HC Deb 30 April 1974 vol 872 cc940-53
Mr. Speaker

I shall now rule on the complaint made by the hon. Baronet, the Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), but I must first dispose of a procedural matter relating to the making of complaints relating to privilege. When a Member makes a complaint based upon the contents of a newspaper, he must at the same time hand in a complete copy of that newspaper. Rulings to that effect are to be found on page 159 of Erskine May. I think, therefore, that I am probably precluded from taking into account the extracts from the Daily Telegraph quoted by the hon. Baronet, as only part of that newspaper was handed in.

I should say at once, however, that the resolution of the House of 30th October 1947 makes it quite clear that the Committee of Privileges may inquire into any matters which they consider to be reasonably connected with each other and are not bound by the terms of a particular complaint. I have no doubt that if this matter goes to the Committee of Privileges the matter raised by the hon. Baronet in the second part of his submission will be considered by the Committee of Privileges.

My ruling is that I consider that the matter of the complaint made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Peterborough relating to the statements made by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) in a broadcast interview is such that I should permit a motion relating to the matter to be given precedence over the Orders of the Day. Does the hon. Member for Bassetlaw wish to say something?

Mr. Ashton

Thank you for that ruling, Mr. Speaker. I shall appear before the Committee of Privileges to substantiate the allegations, though I fear that this may bring the House into greater disrepute than the article that I wrote.

May I draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the statement made by the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) yesterday when he either misread or misquoted the transcript which he had and which you have in your possession with regard to what I said on the Jimmy Young show?—[Interruption.] This is a very serious business. Quite specifically, the hon. Member for Peterborough states, as reported at the bottom of c. 784 of HANSARD for 29th April, Again the question was asked in the interview"— regarding charities— 'What amounts of money would be involved in this sort of operation?' The reply was: 'It is difficult to say but I did hear of somebody…getting 100 guineas.'"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th April 1974; Vol. 872, c. 784–85.] That is not the case in the transcript, as you will see, Mr. Speaker, as you have a copy. May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what is the procedure now for putting the record right as to what was recorded in the transcript and what the hon. Member for Peterborough should have read out?

Mr. Speaker

I have ruled that this matter should have precedence. I want to make it very clear that I have not used the expression "I think there is a prima facie case". Although there is authority in Erskine May for using that expression, I have always abstained from doing so because I think that that implies my making a judgment in the case. I am not making any judgment in this case because I do not think that it is right for the Chair to do so. All I am saying is that this is a matter which should be considered by the Committee of Privileges, and that I think that a motion relating to it should have precedence over the business of the day. The points which the hon. Members have raised must surely be considered by the Committee of Privileges should the matter go there.

Mr. Lee

Does that mean, Mr. Speaker, that in order that the matter should go to the Committee of Privileges there must be a formal motion by the House?

Mr. Speaker

I was about to call on the Leader of the House.

In accordance with the usual practice, the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) must—as he is doing—withdraw from the House while the matter is being discussed.

The hon. Member then withdrew.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Edward Short)

In view of your ruling Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, That the matter of the complaint made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Peterborough relating to statements made by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw in a broadcast interview be referred to the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Heath

I support the motion moved by the Leader of the House. Perhaps the House will permit me to say, after the considerable experience I have had in the House as Leader of the Opposition and as Prime Minister, and also as a backbencher, and with experience of the Committee of Privileges and the debates which the House has had on the reports of that committee, that on the whole it has proved to be in the interests of the good name of the House itself that such matters should at once be referred to the Committee of Privileges and that we should not debate this matter on the inadequate information which we have before the House at the moment.

I therefore hope that the motion will be passed and that we leave it to the Committee of Privileges to examine the matter carefully in its own good time and then report to the House.

Mr. John Mendelson

As against the opinion and the advice just given by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, there has been built up over the last 10 years a body of precedents when the House has deliberately decided to debate such motions and not to agree to refer them automatically and immediately without further debate to the Committee of Privileges. I would not want the tendency which has developed over the last 10 years or so to be broken now by an automatic, on-the-nod agreement to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges.

There is a precedent which I should not like to be set, namely, the automatic development of the point of view that, because we do not like a statement, the Committee of Privileges procedure is necessarily the right one. The Committee of Privileges procedure is not necessarily always and immediately the correct procedure.

In the debates over the last 10 years the case for privilege and for reference to the Committee of Privileges has been carefully narrowed. On one memorable occasion, when the debate was led by my right hon. Friend who is now the Secretary of State for Employment, the recommendation, which is made on only a prima facie case, was overturned. Therefore, it is not all moving in one direction. The opinion of the majority on the occasion when the recommendation was not accepted was guided very largely, as you will recall, Mr. Speaker, by the view that what matters here is the opinion of the country—public opinion at large—coupled with the danger that the whole procedure of the Committee of Privileges is being misunderstood arising from the original narrowness of the purpose of the whole procedure.

It was argued in that debate—I repeat it this afternoon—that the main purpose of privilege over the ages always has been to protect a Member in the exercise of his duties as a Member of the House of Commons. In its crudest form, if a Member had given a public indication that he wished to raise a certain issue in the House and if, when he was on his way from the North West or from some other part of the country to Westminster somebody waylaid him and said to him, "If you raise that you will be for it", that would be the clearest example of a Member being threatened with a view to preventing him from exercising his duty as a Member of the House of Commons.

Privilege has never had anything to do with protecting a Member. It has been concerned with protecting the public, protecting constituents, and thereby rendering it impossible for anybody to threaten or to intimidate a Member of Parliament. That is the purpose of privilege. The name is a misnomer, as Members have agreed for many years. It would be much better if a way could be found of changing the name of the Committee of Privileges to make it all the clearer to the public at large.

By no stretch of the imagination can it be argued that we are dealing here with a case of a Member being threatened to prevent his exercising his proper function as a Member of the House of Commons.

I turn to the second point that I wish to establish. We are engaged in a great debate. The free decision of the House whether the matter be referred can take into account all the circumstances of the present state of public opinion. This is why it is not a Governmental decision, not a decision taken automatically by Mr. Speaker, but a decision of the majority of the House.

I will next state the precedent that I do not want to see established by a vote to refer. Following the pursuit of general argument—whether or not we agree with either the words used or the comments made—there may in the very near future be established a compulsory public register of the interests of the Members of the House of Commons. Debate is raging on this issue. There is more than one opinion. There are right hon. and hon. Members who wish to see such a compulsory public register established. There are other right hon. and hon. Members who do not wish to see such a compulsory public register established. It is, therefore, an important and legitimate subject for public debate.

If in advancing a certain point of view in this important debate anyone makes a case which is not to the taste of some of us or many of us and uses words and phrases which we find unacceptable, that does not mean that we would be right and that it would be in the public interest to establish a precedent which warns off either members of the public or hon. Members against adducing examples and illustrations which they wish to adduce. There could be such a warning off by people being told, "Do not be too drastic in your allegations." That would stifle the advancement of the case for a compulsory register which many right hon. and hon. Members wish to advance.

I have very much in mind members of the public at large because, as is common ground between us, it can be alleged by any hon. Member that a member of the public outside the House has committed a breach of privilege and such a member of the public could be summoned to appear before the Committee of Privileges if the matter were referred to the committee. It would also be a warning off to members of the public not to be too drastic in the illustrations they wish to adduce.

Finally, in the debate that is developing it is most important that there should be an understanding between us that, if there is the establishment of a compulsory public register so that everything can be tested, we should not allow a case to grow up and precedents to be established so as to tilt the balance in the direction of other more private bodies such as the Committee of Privileges.

There is a danger here of our being misunderstood outside if, instead of saying, "If a member of the public or a Member of the House makes such suggestions, let him be challenged in public immediately. Let him be challenged in debate. Let the many occasions be used on which debate can develop", we let the matter be bottled up in the Committee of Privileges over many weeks.

I submit that there is at least a powerful case for consideration as to why this matter should not be referred to the Committee of Privileges but that, instead, there should be a free debate on the suggestions that have been made. Those of us who think these suggestions wrongheaded should tell the hon. Member so, engage him in debate, and generally do everything in front of the British people so that the public at large may have knowledge of the way in which this matter is tackled by Members of Parliament. That in my opinion would be much more conducive to establishing public confidence.

I would confine the procedure or privilege to its original purpose of protecting hon. Members in the exercise of their work. If sufficient feeling develops in the debate that I hope will now follow, I propose to test the opinion of the House with a vote. At any rate it would have been wrong to refer the matter automatically to the Committee of Privileges without a debate here and now.

Mr. David Steel

I agree with the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendleson). I do not feel able to recommend to my hon. Friends that they should support the motion in the Division Lobby. We are now engaging in a general and widespread debate in this House and outside on the whole question of Members' interests and it would be entirely wrong to take one hon. Member's remarks and make a mountain out of a molehill by seeking to refer them to the Committee of Privileges.

If the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir H. Nicholls) were one of those complained against, as he clearly could not be by the terms in which the article was written, I might have had more sympathy. As far as I am aware, however, none of the hon. Members to whom the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) was referring has made any complaint or has said that this was an improper statement by the hon. Member. Since the original article the hon. Member for Bassetlaw has discussed the matter publicly on the radio and debated the issue on television with another hon. Member who took a different view. In the light of that, suddenly to parcel the whole thing up and send it to the Committee of Privileges seems entirely wrong.

I am particularly motivated by the statement yesterday that we are to have a statement from the Leader of the House within a few days on the question of Members' interests. That will be debated openly by the whole House, and the hon. Member for Bassetlaw and those who disagree with him will be able to participate. In view of that it would be entirely wrong to refer this matter to the Committee of Privileges.

Mr. Lee

I shall urge my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to withdraw his motion and if he does not I shall join my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendleson) in forcing a Division on the matter.

I do so for a number of reasons. There is in this country the most profound disquiet about the prevailing standards of financial probity. We are not yet down to the Watergate level and we have not a President Nixon, thank God, but there have been a number of disturbing episodes and incidents. It seems to me a most unfortunate coincidence that this procedure should be adopted now which will have the effect of putting this matter in abeyance for a considerable period.

I was not in the Chamber yesterday but I believe the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) stigmatised the setting up of a Royal Commission on corruption by describing it as a method of sweeping matters under the carpet. That is not altogether fair, because a Royal Commission has extensive powers of subpoena, and the Committee of Privileges has power to enforce the attendance of witnesses. But at the end of the day the matter has to be decided in this House, and my view now is that in the light of the disturbing events of the last few months, and even the last few years, it is highly desirable that this matter should be debated at the earliest possible opportunity.

I have one other objection. This is a narrow point and is less important than my first remark. The hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir H. Nicholls) did not even appear competent to raise this matter in the proper form in the first place. That does not exactly endear one to him or encourage the House to take a sympathetic view of the matter he raised. Quite apart from the fact that the hon. Member for Peterborough is not personally involved in the matter, as the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) pointed out, it is extraordinary that he should want to foreclose the debate. If my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House persists in pressing the motion there will be a Division and I believe that a large number of hon. Members will oppose him.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

I support the motion moved by the Leader of the House. The most foolish contribution to this debate was that made by the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. Steel) who said that there was no need to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges since the Members who were named had not complained. Surely the most dangerous aspect of this affair is that nobody was named and that there was a general smear against the members of one party.

There has been too much of this general accusation in the last few weeks. It is dangerous for the House of Commons. It is easy to make general, sweeping allegations about MPs. They always have a willing audience and they are readily reported. Surely the best way to deal with it is for the Committee of Privileges to look into the whole matter.

One of the most damaging aspects in recent weeks has been the sweeping, general allegations in magazines and elsewhere. It is time the matter was probed. It is important, when an anonymous allegation is made which could apply to many people and as a result of which every member of a party suffers in some way, that a motion such as that moved by the Leader of the House should be accepted.

Mr. English

I entirely support the statements made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor). There is a danger that we will allow our emotions to overcome our reason. You, Mr. Speaker, quite specifically made the point, which is relatively unusual, that you were not judging the prima facie aspects of the case but simply allowing the matter to go to the Committee of Privileges. I think it was your predecessor, Mr. Speaker King, who is now in another place, who did that without being as explicit as you have been today. With due modesty I congratulate you Mr. Speaker on being the first Speaker to say so.

Mr. Speaker

May I intervene? I said that this issue should go to the Committee of Privileges provided that the House so decides.

Mr. English

I was congratulating you on being the first Speaker to say what you said, Mr. Speaker. What the House decides is, or may be, a different matter.

Like probably every other hon. Member, I have been asking myself what would happen if I were attacked by another hon. Member. I would prefer, if I were attacked, to be attacked by name and by specific allegations so that I could stand up in the House and defend myself. For aught I know, and I am not here referring to my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton), any general anonymous allegation could be regarded in the same circumstances as any allegation hon. Members might receive in correspondence. Is there an hon. Member here who has not had an anonymous letter attacking him for something he has done or said?

Mr. Lee

So what?

Mr. English

One man out of several hundred hon. Members says, "So what?". I asked a simple question and nobody denied it. There is not an hon. Member who says he has not had an anonymous accusation. We all know that we have and we do not even bother to pursue them.

I have the best of reasons to believe that my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw can justify entirely what he said. I do not dispute that what he said earlier was true, but it would be better if it were referred to a committee which sits, with the Attorney-General present, as a court.

However, Mr. Speaker, I hope that you will pass on one thing to that committee, at least privately. I do not expect a public answer. It is obvious in the circumstances that if the Committee of Privileges met in public, as it is entitled to decide for itself, and heard its evidence

in public, as any court in this land does, that would possibly overcome some of the objections that have been mentioned. It would be hearing evidence in such a way that other people could hear it. I am not asking you to answer this, Mr. Speaker, because it is not within your jurisdiction, but I know that you can privately make suggestions, as can all hon. Members.

It seems to me that the matter should be referred to the committee, as the motion suggests, and that it should be there discussed, instead of being discussed in a vague, anonymous way. But it should be discussed in public, not in private.

Mr. Spriggs

I seek your guidance on the matter, Mr. Speaker. I have never been involved in a case of this kind before. I ask whether my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton), who wrote the article we are talking about, can call witnesses to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges. If so, what kind of notice may right hon. or hon. Members expect to receive? From my own information, knowing of the vested interests outside the House and the kind of approaches that are made to Members of Parliament to accept various paid offices outside, I know that many hon. Members will be worried before the vote is taken about their position in regard to giving evidence.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member for St. Helens (Mr. Spriggs) has asked me for guidance. I do not think that I can give guidance to the present Committee of Privileges, but there was a time when I was Chairman of the Committee, and I can say that we considered very carefully who should be called to give evidence. We made every effort to see that they had the maximum possible notice, and that consideration was given to their convenience. We went into those matters very carefully. That is all the guidance I can give from my own experience.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 283, Noes 94.

Division No. 14.] AYES [4.5 p.m.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Archer, Peter (Warley, West) Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Atkins, Rt. Hn. Humphrey (Spelthorne) Banks, Robert
Ancram, M. Bagier, Gordon A. T. Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Baker, Kenneth Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton)
Bell, Ronald Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Berry, Hon. Anthony Graham, Ted Molloy, William
Biffen, John Gray, Hamish Monro, Hector
Biggs-Davison, John Grieve, Percy Moonman, Eric
Blaker, Peter Grist, Ian Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.) Grylls, Michael More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Body, Richard Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Boscawen, Hon. Robert Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Hamling, William Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, N.) Hampson, Dr. Keith Morrison, Peter (City of Chester)
Bray, Ronald Hardy, Peter Moyle, Roland
Brewis, John Harper, Joseph Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Neave, Airey
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Newton, Tony (Braintree)
Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S. & Sh'ditch) Hastings, Stephen Nicholls, Sir Harmer
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hawkins, Paul Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Bryan, Sir Paul Hayhoe, Barney Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Buck, Antony Henderson, Barry (Dunbartonshire, E.) Palmer, Arthur
Budgen, Nick Hill, James A. Pattie, Geoffrey
Bulmer, Esmond Horam, John Pavitt, Laurie
Burden, F. A. Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E.) Pendry, Tom
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howell, David (Guildford) Perry, Ernest G.
Campbell, Ian Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Carlisle, Mark Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Carmichael, Nell Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North) Ralson, Timothy
Carter, Ray Hunt, John Rathbone, Tim
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Hurd, Douglas Redmond, Robert
Channon, Paul Iremonger, T. L. Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Churchill, W. S. Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'l,EdgeHill) Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex)
Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton) Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Clegg, Walter Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Ridsdale, Julian
Cocks, Michael Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney) Rifkind, Malcolm
Concannon, J. D. Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Conlan, Bernard Jessel, Toby Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W.) Johnson, James (K'ston uponHull, W.) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Cordle, John Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Cormack, Patrick Jones, Dan (Burnley) Roper, John
Corrie, John Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Costain, A. P. Jopling, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Critchley, Julian Kaufman, Gerald Royle Anthony
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Sainsbury Tim
Crouch, David Kershaw, Anthony St. John-Stevas, Norman
Davies, Ifor (Gower) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) King, Tom (Bridgwater) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. James Kitson, Sir Timothy Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm)
Davis, Clinton, (Hackney, C.) Knight, Mrs. Jill Shersby, Michael
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Knox, David Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lamont, Norman Silvester, Fred
Dixon, Piers Lane, David Sims, Roger
Dodos-Parker, Sir Douglas Langford-Holt, Sir John Sinclair, Sir George
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Latham, Michael (Melton) Skeet, T. H. H.
Doig, Peter Lawrence, Ivan Small, William
Dormand J. D. Lawson, Nigel (Blaby) Smith, Dudley (W'wlck & L'm'ngton)
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Le Merchant, Spencer Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Drayson, Burnaby Lester, John (Beeston) Spence, John
Dunn, James A. Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.)
Durant, Tony Lewis, Kenneth (Rtiand & Stmford) Sproat, lain
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Stanbrook, Ivor
Emery, Peter Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo) Stanley, John
English, Michael Lomas, Kenneth Steen, A. D. (L'pool, Wavertree)
Eyre, Reginald Loveridge, John Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm)
Fairgrieve, Russell Luce, Richard Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Farr, John Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Stradling Thomas, J.
Fell, Anthony McCrindle, R. A. Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Macfarlane, Neil Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Fidler, Michael MacFarquhar, Roderick Tapsell, Peter
Finsberg, Geoffrey MacGregor, John Taverne, Dick
Fisher, Sir Nigel McGuire, Marlln Taylor, Edward M. (Glgow, C'cart)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McLaren, Martin Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.) Macmillan, Rt Hn. M. (Farnham) Tebbit, Norman
Fookes, Miss Janet McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Thatcher. Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Ford, Ben McNair-Wilsor, Patrick (New Forest) Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)
Forrester, John Mallalieu, J. P. W. Tomlinson, John
Fox, Marcus Mather, Carol Tomney, Frank
Fry, Peter Maude, Angus Townsend, C. D.
Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead) Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Tuck, Raphael
Gilbert, Dr. John Mawby, Ray Tugendhat, Christopher
Gilmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh'&Amsh'm) Mayhew, Christopher(G'wh, W'wch, E) Urwin, T. W.
Glyn, Dr. Alan Mayhew, Patrick(RoyaIT'bridgeWells) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Golding, John Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Waddington, David
Goodhew, Victor Meyer, Sir Anthony Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Gorst, John Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch) Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)
Gourley, Harry Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)
Walters, Dennis Whitlock, William Younger, Hn. George
Warren, Kenneth Wiggin, Jerry
Watkins, David Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Weatherill, Bernard Williams, A. L. (H'v'ring, H'church) Mr. Donald Coleman and
Weitzman, David Winterton, Nicholas Mr. Thomas Cox.
Wellbeloved, James Wrigglesworth, Ian
Allaun, Frank Hamilton, William (Fife, C.) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Hatton, Frank Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)
Atkinson, Norman Henderson, Douglas (Ab'rd'nsh're, E) Sedgemore, Bryan
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hooley, Frank Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.)
Bates, Alf Hooson, Emlyn Sillars, James
Beith, A. J. Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Silverman, Julius
Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.) Huckfield, Leslie Skinner, Dennis
Bidwell, Sydney Hughes, Roy (Newport) Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hunter, Adam Snape, Peter
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Spriggs, Leslle
Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr' wich) Kelley, Richard Steel, David
Carson, John Kinnock, Neil Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Carter-Jones, Lewis Lamond, James Stott, Roger
Clemitson, Ivor Lestor, J. (Beeston) Swain, Thomas
Cohen, Stanley MacCormack, Iain Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)
Cryer, G. R. McCusker, H. Thorn, Stan (Preston, S.)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S & F'sb'ry) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Tinn, James
Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.) Madden, M. O. F. Torney, Tom
Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.) Marks, Kenneth Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Duffy, A. E. P. Mendelson, John Watt, Hamish
Edge, Geoff Mikardo, Ian Whitehead, Phillip
Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.) Ovenden, John Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Pardoe, John Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Park, George (Coventry, N.E.) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Evans, John (Newton) Prescott, John Wilson, William (Coventry, S.E.)
Flannery, Martin Radice, Giles Winstanley, Dr. Michael
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Reid, George Woodall, Alec
Freud, Clement Richardson, Miss Jo Young, David (Bolton, E.)
Garrett, John (Norwich, S.) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Roderick, Caerwyn E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
George, Bruce Rodgers, George (Chorley) Mr. Russell Kerr and
Ginsburg, David Rooker, J. W. Mr. John Lee.
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Rose, Paul B.

Question accordingly agreed to.


That the matter of the complaint made by the hon. Baronet the Member for Peterborough relating to statements made by the hon. Member for Bassetlaw in a broadcast interview be referred to the Committee of Privileges.