary, there is a very narrow area of doubt which might arise and where there is need for a provision to resolve it. But it is a very narrow area.
We have gone into this in great detail with the Community to establish which are treaties and which are agreements, but 455 in so far as there are disputes they may have to be resolved by the courts. In so far as there is a question before the courts after accession, there have to be authentic text. That is a reasonable position and it has been well understood.
§ Sir D. Walker-Smith
Does not my right hon. and learned Friend recall that, in legislation in the last few years, there has been a tendency to schedule entire White Papers in Statutes? Examples are the Land Commission Act, the abortive Parliament (No. 2) Bill and the prices and incomes legislation. Surely, therefore, it would be possible here, without being unduly cumbrous, to schedule what may be an appendix to a White Paper in the Bill itself.
§ Mr. Rippon
As my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General explained on 6th March, the practice varies from Statute to Statute. We have taken a view as to the best way of dealing with the matter in the Bill. Of course it is arguable whether the legislation to which my right hon. and learned Friend refers was made any more comprehensible by increasing its bulk.
§ Mr. Spearing
Would not the Minister agree that he has given two reasons why he could not schedule a list of names—first, that it could be six pages long, although with smaller type it would only be three, and second because, on a matter of doubt, the Order in Council procedure can be invoked later? Why, therefore, can we not have the appendix as it stands at the moment or at the Treaty of Accession?
§ 2.45 a.m.
§ Mr. Powell
May I put this to my right hon. and learned Friend? I follow the point which has just been made and I still do not think that my right hon. and learned Friend has grasped the difficulty that the Committee is in. He keeps referring to the list appended to the Treaty of Accession. He referred to it several times in his speech as though it was a comprehensive and complete list. The trouble is, however, that we know on the assertion of his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General that some of the items set out in that list are, in the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, not treaties for the purpose of the Bill and some others may be and may not be.
456 It is an impossible position for the Committee to leave the matter like this. We cannot say "Let us pass the Bill and then perhaps we will have an Order in Council" and then the next moment my right hon. and learned Friend say "If necessary, it can be referred to the courts to decide what are treaties." It is an intolerable suggestion to the Committee that in enacting a Bill of this kind, which gives these treaties this effect, we should say "We do not know for certain what the treaties are. We have been discussing the matter hard with the Commission. We have tried to produce a list. We are not satisfied with the list. We have doubts about it. But the courts can decide after the Bill is passed what are to be treaties and what, therefore, Parliament was enacting although Parliament did not know it at the time and we were unable to tell Parliament." I do not think my right hon. and learned Friend has grasped the difficulty in which he is leaving the Committee.
§ Mr. Rippon
I do not think my right hon. Friend has grasped the case we have been trying to put as fairly as possible. The list of treaties and agreements has been made as comprehensive as possible, so comprehensive that it may include some things which the courts might conceivably hold—because cases have never been before them—to be not treaties or agreements. We have, however, published for the benefit—quite rightly, I am sure—of practitioners and the public a very large amount of material, all that to the best of our knowledge and belief is available.
§ [Sir ALFRED BROUGHTON in the Chair]
§ Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)
Justice, to be done, must be seen to be done and I should have thought that in this field above all others, in the legal context, we require clarity and certainty. It seems to me, however, that the answers we have had from the Treasury Bench on this matter are totally unsatisfactory. They are quite unconvincing.
I should like to put the position in terms of the two Amendments—Nos. 40 and 200—on which I hope we will have Divisions. The first of those Amendments seems to me to ask with complete reasonableness that we should clothe these treaties with the status of our 457 statute law. This is a task which has to be faced. That is the correct garment to put upon them. If we are joining a Community which is to give us a new kind of legal order, which is to be superior to our own, if this is to be acceptable to this country and it is to be done on the basis of acceptance by this country, the least we can do is to clothe this new law with the garments of ourlegality—to give it, one might say, honorary United Kingdom nationality.
It will be done one way or another. If it is done in the way that Amendment No. 40 suggests, one is facing up to the task honestly, fairly and squarely. One is then saying "Here is the Bill which is being enacted and here are the treaties which are referred to, all parts of the corpus of the new statute law, which will be of vital importance to this country for the future in the event of our entering the Community."
The alternative is that, if we do not do that, we shall have on the Statute Book this tiny Bill, which is as broad as it is long——
§ Mr. Murray
Yes, as broad as it is short. It is very small in any event. We shall have on the Statute Book this tiny Bill, which does not reveal its enormous compass, effects and consequences. To see what its effects and consequences are, we have to look beyond the four corners of the Bill to a vast, anonymous corpus of documents. It is a library which is never completed as far as one can see. There is not even an index to the library. One cannot look up an index to find out what is involved. Amendment No. 200 would provide a modest second best to Amendment No. 40, which would have the straightforward effect of clothing the different treaties with the garb of statute law. Amendment No. 20 is a second best designed to give us an index to the library which will be imposed upon us by the Bill.
This library will be needed in any event. Whether or not it is statute law, we shall have to refer to the authoritative, authentic texts of the treaties. We might as well do the job properly in accordance with our own legal understanding and have these treaties embodied 458 in our statute law. Nothing convincing has been put forward by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to satisfy me that this is not a reasonable request and that it is not something which the Government should do as a proper and reasonable course of action in order to inform not only the public, but the judges and the legal profession generally of what they may have to do.
It is not simply a question of clarity and certainty. It is also a question of legitimacy. We must deduce the titles of these treaties within the legal context of the United Kingdom. There is a serious hiatus in the Bill here. I give this illustration of it. In the learned article which appears in The Times today Professor Wade points out that the effect of these treaties is not like ordinary international treaties, merely to impose international obligations upon States. The effect of the treaties is to bring into being a new wholly legal order which must apply to all the member States and take precedence over their internal law in case of conflict.
We do not want to take such a step without being absolutely certain that the deduction of legal title—of legitimacy—is correct and proper. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out, this matter was touched upon in the debate on the Motion of censure upon the Chairman and reference was made to pages 81 and 82 of McNair on the Law of Treaties, where the learned author points out that it is incontrovertible that this is the effect of the law of the land, that under British law the ratification of a treaty does not put into force in municipal law even the provisions of a treaty which are intended to be self-executing.
We are here faced with a woolliness of law. The Government have not followed through the logic and the rigour of the exercise. They are indeed taking us blindfold into the Community. They seem to be bent on doing this deliberately. This can be judged by their refusal to accept our reasonable requests either to clothe the treaties with the garb of statute law or alternatively, if not that, at least to provide an authoritative list or index of the treaties as at this date. Admittedly for the future Clause 1(3) could be used to add future treaties. That would give a degree of certainty, and no doubt the texts would be published. Why should 459 not the certainty be given to us at this stage, at this point of decision?
§ Mr. Powell
It is easier than the hon. and learned Gentleman has suggested, because we are talking only about treaties entered into before 22nd January, 1972, so there is no open end to it.
§ Mr. Murray
I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. That is precisely the point. In those circumstances, not only must we face the problem of clarity and certainty and the problem of guiding our legal practitioners and, above all, our judges on how to operate the Bill when enacted and what it is introducing into our law. We must also consider the question of the legitimacy and the deduction of title of these treaties and what they are introducing into our law.
Looking for example at Clause 3 for an illustration, one sees that it provides in subsection (1) that all questions as to the meaning of any of the treaties shall be treated as questions of law. Subsection (2) says that judicial notice shall be taken of the treaties. But how are the judges to take judicial notice of treaties? How are they to determine what they are and what is the authentic legitimate deduction of title of the treaties they are to look at? The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster balked at that and has told us merely that after accession there will
§ be some sort of official publication of the treaties. This is not good enough. Surely judges are told quite specifically in Clause 3 that certain things published in the Official Journal of the Communities are to be authoritative and that they are to take note of them and of instruments of the Community, and certain marks of authentication are to be given.
§ This legislation is incomplete in a method that is radically faulty. The judges and the legal practitioners should be given not merely a clear guide as to what the treaties are but also authoritative guidance about the way in which they are to interpret them. It is obvious, looking at the instruction given to judges in Clause 3(2), that they are to take notice of the treaties. But they can take notice of them, for example as international obligations which bind States, not taking effect within the municipal jurisdiction of the member States. That is a perfectly legitimate way of taking judicial notice of treaties. Or they could take judicial notice of the treaties as something which is taken up and embodied in our domestic law. But where in the Bill are the judges told to do this? For these reasons I ask hon. Members to vote in support of the Amendment.
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 108, Noes 142.461
|Division No. 132.]||AYES||[2.57 a.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Foot, Michael||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Ashton, Joe||Ford, Ben||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Atkinson, Norman||Gilbert, Dr. John||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Marks, Kenneth|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Marsden, F.|
|Bishop, E. S.||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Marten, Neil|
|Booth, Albert||Hamling, William||Meacher, Michael|
|Buchan, Norman||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Hardy, Peter||Mendelson, John|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Harper, Joseph||Mikardo, Ian|
|Cohen, Stanley||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Millan, Bruce|
|Coleman, Donald||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Janner, Greville||Murray, Ronald King|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Oakes, Gordon|
|Deakins, Eric||John, Brynmor||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Doig, Peter||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W. Ham, S.)||Orme, Stanley|
|Dormand, J. D.||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Oswald, Thomas|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Judd, Frank||Paget, R. T.|
|Dunn, James A.||Kaufman, Gerald||Palmer, Arthur|
|Eadie, Alex||Kerr, Russell||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Ellis, Tom||Kinnock, Neil||Pavitt, Laurie|
|English, Michael||Lamond, James||Pentland, Norman|
|Ewing, Harry||Latham, Arthur||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Loughlin, Charles||Prescott, John|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McElhone, Frank||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'nSR'dnor)|
|Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Sillars, James||Strang, Gavin||Wallace, George|
|Skinner, Dennis||Swain, Thomas|
|Small, William||Tinn, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin||Mr. John Golding and|
|Spearing, Nigel||Varley, Eric G.||Mr. James Wellbeloved.|
|Spriggs, Leslie||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Stallard, A. W.||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Adley, Robert||Hall, Miss Joan (Kelghley)||Onslow, Cranley|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstsead)||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Osborn, John|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Blaker, Peter||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Haselhurst, Alan||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Boscawen, Robert||Havers, Michael||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Hayhoe, Barney||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Bowden, Andrew||Hiley, Joseph||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Bray, Ronald||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Raison, Timothy|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Holland, Philip||Redmond, Robert|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Holt, Miss Mary||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Bryan, Paul||Hunt, John||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Rossl, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Jopling, Michael||Rost, Peter|
|Chapman, Sydney||Kershaw, Anthony||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Churchill, W. S.||Kimball, Marcus||Sharples, Richard|
|Clegg, Walter||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Cockeram, Eric||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Cooke, Robert||Kinsey, J. R.||Simeons, Charles|
|Coombs, Derek||Kitson, Timothy||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Cordle, John||Knox, David||Soref, Harold|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Lane, David||Speed, Keith|
|Costain, A. P.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Spence, John|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid.Maj-Gen.James||Le Marchant, Spencer||Sproat, Iain|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Longden, Gilbert||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Loveridge, John||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Drayson, G. B.||MacArthur, Ian||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||McCrindle, R. A.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Eyre, Reginald||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Fidler, Michael||Mather, Carol||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Fortescue, Tim||Miscampbell, Norman||Waddington, David|
|Fowler, Norman||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Fox, Marcus||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Warren, Kenneth|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Monro, Hector||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Montgomery, Fergus||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Wilkinson, John|
|Goodhew, Victor||Morrison, Charles||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Gorst, John||Mudd, David||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Gray, Hamish||Murton, Oscar|
|Green, Alan||Neave, Airey||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Grylls, Michael||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Mr. James Clarke and|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Normanton, Tom||Mr. Paul Hawkins.|
|Gurden, Harold||Nott, John|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
The Temporary Chairman
The question was raised earlier whether a Division would be allowed on Amendment No. 200. I am informed that the Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means has agreed to select that Amendment for a Division.
§ Amendment proposed, No. 200, in page 2, line 23, at end add—462
§ (5) The pre-accession treaties referred to in subsection (2) above are listed in Part I of Schedule 1 of this Act.—[Mr. Powell.]
§ Question put, That the Amendment be made: —
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 110. Noes 141.465
|Division No. 133.]||AYES||[3.8 a.m.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Atkinson, Norman||Bishop, E. S.|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Booth, Albert|
|Ashton, Joe||Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Buchan, Norman|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Oswald, Thomas|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Janner, Greville||Paget, R. T.|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Palmer, Arthur|
|Coleman, Donald||John, Brynmor||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Concannon, J. D.||Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Judd, Frank||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kaufman, Gerald||Prescott, John|
|Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)||Kerr, Russell||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Deakins, Eric||Kinnock, Neil||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Doig, Peter||Lamond, James||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Latham, Arthur||Sillars, James|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Loughlin, Charles||Skinner, Dennis|
|Eadie, Alex||McCartney, Hugh||Small, William|
|Ellis, Tom||McElhone, Frank||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|English, Michael||Mackenzie, Gregor||Spearing, Nigel|
|Ewing, Harry||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McNamara, J. Kevin||Stallard, A. W.|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeslon)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Marks, Kenneth||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Foot, Michael||Marsden, F.||Strang, Gavin|
|Ford, Ben||Marten, Neil||Swain, Thomas|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Meacher, Michael||Tinn, James|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mendelson, John||Varley, Eric G.|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mikardo, Ian||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Millan, Bruce||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Hamling, William||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Hardy, Peter||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Wallace, George|
|Harper, Joseph||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Oakes, Gordon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||O'Halloran, Michael||Mr. John Golding and|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Orme, Stanley||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
|Adley, Robert||Gummer, Selwyn||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Gurden, Harold||Morrison, Charles|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Mudd, David|
|Blaker, Peter||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Murton, Oscar|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Neave, Airey|
|Boscawen, Robert||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Haselhurst, Alan||Normanton, Tom|
|Bowden, Andrew||Havers, Michael||Nott, John|
|Bray, Ronald||Hawkins, Paul||Onslow, Cranley|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Hayhoe, Barney||Osborn, John|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Hiley, Joseph||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Holland, Philip||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Bryan, Paul||Holt, Miss Mary||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Howell, David (Guildford)||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Chapman, Sydney||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hunt, John||Raison, Timothy|
|Cockeram, Eric||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Redmond, Robert|
|Cooke, Robert||Jopling, Michael||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Coombs, Derek||Kershaw, Anthony||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Cordle, John||Kimball, Marcus||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Costain, A. P.||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. James||Kinsey, J. R.||Rost, Peter|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kitson, Timothy||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Knox, David||Sharples, Richard|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lane, David||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Le Marchant, Spencer||Simeons, Charles|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Longden, Gilbert||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fidler, Michael||Loveridge, John||Soref, Harold|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||MacArthur, Ian||Speed, Keith|
|Fortescue, Tim||McCrindle, R. A.||Spence, John|
|Fowler, Norman||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Sproat, Iain|
|Fox, Marcus||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Mather, Carol||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Tebbit, Norman|
|Goodhart, Philip||Miscampbell, Norman||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Gorst, John||Monks, Mrs. Connie||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Gray, Hamish||Monro, Hector||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Green, Alan||Montgomery, Fergus||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Grylls, Michael||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Waddington, David|
|Ward, Dame Irene||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Warren, Kenneth||Wilkinson, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Weatherill, Bernard||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick||Mr. Kenneth Clarke and|
|Wells, John (Maidstone)||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.||Mr. Walter Clegg.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ To report Progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Rippon.]
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.