HC Deb 08 March 1972 vol 832 cc1573-612

Again considered in Committee.

Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.

Mr. Mendelson

I endeavoured, before the interruption of the work of the Committee, to put a number of reasoned arguments in support of the Amendments. I have had the courtesy of right hon. and hon. Members listening to those arguments, and I do not wish to add anything more.

Mr. Shore

I should like to begin by thanking my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) for shortening his speech. I am sure he had many more points to make. Indeed, most right hon. and hon. Members who have followed the debate today have found it difficult not to speak at some length.

Although the Solicitor-General, who is not in his place at the moment, spoke for 75 minutes, he did not speak for a minute too long. Indeed, those of us who have been following the argument for the last two days with the closeness which you, Sir Robert, would expect of us, really regret that the hon. and learned Gentleman was unable—"unable" has at least two meanings—to continue his speech, which we were finding very interesting indeed.

Perhaps I may pick up the threads of our continuing debates. Last night in our first Amendment we sought to delete Clause 1(3), as we put it, with the intention of destroying the new machinery for smuggling into our affairs new treaties and, with those new treaties, the possibilities of new legislation which would, in fact, be virtually through ministerial fiat.

Today we return to the same underlying theme. In these six Amendments we seek to ensure that no new future treaties should be agreed to in the name of this country unless they have gone through all the normal processes which are involved. We wish treaties to be laid before Parliament, and, if they have internal effects, there should be a Bill to carry out the changes in our laws. That is what Amendments Nos. 147 and 162 would provide. The debate has given us no reason to change our view that either or both of these Amendments are desirable.

[Sir MYER GALPERN in the Chair]

10.15 p.m.

Our Amendment No. 96 is very modest—in the light of the debate, perhaps too modest for our purpose of bringing the effective scrutiny of Parliament to bear on Community treaties. Amendments Nos. 81 and 82 seek broadly the same objective, and I should be happy to see either or both carried.

Our reason for wanting to control this treaty-making power was made clear yesterday, when we expressed our main fear that the power under Clause 1(2) and (3) could easily be abused and that far-reaching commitments could be entered into by the Government without necessarily the consent of Parliament. There was no effective reply to our charge that there was a real danger of abuse of Executive power.

The Chancellor of the Duchy dealt with one aspect of the matter, the Community treaties. He left mainly to the Solicitor-General the other aspect of future treatymaking—those treaties which are entered into not by the Community itself but by the United Kingdom, along with others, as a party to a Community treaty. It is those two separate matters which we have now to consider.

I begin with the power of the Community in its own right to conclude treaties. The defence of this great power by Ministers was not convincing. They argued, as they are entitled to do, that some of these powers are built into Articles which have been in the Treaty of Rome for a considerable time. The various Articles of the Rome Treaty were subject to an over-riding restraint up to the end of 1969 and the beginning of 1970. Up to that date they came under the transitional period, by which a far greater power resided in the individual member States. It was only after that date that the treaty-making commercial power of the European Communities moved from Article 111 to Article 112, and that slightly different procedure marked the change.

The Minister's first defence is that this does not particularly worry him, while his second defence is that the matters which these Community powers for making treaties cover are of relatively small significance. The Father of the House, the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir Robin Turton) made an interesting speech related centrally to the Chancellor of the Duchy's claim that this was only a relatively insignificant treaty-making power.

The Father of the House said, "In that case, let us apply this treaty-making power to, for example, the future of the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement." Hon. Members who over the years have taken part in these debates will recognise the legitimate concern that was felt in all parts of the House about this agreement during the negotiations. We felt that there had to be a satisfactory arrangement covering sugar before membership could be possible or acceptable to us.

This aspect relates to the subject that we have been discussing, because at present we have the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement—that is, Britain acting as a separate commercial power in its own right; we have this agreement or trade treaty—to buy certain quantities of sugar at a certain price. This agreement expires, because it is not to be renewed, at the end of 1974.

If we enter the E.E.C. the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement—for sell sugar these countries must—cannot apply to this country. [Interruption.] They cannot sell sugar to us because we shall have ceded to the Community our right to make separate commercial treaties with third nations.

The only possibility, therefore, of the Commonwealth countries selling satisfactory quantities of sugar and safeguarding their future is if they have satisfactory agreements with the Community as a whole, and it is the exercise of the Community's treaty-making power which alone can give satisfaction to the Commonwealth sugar-producing countries.

The argument can begin about the likelihood of the Commonwealth countries getting the right kind of agreement, no doubt with Britain trying to do its best within the Council of Ministers. The question then arises whether it is to be a qualified majority voting decision or, as some people optimistically hope, a matter of unanimity. Which of these two is to be the method by which a decision is arrived at is irrelevant to the main point that the right hon. Gentleman the Father of the House was making, because the important point is this. The treaty that Commonwealth sugar countries have with us expires at the end of 1974 and we can no longer carry it on. Therefore, sugar imports will cease. They will no longer have any legal basis. A replacement agreement has then to come in, and, by definition, it has to he a Community treaty. That is the point. Whether that Community Treaty is arrived at by quail- fied majority vote or unanimity does not matter.

The second point is that whatever that agreement may be, whether satisfactory or unsatisfactory, it may be something in which Ministers will be involved in the arguments in Brussels, but it is something from which the House of Commons is bound to be excluded because it will be a Community treaty, a treaty to which Britain is not a party and an agreement which we are not part of. Therefore, there is no requirement on the Government even to inform us of the result of that negotiation. That is the position. Perhaps the right hon. and learned Gentleman would think that it was rather a good idea to let us know, but there is no requirement to let us know. Even if we did know, we have no machinery and right in the matter under the first part of Clause 1(3). Am I right or wrong? I am never too demanding of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Like myself, he is a reflective man and likes to think about his answers. I am happy to leave it at present. But what we want is not smart ripostes but the substantial answer. [Interruption.] It is a great pity that if hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway honour us with their presence after 10 p.m. they are not prepared to listen, and an even greater pity that they do not do the House of Commons, themselves or their constituents the courtesy of listening to probably the most important debates that have occurred in this Chamber for many years.

Mr. Rippon

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman does not want in any way to mislead the Committee. He will recall that my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General went into this matter and explained that one had to have regard to the nature of the arrangements that the Commonwealth countries make. They will have the opportunity of two forms of association agreement or a straight trade agreement. A different situation arises if they have an association agreement which brings in their Commonwealth rights. It is also fair to bear in mind what the position now is when Britain enters into trade agreements of that kind, when the parliamentary procedures are not usually invoked and where action is taken by the British Government and that is the end of the matter.

Mr. Shore

On the second point, we are negotiating the agreement. The right hon. and learned Gentleman may say that Parliament does not always supervise an agreement which is arranged by the Government. But, good heavens, we can; and if we do not like it we can let the Government know. But, clearly, it is a different matter if the Community negotiates it. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's distinction between the two kinds of possible agreement open to the Commonwealth sugar countries does not alter the matter very much. If the Commonwealth sugar countries were to decide to apply for association with the Common Market under article 238 of the Rome Treaty and to become A.O.T.s, I agree that the treaty that brought them into association with the Common Market or the extended European Community would be a treaty to which we were also a party and, therefore, that would come under the second part of Clause 1(3). In other words, that treaty could then come before the House, and with all the extended possibilities of debate on an affirmative Resolution. That would be the case if an association agreement was applied for and obtained and it would become an A.O.T. under Article 238.

10.30 p.m.

What I envisaged would be a likelier prospect, is that some sugar islands, if not all of them, would not become A.O.T.s. They would have a straightforward trade agreement under Article 113. Assume for the purpose of this debate that it is a trade agreement conducted by the Community with Commonwealth sugar countries to take whatever quantity of sugar they think right and acceptable to the Community after our agreement expires. There would be no need for that new agreement to be brought before this House. If it were brought before us, under the Part A of subsection (3) procedure, there would be no possibility for this House to argue about, vote on or throw it out. Am I right?

Mr. Rippon

This is exactly what the Solicitor-General explained and what this debate has been about. This is the distinction betwen those treaties made by the Community with another party under the particular provisions of the treaty. Of course, it may well be that matters of this kind, as the Solicitor-General said, would, because there are various Community procedures and discussions, be thought to be matters of such importance that the countries which were parties to them might wish to reinforce them.

Mr. Shore

I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman has given me my point. I am seeking to establish that if it took the form of a Community trade treaty this House, when the time comes for renewal at the end of the period of the present Commonwealth Sugar Agreement, would not even have the right to be informed about, let alone to debate or to turn down, the new agreement.

Now I come to what seems to me to be our legitimate argument with the right hon. and learned Gentleman about the terms he negotiated. It is not that this information has come as a great surprise to me. I knew that under this particular term of the Rome Treaty a trade agreement would be conducted by the Community and not by this country. That is why I wanted a cast-iron protocol guaranteeing specific quantities of sugar to continue to be supplied to the United Kingdom market even if we entered the Common Market. That is the meaning of "effective terms" as applied to the sugar islands.

Is not this point exactly the same as will apply to New Zealand? Is it not a fact that when the present New Zealand trade treaties expire the protocol on New Zealand tells us something about quantities over the transitional period and that at the end of that period the Commission will make a proposal? Then we have the difficult business of whether it has to be a unanimous decision of the Council or not. Putting that aside, when that agreement is made and the post-1977 butter agreement is signed, New Zealand will not become an Article 238 A.O.T. of the Common Market, but it will be a trade treaty under Article 113. Then it can come back to this House if the right hon. and learned Gentleman sees fit to report it to us, but it will come in a form under Part A of Clause 1(3), in which we shall not be able to debate it, and even if we could debate it, we could not interfere with it, amend it, or reject it.

Mr. Rippon

One thing should be made clear. Of course, the House of Commons could debate it. There is no doubt about that. As we have made clear all along, any Government are responsible to the House of Commons. Therefore, if they entered, or allowed the Community to enter, agreements which could not be carried through this House or which were subject to a vote of censure, they would be open to great difficulty.

Mr. Shore

When my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition spoke about transitional terms and getting cast-iron guarantees for a generation or more there was a point, because we lose our treaty-making power, the power to give guarantees to countries which are and have been linked to us in their fortunes and linked to our markets. Our power to give them a guarantee about the future lapses under the terms of the Rome Treaty and our accession to it. Unless we write in specific detailed protocols, or whatever other form of reservation it may be, we cannot even live up to our obligations to those who have depended upon us. The extent to which we are able to fulfil those obligations in the years to come is no longer in our hands and it rests entirely with the goodwill and good faith of the Community as a whole.

When the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told us that relatively small matters were involved on which the Community had the power simply to make treaties in our name I do not think he was bringing out the fullness of the matter, and it was surprising he should not have mentioned the two most important treaties with which we are involved and which would be critically affected by the treaty-making power of the Community. I have given two illustrations, but a lot is involved here. The Community's treaty-making power may be limited by some of the articles of the Treaty of Rome, but they are rather more extensive than the House has begun to understand.

When my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) mentioned his reservations and dislikes of a particular trade treaty with Spain and drew attention to the association agreement with Greece, he was on to something of profound importance. The pattern of these treaty arrangements adds up to a system of preference, a way of looking at the world, of giving preference to one group of nations and, at the same time, almost by definition, of withdrawing it from others. In joining the E.E.C., we are upturning the whole pattern of our relationships with the rest of the world. We are accepting the Continental system of preferences in trade and other matters and we are turning our backs on the system of preferences which we have known for so long and which are so much a part of our history, interests, sentiments and convictions. Since when did the Government feel they had greater obligations to Tunis, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and Spain than they had with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, India, and other countries in the Commonwealth.

This is against the whole sentiment of the country and against its interests as well. Do not let us pretend by handing over our treaty-making power to the Community for the Community to make treaties covering us and in our name that what we are doing is insignificant and does not matter. We are not being honest with ourselves if we do not face the magnitude of what is involved.

I have no desire to speak longer than the subject deserves, but I have dealt only with one part of what is involved in Clause 1(3) Part A, this loss of treaty-making power to the Communities. What about all those other areas of concern and all those treaties to which we are a party and which are linked with the Communities? I do not know where to begin.


There is a great deal to be said. But I think the sentiment of the Committee was that the Government had made a profound error of judgment in subsection (3) Part B. That came out very clearly in the cross-examination to which the Solicitor-General was subjected earlier this evening. When all the manifest disadvantages of subsection (3) Part B were put to him, when it was put to him how unacceptable were all the outrageous implications of the use of that machinery for what amounts to legislation in this country in the future, his defence was in tatters; it was hardly a defence at all. But after a rather tortuous intellectual journey around the subject he came back to say, "Well, it is necessary to the Community, to the carrying out of our obligations in signing the treaties, and to our effort to join the European Communities." It was precisely that word "necessary" that everyone else rejected. One thing that is clear, on which Marketeers and anti-Marketeers can unite, is that subsection (3) Part B is not necessary to the treaties or to the Bill. It is a hair shirt the Government have put on. They do not have to do it. It deals with future treaties, not those at present agreed, not treaties that fall within the sphere of the Community decision-making, not Community treaties, but future treaties linked with the purposes of the Community to which we should be cosignatories.

How we carry out those treaties in the future is for us to decide. The Government have chosen this way, a way that in the end comes down to the weight that any of us would want to place on getting an affirmative Resolution through both Houses. That is the defence. All that is left is that affirmative Resolution procedure. The Government did not have to choose that as the only way to approve a new treaty in which this country is involved with the Communities.

We are not talking about small matters. Look at what has happened already. In April, 1970, there was the Luxembourg Treaty, in which the Community signed the "own resources" arrangements, taking a taxing power, agreeing to take from the member States the yield of three taxes that we know all about. Another major treaty is obviously in the pipeline. In the papers this morning we read that the prospect of monetary and economic union, which contains a most appalling threat for this country, is nearer. We need not go into the merits now, but it is a matter of enormous importance.

Can it be said that the right way to deal with either of those matters is for the Minister concerned to ask for an affirmative Resolution? It is unbelievable. There are references to the Luxembourg Treaty as a second Rome Treaty. It has taken long enough to begin to digest the first. Now we are to have the second one, as it were, thrust down our throats in what might be a half day's debate or, if the rules are relaxed, a one-day debate. It is quite unthinkable that this should be so, and I come back to the point that it is not necessary.

10.45 p.m.

Those who wish to go ahead with this European venture, those who still, goodness knows how after the debate of today, sustain their enthusiasm for this cause, can still vote against this Clause, or, rather, vote for the Amendment that we propose, and can vote with an absolutely clear conscience. I go further: they can have more than a clear conscience they are in a happy position for once of being able to serve Europe and their country at the same time because of the remarkable opportunity which we by our Amendment have placed before the Committee. I urge them and both sides of the Committee to do just that in a few moment's time.

My last point is to draw attention once again to, and to underline, the manifest absurdity of the proposal of the ad hoc Committee. Those who were here at the time will, I think, agree that the Solicitor-General, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman himself, never appeared less happy, never appeared to be more worried, even when they had friendly smiling faces, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman has, than on this question of what this join ad hoc committee was supposed to do, and whether it was to be, what the right hon. and learned Gentleman almost suggested it should be, a kind of substitute House of Commons in the future, and whether all these matters which they are unable to answer and deal with in debate here would somehow be dealt with by a body whose membership and composition and terms of reference have not yet been thought out. We must reject that as offering any solution at all to the problem which in this debate so far we have revealed.

When the Question is put, perhaps fairly soon now, I hope the Committee will remember my words.

Mr. Norman Buchan (Renfrew, West)


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 198, Noes 170.

Division No. 75.] AYES [10.50 p.m.
Adley, Robert Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Astor, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Atkins, Humphrey Hannam, John (Exeter) Parkinson, Cecil
Awdry, Daniel Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Percival, Ian
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Haselhurst, Alan Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Havers, Michael Pounder, Rafton
Biggs-Davison, John Hawkins, Paul Proudfoot, Wilfred
Blaker, Peter Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Hiley, Joseph Raison, Timothy
Body, Richard Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Boscawen, Robert Holland, Philip Redmond, Robert
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hordern, Peter Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Braine, Bernard Hornby, Richard Rees, Peter (Dover)
Bray, Ronald Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Brinton, Sir Tatton Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Howell, David (Guildford) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Bryan, Paul Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Ridsdale, Julian
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Hunt, John Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Burden, F. A. Iremonger, T. L. Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) James, David Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Carlisle, Mark Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Jessel, Toby Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Churchill, W. S. Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rost, Peter
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Jopling, Michael Russell, Sir Ronald
Clegg, Walter Kaberry, Sir Donald Scott, Nicholas
Cockeram, Eric Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Sharples, Richard
Cooke, Robert Kershaw, Anthony Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Coombs, Derek Klifedder, James Simeons, Charles
Cooper, A. E. Kimball, Marcus Skeet, T. H. H.
Cormack, Patrick King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Soref, Harold
Costain, A. P. King, Tom (Bridgwater) Speed, Keith
Critchley, Julian Kitson, Timothy Spence, John
Crouch, David Knight, Mrs. Jill Stainton, Keith
Curran, Charles Knox, David Stanbrook, Ivor
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Lane, David Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Langford-Holt, Sir John Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmld, Maj -Gen. James Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stoddart-Scolt, Col. Sir M.
Dean, Paul Le Marchant, Spencer Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Sutcliffe, John
Drayson, G. B. Longden, Gilbert Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow.Cathcart)
Dykes, Hugh MacArthur, Ian Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) McCrindle, R. A. Temple, John M.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McLaren, Martin Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Emery, Peter Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Tilney, John
Eyre, Reginald McMaster, Stanley Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Fell, Anthony McNair-Wilson, Michael van Straubenzee, W. R.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Madel, David Waddington, David
Fidler, Michael Marten, Neil Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Mather, Carol Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Maude, Angus Ward, Dame Irene
Fookes, Miss Janet Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Warren, Kenneth
Fortescue, Tim Mills, Peter (Torrington) Weatherill, Bernard
Fox, Marcus Miscampbell, Norman White, Roger (Gravesend)
Fry, Peter Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Gibson-Watt, David Moate, Roger Wilkinson, John
Goodhart, Philip Monks, Mrs. Connie Winterton, Nicholas
Gorst, John Monro, Hector Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gower, Raymond More, Jasper Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Grant Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Gray, Hamish Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Woodnutt, Mark
Green, Alan Morrison, Charles Worsley, Marcus
Grieve, Percy Murton, Oscar Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Grylls, Michael Neave, Airey TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gummer, Selwyn Onslow, Cranley Mr. Victor Goodhew and Mr. John Stradling Thomas
Gurden, Harold Osborn, John
Allaun, Frank (Salford E.) Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Booth, Albert
Armstrong, Ernest Baxter, William Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)
Ashton, Joe Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)
Atkinson, Norman Biffen, John Buchan, Norman
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Bishop, E. S. Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Heffer, Eric S. Pardoe, John
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hooson, Emlyn Pavitt, Laurie
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Pendry, Tom
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Huckfield, Leslie Pentland, Norman
Coleman, Donald Hughes, Mark (Durham) Prescott, John
Concannon, J. D. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Conlan, Bernard Hunter, Adam Price, William (Rugby)
Crawshaw, Richard Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Probert, Arthur
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dalyell, Tam John, Brynmor Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Rose, Paul B.
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Jones, Rt. Hn. SirElwyn(W. Ham, S.) Sandelson, Neville
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Deakins, Eric Judd, Frank Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Kaufman, Gerald Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Kerr, Russell Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Dempsey, James Lambie, David Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Doig, Peter Lamond, James Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Dormand, J. D. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sillars, James
Driberg, Tom Lomas, Kenneth Skinner, Dennis
Duffy, A. E. P. Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Dunn, James A. McElhone, Frank Spearing, Nigel
Eadie, Alex Mackenzie, Gregor Spriggs, Leslie
Edelman, Maurice Mackie, John Stallard, A. W.
Edwards, William (Merioneth) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Steel, David
Ellis, Tom McNamara, J. Kevin Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
English, Michael Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Evans, Fred Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Strang, Gavin
Ewing, Harry Marks, Kenneth Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Faulds, Andrew Marshall, Dr. Edmund Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Meacher, Michael Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Tinn, James
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Tomney, Frank
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mendelson, John Urwin, T. W.
Foley, Maurice Millan, Bruce Varley, Eric G.
Foot, Michael Miller, Dr. M. S. Wainwright, Edwin
Garrett, W. E. Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Gilbert, Dr. John Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Wallace, George
Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Weitzman, David
Golding, John Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Gourlay, Harry Moyle, Roland Whitehead, Phillip
Grant, George (Morpeth) Oakes, Gordon Whitlock, William
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Ogden, Eric Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) O'Malley, Brian Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Oram, Bert Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Orbach, Maurice Woof, Robert
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Orme, Stanley
Hamling, William Oswald, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Harper, Joseph Paget, R. T. Mr. James Hamilton and Mr. James Wellbeloved
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Palmer, Arthur
Hattersley, Roy Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 172, Noes 195.

Division No. 76.] AYES [10.58 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Dunn, James A.
Ashton, Joe Coleman, Donald Eadie, Alex
Atkinson, Norman Concannon, J. D. Edelman, Maurice
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Conlan, Bernard Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Crawshaw, Richard Ellis, Tom
Baxter, William Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) English, Michael
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Cunningham. Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Evans, Fred
Biffen, John Dalyell, Tam Ewing, Henry
Bishop, E. S. Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Fell, Anthony
Body, Richard Davies, Ifor (Gower) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.
Booth, Albert Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Deakins, Eric Foley, Maurice
Buchan, Norman de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Foot, Michael
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Garrett, W. E.
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Dempsey, James Gilbert, Dr. John
Carmichael, Neil Doig, Peter Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Dormand, J. D. Golding, John
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Driberg, Tom Gourlay, Harry
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Duffy, A. E. P. Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Marks, Kenneth Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Marshall, Dr. Edmund Short,Rt.Hn.Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Marten, Neil Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Meacher, Michael Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hamling, William Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Mendelson, John Sillars, James
Hattersley, Roy Millan, Bruce Skinner, Dennis
Heffer, Eric S. Miller, Dr. M. S. Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Hooson, Emlyn Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Spearing, Nigel
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Spriggs, Leslie
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Stallard, A. W.
Huckfield, Leslie Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Moyle, Roland Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Oakes, Gordon Strang, Gavin
Hunter, Adam Ogden, Eric Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Hutchison, Michael Clark O'Malley, Brian Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oram, Bert Tinn, James
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Orbach, Maurice Tomney, Frank
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Orme, Stanley Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Oswald, Thomas Urwin, T. W.
John, Brynmor Paget, R. T. Varley, Eric G.
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Palmer, Arthur Wainwright, Edwin
Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Pavitt, Laurie Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Judd, Frank Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Wallace, George
Kaufman, Gerald Pendry, Tom Weitzman, David
Kerr, Russell Pentland, Norman Wellbeloved, James
Lambie, David Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch. White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Lamond, James Prescott, John Whitehead, Phillip
Whitlock, William
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Lomas, Kenneth Price, William (Rugby) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Probert, Arthur Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
McElhone, Frank Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Woof, Robert
Mackenzie, Gregor Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Mackie, John Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Rose, Paul B. Mr. Ernest Armstrong and Mr. Joseph Harper.
McNamara, J. Kevin Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Sandelson, Neville
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Adley, Robert Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hornby, Richard
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia
Astor, John Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Atkins, Humphrey Emery, Peter Howell, David (Guildford)
Awdry, Daniel Eyre, Reginald Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Hunt, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Fidler, Michael Iremonger, T. L.
Biggs-Davison, John Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) James, David
Blaker, Peter Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Fookes, Miss Janet Jessel, Toby
Boscawen, Robert Fortescue, Tim Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Fox, Marcus Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Brain, Bernard Fry, Peter Jopling, Michael
Bray, Ronald Gibson-Watt, David Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine
Brinton, Sir Tatton Goodhart, Philip Kershaw, Anthony
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gorst, John Kimball, Marcus
Bryan, Paul Gower, Raymond King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus,N&M) Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Burden, F. A. Gray, Hamish Kitson, Timothy
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Green, Alan Knight, Mrs. Jill
Carlisle, Mark Grieve, Percy Knox, David
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert
Churchill, W. S. Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Lambton, Antony
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Lane, David
Clegg, Walter Grylls, Michael Langford-Holt, Sir John
Cockeram, Eric Gummer, Selwyn Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Cooke, Robert Gurden, Harold Le Marchant, Spencer
Coombs, Derek Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Cooper, A. E. Hall, John (Wycombe) Longden, Gilbert
Cormack, Patrick Hall-Davis, A. G. F. MacArthur, Ian
Costain, A. P. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) McCrindle, R. A.
Critchley, Julian Hannam, John (Exeter) McLaren, Martin
Crouch, David Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Curran, Charles Haselhurst, Alan McMaster, Stanley
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Havers, Michael McNair-Wilson, Michael
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hawkins, Paul Madel, David
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. James Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Mather, Carol
Dean, Paul Hiley, Joseph Maude, Angus
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Drayson, G. B. Holland, Philip Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Oykes, Hugh Hordern, Peter Miscampbell, Norman
Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W) Rees, Peter (Dover) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Monks, Mrs. Connie Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Temple, John M.
Monro, Hector Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
More, Jasper Ridsdale, Julian Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Morrison, Charles Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Tilney, John
Murton, Oscar Roberts, Wyn (Conway) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Waddington, David
Neave, Airey Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Onslow, Cranley Rost, Peter Ward, Dame Irene
Osborn John Russell, Sir Ronald Warren, Kenneth
Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Scott, Nicholas Weatherill, Bernard
Page, Graham (Crosby) Sharples, Richard White, Roger (Gravesend)
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Pardoe, John Simeons, Charles Wilkinson, John
Parkinson, Cecil Skeet, T. H. H. Winterton, Nicholas
Percival, Ian Soref, Harold Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Speed, Keith
Pounder, Rafton Spence, John Woodnutt, Mark
Proudfoot, Wilfred Stainton, Keith Worsley, Marcus
Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Stanbrook, Ivor
Raison, Timothy Steel, David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Mr. Victor Goodhew and Mr. John Stradling Thomas.
Redmond, Robert Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: No. 81, in page 2, line 5, leave out from 'into' to 'as' in line 7.—[Mr. Powell.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 170, Noes 190.

Division No. 77.] AYES [11.7 p.m.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Fell, Anthony McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Ashton, Joe Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. McNamara, J. Kevin
Atkinson, Norman Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mahon, Simon (Bootle)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Foley, Maurice Marks, Kenneth
Baxter, William Foot, Michael Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Ford, Ben Marten, Neil
Biffen, John Garrett, W. E. Meacher, Michael
Bishop, E. S. Gilbert, Dr. John Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Body, Richard Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Mendelson, John
Booth, Albert Golding, John Millan, Bruce
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Gourlay, Harry Miller, Dr. M. S.
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Grant, George (Morpeth) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Buchan, Norman Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Butler. Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Campbell, I (Dunbartonshire, W.) Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Carmichael, Neil Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Moyle, Roland
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Oakes, Gordon
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hamling, William Ogden, Eric
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) O'Malley, Brian
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Hattersley, Roy Oram, Bert
Coleman, Donald Heffer, Eric S. Orbach, Maurice
Concannon, J. D. Hooson, Emlyn Orme, Stanley
Conlan, Bernard Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Oswald, Thomas
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Huckfield, Leslie Paget, R. T.
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Palmer, Arthur
Dalyell, Tam Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pavitt, Laurie
Davies, Denzil (Lianelly) Hunter, Adam Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hutchison, Michael Clark Pendry, Tom
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pentland, Norman
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Deakins, Eric Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Prescott, John
de Freitas. Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund John, Brynmor Price, William (Rugby)
Dempsey. James Jones, Dan (Burnley) Probert, Arthur
Doig, Peter Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Rees Merlyn (Leeds, E.)
Dormand, J. D. Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Driberg, Tom Judd, Frank Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Duffy, A. E. P. Kaufman, Gerald Rose, Paul B.
Dunn, James A. Kerr, Russell Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Eadie, Alex Lambie, David Russell, Sir Ronald
Edelman Maurice Lamond, James
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sandelson, Neville
Ellis, Tom Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
English, Michael McElhone, Frank Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Evans, Fred Mackenzie, Gregor Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Ewing, Henry Mackie, John Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Tinn, James Whitehead, Phillip
Sillars, James Tomney, Frank Whitlock, William
Skinner, Dennis Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.) Urwin, T. W. Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Spearing, Nigel Varley, Eric G. Woof, Robert
Spriggs, Leslie Wainwright, Edwin
Stallard, A. W. Walker, Harold (Doncaster) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Stewart, Donald (Western Isles) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek Mr. Ernest Armstrong and Mr. Joseph Harper.
Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham) Wallace, George
Strang, Gavin Weitzman, David
Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Wellbeloved, James
Adley, Robert Grylls, Michael Neave, Airey
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Gummer, J. Selwyn Onslow, Cranley
Astor, John Gurden, Harold Osborn, John
Atkins, Humphrey Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Awdry, Daniel Hall, John (Wycombe) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Pardoe, John
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Hannam, John (Exeter) Parkinson, Cecil
Biggs-Davison, John Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Percival, Ian
Blaker, Peter Haselhurst, Alan Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Havers, Michael Pounder, Rafton
Boscawen, Robert Hawkins, Paul Proudfoot, Wilfred
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Braine, Sir Bernard Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Bray, Ronald Holland, Philip Redmond, Robert
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hordern, Peter Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hornby, Richard Rees, Peter (Dover)
Bryan, Paul Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Burden, F. A. Howell, David (Guildford) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howell, Ralph (Norfolk N.) Ridsdale, Julian
Carlisie, Mark Hunt, John Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Iremonger, T. L. Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Churchill, W. S. James, David Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Clegg, Walter Jessel, Toby Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Cockeram, Eric Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rost, Peter
Cooke, Robert Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Scott, Nicholas
Coombs, Derek Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine Sharples, Richard
Cooper, A. E. Kershaw, Anthony Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Cormack, Patrick Kimball, Marcus Simeons, Charles
Costain, A. P. King, Evelyn (Dorset S.) Skeet, T. H. H.
Critchley, Julian King, Tom (Bridgwater) Soref, Harold
Crouch, David Kitson, Timothy Spence, John
Curran, Charles Knight, Mrs. Jill Stainton, Keith
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Knox, David Stanbrook, Ivor
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lambton, Lord Steel, David
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen.James Lane, David Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Dean, Paul Langford-Holt, Sir John Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Drayson, G. B. Le Marchant, Spencer Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Dykes, Hugh Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th (Langstone) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Longden, Sir Gilbert Temple, John M.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Luce, R. N. Thomas, John (Stradling (Monmouth)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) MacArthur, Ian Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Emery, Peter McCrindle, R. A Tilney, John
Eyre, Reginald McLaren, Martin
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Maclean, Sir Fitzroy van Straubenzee, W. R.
Fidler, Michael McMaster, Stanley Waddington, David
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) McNair-Wilson, Michael Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Madel, David Ward, Dame Irene
Fookes, Miss Janet Mather, Carol Warren, Kenneth
Fortescue, Tim Maude, Angus Weatherill, Bernard
Fry, Peter Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. White, Roger (Gravesend)
Gibson-Watt, David Mills, Peter (Torrington) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Goodhart, Philip Miscampbell, Norman Wilkinson, John
Goodhew, Victor Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C. (Aberdeenshire,W) Winterton, Nicholas
Gorst, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Gower, Raymond Monks, Mrs. Connie Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Monro, Hector Woodnutt, Mark
Gray, Hamish More, Jasper Worsley, Marcus
Green, Alan Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Grieve, Percy Morrison, Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Murton, Oscar Mr. Keith Speed and Mr. Michael Jopling.
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Nabarro, Sir Gerald

Question accordingly negatived.

[Sir MYER GALPERN in the Chair]

11.15 p.m.

Mr. Jay

I beg to move Amendment No. 97, in page 2, line 6, at end insert 'or other States'.

I hope that I am in order, in the interests of humanity to the Solicitor-General, in offering him my sympathy for the great patience with which he has done his best to defend a quite indefensible Bill. We all understand the position in which he has been placed by the Government and the impossibility of his getting out of it any better than he did this afternoon.

The Amendment seeks to insert after the words with or without any of the member States the additional words "or other States". We have had some discussion today whether the words with or without any of the member States really add anything to the meaning of the Clause. The hon. and learned Gentleman assured us that they did. There fore, I shall proceed for the moment on the assumption that he was right.

I understand the Solicitor-General's argument to be that if those words had not been included it might have been supposed that a treaty made by the Community, together with another member State, was excluded from the effects of the Bill. We have also got it clear that the words "with or without" mean with or without a co-signatory of the treaty in question. Therefore, on the assumption that that is the meaning of the Clause and that these words have some real effect, we would like to know why only member States of the Community should be included.

Why should we not include European States other than members of the Community? There is a constant confusion in these debates between the Common Market and Europe. Throughout this controversy I have often been moved to think that if many people did not use so much muddled language there would not be so much muddled thought and so many muddled and wrong conclusions. The expressions which I have heard even in this Committee about "joining" or "going into" Europe are peculiarly odious forms of illiteracy. Could we not say what we really mean?

I hope it may not be a hopeless aspiration to suggest that if we mean the Com- mon Market we should say "the Common Market", if we mean E.F.T.A. we should say "E.F.T.A.", if we mean the Continent, as many people seem to mean when the say "Europe", we should say "the Continent" and, finally, if we mean Europe we should say "Europe". I suggest that the confusion arises from the language of many people who seem to believe that this country is not part of Europe at all. The word "Europe" is constantly used as meaning something different from this country.

This country cannot get into or join Europe because we are already just as much a part of Europe as Greece, Bulgaria or Portugal. I hope that that may command general support in this assembly. It is therefore of some interest, to get these things in proportion, to look at some figures of population in the various units which are covered by this Clause in the Continent of Europe.

Some of these conclusions may surprise some people. First, the total population of Europe—I am using words to mean what they really mean—is, on the latest figure, 648 million, and the population of the Common Market is only 189 million—about a third of the population of Europe. That in itself is an important reason for not confusing the two.

Second, the population of the Soviet Union in Europe is almost exactly equal to that of the Common Market. When some people use the word "Europe" to mean the Common Market, they may be surprised to discover this fact. The other Communist countries of Eastern Europe, apart from the Soviet Union, have a population of another 125 million. So more than 300 million people in Europe live in the Soviet Union and the other Communist countries—not far from double the population of the Common Market.

I mention these figures to get the position a little more into perspective and to suggest to the Government we should narrow our vision in this debate or in this controversy as a whole merely to the present six members of the E.E.C. and call them the Common Market. It also enables us to see some of the extraordinary conclusions which will follow if the Government persist with the Bill and with their present policy regardless of what the other nations of Europe are doing.

One consequence of the United Kingdom pressing ahead to join at any cost will be the breaking up of E.F.T.A., leaving it as a residual fragment. Indeed. we have the extraordinary position, which is hardly ever discussed in these debates, of the three other applicant countries of E.F.T.A.—Norway, Denmark and Ireland—intending to hold referenda before joining the E.E.C. They are showing both greater democratic sentiment and greater wisdom.

For the purpose of this discussion, we should know what his country will do if two or three of the other applicant countries decide by referenda not to join. Is it really proposed that we should push ahead regardless of the break-up of E.F.T.A., leaving those countries on their own and showing ourselves to be less democratic and less intelligent than not merely Norway and Denmark but Southern Ireland? Incidentally, the Prime Minister is proposing to permit a referendum in Northern Ireland. It seems that this procedure is to be denied alone to the people of the rest of the United Kingdom.

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

What does the right hon. Gentleman consider will happen if, as a result of the referendum in the Irish Republic, the Government there decide not to proceed to accession? Will the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Agreement continue in those circumstances? Might not this consideration modify what the right hon. Gentleman has been saying about the Irish Republic?

Mr. Jay

No. If we press on with our application to join the E.E.C. and the population of the Irish Republic decide not to join, then we should be bound to raise the normal common external tariff against Southern Ireland. We should be faced with the extraordinary consequence that, having got rid of the tariff barrier between Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland, we should be forced to reimpose it. I am glad the hon. Gentleman intervened, because it brings home one of the realities of the situation.

There is another extraordinary and ironical consequence of breaking up E.F.T.A. and destroying a free trade area which we helped to construct. It appears that the E.E.C. Commission is making an offer to E.F.T.A. non- applicant countries of an industrial free trade area without any of the burdens of the C.A.P. It seems that by this offer those countries will gain all the benefits of industrial free trade with the whole of the enlarged Community and all the other E.F.T.A. countries without any of the horrors of the C.A.P. or the bureaucratic apparatus in Brussels.

Mr. Deakins

Is it not clear, therefore, that the price we shall be paying will be not for any economic benefits—my right hon. Friend has explained how they can be gained free by virtue of some sort of free trade area association—but for the so-called political advantages? This helps to put the Government's application into its true perspective: that our contributions to the cost of the common agricultural policy, for example, would be not for compensating industrial benefit but for the so-called political advantage.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Jay

The truest way of putting it, to summarise briefly would be this: that we should incur all the economic disadvantages and all the political disadvantages, the incredible disadvantages of the mutilation of our parliamentary system that we have been discussing today. We should incur both of those at the same time. As for the economic burdens of the common agricultural policy, we should be the only country in Europe, either in the E.E.C. or the E.F.T.A., which would have the greater part of these burdens inflicted on our population. That, it seems, as a result of this policy, is the direction in which we are being led or misled, by the Government at present.

I do not believe that the Prime Minister, or, perhaps, even the Chancellor of the Duchy, understands these facts or realises what the Government are doing or where their policy is leading. But those are the real facts behind these debates.

This extraordinary situation into which we have got and into which we are falling more deeply month by month is due to the grotesque obsession with this one organisation, the E.E.C., and this one group of six countries in one corner of Europe to the exclusion of all the other much more populous nations of Europe, quite regardless of the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Whatever else we do in these debates, I hope that we shall not lose sight of those facts in the midst of all the legal niceties we are rightly discussing.

[Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the chair]

Mr. Edward Taylor (Glasgow, Cathcart)

This is a very narrow Amendment but it is sufficiently wide to enable me to raise one question which has been of serious interest in Scotland and which I hope my right hon. and learned Friend will be able to answer.

The right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) has dealt with the Amendment to add the words "or other States" in relation to non-member States outwith the Common Market, but my point relates to other States which are part of the member States of the Community. Bearing in mind the arguments advanced by the right hon. Gentleman, will it still be possible for the British Parliament in the future under the Clause, as at present drafted, once it becomes law—if it does—to grant sovereign independence to any part of the United Kingdom and to release that part of the United Kingdom from the treaty obligations which are being taken on by the United Kingdom.

This may be regarded as a hypothetical point, and I am in no way proposing or suggesting that Scotland should have independence, or any other part of the United Kingdom; but we know that this is not entirely a hypothetical question. For example, the Crowther Commission is examining the whole constitutional future of the United Kingdom, and political initiatives are at present being considered for Northern Ireland. We have not the slightest idea what those initiatives may be. On the one hand, they may suggest integration of Ulster within the United Kingdom, completely and absolutely, as with Scotland. On the other hand, they may suggest a rather looser bond. Who knows, the time may come when Ulster may wish to be not part of the United Kingdom but separate.

It appears that at present Parliament could, if it so desired, give complete sovereign independence to any part of the United Kingdom, whether it be Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or any other part. It further seems that in terms of the Clause and the treaty obligations we are undertaking, this power will no longer be available to the House of Commons. If that is so—I am not saying that it is, I should like my right hon. and learned Friend's views—it would appear to me that any development in constitutional devolution within the United Kingdom or any move to grant a degree of independence to any part of the United Kingdom would cease to be a function of this assembly but would have to be undertaken by the European Economic Community, and it would appear that some amendment to the treaty would have to be undertaken.

I honestly do not know the answers to these questions, but on this simple point, which I believe to be very important for the United Kingdom, looking to the future, I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend can answer. Will Britain still have power to grant sovereign independence, and would we be able to release any part of the United Kingdom from the treaty obligations entered into by Britain?

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

I want to follow the points made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) about other States which are applicants for membership of the Community. This seems to be one of the few opportunities we shall have to discuss the question of other applicants, about which the Government have told us extremely little. By the way in which the negotiations have been carried on, one would almost think that those countries were applying to some other organisation than the Six.

The Republic of Ireland is a classic example. Irrespective of what it does in a referendum, which will be only consultative and not mandatory, the Republic because of economic links with the United Kingdom, will have no choice but to follow the United Kingdom if we decide to join the Six. The common agricultural policy would be torn into shreds. I should like the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to tell us what consultations he has had with the Republic on this. Discussing it with politicians in the Republic, both those who are pro and those who are anti, I found that many agree that, while there would be some benefits to the Republic, some effects on industry would be very bad, especially for industrialisation, which should be speeded there.

I am no authority on agricultural policy, but reading what Mr. Lynch and Mr. Brendan Corish, the leader of the Irish Labour Party, have written, I find that if the Republic decided not to join and were left separate from the United Kingdom this could have dramatic effects for the Republic. Difficulties rise to the surface only when a particular point of negotiation is brought to our attention. We have noticed how the Chancellor of the Duchy tried to slide around the special arrangements made with reference to Norway's fishing industry compared with those for this country. There is a strong possibility that Norway may reject entry primarily because of interference with her economy, but also because she is a country with strong democratic traditions which she is not prepared to sell for the mess of pottage to be obtained from the Treaty of Rome as this Government are prepared to sell ours. There are people in Europe, many in Norway and the Republic of Ireland, who are present to stand up and say that, irrespective of the disadvantages, they are not prepared to go along with this policy. The same can be said of Denmark, because the recent elections there tended to show mounting pressure against entry. The four applicant countries applied to join at the same time, and if they joined they would become members at about the same time also. Their economies would he affected, as in the case of the Republic of Ireland, and the whole basis and structure of E.F.T.A. would be affected, too, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay) said. He is an outstanding authority on this issue on which he is listened to with great respect.

It is strange that in these circumstances there has been no assessment of the effect upon the Common Market if one or all three of the other applicants did not join the E.E.C. when we joined. That would have not only political but serious economic repercussions. This shows the value of the Amendment because it gives us an opportunity to raise issues concerning the other States with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Many of us have received representations particularly from Norway and the Republic of Ireland which I could read out but I think it is sufficient to make the point in a short contribution.

We must be given information on the matters about which we are concerned. They have not been dealt with sufficiently and I hope the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will give us more information about the economic and political considerations which will affect the other applicant countries.

Mr. Laurie Pavitt (Willesden, West)

On a recent visit to Denmark I was distressed to find that the long-standing friendship between our two countries has been jeopardised, and especially the ties between the Social Democratic Party and the trade unions with which I have been associated, because of our application. Many Danes were anxious to stay out of the Common Market but because of the increase in their agricultural trade with Britain and their exports to Europe they felt they were being pre-empted by our application. This is why there should be a much closer association between this country and Denmark before we are finally and irrevocably committed to joining. During my visit I was given many reasons why it would be better for Denmark to stay out if only Britain would do the same.

The Amendment concerns not only Britain's application to join the E.E.C. but the repercussions on our friends in the rest of Europe.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

Surely the hon. Member recognises the advantages to Denmark of being in a Common Market which will contain Britain and Germany, on which countries is based her traditional pattern of trade, will give her inestimable advantages and it would be folly for her to embark on any other course?

11.45 p.m.

Mr. Pavitt

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I am merely recording the opposite point of view put to me in Copenhagen quite recently, that a number of disadvantages were being pre-empted by the weight of Great Britain's application. That is the point to which I should like the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to address himself.

Mr. Deakins

I support my right hon. and hon. Friends on the matter of the other States, particularly the E.F.T.A. States. I want also to raise briefly a technical matter.

The E.F.T.A. countries as a whole, whatever their views about the Common Market, are unhappy behind the scenes about the way in which the negotiations have been conducted. We may well have been keeping them informed at E.F.T.A. Council meetings, but we have been doing only the minimum. I know from some of my political contacts in Scandinavia that the Swedes and the Danes in particular have been extremely unhappy. [An HON. MEMBER: "And the Swiss."] I cannot speak for other E.F.T.A. countries. Although we have been sticking to the letter of our E.F.T.A. obligations, it is unlikely that we have been sticking to their spirit.

A Labour Government applied to enter the Community, but they were concerned to look after the interests of our E.F.T.A. partners. It is not good enough for any Government to say, "Pull up the ladder, Jack. I am aboard." The Government are saying, "We are almost in. Let the others do what they can. We shall keep in touch and even make representations from time to time, but if you do not achieve satisfactory relationships, hard luck." The only concession the Government have made to the strength of feeling on both sides of the Committee about our moral obligations to our E.F.T.A. partners is to say that at least there will be no re-erection of trade barriers between E.F.T.A. States that stay out and those that go in.

Mr. John E. B. Hill (Norfolk, South)

We must all speak for our own contacts with those from E.F.T.A. countries. There have been very good relations between Members of the British Parliament and members of E.F.T.A. Parliaments at the Council of Europe.

Mr. Deakins

I am very happy to say that I fully agree with the hon. Gentleman, but I am talking about contacts at perhaps a rather higher level. They are unofficial, and, therefore, I cannot mention names, including Ministers, but they are people who have been involved in the negotiations.

Can the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster reassure us on the following point? The Community has not gone as far on a sensitive matter like paper exports and imports as the Swedes would like, or, I suggest, as we should like in ensuring that in no circumstances should there be any re-erection of trade barriers between those Scandinavian countries that are big paper producers and the rest of an enlarged Community.

My technical point is one that has not been raised in any of our debates on the Common Market—the position of East Germany. In the Treaty of Rome there is a protocol, which appears on page 125 of Cmnd. 4864, headed Protocol on German Internal trade and Connected Problems". The protocol exempts what are called German territories in which the Basic Law does not apply"— in other words, East Germany—from the normal effects of being a non-member of the Common Market. In fact, East Germany is half in and half out, a peculiar position in international law and one that since we are accepting the Treaty of Rome we must accept. But if East Germany is eventually recognised by this and other countries as an independent State, will it then be able to make trade agreements with the Common Market as a whole, or will all future commercial dealings within an enlarged Community with East Germany, which I believe is the fifth largest industrial country in the world in terms of output, have to go through the medium of West Germany under the protocol?

This is a very important point which affects our future trading relationships. What I should like to know is whether, in the event of East Germany being recognised by this country and other countries, we shall have the right, despite what is said here, to make an independent trading treaty with East Germany if it is to our advantage to do so. At the moment it is unclear whether that unhappy country is in or is not in the Common Market. For instance, its agricultural products are exempt in many cases from the provisions of the common agricultural policy—levies and so on.

It is interesting that there is two-way trade between East and West Germany, and it is a big hole in the wall of the Common Market. Should we be allowed to take advantage of that trade loophole? Or is it confined exclusively to East and West Germany? It would be nice to know. Otherwise we shall find ourselves denied in the enlarged Community the ability to enter into trade relationships further to those that we have at the moment with one of the strongest industrial countries in the world.

Mr. Spearing

I had understood that while we would have advantage for our manufacturing industry we would have the disadvantage of the common agricultural policy. From what my hon. Friend has just said it appears as though advantages are open to East Germany under this protocol? Can my hon. Friend explain that?

Mr. Deakins

I cannot explain it because I do not know what was in the minds of the other Community countries at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. We were not there. All I can say at this stage, 15 years later, is that it is quite incredible that the Community still allows to go on a complete breach of the whole Community policy of tariff barriers, the common agricultural policy, and so on, in respect merely of one nonmember State.

Mr. English

In one sentence, through my hon. Friend—and I thank him for giving way—I would like to ask whether the treaty between West and East Germany, not yet ratified, affects this issue.

Mr. Deakins

I do not know the answer to that, but I think I have said sufficient at least to give the Chancellor of the Duchy something to reply to, apart from the valuable and important points raised about E.F.T.A.

Mr. David Clark (Colne Valley)

I shall not develop the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Deakins), except to say that I think the point he made about East Germany is a valid one if the Common Market is to be the outward-looking body in Europe that we all hope it will he and as hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who are so much in favour of the Market keep telling us it is.

I should like briefly to take up a point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower). It seemed to me that in a nutshell he summed up the basic misunderstanding which many people in this country have about the attitude of the Scandinavian countries which have applied to join the Market at the same time as we have. He said that Denmark would be happy to get the economic advantages of being in a community with a market as large as that containing Britain and Germany, and economically he may be right. But what worries the Danes about the Common Market is not the purely economic issue. It is much deeper. It is the fact that the way of life and the standards and values of Denmark and Norway are very different in terms of tradition and their form of parliamentary democracy from what is to be found in certain of the E.E.C. countries. This worries the Scandinavian countries, and it also worries some hon. Members on the Opposition benches.

The Scandinavians have a long tradition of parliamentary democratic government and they are about to carry out referenda. I believe that we could take a lead from them. I cannot accept that this would not fit in with our constitution because, as we have learnt from this debate, we do not know what our constitution implies.

We and the Scandinavian countries share a common type of health provision which is not applicable in the E.E.C. countries. Only about 10 per cent. of the cost of running our National Health Service is met out of direct contributions, and there are similar arrangements in the Scandinavian countries. But the situation in the E.E.C. countries is quite different since the onus there is on contributions.

There is serious doubt whether the National Health Service can survive entry into the E.E.C. I do not put that forward as a bogus idea, since this very point of view was advanced by Dr. Grey-Turner, the Deputy Secretary of the B.M.A. and Secretary of the B.M.A. Common Market Committee, in a speech in Luxembourg on 6th December This matter goes beyond the economic considerations to the philosophical argument.

Mr. Phillip Whitehead (Derby, North)

Does not my hon. Friend concede that the Socialist Prime Minister of Norway, who learned about European unity the hard way, will be campaigning for entry in the forthcoming referendum?

Mr. Clark

I was going to take that point a stage further by saying that this is one reason why our E.F.T.A. partner of Sweden put in an application at the same time as we did but withdrew it—not primarily for economic reasons but for philosophical reasons. This point is not clearly understood by many hon. Members opposite.

There is a strong feeling that in the negotiations we have not had as much hard, factual information as we should have had. Protocols have been given to other applicant countries which have not been afforded to us. For example, the Republic of Ireland obtained a protocol dealing with regional development. We have just had vague assurances. We find it difficult to ascertain the Government's attitude on their dealings with our fellow applicant countries which are members of E.F.T.A.

12 midnight.

Mr. Rippon

Before dealing with the Amendment I want to make a few brief observations on some of the points that have been raised. I realise that hon. Gentlemen feel strongly about them, even if they do not arise directly out of the Amendment.

In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor), of course it would be possible for us to grant sovereign independence to Scotland. In that hypothetical situation it would be necessary to consider what re-arrangements might be made and what relationships the truncated United Kingdom and Scotland would wish to have with the Community. The sovereign power of Parliament could not be abrogated in that regard. It is not always appreciated that although our intention is to join the Community on a permanent basis, if we are in breach of international obligations at any time all sorts of consequences may flow. But that does not alter the sovereign right of Parliament, in the last resort, to determine our own domestic law and arrangements.

The recognition of East Germany and the ratification of the treaties are not affected by the Amendment—

Mr. Biggs-Davison

My right hon. and learned Friend has said, in reply to his hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor), that there would be no impediment to the United Kingdom's granting sovereign independence to Scotland. Is his reason for saying that that the treaties with which we are concerned here are purely economic treaties?

Mr. Rippon

Whatever the nature of the international obligation into which we are entering, the ultimate sovereignty of Parliament cannot be abrogated in a matter of that kind, although the giving of independence to Scotland would have certain consequences which would affect our relationships in the Community in the way that I have suggested. I trust that it is a wholly hypothetical question. The Amendment does not affect the other matters.

It is right and proper that hon. Members should be concerned about our relations with E.F.T.A. Right from the outset we have been concerned about these. We have been in close consultation not only with our fellow applicant countries but also with the non-applicant countries which have been seeking various forms of association. I have answered many questions about this matter in the House, and I recently referred the hon. Member for Walthamstow, West (Mr. Deakins) to the communiquè that we issued on 11th November, in which general satisfaction was expressed by all the Ministers present on the progress of the negotiations.

The non-applicant countries are reaching a fairly critical stage in their negotiations. We are still in constant touch. These countries are carrying on negotiations in their own way in the light of the mandate issued by the Community which had regard to the views that we expressed as E.F.T.A. members.

Points have been raised about public opinion in Eire, Norway and Denmark. It is not proper for me to comment on the way in which those countries determine their own future. All I can say is that Eire, Norway and Denmark signed the treaty on the same day as the United Kingdom and, as acceding countries, we are all going through our own appropriate processes that will, I trust, lead to ratification. All the countries concerned are co-operating in a way that we have been unable to do in recent years; for example, in the preparation of the summit conference to which I recently referred in the House.

Mr. Jay

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman answer the main question that I put to him? Suppose that, as the result of referenda, the other applicant countries decided not to join, would it be the intention of the British Government to press on regardless of what happened to them?

Mr. Rippon

That is a hypothetical question. The treaty as drafted and the arrangements made provide that if one or other of the countries which are now acceding States do not ratify certain procedures come into force. If all failed, it would be a different situation. We have stated our policy, for which we are responsible. The Governments in the other countries have stated theirs, and happily we are all agreed that it is to the advantage of all of us that the enlargment of the Community should take place in the way envisaged.

Mr. Orme

May I press that point? The right hon. and learned Gentleman says that it is hypothetical but it is possible that the Republic of Ireland could take a different decision. Could that not have a tremendous bearing not only on the Republic, but on this country, and affect the basis of our application?

Mr. Rippon

We have stated our policy. We have signed the treaty and are going through the necessary legislative process which will enable us to ratify in due course. Other Governments are doing the same thing. It is not for us to intervene—certainly not on this Amendment. I do not want to say too much about that because the Solicitor-General has earlier replied in substance to the point made by the right hon. Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay). In so far as there is any discrepancy between what I say and what my hon. and learned Friend says it would probably be better to prefer the view of my hon. and learned Friend. As I understand it, lines 5 and 6 as they stand bring in all future treaties concluded by the Community in its own right.

The right hon. Gentleman referred earlier to the words: … any other treaty entered into by any of the Communities with or without any of the member States …". He was concerned with the meaning of the words "with or without". I assure him that the words are not restrictive. Their purpose is to make clear that any or all member States may join as co- signatories with the Community. They do not indicate who the other party to that treaty might be. That is left entirely at large, and I suggest that that is right. If we were to add "or any other States", it might be harmful, because the Bill would be regarded as comprehensive in saying that the parties to any treaty should be simply any other States, whereas the Community also makes treaties with public international organisations, as my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General said. He cited the case of the International Labour Organisation. I hope that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen will feel it unnecessary to press this Amendment.

Mr. Michael Foot

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has urged us not to press the Amendment, and I shall have something to say about that later. I will certainly consider the proposition, in the light of the circumstances, if that is the proper way to put it. I am not suggesting that it is the most epoch-making Amendment that could be devised. I take that into account in deciding whether we should withdraw it.

We are in some difficulty from what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said, because he has said that as between the utterances of the Solicitor-General and himself, we would always be well advised to prefer the Solicitor-General. That is one of the truest statements the right hon. and learned Gentleman has made, but, unfortunately, we have not the advantage of having the Solicitor-General here now and we shall have to rely entirely on the right hon. and learned Gentleman's statements. How do we know about what he tells us? Since our confidence in the Solicitor-General was reduced to a zero point earlier, the right hon. and learned Gentleman can estimate from that our confidence in his remarks.

If it were not for my charitable nature, the right hon. and learned Gentleman's statement would be sufficient grounds to press the Amendment to a Division. But before I conclude by withdrawing—and I shall keep the enticing part to the end so that hon. Members continue to listen to me—I am bound to comment that the Committee should listen during the following debate because we shall seek to find some means—and the possibilities of civilisation are not exhausted in securing Amendments—we must secure some way to discuss properly our relations with all the E.F.T.A. applicants.

Some of us think that the situation is not satisfactory and that it is not satisfactory that we should brush aside the possibilities of those countries taking decisions in their referenda. If it is the case that Denmark and Norway—and they probably go together—decide not to make an application, it would be wrong for this country to proceed with their application without taking into account the consequences for those countries with which we have had long associations. It would be most improper not to take it into account. That applies even more strongly to the Republic of Ireland. The people of Ireland have a perfect right to decide whether they express their full-hearted consent on these matters. They have a better chance, maybe, to express themselves on these matters. The same applies to the people of Denmark and Norway. I suggest that although this matter does not arise directly on this Amendment, we should regard it as of the utmost seriousness.

Today I went to a meeting of the Foreign Press Association, and journalists from Denmark and Norway were seriously suggesting that the proposition would be rejected. The observations of the British Government will have to be involved if that arises. In any case, we shall have to look at some stage, although I concede that there are difficulties, at the possibility of tabling an Amendment on which this can be properly discussed.

Going back to the matter in which the Committee is more interested, we have had two days of major importance for the future of the House of Commons, and, although the Government have secured a vote at the end of those debates, what has been said in them will continue to have an effect on the thinking of the House during the whole of the proceedings on this Bill.

So those of us who have put these Amendments yesterday and today hope that the House will examine most carefully what has been said and see objectively and freely whether the proper answer is given by the Government. Our view is that no satisfactory answer has been given, by the Solicitor-General or the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to arguments of the most profound importance for the future of the House.

Having said that, I say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman about this Amendment, though no doubt it should be done on a Motion to report Progress, that if he will indicate to me that we shall not proceed any further with this Committee stage tonight, I shall be prepared to advise my hon. Friends to support me in withdrawing the Amendment and in not proceeding to any further debate. On that basis, I hope that we may conclude our proceedings, and that all hon. Members will go away to read and re-read what has been said in the debates over the last two days about the future of this House.

Mr. Rippon

I am happy to say that I think that I can respond equally charitably to the hon. Gentleman. We have made good progress today, and, if the Amendment is to be withdrawn, well and good.

Mr. Foot


The Chairman

Order. I think that the Question will have to be negatived because the hon. Gentleman rose.

Question put and negatived.

To report Progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Mr. Rippon.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again this day.

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