HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc1405-504

Again considered in Committee.


Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.

Mr. Denzil Davies

On reflection, perhaps I did less than justice to the intervention of my hon. Friend the Member for Farnworth (Mr. Roper). I did not make due allowance for the fact that he is an economist, not a lawyer. I assumed that he was using the word "precedence" in its strict legal sense. I gather that I might have misinterpreted what he said and that he meant to imply that if Parliament passes a law contrary to an Article of the Treaty of Rome that law immediately becomes applicable as it is a later law and, therefore, takes precedence over a former law.

10.15 p.m.

That is quite correct but in the new situation, with a different legal system running alongside a municipal system, which is an entirely novel situation, I do not think the dilemma can be resolved merely by resorting to this priority argument. Indeed, if that were right it would be possible for countries with a basic constitutional law merely to pass a later law which could take precedence over the earlier one. This is the closest we come in this country to a kind of fundamental or entrenched law and it is my view that the courts will in time give this law precedence over a later Statute. If I am wrong in this no doubt the Solicitor-General will correct me, but since this is a matter for the courts of England to decide I would not have thought that even the Government would be dogmatic about it.

The limitations upon the power of the House of Commons will arise at an earlier stage because most Governments would be reluctant to seek to pass a law which was contrary to a direct provision of the Treaty of Rome. Article 92 dealing with regional development has been mentioned in our previous debates. Let us suppose that a new Government, a Labour Government, were to seek to introduce a radical policy to aid the regions. They would first have to look at Article 92 and all the regulations emanating from Brussels, and I would be very hesitant to say that that Government would then legislate contrary to what was laid down in the Treaty of Rome. In the same way, as regards the movement of capital out of the country, we might want to legislate but we would be restricted by the thought that there was a prohibition in the treaty, which I would think that the courts of this country would enforce.

[Sir ALFRED BROUGHTON in the Chair]

Indeed, should we legislate contrary to the treaty the Commission would undoubtedly take us to the European Court and seek to stop us. This has happened in the past. Contrary to the implication of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cheetham, the Commission takes member States to the European Court. It has taken most of the member States to the European Court on the issue of regional development and is now in process of taking France to the Court in relation to certain exchange control restrictions imposed by that country during a monetary crisis. So the Commission, with the aid of the European Court. could stop this Parliament from legislating in the way it thought best in the interest of the citizens and subjects of this country. That is where the limitation of the sovereignty of this Parliament arises.

Amendment No. 79, which seeks to delete subsection (1) would not destroy the Common Market or our application. I wish it would destroy our application, but it would not do so. What it would do is to concentrate the Government's mind on finding ways of securing better parliamentary control of these institutions and the regulations emanating from them. There are many ways of doing this. Subsection (2) could be used far more liberally if subsection (1) were removed.

The Government should look at the German and Dutch systems and other ways in which we could have some semblance of parliamentary control. I would have thought that this would be in the interests not only of those of us who oppose the Common Market but even more of those who hope for European unity, because one cannot create European unity by establishing uniformity from Brussels. It is a fallacy, and this can be seen from the history of the United Kingdom, to believe that one can establish uniform laws and thereby create unity between countries of different political and social backgrounds. This can only be done by democratic consent, and this subsection (1) together with Article 189 militates against the creation of the kind of European unity that many pro-Marketeers desire.

I ask the Government to look at this Amendment on the procedures by which Parliament can have some control over this very important and fundamental matter. In that spirit I would have thought that pro-Marketeers and anti-Marketeers could join in voting for this Amendment and removing subsection (1).

The Solicitor-General

The Amendments that we have been considering throughout the day fall within three broad groups. First, standing to some extent on its own, is Amendment No. 7 in the names of the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) and others. Then there is a group of Amendments to restrict the scope of the subsection, either procedurally or by reference to subjects. Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 in the name of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith), Amendment No. 216, an Opposition Amendment, and Amendments Nos. 260 and 261 in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen), seek to introduce procedural restrictions. Amendment No. 141 in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) seeks to introduce subject restrictions. That is the second group.

The third group of Amendments seek to make a partial or total removal of the words of subsection (1). Amendments Nos. 154 to 158, and 56 and 314 attack words separately. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East, in Amendment No. 275, attacks two words specifically, and in his next Amendment, No. 79, he seeks totally to emasculate subsection (1). That makes the third group.

The Law Commission Amendments are the first group, the procedural Amendments are the second and the removal of particular words are the third group.

I do not want to say anything further during this debate on the points raised by the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English). He raised some points which are more germane to Clauses 11 and 12. His more general points about the contrast between Community law and common law are those with which I dealt on 14th March at cols. 346 to 348, and I do not wish to add anything to what I there said, save to refer the hon. Gentleman to observations made by Mr. Bernard Dickens in a talk that he gave before Christmas and published by the College of Law under the title "Introduction to the Common Market".

On page 25 of that document he said that the rules on locus standi are not as restrictive as those with which we are familiar before courts in the United Kingdom, and non-parties showing a valid interest may be admitted to support or oppose a party's case in certain circumstances. That represents a gloss on what I said to the hon. Gentleman the last time that I dealt with this point.

I now turn to deal with Amendment No. 7, the one raised by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead. I apologise to him for the fact that I was not present in the Chamber when he dealt with it. His Amendment raises an interesting and important point. On 17th February, at cols. 657 to 658, I indicated the Government's concern that consequential repeals and amendments of United Kingdom legislation should not only be made in the way they are being made in the latter parts of the Bill, but that they should be available in a convenient and consolidated form. I think that my right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) asked the question then, and I explained the arrangements being made for consolidation and publication as speedily as possible of a loose-leaf version of United Kingdom Statutes being amended in the European context. No doubt other methods will be needed to ensure that we are alert to keep our own Statute Book in line with changes involved in our European obligations.

The changes suggested by the right hon. Gentleman in his Amendment are not of the kind that would be possible or acceptable. They involve a delay of six months, which would not be easy to tolerate in the context of directly applicable Community obligations. Not all the changes following from Community instruments of the kind to which the Amendment refers are appropriate for consideration by the Law Commission. Many of them are more appropriate for the Government to consider and bring before the House—questions of implementation, enforcement, how to react to Community obligations, and so on.

Questions of inconsistency with Statute law, questions of consequential changes in Statute law, are matters which already fall within the remit of the Law Commission, and it is right for the right hon. Gentleman to have drawn attention to the important rôle which the Law Commission will have to play. I have con- firmed with the Commission that it will be able to give the requisite attention, within the context of its present functions, to those aspects covered by the points raised by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead.

I come to the broader questions that have been raised and in particular the whole question of direct applicability of Community law.

Mr. Biffen

On a point of order. I rise to inquire, Sir Alfred, whether you have yet decided whether to call for a separate Division Amendment No. 7, which was in the course of being sympathetically considered by the Chairman of Ways and Means earlier this afternoon. At that stage he said that he would give a ruling on the matter to the Committee.

The Temporary Chairman

We shall not come to consider Amendment No. 7 for a very long time.

Mr. Biffen


The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Biffen) will appreciate that we do not take it immediately.

Sir Robin Turton

On a point of order. Are you aware, Sir Alfred, that earlier the Chair said that it would be convenient for Amendment No. 7 to be considered with the other Amendments that we are discussing?

The Temporary Chairman

I apologise to the Committee. I agree that we are considering Amendment No. 7 with Amendment No. 79, but the question whether there should be a separate Division on the former will not arise for a considerable time, which is when we arrive at its place on the Notice Paper. There may or may not be a Division on it. In the meantime, the Chairman of Ways and Means will be making his decision.

Mr. Dell

Further to that point of order. Sir Alfred, it is of course true that no Division will take place until we come to the position of the Amendment on the Notice Paper. Nevertheless, it would be useful to the Committee to know tonight, and before we divide on other Amendments, whether Amendment No. 7 will be selected for a separate Division.

Mr. Powell

Further to that point of order. Sir Alfred. You will be aware that the Chair helps the Committee by indicating at the time of the debate which Amendments can in due course, when they are reached, be divided upon. It was hoped that it would be possible before we conclude our consideration of this group to have confirmation—it is no more than confirmation—that a Division would be allowed on Amendment No. 7.

The Temporary Chairman

As far as I know the Chairman of Ways and Means has not announced his decision on this matter. It is not for me to make that decision. Only he can make it.

Mr. Jay

I support the request of my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell) in rising to a further point of order on this subject. Sir Alfred. Although the Division would occur, if it will occur, at a later stage, there is surely no reason why the Chair should not rule now that when that time comes, there will be a Division. Are you aware that that would be of great help, Sir Alfred?

The Temporary Chairman

I thought I had made it clear that the Temporary Chairman cannot rule on this matter. It is for the Chairman of Ways and Means to make the decision.

Mr. Jay

Further to my point of order. In view of the desirability of the Committee having the decision of the Chairman of Ways and Means, are you aware that it would be possible, Sir Alfred, for these deliberations to be adjourned while the Chairman resumes his place in the Chair? I am sure that the Committee would be glad to adjourn to enable this to happen.

The Temporary Chairman

The right hon. Gentleman must contain his impatience a little longer. I sympathise with his point of view and I have no doubt that the Chairman of Ways and Means will be here shortly and will then no doubt announce his decision.

The Solicitor-General

At least I have been in order in responding to the speech of the right hen. Member for Birkenhead. There is no doubt that as a result of an earlier ruling we are discussing his Amendment as part of this group.

I was about to deal with the broader question of the nature of the Community system; the essence of the Community system and the question of the direct applicability of Community law. I remind the Committee that we are especially concerned with Article 2 of the Treaty of Rome and the establishment of the Common Market, an organisation within which goods can pass freely from one country to another and under which they can be freely available throughout the Market on a basis of fair and equal competition.

It is for this reason, notwithstanding the point made by the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. Denzil Davies), that it is necessary for there to be some rules regulating the operation of that Market which operate in identical terms throughout the Market area. This system can be achieved by a single coherent system of directly applicable Community laws applying to each Member State within the spheres covered by the Treaties.

For this reason the Amendment standing in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) seeking to limit the operation of Clause 2(1) to the four topics of the Commission—customs tariffs, the common agricultural policy, sugar and the European Coal and Steel Community—is unacceptable because it seeks to limit the scope of the Treaty and the organisation which we seek to join more narrowly than is compatible with the original Treaty.

10.30 p.m.

I borrow with gratitude the phrase which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East frequently borrows from Aneurin Bevan who said, "Why use the crystal ball when you can read the book?". I will borrow another phrase used by my right hon. and learned Friend, who has a gift for phrases in more than one language, that the Treaty illustrates amply enough what is involved. That is what he told the Committee this afternoon. He referred the Committee to Article 3 and I refer it to Article 2. I do not want to read them at length but they both make quite clear that the objectives of the Treaty of Rome, leaving the other treaties aside, go clearly beyond the four topics referred to by my right hon. and learned Friend—the establishment of the Common Market, harmonious development of economic activities and so on—and plainly have been recognised for some time as involving greater economic unity between Britain and the Continent of Europe.

I will invite study of another book and refer to the election address of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West in 1964 which shows plainly that he then visualised the wider scope of what was involved. He said: Our efforts throughout the world have been for wider and freer trade. The fault is not ours if the economic unity with Britain which most of Europe desired has not yet been achieved. And then in a characteristic imperative forecast he concludes: But it will come. It seems difficult to accept the restrictions involved in Amendment No. 141 as being consistent with the prophesy that: the economic unity with Britain which most of Europe desired … will come. For the same kind of reason, if he talks of what the Community is about I would invite the Committee to conclude that the group of Amendments dealing with procedural restrictions are equally unacceptable. I was sorry not to hear the speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry——

Mr. Powell

I had not realised that my hon. and learned Friend was moving on to the next group of Amendments. There is a distinction which he has overlooked between the full scope of Article 3 of the Treaty and the stages by which legislation in this House would follow the development of the Community within the scope of Article 3. The general purpose of my Amendment—this is policy apart—was not necessarily in conflict with Article 3 but it was to ensure that any major development even within Article 3 involved a return to this House for renewed authorisation to apply the procedures of Clause 2 of the Bill.

The Solicitor-General

I follow the distinction that my right hon. Friend is making but I return to the fact that the four categories which he selected as part of the text of Amendment No. 141 are a rather random selection of four particular topics and do not cover the field which has been plainly known to be covered by the Community up until this time and more recently than 1964.

So much for the subject restrictions sought to be imposed on subsection (1). As I have said, none of the procedural restrictions can be commended to the Committee. I have indicated why that in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry is not acceptable. The other is Amendment No. 216 requiring all Community instruments under this subsection to be laid in their first draft subject to Affirmative Resolution, before Parliament. The third category is that identified in Amendments Nos. 77 and 78 in the name of my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East, stating that instruments emanating from the Commission itself should be subject to special procedural commitment. I invite the Committee to conclude that they cannot be dealt with in that way. All the instruments with which we are here concerned under subsection (1) are required to take direct effect, and the interposition of any one of those three procedures would interfere with the effectiveness of the direct applicability of those instruments.

Mr. English

I quite take the hon. and learned Gentleman's point and see that the wording of the Amendments may be unacceptable. In that case, will he give an assurance that he will table something acceptable? The German Bundestag is informed of the self-executing regulations when they are only proposals. Either it or a committee of it discusses them when they are only proposals on the agenda of the Council of Ministers, and on many occasions it has said to its Minister after a discussion, "This is the way we should like you to vote on this." Is there any reasons why we cannot do that?

The Solicitor-General

I was going to deal with that point, and I shall come to it. But first I was going to make a distinction that is relevant to the point the hon. Gentleman raises. The instruments which would be the subject of Amendments Nos. 77 and 78, namely, Commission instruments, are of a limited kind. Broadly speaking, under Article 155 of the Treaty of Rome, the Commission may exercise powers to issue instruments in so far as the powers are conferred on it by the Council for the implementation of rules laid down by the Council. That is the first category.

The second general category in which the Commission may operate is in the administration of the safeguard provisions of the Treaty, such as Article 25, providing for the suspension of the collection of duties, making provision for duty-free tariff quotes. So the scope of Commission instruments is narrowed.

I make that point now because Article 2 of the constitutional law of the German Bundestag applies only to instruments emanating from the Council of Ministers. There is no special provision in the German constitutional law dealing with instruments emanating from the Commission, and even so far as it exists to deal with instruments emanating from the Council of Ministers, it exists not for legislative purposes but to require the Bundestag to be given notice of proposals emanating from the Council and express its owns views upon it, which are not thereafter binding on the German Government. They are not binding on the German Government; they are an expression of view, but they go no further than that. Of course, the German Government pay a great deal of attention to them. It is in that sense that I advise the Committee that because of the nature of directly applicable law there can be no opportunity of the kind suggested for intervention at the stage of enactment.

But I repeat that the Government are anxious for the widest possible discussion and consideration of parliamentary involvement, in information, scrutiny and debate, at each earlier stage of forthcoming Community instruments, so far as possible.

Mr. Jay

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that, contrary to what he has just said, there is nothing in Article 155 which limits the powers of the Commission to make decisions within some ambit laid down by the Council? What Article 155 says is that the Commission shall: have its own power of decision and participate in the shaping of measures taken by the Council and by the Assembly in the manner provided for in this Treaty; The words do not limit its power of decision to any framework laid down by the Council. That is perfectly clear in Article 155. Therefore, the Solicitor-General seems to be misleading the Committee.

The Solicitor-General

No. The passage in Article 155 referred to by the right hon. Gentleman refers to the role of the Commission in the formulation of measures taken by the Council, and it is the last sentence which deals with the matter to which I referred, namely, the exercise of powers conferred on it by the Council. In any event, it does not invalidate my general point that the operation of the Commission is limited, in broad terms, to the safeguard provisions—for example, Article 25—or the decision of particular cases within the ambit of policy or to operating on policy lines laid down by the Council of Ministers and not beyond that. Even in the section referred to by the right hon. Gentleman, it is made plain that it participates in the manner provided for in this Treaty.

Mr. Jay

With all respect——

The Temporary Chairman

Order. The right hon. Gentleman must not intervene if the Solicitor-General does not give way.

Mr. Jay

On a point of order, Sir Alfred. Would it be in order to invite the Solicitor-General to give way so that we might clear up this important matter of fact?

The Temporary Chairman

That is not a point of order.

The Solicitor-General

I turn to the wider question——

Mr. Jay

On a point of order. If there is to be any reality in this discussion, surely when the Solicitor-General is plainly wrong it must be, by some method of procedure, possible for hon. Members to raise a question of fact and obtaina rational answer from the Minister.

The Temporary Chairman

That is not a point of order.

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Gentleman asserts with confidence that I am plainly wrong. He does not assert that I am wilfully wrong. I am doing my best to advise the Committee——

Mr. Jay rose——

The Solicitor-General

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will allow me to finish my sentence. Because the right hon. Gentleman asserts so confidently that I am plainly wrong, I shall take an early opportunity of making sure of the position. But I have explained the matter as accurately as I can to the best of my ability. Nothing which has been said or which can be said invalidates my central proposition, that the Commission operates within the sphere of administering the policy laid down by the Council of Ministers.

Mr. Jay rose——

The Solicitor-General

I shall look at the point raised by the right hon. Gentleman and will return to it if I find that there is any reason to be shifted from my ground.

Mr. Jay rose——

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Gentleman cannot ask for more at this stage.

I turn to the question of the direct applicability of Community law——

Mr. Jay rose——

The Temporary Chairman

Order. The right hon. Gentleman must not interrupt if the Solicitor-General will not give way.

The Solicitor-General

I turn to the point raised——

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

On a point of order, Sir Alfred. Are we or are we not in Committee? Is it not usual during a Committee stage for hon. Members to ask questions in order to clarify points before the discussion continues? Are we departing from this general rule?

The Temporary Chairman

We are in Committee, but it is entirely up to the hon. Member who is speaking to decide whether he should give way.

Mr. Spearing

Further to that point of order. As a Committee stage is an inherent part of the democratic process, would I, as a relatively new Member, be correct in believing that if a Member does not wish to discover where a difference of opinion lies the Committee will draw its own conclusion?

The Temporary Chairman

That is not a matter for the Chair.

10.45 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Member for Battersea, North has drawn my attention to the proposition that the penultimate clause of Article 155 invalidates what I said by reference to the last clause. I have expressed my opinion that it does not do so. The point of difference is clear. I have indicated my willingness to look again at what the right hon. Gentleman has said. It does not invalidate the general proposition which I advanced that the interposition of a legislative procedural clause in respect of directly applicable Community law is not something that I can commend to the Committee.

Mr. William Baxter (West Stirlingshire)

On a point of order, Sir Alfred. The Committee is considering a grave constitutional issue. I ask you to consider whether it is proper that there should be any dubiety in the mind of the Solicitor-General on this very important point of the interpretation of what is contained in this Article. If the hon. and learned Gentleman cannot give a clear and straightforward answer to the question, the Committee should adjourn until he is able to do so.

The Temporary Chairman

It is not for me to direct the Solicitor-General how he should interpret any rules or regulations.

Mr. Baxter

Further to that point of order, Sir Alfred. If, as I appreciate, it is not the responsibility of the Chair to take such action, can the Chair, from all its wisdom and power, ask that the Leader of the House now give consideration to an adjournment of the Committee until the Solicitor-General is sure of his facts?

The Temporary Chairman

No. It is certainly not any part of the duty of the Chair to ask for the adjournment of the Committee.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

On a point of order, Sir Alfred. This is a point which is within the competence of the Chair. The Chair can at any time accept a Motion to report Progress and ask leave to sit again. The Chair is the sole arbiter whether to accept such a Motion. If that is so, I would seek to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again," so that we may debate the issue whether to vote on this until such time as we have the Solicitor-General's advice. If you will accept such a Motion, it will enable my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) and myself to put our points to the Solicitor-General and to explain them to him in more detail and it will also enable the Solicitor-General to ask his advisers and the other right hon. and learned Gentlemen now present to obtain the information which he appears to lack at the moment and which he has admitted he will supply——

The Temporary Chairman

Order. It is not possible for the Chair to accept a Motion to report Progress during the course of another hon. Member's speech.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Further to that point of order, Sir Alfred. I take it, then, that after the Solicitor-General has sat down I can seek to catch your eye and move to report Progress if, as would appear to be about to transpire, the Solicitor-General does not deal with the points that the Committee wishes him to deal with.

The Temporary Chairman

The hon. Gentleman is within his rights in asking for that.

Mr. Raymond Fletcher

Further to that point of order, Sir Alfred. Some of us have sat in the Chamber for most of the day. We have collaborated with both Front Benches so that the Solicitor-General could reply at a reasonable time. The Solicitor-General needs more time than is provided by the raising of these points of order to read Article 155 and to answer my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay). It is no crime to make a mistake in this House. One's reputation is elevated if one honestly admits it. I see the hon. and learned Member taking no advantage of this time to read the relevant article of the Treaty of Rome.

The Temporary Chairman

I fail to see that that is a point of order for the Chair.

The Solicitor-General

I accept that it is no crime to admit a mistake if one is conscious of having made one. I equally accept that it is no crime—and indeed part of my function—to indicate with due humility to the House of Commons where I am uncertain. Equally it is my function to give an answer to the point to the best of my ability. I have already answered the point raised by the right hon. Member. I have, before doing so, and in the course of these exchanges, looked at the Article to which he refers.

I emphasised when I first spoke that the Commission exercises the powers conferred on it by the Council for the implementation of the rules laid down by the latter. But, with reference to the preceding sentence, the Commission has its own power of decision in the manner provided for in the Treaty.

I indicated my view that that gave it power to act in the implementation of policies laid down by the Council. If there is any reason for believing that I am wrong in that, I shall tell the Committee. I see no reason for believing so at the moment, having looked at it again. I am capable of being found wrong, but I have done my best to advise the Committee.

Sir Elwyn Jones

In view of that matter would the Solicitor-General also take into consideration the provisions of Article 189 which provide that, in order to carry out their task, the Council and the Commission shall make regulations and take decisions—so that the decision-making power of the Commission seems to be referred to expressly in Article 155 and Article 189. Would the Solicitor-General, in dealing with this matter, at least give the Committee an assurance that he will return to it before we leave consideration of Clause 2?

Mr. Jay

Would the Solicitor-General also take account of the fact that Article 155 says: in order to ensure that the Common Market works efficiently and develops satisfactorily, the Commission shall … do various things. There is no reference to the Council. Then it says that the Commission shall have its own power of decision, which in Article155 is in no way limited by any mention of the Council. Additionally it can take part in the shaping of powers taken by the Council and by the Assembly in the manner provided for in the Treaty.

Is it not clear, even to those of us who are not lawyers, therefore, that he is wrong in saying that the Commission's general power of decision is limited by any actual occurrence?

The Solicitor-General

My modesty and humility, mentioned in the question put to me by the right hon. Member for Battersea, North, diminishes in the face of his increasing and over-confident assertion of his view that I am wrong.

The more I look at the provision the more I am impressed by the fact that the Commission shall have its own power of decision in the manner provided for in this Treaty. It is unthinkable that the Commission could have powers of decision entirely at large without reference to the Treaty.

The point raised by the right hon. and learned Member for West Ham, South (Sir Elwyn Jones) referred to something I mentioned before when I said that the third function of the Commission was to take decisions in respect of individual cases. It has the power of enforcement or application of regulations and decisions taken by the Council of Ministers. I remain of the opinion that those are the three broad categories: a decision, under Article 155, within the context of measures taken by the Council, a decision on individual matters, and a decision in relation to such matters as Article 25. If I turn out to be wrong in any essential feature of that in the course of the debate on Clause 2, I shall tell the Committee about it.

Sir D. Walker-Smith

Would my hon. and learned Friend give way in order that I may assist?

I think that the clue to this matter can be found in the different meanings of the word "decision" in Articles 189 and 155. If one reads the two the meaning is clear. Article 189 gives the Council and the Commission equally a power to issue all the types of edict, to use a neutral word referred to in Article 189—thatis, regulations, directives, decisions in the special sense of Article 189, and recommendations—and to deliver opinions. That is self-contained within the article.

Article 155 is in a more general sense. When it says "have its own power of decision" it is showing that there is a general power of independent decision not in the technical sense of the word "decision" in Article 189.

I think that my right hon. and learned Friend will find that that interpretation is confirmed by the language of the former translation of the Treaty which instead of having the words have its own power of decision used the phrase, if my recollection is right, dispose of a decision of its own. That is a general power to show that it can take an initiative outside of the Council. But Article 189 stands by itself and gives them a power evidently to issue all these types of edicts.

The Solicitor-General

There is no difference between us. Plainly, the Commission within the defined area has its own power of decision and can exercise it in relation to decisions, regulations or directives so far as it has the power. The important feature is that in Article 189 one has the phrase, … in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty … and in Article 155 the phrase, … in the manner provided for in this Treaty. I have given some examples of other Articles in which decision-taking power is assigned to the Commission, but the point is, of course, that the Commission has powers to take decisions in various fields, but that the fields in which it is enabled to make what might be called legislative instruments are limited, as I have indicated, within the territories laid down by the Council within the field of the Treaty. I come back to the point that direct applicability of Community law is, as is manifest from the words of Article 189, an essential and central feature of what we are talking about.

The scope for directly applicable Community law arises not only in Article 189, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West suggested. A decision under Article 189 is binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed. The regulations under Article 189, as they are set out, are required to be directly applicable in all Member States.

There are certain other provisions in the Treaty. I cannot recollect all of them now, but Article 12 has been relied upon and held to have directly applicable force in member States in the Van Gend en Loos decision, to which my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East referred. It is not possible for my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West to argue that the Treaties do not require an area of directly applicable law. He argued valiantly to that effect but could succeed only if he succeeded in eliminating the word "directly" in the phrase in Article 189. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. He was seeking to disprove the existence of what to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East is axiomatic. My right hon. and learned Friend has on more than one occasion rehearsed the provisions of Article 189. Certainly he did so on 10th May, 1967. In column 1618 of that date, he spelt out clearly the direct applicability flowing from Article 189 of regulations made in that way. It is something which has always been identified as necessary in the Market we are joining.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. Powell

The hon. and learned Gentleman is not only taking issue with my interpretation, he is also taking issue with that of his right hon. and learned Friend, who assured the Committee that this Amendment did not involve an amendment of the Treaty, from which it must surely follow that the Treaty, although it may require direct applicability in some senses, does not require direct applicability in the special manner provided for in subsection (1).

The Solicitor-General

My right hon. Friend has misunderstood the position on that point. For the Amendment to be in order at all it must not be an Amendment designed to vary the terms of the Treaty. If we refer back to what the Chairman of Ways and Means said on 29th February, giving his ruling, it will be seen that he stated that the Bill was providing: the legal nuts and bolts which are necessary if the United Kingdom is to be a member of the Communities … this is not a Bill to approve the basic treaties, Amendments designed to vary the terms of those treaties are not in order …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 29th Feb., 1972; vol. 832, c. 269.] This Amendment does not set out to vary the terms. It sets out to challenge the proposition which in the view of the Government is necessary if the United Kingdom is to be a member of the Community. One of the necessities is to provide—and this has been well known since the 1967 White Paper—for the direct applicability in this country of Community law.

Mr. Powell

This is an important and difficult point. In that case on my hon. and learned Friend's interpretation, if this Amendment were made we would not be fulfilling the terms of the Treaty and we would be in breach of it. Perhaps my hon. and learned Friend would also address himself to the statement of his right hon. and learned Friend that Clause 2 (1) is the best way of giving effect to our treaty obligations, which can only mean that there are other ways of complying with the requirement of direct applicability.

The Solicitor-General

I take my right hon. Friend's points. On the first point it is not a question whether this Amendment involves an amendment of the treaties. What it would do, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East pointed out, would be to emasculate the Bill in an important respect and to remove from it one of the essential "nuts and bolts" for the United Kingdom to be a member of the Community. That is something I cannot commend to the Committee.

On the second point, my right hon. Friend says that the Chancellor identifies this as the best way of achieving this objective. I dare say it would be possible to find some other formulation of the proposal. I find it difficult to see what that could be. I regard this as the correct and effective way, and the best way of achieving what is a necessary objective if this country is to be in a position to ratify the treaties. I can think of no other way of achieving it. It may be the best way, and it is certainly the one which commends itself to me and which I commend to the Committee.

Mr. English

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman go back to the point from which he was deviated by the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay)?

Mr. Jay


The Solicitor-General

That deviation was so far back down the track that I am already on another lap of the road. I return to the point that this way of doing it, through Clause 2(1), is the right and necessary way. My right hon. Friend the Member for Thirsk and Malton asked why it was in this form. My answer to him and my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West is that the structure of the Clause deals with all such matters as have direct effect under the treaties which are to take effect by that form, limiting itself to that which is in accordance with the treaties, no more, no less. If we look at the effect of the words involved, each has a function. The "rights" we refer to are, for example, the rights of the individual to enforce remedies flowing to him under Community law, and the right to have social insurance premiums in one member State counted to his credit for social insurance purposes in another. The "powers" referred to are the powers of the Commission, for example, under Article 85(3) to declare an agreement to be one to which the general restriction of Article 85(1) does not apply. "Liabilities" include an obligation to pay a levy on goods imported. "Obligations" refer to an imminent liability to pay a levy or a continuing obligation to comply, for example, with transport regulations. "Restrictions"—again one refers to Article 85(2), and the restriction there contained to prohibit certain restrictive agreements and to render them void. "Procedures" are those with which the House is familiar under Article 177——

Mr. Shore

The Solicitor-General is now helping the Committee. For the first time we are getting an indication of the meaning of these important words. I invite him to present to the Committee as soon as possible a paper on the definitions of these terms.

The Solicitor-General

I regret that I am not able to respond to the right hon. Gentleman's invitation. I am responding to the particular Amendments now before the Committee, dealing with each of these words and explaining why those words, which have been the subject of specific Amendments, are being given effect to by the terms of Clause 2(1) to the extent to which it is necessary by the terms of the treaty without further enactment. I emphasise that an obligation to that extent was accepted from the outset and has been accepted on a continuing basis by all the original member States. The Belgians and Luxem-bourgeoise amended their constitutions to enable them to do so. The Dutch had no need to make such an amendment although they did so. The other three member States made no amendment to their constitutions but accepted at the outset the direct applicability of Community law.

As was outlined by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East with the consistency with which he has analysed these matters ever since 1962, as long ago as the Costa case in 1964, the Jan Gend en Loos case in 1963 and the San Michel case in 1965 this proposition of direct applicability and supremacy has been apparent. It has been appreciated from then onwards and accepted throughout the Community, defined as necessary in this country by the previous Government and it is presented to Parliament in this Bill now.

The right hon. Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) posed a conundrum. He said that, although Article 189 was part of the original design in the Treaty of Rome, had not the Luxembourg compromise changed all that? Why is it still necessary to provide for direct applicability? The answer is that direct applicability on a common pattern of law throughout the Community remains necessary. It does not involve supra-nationalism in the sense of an extinction of our sovereignty. It involves our participation in the making of that directly applicable law, and that participation is required by the Treaty in the light of the Luxembourg compromise. We shall certainly be sharing the sovereignty in respect of that directly applicable law, but that sharing of a pooled sovereignty does not in the concept of the Common Market avoid the need for a directly applicable system of law. It is, as it always has been, part of the pattern accepted throughout the Community states which we knew we would accept. Clause 2 does that which is necessary to implement it and I commend it to the Committee.

Sir Robin Turton

We are considering also on Amendment Nos. 56 and 314 the phrase "and similar expressions", which so far my hon. and learned Friend has not touched on.

The Solicitor-General

I will, if I may, respond to my right hon. Friend on that point, Sir Alfred. The phrase "and similar expressions" which appears in the latter part of Clause 2(1) and in Schedule 1 is concerned with the concept of an enforceable Community right. It is intended to illustrate that a comparable expression such as "enforceable Community obligation" or "enforceable Community restriction" wherever it appears is to be given the meaning that flows from Clause 2(1). It is an obligation or right or restriction which is directly applicable and which flows from the framework of directly applicable law.

It is right to say that the phrase itself does not appear elsewhere in the Bill, but it is a convenient phrase for use in any other legislation which may come hereafter, and any legislation which may refer to enforceable Community rights or obligations can be identified in subsequent legislation as a right or obligation which is directly applicable, flowing from Clause 2(1) as it stands.

Mr. Jay

Will the Solicitor-General answer the important question which was put to him by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and which the hon. and learned Gentleman has not in fact answered? Let us suppose he is right in assuming the regulations are directly applicable. The right hon. Gentleman asked whether it was not the case that decisions are not directly applicable and therefore under the Bill all decisions would require the normal statutory instrument procedure in this House.

Article 189, as I understand it, says clearly that regulations are directly applicable; it says that directives are not directly applicable. It does not say whether decisions are applicable. I had always assumed, as the right hon. Gentleman had assumed, that decisions are not directly applicable and are not covered by Clause 2(1). This is most important. May we take it that the Solicitor-General agrees that decisions under Article 189 are not directly applicable and therefore would require a statutory instrument procedure in this House?

The Solicitor-General

I have answered the question already. I will answer it again in a much shorter way than that set out in the right hon. Gentleman's intervention. Decisions are directly applicable upon those to whom they are addressed. The method by which they take effect is by Article 192. They do not require the interposition of a Statutory Instrument of this House.

Mr. Michael Foot

The Solicitor-General's answer was most unsatisfactory since he did not attempt to cover the ground which was traversed in a number of powerful speeches from many quarters of the House.

I begin by referring to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Dell). The Committee was grateful to him for that speech and for the new suggestions he made as to the way in which this House should deal with the problems which arise from parliamentary control over what is to be done if ever we enter the EEC. I hope that my right hon. Friend will join us in the rest of the debates.

The more this House, and indeed the country at large, listens to the full case on the Bill the more it will be recognised that it is perfectly possible for substantial Amendments to be made to this Bill, even if we are to go into the EEC. That is partly what we have been arguing about this evening, and I hope that when the time comes for selection the Chair will be prepared to accept Amendment No. 7 for a vote, as well as the other matters. I hope that my right hon. Friend will be encouraged to table further Amendments on these lines so that the House of Commons will be assisted in discharging its proper obligations under the Bill.

11.15 p.m.

The Solicitor-General, who has replied to the debate, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney (Mr. Shore) has said, has assisted us considerably, although I must say that on a Clause of this character which deals, as everyone agrees, with matters of the foremost importance, and with the question of all such rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions, it is a peculiar fact that for the first time in the House on this Bill and on this Clause we have had definitions from the Government of what these rights, powers, obligations, and liabilities are.

Some of us had sought separate debates on all these questions. We had sought a separate debate on the rights involved, on the powers, liabilities, and obligations involved. If that had been the arrangement, it would have enabled the Government to come forward and state to the House exactly what these matters are.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Stepney asked the Government to make a statement on this. We are entitled to have it. There should be, in a Bill and a Clause of this character, which is to incorporate all these matters into the law of this land, a passage where all these matters are spelt out. It is the first time we have had an indication of what are the rights, powers, liabilities and restrictions covered by this Clause. It has come at the fag end of the debate.

This is the first time we have had an effort by any member of the Government to define these definitions. It would have been much better for the proper conduct of the Bill if we had been able to have a separate debate on all these matters so that the Government could have given replies.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in the debate this afternoon, greatly added to the Government's difficulties—and that was appreciated on all sides, and perhaps by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster himself. He said, when challenged in a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English), that we had not incorporated some of the procedure which they have in the German Bundesrat. He said that we did not do it that way because we do it by our own methods and procedures, but that is exactly what we have not done. This Clause is nothing to do with our procedures. There has never been a procedure like this in Parliament, never a Clause like this presented to this Parliament.

We are incorporating into a system which has nothing to do with our methods and procedures, but incorporating methods which are understood and appreciated by the House and which have been our normal methods of dealing with these different questions. These were major Amendments which we put to Clause 1 when we were arguing about that and which have figured in the debates now. Almost all the other Amendments, except the comprehensive one, the emasculating or castration Amendment——

Sir D. Walker-Smith

The vasectomising Amendment.

Mr. Foot

There are different ways of describing it, but the Government like to translate it from that into the castration Clause. Leaving that aside, all the other Amendments are designed to do exactly what the Cancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster said he wanted to do—to make the procedures conform to the normal ways in which we deal with all these matters in the House of Commons: by Affirmative Resolutions, Acts of Parliament, and the full legislative process. These are the ways in which we deal with these matters in the House of Commons, the ways in which we argue and the way in which we could deal with these matters in a large range of the questions in the Bill on entry.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman caused great difficulty for his Government when he said that he and his right hon. and hon. Friends had taken this choice because they wanted to deal with it by our methods. If he votes against these Amendments he will deny our own methods. Even worse, he said he could not agree to the Amendments because, in some way or other, we might fetter this House of Commons—or did he mean the Government? Of course, what he meant was that we might fetter the Executive. There is nothing in these Amendments which would fetter this House. So what was the hon. and learned Gentleman meaning when he said that we must not have measures which will fetter us in any way?

The hon. and learned Gentleman must know that he is taking measures which go far beyond any kind of arrangement which has ever been put to this House before. When we propose that there should be other ways of dealing with the situation, he says that we must not fetter this House of Commons. That is an extraordinary way to describe our normal procedures.

I come to the major question that the hon. and learned Gentleman has failed to answer. It is the argument that was put by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) about the meaning of the words "without further enactment". The Government claim that direct applicability means the same as "without further enactment". That is their argument. But the words do not mean the same. They mean something different. In other parts of the arrangements under other parts of the Treaty of Romethere are measures which are directly applicable but which do not have to be dealt with without further enactment.

We anticipated the criticism in this respect, and we tabled Amendment No. 249, to be taken in the next group of Amendments. The Solicitor-General will have plenty of time to get all the answers to the questions that he was unable to deal with just now. However, the hon. and learned Gentleman's case is that "direct applicability" means the same as "without further enactment". The Amendment to which I have referred enables him to say exactly that.

Amendment No. 249 reads: Clause 2, page 2, line 28, leave out 'without further enactment to be' and insert 'directly to be applied and'. If the hon. and learned Gentleman accepted that, he would carryout what he was claiming to carry out. He would carry out his obligations under the Treaty of Rome. But in the process he would weaken greatly his arguments against all these protections for which we have been arguing.

If we write into the Clause what it really means, the words "directly to be applied", the question whether we have further enactment and in what form it should be do not arise. It is only when the words "directly to be applied" are misconceived and wrongly translated into the words "without further enactment" that an argument is created against having the protections for this House for which we have been arguing.

I suggest that the Solicitor-General should have been prepared to accept this Amendment. Certainly we shall press it when we come to it later. But he should have been willing to present that argument to the Committee now.

The Solicitor-General

When we come to Amendment No. 249, no doubt I shall be able to explain why it is not right in its approach. But if, instead of the words that the hon. Gentleman criticises, we were to make the Clause read All such rights … as … are directly to be applied … in the United Kingdom", we should be obliged to go on to say "shall be directly applied". The consequences of that definition should be "shall be directly applied". That has the same effect.

Mr. Foot

They do not have to be applied by a Clause of this nature. They can be applied by other means which we have in the House of Commons. The hon. and learned Gentleman admitted a few minutes ago that this is the best way to do it. He said "It is the only way that I can commend to the Committee." He did not go on to say that this is the only way to do it, because he knows that if that is his argument——

Mr. Heffer

Others have said that.

Mr. Foot

I know that others have said that. I think that the Chancellor of the Duchy said it earlier today. But the Solicitor-General is cleverer, because he knows that if he were to say that he would be arguing that this is the only way to do it. He is not saying that, is he? He does not say that for a moment, does he? It is not the only way to do it, is it? [Hon. Members: "Answer."] He says that it is the best way. It is the way that he commends, it is the way that he prefers—but it is not the only way. Of course not.

We know why the hon. and learned Gentleman has to say that. If he were to say what the Prime Minister said and what the Chancellor of the Duchy indicated—that it is the only way to do it—he would immediately clash with the Chair. This is the argument which we have had on many occasions in Committee. If it is said that this is the only way to do it, that we must stand by the Clause and that we cannot have it altered in any particular whatsoever, then indeed the Solicitor-General is criticising the Chair, because he knows that the Chair has permitted our Amendment, even the so-called——

Sir D. Walker-Smith


Mr. Foot

Even the so-called castration Amendment. The Chair has per- mitted that, because it has agreed that all these matters should be particularised.

A few minutes ago the Solicitor-General was in difficulties about the nuts and bolts. He does not understand the Ruling, even though he defended it so passionately at the time. Whatever else we may say about the Amendments, all the Amendments, ours and everybody else's they can be divided into two classes. Either they are nuts or they are bolts. Possibly they are both. They may be both, but they cannot be anything else. If the Solicitor-General argues no, as a few minutes ago he came near to arguing, they are not nuts, they are not bolts, they are part of the machine itself, then he is in difficulties with the Chair.

If the hon. and learned Gentleman had thought out the matter more carefully before, the Government might have made a different approach to the whole question when we had the earlier discussions about the Ruling given by the Chair. The Government might have looked differently on the affair. Indeed, before there had been any Motion about the Chair, we might have had discussions about the nature of the Bill.

However, the Solicitor-General was the author of the Bill. He is extremely proud of it and of this particular Clause which, according to his right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West, is nonsensical and, according to many other hon. Members, is highly restrictive. The Clause, of which the hon. and learned Gentleman is so proud, is the central fact. The beauty of the Clause, as the Solicitor-General no doubt thought, was that it made impossible the reopening of these great debates. But the House of Commons is not so easily thwarted; it is not so easily dealt with by clever lawyers. The House of Commons will not be deprived of the possibilities of debating these matters by lawyers who say, "All the anomalous and awkward facts about entry into the Community, all the difficult obligations, we will roll into one Clause which it is almost impossible for anybody to disentangle."

For a while it looked as though that would happen. But the Chair ruled that it was perfectly possible to disentangle the Clause and that this did not interfere with the Treaty of Accession. That was the ruling, was it not?

The Solicitor-General indicated dissent.

Mr. Foot

It is no use the Solicitor-General shaking his head. That is the ruling. The ruling now is that it is perfectly possible for the Clause to be disentangled. Otherwise, we would not be debating the Amendments.

The Solicitor-General

I have already quoted the Chairman's ruling. I have not got it before me, but the hon. Gentleman knows what it was: that it was not admissible to accept Amendments which involved amendment of the Treaties, but that it was admissible to accept Amendments which considered and sought to vary the ways and means of putting ourselves in a position to adhere to the treaties. That is what we have been debating at such length. However, it still remains open to the Government to say, and we do say, that these features are essential to put us in a position to adhere to the treaties.

[Mr. E. L. MALLALIEUin the Chair]

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Foot

The Solicitor-General has proved the case, and I am grateful to him for his intervention. He said that it is open to the House of Commons, irrespective of whether we wish to enter the Community, to choose the means by which it intends to do this, and that apparently applies not merely to the decisions or other forms of making arrangements under the treaties or under the Clause, but also to the regulations under the Clause. The Solicitor-General shakes his head. He has just said that we can choose which way we want to do this.

The Solicitor-General

What I have tried to explain is that it is within the rules of order, as laid down by the Chair, to discuss the ways and means of fulfilling these matters. The Government come before the Committee and say that it is essential, in order to meet that objective, to choose this presentation if we are to be in a position to ratify the treaties. The whole debate today has been on the proposition that it is necessary to provide for the direct applicability of Community law if we are to be in a position to ratify. That is the position.

Mr. Foot

The Solicitor-General has now got into the position in which he can contradict himself even in a short intervention. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite have not followed the point, but they will get it eventually. If they will assist the Committee by staying around for a bit longer, they will catch up eventually. Almost every hon. Gentleman opposite is capable of catching up if he addresses his mind to the problem, even when the Solicitor-General is trying to confuse us.

The situation is quite simple. The Chair has ruled, by accepting certain Amendments, that there are different ways in which these objectives can be secured. Therefore, the House of Commons has the right to decide which way it wants to secure them, and that is what we have been debating. Then the Solicitor-General, in the second part of his intervention says, "No. The Government insist that it is essential to do this." That is another way of saying that this is the only way to do it. It is not essential to do it this way. The House can make up its mind. The Solicitor-General must make up his mind about which way he is going to place the argument. He must try to think it out. Perhaps he is the person who needs most instruction on the matter, because it is the case that we have every right in this House of Commons to choose the ways in which we want to carry these measures into operation.

That is why we urge the Committee so strongly to vote for all these provisions which have been presented to ensure that we have much better parliamentary control than is laid down in the Clause. We say that in particular because there is no parliamentary protection whatsoever under the Clause. We are asked to do something without any parliamentary protection at all.

What the Government are saying is that it is their preference that Parliament should have no scrutiny over these matters. They prefer the system under which this would be done automatically, without the House of Commons having any power of intervention. The Government prefer the system whereby the power of the Executive—both here and in Europe—is inordinately increased as a result of the Bill. That is the fact. That is what we are debating.

If such a proposition had been presented to the House in another context—leave aside Europe—if the Government had come forward with a Clause of this nature in another kind of Bill and said that they wished to have some self-executing law in this country—that is to say, once the Executive made a decision it should go through the House without further enactment—and they wanted to give power to some other executive body to have such extraordinary powers over Parliament itself, the whole of the House would have thrown the idea out.

In certain circumstances the Conservative benches would have thrown it out. I remember the debates in 1945 on the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act. That Measure was passed by the House of Commons, but after the immediate post-war period, Conservative hon. Members in opposition having taken strong objection to giving what they considered to be widespread powers to the executive, steps were taken to reverse the process.

But the scale of powers involved on that occasion was nothing compared with what we face in this Bill. It is extraordinary that more hon. Members are not prepared to listen to the arguments, for never before has an executive proposed that the House of Commons should surrender its powers on such a scale.

Some people say "We have lost our powers, anyway." That is not true. Whatever is said about Prime Ministerial or Cabinet Government, the fact remains that the House of Commons still retains considerable powers. This Measure proposes the largest surrender of those powers to the executive and in some degree to an executive which will not even be answerable to us.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) said that this situation reminded him of what

happened in the last days of the Venetian Republic, when they voted away their powers. But my hon. and learned Friend was generous to the Government because, after all, in the days of the Venetian Republic they voted them away by 500 to 80, which by modern standards might be called full-hearted consent. But they regretted their action very soon. The people outside in the Square of St. Mark's called out "Viva San Marco." As far as I recall, it was a proposition to hand over power to a French President, and once he had that power, he handed the people over to the Austrians. I do not know to whom the Government propose to hand us over when they have satisfied the present French President.

The Solicitor-General should treat more seriously the nature of the request that he is presenting to hon. Members. It is clear that hon. Members will do their duty only when their eyes are open to the facts and when they openly declare that they agree with the Government and accept what they are asking.

In this case the Government are asking for the surrender of powers to the executive on an enormous scale, a scale not required for entry into the EEC. They do not have any shred of a claim for making such a request and the House of Commons should be ashamed of itself if it is prepared to agree to such a proposition.

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 247 Noes 206.

Division No. 149.] AYES [11.39 p.m.
Adley, Robert Bossom, Sir Clive Cockeram, Eric
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Bowden, Andrew Cooke, Robert
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Bray, Ronald Coombs, Derek
Astor, John Brinton, Sir Tatton Cooper, A. E.
Atkins, Humphrey Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Cormack, Patrick
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Bruce-Gardyne, J. Costain, A. P.
Balniel, Lord Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Critchley, Julian
Batsford, Brian Buck, Antony Crouch, David
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Burden, F. A. Crowder, F. P.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Carlisle, Mark d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Biggs-Davison, John Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj. -Gen, James
Blaker, Peter Chapman, Sydney Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Churchill, W. S. Digby, Simon Wingfield
Body, Richard Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Dixon, Piers
Boscawen, Robert Clegg, Walter Drayson, G. B.
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Kinsey, J. R. Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Kirk, Peter Ridsdale, Julian
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Kitson, Timothy Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Emery, Peter Knight, Mrs. Jill Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Eyre, Reginald Knox, David Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Lane, David Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fidler, Michael Langford-Holt, Sir John Rost, Peter
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Russell, Sir Ronald
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Le Marchant, Spencer St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fookes, Miss Janet Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Scott, Nicholas
Fortescue, Tim Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Sharples, Richard
Foster, Sir John Longden, Gilbert Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Fowler, Norman Loveridge, John Shelton, William (Clapham)
Fox, Marcus Luce, R. N. Simeons, Charles
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. McAdden, Sir Stephen Sinclair, Sir George
Gardner, Edward MacArthur, Ian Skeet, T. H. H.
Gibson-Watt, David McCrindle, R. A. Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Gilmour Ian (Norfolk, C.) McLaren, Martin Soref, Harold
Gilmour, Sir John (File, E.) Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Speed, Keith
Goodhart, Philip Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Spence, John
Goodhew, Victor McNair-Wilson, Michael Sproat, Iain
Gorst, John McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Stainton, Keith
Gower, Raymond Maddan, Martin Stanbrook, Ivor
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Madel, David Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Gray, Hamish Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Green, Alan Mather, Carol Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Grieve, Percy Maude, Angus Stokes, John
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds Mawby, Ray Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Grylls, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Gummer, Selwyn Meyer, Sir Anthony Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Gurden, Harold Mills, Peter (Torrington) Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Miscampbell, Norman Tebbit, Norman
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Temple, John M.
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moate, Roger Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Hannam, John (Exeter) Money, Ernle Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Harison, Brian (Maldon) Monks, Mrs. Connie Tilney, John
Haselhurst, Alan Monro, Hector Trew, Peter
Hastings, Stephen More, Jasper Tugendhat, Christopher
Havers, Michael Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Hawkins, Paul Morrison, Charles van Straubenzee, W. R.
Hayhoe, Barney Murton, Oscar Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Heseltine, Michael Neave, Airey Waddington, David
Hicks, Robert Normanton, Tom Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Hiley, Joseph Nott, John Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Onslow, Cranley Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Wall, Patrick
Holland, Philip Osborn, John Walters, Dennis
Holt, Miss Mary Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Ward, Dame Irene
Hordern, Peter Page, Graham (Crosby) Warren, Kenneth
Hornby, Richard Page, John (Harrow, W.) Weatherill, Bernard
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Parkinson, Cecil Wells, John (Maidstone)
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Pike, Miss Mervyn White, Roger (Gravesend)
Howell, David (Guildford) Pink, R. Bonner Wiggin, Jerry
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Price, David (Eastleigh) Wilkinson, John
Hunt, John Proudfoot, Wilfred Winterton, Nicholas
Iremonger, T. L. Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
James, David Quennell, Miss J. M. Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Raison, Timothy Woodhouse. Hn. Christopher
Jessel, Toby Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Woodnutt, Mark
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Worsley, Marcus
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Redmond, Robert Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Kaberry, Sir Donald Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Younger. Hn. George
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Rees, Peter (Dover)
Kershaw, Anthony Rees-Davies, W. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kimball, Marcus Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Mr. Michael Jopling and
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Mr. Kenneth Clarke.
Abse, Leo Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard
Allaun, Frank, (Salford, E.) Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)
Armstrong, Ernest Buchan, Norman Dalyell, Tam
Atkinson, Norman Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Darling, Rt. Hn. George
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cant, R. B. Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Carmichael, Nell Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)
Baxter, William Carter, Ray (Birmingham, Northfield) Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Clark, David (Colne Valley) Deakins, Eric
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Delargy, H. J.
Bidwell, Sydney Coleman, Donald Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund
Biffen, John Conlan, Bernard Dempsey, James
Booth, Albert Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Doig, Peter
Dormand, J. D. Kaufman, Gerald Pavitt, Laurie
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Kelley, Richard Pentland, Norman
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Kerr, Russell Perry, Ernest G.
Driberg, Tom Kinnock, Neil Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Duffy, A. E. P. Lambie, David Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Dunn, James A. Lamond, James Price, William (Rugby)
Dunnett, Jack Latham, Arthur Probert, Arthur
Eadie, Alex Leadbitter, Ted Rhodes, Geoffrey
Edelman, Maurice Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lipton, Marcus Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Ellis, Tom Lomas, Kenneth Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
English, Michael Loughlin, Charles Roper, John
Ewing, Henry Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Faulds, Andrew McBride, Neil Rowlands, Edward
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McCartney, Hugh Sandelson, Neville
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McElhone, Frank Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McGuire, Michael Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Foley, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Foot, Michael Mackie, John Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Forrester, John McNamara, J. Kevin Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Gilbert, Dr. John Marks, Kenneth Sillars, James
Golding, John Marquand, David Skinner, Dennis
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Marsden, F. Small, William
Gourlay, Harry Marshall, Dr. Edmund Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Spearing, Nigel
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Mayhew, Christopher Stallard, A. W.
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Meacher, Michael Steel, David
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mendelson, John Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Hamling, William Mikardo, Ian Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Hardy, Peter Millan, Bruce Storehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Miller, Dr. M. S. Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Heffer, Eric S. Milne, Edward Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Hooson, Emlyn Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Swain, Thomas
Horam, John Molloy, William Tinn, James
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Torney, Tom
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tuck, Raphael
Huckfield, Leslie Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Urwin, T. W.
Hughs, Mark (Durham) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Varley, Eric G.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Moyle, Roland Wainwright, Edwin
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Murray, Ronald King Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Hunter, Adam Oakes, Gordon Wallace, George
Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Ogden, Eric Watkins, David
Janner, Greville Weitzman, David
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas O'Halloran, Michael Wellbeloved, James
Jeger, Mrs. Lena O'Malley, Brian Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Oram, Bert White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Orbach, Maurice Whitehead, Phillip
John, Brynmor Orme, Stanley Whitlock, William
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Oswald, Thomas Woof, Robert
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Paget, R. T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Palmer, Arthur Mr. Joseph Harper and
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Pardoe, John Mr. Tom Pendry.
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the Amendment be made: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 213, Noes 244.

Division No. 150.] AYES [11.50 p.m.
Abse, Leo Buchan, Norman Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Deakins, Eric
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Delargy, H. J.
Armstrong, Ernest Cant, R. B. Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund
Atkinson, Norman Carmichael, Nell Dempsey, James
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Carter, Rey (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Doig, Peter
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Clark, David (Colne Valley)
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Dormand, J. D.
Baxter, William Coleman, Donald Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Conlan, Bernard Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Driberg, Tom
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Duffy, A. E. P.
Bidwell. Sydney Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Dunn, James A.
Biffen, John Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Dunnett, Jack
Body, Richard Dalyell, Tam Eadie, Alex
Booth, Albert Darling, Rt. Hn. George
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Edelman, Maurice
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Davies, Ifor (Gower) Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Ellis, Tom Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Perry, Ernest G.
English, Michael Lipton, Marcus Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Ewing, Henry Lomas, Kenneth Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Faulds, Andrew Loughlin, Charles Price, William (Rugby)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Probert, Arthur
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McAdden, Sir Stephen Rhodes, Geoffrey
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McBride, Neil Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Foley, Maurice McCartney, Hugh Robertson, John (Paisley)
Foot, Michael McElhone, Frank Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Forrester, John McGuire, Michael Roper, John
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackenzie, Gregor Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Gilbert, Dr. John Mackie, John Rowlands, Edward
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Sandelson, Neville
Golding, John McNamara, J. Kevin Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Maginnis, John E. Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Gourlay, Harry Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Marks, Kenneth Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Marquand, David Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Marsden, F. Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Marshall, Dr. Edmund Sillars, James
Hamling, William Marten, Neil Skinner, Dennis
Hardy, Peter Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Small, William
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mayhew, Christopher Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Heffer, Eric S. Meacher, Michael Spearing, Nigel
Hooson, Emlyn Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Stallard, A. W.
Horam, John Mendelson, John
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mikardo, Ian Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Millan, Bruce Stodart, David (Swindon)
Huckfield, Leslie Miller, Dr. M. S. Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Milne, Edward Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Moate, Roger Swain, Thomas
Hunter, Adam Molloy, William Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Molyneaux, James Tinn, James
Janner, Greville Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Torney, Tom
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tuck, Raphael
Jeger, Mrs. Lena Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Urwin, T. W.
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Moyle, Roland Varley, Eric G.
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Murray, Ronald King Wainwright, Edwin
John, Brynmor Oakes, Gordon Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Ogden, Eric Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) O'Halloran, Michael Wallace, George
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) O'Malley, Brian Watkins, David
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Oram, Bert Weitzman, David
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Orbach, Maurice Wellbeloved, James
Kaufman, Gerald Orme, Stanley Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Kelley, Richard Orr, Capt. L. P. S. White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Kerr, Russell Oswald, Thomas Whitehead, Phillip
Kinnoch, Neil Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Whitlock, William
Lambie, David Paget, R. T. Woof, Robert
Lamond, James Palmer, Arthur
Latham, Arthur Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Leadbitter, Ted Pavitt, Laurie Mr. Joseph Harper and
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham. N.) Pentland, Norman Mr. Tom Pendry.
Adley, Robert Carlisle, Mark Emery, Peter
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Eyre, Reginald
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Chapman, Sydney Fenner, Mrs. Peggy
Astor, John Churchill, W. S. Fidler, Michael
Atkins, Humphrey Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Clegg, Walter Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Cockeram, Eric Fookes, Miss Janet
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Cooke, Robert Fortescue, Tim
Batsford, Brian Coombs, Derek Foster, Sir John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Cooper, A. E. Fowler, Norman
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Fox, Marcus
Berry, Hn. Anthony Cormack, Patrick
Biggs-Davison, John Costain, A. P. Galbraith, Hn. T. G
Blaker, Peter Critchley Julian Gardner, Edward
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Crouch, David Gibson-Watt, David
Boscawen, Robert Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)
Bossom, Sir Clive Crowder F. P. Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)
Bowden, Andrew Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Goodhart, Philip
Bray, Ronald d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Brinton, Sir Tatton d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James Goodhew, Victor
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Gorst, John
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Digby, Simon Wingfield Gower, Raymond
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Dixon, Piers Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Drayson, G. B. Gray, Hamish
Buck, Antony du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Green, Alan
Burden, F. A. Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Grieve, Percy
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Scott, Nicholas
Grylls, Michael Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Sharples, Richard
Gummer, Selwyn McNair-Wilson, Michael Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gurden, Harold McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Maddan, Martin Simeons, Charles
Hall, John (Wycombe) Madel, David Sinclair, Sir George
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Skeet, T. H. H.
Hannam, John (Exeter) Mather, Carol Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Maude, Angus Soref, Harold
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Mawby, Ray Speed, Keith
Haselhurst, Alan Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Spence, John
Hastings, Stephen Meyer, Sir Anthony Sproat, Iain
Havers, Michael Mills, Peter (Torrington) Stanton, Keith
Hawkins, Paul Miscampbell, Norman Stanbrook, Ivor
Hayhoe, Barney Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W.) Steel, David
Heseltine, Michael Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Hicks, Robert Money, Ernle Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Hiley, Joseph Monks, Mrs. Connie Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Monro, Hector Stokes, John
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) More, Jasper Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Holland, Philip Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Holt, Miss Mary Morrison, Charles Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Hordern, Peter Murton, Oscar Tebbit, Norman
Hornby, Richard Neave, Airey Temple, John M.
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Normanton, Tom Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Nott, John Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Howell, David (Guildford) Onslow, Cranley Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Osborn, John Tilney, John
Hunt, John Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Trew, Peter
Iremonger, T. L. Page, Graham (Crosby) Tugendhat, Christopher
James, David Page, John (Harrow, W.) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Jessel, Toby Pardoe, John
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Parkinson, Cecil Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Pike, Miss Mervyn Waddington, David
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Pink, R. Bonner Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Price, David (Eastleigh) Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Wall, Patrick
Kershaw, Anthony Proudfoot, Wilfred Walters, Dennis
Kimball, Marcus Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Ward, Dame Irene
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Quennell, Miss J. M. Warren, Kenneth
Kinsey, J. R. Raison, Timothy Weatherill, Bernard
Kirk, Peter Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Wells, John (Maidstone)
Kitson, Timothy Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter White, Roger (Gravesend)
Knight, Mrs. Jill Redmond, Robert Wiggin, Jerry
Knox, David Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Wilkinson, John
Lane, David Rees, Peter (Dover) Winterton, Nicholas
Langford-Holt, Sir John Rees-Davies, W. R. Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Le Marchant, Spencer Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Woodnutt, Mark
Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Ridsdale, Julian Worsley, Marcus
Longden, Sir Gilbert Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Loveridge, John Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Younger, Hn. George
Luce, R. N. Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
McArthur, Ian Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McCrindle, R. A. Rost, Peter Mr. Michael Jopling and
McLaren, Martin St. John-Stevas, Norman Mr. Kenneth Clarke.

Amendment accordingly negatived.

12 midnight.

Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)

I beg to move Amendment No. 213, in page 2, line 25, after 'restrictions', insert 'except any restrictions affecting the rights of entry of British Commonwealth citizens into the United Kingdom'. The wording of the Amendment is rather more restrictive than it might have been, focussing attention upon restrictions affecting the rights of entry of Commonwealth citizens into the United Kingdom and not mentioning a problem which is at least as important, namely the right of entry of such citizens into the extended Community. But at least this Amendment has the advantage of highlighting the tip of an iceberg of potential discrimination on grounds of race which is inherent in the transition of this country from Commonwealth to Community.

The point of the Amendment is twofold. The first objective is to prevent any future restrictions under Clause 2(1) of the Bill by prerogative legislation from Brussels which may impose on member States restrictions upon the entry of nationals of third countries. That would include Commonwealth countries so far as the Community is concerned. That would reduce still further the somewhat restricted and eroded rights of entry which Commonwealth citizens now enjoy under the Immigration Act, 1971. It would restrict the right of entry into the United Kingdom of Commonwealth citizens. This restriction would come about because of a fiat of Brussels generally, in its impact, and laying down additional restrictions from those now in force, at some future date, on the entry of people from third countries to Community countries. The effect might be to add further restrictions to the already limited right of entry which Commonwealth citizens have. This would come upon us direct from Brussels and have an impact upon the immigration laws.

The second objective of the Amendment is to avoid a situation arising in which the nationals of the Community countries would have preference, under Community provisions, over Commonwealth citizens for entry into the United Kingdom. In each case the focus ofattention—the universal discourse—is entry into the United Kingdom.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the Amendment did not consider the much wider question—the Committee will have to consider it to some extent today, and later—of the rights of entry of Commonwealth citizens into the Community from the United Kingdom. It would be a breach of faith on the part of this country to the Commonwealth if we did not seek to ensure safeguards for Commonwealth citizens in regard to their entry into this country. We should go further and consider the position in regard to entry into other member States in the Community.

That is the last legacy which we owe to the citizens of the Commonwealth who are the ultimate heirs of our Empire. It is the tip of the iceberg alone on which we are able to touch in this Amendment. But beneath the surface lurks concealed the somewhat sinister mass of potential discrimination, on grounds of race, against British nationals by continental members of the Community, because, of course, concealed beneath the words "Commonwealth citizens" lies the fact that many Commonwealth citizens coming to this country will be of different race from the indigenous inhabitants of the United Kingdom. This matter was discussed in Committee on the Immigra- tion Act. Equally important is the fact that many people who have right of abode under Sections 1 to 3 of the Act will be people of a race other than the indigenous races of the British Isles.

Under the surface concealed, therefore, lies this potential discrimination on grounds of race by continental members of the Community against British nationals. Whatever one's feelings about race or about the racial constitution of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom, one has to face the fact that for the future, under the guise perhaps of the liberalising Articles 7 and 53 of the Rome Treaty, which provide for non-discrimination on grounds of nationality against citizens of the member States of the Community, it may well be that racial discrimination will operate.

Before I turn to deal with the rather crucial matter, I draw attention to the evolution of Articles 7 and 53 in connection with two other Articles, 48 and 49. They deal with the free movement of workers within the Community, and certain measures have already been taken by the Community to bring those Articles into practical effect in the Community. At the same time, Articles 7 and 53 deal more specifically with nationality and it is in the possibilities of conflict involving race and nationality in regard to these four Articles that I think we are concerned in this Amendment.

Article 7 provides: Within the scope of application of this Treaty, and without prejudice to any special provisions contained therein, any discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited. That is a clear prohibition directly enforceable and directly applicable against discrimination on grounds of nationality. Similarly, Article 53 provides: Member States shall not introduce any new restrictions on the right of establishment in their territories of nationals of other Member States, save as otherwise provided in this Treaty. Again, as I understand it, this is a directly enforceable obligation or restriction upon the Member States not to impose new restrictions on the right of establishment, which I should have thought to mean the right to settle in the territories of Member States.

These two Articles are directed to achieve non-discrimination on grounds of nationality. Articles 48 and 49 deal with free movement of workers within the Community. The steps that have been taken already by the Community, as I understand it, are four—three major and one ancillary—and they are steps for the implementation of the provisions of Articles 48 and 49 to ensure free movement of workers within the Community, allowing nationals of member States to move to another member State to take up offers of employment there without prejudice to their social rights or rights as workers.

These are important measures and the steps which have been taken are of significance. The first step was Regulation 15 of 1961, establishing the principle of national priority within the Community and of Community priority over third countries in filling job vacancies within the territory of one of the member States of the Community. That was the first step in implementing Articles 48 and 49. The second step was Regulation 38 of 1964, which brought frontier and seasonal workers within the arrangements for permanent workers. The principle of national priority, which was mentioned and retained in Regulation 15, was abolished except for safeguard clauses to provide for cases of emergency. The provision for Community priority was not abolished. Equality of employment rights with nationals within the member States of the Community was guaranteed.

The third stage was Regulation 1612 of 1968 which came into force on 19th October, 1968, and provided that all Community workers should have access to employment in the territory of member States under exactly the same provisions as nationals of that member State. Work permits were abolished as were the safeguard clauses retaining national priority in certain cases. The principle of Community priority over third countries was retained, leaving only one ancillary matter to be dealt with, namely the matter of the right of workers to remain in the territory of a member State after they had been employed there for a certain period of time. That matter was taken up in Regulation 1251 of 1970, there being a special exception for Luxembourg on account of her small territory and comparatively small population.

By these steps we have reached a situation where Articles 48 and 49 dealing with free movement of workers have been implemented under the Treaty. This raises acutely the problem of free movement of nationals. Are they to be free to undertake their rights as workers under Articles 48 and 49 or are they to be subject to discrimination on the grounds of race or some other provision? Is the right which they have freely to move to be eliminated, eroded or reduced on grounds of some definition of nationality which may have the effect of disguising discrimination as non-discrimination on grounds of nationality? That is the problem which has been focused for us in part of the Treaty of Accession—a declaration ancillary to the Treaty dealing with the definition of nationals for the purpose of the Treaty legislation.

That can be found at page 118 of Command 4862. The definition of nationals of member States is not dissimilar from the definition of persons who have a right of abode under the Immigration Act, 1971. There is a close family resemblance, but there are differences. The vital thing which has to be faced by the Committee and by the people of this country is whether, in agreeing to this definition within the four corners of the Treaty, we have gone far enough to ensure that workers in this country who are Commonwealth citizens and who are nationals of this country, or who would be regarded in this country as nationals in the ordinary sense of the term, are taken out of that category. If this is so, there is no escape from the dilemma that under the guise of the definition of nationality discrimination may exist on grounds of nationality against those who are in the ordinary sense of the term British nationals.

Mr. Maurice Foley (West Bromwich)

I am listening carefully to what my hon. and learned Friend is saying. Would he define the difference between the attitudes of the previous Government and of this Government in terms of admission of East African Asians to this country and British nationality and what he is describing as discriminatory in terms of the European Community?

Mr. Murray

It is a kind invitation, but I must decline it. I will take the illustration with which my hon. Friend has presented me. It is obvious that the category of persons most likely to be discriminated against by the provisions I have been dealing with are exactly those persons—the Kenya British subjects.

Mr. Foley

If successive Governments of this country have discriminated against East African Asians, how can we regard the Treaty of Rome and the European Community as being detrimental in this respect?

12.15 a.m.

Mr. Murray

I do not agree with the gloss which my hon. Friend puts on this, and I do not want to be diverted to something which has no direct bearing on the Amendment. We are confronted with a new aspect of discrimination. Hon. Members of the Committee who desire to see achievements would not wish to hide their heads in the sand and avoid this confrontation merely on the ground that efforts to avoid discrimination in the past have not been wholly successful. That is why I want to concentrate on this aspect of discrimination and not get involved in other historical aspects.

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

My hon. and learned Friend must allow me to put the record straight. Some of my hon. Friends voted against the Labour Government's proposals for dealing with the East African Asians. I wonder whether my hon. and learned Friend will vote in the same way on this issue?

Mr. Murray

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for his useful intervention and for putting the record straight.

The Amendment, for the reasons I have mentioned, may not be wholly satisfactory, but I press the Government to tell the Committee their intentions. Any Government seeking to carry through the spirit of the Treaty of Rome and our accession to it and to follow through our own liberal principles, which fortunately are still a matter of consensus between the two sides of the House of Commons, are under an obligation to make a declaration of intent.

A difficult task lies ahead of the Government. On the one hand, they must see that the provisions of the Treaty of Rome in regard to the free movement of labour are carried out so that our own citizens reap the full advantages that the Treaty may offer. On the other hand, they have obligations, which may be in conflict with the ones I have just described, to Commonwealth citizens. We are still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. I hope that the Government will help us by making a declaration of intent and telling us how they see the balance between these two tasks being achieved.

Mr. Laurie Pavitt (Willesden, West)

I hope that members of the Committee will support the Amendment moved so ably by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Ronald King Murray). I have a considerable immigration problem in my constituency. A recent survey showed that the area in the United Kingdom in which the greatest number of coloured children were born was the London Borough of Brent. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme). I have consistently opposed discrimination in terms of immigration laws, although one in every nine West Indian students come to my constituency.

I am proud of what we have been able to do in the Commonwealth in establishing economic, social and cultural ties. This has been a contribution to a kind of laboratory of inter-racial living. This is one of the main reasons why in general I oppose the whole of the legislation. I accept that it is almost impossible to foster the Commonwealth at the same time as one enters the Common Market.

The points made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith were particularly relevant in drawing attention to the kind of problem with which we shall be faced if the Amendment is not accepted. We shall find discrimination occurring with no protection for the kind of multi-racial laboratory society of the Commonwealth which I have mentioned.

The fact that the Government have relaxed the immigration from East Africa will mean that a third of those immigrants will come into my borough. I am grateful to the right hon. Leader the Secretary of State for Education and Science for providing extra money for an increased number of school places. She has realised what our problems will be if we are to receive into our borough some 1,500 families, probably with three children to each family. This is the way to tackle the problem—not by restricting the number of immigrants but to look at the problems and to seek ways in which to solve them.

If harmonisation with the laws of the Community, which provide for free movement of labour and capital, results in an open-ended commitment to the Common Market whereas the immigration laws will be applied to people from the Commonwealth, this will present an intolerable situation. This is a position which the Amendment seeks to safeguard.

I want to raise a point which concerns me greatly, and it relates to the directions which are being issued on standards for doctors, pharmacists, nurses, opticians and dentists. Our National Health Service has been extremely grateful for the help given to the Service—especially in regard to junior hospital doctors—by those who come from the Commonwealth.

Some two or three years ago, following problems which had arisen particularly from the Asian countries, the General Medical Council laid down the rule that before a Commonwealth doctor could be put on the Medical Register he must pass a language test. Therefore, if the Amendment is not accepted, the farcical situation may well arise that people from the Commonwealth, whose native tongue is English, will have to face the hurdle of a language test before being allowed to join their profession in this country, whereas people who come from Italy. France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, whose native language is not English, will be able to come here straight away without having to pass a language test.

This is a direct affront to the whole British Commonwealth. It will mean that we are making two sets of rules, with the set of rules which we are accepting in the Treaty giving preference to the people of Europe and making second-class immigrants of people from the Commonwealth.

On those grounds, unless something can be negotiated in National Health Service provisions in comparability of standards of competence and of academic qualifications, and of permission to practise in a specialty in which they have been trained, and unless safeguards for the Commonwealth citizens who have served us so well in the National Health Service in recent years are put into this Bill, it will mean a great injustice to people who have served and to nations which have supported us.

The problem, which is for our children and grandchildren, and not so much for ourselves, is not so much how to preserve peace between Germany and France as how one can build between the developing and developed nations comparable standards which make the gap not so wide and not so much a cause of conflict. This is the whole concept of every race, colour and creed and people of different skins and religion being able to mix in harmony in a community. The British Commonwealth is the way we have experimented in this.

The Amendment seeks to preserve that experiment which has gone on so successfully, and to enhance and improve it. On these grounds, I hope that a wide section of the Committee, irrespective of whether they wish to enter the Common Market, will support this Amendment.

Mr. John Morris (Aberavon)

The whole Committee will be grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt), with his record and his experience of immigration, for the way in which he outlined his support for this Amendment.

I agree with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray), who moved the Amendment, that it is fairly restricted. It seeks to ensure a safeguard for Commonwealth citizens if we find ourselves, unhappily, in the Community.

In reply to the earlier intervention from below the gangway, I would say that whatever restrictions have been imposed by Governments in the United Kingdom, be they in the present or in the past, that in itself is no excuse for continuing or extending those restrictions elsewhere, or widening them.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Will my right hon. Friend also add that, rightly or wrongly, we did that without any diktat from outside? In this case it will be an outside body, the European Community, which will dictate to us what we must do and we cannot in any way alter it.

Mr. Morris

That is why we seek to move this Amendment, to ensure that by prerogative legislation, that kind of diktat cannot be imposed against Commonwealth citizens. That would be provided for and the difficulty would not arise in respect to Commonwealth citizens in the British Parliament.

Whatever restrictions there are—and we shall come to them in a moment—it is no reason for putting those Commonwealth citizens who enter the United Kingdom in a worse position than those who wish to come from EEC countries to this country. That is probably the most serious objection. Most of us must be deeply concerned. That deals with intervention and puts the matter in a better perspective.

12.30 a.m.

The subsection seeks to ensure that all restrictions arising from the Treaty apply to the United Kingdom without further enactment. We move this Amendment to ensure that the words are added, except any restrictions affecting the rights of entry of British Commonwealth citizens into the United Kingdom". That seems to ensure that we cannot be dictated to, that the position is preserved, and that there cannot be legislation of the kind envisaged without further enactment.

At present Commonwealth citizens are bound by the terms of the Immigration Act. I do not wish to enter into detailed discussions about the emphasis on patrial relationships and many of the other matters about which we felt exceedingly unhappy when we considered that legislation. At the end of the day, there is a substantial restriction on the right of entry of Commonwealth citizens.

I find it very odd that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite who from time to time beat the drum on the importance of our kith and kin find themselves in a position where, if this Bill passes into law, our kith and kin from white Australia and white Canada, let alone black Africa, will be in a much worse position than the onion seller from Brittany or the potential Italian fish and chip shop owner who wants to come here. That is the stark reality of the situation.

Many right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have played an important part in stressing the importance of the British Empire and the British Commonwealth of Nations, and I respect their views. But the reality of the situation, whether we are for or against entry, must be recognised. Those who wish to come here from the Commonwealth will be in a worse position than any other person from the EEC who wants to come here.

Mr. Peter Archer (Rowley Regis and Tipton)

I do not dissent from my right hon. Friend's conclusion, but will he answer one question in order to clarify my own mind? Does he agree that the discrimination against the citizens of whom he speaks arises in the first instance from the discrimination against them in United Kingdom legislation and that, to that extent, my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley) was right to suggest that if there were no such discrimination in our legislation there would be no basis for discrimination in the EEC?

Mr. Morris

My hon. and learned Friend is partially right, and to this extent: while the present Act remains in force the situation of the Commonwealth citizen will be worsened in comparison with that of the person who wants to come here from the EEC.

For the purposes of my argument, I take the Immigration Act, which governs the entry of Commonwealth citizens to this country. While that Act remains in existence, that is what governs the relationship of anyone who wants to come here from the Commonwealth, whatever his colour. The comparison that I stress is that restrictions would apply to him, whereas there would be no restrictions on anyone from the EEC wanting to come here.

In a small and restricted way, this Amendment seeks to ensure that if, unhappily, we find ourselves in the EEC, that kind of restriction cannot be imposed by prerogative legislation—at least, without deliberation by this House. I should have thought that all sides of the Committee would welcome that kind of safeguarding Amendment.

I want now to deal with one other matter, referred to by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith, concerning the free movement of labour. Article 48 states: 1. Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community by the end the transitional period at the latest. 2. Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member States as regards employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment. That obviously must mean a free-for-all for anyone who wants to come to this country, subject to the detailed provisions which are laid down.

I should like to quote part of the decision of the Council of the European Economic Communities on 15th October, 1968, where it decided to apply Articles 48 and 49 of the treaty to the French Overseas Departments. I will not set out the full legal preamble. It refers to the provision in the second subparagraph of Article 227 whereby the Council is empowered to make provisions of the kind which they have sought to make. It goes on to say: Whereas freedom of movement for workers is likely to promote the economic and social development of those departments, the Council has decided as follows. Articles 48 and 49 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community and the measures taken in implementation of those Articles shall apply to the French Overseas Departments. This is where we shall need, and I am sure will have, the assistance of the Solicitor-General. My understanding of the provisions is that those who want to come from the French Overseas Departments will be able to go to any part of the EEC. This follows as night follows day, because of the adoption by the Council of this provision and its extension to the French Overseas Departments. Therefore, anyone from the French Overseas Departments would be able to go not only to the EEC but to the extended EEC if we find ourselves within that unhappy Community. That means that they could come here unrestricted.

Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)

Is my right hon. Friend speaking about a Department like Réunion now, as opposed to Senegal? Will he define what he is talking about?

Mr. Morris

I apologise to my hon. Friend, who follows these matters in detail, but I cannot. I am sure that somewhere in the 42 volumes which I have cursorily studied, but not in any great detail, I admit, there is a definition of the French Overseas Departments.

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

Is not the point at which the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, West (Mr. James Johnson) is getting the fact that the French Overseas Departments are constitutionally an integral part of France, just as, although the parallel is not exact, Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom? Therefore, the territories in the Commonwealth which we have in mind in the Amendment are not comparable in any way with these particular territories.

Mr. Morris

Whatever the legalities and constitutional aspects may be, the point is that anyone from the French Overseas Departments will be able to go not only to France and Germany but to any part of the United Kingdom, whereas those who want to come here from the older countries of the Commonwealth, our ex-colonial territories, which are not unlike the French Overseas Departments, would not be able to do so. I am concerned about the element of preference. Whatever be the definition of the French Overseas Departments, on which I am sure the Solicitor-General will be able to assist us in due course, my impression is that part of the European Economic Community which was not expressly provided for by the terms of the treaty required a special provision. If it were not in that peculiar position, it would not have necessitated a particular decision by the Council. It was because there was an element of difference between the French overseas departments and the other parts of the EEC that the Council had to come to a decision on 15th October to apply this provision to the former. That underlines—I am sure to the satisfaction of my hon. Friend—the element of difference.

Whatever be the constitutional niceties of the position of the French overseas departments, they are of sufficient importance for the Council to come to a decision on this matter and to ensure, for the removal of doubt and ambiguity, that they are specifically provided for. That has been done. That is the reality of the situation.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Did the Council of Ministers decide to treat the overseas departments, which are constitutionally an integral part of France, differently from the overseas territories, or not?

Mr. Morris

I am sure that we can have clarification of that from the Solicitor-General. I am sure that he has studied the matter. The Amendment has been on the Notice Paper for some time, and no doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman has been apprised of the arguments that would be put forward.

The hon. Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) mentioned Northern Ireland. There is an interesting footnote to this part of the conclusions, where it is stated that a transitional period of five years has been agreed in respect of this decision: During this period the United Kingdom shall be free not to apply in full with regard to Northern Ireland the Community provisions relating to the free movement of labour. For some reason, which is not manifest in this document, Northern Ireland is being treated differently.

That is the short point that I seek to make on the Amendment. We want to know why this important and safeguarding suggestion cannot be incorporated in the Bill in order to make sure that if the situation ever arrives no action can be taken by prerogative legislation—or, in the words of the Bill, "without any further enactment"—to deprive Commonwealth citizens the right of entry to the remainder of Europe.

Secondly, we want confirmation, or denial, of the conclusions that I have reached that, whereas, rightly or wrongly, the entry of Commonwealth citizens to this country is restricted by the Immigration Act, there will be full, free and unlimited entry of people from the EEC, and that, for reasons which are not apparent in the documents, citizens of the French overseas departments have been treated differently. As I understand it, they will be able to come to this country with the same ease, privileges and rights as any other member of the EEC.

Whatever the constitutional niceties of the French overseas departments compared with those on the mainland, there is great similarity between those departments and many parts of the Commonwealth. I find it odd that people from French overseas departments should be able to come to the United Kingdom or go to other parts of the EEC and be in a better position than people from the Commonwealth who wish to come to this country.

Over the years I have heard right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite beating the drum on issues such as Rhodesia, the Empire and the Commonwealth. I find it difficult to see how they will be able to withstand this necessary and small Amendment which is designed to ensure that there is this important safeguard for the future so that this House will be able to retain a measure of independence in dealing with the situation to which I have referred, should it ever arise.

[Mr. BREWIS in the Chair]

12.45 a.m.

Mr. Sydney Bidwell (Southall)

I am delighted that this Amendment has been selected because not only is the part of the Bill with which it is concerned charged with complexity, but it gives us an opportunity to discuss immigration and the movement of people in and out of the country as a result of our accession to the EEC, if we join.

I do not think we have in their places tonight any other members of the Select Committee which since the Labour Government, has been examining the whole question of immigration and race relations. It is obvious, in view of what has been said tonight, that it will be vital for this Select Committee to examine the ramifications of the Bill in terms of its effect on immigrants and aliens.

Hon. Members who took part in the Committee stage on the Immigration Act, 1971, will recall that time and again we questioned the effect of our accession to the Treaty of Rome on the free movement of people in and out of Britain. It was made clear that the Treaty would introduce an entirely new dimension to this movement of people.

I regret that my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley), who was Britain's first immigration Minister, should have made the sort of intervention he made, exposing the limitations of his case——

Mr. Arthur Lewis

And then went home.

Mr. Bidwell

I do not know where he has gone. I hope he reads the OFFICIAL REPORT of his comments and what we have said about them. He in fact revealed the limitations of the current situation. It is not good enough for hon. Members who have a strong passion for the concept of accession to the Treaty of Rome to close their eyes to the new sphere of discrimination that we may be establishing, not so much concerning those coming to this country as those leaving it. They should recall the history and tradition of the Commonwealth, going back to the days of the Empire.

My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) is an enthusiastic European, but he appreciates the difficulties that arise for Commonwealth citizens. There were no restrictions on these people until the 1962 Act. That was followed, under Labour and Conservative Administrations, by further Measures, including the 1971 Act. A twin restriction was introduced at that time—alien workers were the target—and although the House of Lords gave the 1971 proposals a kick in the pants, they eventually became law.

The bulk of Commonwealth citizens who are resident and work in this country—those who have a statutory right to bring in their families; I refer to rights over and above those available to aliens—do not apply for British citizenship after the five-year qualifying period because in the case of, for example, Indians from the Punjab the adoption of British citizenship would be tantamount to turning their backs on certain property rights in India.

All these complications arise to be dealt with. It is not simply a matter of saying to an Indian national "Take British citizenship and you will be as free as a bird". The East African Asians in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya are queuing to come to Britain. Their families have been split up. Unless we go further than we have at present we are heading for an enormously complicated situation in which this Parliament will denude itself of the right to determine its own policy on immigration. After accession this matter will be tossed into the Council of Ministers for a decision to be taken there.

We shall find that relationships between former colonial Empire states will vary considerably. We must introduce some regulation to give Commonwealth immigrants freedom of entry within the Common Market after five years' residence in Britain. Under the Treaty of Rome, Italian workers, for example, are permitted to seek work in any of the other member States. The Treaty has developed that far and is now fully-fledged on the free movement of labour.

I well recall the evidence given by TUC representatives to the Select Committee looking into race relations and immigration. They said that it was wrong to impose on Commonwealth workers coming to Britain the kind of restrictions which were imposed on aliens under the central proposition contained in the Immigration Act, 1971. Commonwealth workers will be restricted under that legislation whether they come from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Pakistan, India the African States, or the West Indies. Under the Act they will have to serve a probationary period in this country. They must submit to police supervision, whether they register directly with the police or with the Department of Employment. The police will be legally obliged to check on these people for four years. The immigrants will not come under the terms of the free movement of labour in the Treaty of Rome, and this has created a discriminatory situation.

The Government dug out the word "partriality". That is a strange animal. If we had not had the curious alliance of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) in tabling an Amendment with regard to grandparents, we should have had an even more curious situation.

The Government led themselves into a contradictory situation in the terms of the declaration under the Treaty of Accession with regard to patriality. It led most people to believe that a right of abode here because of citizenship or patriality would mean freedom of movement within the E.E.C. area. We have written into our Measures that if we ever adhered to the Rome Treaty we should need new immigration laws to overcome the contradictions. We give the right of abode to the sons and daughters of people who were born here by virtue of their patriality, that archaic word that was dug out of the dictionary. It has never become clear who put it into the Act. It followed the thinking of those who believe we must discriminate between black and white people. They thought the inclusion of "patriality" would prevent the protests of people in Australia, New Zealand and Canada—the white part of the Commonwealth. It was thought that at a stroke, by the concept of patriality, their fears could be overcome and a more severe restriction could be placed on the coloured part of the Commonwealth.

Now the Government have landed themselves in a mess. It is obvious that the discussions, so far as there have been any, are entirely inadequate to meet the new situation. Even the Amendment rather fights with what is intended in the Common Market concept. If absolute freedom of movement is given to all the citizens of the Commonwealth, which covers a quarter of the world's surface, and they are added to the 10 nations of Europe we shall be not on the edge of moving into a wider European set-up but on the edge of moving into a worldwide concept.

As someone who has had considerable experience in this field, I ask the Government to look at the question most carefully. It is charged with all sorts of contradictions. They should have produced a citizenship Measure, stating the terms under which one was supposed to be a citizen of Britain. They could have thought about applying to join the E.E.C. after that. But they are hoisted on the petard of their own muddle. The Act was a public relations exercise rather than a serious means, without colour and racial discrimination, of getting down to the task of taking people in according to work opportunities and showing the world that Britain was a community entirely free from racial discrimination.

If the Government will not accept the terms of the Amendment, I hope they will shake themselves up on the whole question, because the situation will be enormously contradictory and will lead to all sorts of difficulties.

1.0 a.m.

Mr. John Wilkinson (Bradford, West)

This discussion has been highly charged and emotional but not rational. It has been irrational largely because allegations of discrimination have been wildly levelled when clearly the Bill applies to Commonwealth citizens of all races. To say that it is discriminatory in the sense that it applies to our own kith and kin as much as it does to people of Indian or African origin is patently ludicrous. It is fallacious also to suggest that we are being dictated to by the Commission, by the EEC or by anyone else in Europe. We voluntarily applied for membership of the Community and we knew full well the regulations and rules which would apply to us.

Most of the Opposition's arguments have been directed against the Immigration Act, 1971. That is the Opposition's main bone of contention.

Mr. John Morris

The hon. Gentleman has missed the point. Some of us desisted from going into arguments about the 1971 Act but merely compared the fact that there are restrictions on Commonwealth citizens coming to this country and the fact that there would be no comparable restrictions on people coming from the EEC or the French overseas departments to the United Kingdom. Surely the hon. Gentleman accepts that this is discrimination. This is the burden of our argument.

Mr. Wilkinson

I understand all the right hon. Gentleman's points. The criticisms of the Immigration Act to which I referred were largely made by the hon. Member for South all (Mr. Bidwell), who waxed eloquent about the question of patriality and other aspects of the Act. I come from an area with as many immigrants as that represented by the hon. Member for South all. No immigrant from the Commonwealth has come to me to express hostile views about our entry to the EEC. Such immigrants have known full well about it. They believe that we are fully entitled to make application to join, and they have not seen any disadvantages in our application. That is a most important matter totally ignored by the Opposition.

There are those who say that there is discrimination in that people in the EEC would be free to come and work here whereas people in the Commonwealth would not. In the sense that we are seeking by our application to join to enlarge the Community we are expanding our own area of sovereignty. The EEC as a relationship is different from the Commonwealth. In the Commonwealth there is no reciprocal right of free entry with free permits to work. The East African countries are deporting Commonwealth citizens from their shores. So it cannot be alleged that the same rights apply in the Commonwealth as apply in the EEC. The EEC is a freer and more liberal form of association. To allege that we are being discriminatory is totally fallacious.

Mr. George Cunningham (Islington, South-West)

I am having difficulty in following the argument. It seems to be implicit in what the hon. Gentleman has said that one of the Six does not have the right to deport citizens of another member of the Six. He referred to East African countries deporting Commonwealth citizens, by which he presumably means deporting citizens of a Commonwealth country other than the country which is doing the deporting. That is exactly paralleled in the Community: one member State can deport the citizens of another member State. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman does not understand the concept of Commonwealth citizenship. It is rather difficult to follow.

Mr. Wilkinson

Commonwealth citizens who have a different ethnic background from the majority of Commonwealth citizens in East African countries and who have lived all their lives in those countries are being deported from there quite apart from any question of a further influx of Commonwealth citizens from other Commonwealth countries being allowed into those East African countries to work. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman understands my point.

There are 30,000 to 40,000 Commonwealth immigrants in my city. No immigrant in my city has been to see me to complain about the Immigration Act, 1971. Their concern is that they should be able to earn as good a living as possible in Britain and that they should have the maximum economic opportunities.

The right hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. John Morris) is usually logical and lucid, but he went off the rails tonight when he referred to the French overseas départements. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the département is in a sense a province of France, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) has said that Northern Ireland is a province of the United Kingdom: that was a perfectly fair parallel. The Commonwealth is in no sense analogous, because the Commonwealth, as the hon. Member for Southall said, covers a vast area of the surface of the globe and encompasses one-quarter of the world's population, whereas the few overseas départements, which are different from the independent francophile territories, constitute a very small proportion of the world's population. As for the footnote to which he referred in reference to Northern Ireland, this is understandable in the context of the present troubles there and the significance which the border between the south and the north has at present.

The importance for Commonwealth citizens is that the discrimination on outgoing Commonwealth residents in the United Kingdom should be the minimum possible. In other words, people of Commonwealth origin resident in the United Kingdom should have the maximum opportunity for economic advancement and of earning a livelihood within the context of the European Economic Community as a whole. On this point I hope that my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General will be able to advise me.

Mr. Peter Archer

I do not dissent from the last paragraph of the speech just made by the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Wilkinson). And I say at once that, if my right hon. and hon. Friends propose to divide the Committee on the Amendment, I shall support them in the Division Lobby.

I intervene briefly to give an explanation of vote, which may differ a little from the reasons given by some of my right hon. and hon. Friends, although I am sure that, with the usual tolerance which we on this side accord to one another, they will appreciate that our reasoning is sometimes different on these matters. I do so, in particular, because it would be a pity if a false impression were to gain currency among the immigrant community. Accession to the Community does not affect the right of a Commonwealth citizen, or of a non-indigenous citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, to come to this country. In that respect he is no worse off. And there is no immediate likelihood of anything happening within the European Economic Community which is likely to make them worse off in that respect.

Mr. Spearing

If I manage to catch the eye of the Chair later, I hope to enlarge on that. Would not the hon. and learned Member agree that there are disadvantages in terms of statute and law, that there are also disadvantages in terms of economic competition, and that one must bear both in mind?

Mr. Archer

If my hon. Friend is saying that fewer non-patrials may be admitted from the Commonwealth because more will be admitted from Europe, he is perfectly right. That may be one of the consequences. I do not wish to go over old ground with my hon. Friends, but some of us would hope that, in the near future, that would be more than offset by the expansion of industry consequent upon our acceding.

I fully understand that some of my hon. Friends do not agree with that. I was provoked into saying it. I do not think it is strictly relevant to this Amendment, and I do not propose to pursue it at this stage.

It is incontrovertible that nothing has emerged so far by way of regulation or treaty within the Community which adversely affects the right of Commonwealth citizens to enter this country. I was not saying anything more controversial than that.

Mr. Clinton Davis

While that may well be conceded, is it not right that once a Commonwealth citizen is here he is placed in a totally disadvantageous position under the terms of the Immigration Act and of the Aliens Order 1953 compared with somebody entering from the EEC?

Mr. Archer

I agree with my hon. Friend. That was the point I was going to make. Not for the first time, my hon. Friend and I have been saying the same thing and racing each other in order to say it.

Mr. John Morris

While the hon. and learned Member for careful to say there was no restriction at present manifest as regards the entry of Commonwealth citizens into this country, would not that possibility come into existence if we entered into the EEC, if this Clause were not amended as we seek to amend it, in that the EEC could, without further enactment by the House of Commons, impose that very restriction?

Mr. Archer

I agree with what my right hon. Friend said. I was about to make that point. My hon. and right hon. Friends are making my speech for me admirably.

I was one of those on this side of the House who sat for many months—I almost said many weary months—resisting the Immigration Bill. Again and again during the course of considering that Bill we asked the Government what would be the effect upon that Bill of accession to the EEC.

I shall not weary the Committee with long quotations or references. But we were told originally in Committee in June, 1971, that this was a hypothetical question, that we might never accede to the EEC, so why consider it at that stage? One would have thought that it was a little more immediate than that and merited a little attention from the Government.

By the time of the Report Stage and Third Reading in October, 1971, we were told by the Home Secretary that he was confident that the Bill would not require any amendment. Apart from the self-activating amendments which follow from what we are discussing tonight, that may very well be right.

But the effect upon that Bill of acceding to the Community is to exempt from its provisions about 300 million people, who are the most likely to want to come to this country. If that is not altering the whole scheme of the Bill, it is difficult to know what is. If it had then been possible to have had from the Government at that time some of their ideas as to the effect on the Bill of accession then we might have appreciated the point which my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, Central, made.

Of course it is true that when someone from the Commonwealth comes here and discovers that he is subject to a number of restrictions which do not apply to nationals of Community countries, he will feel a little resentful. He will have been subject to the work permit procedure, to restrictions as to the dependants he can bring and, if he has the misfortune to fall mentally ill, to the possibility of being deported. He will be subject to all the control after entry which exists in the rules. Obviously he will feel a little resentful in that situation.

1.15 a.m.

Mr. Wilkinson

Is that necessarily so, because, surely, in a sense, the Community will become our country. I give an analogy. The Indian Union is the country of the people of India. A Sikh, for example, can go to Bengal or a Bengali can go to Gujerat, or someone from the deep south can go to the north. They are different people and speak totally different languages. To someone from outside the Community, meeting these restrictions in the United Kingdom is not so anomalous because, coming from outside the Community, he will regard the Community as in a sense becoming largely one country.

Mr. Archer

I am not quite sure that I follow the hon. Gentleman's point although I have tried hard. If he is saying that he envisages a period in future when the Community will appear to those within it and those who visit it as very much partaking of one country, in the way the United States does to the nationals of that federation. I would go along with him to a great extent, but that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about non-patrials from the Commonwealth coming here and being told that they cannot have certain dependants with them—that they cannot bring their grandmother although an Italian worker can bring his. These are practical, everyday problems which will be borne upon them. I can understand that people in that situation will feel resentful.

The point I want to make—and I hope, again, that my hon. Friends will forgive my making it—is that this discrimination arises not from within the Community or the Treaties but from legislation of the United Kingdom, which some of us here fought tooth and nail to resist. Many of us would like to see it rescinded, but that is the source of the discrimination about which we are talking. However, this is not the problem we are considering in this Amendment. We are not considering the right of European workers to come to this country. The problem envisaged in the Amendment is the right of Commonwealth citizens in this country to go to Europe and work there if they so wish.

Again arising from our legislation, at the moment they are under a difficulty. I can well imagine a practical situation in which they feel this discrimination keenly. I can see two men, perhaps workmates on the same shop floor, standing side by side in a public house. One says to the other, "Perhaps I can do better by going to Germany." The other says, "At least you have a choice; I have not." This is the kind of thing which will be felt very keenly. But this also is a discrimination which arises from our legislation and not from any distinctions which have been made in the Community.

Mr. Wilkinson

This is again a serious point. I said "people of Commonwealth origin." I did not necessarily say Commonwealth citizens resident in this country. The point is that Commonwealth citizens residing in this country retain the right if they wish to return to India or certain other perquisites. What we will face in future, perhaps, is whether they should acquire British citizenship to move freely around the EEC or whether they would rather retain Indian citizenship to be able to go back to India.

Mr. Archer

If they have been here for four and a half years they do not get the option. At the end of the period it is still possible under the Bill that they may never have the option because they may have been deported. The problem envisaged by the Amendment arises because the Government have not faced up to precisely the challenge which my hon. Friend the Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) posed.

Faced as we are with a past which inevitably has linked us to many parts of the world, we now find ourselves with a complicated system of nationality. Human beings fall into such categories as aliens, Commonwealth citizens, citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who are not patrial, and those who are. The introduction of patriality is the source of the problem. But we are still confronted with the situation as it exists, and it is for this reason that I appreciate the point made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon.

While this situation exists there is the basic for a possible future discrimination. I and some of my hon. Friends believe that we should accede to the EEC because we do not see it as an inward-looking community. Some of my hon. Friends disagree. But we believe it is likely to become more outward-looking rather than less, and we are prepared to run ourselves into the ground to ensure that it does.

But there is still the theoretical, it may be the practical, possibility that it will not be outward-looking, that we may fail. If that situation arises I would like the House of Commons to be in a position still to protect the people whom we have all worked so hard to protect. For that reason I propose to support the Amendment. It may be that the question will never arise. If there never is a situation to which it can apply then the Government cannot object to the Amendment, because no one will be one whit worse off. But if there should one day be a situation in which it can apply, then it is necessary.

Mr. Spearing

I wish to remind the Committee that this Amendment is set against wider concepts. We hear much about the free movement of labour, skills and professions. I read something about lawyers moving from one part of Europe to another. However, their movement is in terms of short, day visits, with all expenses paid, with a very tight professional network and is quite a different thing from the sort of movement of labour envisaged inside the Community, indeed practised now. We must not forget that inside the EEC there are large numbers of people going to work who are not members of the EEC, who go there on a restricted basis, known euphemistically as "guest workers." The latest figures showed the percentage to be colossal in comparison with our own relatively modest intake of people from the Commonwealth countries. The figures are over half a million or more. We have to take this situation into account in considering the Amendment which tries to protect people who have looked to Britain over the centuries and with whom the cultural and emotional ties are close.

Not long ago I was asked about race relations in the London Borough of Ealing. I explained that immigrants from India were used to the British way of life because the foundations of their law and administration under the Raj were not dissimilar to our own.

Mr. Bidwell

Is my hon. Friend aware that in India traffic is driven on the left-hand side of the road?

Mr. Spearing

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for that information.

Not long ago a Commonwealth citizen, a constituent of mine who has been established here for a long time—a property-owning democrat with his own business, a minor capitalist—wrote to me saying that he wished his brother to come to this country and to go into business partnership with him, but his brother was not allowed to come because of the current immigration laws. I wrote to the noble Lord, Lord Windlesham, who was at that time dealing with the matter in the Home Office, who replied in the following terms: When the main provisions of the Immigration Act, 1971, come into force later this year the employment voucher scheme will be replaced by a system of work permits. Under this a person who wishes to come to the United Kingdom and take work must first obtain a work permit for a particular job in a particular place. A permit will however only be issued where no resident labour is available to fill the job. Your constituent will be free to apply in due course to the Department of Employment for a work permit for his brother, but it would be wrong to lead him to believe that a permit is likely to be issued. I can confirm that you have correctly described the position of nationals of EEC countries with effect from 1st January 1973. Such persons will be given leave to enter the United Kingdom to take or seek employment freely. This does not affect the position of Commonwealth citizens whose entry to this country is subject to control. So my constituent will not be able to get his brother into the family business and to live in the family home if the job can be filled by someone from France, Germany or Italy. Moreover, people from the EEC countries can come over here and seek employment. I am not arguing the merits of that. I agree with the concept of the free movement of labour but it has some rather unfortunate overtones because of people moving at the behest of large industrial corporations, possibly firms which specialise in the recruitment of labour for particular purposes.

I am not arguing against our own immigration controls, they are necessary, but I cannot envisage a system whereby my constituent's brother would stand an equal chance with workers from the EEC countries. Even the existing situation will be put in peril unless the Government accept the Amendment.

I have given this example because for the last six or seven hours we have been talking in abstract terms on matters which certain hon. Members handle as to the manner born. Here I am talking about the lives of ordinary people, their families, loyalties and motivations. Unless the Government accept this Amendment or undertake to introduce something like it on Report, I believe that these conditions will multiply and cross-fertilise and that the sort of difficulties which we have been trying to deal with in the Select Committee on Immigration and in the Race Relations Commission will be trebly complicated after entry into the EEC.

1.30 a.m.

Mr. Orme

This is an interesting and important debate. It is interesting because many hon. Members who have shown great concern about Commonwealth immigrants and the inflow to this country have not shown any concern about the free movement of labour which will follow our entry into the EEC and about what many of us fear will be open discrimination against Commonwealth immigrants.

The Amendment seeks to deal with the entry of Commonwealth immigrants into this country. At the moment there is no regulation of the EEC to prevent this, but under Clause 2(1) it will be possible for an order to be made without approval of the British Parliament. It is important to remember that in talking about Commonwealth immigrants and free movement within the EEC we are in the main talking about coloured Commonwealth immigrants. We know there is a great deal of concern in member countries of the EEC about the possibility of such free movement. We also know that discussion have taken place and that no report has been made to the House about those negotiations.

I ask the Solicitor-General, who is said to be a liberal in matters of race and equality, whether he is prepared to accept this Amendment which does not seek to undermine the treaty but seeks only to spell out to the EEC our concern about this issue.

We see set out on page 118 of the Decision of the Council, Part I, what the United Kingdom considers to be a national. However, that is only a decision of the United Kingdom, since it has not been accepted by the EEC. We have made that declaration as we have made declarations on other issues. I recall the Commonwealth sugar agreements, but we did not get a similar declaration from the other countries that this would be accepted by them. Many of us know that the West Germans, and particularly the Christian Democratic Union, which is not the ruling party but could easily become so—are concerned about the inflow of immigrants into West Germany—not just from the EEC, but from Turkey and Greece. Moves are likely to be made to restrict that flow of immigrants.

One can easily see the barriers being put up if Commonwealth immigrants wanted to move into the EEC. The argument might easily be used that language could be a great barrier in this regard and that it would not be easy for such immigrants to move, but many British workers are in West German shipyards and so forth and it is possible for any British citizen to move into the EEC if so allowed. One can see the reason here: an element of discrimination still exists because of the 1971 Act against Commonwealth immigrants in this country extending to Commonwealth immigrants who move from this country into the EEC. The Solicitor-General owes us a full explanation on this matter.

I was interested in the intervention by my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley), who nearly two hours ago drew the attention of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Ronald King Murray) to the fact that a Labour Government introduced discrimination, with regard to East African Asians.

We are fully aware of that, as I said then, but my hon. Friend was a member of the Government which introduced that. Some of us voted against that proposal. When the Labour Government, for whatever reasons, introduced that, whatever the emergency or the electoral reasons, many of us thought that we were breaching an important principle by excluding British citizens from the United Kingdom.

My hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich pointed this out to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith as if it were a great sin, and as if my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leith were trying to perpetuate it in what he was saying. Unfortunately, my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich, who is such a strong pro-Marketeer, supported that legislation, and I only regret—because I know his attitude on racial issues, which is first class—that he has not stayed to vote for this Amendment to put on record that we are concerned about this issue. Not many months ago, my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Miss Lestor), my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney Central (Mr. Clinton Davis) and I took part in questions to Ministers about this problem of the free movement of labour and allowing all Commonwealth immigrants to move into the EEC. We got no express understanding from the Government then. We are entitled to an explanation on this.

I am not one who will complain about the free movement of labour. I have had it raised with me as an anti-marketeer: "Are you not afraid of the French, Germans or Italians coming in?" I do not rate this as a major issue. I am in favour of free movement of people but not of having this Government justifying that and then not leaving the same rights and equality to Commonwealth British citizens.

There is a great responsibility on the Solicitor-General and the Government. We are not satisfied and want an explanation why this cannot be accepted by the Government, and if it is not accepted, I hope that the Committee will insist on it.

The Solicitor-General

It may be convenient if I intervene at this point and try to answer some of the questions which have been raised. I do so with a due sense of diffidence arising from the fact that I did not have the privilege of being a member of the Standing Committee which considered the Immigration Bill last year, so that my knowledge of that aspect of this subject is necessarily less extensive than that of many other right hon. and hon. Members. However, I appeared from time to time, and I hope that I was of some assistance. I seem to remember dealing with the Treaty of Waitangi at one point, though, with the passage of time, I seem to have forgotten what I learnt about it.

Amendment No. 213 is very narrow in its scope. It seeks to deal only with restrictions affecting the rights of entry of British Commonwealth citizens into the United Kingdom and does not deal with the rights of movement of such people, once in the United Kingdom, to other parts of the EEC. Nor does it deal with Northern Ireland, although the Committee will remember that for Northern Ireland a five-year transitional period has been negotiated and that during that period the Northern Ireland Safeguarding of Employment Act, 1947, will continue to operate as it does now to ensure that available work there should be reserved in the first instance for residents of Northern Ireland. The situation is safeguarded not only during the transitional period, because Her Majesty's Government have made it clear that if we judge it necessary we shall wish to negotiate a further derogation within the enlarged Community at the end of the five-year transitional period if circumstances warrant it.

I focus my comments on the narrow point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Wilkinson) and by the hon. and learned Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) that the real complaint here is directed to the present condition of our own immigration law and that the same kind of complaint with more or less force is directed by those who complain both of the immigration law as it emerged from the Commonwealth Immigrants Act, 1968, and of the Immigration Act, 1971.

In the context of our present proceedings, the existing rights of entry of Commonwealth citizens are not affected by the proposed entry of the United Kingdom into the Communities. Nor is there any provision in the treaties or any existing secondary legislation restricting those rights of entry. Her Majesty's Government will continue to be free to control the number of people entering this country from the Commonwealth and to fix the conditions on which they are admitted.

Mr. Clinton Davis

Was it not the stated purpose of the Immigration Act to bring Commonwealth citizens into line with aliens? How does the Solicitor-General square that purpose, which was stated over and over again on Second Reading and in Committee, with what he is saying now?

The Solicitor-General

I am not considering the purpose of the Immigration Act. I am saying that various hon. Members on both sides can criticise from both points of view the state of our immigration law between 1968 and 1971 and post-1971, but that that is unaffected by what we are considering now.

As the Leader of the Opposition said in 1967: The Treaty of Rome in itself will have no direct effect on what we ourselves do about Commonwealth immigrants. They can continue to come to this country under the provisions of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act and we shall be free to limit or not to limit the numbers who come."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 8th May, 1967; Vol. 746, c. 1085–6.] That is the same position, albeit in a different legislative context, and it is still the case that it is not within the scope of the law-making powers conferred on the Community to impose restrictions on the rights of entry of Commonwealth citizens into the United Kingdom. The powers of the Community institutions are limited to the general purposes laid down in the treaties, and there is nothing in any of the relevant provisions which could authorise the making of Community law imposing those restrictions.

A different question which arises outside the scope of this Amendment is that of the extent of the right of Commonwealth citizens when they come to this country to freedom of movement within the E.E.C. It is that with which the declaration, on page 118 of the first volume of the Treaty of Accession, deals. It defines what is meant by United Kingdom nationals in that context.

1.45 a.m.

That point has been explained by my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy, and perhaps most succinctly by my noble Friend Lord Windlesham in another place on 15th December, 1971, when he said: I can best summarise the position by saying that the definition includes all citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who are patrial under the Immigration Act, 1971, and thus exempt from immigration control; but that it does not extend to citizens of independent Commonwealth countries, even if they are patrial."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 15th December, 1971; Vol. 326, c. 1121.] It means that once a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies has estab- lished his status of patriality in accordance with our law—for example, Kenya-Asians acquiring that right after five years in this country—he becomes a national within the terms of the declaration and is entitled to freedom of movement within the European Economic Community. It does not extend—I think the hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) raised this point and my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, West, referred to it—to the citizen of an independent Commonwealth Country, such as India or Pakistan, who wishes to retain his foot in that country and does not qualify for patriality. However, within the European context, once a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies has acquired his right of patriality, the right of freedom of movement follows.

The right hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. John Morris) raised the question of the French dependencies. There are four French overseas departments—Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Réunion—which are parts of metropolitan France and, as such, are represented in the French Assembly rather, as one hon. Member put it, as the province of Ulster is represented here.

Mr. Biggs-Davison rose——

The Solicitor-General

Perhaps I may finish the exposition before giving way to my hon. Friend. The position of those four departments is separate from either the present or the former French dependent territories, or from the independent Commonwealth countries. It is more akin to the position of Ulster and, on this point at least, to that of Gibraltar.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

This is a niggling point. For the sake of complete record, are St. Pierre et Miquelon included, or is that Réunion?

The Solicitor-General

I should say that they are not, because I have not seen any list which includes them. It is merely the four departments to which I have referred which are parts of metropolitan France, which qualify in the same way as Ulster and, on the freedom of movement, in the same way as Gibraltar.

Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

I wish to intervene concerning Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Réunion. Will the Government be in a position to restrict the entry of French nationals from those territories which are integral parts of metropolitan France? If we are unable to restrict entry from those territories, why should we restrict entry from Trinidad, Mauritius, Australia and New Zealand?

The Solicitor-General

It depends who is or who is not to be regarded as a national of each of the member States. I have explained that those four particular departments are parts of metropolitan France in the same way as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who qualify along the lines I have indicated become citizens or nationals of the United Kingdom.

The joint declaration on page 117 of the first volume of the Treaty of Accession, which gives to each member State the right, should difficulties arise, to bring the matter before the institutions of the Community—that is, difficulties arising in the circumstances covered by that declaration from the free movement of workers provisions—no doubt could be invoked in the context suggested by the hon. Gentleman, just as it could be invoked by other member States in the same kind of situation.

Mr. Powell

I hope that the Solicitor-General will forgive me. I am not harking back, but it was a rather important point and he passed over it, though precisely, fairly rapidly.

I understood my hon. and learned Friend to say that for the purposes of movement inside the Community the rights of freedom of movement would not apply to British subjects who were not citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies—that is to say, British subjects who were citizens of independent Commonwealth countries—even though they were patrial within the terms of the 1971 Act.

The Solicitor-General indicated assent.

Mr. Powell

My hon. and learned Friend denotes his assent. May I put this to him? I think that this may be misleading and the cause of confusion, because it is possible, for example, for an Australian citizen to be an Australian citizen and also a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies. He is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, for example, unconditionally if at the moment his father, and after the entry into force of the 1971 Act his father or mother, were born in this country. As I understand it, although an Australian citizen, he would, in those circumstances, be entitled to freedom of movement within the Community.

I apologise to my hon. and learned Friend for the complexity of the point, but as these proceedings may be read rather carefully by people who might be affected I hope that he will not mind my intervention.

The Solicitor-General

I hesitate to give an authoritative answer on that complicated point, but I think that I meet my right hon. Friend's point by quoting from what my noble Friend Lord Windlesham said in another place. The citizen of an independent Commonwealth country will not be eligible"— that is, for freedom of movement— unless and until he applies for citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies by registraton after a period of five years. There may be some cases where there is dual nationality, and if a Commonwealth citizen also holds citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colones, then he would be eligible from the start."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 15th December, 1971; Vol. 326, cc. 1122–3.] That is subject to the qualification that I made earlier in respect of some independent Commonwealth countries which do not permit dual nationality, such as India and Pakistan. That gloss by me on what my noble Friend said should be treated with reserve in the circumstances of my knowledge of this subject.

Mr. John Morris

If these French territories which have been named are to be regarded as any other part of the United Kingdom, as it were, having regard to their relationship with other parts of metropolitan France, why was it necessary to have a special resolution of the Council of the European Communities for the implementation of the articles in question to apply to those territories?

Secondly, will the hon. and learned Gentleman confirm the impression that I have, that whereas a citizen of Réunion can come to this country without any restrictions, somebody from Mauritius would be restricted in accordance with the terms of the Immigration Act?

The Solicitor-General

I believe that the right hon. Gentleman's impression is correct, because of the status of these four French departments as parts of metropolitan France, which distinguish them from the former French dependent territories and from independent Commonwealth countries. As to why that particular provision was necessary, I cannot at this stage hazard an answer. Perhaps special considerations applied at the time. It would not be wise of me to attempt to answer the right hon. Gentleman beyond that, though I will try to discover the reason and communicate it to him.

Anxiety has been expressed lest a change should take place in the whole scale of our immigration pattern which would make it necessary to adopt a certain posture towards immigration. The Committee may feel reassured by the fact that the view that membership of the EEC will not greatly affect our pattern of immigration was accepted by the TUC in its Report "Britain and the EEC" which it presented to Congress in 1970. Paragraph 54 of that document stated: It would appear unlikely that the Community's provisions would pose major problems; in particular it does not appear that the abolition of restrictions would alter significantly the number of workers moving either to or from Britain. That view of the TUC was confirmed in paragraph 92 of the report presented to the 1971 Congress.

The Amendment seems to raise the objection that Commonwealth citizens will be subject to more severe restrictions on entry than EEC nationals. If that were to be the position, the Amendment would do nothing to stop it. If it should be the position, it would arise not because of any consequences of this legislation but because of the nature of our existing pattern of immigration control, including the latest Measures and those which went before the 1968 Act. In these circumstances I invite the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mr. George Cunningham

I regret that I was not able to speak before the Solicitor-General because, although he touched on some of the points that particularly concern me, he did not answer some of the specific questions I wish to put to him.

I understood from the reply to the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) that the Solicitor-General takes the view that a person who possessed United Kingdom citizenship would be a national for this purpose of free movement, whether he acquired United Kingdom citizenship by registration, having been formally a citizen of some other country, or by birth. If he possessed it by birth, then I gather that he could possess it by having been born in this country or in a colony.

As I understand the definition of "national" as promulgated for this purpose by the British Government, it does cover not all United Kingdom citizens but only those to whom I have referred and British subjects without citizenship who have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. I gather that there will be United Kingdom citizens—I refer to those citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies whose status derives from their association with a colony—who will not be defined as "nationals" for this purpose.

The Solicitor-General indicated assent.

Mr. Cunningham

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman assenting to the point I am making?

The Solicitor-General


2.0 a.m.

Mr. Cunningham

I am grateful for that confirmation.

I do not go along with many of the objections that have been raised by my hon. Friends in this context. I think it neither proper nor realistic to expect that the Community would be prepared to give free movement to all British subjects or Commonwealth citizens. The number of British subjects or Commonwealth citizens in the world is about 800 millions, and it is unrealistic to expect that the Communities would be prepared to give free movement of labour to such a number. But a very different situation arises in respect of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. As I see it we have three different propositions in respect of three different members, or potential members, of the Community on the definition of "national" for this purpose.

[Mr. E. L. MALLALIEU in the Chair]

First, there is the British definition which I have already mentioned and which excludes some persons who possess precisely the same national status as everyone in this Chamber. The second is the German definition which is attached to the Treaty of Rome. It is, of course, rather special in Germany's situation but it needs to be referred to. It says: All Germans as defined in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany shall be considered nationals of the Federal Republic of Germany. Therefore, a very large number of persons who are not in the normal sense of the words citizens of West Germany are regarded as nationals of Germany with the rights of free movement for this purpose.

The third definition is that applying in the French situation. Whether it is done by definition by the French Government or by the Council, obviously the initiative would belong with France, and that includes, besides citizens of France by right of their association with metropolitan France, those citizens of France who are such by right of their association with the four overseas French departments, but not, as I understand it, the overseas French territories, and certainly not the independent countries which were formerly regarded as part of the French community, the overseas associated States of the Community. The French arrangement is obviously more vital to their dependent territories than ours.

We are proposing that citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, by virtue have the right of free movement because of their association with Gibraltar, will have the right of free movement because they are obviously Europeans. But we have not even asked for similar rights for those citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who belong to other dependent territories. I do not think we should seek these rights for citizens of India, Pakistan, the independent West Indies and all the other countries which are now independent. Once these citizens become citizens of this country, then and only then is it proper that they should enjoy freedom of movement within the Community.

But I cannot understand why a citizen of France who belongs to a dependent territory to France, an overseas department, should enjoy this right when citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies belonging to a continuing free dependency would not. This is not just a matter of constitutional rectitude. We cannot ignore the point about numbers. As I have tried to calculate, the number of persons covered by the four overseas French departments is approximately 1,100,000. If we are wrong, and the territories are covered, that would raise the number to about 1.7 million.

The population in those countries which continue to be British dependent territories is 4.7 million, but 4 million of that total are represented by the population of Hong Kong. People might say that special conditions should attach to Hong Kong because of its special relationship with China. If we excluded Hong Kong, the number of people in the other British dependent territories would be considerably less than 1 million.

If any one of those countries was likely to advance to independence, so that residents would acquire the citizenship of an independent country, I can see that there would be little point on a temporary basis in ensuring that such people had the right of free movement to this country and within the Community. But many of these continuing dependent territories will not become independent. The most that is likely to happen is that they will become associated States, like some of the non-independent West Indian territories, and have a continuing relationship with this country.

France has done the sensible thing. It has said that the people of a territory which continues to be a dependent territory of France or part of metropolitan France should be treated just like any other Frenchmen. We should do the same in respect of those citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who live in the colonies. As I understand it, the Government have not only not achieved that objective but have not even asked for it. We are entitled to an explanation.

The Amendment reflects the fear that the Community might use its right to conclude treaties which would over-ride the rights of Parliament in a way with which Parliament might not agree. It cannot be denied that if the Community were minded to harmonise immigration policy it is highly unlikely to take account of the anxieties which derive from the historic connections, this country has enjoyed. We are therefore entitled to suspect that if there is a move towards harmonisation it will be one which is inimical to Commonwealth citizens from all countries, and even hostile to the interests of those who come from British dependent territories.

The lesson surely is that the mad rush to harmonise everything in sight that might conceivably affect the economy of member countries is misconceived. We could gain most, if not all, of the economic benefits of membership of the Community, if there are any, without all the hamonisation of very peripheral, matters. It is upon that ground that I shall support the Amendment.

The Solicitor-General

I think that the reason why a Council decision was necessary in connection with the free movement of labour from the overseas French departments is to be found in Article 227 of the Treaty of Rome. Paragraph 1 provided that the treaty should apply to the French Republic, and paragraph 2 provided with regard to French overseas departments that certain provisions of the treaty, not including free movement of labour, were to apply straight away. It goes on to provide that the conditions under which other provisions of the treaty, including free movement of labour, were to apply to those French overseas departments were to be determined by decision of the Council, and hence the decision of the Council to which the right hon. Gentleman referred is that which subsequently applied the free movement of labour provision to the French departments.

Mr. John Morris

I am grateful for the Solicitor-General's clarification of the issue, which is set out in part in the document setting out the decision of the Council where reference to Article 227 (2) is made. My point was made on the basis of the argument which the Solicitor-General was advancing that the French departments were comparable, as regards their relationship with the remainder of France, with any part of the United Kingdom in its relationship with another. Does not the fact that there was a need for a specific reference in Article 227(2) and for a special resolution of the Council erode completely the argument of the Solicitor-General that the relationship of these departments to the remainder of France was akin to that of any part of the United Kingdom to another?

The Solicitor-General

It does not erode completely, or indeed at all, the general point that I was going on to make in answer to the point raised by the hon. Member for Islington, South-West (Mr. George Cunningham), because it would seem to me that a factual reason why the position of citizens of the French overseas departments, as opposed to other dependent or independent territories, is differently treated from the citizens of our dependent colonial territories springs from the fact that the French overseas departments, although treated differently under the Article 227 procedure, are departments of metropolitan France which have within metropolitan France freedom of movement and which had it even before the special Council decision under Article 227,whereas, rightly or wrongly, we have an immigration control law which separates the citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who are not attached by geography to the United Kingdom. In other words, there is a greater degree of separation between our dependent territory inhabitants and the United Kingdom than there is or was between the inhabitants of the metropolitan departments of France and France itself.

That is the practical reason for the distinction. Our definition of United Kingdom nationals in the Declaration is in line with our immigration law on citizenship and geographical attachment. Once the second hurdle has been overcome, our dependent territory citizens require the same degree of attachment to the United Kingdom and freedom of mobility in our own orbit as the citizens of the metropolitan departments of France. There is that parallel which, to some extent, explains the point raised by the hon. Member for Islington, South-West.

Mr. Clinton Davis

People living in constituencies such as mine and coming from Commonwealth countries who have established themselves here but still have relationships in those Commonwealth countries, who have children here, and constituents of my hon. Friends the Members for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) and Acton (Mr. Spearing) will be very concerned about this provision and will require much more clarification than the Solicitor-General has given tonight about the scope of the Bill and some of the anomalies which arise from our immigration laws.

Unless that clarification is forthcoming, and unless the Government are prepared to be more flexible, the resentment about which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) spoke will become a very serious problem in areas such as ours.

It is resentment which is already expressed. Every week at my surgery I am told by at least one person, and sometimes by more, that he cannot freely bring his family into Britain. A distinction is to be drawn between those people and people coming from EEC countries who will be able to bring their families in freely: they will not be subject to the same regulations.

2.15 a.m.

The Solicitor-General, in justification of all this, says that it is true that there is to be this distinction between Commonwealth citizens and EEC workers entering Britain, but it is just too bad, because this is the pattern that our immigration laws have taken and, therefore, we must put up with it. That is neither a sensible argument nor a justification for the Government's attitude. It is particularly anomalous when one remembers that the purpose of the Immigration Act, 1971, as stated repeatedly by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Sharples), who was the then Minister of State, was to bring Commonwealth citizens into line with aliens. The Act does not do that. That purpose is frustrated by what we are considering now. It was a disputable proposition at the time, as many of us said. Indeed, on Second Reading of that Bill the hon. Member for Bromley (Mr. Hunt) expressed the gravest reservations about it, in perhaps stronger terms than did many other people. We know now that that proposition is, in the light of this Bill, totally absurd.

In Committee on the Immigration Bill we asked repeatedly what had been discussed on these very important and detailed problems of, for example, registration. We wanted to know what negotiations had taken place with the Six and what the results had been. As my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton said, we were consistently told that all these problems were hypothetical. The hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam said this, for example: We may join the EEC and changes may take place within the Commonwealth, but those circumstances are hypothetical. Should they change, that will be the correct time for Parliament to debate those changes."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee B; 4th May, 1971, c. 523.] If the Government had had their way, we should not be debating those changes; the Government would have been totally silent on this essential matter.

We were told that the Immigration Bill had to be hurried through, that it must complete its Committee stage by Whitsun, 1971, and that it had to be enacted by October, 1971. The Act is still not in operation, and I do not think a commencing date has yet been fixed for it. That is an interesting reflection on the way the Government behaved on that issue. It will be interesting to hear how the Solicitor-General equates that situation with these proposals.

It was right that we should examine the mobility of labour provisions of the Rome Treaty in depth in relation to our own immigration law, because we have been able to expose the tremendous contradictions that exist. We are entitled to know what amendments will now be required to the 1971 Act and to the Aliens Order, 1953.

The hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Wilkinson) suggested that there was no discrimination in these provisions and that nothing was wrong. He ought to look at some of the consequences of what is likely to happen here. We know that patriality will not automatically qualify a person. Somebody who is seeking to obtain patriality and is going through the probation period of five years will be placed in a different position from an EEC worker who comes here, who registers once and for all and who is able to establish himself and his family here. That is a measure of discrimination—at least it is a distinction, it not discrimination.

Mr. Wilkinson

If an Indian from one State of the Indian Union is told that he is free to go to another State where a different language is spoken, that is comprehensible. It is equally comprehensible to him that someone from South Asia, outside the Indian Union, should not have the same rights as he has. That is what I was saying. That is a fair analogy.

Mr. Davis

Not only did I find the hon. Gentleman's first intervention incomprehensible, but I find this one difficult to follow. His intervention has not assisted whatever case he has sought to make. I find it difficult to know what that case is.

There will be a distinction between the four groups of citizens. People going through the probationary period will have to undertake this rigmarole established by the Immigration Act, 1971. The other people will not have to undertake that rigmarole. They will not have to register. This will create resentment and distress. That is wrong. We must consider what proposed patrials have to go through to establish themselves here. They have to satisfy the authorities that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language. The EEC workers will not have to subscribe to that. The proposed patrials will have to satisfy the authorities that they are good citizens of good character; throughout this period they will be subject to the threat of deportation.

None of those matters affects the EEC worker who comes into this country.

A clear case of discrimination is likely to be established here. We have this absurd situation. We must bear in mind that many of the people who will be affected fought for this country in the last war and are to be treated less favourably than some people who fought against us. That is an absurd situation. We create three or four classes of citizens. We create aliens, Commonwealth citizens who are non-patrial, Commonwealth citizens who are patrial, and citizens of EEC member States.

Commonwealth immigrants to the United Kingdom will feel themselves to be even more inferior than they do now. It is a pathetic and humiliating situation. It is a situation which no worthy Government should willingly embrace.

Question put, That the Amendment be made: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 173, Noes 227.

Division No. 151.] AYES [2.24 a.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Ellis, Tom Lomas, Kenneth
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) English, Michael Loughlin, Charles
Armstrong, Ernest Ewing, Henry Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Atkinson, Norman Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McBride, Neil
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McCartney, Hugh
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Foot, Michael McElhone, Frank
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Forrester, John McGuire, Michael
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackenzie, Gregor
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Gilbert, Dr. John Mackie, John
Bidwell, Sydney Golding, John McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Biffen, John Gourlay, Harry McNamara, J. Kevin
Body, Richard Grant, George (Morpeth) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Booth, Albert Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Marks, Kenneth
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Marsden, F.
Buchan, Norman Hamling, William Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hardy, Peter Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Mayhew, Christopher
Cant, R. B. Harper, Joseph Meacher, Michael
Carmichael, Neil Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Heffer, Eric S. Mendelson, John
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Horam, John Mikardo, Ian
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Millan, Bruce
Cohen, Stanley Huckfield, Leslie Miller, Dr. M. S.
Conlan, Bernard Hughes, Mark (Durham) Milne, Edward
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Molloy, William
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Hunter, Adam Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Dalyell, Tam Janner, Greville Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jeger, Mrs. Lena Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Moyle, Roland
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) John, Brynmor Murray, Ronald King
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Oakes, Gordon
Deakins, Eric Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Ogden, Eric
Delargy, H. J. Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) O'Halloran, Michael
Dempsey, James Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Orme, Stanley
Doig, Peter Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Oswald, Thomas
Dormand, J. D. Kaufman, Gerald Paget, R. T.
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Kerr, Russell Palmer, Arthur
Driberg, Tom Kinnock, Neil Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lambie, David Pavitt, Laurie
Dunn, James A. Lamond, James Pentland, Norman
Dunnett, Jack Latham, Arthur Perry, Ernest G.
Eadie, Alex Leadbitter, Ted Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Price, William (Rugby)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Spearing, Nigel Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Robertson, John (Paisley) Stallard, A. W. Wallace, George
Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor) Stoddart, David (Swindon) Watkins, David
Roper, John Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Wellbeloved, James
Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Rowlands, Edward Swain, Thomas White, James (Glasgow, Pollock)
Sandelson, Neville Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Whitehead, Phillip
Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.) Whitlock, William
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Tinn, James Woof, Robert
Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Torney, Tom
Sillars, James Tuck, Raphael TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Skinner, Dennis Varley, Eric G. Mr. Donald Coleman and
Small, William Wainwright, Edwin Mr. Tom Pendry.
Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Adley, Robert Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Miscampbell, Norman
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Gray, Hamish Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Green, Alan Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Astor, John Grieve, Percy Money, Ernle
Atkins, Humphrey Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Monks, Mrs. Connie
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Grylls, Michael Monro, Hector
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Gummer, J. Selwyn More, Jasper
Batsford, Brian Gurden, Harold Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Morrison, Charles
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Hall, John (Wycombe) Mudd, David
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Murton, Oscar
Biggs-Davison, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Neave, Airey
Blaker, Peter Hannam, John (Exeter) Normanton, Tom
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Nott, John
Boscawen, Robert Haselhurst, Alan Onslow, Cranley
Bossom, Sir Clive Hastings, Stephen Osborn, John
Bowden, Andrew Havers, Michael Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Bray, Ronald Hawkins, Paul Page, Graham (Crosby)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hayhoe, Barney Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Heseltine, Michael Parkinson, Cecil
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hicks, Robert Pike, Miss Meryn
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hiley, Joseph Pink, R. Bonner
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N & M) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Buck, Antony Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Holland, Philip Proudfoot, Wilfred
Carlisle, Mark Holt, Miss Mary Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hornby, Richard Raison, Timothy
Chapman, Sydney Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Churchill, W. S. Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Redmond, Robert
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Howell, David (Guildford) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Clegg, Walter Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cockeram, Eric Hunt, John Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Cooke, Robert James, David Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Coombs, Derek Jessel, Toby Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Cooper, A. E. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Cormack, Patrick Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Costain, A. P. Kershaw, Anthony Rost, Peter
Critchley, Julian Kimball, Marcus Russell, Sir Ronald
Crouch, David King, Tom (Bridgwater) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Kinsey, J. R. Scott, Nicholas
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kirk, Peter Sharples, Richard
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James Kitson, Timothy Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Knight, Mrs. Jill Shelton, William (Clapham)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Knox, David Simeons, Charles
Dixon, Piers Lane, David Sinclair, Sir George
Drayson, G. B. Langford-Holt, Sir John Skeet, T. H. H.
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Le Merchant, Spencer Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Soref, Harold
Emery, Peter Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Speed, Keith
Eyre, Reginald Longden, Sir Gilbert Spence, John
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Loveridge, John Sproat, Iain
Fidler, Michael Luce, R. N. Stainton, Keith
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) MacArthur, Ian Stanbrook, Ivor
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McCrindle, R. A. Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Fookes, Miss Janet Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Fortescue, Tim Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Foster, Sir John McNair-Wilson, Michael Stokes, John
Fowler, Norman McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Gardner, Edward Maddan, Martin Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Gibson-Watt, David Madel, David Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Mather, Carol Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Maude, Angus Tebbitt, Norman
Goodhart, Philip Mawby, Ray Temple, John M.
Goodhew, Victor Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Gorst, John Meyer, Sir Anthony Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Gower, Raymond Mills, Peter (Torrington) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Tilney, John Ward, Dame Irene Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Trew, Peter Warren, Kenneth Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Tugendhat, Christopher Weatherill, Bernard Woodnutt, Mark
van Straubenzee, W. R. Wells, John (Maidstone) Worsley, Marcus
Vaughan, Dr. Gerard White, Roger (Gravesend) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Waddington, David Wiggin, Jerry
Walder, David (Ciltheroe) Wilkinson, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester) Winterton, Nicholas Mr. Michael Jopling and
Wall, Patrick Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick Mr. Marcus Fox.
Walters, Dennis

Question accordingly negatived.

The Second Deputy Chairman

The next Amendment is No. 136.

Mr. Spearing

On a point of order. Mr. Mallalieu, I raised earlier in the debate a matter of fact which gave rise to an exchange between my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) and the Solicitor-General, who said that later in the debate he would comment on that matter. As it has a bearing on the Amendment which is about to be moved, may I ask the Solicitor-General to say when he intends to make a statement, so that hon. Members who are interested will be able to hear what he has to say?

The Second Deputy Chairman

That is more a matter for private arrangement than a point of order.

Mr. Powell

I beg to move Amendment No. 136, in page 2, line 25, leave out 'from time to time'.

The Second Deputy Chairman

With this Amendment it will be convenient to take the following Amendments:

No. 244, in page 2, line 26, after 'Treaties', insert 'described in Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act which were in force in the Communities on 22nd January 1972 and which are listed in Schedule to this Act'.

No. 137, in line 26, leave out 'from time to time'.

No. 246, in line 27, after 'the', insert 'foregoing'.

No. 247, in line 28, after 'the', insert 'said'.

No. 248, in line 28, after 'Treaties', insert: 'together with the Treaty of Accession signed at Brussels on 22nd January, 1972, and the associated decision of the Council of the European Communities relating to the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Coal and Steel Community'.

No. 249, in line 28, leave out 'without further enactment to be' and insert: 'directly to be applied and'.

No. 138, in line 30, leave out 'accordingly'.

No. 250, in line 31, leave out 'enforceable' and insert 'directly applicable'.

No. 208, in line 31, leave out from 'right' to end of line 33 and insert: 'means a right enforceable by any Community Institution in respect of—

  1. (a) any Treaty or treaty, their protocols or annexes or other international agreements defined as such in this section and in Schedule 1 to this Act;
  2. (b) regulations, directives, or decisions of Community Institutions made prior to 22nd January, 1972; and
  3. (c) regulations, directives or decisions of Community Institutions enforceable in respect of the Treaty of Accession signed at Brussels on 22nd January, 1972'.

No. 140, in line 33, at end insert: Provided that this subsection shall not apply to any rights, powers, liabilities, obligations, restrictions, remedies or procedures created, arising or provided for after the entry date.

No. 251, in line 33, at end insert: (2) All such rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions, and all remedies and procedures, created or arising by or under the Treaties after 2nd January, 1972, as in accordance with the Treaties are directly to be applied and given legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall be recognised and available in law and be enforced, allowed and followed as provided by Act of Parliament from time to time.

Mr. Powell

The Amendment has to be taken in connection with Amendment No. 140, which is the operative Amendment for my purpose, and also with Amendment No. 143, in page 3, line 2 leave out from 'rights' to end of line 4. Amendment No. 143 on the provisional selection is grouped with the Amendments of which the Committee has disposed, but it will be within the recollection of some members of the Committee that at the commencement of the proceedings the Chairman of Ways and Means indicated—logically, if I may say so with respect—that Amendment No. 143 also belonged in this context as it is consequential.

The purpose of the Amendments is a simple one. They draw a line between directly applicable Community legislation enacted by the Community before the entry of this country, if it takes place, and directly applicable Community legislation which is made afterwards. The effect of the Amendments would be that the procedure of Clause 2(1) would apply only to the directly applicable legislation which was already in existence at the moment of presumed entry on 1st January next year. For all subsequent directly applicable Community law it would be necessary to make provision in other ways, for example under the procedure of Clause 2(2).

For the purpose of the Bill there is an obvious distinction between Community law which is in existence before this country joins and that which comes into existence during the subsequent and illimitable future. With due regard to the complaints so persistently and justly voiced by the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis), we should within a measurable time of 1st January have in authenticated texts the ipsissima verba of present Community law, so that we can hardly say that we are totally ignorant of what we are introducing automatically by the procedure of subsection (1) into the law of this country. But, of course, that cannot, by definition, be true of Community law to be made in the future: we are by the Clause automatically admitting it to the law of this country, but we are doing so without any possibility of knowing what it is to be other than that it falls within the outer limits of the treaties. It is an almost shameful activity for the House of Commons—to enact without any parliamentary procedure whatsoever law of which it can have no knowledge. I think, therefore, that it will be conceded that there is a drastic distinction between pre-entry and post-entry law and that very different considerations apply to the use of Clause 2(1) for the former and for the latter class.

There is a sense in which the debate upon these Amendments and the others grouped with them, particularly Amendment No. 249, brings us back to the ground traversed in the previous major debate of this day's sitting, I think it will not be only those on one side of the Commitee who have remained unconvinced by the answer obtained from my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General on two points. The first is the minor point relating to Community decisions. Since my hon. and learned Friend spoke, I have again considered, in the light of what he said, the wording of Article 189, and it still appears to me that the wording used to describe decisions is not only different but clearly deliberately different from that which includes the words "directly applicable" and is used to describe the regulations of the Community. With great respect to my hon. and learned Friend, therefore, I cannot believe that, in the law of the Community and the interpretation of the treaty, regulations and decisions are on all-fours or that decisions are in the same sense as regulations directly applicable, whatever "directly applicable" may mean.

But that, of course, was always the minor issue. The major issue was whether "directly applicable" was the equivalent of the now celebrated words in the Clause "without further enactment". There again, I am not merely unconvinced upon the construction of Article 189; I am prevented, even if I might otherwise have been convinced, by the actual expressions which fell from my hon. and learned Friend when replying to that debate. When challenged by the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) on the ruling of the Chair which covers all these debates, he said that an Amendment would be out of order if it required amendment of the treaty. He quite distinctly and advisedly used those words.

It therefore follows that the previous Amendments, and, indeed, Amendment No. 249 and this Amendment, do not require Amendment of the treaty. From that in turn it follows that the treaty, and in particular Article 189, does not require the form of enactment of directly applicable Community law which we find in subsection (1); and that we are therefore free to propose alternative ways in which some or all of the directly applicable law of the Community shall be rendered part of the law of this country.

Since the preceding debate, I have had the opportunity to refresh my memory as to what was said on this subject by what I suppose must be regarded as the principal witness and source of enlightenment on the subject, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. Despite the earliness of the hour, I would like to trouble the Committee with the exact words my right hon. Friend used on 17th February, because they are clearly related to subsection (1) in so many words, and they clearly make the opposite point to that which my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General was sustaining. The Prime Minister said: What we have done in this Bill, in Clause 2(1), is to make that effective. That is a reference to a certain amount of Community law which will become automatically applicable. 2.45 a.m.

So it is clear that my right hon. Friend was talking about the same subject as the Committee has been discussing in the present sitting. He was talking about directly applicable Community law and about Clause 2(1). He said: What we have done in this Bill, in Clause 2(1), is to make that —the automatically applicable Community law— effective. Then he went on to make the following remark: There have been various suggestions on how this should be handled. One suggestion is that the whole of the legislation which might be affected by any of the instruments should be re-enacted by Parliament". That was a rather stronger form of alternative method than those which have been proposed in several different ways during this sitting, to proceed, for example, by way of Statutory Instrument or various forms of approval of draft Instruments.

Of the many suggested alternative ways in which directly applicable Community law could be handled, my right hon. Friend took the proposal that the whole of the legislation affected could be re-enacted by Parliament. He proceeded to shoot this down, not by saying that it had to be Clause 2(1) or nothing, nor by saying that the words "directly applicable" in Article 189 mean exactly the same as "without further enactment". My right hon. Friend's speech would have been absolute nonsense, and he would have been wasting his breath, if the treaty had required direct application "without further enactment". But he clearly did not think that "without further enactment" was the meaning of the words in the treaty. So he produced a different line of argument, objecting that: This would have the effect that whole of the legislation on each of these subjects could then be amended and dealt with again; but the one part which could not be dealt with would be the new part which comes in the Community law."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th February, 1972, Vol. 831, cc. 747–8.] My right hon. Friend was perfectly correct: the directly applicable Community law could not be amended without breach of the treaty in the form in which it was re-enacted. But what my right hon. Friend stated clearly is that we could fulfil the requirements of the treaty by legislative enactment. Unless, therefore, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister himself misconceived the treaty and the Bill, we are free to propose an alternative method of "handling"—to use my right hon. Friend's term—to bring into the law of this country some or all of the directly applicable Community law.

In this Amendment I am proposing that we should adopt such an alternative method for future, or post-entry, Community law: since at this stage we can have no information of what it is, it will need to be brought before Parliament from time to time, in due course, under subsection (2). Thus, post-entry Community law will be made known to the House, and laid before the House, so that it can be explained, and so that it becomes part of the law of this country in orderly manner.

The Lord Advocate (Mr. Norman Wylie)

The difficulty about this is that no one can guarantee that Parliament would enact that subsequent legislation, and if it did not do so it would result in a breach of treaty obligations, and for that reason we have to envisage ab ante that consent to Community law would fall.

Mr. Powell

My right hon. and learned Friend did not have the advantage of following the relevant parts of the earlier debate. Otherwise he would have heard it pointed out that the same argument applies to Clause 2(2): the House of Commons, presented with a statutory instrument under Clause 2(2), can throw it out. It is true that it can be brought in again, and in a slightly altered form. It is true that the argument for the different procedures in subsections (1) and (2) is that subsection (2) applies to the implementation of directives, where we have choice of method. But that does not help my hon. and learned Friend, because he is still faced under Clause 2(2)—or wherever we proceed by regulation in implementing Community law—with the fact that this House in theory can throw it out, and that the Government are obliged to say to this House that it has the power to negative the Statutory Instrument but that they must warn that, if it does so, it will be in breach of the treaty.

That is what will be said over and over again whenever regulations are presented under Clause 2(2); and if it is to be said for regulations under Clause 2(2), it might as well be said for regulations which embody into the law of this country the directly applicable law of which at present we have no knowledge because it is to be made in future.

We have a choice as to way in which we will enact post-entry Community law. We can do it blind, now, in advance. But we do not need to do this: we can do it in other ways. By the adoption of this Amendment we shall ensure that it is done in other ways, notably by means of Statutory Instrument. Therefore, I hope that once again those who take different views on the general question of Britain and the Community will help to establish the point that there is a certain—I was about to use the word "impropriety", but that is too weak—obscenity in this House legislating blind for the future, especially as we are not under any obligation to do so. I hope that by adopting this Amendment we shall show ourselves sensitive to the requirements of parliamentary decency.

Sir Elwyn Jones

As the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) has pointed out, these Amendments link with our earlier discussion of the provisions of Clause 2(1) in relation to directly applicable laws of the Community. I use the language of Article 189 of the Treaty of Rome and not the language that the Government have imported into subsection (1), the phrase "without further enactment". I shall be making some observations about that when we deal with Amendment No. 249, which raises expressly the implications of that imported phraseology.

In adopting the method used in Clause 2(1) to incorporate the existing self-executing Community law into our own law, the Government have sought to justify their draconian lock, stock and barrel approach on the ground that it is the most expedient and shortest way of dealing with the problem. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that this is certainly not the only way that the Government had of dealing with the problem. They were not obliged to do it in that way, and I understood from the Chancellor of the Duchy earlier that this was now conceded.

Whatever else may be said about the 1967 White Paper—it is constantly thrown at the Opposition—the previous Administration never contemplated this shotgun method of dealing with the problem of incorporating treaty law into our law. The treaty rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions could have been made explicit in the terms of the Bill. Indeed, they should have been made explicit. Each right, power, liability, obligation and restriction should have been identified. At the very least, each should have been published. However, that was not done. The liabilities and the rest of those factors should have been set out in the context of any existing law which they effect and articulated to the relevant existing law of this country. That has not been done. Admittedly, it would have been a lengthy job.

The previous Administration contemplated, as the White Paper put it—this is rarely quoted—that a substantial body of legislation would be required to enable us to accept the Community law. That would have been a way to enable Parliament and the people of this country to know what the implications and consequences of the Bill were.

As it is, we have had the remarkable experience of having to wait until tonight in the Solicitor-General's speech to get the first attempt even at definition of the separate rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions. The hon. and learned Gentleman hardly attempted more than a definition. Yet surely the situation cries out for a detailed setting out of the rights, powers, and particularly the liabilities, obligations and restrictions.

What has been done in the draft of this Bill is all too slick and wholly unsatisfactory from the point of view of Parliament and the public. Whatever virtue may attach to the argument of brevity and of expediency concerning pre-accession Community legislation, those defences cannot begin to justify what is proposed for the, as yet, unknown and unknowable post-accession and future Community law. I submit that the provisions of the Bill shut out Parliament not only from detailed consideration of existing pre-accession obligations but from the new post-accession laws.

This group of Amendments, which my right hon. and hon. Friends support, seeks to remedy this unacceptable exclusion of Parliament. The key Amendment is No. 251, which provides that the rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions created by the post-accession treaties shall be recognised and allowed as provided by Act of Parliament from time to time. These Amendments seek to reinstate in some degree the authority of Parliament. All that the Government contemplate, by way of provision of a place for Parliament regarding future Community law which is to become part of our law, is some minor amendment of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.

3.0 a.m.

All that we have been offered by the Government is that the matter shall be considered by an ad hoc committee, and we were told by the right hon. and learned Gentleman today that it was to be merely a temporary advisory committee with no permanent status whatsoever. All that we have really had from the right hon. and learned Gentleman on this matter is an answer that he gave to the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton). I am sorry that I do not have the reference, but it will no doubt be familiar to the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He said that the whole question of procedure in dealing with treaties would be put in the terms of reference, as it were, of the ad hoc committee so that we could consider the most appropriate procedures: so that we could consider how we could ensure by our procedures that there was an opportunity for these matters to be considered here.

We are faced with the fact that the Government have made no attempt to spell out what, in their opinion, those procedures ought to be. Apparently no attempt has been made by the Government to devise procedures to make certain that Parliament can deal effectively with this unprecedented problem. No attempt has been made to devise means by which Parliament can influence events at the Council or Commission at the stage of proposals or to give Parliament control over the articulation of new rights, obligations and the rest of it into our legal system.

In our view, either the Government should have spelled out the appropriate procedures and given them statutory force by express provision in the Bill, or they should have undertaken to provide for a follow-up Communities scrutiny Bill creating and establishing such procedures.

As more than one hon. Member has said today, the kind of arrangement that has been made in Germany to deal with these matters is infinitely better than anything that has been suggested by the Government. In so far as Community institutions are empowered to make regulations taking effect directly, we should at least require machinery to ensure that Parliament is apprised by a requirement similar to that in the German legislation on accession to the EEC, under which the Federal Government must keep the Bundestag continuously informed of developments in the Council of Ministers about Community decisions requiring changes in the law.

The German legislature has also given a useful guide, as we have heard more than once, by providing that where decisions by the Council of Ministers call for automatic legal changes the Bundestag should be informed of this before the Council takes a decision. That means that the specialised legislative committees of the Bundestag can in those cases comment on what is proposed and affect and influence the decision.

The system of presentation to Parliament of Brussels draft regulations would at least enable Parliament to influence a decision within the Council of Ministers before a Brussels decree became mandatory. It is interesting to note that our domestic legislation has examples of preliminary draft regulations having to be subjected to prior consideration before a final draft is submitted to Parliament for approval. For instance, before making any regulations under the National Insurance Act, 1965 or laying a draft of such regulations before Parliament, the Minister must submit to the National Insurance Advisory Committee a preliminary draft, so that in that purely domestic field there is statutory provision for that kind of machinery.

In our view the great merit of Amendment No. 251 is that it makes sure that Parliament will always be able to reassert its over-riding power if it so wishes. The machinery of subsection (3), which enables Parliament to reject an Order specifying a new treaty entered into by the United Kingdom after 22nd January, 1972, to be a Community treaty, is something that we deem to be wholly insufficient. We know the limitation of such parliamentary procedures, both as to their brevity and as to the form of the ensuing debates on that sort of order.

I wish to emphasise that we shall not be dealing in this context with mere trivia because future treaties and agreements may go far beyond the sphere of tariffs, customs duties and common marketing. They may give effect, for example, to the wider political aspirations of some Community members and some Ministers for progressive advance towards the political unification of this country with those countries of Western Europe which belong to the EEC. It is therefore vitally important that the future should be safeguarded for Parliament to have an effective rôle.

Future decisions of the Community may involve changes in our statute law. If so, it is essential, if only for the avoidance of doubt, that such changes are carried through by new Acts of Parliament based on the same legislative process as created the very statutes which Community law requires to be changed. This Measure should clearly spell that out or make provision for the necessary procedures to be stated in future Acts as the situation develops and new problems are created. Either the Government have not thought these things out or they have deliberately chosen this machinery to shackle and limit the powers of Parliament. In either case what is proposed just will not do.

Amendment No. 249 deals expressly with a point that achieved important dimensions in the debate earlier; namely, the use of the words in Clause 2(1) "without further enactment." There is nothing in the Treaty of Rome to the effect that there should be no further enactment to apply directly enforceable Community law in this country. It is certainly not equivalent to translate and paraphrase "apply directly enforceable law" as "be given legal effect … to … without further enactment". Those words are the creation or concoction of the Government in their effort to justify this hatchet Clause and create some belief in the necessity of this, and I see a good deal of force in the argument of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West on this matter.

There are other means of achieving direct applicability without providing that it shall be done without further enactment. There is no reason in the world why measures which apply directly should not have been made part of the body of our law by enactment when that was deemed to be necessary. This justification of the Government is at the heart of their case, and I submit that there is no real justification for it.

In conclusion I submit that this pro-proposed change in our law, a change of so fundamental and far-reaching a character, should not have been dealt with in this way, and if the Committee in due course carries these Amendments it will bring out the salutary process of requiring the Government to think again and of at least taking, and having to take, Parliament seriously.

Mr. Rippon

Now that the main arguments in favour of this group of Amendments have been deployed perhaps it would be for the convenience of the Committee if this matter were concluded shortly tomorrow when it might be more appropriate for my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General or myself to reply. In these circumstances, I beg to move, That the Chairman do report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Question put and agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.

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