HC Deb 09 December 1975 vol 902 cc371-419
Mr. Victor Goodhew (St. Albans)

On a point of order. Can you help the House, Mr. Speaker? We have an unusual motion before us. It states: That when an Order of the Day isread for the House to resolve itself into Committee on the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, notwithstanding that Notice of an Instruction"— I do not know what that instruction is, and perhaps other hon. Members also would like to know— has been given, and on the Committee stage of that Bill the Chairman shall forthwith put the Question that he do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House without putting any other Question, and the Question so put shall be decided without Amendment or Debate. That seems to be a complicated motion and I wonder whether, for the benefit of hon. Members, you can explain exactly what is involved and what this instruction is.

Mr. Speaker

I do not follow the hon. Member's point. I am about to call the Secretary of State to move the motion. No doubt he will explain it to the hon. Member's satisfaction and we shall then know what it is about.

10.17 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Michael Foot)

I beg to move, That when an Order of the Day is read for the House to resolve itself into Committee on the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, notwithstanding that Notice of an Instruction has been given, and on the Commitee stage of that Bill the Chairman shall forthwith put the Question that he do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House without putting any other Question, and the Question so put shall be decided without Amendment or Debate. I fully appreciate the point made by the hon. Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew), which others may also raise in the debate. I hope to explain why the Government think this the right way to proceed. I fully understand the anxieties and questions which may arise, because this procedure is novel, since it is only rarely in the history of Parliament that the Parliament Act has had to be invoked and this procedure considered. I therefore hope that the House will permit me to state why the Government think that we should proceed in this way.

Mr. Speaker

Order. May I interrupt the right hon. Gentleman? I should say for the assistance of the House that I have not selected the amendment.

Mr. Foot

This motion is concerned with the procedure to be followed during the remaining stages of the Bill.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)

Will the right hon. Gentleman bring into the early part of his remarks an explanation of how the motion affects my constitutional position?

Mr. Foot

I shall comment on the hon. Member's constitutional position. I am sure that it will be a great relief to him to know that one of the reasons why I have looked at his amendment with sympathy is that it appears to accept the principle which underlies the motion. I am glad to have his support on the general proposition. It is in that sympathetic spirit that I shall approach the later part of what he said, even though his amendment has not been called.

There are few precedents for the way in which a situation such as this has to be dealt with. The motion is concerned with the procedure to be followed during the remaining stages of the Bill in the Commons. Its effect, if passed, would be to make formal the Committee and Report stages of the Bill. The result of this motion taken by itself would therefore be that the next stage of the Bill would be the Third Reading. However, I have also tabled a resolution containing suggested amendments to the Bill. We intend that, together with other amendments which may be tabled, these suggested amendments should be debated immediately before Third Reading.

The motion before the House tonight does not directly affect the suggestions Stag—that is the subject of a quite separate resolution—but I thought I should explain to the House the complete procedure that we propose to adopt and not merely part of it. It was in order to acquaint the House from the outset with the proposed procedure that the Government intended to follow that we tabled both the motion and the resolution on the same day as the Bill itself was introduced.

Mr. Jeremy Thorpe (Devon, North)

The right hon. Gentleman has said that the Government have put forward suggested amendments for debate and that other amendments will also be debated. Do we understand from that that amendments other than his own will be given Government time?

Mr. Foot

If the right hon. Gentleman will permit me, I shall deal with most of the points he has raised. We are seeking to follow as closely as possible—although we do not claim that the precedent is precise—some of the precedents laid down when a Liberal Government were last in power. As that last Liberal Government had to contend with some of the difficulties with which we have had to contend, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will sympathise with me.

The Government will be tabling some of these suggestions but, in effect, they are the same as amendments and proposals. They are amendments to amendments, but there will also be the possibility for others to make suggestions. Certainly it would not be the Government's wish to prevent such amendments or suggestions being debated.

Mr. Thorpe

There will be time?

Mr. Foot

As I am sure the right hon. Gentleman appreciates, the question of time depends on accommodations reached at the right moment. We are not seeking to truncate this discussion. I have given the right hon. Gentleman the answer to his specific question. It is not the Government's intention, by adopting this procedure, to truncate the essential points which hon. Members might wish to raise. Therefore, when we come to that part of the procedure, I fully expect to have on the Order Paper not only suggestions in the name of the Government, with the amendments that have been tabled by other hon. Members, but also suggestions which other hon. Members may wish to table, and those matters will also be for discussion then.

The motion before the House is certainly unusual. I do not deny that in any sense. I can appreciate that many hon. Members will regard it with caution for that reason. That is a natural and proper approach for the House of Commons to take to any motion of this novel character. However, the procedure that we propose is well grounded in the precedents, such as they are—I shall refer further to them presently—which are to be found in the fortunately rare cases when a Government have had to reintroduce a Bill in a second Session intending to present it for Royal Assent under the Parliament Act if it is not passed by the House of Lords.

If there is a possibility that the Parliament Act is to be invoked, we must ensure that the Bill meets the conditions laid down in that Act. That means that the Bill which is sent to the House of Lords in the second Session, after rejection by that House in the first Session, has to be the same as the Bill that went to the House of Lords in the first Session, with certain limited exceptions set out in Section 2(4) of the Parliament Act. Today's Bill satisfied that test, the only variation being to Clause 2(4) which follows the wording inserted at the Lords Committee stage on 10th March and subsequently agreed to by this House. This change, because it is an amendment already agreed by both Houses, is an allowable exception under the Parliament Act to the principle that the Bill must be the same Bill as went up to the Lords in the first Session.

Of course in this case, when this Bill goes to the Lords, it may well be that the Lords will agree with it and there will be no need to invoke the Parliament Act. Indeed, the Lords have already agreed to the Bill in the form in which this House has just given it a Second Reading. That is one of the ironies of the situation. The only amendments on which the Lords ultimately insisted last Session related not to the Bill in its present form but to the Press clause which is now the subject of our suggested amendment and which we shall be debating at the later stage prior to Third Reading.

The main purpose of a Committee stage and a Report stage in this House, in its normal practice, is to examine a Bill in detail and to suggest amendments to it. In a case of this kind, however, an amendment of any consequence made by this House in Committee would mean that the Parliament Act procedure could not be applied to the Bill should that become necessary. The usual Committee and Report stages, if they were to serve their normal purposes, would conflict with the primary aim of the Parliament Act, which is to enable this House, after an interval, to insist that a Bill to which it has already given its approval should be reintroduced and become law even if on the second occasion the Lords rejected it.

That is the first reason why we say that this particular procedure should be followed, because otherwise the invocation of the Parliament Act could be frustrated, which we believe would be an improper way to approach the matter.

However, there is also the argument—a lesser argument if the House cares to call it so—that the Committee stage is perhaps also the less necessary in this sense as the issues here have all been debated at considerable length in this House over the past two years and, of course, the intention of completing the repeal of the Industrial Relations Act was part of the Government's programme. However, I do not need to enlarge upon that point. [AN HON. MEMBER: "It is relevant."] Yes, but it has been upheld by the vote of the House a few minutes ago.

The procedure embodied in this motion the kind of procedure that we are recommending to the House now, was adopted in 1948 and 1949 when the Parliament Act 1949 was debated for the second and third times in this House, as was then necessary, and it was also the procedure which was followed in 1913 and 1914. Therefore, although I do not know whether the Conservative Party takes the view after all these years that the procedure adopted then was offensive to Conservatives, short of the Conservatives I should have thought that the whole House would have agreed that the propet way for us to deal with the matter was, as far as we could, to follow the precedents that had previously been set. However, I must acknowledge that the precedents are not precise and exact, because in some respects there is no precedent that fits exactly this position.

The suggestions that we wish to make and that others may wish to make and have debated before we send the Bill to the other place are suggestions of a more far-reaching character than those that were envisaged in the kind of suggestions procedure referred to by Mr. Asquith when he was Prime Minister and dealing with this question way back before the 1914–18 war. However, there is nothing in the precedents to exclude the way in which we are dealing with the matter. As I have indicated, I should have thought it to be the commonsense approach to the matter. Indeed, we have not seen any other method of approaching the matter which would not be open to the kind of problems and difficulties which I indicated a few moments ago.

Dr. J. Dickson Mabon (Greenock and Port Glasgow)

I am trying to follow my right hon. Friend's speech. If accepted amendments are amendments which were as of March, what happens to those amendments that many of us supported, and I know that my right hon. Friend warmly supported, which happened after March?

If the Bill, leaving matters substantially as we wanted them in October, goes to another place and is rejected, it will in time become law under the Parliament Act, but what happens if an amendment is moved and carried that makes the Bill substantially different from the Bill that was put forward by this House? Does it not then fall foul of the Parliament Act procedure?

Mr. Foot

My hon. Friend said that he was trying to follow me, and I trust that he was succeeding. I am sure that he was making a strenuous effort to do so. All that we are proposing in our suggestions under this procedure—it is a procedure invented not by me but by Mr. Asquith—is to add amendments to the Bill which cover all the points on which we had agreed before dealing with the issue of Press freedom, assuming that the House proceeds on the basis on which it has just voted. There are slight amendments in the wording but they do not alter the sense and effectiveness of the Bill in any way. Assuming that we get the vote of the House, we shall add our suggestions to the Bill which goes to another place. We would do so prior to Third Reading.

Mr. Keith Stainton (Sudbury and Woodbridge)

What happens if the other place—

Mr. Foot

I am in the middle of answering my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock and Port Glasgow (Dr. Mabon). The Bill will go to another place and we hope that that place, as I have already indicated in my remarks which my hon. Friend was following so closely, will accept it and that there will be no necessity for the invocation of the Parliament Act. We hope that it will follow that course following the vote of this House on Second Reading. That would be the happiest outcome both in constitutional terms and from every other point of view.

It is possible for the other place to say that it will continue to resist the parts of the Bill which deal with Press freedom along the lines that it has already taken. It may be that it will make that choice, although I must say that there are some indications to the contrary. No one can be sure what course the other place will take. I am not saying that there was a commitment, but some suggestions were made to the effect that it might be prepared to accept what we send to it again following the consideration that it asked us to give to the matter.

It is conceivable that the other place will continue to reject this measure. If that were to be the case and if the other place were to persist in that course over a long time—for example, until the end of this Session—we would be entitled to invoke the Parliament Act. As I have already indicated, that is not our desire. We do not believe that that is the best way of dealing with the matter.

I have already said on an earlier occasion that, if the other place were not to accept what this House now proposes and if it were to insist on altering the Press freedom provisions as we send them to it, the Government would seek by some other means to pass the measures on Press freedom which the House has agreed upon. We believe that those measures should be accepted. I have said that we wish them to be accepted, and we think that that would be the correct way in which to proceed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh".] I do not know why hon. Gentlemen are becoming so enraged. I am trying to explain the matter in the most sensible fashion.

Mr. Goodhew

The right hon. Gentleman talks about Press freedom. Is he not aware that the measures he is talking about are against Press freedom and that the measures we are talking about are in favour of Press freedom? Some of us who have been trying to follow his arguments were not here at the time of Mr. Asquith. Will the right hon. Gentleman give his mind to what he meant by saying that notice of instruction had been given?

Mr. Foot

I am seeking to explain as clearly as I can what would be the position.

I understand that there is a difference of view in the House about the measures to be taken about Press freedom. But the hon. Gentleman must understand that the majority of Members in this House, as well as the minorities, are entitled to rights. The majority of the House of Commons happens to have passed on a number of occasions the views, procedures and proposals which we have put forward on the subject of Press freedom We say that we are entitled once again to send those proposals, coupled with the rest of the measures, to the House of Lords and that the House of Commons will have a further opportunity to vote on those proposals when we come to suggestions and procedures. There is no need for the hon. Gentleman to get so excited.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Kinross and West Perthshire)

I find a certain constitutional difficulty here. Since the proposals to which the Minister is so anxious that the House of Lords should be compelled to agree contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Yes, Article 12 states that no man shall be compelled to join an association. [HON. MEMBERS: "Say it again."] I will say it again. It says that no man shall be compelled to join an association. Since the House of Lords, as part of Parliament, has upheld the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in Paris on 12th December 1948 by Clement Attlee on behalf of this country, how is it wrong for that House to resist a contravention of that declaration in this House?

Mr. Foot

The hon. and learned Gentleman has raised a question on the substance of the matter, which we have debated on numerous occasions during the passage of the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] It has been replied to on many occasions. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not now?"] I believe that it would be unwise for the House at this stage to discuss the substance of the matter. On the point that the hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned, I would inform him that at the time of signature of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights it was made clear that such provision should not be regarded as excluding the possibility of closed shop arrangements.

Mr. Fairbairn


Mr. Foot

The same was made clear at the time of the European Convention on Human Rights. This matter of substance can be further debated when we debate the rest of the Bill.

Mr. Fairbairn

I am a very illiterate person and I was not politically aware in 1948. Will the Secretary of State advise this House of the alleged documents, arrangements or other matters that were effected in 1948 excepting the concept of the closed shop from the total commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? I do not think the right hon. Gentleman is doing anything but misleading this House falsely.

Mr. Foot

I am not misleading the House in any sense whatever. As I have said, it is not my belief that the proper matters for us to be discussing at this moment are questions of substance. We are discussing the procedure.

Mrs. Millie Miller (Ilford, North)

It may have escaped my right hon. Friend's memory that Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not say what the hon. and learned Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn) told us it said. In fact, Article 12 reads as follows: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference". If Opposition Members wish to quote the Declaration of Human Rights, it might help their case if they quoted it accurately.

Mr. Foot

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. [An HON. MEMBER: "Look at Article 20."] I gather that we should now refer to Article 20. I must repeat that on this procedure motion I do not think we should discuss matters of substance. Since, however, there is reference to Article 20, I should tell the House that when Article 20 was discussed at the General Assembly of the United Nations the New Zealand representative made clear that his Government did not consider that that article was at odds with the closed shop. That line was endorsed by the United Kingdom representative and was not contradicted during those discussions.

I come back to the question of procedure raised by the hon. Member for St. Albans. I did not answer it previously, but I am glad to do so now, particularly as I have discovered the answer. The hon. Gentleman raised a point about Mr. Speaker leaving the Chair and so on notwithstanding that Notice of an Instruction has been given". The practice of the House is that if notice has been given of a motion that an instruction be given to a Committee of the whole House, this is discussed after the Order of the Day for Committee has been read and before the House resolves itself into Committee. Since the Committee itself is to be formal, there is no point in moving the instruction, although it would remain technically possible to do so. The words in question remove that possibility.

Mr. Goodhew

Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that, although the motion says that notice of an instruction has been given, in fact it has not been given, and we must assume that it has been given although it has not?

Mr. Foot

Whatever I was saying, I assure the hon. Gentleman that it was nothing as foolish and contradictory as that. I was trying to simplify matters for everyone, including the hon. Gentleman himself.

In conclusion, for those reasons—

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

I wonder whether the point has been reached when the right hon. Gentleman feels that he would be assisted by the presence of his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House to explain the niceties of the motion which he, after all, has put on the Order Paper.

Mr. Foot

I am sure that the whole House is always eager to have my right hon. Friend's assistance, but he has other business to attend to as well.

Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Within the hearing of the House the Secretary of State told us that the Leader of the House had other business to attend to. The implication was that that other business was more important than his business as Leader of the House. Should not the Secretary of State tell us that the primary duty of the Leader of the House is to this House and also tell us where his right hon. Friend is?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Myer Galpern)

The hon. Member has not raised a point of order. The Ministers who are available are here to deal with the matter. There are two names appearing on this Order, those of the Leader of the House and Mr. Secretary Foot. The latter is present. I hope that human rights have not bypassed the occupant of the Chair and that I shall be able to get some peace and quiet.

Mr. Michael Brotherton (Louth)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it not intolerable that the Secretary of State should treat the House with such contempt and say that the Leader of the House has more important things to do than to come here? Should we not now send for Mr. Speaker to rule whether there is anything more important for the Leader of the House to do than to attend to his duties here?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I have had enough experience now to feel able to rule on that point of order without having to send for Mr. Speaker. The Chair, whether occupied by Mr. Speaker or by one of his deputies, has no power to compel any hon. Member to attend the House.

Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I thought I heard you say that the House had to be content with such Ministers as were available. This doctrine will lead us into difficulties. For instance, if Prime Minister's Questions were answered by the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, it could be said that he was the only Minister available and we would be plagued with him rather than plagued by the Prime Minister himself. Is there to be a doctrine that the House is to put up with the Minister who is available rather than the Minister who is in charge of the business before the House? The Leader of the House is in charge of procedure motions. The House is not concerned with whether he is available or not. The House wishes him to be available. The House would not accept for one moment that only such Ministers as are available should be here to promote Government business. The House would prefer that Ministers in charge of the business before us were here, otherwise it will be impossible for us to proceed. I hope, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that on reflection you will feel that such Ministers as are responsible should be here.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member knows full well that he has not strictly raised a point of order. I am only correcting what he has said. I did not say "whatever hon. Member is available". I pointed out that the name of Mr. Secretary Foot appears on this Order and that, therefore, he is entitled to take part in the debate.

Mr. Goodhew

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I asked the right hon. Gentleman whether notice of an instruction in accordance with the motion had or had not been given, but he seemed unable to reassure us on that point. That being so, would it be possible for the Leader of the House to tell us?

Mr. Foot


Mr. Fairbairn

On a point of order. May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Deputy Speaker, as to whether it was Divine intervention which brought the Leader of the House here or whether his unavailability has now, coincidentally, become availability?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I appeal to hon. Members not to treat this matter in a frivolous fashion. The Leader of the House is here now.

Mr. Foot

I am sure we can all rejoice at the universal acclaim which has been shown at the appearance of my right hon. Friend. I am glad that the House is united on that proposition.

Mr. Leon Brittan (Cleveland and Whitby)

I understood the Secretary of State to be saying that, if the other place did not accept the Press charter suggestions which he was putting forward, he would seek to find some other way of advancing those suggestions so that they may come into effect. Does he believe that those circumstances would require completely fresh legislation? If so, does he intend to introduce yet further legislation on the matter, and, if so, when?

Mr. Foot

I should have thought that, whatever right hon. and hon. Members might think about the different issues involved here, they would have agreed that this was a reasonable way to proceed. If the House of Lords decided not to accept what we were proposing on Press freedom, the House of Commons having voted with considerable majorities a number of times on the subject, it would be a false position to accept the decision of the Lords. It would mean that the only aspect of the legislation which could reach the statute book would be the part which could go forward under the Parliament Act.

I hasten to add, so that there is no misapprehension, that the only part of the legislation which could reach the statute book would be the part which left the House now. If we introduced, as I think we should in order to carry out the will of the House of Commons, measures dealing with Press freedom, those measures would still be subject to the possibility of the House of Lords taking any action that it might wish concerning it. That measure would not be subject to the Parliament Act and could not be placed on the statute book by the operation of that Act.

For the various reasons I have already mentioned—the rigid framework of the Parliament Act and the fact that this House is reaffirming rather than initiating legislation which has been debated at considerable length—I commend the motion to the House as the best way in which to deal with this matter.

The part of the Bill with which the Lords disagreed—the Press clause—cannot be regarded as part of the Bill for Parliament Act purposes. Therefore, if we are to include provisions on the Press, we must make use of another provision of the 1911 Act whereby we make suggestions to the House of Lords which, if agreed by that House, become part of the Bill, but only if accepted by the other House. Those suggestions will be put before the House when times are arranged through the usual channels. To a considerable extent this can be regarded as an alternative to the Committee stage in the procedure we have adopted.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain his concern for what I put as my constitutional position? How are any possible amendments which could have been put down at Committee stage restricted by using the procedure he is putting forward?

Mr. Foot

I apologise for not coming back to the matter which the hon. Gentleman raised originally. I meant to do so. It was in my interest to do it, because his amendment appears to accept the validity of the case that we are presenting. As I understand it, the hon. Gentleman's case is that he was not a Member of the last Parliament and was not able to engage in the discussions. The same exclusions might apply to some other Members in the last House who were not members of the Committee. The hon. Gentleman will have the earliest opportunity of entering into the discussions on these matters when we have a debate on the suggested amendments, or suggestions as they are called under this procedure.

I do not believe that the whole of the procedure should be altered. The procedure is not laid down by me. It is laid down by the Parliament Act, with suggestions as to how it should be applied by the Prime Minister of that time. The hon. Gentleman and the rest of the House should be satisfied with that procedure which we are seeking to apply.

Mr. Thorpe

The right hon. Gentleman is doing himself less than justice. What he suggested earlier was that we would be able to debate not only the Government's suggested motions and the amendments thereto but other suggested motions which might emanate from any part of the House. That implied that the Government would favourably consider giving Government time to suggested motions other than those emanating from the Front Bench. In the reply which the right hon. Gentleman has just given, he did not give that impression. I am sure that he would wish to make that abundantly clear.

Mr. Foot

I was not seeking to qualify anything I said before about the way in which that debate should proceed. What I said was that, when we came to that point in the procedure, not only should the Government be able to put down their suggestions and others be able to amend the Government suggestions, but that others should be able to put down their own suggestions. That should apply not only to the official Opposition or unofficial Oppositions but to Back-Bench Members. That is a perfectly reasonable procedure. The hon. Gentleman will have his opportunity to put his case then.

Mr. Peter Bottomley


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I remind the hon. Gentleman that he is anxious to catch the eye of the Chair later. Surely he can make all his points then. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]

Mr. Thorpe

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker: If the Minister was good enough to give way to the hon. Gentleman, does not that speak for itself?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am considering the general convenience of the House. That is the duty of the Chair. The hon. Gentleman, who has intervened several times already, had an amendment on the Order Paper which was not selected by Mr. Speaker. I gather that he will try to enter the debate. I am simply pointing out that he will have an opportunity to make his points then.

Mr. Thorpe

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. With great respect, if the Minister is prepared to give way, he is deciding whether he will give part of his time to the hon. Member who wishes to intervene. That is a well-established principle, and in my view it should not be subject to any threat or comment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

As I said, I rose only in the interests of right hon. and hon. Members. I was not trying to prevent the hon. Gentleman from making his intervention.

Mr. Peyton

Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Perhaps I may assist you. I am sure that you did not mean in any way to oppress my hon. Friend or take away his right to address the House. We all very much welcome your concern for what you rightly described as the convenience of the House. The trouble this evening emanates not from any remark from the Chair but from the absurd motion, which in no way deserves the description of convenient". That is what upsets us.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

I am grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and to the Minister for being able to make this intervention. Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that it is not enough to say that Members should be able to do as much as they would in the Committee stage, and that they can do as much in putting down amendments?

Mr. Foot

As I have already said, the procedure has been operated on only a very few occasions, because the possibility of invoking the Parliament Act has occurred on only a very few occasions. I confirm that it is certainly the Government's intention, subject to any choice of speakers by the Chair, which is not within their province, to allow suggestions and amendments not only by the official Opposition, or the official Oppositions, but also by Back Benchers if they wish to make them.

Mr. Robin Maxwell-Hyslop (Tiverton)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Will you confirm that one way in which the rights of my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) will be restricted is that under the procedure which the Secretary of State is recommending the Mace will be above the Table and my hon. Friend will be able to speak only once, whereas in Committee, when the Mace is below the Table, he is not so limited?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am concerned only with the fact that the Mace is above the Table.

Mr. Foot

We have proposed this procedure because we believe that it is the best way to take into account what has already been done on previous occasions under the possibility of the Parliament Act being invoked.

We have taken into acount the considerable debates we have had upon this subject and what we believe to be the convenience of the House in the matter, as well as the representations which have appeared on the Order Paper and the point perfectly properly made across the Floor of the House about the rights of Back Benchers also to put down amendments.

The House may wish to discuss the matter further. That is natural enough on a procedural motion of a novel character, and I perfectly well understand it, but I hope the House will seriously consider that this is the best way in which the House of Commons can proceed to deal with the problem that has been presented to us by the House of Lords.

Mr. Goodhew

Before the right hon. Gentleman sits down—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The Secretary of State has already sat down. I shall now put the Question—

Mr. Goodhew

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Before you rose to your feet, I was on my feet to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, before he sat down, he would answer a question that I had put to him earlier. It was a very simple question. I was seeking to ask him whether he would reply to a question whether—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Secretary of State had already completed his speech. Mr. Fletcher-Cooke.

Mr. Goodhew

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I am sorry to insist, but I wish to protect the rights of Back Benchers. I was on my feet before you rose to yours, and I wished to question the Secretary of State before he sat down.

11.7 p.m.

Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)

The Committee stage of a Bill is deeply entrenched in the constitution, and to abolish the Committee stage of the Bill is a very grave step indeed, as I think the right hon. Gentleman realises. I know of only one precedent—indeed, I think that there could be no precedent like this in any other legislature in the civilised world—by which, by a simple resolution of one House, the constitution may be suspended in this way. The only precedent I know is that mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman. It ocurred in 1913, when Mr. Asquith abolished the Committee stages of no fewer than three Bills in one fell swoop—that dealing with Scottish temperance, that dealing with Welsh disestablishment, and that dealing with Irish home rule.

Mr. Ridley


Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Scottish drunks, Welsh clergymen, and Irish rebels—a primitive form of devolution, as my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) has said. That was the precedent of Mr. Asquith. But, as was freely admitted then by Mr. Asquith, the suggestions that he put forward were a very inferior form of alternative to the Committee stage.

They are inferior in many ways. The first concerns time. It is only by the grace of the Government that these suggestions are given time at all, whereas in a Committee stage time is a matter for the Chair. Under these suggestions—which are themselves motions and resolutions of the whole House—selection is entirely in the hands of the Government and not a matter for the Chair at all. In all other ways, as my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) indicated, all the advantages that Back Bench Members have in the Committee stage, such as speaking on more than one occasion, are removed, and all is only by grace and favour.

It is true that the right hon. Gentleman has gone some way to say that grace and favour will be pretty extensive. I am not sure that he realises how far he has gone. At the time the Leader of the House was not in his place, any more than he is now. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] If the right hon. Gentleman is really saying that as much time will be given for the suggestions, which is the technical term, as would be given a full Committee stage and that the selection of the suggestions will be as impartial as it would be if it were in the hands of the Chair and not those of the Government, he has gone a very long way in giving away time and giving in other ways, and we shall hold the Government to that. Of course, Mr. Asquith was not quite so foolish. He said that the suggestions would be only those—

Mr. Russell Fairgrieve (Aberdeenshire, West)

Was not Mr. Asquith a Liberal Prime Minister?

Mr. Thorpe

If the hon. Gentleman did not know that, he has a lot to learn.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Yes, he was, and he said that only suggestions within the spirit or within the principle of the Bill would be debated. Who would be the judge of the spirit or the principle of the Bill but Mr. Asquith? Again, he said that only suggestions correcting inadvertences and mistakes or mollifying and making more acceptable its substantial provisions could possibly be moved as suggestions. That is the precedent, and if the Secretary of State is saying that he will not observe that precedent and that we shall have what, in effect, is a full Committee stage in another name, the Opposition's objections to this procedural motion, although great, somewhat disappear.

But I cannot think that the right hon. Gentleman is saying that. If he is saying that, there is no need to move this motion. He knows that he will get his amendments through this House, that he will get his resolutions through this House and that he will be able, by the use of his majority, to defeat whatever amendments the Opposition or anyone else might move in Committee. So why is he frightened of having a Committee stage?

There seems no point in abolishing the Committee stage unless it is because the right hon. Gentleman knows, or those advising him know, that suggestions are a very inferior form of debate and are really only within the Asquith rules as I have related them. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman has not convinced us that the abolition of a Committee stage is either desirable or necessary.

It is not desirable or necessary for two reasons. The first is that since we last had a Committee stage time has moved on. The right hon. Gentleman says that we have been over this again and again and that he cannot see why we should want to discuss it again. However, although we are here, events have moved—not the least being the Ferrybridge six. Since we had the last Committee stage, we have come to know exactly what will happen as a result of this Bill, and the right hon. Gentleman was very nervous about it throughout our Second Reading debate. For that reason, we need to have another Committee stage, because some of the amendments might attract a little more support this time than they did before we realised the full horror of the Bill.

But not only has time moved on. Our composition has changed. My hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) has pointed out that he had no chance to move amendments during the last Committee stage. It is the inalienable right of every hon. Member, whether on the Standing Committee or not, to table amendments to a Bill. That is within the constitution. To remove that right from an hon. Member because it is inconvenient and because we have discussed these matters before seems seriously to tamper with the constitution. If the right hon. Gentleman, who is a great constitutionalist, does not realise that, he does not realise anything.

For these and other reasons I suggest that it is not good enough to say that we have all been through this before. Time has marched on and personnel have changed. To deprive us of a Committee stage is a very severe act of the Executive, especially when it does not need to do so. The right hon. Gentleman knows that he can get his way even letting us have a Committee stage, and it is only because he wants to save time and trouble that he has adopted this peculiar and disgusting procedure.

11.15 p.m.

Mr. Peter Bottomley (Woolwich, West)

I apologise if at an earlier stage I got myself and the House into trouble by my interventions. I was trying to establish from the Secretary of State the exact way in which the proposed procedure, if the motion is adopted, will cut my rights.

Many hon. Members have witnessed what has happened since December last in terms of the practice of employers dismissing people, and that is only one matter raised during the Second Reading debate about an hour and a quarter ago. When we discussed the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the right hon. Gentleman quoted a New Zealand delegate who, it is alleged, said something apposite to the situation in the United Kingdom.

It was put to the right hon. Gentleman a few moments ago that under the proposed procedure it would be possible for myself or other hon. Members to table as many amendments as could have been tabled during a normal Committee stage. That proposition was not contradicted by the Government Front Bench. I hope that there will be no contradiction when I ask that the time available to consider amendments, whether they be substantial or probing, should be as much under the proposed procedure as in a Committee stage. I remind the Secretary of State that there were six days for the Committee stage a year ago and I calculate that that amounted to some 15 hours. If I felt like going on for three hours, I could take up a fifth of that time now.

I should like to give two or three reasons why the Bill needs searching scrutiny and much amendment. When he replied on Second Reading, it was clear that the Minister of State was unable to answer the points raised by the Opposition. There was not only insufficient time, but the Minister did not have the arguments to support him. If that is so, the need for a detailed and searching Committee stage is established automatically. It was also apparent that many of the arguments and questions advanced on Second Reading had not been advanced in the same way a year ago, partly because of the Ferrybridge case, and partly, and even more seriously, because of the present situation facing many British Railways employees.

The British Railways Board heads a nationalised industry. It is difficult to discover exactly how the proposals which the Trades Union Congress will bring forward, with the Secretary of State's approval, will affect many of the Board's employees who are now declining to join the clerical union. They have circulated to hon. Members detailed arguments and reasons, on grounds of conscience—on what are generally accepted to be reasonable grounds other than those of religious belief—for objecting to joining a trade union. I do not think that they are putting forward the case that they object to having their terms of employment settled by collective bargaining. They object to joining trade unions on a number of grounds.

I shall save the time of the House by not reading out the details of all their arguments. However, I should like the Secretary of State to assure me that he will answer all the observations by the representatives of the clerks within British Rail and that he will answer in detail their objections to joining a trade union. If that assurance is not forthcoming, I shall be tempted to go through the matter in detail now to demonstrate why the motion is unacceptable not only to me but to all those who will be affected by the Bill if it is passed unamended.

As there is no indication from the Secretary of State I had better start by reading the whole of the letter.

The first of the arguments used follows: Mrs. A's conviction is that it is wrong for any one person or group of people to pressure his or their own demands by holding uninvolved other persons or the public at large to ransom or to cause them loss or suffering or in fact to bargain on the basis of an underlying threat to do so. She is committed to alleviating the adverse effects on the public of industrial action and will frequently find herself in opposition to union factional activities. She believes that she cannot be in both camps and puts her loyalties to her fellow citizens before her loyalties to fellow employees. Mr. Foot says that if Mrs. A's fellow employees in a closed shop say that her loyalties are in the wrong order then she may be sacked without compensation or redress. On Second Reading of the Bill hon. Members on the Government Benches referred to strike breakers and blacklegs. I wish to refer to the attitude of the Secretary of State for Social Services when discussing the dispute over doctors' pay.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is going very wide of the motion. It is a procedural motion. The debate should be restricted to that.

Mr. Bottomley

If the debate is restricted to the procedural motion—and this is what I have been trying to do during these few minutes—I shall need to repeat that the Secretary of State has accepted without contradiction the assertion that the motion is acceptable only if every hon. Member has exactly the same rights as he would have in a Committee stage. If the Secretary of State, having indicated his assent, says after the debate on the procedural motion "I am sorry, but the hon. Member for Woolwich, West will be unable to speak more than once on the suggestion he has put forward", he will stand condemned by hon. Members and by those who, like myself before I entered the House, held his personal views and his personal defence of liberty in high esteem.

I assert that an hon. Member may speak many more times than once on the proposals in the motion, in the same way as if it were a Committee stage. The Secretary of State nods: he agrees that this will be possible.

Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)

Is it clear whether the Secretary of State was nodding off or shaking his head? Will he give us some indication?

Mr. Bottomley

I have established that. I have asked the Secretary of State to intervene if he wishes to contradict my assertion.

Mr. Foot

I fully appreciate the anxiety of the hon. Gentleman and of other hon. Members, because we are dealing with a novel procedure. I am not responsible for that. The Parliament Act puts us in this position. Therefore, the House must take its own steps to deal with the situation. The hon. Member has put his case fairly a number of times and I have already given him the answer—that I believe that it will be possible for him and others to put down suggestions for debate on that day.

I also said earlier that Mr. Speaker would be in charge of the proceedings, and I cannot make statements about the calling of hon. Members. It would depend on Mr. Speaker's ruling, but I should have thought that it was the common sense of the situation that he would be prepared to call an hon. Member on the different suggestions and not exclude him from speaking on the second, say, because he had already spoken on the first. But the House is asking that we should deal with the matter in respect of the House of Commons, and it must understand that Mr. Speaker will have to decide on the procedure himself.

Mr. Bottomley

It is clear that there is a great area of uncertainty, and that the novelty of the situation behind which the Secretary of State hides is nothing like the novelty of the situation of the Ferrybridge six and the British Rail clerks.

I should like to offer the same facilities to the Lord President, who is now present, to give us guidance on how the procedure would work in practice—what the rights and opportunities of a Back Bench Member like myself would be, how many days there would be for debate, and how he could assure us, if necessary, that there would be at least as much time as there was in Committee when the previous Bill went through. If neither the Lord President nor the Secretary of State, on reflection, can give us such assurances, is it not clear that they are trying to lead us into a situation in which they have no knowledge of what will happen?

This should concern Labour Back Bench Members as much as me, because they represent just as many working people who will be affected by the Bill. Is it not clear that we should not consider the motion for the time being, but wait until either right hon. Gentleman can tell us what is involved?

Why does the Secretary of State think that it is the Parliament Act that has got us into this situation? It is open to the Government to dissolve Parliament and go back to the country to see whether views have changed. Humble though I am, I should like to point out that in June this issue and others were put to the test and that the test showed that the popular view supported the arguments put on this side, not those which the Secretary of State advanced today.

This proposed procedure gives no guarantee to me that I can put forward the amendments that I want to make. After all, even if I were not on the Committee, I could still put forward amendments for consideration in the normal way. I hope that instead of using the paper-thin Government majority in this way—the majority may not exist on the Bill and I hope that it does not exist on the motion—the Secretary of State will withdraw the motion and allow the Bill to go into Committee as it should.

11.30 p.m.

Mr. Nicholas Ridley (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

It is a pity that the Lord President did not move the motion, especially as he was, apparently, available after all. It is trying our love and affection for the Secretary of State too far to have to listen to him resting on precedents, becoming the great bulwark of conservatism—with a small "c"—telling us all the reasons, 50 or 60 years ago, why the House should give up its privileges in the matter of legislation—he who was the champion of the rights of Back Bench Members in days gone by. Such reputation as he had as a champion of Back Bench Members has long since been submerged by his actions as a member of the Administration. It was as if Keir Hardie had become chairman of the Stock Exchange, Aneurin Bevan had been made Lord Chamberlain, or Tariq Ali had been made chief of the Metropolitan Police.

The right hon. Gentleman used to have a reputation, at least, for revolutionary zeal and also—a strange combination—for the championing of the rights of Parliament. He is now a sort of punctured spare wheel on the vehicle of Government, and he is no longer interested in the rights of Back Bench Members, nor in the liberties and freedoms of our people, because the issue in the Bill and in the other place throughout the previous Bill was the issue of individual rights and human freedom. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was the champion of the rights of the individual and that he believed in the freedom of the Press. I thought that he believed in the freedom of the individual to belong or not to belong to a trade union.

We have no Bill of Rights. We have no entrenched clauses in our constitution. We have nothing but the sovereignty of Parliament, with the one exception of another place.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Down, South)

Oh, ho! Who is talking now!

Mr. Ridley

We have another place. I went to a debate in the Oxford Union a fortnight ago at which the brother of the right hon. Gentleman, Sir Dingle Foot, debated against me. He was arguing the need for a Bill of Rights to be entrenched in our constitution. Yet here we have the Government coming up against the only entrenched part of our constitution, which is that another place has the right, on a matter which concerns human freedoms and the freedom of the Press, for a short time to obstruct a Bill designed purely and simply to restrict the freedom of the Press. The right hon. Gentleman is trying to steamroller through a proposal that will dislodge the one part of our constitution that is entrenched. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has made his peace with Sir Dingle, but he will have to do so, because I am sure that Sir Dingle would not agree with this. This is the one determined attempt that has been made in a century to steamroller away from the people of this country that which is their right.

As to the procedure, why is it that the Government are not prepared to let the Bill go to a normal Committee stage? Why is it that we cannot go to Committee and Report stages, as we did with the Bill last time and as we do with every other Bill? It is because the Government do not actually want to send the same Bill back to another place. They have already admitted that they will be making suggestions which will transform the nature of the Bill, and they want both to invoke the Parliament Act and to send the Bill up in a different form. Therefore, they are trying to have their cake and eat it.

Although it is asking too much, I should like to make the point that the House would be wise to vote for having a proper Committee stage and a proper Report stage, because by these means the House can make such amendments to the Bill as it wishes, which will then force another place either to accept those amendments, thereby destroying the possibility of using the Parliament Act, or to throw out those amendments, in which case it would be complying with the Government's wishes.

Those Opposition Members who do not particularly want this Bill to go through, with its restriction on the freedom of the Press, who are not satisfied with the so-called suggestions that the right hon. Gentleman with all his tradition of parliamentary democracy and liberality behind him, wants to put into the Bill, and who want to preserve the freedom of the Press, would be wise to amend the Bill in any silly way that they want to amend Clauses 1, 2, 4, 6 or 10—any clause we care to amend. That would make it another Bill and the Government could not invoke the Parliament Act. They would be floored in their rather shoddy, sordid attempt.

After all, what is the hurry? We have another four years of this miserable Government, and we have run out of manifesto points—thank God. What shall we do for the next four years? The manifesto is finished and done. The Government are barren of ideas. Could we not spend the next four years debating the Bill? Could we not have it in Committee, on Report, in the House of Lords and back again? We could play tennis with the Bill for the next four years. That would be much less damaging than allowing the Government to have their lousy Bill.

I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to vote down this motion so that we can have a Committee stage on the Floor of the House—we have accepted that it should be on the Floor of the House and that it is as important as that—and when we vote in Committee we can amend the Bill in some minor respect, which will prevent the Government from invoking the Parliament Act. Their Lordships can do what they like with the Bill. They can go through the proper process of legislation. Then their Lordships can decide to be the ultimate guardians of the freedom of this country and save us from the rabble and mob on the Government side which in the name of "democracy" could destroy every freedom which the British people have enjoyed for a century.

11.39 p.m.

Mr. Ian Gow (Eastbourne)

Not for the first time, the Government have got themselves into a hopeless state of procedural confusion. The motion seeks to curtail and does curtail the rights of Back Bench Members. But the Secretary of State spent the whole of his speech arguing against just exactly the proposal that he was advancing. He sought to assure my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley) that, despite what appeared in the motion, the rôle of he Back Bench Member would still be safeguarded.

The motion stands in the name of the Lord President of the Council. His name appears there first, not that of the Secretary of State. Many Opposition Members believe that it would have been much more appropriate if the Leader of the House had moved the motion, because it is a motion affecting the rights of Back Bench Members, of whose rights he is traditionally the guardian.

The Bill goes to the heart of the fundamental rights of the British people. It is therefore a Bill which, above all, should be debated fully on the Floor of this House in accordance with the normal procedures. For the Secretary of State to say that we are to debate the Bill less fully than is normally the case is to cast him in the rôle of someone who is opposed to the rights of Parliament, despite his long and honourable record. I commend to the right hon. Gentleman one of his favourite quotations from Emerson: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. It is high time the Secretary of State abandoned his foolish consistency in this matter and withdrew this miserable motion.

11.41 p.m.

Mr. John Peyton (Yeovil)

It might be helpful if I intervened now, without in any way intending to deprive any of my hon. Friends who might subsequently wish to address the House of the opportunity to do so.

The debate has so far achieved three justifications—namely, a speech from my hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Mr. Gow), a very fine speech by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) and an admirable speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Bottomley). I very much regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West was not a Member of the House at an earlier stage of the Bill's history. Nevertheless, we look forward with confidence to his subsequent contributions on this subject and many others. Apart from that, I can think of no other merits that the motion may possess.

My hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, West appeared to draw from the Secretary of State the rather remarkable statement that he was not responsible for the procedure. The right hon. Gentleman had previously said, rather delicately, how grateful he was to Mr. Asquith. It is nice and quite touching when someone as skilled a parliamentarian as the right hon. Gentleman pauses to wave a friendly hand over the generations that have preceeded him, even if it is only for them to share the blame with him.

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that the intention of the Parliament Act is to give the House a second chance to look at important issues. It is such a pity when the House is immediately deprived of that second chance by the blind determination of the Government not to have second thoughts, heedless of public opinion, heedless of justice and completely careless of liberty.

I do not think that I have ever more greatly admired the skill of the right hon. Gentleman than tonight. However, I cannot believe that he was particularly proud of his own performance. One felt that the House had been immensely deprived in that the right hon. Gentleman was on the Government side of the House instead of sitting on the Opposition Benches as the real champion of common sense and liberty, whom this miserable motion deserves and requires. How well the right hon. Gentleman would have fulfilled that part in dealing with this awful motion! It is nasty in its language and worse in its purpose.

However, the right hon. Gentleman has been very helpful about the later stages of the Bill. I cannot help feeling that if his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House had been in the House a little earlier and had been a little closer to him on the Front Bench, a few friendly nudges would have controlled the right hon Gentleman's generosity. If that had happened we might never have been given the valuable undertakings for which we are most grateful, and about which in a modest way we shall remind the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues at a later stage.

The Secretary of State for Employment let fall one or two pearls. He said that the precedents were not precise or exact, and that there was no precedent that precisely fitted. He went on to say—and this was his great trump card—that nothing in the precedents could exclude the way in which we were now dealing with the matter. What a vindication for a perfectly filthy procedure!

I am sorry that my right hon. and hon. Friends were not here in larger numbers earlier, because they deprived themselves of a treat of oratory from the Minister of State, Department of Employment, whose lucidity of argument did not do anything to conceal the deficiencies of the Bill. He did his best loyally and staunchly to defend his right hon. Friend, despite the fact that the right hon. Gentleman had not been at his best. In fact, the right hon. Gentleman has been engaged all day, as in earlier stages of this affair, in encouraging the Administration as it shyly lurches its way towards the elimination of embarrassments—embarrassments that concern the protection of the individual.

What a pity today that the right hon. Gentleman came before the House of Commons in the guise of Faust, having sold his soul and almost everything the right hon. Gentleman used to believe in to a devil—[Interruption.] How deprived is that claque below the Gangway of the right hon. Gentleman's presence. How shoddy they look when they are deprived of that gloomy shield. We all remember earlier in the debate the sudden outburst of almost mirthless laughter from the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson): it was one of his most eloquent contributions.

The points with which we are concerned in this debate are the following. The courts have become a bit of a nuisance to the Government, who are looking for some substitution. The right hon. Gentleman used the phrase "our better provisions". Let him explain those provisions in full. My hon. Friends and I prefer a judge in a properly-established court to a diktat of a Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State and his colleagues have adopted some very quaint ideas about the law and have made clear their preference for bureaucratic dicta and procedures. We face a vacuum in the law. Instead of having the law clearly enshrined in the common law and on the statute book, we are to have some kind of tissue of pretence, such as solemn and binding undertakings, on which, when the challenge comes, no delivery can take place.

What the Government are saying to us in this Bill is that one can take away a man's rights and yet tell him that he is better off. The House of Commons has not for years heard such cant and rubbish. I believe that the time is coming when the nation is tired of this chorus from the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues. Our people are tired and sick of that wretched tawdry manifesto which is dragged up on every occasion, and they want to see an end to a Government who, whatever their spokesmen have said in the past, have shown their utter lack of concern for the freedom of the individual.

11.50 p.m.

Mr. Robert Adley (Christchurch and Lymington)

I make no apology for entering the debate—[Laughter 1—and the mirth of hon. Members below the Gangway opposite will not deter me. The Secretary of State has been defeated by Parliament but he is not prepared to accept his defeat. As in the Clay Cross situation, the rules of the law and of Parliament are clear, but the right hon. Gentleman does not want to play by them. We have a two-chamber Parliament, but the right hon. Gentleman prefers to ignore the Second Chamber. Whatever the future of another place may be, so long as it exists it is the Second Chamber of this Parliament.

The people cannot afford to have ignored, by the Opposition, the ministerial arrogance which the present Government are showing. We have had the television licence case and the sewerage rate dispute. [HON. MEMBERS: "It was a Tory Act"] Hon. Members say that it was our Water Act, but the Government have had 21 months in which to do something and nothing has been done. They have tried to ignore the courts of law. It is entirely fitting that the Secretary of State for Employment should try to put this motion over on the House of Commons just after the judgment in the sewerage dispute.

My hon. Friends have mentioned the Ferrybridge six. I suspect that we shall hear more of the Ferrybridge six. If the Government find that objectionable, let them count up the times they have brought the Shrewsbury two into the Chamber as paragons of virtue, and let them compare the activities of the Shrewsbury two with those of the Ferrybridge six. I know on whose side I would rather speak.

The Secretary of State has rewritten Orwell. He believes that all individuals have rights, but some have more rights than others. He believes that all trade unionists are equal, but some are more equal than others. Are these the great freedoms about which his party wrote in its manifesto in February 1974?

I shall close by quoting the Opposition spokesman in the debate in 1913, of which we have heard so much this evening: When you use these methods of violence—for they are methods of violence—to pass your measures through the House lest the ordeal of ordinary discussion should be fatal to them, or to you, you go one step further down the road that we have been travelling. You do something more to destroy that respect, and to dissociate from us the obedience of the people."—[Official Report, 23rd June 1913; Vol. 54, c. 835.] Nothing would be more relevant to tonight's debate.

For a Government supposedly elected to counter confrontation, they are setting a very poor example, not only in the behaviour of the Secretary of State for Social Services towards the medical profession, but by the Secretary of State towards this House tonight.

11.55 p.m.

Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Kinross and West Perthshire)

It is important that we should appreciate, as I am sure the Secretary of State does, that we are discussing a procedure which not only abrogates the rights of the House, but does so in order to abrogate the rights of individuals.

The Labour Party claims to be interested in civil rights and the rights of the individual in the constitution. None claims this more than those below the Gangway. There are no bounds to my amazement at the fact that when civil rights and the rights of the individual are being dealt with, hon. Members below the Gangway prefer to try to laugh them out. They may not think this important. They do not think the law is important. They do not think that civil rights and the rights of the individual are important— until they can twist them to fit their own perverted doctrines. I would have thought that some of them might at least take the matter of principle seriously, even though they have none themselves. The rights of the individual and after all, the Shrewsbury pickets are just individuals—[Interruption.] Hon. Members below the Gangway can go on mocking. The more they mock, the more they are mocking themselves. They are mocking because they are not interested.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

Bring back Sir Alec.

Mr. Fairbairn

I have not the slightest doubt that Labour Members would like to bring back Sir Alec, because he is now in the House of Lords. He was put there by them, as was Lord George-Brown, who is also against their proposals. Yet they pretend that the other place is a constitutional anachronism created by someone else. The noble Lords who were put there by the Government are opposing their filthy legislation which is so unpopular. [Interruption.] Labour Members can jeer and jitter as much as they like, but they will never shout down in this House or in the heart of the Secretary of State, I trust, concern for the freedom of the individual or the rights of the constitution. There is no guarantee for anything that anyone believes in unless there is support for the constitution and a defence of the rights of the individual. The Bill is designed to destroy the rights of the individual.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I have permitted a great deal of latitude so far. The hon. and learned Member should now refer to the terms of the motion, which deals with questions of procedure.

Mr. Fairbairn

We in this House are guardians of the rights of the individual and the constitution, and tonight we are discussing the constitutional rights of Parliament. Mockery from the Labour Benches will not divert me from saying that this motion is designed to prevent Parliament from having a proper procedural discussion of a Bill which removes the rights of the individual.

The Secretary of State, who has always been a champion of the rights of the individual, has been chickened by the Leader of the House into presenting a measure which he knows to be bogus and false. We are being asked to undermine parliamentary procedure, for which the Labour Party pretends to be so concerned, with a motion which forces through a measure which can be described in one word only—tyranny.

12.5 a.m.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg (Hampstead)

I am delighted to follow my amazed, or amazing, hon and learned Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn). He has reminded the House of the tyranny which the right hon. Gentleman—one of Hampstead's many Socialist intellectuals—seems determined to foist on the country.

I want to deal with the weather-house of the Government, the Leader of the House, who has displayed tonight all those sterling qualities of cheap, nasty little foreign weather-houses in which the man goes out when it is dry and the woman goes out when it is wet. His behaviour is being outside when this motion was being debated, then coming in and going outside again, leaving us to the tender mercies of a mere departmental Minister to explain the procedures and rights of Members, should go on record as one of his worst performances—and that is not very difficult.

By now the Leader of the House might have understood that he has a duty occasionally to doff his political hat and put on his hat as guardian of the liberties of Back-Bench Members on both sides. Quite frequently he is attacked by Members on his own side and forced eventually to eat humble pie. Tonight that does not seem to be happening.

The Leader of the House needs to be told firmly that we are not prepared to accept this procedural motion without two simple questions being answered. The Secretary of State is quite incapable of answering them—no blame to him, because it is not the job he is paid for. The Leader of the House is paid to explain the procedure. If he is incapable of doing that, he had better appoint one or two more paid political advisers, because at least they can perhaps come up with some answers. [An HON. MEMBER: They will be up to Blackburn.] In the intervals between going to Blackburn.

Mr. Ridley

Would it not help if the Leader of the House were to pay an official visit to India to consult Mrs. Gandhi on the rights of Back-Bench Members?

Mr. Finsberg

My only comment on that is that on a recent trip we disembarked in the transit lounge of an Indian airport and were told that we could not take British newspapers into the lounge because they had not been censored. I am sure that my hon. Friend is right in saying that a good lesson could be learnt there.

The two questions which I want answered, and which I believe any Back-Bench Member interested in the rights of the House wants answered, are these. Will there be every opportunity for each suggested amendment to be debated fully, not merely those selected by the Government? Secondly, and even more important, will hon. Members be entitled to speak three or four times on each suggested amendment, as they would be if the House were having a genuine Committee stage?

It is no use the Secretary of State for Employment sitting benignly on the Front Bench. The person who ought to be answering those questions is the Leader of the House.

Mr. Hal Miller (Bromsgrove and Redditch)

Is there not a third question that my hon. Friend would like to have answered—the one asked by my hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew)—whether an instruction has or has not been issued, and what it is?

Mr. Finsberg

In fact, there is a fourth question I should like the right hon. Gentleman to answer. I have put the first two questions, and I am happy to pass on as the third question the one asked by my hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Mr. Goodhew). The fourth question is this: if the right hon. Gentleman is unwilling to answer, or is incapable of answering, why does he not resign?

12.10 a.m.

Mr. Norman Tebbit (Chingford)

I have a difference with my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Mr. Fairbairn). I do not think that it was mockery from the Government Benches that he heard during his speech. I think that it was a cry of agony as men were having their principles twisted further than anyone should have his principles twisted in a public place.

I also disagreed with my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) on one point. I do not have such a poor opinion of the Leader of the House as my hon. Friend has. There have been a number of occasions when the right hon. Gentleman has shown himself in a good light, not least when answering Prime Minister's Questions, when he gives answers now and again, which is something to which we have not become used. They are not very good answers, but they are answers, and the right hon. Gentleman is reasonably brief.

Therefore, it would be very helpful if the right hon. Gentleman were to answer the debate. There are two good reasons why he should. First, he might understand the motion. The Secretary of State clearly does not understand it, because we have got no further on the question whether the instruction has been given, and what it is. That question intrigues the whole House. The Leader of the House might even pass a piece of paper to the Secretary of State, who might be able to read it. It is noticeable these days that the Secretary of State comes to the Dispatch Box with the air of a man very glad to have a piece of paper thrust under his eye, so that he has something to read, because he has nothing to say. If it could be written down for him, and he could read it out, we should all be grateful.

Secondly, the Leader of the House is the man who can tell us how much time we should have under the procedures which we are asked to accept. That is the key to the whole matter. Naturally, we are interested to know whether we can speak once or more often on each amendment. We are interested to know how many amendments can be put down and how many will be called.

It all turns on this unpleasant procedure, which is not required under the Parliament Act but which has been foisted on us as a method convenient for the Government. The man who can tell us how much time the House will have is the Leader of the House, which I suspect is why he was outside the doors lurking instead of coming in when the motion was moved. I take it that the Cabinet has decided how much time it is willing to give this business. If the right hon. Gentleman will not tell us, I imagine that it must be because he does not want the House to know.

We want to know whether hon. Members can speak on each amendment, whether every amendment tabled will be called, and, if not, who will decide which will be called. Then we might consider giving our assent to the motion, provided we can also clear up the dark mystery of the instruction which has or has not been given, and what it is. I should be grateful to the Secretary of State if tonight, for once, he could give a straight answer to a straight question.

12.15 a.m.

Mr. Foot


Mr. Goodhew

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I endeavoured before the right hon. Gentleman sat down to raise a matter with him. Now that it is apparent that he had sat down at the end of his speech, perhaps I may ask him to make clear the piece of paper that he read to the House purporting to say something to the effect that, though a notice of instruction had not been given to the House, we were to assume that it had. I hope that he will make that clear in his reply.

Mr. Foot

If the House will permit me to reply to the debate—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The right hon. Gentleman does not require the permission of the House. He moved the motion.

Mr. Foot

I thought it was necessary for me to have the leave of the House to speak again, and I was asking for that permission.

I should like to reply very briefly to the many points raised—not because I think they are not important in any way, but because I think that some of them at least were dealt with in my original remarks.

I did not express any surprise at the beginning that the House was anxious about the procedure we had proposed. The procedure is novel, for the reasons I stated earlier, and therefore, of course, it is necessary that the House of Commons should examine what we are proposing to do and see why we wish to do it.

I believe that, despite the remarks made in many quarters on different aspects of the matter, the House of Commons will appreciate the reasons for making the proposal. There are a number of reasons for the Government proposing this procedure. Essentially, they all relate to what might be described as the form or logic of the Parliament Act itself and to the purposes underlying the Parliament Act.

The form of the Parliament Act means that the Bill has to be in the same form as it went to the Lords last Session. The main purpose of the Act is to enable legislation that has been passed twice by the elected House in successive Sessions to become law although the Lords reject it.

It was not for reasons of pedantry, obviously, that this procedure was devised and the Parliament Act designed in this way. The procedure would not be particularly meaningful if we could pass a substantially different Bill in the second Session and then present it for Royal Assent on the ground that the Lords had rejected it twice. That is the reason why we thought—all the advice we had about it tended in this direction—that it was not logical to have a Committee stage on this basis.

Moreover, we searched the precedents to see what happened on previous occasions, and what I gave to the House when I first spoke was a perfectly candid account of the precedents. I said that the precedents did not cover the whole situation. I said that, in so far as there were precedents for dealing with the matter, they pointed in this direction.

The hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Ridley) has said that the Lords have a perfect right to force us to invoke the Parliament Act. I remind the hon. Gentleman that we have a perfect right to take the kinds of procedures that have operated before and to seek to apply them. Although I do not claim that the precedents are exact, we are following them as nearly as possible.

I understand the sensitivity of the right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) because he does not like Mr. Asquith and apparently still has a grievance against him, and therefore he does not want us to follow that precedent. I am no great fan of Mr. Asquith, as it happens, but it is the fact that he is almost the only Prime Minister who offers us a precedent on this matter. We should be willing to follow the 1948 and 1949 precedents, too, but there was no opportunity or requirement then for the suggestions procedure, and there was no extra time for the kind of debate that we are saying the House can have under this procedure. So for all these reasons, I think that this is the right way for the House to proceed.

As for the form of the debate when we come to it, I have made it clear—pe that the House will accept that I have done so in as forthcoming a manner as possible—that the debate will be subject to the decisions of Mr. Speaker. Therefore, it is not possible for me to lay down the law as to how the debate itself will proceed. I have no such powers. Mr. Speaker himself will exercise those rights, but I am sure that he will take into account what has been said in the House tonight. But, as I said at the outset, the House of Commons itself can almost always devise procedures which suit its own circumstances.

This is the best procedure for dealing with the matter under the Parliament Act, that is, to deal with the problem that we now face. It is the action of the House of Lords which has presented us with this problem, and we seek to solve it in the best way to suit the interests of the House of Commons.

Mr. Julian Amery (Brighton, Pavilion)

The right hon. Gentleman referred to Mr.

Asquith. Mr. Asquith may have been right. He may have been wrong. But Mr. Asquith walked tall. He was no Short. This chicanery to which the right hon. Gentleman has stooped is a course of action to which Mr. Asquith would not have stooped. It calls to mind, if I may be permitted to misquote it, the Biblical injunction. If thy Foot offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee.

Mr. Foot

If the right hon. Gentleman had followed the matter more closely, he would have known that we were citing Mr. Asquith precisely because he provided the precedent. What we are proposing is no offence against the traditions of the House, and when Opposition Members say that I am offending against the traditions of the House or my allegiance, I deny it. I am attacking the attempt of the House of Lords to dictate to the House of Commons. That is what we should resent.

Mr. Walter Harrison (Treasurer of Her Majesty's Household)

rose in his place and claimed to move,That the Question be now put.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Will hon. Members please resume their seats? It has been moved "That the Question be now put."

Question put,That the Question be now put:—

The House divided:Ayes 311, Noes 265.

Division No. 12.] AYES [12.23 a.m.
Abse, Leo Boardman, H. Castle, Rt Hon Barbara
Allaun, Frank Booth, Albert Clemitson, Ivor
Anderson, Donald Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Cocks, Michael (Bristol S.)
Archer, Peter Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Cohen, Stanley
Armstrong, Ernest Bradley, Tom Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen
Ashley, Jack Bray, Dr Jeremy Conlan, Bernard
Ashton, Joe Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cook, Robin F. (Edin C.)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N.) Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W.) Corbett, Robin
Atkinson, Norman Brown, Ronald (Hackney S.) Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Buchan, Norman Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)
Bain, Mrs Margaret Buchanan, Richard Crawshaw, Richard
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Cronin, John
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony
Bates, Alf Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Cryer, Bob
Bean, R. E. Campbell, Ian Cunningham, G. (Islington S.)
Beith, A. J. Canavan, Dennis Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Cant, R. B. Davidson, Arthur
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N.) Carmichael, Neil Davies, Bryan (Enfield N.)
Bidwell, Sydney Carter, Ray Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)
Bishop, E. S. Carter-Jones, Lewis Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Cartwright, John Davis, Clinton (Hackney C.)
Deakins, Eric Kerr, Russell Robertson, John (Paisley)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Kilroy-Silk, Robert Roderick, Caerwyn
Delargy, Hugh Kinnock, Neil Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Lambie, David Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Dempsey, James Lamborn, Harry Rooker, J. W.
Doig, Peter Lamond, James Roper, John
Dormand, J. D. Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Rose, Paul B.
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Leadbitter, Ted Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Dunn, James A. Lever, Rt Hon Harold Rowlands, Ted
Dunnett, Jack Lewis, Arthur (Newham N.) Sandelson, Neville
Eadie, Alex Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sedgemore, Brian
Edge, Geoff Lipton, Marcus Selby, Harry
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Litterick, Tom Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Luard, Evan Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
English, Michael Lyon, Alexander (York) Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Ennals, David Lyons, Edward (Bradford W.) Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C.)
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)
Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) McCartney, Hugh Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) MacCormick, Iain Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) McElhone, Frank Sillars, James
Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) MacFarquhar, Roderick Silverman, Julius
Faulds, Andrew McGuire, Michael (Ince) Skinner, Dennis
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Mackenzie, Gregor Small, William
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackintosh, John P. Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W.) Maclennan, Robert Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Flannery, Martin McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C.) Snape, Peter
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McNamara, Kevin Spearing, Nigel
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Madden, Max Spriggs, Leslie
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Magee, Bryan Stallard, A. W.
Ford, Ben Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh) Steel, David (Roxburgh)
Forrester, John Mahon, Simon Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Mallalieu, J. P. W. Stoddart, David
Freeson, Reginald Marks, Kenneth Stott, Roger
Freud, Clement Marquand, David Strang, Gavin
Garrett, John (Norwich S.) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Marshall, Jim (Leicester S.) Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
George, Bruce Maynard, Miss Joan Swain, Thomas
Gilbert, Dr John Meacher, Michael Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W.)
Ginsburg, David Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Golding, John Mendelson, John Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Gould, Bryan Mikardo, Ian Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E.)
Gourlay, Harry Millan, Bruce Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Graham, Ted Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N.) Thompson, George
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Grant, John (Islington C.) Moonman, Eric Tierney, Sydney
Grocott, Bruce Tinn, James
Hardy, Peter Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Tomlinson, John
Harper, Joseph Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Tomney, Frank
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Torney, Tom
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Moyle, Roland Tuck, Raphael
Hatton, Frank Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Urwin, T. W.
Hayman, Mrs Helene Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Newens, Stanley Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V.)
Heffer, Eric S. Noble, Mike Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Henderson, Douglas Oakes, Gordon Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Hooley, Frank Ogden, Eric Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Hooson, Emlyn O'Halloran, Michael Ward, Michael
Horam, John O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian Watkins, David
Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H.) Orbach, Maurice Watkinson, John
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Watt, Hamish
Huckfield, Les Ovenden, John Weetch, Ken
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Owen, Dr David Wellbeloved, James
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N.) Padley, Walter Welsh, Andrew
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Palmer, Arthur White, Frank R. (Bury)
Hunter, Adam Pardoe, John White, James (Pollok)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Park, George Whitlock, William
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Parker, John Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Parry, Robert Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Pavitt, Laurie Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Janner, Greville Peart, Rt Hon Fred Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Pendry, Tom Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Jeger, Mrs Lena Penhaligon, David Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Perry, Ernest Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E.)
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Phipps, Dr Colin Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
John, Brynmor Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wise, Mrs Audrey
Johnson, James (Hull West) Price, C. (Lewisham W.) Woodall, Alec
Johnson, Walter (Derby S.) Price, William (Rugby) Woof, Robert
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Radice, Giles Wrigglesworth, Ian
Jones, Barry (East Flint) Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S.) Young, David (Bolton E.)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Raid, George
Judd, Frank Richardson, Miss Jo TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kaufman, Gerald Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. Jame Hamilton and
Kelley, Richard Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Mr. Donald Coleman.
Adley, Robert Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) Mawby, Ray
Aitken, Jonathan Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Alison, Michael Glyn, Dr Alan Mayhew, Patrick
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Meyer, Sir Anthony
Arnold, Tom Goodhart, Philip Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Goodhew, Victor Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Awdry, Daniel Goodlad, Alastair Moate, Roger
Baker, Kenneth Gorst, John Monro, Hector
Banks, Robert Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Montgomery, Fergus
Bell, Ronald Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Moore, John (Croydon C.)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) More, Jasper (Ludlow)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Gray, Hamish Morris, Michael (Northampton S.)
Benyon, W. Grieve, Percy Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Berry, Hon Anthony Griffiths, Eldon Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)
Biffen, John Grist, Ian Mudd, David
Biggs-Davison, John Grylls, Michael Neave, Airey
Blaker, Peter Hall, Sir John Nelson, Anthony
Body, Richard Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Neubert, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Newton, Tony
Bottomley, Peter Hampson, Dr Keith Nott, John
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Hannam, John Onslow, Cranley
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Oppenheim, Mrs Sally
Bradford, Rev Robert Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)
Braine, Sir Bernard Havers, Sir Michael Pattie, Geoffrey
Brittan, Leon Hawkins, Paul Percival, Ian
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Hayhoe, Barney Peyton, Rt Hon John
Brotherton, Michael Heath, Rt Hon Edward Pink, R. Bonner
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Heseltine, Michael Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch
Bryan, Sir Paul Hicks, Robert Price, David (Eastleigh)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Higgins, Terence L. Prior, Rt Hon James
Buck, Antony Holland, Philip Pym, Rt Hon Francis
Budgen, Nick Hordern, Peter Raison, Timothy
Bulmer, Esmond Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Rathbone, Tim
Burden, F. A. Howell, David (Guildford) Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)
Carlisle, Mark Hunt, John Rees-Davies, W. R.
Carr, Rt Hon Robert Hurd, Douglas Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)
Carson, John Hutchison, Michael Clark Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Channon, Paul Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Ridsdale, Julian
Churchill, W. S. James, David Rifkind, Malcolm
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Clark, William (Croydon S.) Jessel, Toby Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Clegg, Walter Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Cockcroft, John Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Ross, William (Londonderry)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W.) Jopling, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Cope, John Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Cordie, John H. Kaberry, Sir Donald Royle, Sir Anthony
Cormack, Patrick Kershaw, Anthony Sainsbury, Tim
Costain, A. P. Kilfedder, James Scott, Nicholas
Critchley, Julian Kimball, Marcus Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Crouch, David King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Shelton, William (Streatham)
Crowder, F. P. King, Tom (Bridgwater) Shepherd, Colin
Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Kitson, Sir Timothy Shersby, Michael
Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Knight, Mrs Jill Sims, Roger
Dodsworth, Geoffrey Knox, David Sinclair, Sir George
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Lamont, Norman Skeet, T. H. H.
Drayson, Burnaby Lane, David Smith, Dudley (Warwick)
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Langford-Holt, Sir John Speed, Keith
Dunlop, John Latham, Michael (Melton) Spence, John
Durant, Tony Lawrence, Ivan Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Lawson, Nigel Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lestor, Jim (Beeston) Sproat, Iain
Elliott, Sir William Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Stainton, Keith
Emery, Peter Lloyd, Ian Stanbrook, Ivor
Eyre, Reginald Loveridge, John Stanley, John
Fairbairn, Nicholas Luce, Richard Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Fairgrieve, Russell McAdden, Sir Stephen Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Farr, John McCrindle, Robert Stokes, John
Fell, Anthony McCusker, H. Stonehouse, Rt Hon John
Finsberg, Geoffrey Macfarlane, Neil Stradling Thomas J.
Fisher, Sir Nigel MacGregor, John Taylor, R (Croydon NW)
Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N.) Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Tebbit, Norman
Fookes, Miss Janet McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Temple-Morris, Peter
Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Madel, David Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Fox, Marcus Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S.)
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Marten, Neil Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Fry, Peter Mates, Michael Townsend, Cyril D.
Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Mather, Carol Trotter, Neville
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Maude, Angus Tugendhat, Christopher
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald van Straubenzee, W. R.
Vaughan, Dr Gerard Warren, Kenneth Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Viggers, Peter Weatherill, Bernard Younger, Hon George
Wakeham, John Wells, John
Walder, David (Clitheroe) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester) Wiggin, Jerry Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and
Wall, Patrick Winterton, Nicholas Mr. Cecil Parkinson
Walters, Dennis Wood, Rt Hon Richard

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly:

Division No. 13.] AYES [12.35 a.m.
Abse, Leo Dunn, James A. Kerr, Russell
Allaun, Frank Dunnett, Jack Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Anderson, Donald Eadie, Alex Kinnock, Neil
Archer, Peter Edge, Geoff Lambie, David
Armstrong, Ernest Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Lamborn, Harry
Ashley, Jack English, Michael Lamond, James
Ashton, Joe Ennals, David Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N.) Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Leadbitter, Ted
Atkinson, Norman Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Faulds, Andrew Lewis, Arthur (Newham N.)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Bates, Alf Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lipton, Marcus
Bean, R. E. Fitt, Gerard (Belfast W.) Litterick, Tom
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Flannery, Martin Luard, Evan
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N.) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Lyon, Alexander (York)
Bidwell, Sydney Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W.)
Bishop, E. S. Foot, Rt Hon Michael Mabon, Dr J. Dickson
Blenkinsop, Arthur Ford, Ben McCartney, Hugh
Boardman, H. Forrester, John McElhone, Frank
Booth, Albert Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) MacFarquhar, Roderick
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Freeson, Reginald McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Garrett, John (Norwich S.) Mackenzie, Gregor
Bradley, Tom Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Mackintosh, John P.
Bray, Dr Jeremy George, Bruce Maclennan, Robert
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Gilbert, Dr John McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C.)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W.) Ginsburg, David McNamara, Kevin
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S.) Golding, John Madden, Max
Buchan, Norman Gould, Bryan Magee, Bryan
Buchanan, Richard Gourlay, Harry Maguire, Frank (Fermanagh)
Butler, Mrs Joyce (Wood Green) Graham, Ted Mahon, Simon
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Grant, George (Morpeth) Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P.) Grant, John (Islington C.) Marks, Kenneth
Campbell, Ian Grocott, Bruce Marquand, David
Canavan, Dennis Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Cant, R. B. Hardy, Peter Marshall, Jim (Leicester S.)
Carmichael, Neil Harper, Joseph Maynard, Miss Joan
Carter, Ray Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Meacher, Michael
Carter-Jones, Lewis Hart, Rt Hon Judith Mellish, Rt Hon Robert
Cartwright, John Hatton, Frank Mendelson, John
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Hayman, Mrs Helene Mikardo, Ian
Clemitson, Ivor Healey, Rt Hon Denis Millan, Bruce
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S.) Heffer, Eric S. Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N.)
Cohen, Stanley Hooley, Frank Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Coleman, Donald Horam, John Moonman, Eric
Colquhoun, Mrs Maureen Howell, Denis (B'ham, Sm H.) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Conlan, Bernard Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C.) Huckfield, Les Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Corbett, Robin Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) Moyle, Roland
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N.) Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King
Crawshaw, Richard Hunter, Adam Newens, Stanley
Cronin, John Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Noble, Mike
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Oakes, Gordon
Cryer, Bob Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Ogden, Eric
Cunningham, G. (Islington S.) Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) O'Halloran, Michael
Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Janner, Greville O'Malley, Rt Hon Brian
Davidson, Arthur Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Orbach, Maurice
Davies, Bryan (Enfield N.) Jeger, Mrs Lena Orme, Rt Hon Stanley
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Ovenden, John
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Stechford) Owen, Dr David
Davis, Clinton (Hackney C.) John, Brynmor Padley, Walter
Deakins, Eric Johnson, James (Hull West) Palmer, Arthur
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Johnson, Walter (Derby S.) Park, George
Delargy, Hugh Jones, Alec (Rhondda) Parker, John
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Jones, Barry (East Flint) Parry, Robert
Dempsey, James Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pavitt, Laurie
Doig, Peter Judd, Frank Peart, Rt Hon Fred
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Kaufman, Gerald Pendry, Tom
Duffy, A. E. P. Kelley, Richard Perry, Ernest

The House divided: Ayes 290, Neos 286.

Phipps, Dr Colin Sillars, James Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V.)
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Silverman, Julius Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Price, C. (Lewisham W.) Skinner, Dennis Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Price, William (Rugby) Small, William Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Radice, Giles Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Ward, Michael
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S.) Snape, Peter Watkins, David
Richardson, Miss Jo Spearing, Nigel Watkinson, John
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Spriggs, Leslie Weetch, Ken
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Stallard, A. W. Wellbeloved, James
Robertson, John (Paisley) Stoddart, David White, Frank R. (Bury)
Roderick, Caerwyn Stott, Roger White, James (Pollok)
Rodgers, George (Chorley) Strang, Gavin Whitlock, William
Rodgers, William (Stockton) Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Rooker, J. W. Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley Williams, Alan (Swansea W.)
Roper, John Swain, Thomas Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Rose, Paul B. Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W.) Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Rowlands, Ted Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E.) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Sandelson, Neville Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Sedgemore, Brian Thorne, Stan (Preston South) Wise, Mrs Audrey
Selby, Harry Tierney, Sydney Woodall, Alec
Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Tinn, James Woof, Robert
Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Tomlinson, John Wrigglesworth, Ian
Shore, Rt Hon Peter Tomney, Frank Young, David (Bolton E.)
Short, Rt Hon E. (Newcastle C.) Torney, Tom
Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE) Tuck, Raphael TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Urwin, T. W. Mr. John Ellis and
Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G. Mr. J. D. Dormand
Adley, Robert Crowder, F. P. Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)
Aitken, Jonathan Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss
Alison, Michael Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Havers, Sir Michael
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hawkins, Paul
Arnold, Tom Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Hayhoe, Barney
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Drayson, Burnaby Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Awdry, Daniel du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Henderson, Douglas
Bain, Mrs Margaret Dunlop, John Heseltine, Michael
Baker, Kenneth Durant, Tony Hicks, Robert
Banks, Robert Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Higgins, Terence L.
Beith, A. J. Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Holland, Philip
Bell, Ronald Elliott, Sir William Hooson, Emlyn
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Emery, Peter Hordern, Peter
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen) Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Berry, Hon Anthony Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray) Howell, David (Guildford)
Biffen, John Eyre, Reginald Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Biggs-Davison, John Fairbairn, Nicholas Hunt, John
Blaker, Peter Fairgrieve, Russell Hurd, Douglas
Body, Richard Farr, John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Boscawen, Hon Robert Fell, Anthony Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Bottomley, Peter Finsberg, Geoffrey Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Fisher, Sir Nigel James, David
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N.) Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Bradford, Rev Robert Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Jessel, Toby
Braine, Sir Bernard Fookes, Miss Janet Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)
Brittan, Leon Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Fox, Marcus Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Brotherton, Michael Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Jopling, Michael
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Freud, Clement Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Bryan, Sir Paul Fry, Peter Kaberry, Sir Donald
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. Kershaw, Anthony
Buck, Antony Gardiner, George (Reigate) Kilfedder, James
Budgen, Nick Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Kimball, Marcus
Bulmer, Esmond Gilmour, Rt Hon Ian (Chesham) King, Evelyn (South Dorset)
Burden, F. A. Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Glyn, Dr Alan Kitson, Sir Timothy
Carlisle, Mark Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Knight, Mrs Jill
Carr, Rt Hon Robert Goodhart, Philip Knox, David
Carson, John Goodhew, Victor Lamont, Norman
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Goodlad, Alastair Lane, David
Channon, Paul Gorst, John Langford-Holt, Sir John
Churchill, W. S. Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Latham, Michael (Melton)
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Lawrence, Ivan
Clark, William (Croydon S.) Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Lawson, Nigel
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Gray, Hamish Le Marchant, Spencer
Clegg, Walter Grieve, Percy Lestor, Jim (Beeston)
Cockcroft, John Griffiths, Eldon Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Cooke, Robert (Bristol W.) Grist, Ian Lloyd, Ian
Cope, John Grylls, Michael Loveridge, John
Cordie, John H. Hall, Sir John Luce, Richard
Cormack, Patrick Hall-Davis, A. G. F. McAdden, Sir Stephen
Costain, A. P. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) MacCormick, Iain
Critchley, Julian Hampson, Dr Keith McCrindle, Robert
Crouch, David Hannam, John McCusker, H.
Macfarlane, Neil Prior, Rt Hon James Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
MacGregor, John Pym, Rt Hon Francis Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Raison, Timothy Stokes, John
McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Rathbone, Tim Stonehouse, Rt Hon John
McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter Stradling Thomas J.
Madel, David Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Taylor, R (Croydon NW)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Rees-Davies, W. R. Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)
Marten, Neil Reid, George Tebbit, Norman
Mates, Michael Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Temple-Morris, Peter
Maude, Angus Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald Ridley, Hon Nicholas Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Mawby, Ray Ridsdale, Julian Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S.)
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Rifkind, Malcolm Thompson, George
Mayhew, Patrick Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Thorpe, Rt Hon Jeremy (N Devon)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW) Townsend, Cyril D.
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Trotter, Neville
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Tugendhat, Christopher
Moate, Roger Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Monro, Hector Ross, William (Londonderry) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Montgomery, Fergus Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Viggers, Peter
Moore, John (Croydon C.) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Wakeham, John
More, Jasper (Ludlow) Royle, Sir Anthony Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Morris, Michael (Northampton S.) Sainsbury, Tim Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Scott, Nicholas Wall, Patrick
Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Walters, Dennis
Mudd, David Shelton, William (Streatham) Warren, Kenneth
Neave, Airey Shepherd, Colin Watt, Hamish
Nelson, Anthony Shersby, Michael Weatherill, Bernard
Neubert, Michael Sims, Roger Wells, John
Newton, Tony Sinclair, Sir George Welsh, Andrew
Nott, John Skeet, T. H. H. Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Onslow, Cranley Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Wiggin, Jerry
Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Smith, Dudley (Warwick) Wigley, Dafydd
Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Speed, Keith Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E.)
Pardoe, John Spence, John Winterton, Nicholas
Parkinson, Cecil Spicer, Jim (W Dorset) Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Pattie, Geoffrey Spicer, Michael (S Worcester) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Penhaligon, David Sproat, Iain Younger, Hon George
Percival, Ian Stainton, Keith
Peyton, Rt Hon John Stanbrook, Ivor TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Pink, R. Bonner Stanley, John Mr. W. Benyon and
Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch Steel, David (Roxburgh) Mr. Carol Mather
Price, David (Eastleigh) Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)

Question accordingly agreed to.

Ordered, That when an Order of the Day is read for the House to resolve itself into Committee on the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Speaker shall leave the Chair without putting any Question, notwithstanding that Notice of an Instruction has been given, and on the Committee stage of that Bill the Chairman shall forthwith put the Question that he do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House without putting any other Question, and the Question so put shall be decided without Amendment or Debate.

  1. ADJOURNMENT 12 words
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