§ 7.30 p.m.
§ No. 179, in page 9, line 15, leave out from pleasure ' to end of line 16.
No. 180, in page 9, line 17, leave out:
'or assistant to a Scottish Secretary'.
No. 181, in page 9, line 25, leave out:
'or an assistant to a Scottish Secretary'.
§ Mr. George Cunningham
On a point of order, Mr. Murton. You have selected for debate in the next two and a half hours before the guillotine falls the amendments grouped under Amendment No. 178 and the amendments grouped under Amendment No. 368. It is clear 588 to everyone in the Committee that the significance of those amendments is, to say the least, a great deal less than the significance of what we have been discussing for the last three hours. That illustrates the difficulty of allocating slots of time to clauses well in advance, with the result that the Committee cannot allocate its time as it goes along to what turns out to be significant in these proceedings.
May I use this occasion to plead with those on the Business Committee to review their decision if we are not to come to the end of the proceedings on the Bill with virtually no time to discuss some important amendments, and some amendments which have a chance of being accepted, which the ones we are now discussing do not have?
I realise that that point is not for you, Mr. Murton, and I pass on to one which is. If discussion on this section is finished by nine o'clock, as it surely can be, we presumably start on the next section under the guillotine motion? I see you nodding, Mr. Murton. You probably noticed at about 10 minutes to seven 589 agitation in the Chamber, and it may have appeared to you, as it was perfectly obvious to me, that some people were trying to delay things until seven o'clock.
We all understand why the two rival armies wish to arrange a vote at a certain time, and this is sometimes in the interests of us all. But, given the shortage of time for discussing certain amendments, can you be open-minded about the possibility of accepting closure motions in such circumstances so that we do not use up our time in wasteful discussion if there is the possibility of using it in useful discussion on important amendments?
I can only say that the hon. Member must rely on the Chair to use its discretion in the circumstances that he has enumerated.
§ Mr. Sproat
The hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) said that the previous debate was concerned with a more important subject than is this group of amendments. In one way I entirely agree with him. That was why I and so many other hon. Members spoke so forcefully in the last debate. But this group of amendments is one of those that are perhaps more important to the people of Scotland, who are listening to our proceedings at one remove. They will be able to understand very simply and clearly what we say in this debate, more so than on the last debate, because that was concerned with the complex question of the Judicial Committee. Although that was more important, it will probably have fallen on deaf ears among those responsible for the television and tomorrow's newspapers.
In Scotland the enthusiasm for devolution has fallen off quite remarkably. At the beginning of the year almost 60 per cent. of the people were thought to be in favour of such a Bill as this. That figure is now down in the 30 per cent. region. The reason for this remarkable decline is based on a number of factors. The people of Scotland have had what they regard as a bad experience over the reform of local government. They are fed up with the way in which civil servants and bureaucrats have multiplied under that reform, and they see in this Bill the imposition upon them of another tier of government.
590 They are deserting the devolution cause because they see before them the prospect of more government, more civil servants, more bureaucracy, more red tape, more expense to keep the civil servants in being, and so on. I do not agree with the criticisms from the SNP on this, but the reason for those criticisms is that where, before, one local government official was doing a job, now there are three. People see that this will happen, say, under this Bill.
We are seeking to remove from the Assembly the power to create Assistant Secretaries of State. That is the sort of point that makes people despair about the sort of bodies, institutions and further layers of government that Westminster is imposing upon them. If we do not eliminate the words in the Bill as proposed in the amendment we shall give Scotland the most top-heavy government in Western Europe. There will be community councils, district councils, regional councils, the Scottish Assembly, the House of Commons and the European Parliament. We are trying to show here that we have far too many layers of government and that we should at least try to diminish one layer—the new Assembly.
Under the present arrangements we shall have so-called Secretaries for Scotland. There will be a First Secretary, who will be equivalent to the Prime Minister. If this Bill ever comes into effect I will bet every penny I have that the First Secretary in Scotland will be known as the Scottish Prime Minister, and that will serve only to boost nationalism.
In addition, there will be other Secretaries of State. There will be Secretaries of State for Transport, Education, Housing and Health. That is bad enough because all those people have to be paid, and they will have the power to fix their own salaries. I should be most surprised if the members of the Assembly were content to fix their salaries at a rate below that applicable to Westminster Members.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
Perhaps I may make the narrow point, which is not entirely related to devolution, that Members of this House have the right to set their own salaries, and in terms of parliamentary democracy I do not think that we give ourselves exaggeratedly high sums.
§ Mr. Sproat
Indeed, I agree with the hon. Gentleman, but I remember his putting forward a point last night which was greeted—rightly so—with a certain amount of ridicule. He was suggesting that Members of the Scottish Assembly would be so responsible in financial matters that we should have no worries in that regard. I do not believe that the people of Scotland share his confidence in the way in which Members of the Scottish Assembly would treat these matters. The first cry would be "Jobs for the boys". They would be setting their own salaries and giving themselves £15,000 a year.
§ Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith (Glasgow, Hill-head)
Surely the point is that when we increase our salaries we know that we have to get the money out of the taxpayer, but the Members of the Assembly will not have to do that. For them the sky will be the limit.
§ Mr. Sproat
My hon. Friend has made a good point. I shall return to the financial implications in a minute. So far we have only been talking of the Secretary of State. There will be many Secretaries of State, but according to this clause there are also to be Assistant Secretaries of State. Whoever is appointed as the Scottish Secretary of State for Hospitals will not feel that he ought to do such a serious job on his own. He will want to have two or three junior Ministers. It will not be simply a matter of the four or five Ministers that we have present in the Scottish Office. The Secretary of State for Hospitals may well have a pal who did not get a job, and he will be able to appoint him as a junior Minister in his Department and give him perhaps £9,000 a year—and so it will go on. That is not such an unreasonable figure. It is the sort of rate which junior Ministers are getting here.
The hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, East (Mrs. Bain) would, I am sure, be very happy to tell me that she would not accept a lower rate in the Scottish Assembly than I am paid here. Obviously, the people in the Scottish Assembly will demand as much as they can get. They might even look at the European Parliament, where the salaries are to be £22,000 a year plus £8,000 expenses. The Scottish Assembly might want to be fair and fix the salaries at a point somewhere between 592 the scale of the European Parliament and ours in Westminster.
People in Scotland will feel that this is another excuse for creating jobs for the boys. The Assembly will fix its own salaries, and I believe that it will fix them good. At the same time, all the new junior Ministers will require more civil servants. I am sure that the worst fears of the Scottish electorate concerning more government, more bureaucracy, more civil servants, more red tape and more expenses, will be realised.
In these amendments we are trying to diminish in some little way the appalling extra cost and burden and the interference generally which will be placed on the backs of the Scottish people if this miserable Bill should ever get through Parliament.
My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith) talked about the money. Where does the money come from? It comes from the block grant. What would happen? This House would vote so much to the Scottish Assembly and the Assembly would say that it was not enough. The people on Merseyside and in East Anglia would probably say that it was too much. We should have that sort of hassle to start with. It would never be enough for the Scottish Assembly, and if it were ever enough for the Assembly it would be too much for people in other parts of the United Kingdom.
All the Secretaries of State and Assistant Secretaries of State and Members of the Assembly would be able to increase their salaries. The money would come out of the block grant, so that there would then be less money in the grant for other purposes, and the Assembly would come back to Westminster asking for more money. At the same time, there would be difficulties with the people in other parts of the United Kingdom—for example, the people of London. The people of London already have the delightful prospect of being told that a Scottish Assembly can make laws affecting London. It is no use the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) shaking his head. There is consequential and incidental legislation which can apply to all parts of the United Kingdom. It is in the Bill.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
It was made clear last night that, for example, if the 593 Scottish Assembly were to abolish the housing corporations in Scotland it would require amending legislation in the United Kingdom substantive Act. It is that sort of change that has been talked about.
§ Mr. Sproat
It may have been talked about by the Minister, who was trying to put a minimal case, but many other changes were mentioned. My hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) mentioned salmon fisheries, and someone else mentioned forestry. I mentioned public lending rights. There are many other areas involved.
I ask the people of Scotland to consider honestly—and particularly to ask the SNP to say honestly—what would be their feelings if a Minister for London said that the Greater London Council was to be given powers to make laws affecting Scotland, adding that it would not amount to very much; just a little bit here and there. I am certain that the Scottish people would say "In no way shall we have the GLC making laws affecting Scotland." Similarly, it would be totally unjust if the Scottish Assembly were to have that sort of power in relation to London.
At the same time as having that happy knowledge, people in London will also know that they will be subsidising a bureaucracy in Scotland. It will be out of the taxes that are being paid in other parts of the United Kingdom that the block grant will be funded to keep the Secretaries of State and Assistant Secretaries of State in office, with the salaries to which they would like to accustom themselves. I repeat that it will be a matter of jobs for the boys—indeed, expensive jobs for the boys.
Why are industry and commerce in Scotland so implacably opposed to this Bill in any shape or form? It is not only that they fear—quite rightly—that the Scottish Assembly would have the power to increase and impose more taxes, as for example, to derate industrial premises as it would under the present system—a subject that we could not debate last night due to the guillotine. Commerce and industry are also opposed to the Bill because of the endless intervention that they would have from all these Secretaries of State and Assistant Secretaries of State, 594 with the concomitant bureaucracy and red tape.
I very much hope that the Committee will consider the amendment in a broad way. We are trying to cut down the cost and the bureaucracy that the Government seek to inflict on us.
§ Mr. Eric Ogden (Liverpool, West Derby)
The hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) seemed to fear that the Scottish Assembly would be extravagant and profligate, spending money like water. I hope that my Scottish Friends on the Government side will not take any offence if I say that I have never met an extravagant Scotsman who threw his money or anybody else's money around carelessly; generosity, perhaps, but not extravagance or profligacy.
If the Scottish Assembly is to benefit from the mistakes that we have made in this House, we should decide what the salary levels will be for Members of the Scottish Executive and for Members of the Assembly. We should link these with grades in the Civil Service, as this House, by a majority, has decided to do in regard to its own salaries. We should endeavour to ensure that the sort of bitterness and difficulties which have been experienced by Members of this House over many years are avoided in the Scottish Assembly. If that is accepted in Scotland, we ought to have it in the Bill somewhere, so that the Assembly does not encounter the difficulties that we have experienced year after year.
I ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland for a little information about some of the finer points of the wording here. We seem to be empire-building and playing Monopoly with Governments and appointments of one kind or another. Clause 21(1) speaks ofa Scottish Executive one of whose members shall be known as the First Secretary".Subsection (5) states thatIf the Assembly has nominated one of its members for appointment as First Secretary that member shall be so appointed".Nowhere in the clause does it state that the First Secretary must be a member of the Scottish Executive. Nowhere does it state that he must be a Member of the Assembly. Nowhere does it state that he can be appointed directly by Her Majesty or by the Secretary of State, although no 595 doubt it is implicit that he should be. I would hope that he would be, but there is nothing in the clause to say that he must be.
I hope that my right hon. Friend will also look at subsection (8), which states:A person appointed (otherwise than in pursuance of subsection (7) of this section) to be a Scottish Secretary or an assistant to a Scottish Secretary shall relinquish his appointment on ceasing to be a member of the Assembly; but for this purpose a member of the Assembly shall not be treated as ceasing to be such a member on the dissolution of the Assembly if he is again elected at the election following the dissolution.How does one know whether he will or will not be elected at the following election? If not, will anything he does in the interim period be valid in law? That is a point which my right hon. Friend might take up.
I take it that what is intended is that the First Secretary and the Scottish Secretary shall continue their appointments and hold office after dissolution until the new Assembly has met and has either reappointed them or not re-appointed them. I take it that their appointment will continue in exactly the same way as the Government continue in the period between the dissolution of this House and the creation of another House.
If that is what is meant why do we not say so? Just because this is a Scotland Bill, it does not mean that we need to murder the Queen's English, which we seem to be doing in this clause.
§ Mr. Alick Buchanan-Smith (North Angus and Mearns)
My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) has done the House a service by bringing forward the amendment. Although I do not agree with my hon. Friend on every point, I still believe that it is important. As one who supports the principle of a Scottish Assembly, I agree with him that the Assembly we set up should operate as economically and sensibly as possible and that extra costs and additional posts should be avoided.
At this stage of the legislation it is the responsibility of the Government to justify why particular posts are put in the Bill. However, I would say to my hon. Friend with respect that I believe he has slightly exaggerated his case with regard to the motivation of Members of the Assembly. Having lived and worked 596 among Scots the whole of my life, I do not believe that whatever public body is set up will behave in the somewhat profligate manner suggested by my hon. Friend. With regard to the Assembly, I believe that its Members, when elected, will behave reasonably and responsibly with regard to what they get paid, with regard to what the officers of the Assembly get paid and with regard to the number and size of staff which they employ.
§ Mr. Galbraith
Did my hon. Friend say that he was not aware of any local authority in Scotland which behaved in a profligate manner?
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I was speaking of public authorities in Scotland. My hon. Friend could obviously criticise particular local authorities in particular ways. But I must confess that I have not yet seen a local authority that has behaved in the precise manner suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South. I do not know of any local authority which on taking office immediately gives jobs to the boys and all the rest. In all honesty, I do not think that that is the case with regard to those in public life in Scotland.
I do not see why this should be the case with regard to the Scottish Assembly. I agree with my hon. Friend that, of course, if the Assembly had powers to raise taxation we would have had a particular discipline which would have helped. But I would point out to my hon. Friend that if the Assembly decides to vote itself extra salaries and expenses it will be at the expense of other services which come out of the block grant. I do not believe that the block grant system is the right system for financial discipline and accountability, even though certain disciplines do exist.
§ Mr. Dalyell
The hon. Gentleman has persisted in saying that he would like tax-raising powers for the Assembly. I do not put this as a trick question. But if we are to be serious about it the hon. Gentleman ought to say precisely what tax-raising powers he has in mind, because that is what has defeated my hon. Friends.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I accept that. Anyone who has read the Layfield Committee's Report must accept the problems 597 of doing so. I accept that with regard to local authority finance, as well as the finance of a body like the Assembly, there are difficulties which we shall not be able to solve immediately. But in the longer term we must try to remove some of the centralising features of the present tax system, such as income tax, which we have in this country. That is a separate point, and I shall leave it at that.
§ The Second Deputy Chairman (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)
The hon. Gentleman has anticipated my intervention.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I apologise, Mr. Godman Irvine, for being diverted. I did not intend to raise that matter myself.
I also agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South that we do not want to see in Scotland the continual addition of further layers of government which will lead undoubtedly at the end of the day to over-government. I should like to put this on the record. I have said elsewhere, and I repeat it now, that if we have an Assembly in Scotland it will be necessary to see consequential changes in local government in order to prevent extra tiers of government on the people of Scotland.
§ Mr. Nicholas Fairbairn (Kinross and West Perthshire)
I have always been interested in this theory about consequential changes. Since local authorities are executives and the Assembly is supposed to be a legislature, how can the Assembly take over any of the duties of the local authorities?
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I did not quite say that. I am asking whether it is appropriate that the present function of local authorities should be exercised on a two-tier system. We are talking about layers of government but not in relation to the precise functions of government. However, I do not want to digress from this point, otherwise I shall be called to order again.
If we are to have a form of devolution which is in any way meaningful or sensible, I believe that the amendment and the others associated with it would, if carried, simply emasculate the Assembly. It would have the effect of simply turning the Assembly into a talking shop with certain legislative powers. If the Assembly 598 is to carry out its functions properly and in any way meet the legitimate desires of many people in Scotland, without an Executive it will not properly be able to carry out its functions in the way that is envisaged.
After all, we are dealing in the Bill with a form of Assembly put forward by the Government. Whether we believe that that form of Assembly is right, we are dealing with a form of Assembly that has come before the House. To remove the Executive from that Assembly would be to emasculate the form of devolution which has been put forward.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Raison
I am a bit puzzled by my hon. Friend's rather sweeping observation. All that the amendments say is that there should not be assistant secretaries. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) made a rather good argument for saying that these people were superfluous and otiose, but I do not see that if we abolish secretaries we abolish the whole Executive.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I am making the wider point because my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South said earlier that we were dealing with the whole principle of the Executive. I do not think that it was unfair of me to try to deal briefly with the principle of having an Executive. While I support my hon. Friend's amendment, at least on trimming down the Executive, and making savings, we must not do things which, at the same time, limit the efficient carrying out of the Assembly's functions. If the amendment led to denying the Executive and the Assembly, which are necessary if we are to have this form of devolution, I would not agree with my hon. Friend on that point.
§ Mr. Dalyell
The hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) over-egged his pudding on this occasion. It is possible to damage a case by exaggerating it. I do not think that Assemblymen would demand exaggerated amounts for themselves. I do not see why they should be naturally greedy. The fear of embarrassment through appearing to demand too much would be a formidable deterrent against Assemblymen demanding absurdly high salaries. We also have to face the fact that Assemblymen would have precisely the same problems as do Members 599 of Parliament. At least half would have to keep two homes going, with the expenses involved, so the salaries would have to be fairly substantial even though the Assemblymen were not being greedy and were not looking for a bonanza. One has to be fair where possible.
I wish to ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State precisely what is the purpose of these assistants? What are they to do and how are they to be chosen? What sort of people will be chosen, and with what sort of background? It seems to go against the democratic principle slightly, although I am willing to be persuaded otherwise. I do not know enough about what is in the mind of the Government in choosing the assistants.
My main argument on the amendment is that the Assembly, especially if there is to be an Executive and assistants, could possibly spend all its time law-making. We come back to the question of moving around, as in musical chairs. Assemblymen cannot possibly be occupied for 37 to 40 hours a week simply tinkering and altering the laws of Scotland. [Interruption.] If my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State disagrees, I am happy to give way, or he can answer later. Sooner rather than later, given that one has an Executive and assistants, they will not be able to prevent themselves from starting to meddle in local government. What are the assistants to do other than put their finger into the local government pie?
Here we come to an important practical consideration. If an Assembly is established, do we have the whole list of the House of Commons, the Assembly, the regions, districts, community councils, and over-government? This is a familiar argument. The truth is that many people implicitly assume and some, such as my hon. Friend the Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Mr. Mackintosh) state explicitly as he did in the Sunday Mail, that we need a one-tier system to go with the Assembly. That means that the regions must go.
At one level, perhaps, it is a popular and certainly an easy cry that the regions must be abolished. Like every other organisation, the regions had teething troubles, and I do not doubt that there are special problems in Strathclyde. I have a 600 constituency in two regions, Central and Lothian, and it strikes me that over the past 18 months the regions have been settling down far better than could have been expected two years ago. In spite of what was said about them, the regions are becoming relatively more acceptable. I shall not say that they are popular, because forms of government are not popular, but at least people acquiesce in the proposition that this is a relatively efficient form of government. That is a complete change from what was thought two years ago.
My point is that any changing around will have its teething troubles, and change itself costs an enormous amount of money. The idea of dismantling the regions at this stage, shortly after they have been set up, is mind-boggling. It would be extremely expensive, and some of us would find it difficult to have the heart to ask NALGO members and others who burned the candle at midnight to try to get that form of local government changed to go through the whole exercise again. While it may appear attractive to get rid of the regions, it is not practical and it is not devolutionary.
Those of us who would like to give more powers to the regions can claim, without raising too much of a snigger, that we are the best devolutionists of all. If we are to talk about decision-making closer to the people, the regions—like it or not—are closer to the people than an Edinburgh Assembly. The hon. Member for Aberdeen, South must know that. It is a widely-held view in Aberdeen and other parts of Scotland. I was a candidate in Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles in 1959 and there was a strong feeling there in favour of more powers for the region rather than for an Assembly in Edinburgh.
§ Mr. Sproat
There is no doubt that when we have a referendum—if we do—the reason why the hon. Member for Aberdeen, North (Mr. Hughes) and I will be campaigning on the same platform—a Labour and Conservative platform—against the provisions of the Bill is that people in Aberdeen believe that they get a fair crack of the whip from London but that from Glasgow or Edinburgh they will have Glasgow self-interest or Edinburgh self-interest. They want the devolutionary powers that exist in Grampian, with the oversight of Westminster.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman appreciates that the argument that we should abolish the regions, or one of the regions, is an unthought-out guilt argument, which states that because we have added one, we have to subtract one. No one has suggested who will do the work done by the regions. The argument is a piece of political dishonesty.
§ The Second Deputy Chairman
I hope that the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) will bear in mind the terms of the amendment.
§ Mr. Dalyell
I normally admit it when I am straying out of order, but this subject is crucial when we are talking about assistants. We are talking about an Executive and assistants. What on earth are they going to do if they do not meddle in local government and change it around? The argument is that if we have an Assembly, the only viable form of local government, as Mr. George Sharp has argued, is that we should have 50 or 60 all-purpose authorities. That might sound fine, but, on reflection, the idea of dismantling the regions and creating 50 or 60 seperate education authorities and 50 or 60 planning authorities is not sensible. This follows precisely from having a large Executive plus assistants in the Assembly.
§ Mr. Ogden
I have a question which I ought, perhaps, to have asked my hon. Friend earlier. If we accept that those two lines should be removed from the Bill and that it should not be within the power of the Assembly or the First Secretary to appoint assistants, is there anything in the Bill to prevent the First Secretary appointing some person to do the same job as an assistant and calling him a "Scottish Secretary"? In other words, is there anything to stop people being paid more to do the same job as they would do under the terms of the Bill as assistant secretaries, unless we impose a limit on the number of persons who can be appointed by the Assembly?
§ Mr. Dalyell
This is a question for the Secretary of State to answer. I do not want to be greedy about time. This is the inevitable problem that arises when we go ahead with an Executive and a Scottish Prime Minister and all that flows from that. I put a direct question to 602 the Secretary of State on precisely that point.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
The argument, as I understand it, from the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) is that, apart from Ministers in the Assembly, there should be no assistant Ministers—simply Ministers and the First Secretary. Further, the argument is that this measure should specifically exclude the possibility of the appointment of assistants. The reason given is that it would avoid a proliferation of administration. It is said that the assistants would require assistants and they would all have to be paid.
I accept the point that has been made by the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell), who, as an alternative to the "West Lothian question", has introduced the "embarrassment factor" into the debate. This embodies the point that Members of the Assembly would be embarrassed, as we would—to put it no higher—if there was to be the highly profligate action suggested by the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South. I leave that argument aside, together with the "jobs for the boys" argument. This is subject to public scrutiny and the like. Such things happen from time to time. They happen now with appointed boards.
What we have to ask ourselves is whether what the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South suggests is sensible. If we have an Assembly, is it sensible to tie it down in respect of the way it will organise itself? I fully accept that those who do not believe in an Assembly would wish to tie it down as much as possible.
The hon. Member for West Lothian asked why there should be assistants. The Bill says that:the First Secretary may appoint persons".The short answer to the question is to ask why we have Under-Secretaries.
§ Mr. Johnston
That is not the argument I have heard from successive Front Benches nor have I noticed successive Back Benchers being hesitant about rushing down to the Front Bench. The Labour Party, when in government earlier, created more Ministers than any previous Government in history, on the argument—and 603 I do not comment on this—that it was more efficient and made for greater concentration on whatever the problem was.
§ Mr. Galbraith
May I suggest that one of the reasons for the extraordinary expansion in the number of Ministers of State is that it is simply a way of getting round the pay pause?
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Johnston
With respect to the hon. Member, it is my recollection that the Conservative Government created an additional Under-Secretary at the Scottish Office and made a virtue out of it. Not to be outdone, the Labour Government created an extra Minister of State and also made a virtue out of it. No one at the moment—this may have escaped my attention—is agitating for the reduction of numbers at the Scottish Office by the removal of an Under-Secretary of a Minister of State. It is generally accepted by both sides that this appears to be a sensible way of running the Scottish Office.
§ Mr. Johnston
The hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) says "No" but he was an Under-Secretary at the Scottish Office.
§ Mr. Johnston
I do not recollect the hon. Member protesting.
It is not a sensible proposition to say that we shall forbid the First Secretary from appointing assistants if that is deemed to be a sensible method of making progress. The hon. Member for West Lothian asked what they would do. They would have their fingers in the pie, he said. They would want to get their fingers into the local government pie, he claimed. He said that such people would wish to justify themselves.
It is part of the purpose of the Assembly not to get its fingers into the pie of local government but to get its fingers into the pie of St. Andrew's House, which has its fingers in the pie of local government. That is one of the primary arguments.
The Secretary of State was being belaboured at Scottish Question Time this afternoon by Conservative Members ask- 604 ing when he would make a statement about training colleges. The fact is that the opportunity for scrutiny of the decision affecting training colleges—which emanated from the Civil Service—will, one hopes, be less than it would be in the context of the Assembly. It is not much good the Secretary of State shaking his head. The time available would be less, however generous the right hon. Gentleman was able to be with the time available in the Scottish Grand Committee.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Bruce Millan)
I was shaking my head over the suggestion that the decision came from the Civil Service. The decision came from me.
§ Mr. Johnston
We must always be polite about the Civil Service but Secretaries of State have many duties laid upon their shoulders and I suspect that they may occasionally get a little bit of assistance here and there from someone.
The hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Ogden) said that even if we did make such an exclusion concerning Ministers, it would be the simplest thing in the world to get round it and appoint other Ministers. At that time, from a sedentary position, the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) said that what we ought to do was to limit the number of Ministers. This is the "Don't let them do anything unless we examine it very carefully" brigade. There are no amendments tabled to limit the number of Ministers. What I can say, however, is that if the First Secretary is to be denied an opportunity to appoint an assistant Minister of Education all that he needs to do is to look in Schedule 10, where he will find the following list:Education, the arts, crafts, social, cultural and recreative activities. Libraries, museums and art galleries.There will be a Minister for Education, a Minister for Culture and a Minister for the Arts. It is not difficult to engage in that sort of exercise.
§ Mr. Raison
Of course it is not difficult. That is the burden of the amendment. But, as I understand it, there are about seven Scottish Office Ministers at present. The powers which will be devolved under the Bill are more or less commensurate with the powers at present 605 held by the Scottish Office. [Interruption.] I am told that they are, in fact, less. It is fairly evident that the proposed Secretaries will be equivalent in number to the present number of Scottish Office Ministers but that they will have less to do. How can it be argued that they will need assistants?
§ Mr. Johnston
There are two answers to that question. I suppose that the first is a variant of Parkinson's Law. It is rather similar to the area of social work. The more social provision that is made in the area of social work, the more work is created. That is not bad per se, because the local authority is enabled to perceive and deal with more of the problems which the electorate are anxious to see dealt with by politicians.
If we follow to its conclusion the logic of the amendment and the total logic which the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South brings to government, we shall hardly have any government at all. With respect, that is not what the majority of the electorate want in very large areas of government. It is not very wise forcibly to prevent the Scottish First Secretary from functioning in what he regards as the most efficient and effective way.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
I know that there is a small umbilical hyphen tying the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) to the Labour Party, but to suggest that the generality of the electorate want politicians to interfere more and more, through agents and bureaucrats, in their lives is a fantasy.
§ Mr. Johnston
I do not know about a fantasy. The last time that I held a clinic in Inverness 35 people came to see me. They would not have come if they had not wanted me personally to do something about their problems or to get someone else to do it. It is false to argue that people in general want to be left alone. A great many people want the Government to do certain things for them, and we should not imagine otherwise.
If the Committee wants the Assembly which is to be created to act in a responsible way, as opposed to the irresponsible way that the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South forecast, the best way of achieving that is to allow its Members 606 to arrange their own affairs in their own way without undue interference.
§ Mr. Galbraith
The Committee is well aware how much I dislike the Bill. To my mind, it is rotten through and through. It pretends to be one thing, and it turns out to be another. It tries to be a great, fine beast, whereas it is a miserable little mouse. It pretends not to affect the unity of the United Kingdom, but in every debate, except perhaps this one, it has been shown that it will affect the unity of the United Kingdom.
The clause is typical of this dishonest attempt by pretence to placate nationalist sentiment. It is typical of the appeasing attitude of the Government. From the clause one might suppose that the Assembly was to be a real Parliament dressed up in almost the full panoply of Parliament. It will not have a Prime Minister, but it will have what at the moment is described as a First Secretary. Then it will have these spurious gentlemen called Scottish Secretaries. Why not just Secretaries, or Celtic Secretaries? But unless this amendment is accepted—and I hope very much that it will be—not only shall we have a First Secretary and Scottish Secretaries but we shall have Assistant Secretaries, presumably. Some one suggested that they would be rather like the new animal introduced by the present Government—these curious advisers. I cannot believe that. I believe that these people will be ordinary parliamentary assistants or junior Ministers.
It is a case ofbig bugs have little bugs on their backs to bite them",which is what Socialism is all about, andlittle bugs have littler bugs, and so on ad infinitum.That is exactly what the people of Scotland are afraid of, because they do not want big bugs or little bugs. They do not want any bugs at all.
During the course of this debate I have have handed to me a note saying "Can you emphasise the calamitous collapse of of the support for devolution in Scotland over the last six months?" I do not carry figures in my head, but my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) does. We all know how keen Aberdonians are on figures. I know that the support has gone down. However, my 607 hon. Friend says that it has gone down from 60 per cent. to 35 per cent. That is because we do not wish to have any profusion of additional bugs in Scotland.
What is the Assembly meant to be doing which requires all this? This is not generally realised in Scotland. We realise it. The Secretary of State and right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the Committee realise that the new Assembly, if it ever takes off, will not even do as much work as the Scottish Grand Committee, the body which is for ever being criticised by the media and everyone else. Yet I believe that the present set-up of the Scottish Grand Committee, with all its imperfections—
§ Mr. Galbraith
We have not, But, fortunately, that will be changed next week.
I believe that we shall find at the end of the day that having a system such as the Scottish Grand Committee is the only way in which one can have a different sort of administration for a different part of the country and integrate the legislation in a unitary State. I do not believe that it can be done in any other way.
As we go through this Bill we see the difficulties. I believe that we in Scotland manage not to badly—certainly no worse than the rest of the government in the United Kingdom. This is one of the things that I cannot understand. It is always being trotted out that there is something wrong, hopeless and bad about government in Scotland. Nobody has ever told me what particularly is wrong with it. The policy may be wrong, but what is wrong with the administration? In what way is the administration in Scotland less good than it is in the rest of the United Kingdom? To my mind it is, if anything, slightly better, because it has on top of it this very close connection with the Scottish Grand Committee. It seems to me that at present we manage not too badly with one Secretary of State and, as one hon. Gentleman has estimated, seven Ministers. I think that we have got only about four Ministers in the House of Commons. I do not count the Lord Advocate, not because I have 608 not a regard for him, and not even because he is not here. We have five Ministers.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I am not counting the other place. I am counting only those in the House of Commons. In this House of Commons we have 71 Scottish Members at present. This figure will be increased. Instead of having 71 Members, we shall suddenly have 210 Members of Parliament, instead of the existing 71. We shall have three Members of Parliament doing what one does now.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I am the son, grandson and great grandson of accountants, but I am not very good at figures. We shall have three Members of Parliament, one in the House and two in the Assembly doing what just one does now. We shall have I do not know how many Scottish Secretaries, Ministers, or whatever they are called—a dozen. Again, that is probably three or four times the present number.
In addition, if the amendment is not accepted we shall have assistants. Shall we have one assistant per Scottish Secretary, or two assistants, or three? We do not know where the process will stop. The question is, what on earth are these people going to do? The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) seemed to think that these Ministers needed assistants, but under the present set-up the Secretary of State already has his assistants. I believe he has five of them. One does not need another row of assistants beneath them.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
My hon. Friend asked —I do not know whether it was a rhetorical question—what these gentlemen are going to do. It is perfectly clear what they are going to do. They will find justification for enlarging the number and finding things for other people to do so that they are more important.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I am sorry that I gave way to my hon. and learned Friend, because he has rather spoiled my speech. What I had written down was "What on earth are they going to do?" My answer to that rhetorical question is that they have to justify their existence. I 609 think it was the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) who said that they were going to meddle. That is exactly what they will do. This is the tendency for all Governments. Governments like meddling. If they have not got enough things to keep them busy, they will find things to do. They will invent work for themselves. Governments will make new and unnecessary laws. They will interfere in all sorts of things in which it would be much better that they did not interfere. The real desire of people today is to be just left a little bit alone. I could not disagree with the hon. Member for Inverness more. He said that 35 people attended his last clinic, as he called it.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I had mine exactly three weeks ago and I shall have another one, if the hon. Lady would like to come and see me, at 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon. The hon. Member for Inverness said that 35 people came to see him. I wonder how many came to see him on parliamentary political matters and how many of them came to see him about other things which had nothing to do with his job. This is the trouble. People do not know. If one has all these assistants and one thing and another, it will be even worse.
As a result of the proliferation of extra Ministers there will be more bureaucrats and more assistants to look after the assistants. This is the real trouble. There will be a demand for more money. That is obvious. There will be quarrelling between Edinburgh and this House of Commons all the time.
One of the reasons why we are supposed to be having this set-up, this Assembly, is that the existing situation is supposed to be remote. We are supposed to be remote. If the hon. Member for Inverness a few weeks ago was in his constituency seeing his constituents and the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, East (Mrs. Bain) is to come and see me, that means that we are very closely in touch and we are not remote. It is an absolute untruth to say that the present system is remote, except in the sense that there are too many officials and that it is too difficult to get to the seats of power. Having more assistants, with greater bureaucracy, and with the ten- 610 dency to have more interference, will create the very thing that it is supposed to be curing—remoteness.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
I presume that none of these terrible things would take place if the Conservative Party in Scotland won the first Assembly elections. The fact that the hon. Gentleman foreshadows these things indicates that he has given up hope of that.
§ Mr. Galbraith
It is all very well for the hon. Member to say that. It is utterly and absolutely wrong. This would happen whatever party won the elections. Unfortunately, it is the nature of Parliaments to increase their power. That is what worries me. It is not only that; it is in their nature to increase the number of people involved.
I have just been reading a most interesting book on the life of J. Ramsay Macdonald, which I commend to all hon. Members. It describes how only about 30 years ago there was but one Minister responsible for Scotland, who was not even a Secretary of State, and that he had one assistant. We must look now at the great phalanx of people helping the Secretary of State. Is he doing the job any better? No. He gets weighed down with vast amounts of paper so that he cannot even think straight. I am not referring to the Secretary of State personally. However, it is part of the office.
Instead of having greater closeness to the people, which is the object of the Assembly, having the Assembly with this great paraphernalia of Secretaries and their assistants will mean more remoteness rather than closeness. That is exactly what the CBI fears.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I am sorry. I made a mistake. It is not the CBI—although it might have been the CBI. It is the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, which is the same sort of body. It represents the business community. It represents the producers of wealth. It is because these producers of wealth are not being encouraged and because they fear what is to be imposed upon them that this matter is so very serious from the point of view of the man in the street. In a letter which I expect hon. Members have received today, as I have, the Chairman 611 of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce says:Upright and honourable though individual bureaucrats are, they are an overhead on our society and their number and the number of their centres of growth should be diminishing and not increasing. What is wrong with the structure of our society that we should be so complacently contemplating their accelerated growth?There is the growth of not only bureaucrats but assistants. What is wrong with the structure of our existing government machine?
§ Mr. Galbraith
It is not too small. That is the trouble. It is quite big enough. It is bad enough to have 12 Secretaries, or whatever the figure is. Perhaps the Secretary of State will give us an indication of the number of Scottish Secretaries he expects there will be and the number of assistants he expects, and how long he expects that number to last before it is increased.
It is bad enough to have these Secretaries, but they will have to have offices and some will have to have official residences, cars and secretaries, and the whole paraphernalia of Government that we have at present. On top of that, however, we shall have assistants, and they will have the same. As has been mentioned, it is Parkinson's Law. People may not like talking about "jobs for the boys", but, whether or not this means "jobs for the boys", there is one thing that it certainly means, and that is a vast payroll vote. We do not want to have any more of that.
If the Assembly is ever established, there will have to be Ministers but should there be assistants? Should we not let the Ministers do the jobs themselves? It is only when one does a job oneself that one picks out what is important. That is the only way to reduce the spate of unnecessary legislation and, with it, unnecessary interference and taxation. I very much hope that the Committee will support this amendment.
§ Mr. George Cunningham
The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) suggested that the only sensible criticism to be made of this part of the clause should be made by hon. Members such as the Member for Glasgow, Hillhead 612 (Mr. Galbraith), who are totally opposed to any devolution at all. I, too, am totally opposed to devolution, but I shall try to keep my remarks brief because we want to try to get rid of the end of this section of the argument before the guillotine falls, since this matter is less basic than some others. [Interruption.] I have not tabled any amendments, because I do not think it is my proper task to try to improve this Bill. I am sufficiently opposed to it not to want to make the arrangements more workable.
§ Mr. Donald Stewart (Western Isles)
Surely that is a rather irresponsible attitude. If there is a chance from the hon. Gentleman's point of view that the Bill might get through, should it not be enacted in as good a way as possible?
§ Mr. Cunningham
No, I do not think so. The basic point with which we are dealing involves the kind of Ministers—I prefer to use that sensible terminology than the one we are pretending to use in this Bill—envisaged and the number of Ministers one should have within an Edinburgh system. The hon. Member for Inverness suggested that both those items were matters properly to be left to the Edinburgh Assembly to decide. I suggest to him that such a notion would come naturally only to a British person accustomed to an unwritten constitution, with no fundamental features built into it. If we had a written constitution, it should contain a limitation on the number of Ministers that one can have in a legislature. There is a common view that the fusion of the Executive and the Legislature is a historic and natural part—a terribly British part—of our habits. It is not. It was only around the year 1925 that the last vestiges of the endeavour in the early eighteenth century to eradicate the Executive from this House finally disappeared. It was only then that the last requirement on a Member of this House, when first appointed as a senior Minister, to stand again for election disappeared.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
Is there any written constitution that exists in the world that limits the number of Ministers? Written constitutions are normally about power rather than the nature of Administrations. I may be wrong in this view and the hon. Gentleman may shoot me down, but I should like to know the answer.
§ Mr. Cunningham
There is the American constitution, which limits the number to zero. There is the French constitution, which provides that when a Member is appointed a Minister he ceases to be a Member of the French Parliament. His place as taken by a substitute, who, in an election, works alongside the potential Minister for that very purpose. I suggest that this is a fundamental part of the workings of any constitution and it is as basic as the following question: how many votes can they buy?
Why do we have legislation applying to Ministers of the Crown limiting the number of paid office holders in this House? The limit is now 93, or thereabouts. Why do we have such a limit? That legislation was adopted in place of the old arrangement to which I have referred, when a Minister once appointed had to stand for election again. The reason that we have that limit is to keep down—at least to some upper level—the number of people that the Government can have on the payroll. At the moment we have far too many on the payroll. We have 93 on the payroll whose votes can, therefore, in all normal circumstances, be taken for granted, out of a normal majority party of about 300 to 350. It needs that many more rebels on the Government side of the House, whichever party may be in office, to overcome the dead weight of the payroll vote.
This is an important feature of the working of any legislature, and, therefore, some limit ought to be imposed. The hon. Member for Inverness might say that that, of course, would be something that the Edinburgh Assembly should decide for itself just as this Parliament has legislation imposing a limit on itself. We do it that way because there is not any other way in which we can do it, because there is no superior Parliament and no constitution of Britain into which we can build such a provision, but there will be a devolution constitution for Scotland—namely, this Bill. I suggest that just as we are providing certain other limitations in this Bill with regard to the arrangements for Scotland, we should provide for this basic feature also within the Bill.
§ Mr. Harry Gourlay (Kirkcaldy)
Since my hon. Friend has such an important 614 idea of his own knowledge, intelligence and integrity, will he not grant the same amount of knowledge and responsibility to Members of the Assembly, who will themselves, when they find that the Executive of the Assembly is taking away so much power—pass an Act of the Assembly to liimt the number of paid officers?
§ Mr. Cunningham
That would be my attitude if Scotland were becoming an independent nation, as, no doubt, it will in due course when this wretched Bill is on the statute book. However, it is not becoming an independent nation now. There will be superior law within which the Edinburgh system will have to operate. The question of the number of Ministers within the Assembly who can be paid is sufficiently basic a constitutional point that if there is a superior constitution within which the Assembly must work, this should be provided for. It is not that I trust this House. I do not. We have passed the Second Reading of the Bill with a majority of hon. Members against it, so one cannot have a more irresponsible bunch than hon. Members of the House of Commons. However, we do not have any alternative but to do the best we can with the poor material that we have. We cannot put it up to a higher constitution, and we have no means of entrenching the point that am seeking to entrench in the case of Scotland. We have no alternative.
I wish to make one more point. We shall have to amend the Ministers of the Crown Act, because, so far as I know, although the Secretary of State and other Scottish Ministers will be diminished by, presumably, five, no one has suggested that we should cut the number allowed under the Ministers of the Crown Act by five. We must get around to that. We cannot have an Executive going on with 95 paid votes when five have been eradicated. We must get an amendment down on that point before the Bill gets through the Committee.
§ Mr. Powell
The hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) has brought the Committee back from its feast of innocence to contemplate the facts of political life and of power as we really know them. He is, of course, right in saying that it is essential that, so far as we can, we should limit the quantity of patronage which 615 is at the disposal of a Scottish administration, because the creation and expansion of patronage, whether the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) is aware of this or not, is the prime motive in the creation and maintenance of appointments.
I wanted to help the hon. Member for Inverness a little earlier, but he would not let me. So I shall now provide him with the novelty that he has not encountered before—an hon. Member who says that government would be carried on more efficiently with approximately half the number of Ministers. I say this as one who saw the efficiency of a Department for which I was partly responsible reduced by an increase in the number of Ministers. It happened, and it was because of the increase in the number of Ministers.
The effectiveness of government would be far greater if the size of the administration—I am not referring to any particular administration, and I make no criticism of particular individuals—were substantially less—let us say, reduced by a third—than it is now. That one-third is there because those who organise the party, those who are responsible for its discipline, tell the Prime Minister "You are not going to take away from us the very mechanism with which we operate. It is very valuable to us to have this number of appointments." Indeed, I shall watch jealously, as will the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury, whether there is a corresponding diminution in the total number of United Kingdom Ministers if and when the Bill comes into force.
We say that the Executive is our creature. We should not be doing our job if we did not place a limitation upon the patronage at the disposal of that Executive. That is the last time I shall use the sham word "Executive". We know perfectly well what we are creating, and we seek to pretend by using other words that it is something different. We are setting up a Scottish Parliament. We are setting up a Scottish Government, at the head of which there will be a Scottish Prime Minister and not just Scottish Ministers but Scottish Cabinet Ministers. They will comprise the Scottish Cabinet, and will rarely be referred to by other terms. The "assistants" will be referred 616 to as Parliamentary Secretaries. There will also be Whips and assistant Whips, whatever is the definition to cover them. Perhaps they will be assistants; for I suppose that the Patronage Secretary is a sort of secretary, and that there will be assistants to that sort of Secretary. Anyhow, there will be Whips—senior Whips, junior Whips, assistant Whips.
§ Mr. Galbraith
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that in spite of all this paraphernalia of Whips of this kind and that kind, there will be no job for them to do?
§ Mr. Powell
From that fact, on which I agree with the hon. Gentleman, I shall draw a different deduction from that which perhaps he sought to draw, although I hope to carry him with me.
There is no doubt about what sort of animals these are. Look at how they come into existence. The First Secretary is the person who is in command of the majority; but then the Cabinet Ministers are appointed by the Secretary of State, acting on the advice of the First Secretary. In fact, this is a Cabinet with collective responsibility, dominated by a Prime Minister who has the right to hire his Ministers—that is, he says to the Secretary of State "Appoint A" and the Secretary of State must appoint A—and the power to fire his Ministers—they hold office "at Her Majesty's pleasure", and the tap of Her Majesty's pleasure will be turned on and off by the Secretary of State at the behest of the Scottish Prime Minister.
Incidentally, it is most objectionable from a constitutional point of view that the same person who is an executive Minister of the Crown, responsible to this House for executive acts, should also be the inert channel for the functions of the Crown in appointing and dismissing Ministers.
However, although the functioning of the Crown is screened by being put through the Secretary of State for Scotland in his inert form, it is still a Prime Minister installed by the Crown and a Cabinet of Ministers created by the Crown, at the behest of the Queen's chief Minister in Scotland, and all the appurtenances follow: the Cabinet Ministers will have their junior Ministers, and so on and so on.
617 There is a mischief in this besides the obvious one to which the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury devoted his speech—namely, that we shall have imported, but without the restraints that we have attempted here—ineffective as they are—the exorbitant power and appetite of patronage. The other consequences are more serious still.
The hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith) was right when he said that the powers that we are allocating are inadequate to a Scottish Parliament, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Parliamentary Secretaries and the rest. They are unmatched. There is an inconcinnity between the magnificent structure and the mean furniture with which it is at present adorned. The result of that will not be to reduce the structure and the pretensions of the structure to fit the furniture. It is the furniture that will be magnified and increased. More articles will be wheeled in all the time to meet what the Scottish people will say is the least that is due to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Prime Minister, the Scottish Cabinet, and all the rest of it, Scottish Members of Parliament included.
By the way, very shortly they will not be called Scottish Members of Parliament. They will be called the Members of Parliament, just like that. We in Northern Ireland can give a tip or two to other hon. Members on the subject of nomenclature. I used to be startled when I paid occasional visits to Northern Ireland in far-off, innocent days—
§ Mr. Powell
That is why I am telling the Committee—when I went on a platform in Northern Ireland and was told "There will be speeches first by the Members of Parliament". I would look round to see where the Members of Parliament were, and, not discerning any, would inquire what had happened. I would be told that these were the Members of the Northern Ireland Parliament. In the nomenclature of Northern Ireland they were and even still are the Members of Parliament. When a man went to his 618 Member of Parliament or sought his help, or, as he very likely would, called on his Member of Parliament, it was his Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Northern Ireland; and if anybody referred to the other sort of Members of Parliament, it would be said "Oh, you mean a Westminster Member. They do not count. They are not real Members of Parliament."
So it will be, if this is set up. The Prime Minister will be the man in Edinburgh. The Cabinet will be the Cabinet in Edinburgh. The Members of Parliament will be the Members of Parliament sitting in Edinburgh.
However, as the hon. Member for Hillhead said, how inadequate will be the limited functions allocated in the Bill to this new and grandiose national structure of government. Of course it cannot abide. The powers will have to be increased. That will be the chief concern, and a proper response to what is expected, of such a Government and Parliament—namely, to increase their powers. They will obtain the material for increasing them in two directions, from below and from above.
We who come from Northern Ireland have further news for Members in this House. Our constituents have for many years been destitute of all but the most vestigial relics of genuine local government. Even the smallest matters of personal and local concern on which they might expect to have the assistance of an elected representative have been transacted at a distance, and in the past five years at a very great distance—namely, the distance of this House. It might have been thought that successive Governments here would at least have said "What we must do is at any rate to restore to the people of Northern Ireland the local government that is taken for granted anywhere else in the United Kingdom."
One might have thought that in days gone by and in more recent days those who occupy, or formerly occupied, Northern Ireland Cabinet seats and so on would have been foremost in arguing the urgency for that belated remedy to be brought to the people of Northern Ireland? Why was it not so? Because local government 619 powers would be at the expense of what might be the functions and powers of the Cabinet and the Parliament. Indeed, as the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) says, it would not be long before the Scottish Parliament—within whose legislative domain lies local government and the organisation and powers of local authorities—discovered how much more effectively it could perform for Scotland as a whole these functions which were dispersed, dissipated and inadequately performed among such unprofitable bodies as the regional and district councils.
That is one direction from which the new and elegant furniture appropriate for the offices of Cabinet Ministers can be obtained; but it will not be enough. They will turn round and confront their creators here, and they will say "Do you really think that now you have a national Parliament of Scotland, a Scottish Government and a Scottish Prime Minister who goes all over the world and is received as the Prime Minister of Scotland, you can leave us with these limited powers?" The Scottish Members of Parliament will tell us that this was just the start and that we must have meant them to have more, as otherwise we would not have created a full-blown Government structure like our own at West-minister.
We should be told "You created a Parliament and Government. You must take the consequences of your action. You must give the powers, scope and legislative domain that is appropriate to it, and you must give the powers of taxation that are appropriate to it". We shall be taken to intend the implications of what we do.
So I say that we should not be defeated by our own humbug. We should not be prevented by the humbug of talking about Assemblies, First Secretaries, assistants and the rest, from understanding what the thing is that we are doing. Can we that do it have the innocence to imagine that the unity of the United Kingdom and the authority of this House will be unimpaired? That is an absurdity.
§ Mr. Monro
The right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) has described clearly the fears felt by many 620 hon. Members. As a result of that I can be comparatively brief in asking a number of questions. The Minister has an important chance tonight.
The amendments that we have discussed so far have been fairly incomprehensible to the vast majority of the people in Scotland. But now we have reached the section dealing with the practical operation of the Assembly in relation to the structure of the Cabinet—as it will be called—and the possibility of having a number of Secretaries of State and the way in which the Parliament will work. In the context of this wide-ranging debate on the Assembly I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity of spelling out in some detail how he envisages the Assembly working.
He, with all his advisers from the Civil Service, must surely have sketched out the bare bones of an Assembly as it could be set up after an election, and he must have gone as far as to produce a rough draft of the sort of procedures that it is likely to use in its initial stages. I know that the right hon. Gentleman will say that this matter is, of course, entirely up to the Assembly. But, again, I think it most probable that the First Secretary, whoever he is, will naturally go to the Secretary of State for advice in some detail from the Scottish Office on the setting up and running of the Assembly. However, that would be stage 2. Stage 1 will be when we come, as appears unfortunately inevitable, to the referendum. Surely the people of Scotland must know then the sort of procedures and working that are anticipated for the Assembly, and which of those the Secretary of State will recommend to them.
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
Surely the Government's ideas on these matters were contained in the Scotland and Wales Bill That was one of the changes that took place when it was decided proper and right to leave such matters to the Assembly to determine.
§ Mr. Monro
The Scottish nationalists chirp away all night as if they had nothing else to do. If they went away and considered what they were letting Scotland in for they would be putting their time to much better use.
The Secretary of State has the chance tonight to tell us just what is meant by his intentions for the Assembly. We now have the largest number of Scottish Office Ministers on record. I suggest that the number is limited only by the number of rooms available at St. Andrews House. We have, I believe, 10 per cent. of the number of Scottish Members as Scottish Ministers. If that guideline is continued to the Assembly it would mean about 15 or 16 Secretaries assisting the First Secretary. This is a matter of extreme concern for the people in Scotland who are trying to follow our deliberations on the Bill as they try to envisage the type of Assembly that they will have.
As the Secretary of State may know, a year ago I was certainly firmly in favour of a form of devolution for Scotland—
§ Mr. Crawford
The hon. Member said that he has was in favour of some form of devolution. I only asked which kind.
§ Mr. Monro
The quickest answer to that is to tell the hon. Member to look up the speeches I made in Scotland in the run-up to our debates.
The point that I am always most concerned about in my support for devolution for Scotland is the crucial issue of the two Executives as now proposed. I was particularly disappointed that there were no changes in the Bill in that respect. Tonight the Secretary of State has the chance to say what are the likely consequences of the clause to which we have tabled our probing amendment and on which we may come to a conclusion if necessary.
§ The Chairman (Mr. Oscar Murton)
The hon. Member used the word "clause". We are dealing with an amendment rather than with the clause itself.
§ Mr. Monro
We have been discussing whether there will be secretaries to assist the First Secretary. The machinery of this clause is very important in relation to how the Assembly may or may not work. That is why we have been talking fairly broadly tonight about the structure of the Assembly, and that is why we want to know the thinking of the Secretary of State concerning the number of secretaries who will be assisting the First Secretary in the Assembly. We have been drawing certain conclusions from the number of Under-Secretaries in the Scottish Office at the present time.
§ Mr. Dalyell
The hon. Gentleman has experience of the Scottish Office. In the Assembly that he would like to see, would there be executives of any kind, or Ministers of any kind? If so, how would his Assembly operate? Would it operate through a system of committees?
§ Mr. Monro
I have felt that the concept of two Executives was wrong from the start. I should have liked to see the present Under-Secretaries—who have wide experience and a lot of responsibilities at the present time—built into a system that would enable them to fulfil the job in the Assembly. But that, of course, will not take place under the present Bill.
It is important that the Secretary of State should take the chance tonight to give an explanation of the work of the secretaries as envisaged in the clause, and say whether they will be in or out under the amendment. I think it right to emphasise, as was said earlier, that we are talking about a Scottish Prime Minister and a Scottish Cabinet, and of people who will inevitably become the Members of Parliament in Scotland. This is the chance for the Secretary of State tonight. I hope he takes it.
§ Mr. Raison
I start by asking the Secretary of State the question that I asked the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) when I intervened during his speech a few minutes ago. There are now seven Ministers at the Scottish Office. The Minister says that it is six. There seems to be some doubt whether it is six or seven. If the present powers of the Scottish Office are to be transferred to the new Executive under the Government's scheme, it is evident that there will be at least six secretaries in the 623 new Executive. Why on earth should there be any need for assistant secretaries on top of all that? I hope the Secretary of State will deal with this when he replies.
I hope that the Secretary of State will also answer the very important point which was made by the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Cunningham) about what the Government have in mind on the question of the number of Ministers in the Scottish Office after the Assembly comes into being. There is, as I indicated, dispute whether there are at present six or seven of them. The hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury said that the number ought to come down to two. That is the kind of number that one might expect, but does that mean that there will be a corresponding reduction in the overall number of Ministers on the payroll?
An alarming thought has occurred to me, as a sort of appendage to the West Lothian question. If there are suddenly to be four or five Ministers from the Scottish Office without jobs, they will all be queueing up outside the Chief Whip's Office asking for jobs. We shall find them occupying departments concerned with English matters. We shall have Scottish Ministers administering English education, housing and so on, and that will be a further aggravation.
The House knows that I am one of those who cannot see any scheme of devolution working satisfactorily. I cannot imagine any way in which a devolved Government can be compatible with the United Kingdom as we know it. The House also knows that I do not want to have an Assembly, but that is not the point at issue in this debate. The question at issue here—apart from the one about Assistant Secretaries—is whether, if we have an Assembly, there must be an Executive as well. Is it possible to have an Assembly without having an Executive?
There was a very brief opportunity last week lasting about a quarter of an hour, to study this topic. On Clause 21 we have another chance to look at it. I crave your indulgence, Mr. Murton, because the question whether we want an Executive can be debated only between now and 10 p.m., and I think that the House recognises that it would be an appalling 624 misuse of the guillotine procedure if debate on this question were to be stifled merely because the selection in this section of the Committee stage picked out two important but relatively narrow points.
In the past I have believed that there was one feasible way of operating an Assembly without an Executive. I remember that a few years ago when I edited the journal Crossbow I wrote a leading article in which I suggested that the powers of the House of Lords with regard to Scotland should be transferred to an elected body sitting in Edinburgh. In other words, one would make use of the experience and the relationship that has built up over the years between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords would continue its normal function but specifically Scottish matters would be transferred to an elected body sitting in Edinburgh. That body would play the same part in questioning Ministers and dealing with the legislation as the House of Lords plays at present.
But there would be an elected body. That is the best scheme for having an Assembly that there is. But it is still not a workable scheme.
§ Mr. Raison
I have only just told the Committee that I put this suggestion forward when I was editor of Crossbow nearly 15 years ago. There is no particular reason to suppose that either then or now the suggestion I put forward in Crossbow represents official Tory Party policy. We must look elsewhere for that.
It was interesting that when I put forward that suggestion the great newspaper the Scotsman published a leading article by way of rejoinder which said "Mind your own business. What right have you English people to be talking about Scottish government?" I have often been told that the English are very remiss when they appear not to notice that for some years there has been an argument in Scotland about devolution. Yet when I make some small contribution to this I am told by the Scotsman to shut up.—[Interruption.] It is not for the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire 625 (Mr. Crawford) to ask me, on the Back Benches, to expound Tory policy. I have given my own point of view. If we are to have an Assembly, which I hope we shall not, this seems to be the most reasonable way of approaching it.
I want to turn briefly to the question of what is wrong with the notion of an Executive. I put down an amendment, which was not selected, seeking to delete this whole clause. The first objection to the Executive is that it is another layer of government. Let me qualify that. It is another layer of political government. In reality it is not another layer of administrative government, if I may use that phrase to refer to the Civil Service.
It is true that according to the Explanatory Memorandum the Bill will add about 750 to the size of the Civil Service. To that extent it increases the layer of government. But one of the interesting points about the scheme which is not sufficiently observed is that for many years the belief was that government meant civil servants who dished out all the documents and administered the policies in detail. These civil servants are in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland, and that is where they will continue to be. The notion that they will come from London to Scotland is a myth.
When I asked the Scottish Office how many civil servants it had I was given a figure of 6,000 or 8,000. I was told that they were all in Scotland except for about 60 employed by the Scottish Office in London. Frankly, I should be very surprised if under the new disposition there are still not 59 civil servants employed by the Scottish Office in London. It is something of a myth to think that there will be a great picking-up of the executive and administrative parts of government and putting them in Scotland. They are in Scotland already, and people will not notice that they are any nearer, because exactly the same people will be sitting in Edinburgh doing the jobs that they do at present.
This leads me to another very important point raised by subsection (9) I am sad that it has not been possible to have a full debate on this, because I regard it as an important part of the Bill. I hope that hon. Members will look at this. The clause says that the Scottish Secretaries will have the power to appoint 626 officers and civil servants. The Bill says that these people will become members of the home Civil Service of the State. I think that "the State" refers to the United Kingdom.
This raises all sorts of interesting implications. Will the Scottish Secretaries have the unrestricted right to be given civil servants who enlisted in the Civil Service on the assumption that they were to serve the United Kingdom Parliament, and who wil be told one day "We are sorry, but you are not going to work for the United Kingdom Government; you are going to work for the Scottish Assembly."? That seems to be an extremely dubious proposition. If I were a civil servant I might think that I did not want to work for the new and rather bizarre masters being thrust on me.
§ Mr. Raison
Does not the right hon. Gentleman see any difficulty in saying to a large number of people, who joined the Civil Service on the assumption that they would serve the United Kingdom Government, that they are to be pushed willy-nilly into working under the Scottish Assembly?
§ Mr. Donald Stewart
I do not think that that would be different from the present situation. Any Administration here might decide, on any occasion, to make changes overnight. Civil servants are in the same position as people employed by private employers who might make a change of policy after a meeting of directors. I am sure that the civil servants would be able to take that in their stride and would either stay on or get out.
§ Mr. Raison
They have had imposed on them changes of status without consultation, but this is on a massive scale and is quite different from anything that has happened before. Conversely, the Scottish Secretaries will have the power to sign up anyone they like, for whatever function. Once signed up, these people would become members of the State Civil Service, to use the slightly unattractive language of the Bill. It seems a bizarre power that members of the Scottish Executive should have the power to appoint members of the State Civil Service. They are not appointing them to a 627 body which is solely to do with the Scottish Assembly; they are appointing them to the national United Kingdom Civil Service. This is very alarming and needs to be properly thrashed out.
§ Mr. Dalyell
There is also the problem of double loyalty. Is it possible for a civil servant to be responsible both to a Scottish Minister and a United Kingdom Minister? In many cases that would be impossible, like serving God and Mammon.
§ Mr. Raison
The hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) is absolutely right. In Clause 21 there is a whole series of major defects, doubts and problems, and somehow or other they have to be thrashed out. The monstrous guillotine under which we are working is making this completely impossible.
§ The Chairman
Order. Before I call the next hon. Member I must point out to the Committee that I have been extremely tolerant. The debate has gone very wide, but if we had made more progress on some of these comparatively minor amendments, there would have been more time to debate the Question, That the clause stand part of the Bill. This is in the hands of the Committee. I draw the attention of the Committee to the fact that I have been very lenient.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
If there is one desire—although it does not appear to have occurred to the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston)—which is central to the desire of everyone in Scotland, indeed in the rest of the United Kingdom, it is that there should be smaller, quicker, cheaper, better, closer government. That is what it is all about. If that is so we surely do not begin the task by multiplying the representatives, in some cases by three, in others by four and then add to the army of those whom the people regard as a weight upon their lives.
There will undoubtedly be 35 people who will come to the hon. Member for Inverness and say that they cannot get a tax coding from the tax office, or that they are having difficulty with the local chiropodist and a variety of other things. But the volume of complaints from others in his constituency will be about the Government interfering too much by removing freedom, freedom to spend their 628 money, to educate their children as they wish, to do what they wish with their life, to build their houses where and how they wish.
§ Mr. Crawford
The Scottish National Party wants to cut down the tiers of government in two ways—first by getting rid of Westminster for the people of Scotland and secondly by getting rid of the regions.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
It is a marvellously naive concept which the SNP has, that all that is necessary to have a respectable number of bottles on the wall is to knock off two of them. It does not appreciate that it cannot say that four wheels on a car is too many and therefore it is necessary to get rid of two. These wheels have functions. We have to decide how to run the machine if we restrict the number of wheels—[Interruption.]—The hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) has made his intervention. He must stop muttering like a monk at prayer.
I believe it to be a natural and inevitable compulsion upon anyone with the power of any office in the bureaucracy, and frequently in politics, to attempt to enlarge his sphere of influence and therefore to elevate the strength of his position by enlarging the number of people who assist him. The little man working in an office with no assistant is not so important as the man in another office with 10 assistants. That is an inevitable characteristic. It was a characteristic of regionalisation. When that happened it was not that the pyramid got smaller, it was that a whole layer underneath it raised it up and so the environmental planning officer is now much more important than the former sanitary inspector.
Given this inevitable characteristic it is important to realise, as the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) said, that what we are doing is creating a new Government in Scotland. The SNP cannot wait to play at Governments and have ambassadors and appoint each other as Ministers of this and that and run around the world shaking hands with representatives of a lot of funny little States and sit between, as the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mrs. Ewing) has said, Saudi Arabia and Senegal. That is all part of the power game. It is when it 629 comes to patronage that there must be a restriction. The great reform of 1832, the reforms in the 60-odd years which preceded it from 1770, were all intended to restrict the patronage of Ministers to give jobs to their friends and pensions to those to whom they did not give jobs.
We have unrestrained patronage in this Bill, and it is interesting to notice the changes in the attitudes of those who fanatically believed in the ideal of devolution and a directly-elected Scottish Assembly. They did not think of the implications.
It is not an Assembly that we are creating, it is a separate Government. It will not work to achieve the purpose of its intention which is to reduce the burden of Government on people in Scotland. It will merely increase it.
The Scottish Office has a faceless, grandiose and altogether hideous building which is so suitable to its form in Scotland. In London, it has a magnificent building where Lady Caroline Lamb had many an enjoyable night with Members of another House. Nothing as human or as enjoyable has ever gone into or come out of the Scottish Office.
When we have this new Government cast upon us, we shall find that it will further enslave the Scottish people instead of freeing them. I do not find a decision which comes from Edinburgh a more warming one than a decision from London. To my mind, a Cardiff decision is no different from an East Kilbride decision. I dislike the imposition of government, and this Bill is an enlargement of those who have the right to interfere in the lives of the Scottish people. I hope that they realise it before it goes much further.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
This has been a splendid debate and, although the amendment is a very narrow one, it has been symbolic of the fears and worries about this Bill of people in Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.
The argument was put precisely by my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) and my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Sproat) in saying that this provision was significant in that it was part of the proliferation of government which would 630 take place under the Bill. There is no doubt that by having an Executive and as many Ministers as are proposed for the Assembly, there is a danger of Scotland becoming the most over-governed country in the world.
My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury made a point about the dangers of having two Executives. It is an argument which the Conservative Party has made consistently. We said as much during our proceedings on the Scotland and Wales Bill, and we say it again about this Bill. We are opposed to a separate Executive.
With two Executives operating in one country, there is bound to be conflict, confusion and additional expense. In the Douglas-Home Report we read:Unless there is to be confusion and therefore bad government, the duties of the Queen's Ministers must be precisely defined. We consider it to be essential that the Secretary of State and the other Scottish Ministers should continue to be the Scottish Executive.It was made clear that there should be only one Executive and that it should be the present Executive—the Secretary of State and his Ministers. That would have been the case, apart from this obvious problem of having two Executives.
There is a further complication on which my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury did not dwell but which is one of the greatest problems. It is that the demarcation between the Executives is far from clear. Certainly it has not the crystal clarity of which the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Johnston) is so fond.
I ask right hon. and hon. Members to consider Schedules 10 and 11 and to note those matters which are to be devolved, those which are not devolved and those which are to be devolved in terms of executive power to the Scottish Assembly but are not within the legislative competence of the Assembly. Before anything can be done, Ministers in the Assembly will have to look carefully at what they are allowed to do.
We see that agriculture of some sort is devolved, but that agricultural grants are not devolved. We see that part of the work of the Highlands and Islands Board is devolved and that part is not devolved. We see on page 68 of the Bill that the Executive has certain powers which are not legislatively devolved like the power to extend the areas of the Highlands and 631 Islands Board under Section 1 of the 1965 Act. There are many instances of a clear division of executive power between the Scottish Executive and the existing Executive. The Secretary of State must be aware that we are not giving additional powers or additional executive authority. We are making a rather precise dividing line which does not seem to make a great deal of sense.
One thing which has impressed me in this debate is the assumption from a lot of people that if we create all these extra Scottish Ministers, as the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) referred to them, or Scottish Secretaries, somehow the existing number of Scottish Ministers, some of whom we see on the Front Bench, will disappear. It has been the general assumption that we shall create a lot of Scottish Secretaries and Assistant Scottish Secretaries, but, on the other hand, it seems to be generally assumed that, apart from the Secretary of State, who will become a kind of colonial Governor-General, all the rest will disappear.
Will the Secretary of State answer this point? If it is found that the hon. Member for Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth (Mr. Ewing) or the other Scottish Office Ministers will suddenly disappear, we might find that we have a lot of Scottish Ministers in Edinburgh and perhaps the same number of Ministers, or even more, down here because of the problems of co-operation and co-ordination.
§ Mr. Crawford
The hon. Member is talking about duplication of activities and so on. Could he please tell the committee how he can reconcile this with what he was saying in his own October 1974 General Election manifesto, in which he called for the establishment of a Scottish Assembly with economic powers?
§ Mr. Taylor
The hon. Gentleman is well aware that my election manifesto of 1974 supported the decision of my party at the time, which was for an Assembly without an Executive, and it is an Executive that we are talking about at present. At all times the Conservative Party has supported the idea of Assemblies without Executives. The situation has developed since then.
632 What we want to talk about is what is before us at present. The hon. Gentleman is talking about changes. I look at his Bench and think of other hon. Members, such as the hon. Member for Banff (Mr. Watt). Here we have the danger of the devil rebuking sin. The hon. Member for Banff has been not only a member of the Conservative Party but a member of the Liberal Party—in fact, every party except the Ulster Unionist Party. Looking at his record, I think that the right hon. Member for Down, South ought to watch his back.
We have other problems—for example, the problem of creating more Ministers. This will undoubtedly be very bureaucratic. I think that the Minister of State would accept that if one has several more Ministers appointed, one is bound to have more civil servants. There is no doubt that, apart from the obvious factor of more Ministers creating more civil servants, there will also be the problem of demarcation.
I ask the Secretary of State to consider this matter. If on a Friday morning at 10 o'clock, after the Assembly is established, he and the Chief Secretary or the Scottish Prime Minister, whatever he is called, asked to see the Permanent Secretary in the Scottish Office on an urgent matter, to whom do they go? If one finds, for example, that the hon. Member for Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth wants to see a leading Scottish civil servant and the Scottish Minister concerned or Scottish Secretary both want to see him, to whom do they go, or are they to have, as inevitably will be the case, separate groups and separate compartments?
I see that for the first time in these dull, boring debates, we have smiles in the Official Box. We hear laughter. The 12,000 Scottish Office civil servants are already thinking.
When one has Scottish Ministers and United Kingdom Ministers and a Department in which responsibility is divided, and they are responsible for plant life and we are responsible for the veterinary services and all the rest of it, where does the buck stop? We shall find perhaps parity to some degree, but we shall find the most appalling demarcation problems, and one will inevitably have a separate 633 Scottish Civil Service in practice, if not in theory or in law. There is no doubt, as the right hon. Member for Down, South so clearly told us, that it is impossible to try to arrive at this halfway house in which we attempt to have two separate executives with one Civil Service answerable in some ways to two Parliaments. It would be unnecessarily bureaucratic and will create confusion.
In his very helpful speech, the hon. Member for Inverness said he thought that we should leave the matter to the Scottish Assembly. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. Gourlay) has also said "Let us leave the number and the kind of Ministers to the Scottish Assembly. Let the Assembly decide". I think that we must make a decision of either letting the Assemblymen make up their minds on most things or laying down some kind of restrictions. We have laid down a precise division of powers. The Secretary of State is well aware of the executive powers of the Assembly. Not only are we having guidelines or headings but we are detailing those parts of Acts for which the Assembly will be responsible and other parts for which others will be responsible. In those circumstances there is no doubt that we should lay down some indication of limits.
At present we have five, six or seven Ministers, depending on whether one includes Ministers in the House of Lords, the Lord Advocate and so on. If we have more than 10 Scottish Ministers or Scottish Secretaries in addition, it makes a nonsense bearing in mind that there is no additional executive power because of the Bill. We are simply parcelling it up.
The other reason why we should restrict the number of Under-Secretaries, or whatever they are to be called, is that we shall have a competitive situation. I think that the hon. Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) would certainly accept this. If we have what is in effect a Scottish Education Minister in Edinburgh and a Scottish Education Minister down here, obviously they will want equality of knowledge and undoubtedly they will have a bureaucracy added on, with one or two more civil servants to provide more information.
In addition, because of the problems of knowing a mass of limiting and restrictive powers, there will be a demand for 634 a large number of Ministers or Secretaries in the Scottish Assembly. Perhaps I may point hon. Members to some of the devolved powers, and some of those powers that are devolved to the Executive but not within the legislative competence of the Assembly. It is not merely health, education and housing. We have such strange things as sex discrimination, race discrimination, criminal statistics, road traffic, pollution, land use and development, and grants to universities. These is no doubt that in a Scottish Assembly there will I be a large number of such areas in which there is a small amount of devolved executive power, and this will demand the appointment of a Minister or an assistant Minister, or Secretary or an assistant Secretary.
For those reasons, we on the Opposition Benches are very much opposed to giving a carte blanche to the Scottish Assembly to appoint as many members of its Executive as it wishes. Bearing in mind that the powers are precisely laid down, we think that there should be some kind of limitation on numbers.
I think that it was generally accepted by those who have proposed and supported the amendment that there is no doubt that this will be a bureaucratic measure and that the Assembly will add enormously to the cost of administration through the numbers involved in the next few years.
Another point of view has been expressed. That is, why we cannot just do away with the regions to make up for this. This was expressed forcibly by the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. Crawford) and was referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith). The position is that this is what is called the embarrassment factor by the hon. Member for West Lothian. If there is a case for simplifying Scottish local government, let us do that now. Why cannot we say that if there is a better way of undertaking local government, let us go ahead and do it? The idea that somehow in a magical way we can make single-tier government by abolishing the regions is nonsense. Scotland has never had single-tier local government outwith the cities. There is no doubt that we could have single-tier local government, but only if we were to have areas so large as to make them not local government areas.
§ Mr. Taylor
I shall certainly not give way to the hon. Gentleman again. The SNP seems to be in favour of having all the power going to the districts and giving them local income tax powers. That would be bureaucratic nonsense. If the Eastwood District Council had its own police service, and so on, and the Westwood District Council did not, that would be nonsense, and the hon. Gentleman knows it.
This is simply not something that can be done easily. It might be possible by having a whole new tier of local committees, but that would be a new tier of its own. This is not an easy matter. It is not something that we can do with a snap of the fingers. We have had a Royal Commission looking at ways of doing this. It said that it could not be done. We have had a committee looking at it. It said that we could move towards this with a series of joint committees.
It is no argument to say that one can set up an expensive and costly new Executive because that money can be recouped by cutting out a tier of local government. Things cannot be done as easily as that, even though the SNP thinks otherwise. It is on a par with somebody who buys a car this week in the hope that he will win the pools next week to give him the money to pay for it. If that person buys the car and then fails to win the pools, obviously he is in a mess. Therefore, to take such an easy line as to think that money will be saved by having a single tier of local government is no easy solution to the matter and will not work.
My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith), in an excellent speech, pointed to the danger of creating appalling confusion among the general public about the government of Scotland. There will be six categories of Minister to cope with. We shall still have a Secretary of State, Ministers of State and Under-Secretaries of State—and if that is not the case I hope that the Secretary of State will tell us clearly in his reply. There will also be First Secretaries, Scottish Secretaries and Assistant Secre- 636 taries. People find the situation confusing at present, and I do not know what will happen when and if this Bill gets through. There will be the same appalling confusion in London.
Since people are to be subjected to an enormous amount of over-government, with all the extra cost and extra administration that goes with it, the Government must say what are the advantages of having another Executive. The right hon. Member for Down, South was right to say that there is a logical case for saying that there should be a totally separate Scotland. That might damage jobs in the area of the hon. Member for Perth and East Perthshire, but that is one of the consequences he will have to consider. It is more logical to take that view than to have a halfway house with two Executives, one subsidiary to the other and with no proper division of powers.
I ask the Committee to accept the amendment, which will put some restraint on this appalling confusion. Let us also throw out the clause, because it will create extra bureaucracy, will be most expensive, and will bring about such a sense of frustration that eventually it will lead to the break-up of Britain.
§ Mr. Millan
This debate has covered a number of amendments, although it seems to have stimulated discussion that has gone well beyond those amendments, and in some cases well beyond the clause.
We are dealing with the simple question whether it should be possible for the First Secretary to appoint an assistant to the Scottish Secretaries. At the end of the day it comes down to the question of practical administration. There are no restrictions in this clause on the number of Scottish Secretaries who may be appointed by the First Secretary or, more strictly speaking, by the Secretary of State on the advice of the First Secretary.
Let me explain why we have taken that point of view. We believe that matters involving the administration, what the Executive should be, and how many members should make it up are essentially for the Assembly or, more accurately, for the First Secretary to determine. We do not believe that these 637 are matters that should be laid down by this House in the Scotland Bill. There is no reason to suppose that the First Secretary of the Scottish Assembly will behave any less responsibly than will a Prime Minister in this place.
There may be a view—which I shall come to in a minute—that Prime Ministers at Westminster have tended to appoint too many Ministers. That is not a matter on which I should particularly care to comment, but it is a perfectly legitimate point of view to hold. In this case we shall have to rely on the good sense of the First Secretary, the Members of the Assembly and the Scottish people, because what is missing from much of our debates on these matters is any sense of the political reality or the political atmosphere in which these matters will be determined in Scotland.
There will be intense interest in the Assembly in Scotland. There will be great interest in how the First Secretary forms his administration, and the ordinary people of Scotland will certainly take a view about whether the number of Scottish Secretaries appointed is reasonable or excessive in view of the powers available to the Assembly. Basically, that matter is best left to the Assembly and the First Secretary.
Many of the arguments tonight were not about the particular question of the assistant secretaries but about the size of the Executive as a whole. I should point out to the Committee that there is not a single amendment on the Notice Paper dealing with the size of the Executive. If there had been, of course I should have been happy to deal with that particular matter.
In spite of what I said a moment ago, there is a perfectly legitimate argument —although I might not accept it—for the House to lay down restrictions, if it so desires, on the total numbers of the Scottish Executive, on a parallel with the Ministers of the Crown Act, which puts certain restrictions on the powers of the Prime Minister in relation of the size of the Administration at Westminster. That is a legitimate argument, but it is not particularly relevant to the amendments on the Notice Paper. It would have been relevant if hon. Members had tabled amendments directed towards remedying what they see as an excessive 638 openness in the way the clause is now drafted.
However, to attempt to remedy what some hon. Members feel to be a fault in the clause about the total number that may be appointed to the Executive by removing the particular possibility of the appointment of assistant secretaries seems, frankly, to be rather absurd. The number that might have been appointed as assistant secretaries could equally well, under the terms of the clause, and even if we accepted the amendment, be appointed as full Scottish Secretaries. One would be in the absurd situation of having accepted an amendment, ostensibly to reduce the Executive, the effect of which would be more likely to increase the Executive.
As a matter of practical administration it makes sense to provide for assistant secretaries, on the parallel of what we have here at Westminster, as the equivalent of Under-Secretaries. That is a perfectly sensible piece of administration. If I were to have to take a view as to whether the Executive should consist of a large or small number of Scottish Secretaries, it would be that it should be kept to a limited number, and I hope that the First Secretary will also take that view. I agree with hon. Members who say that a proliferation of Ministers or Scottish Secretaries with no particular functions to perform would not be a sensible way of running either this place or a Scottish Executive.
But these are basically matters for the Scots themselves—the Assembly and the First Secretary—to determine. I am giving a personal view. I do not believe that this is a restriction that we should write into the Bill.
§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
Does the right hon. Gentleman, or do the Government, envisage that if those Ministers are created in the Assembly there will not be Ministers of State and Under-Secretaries of State in the House of Commons?
§ Mr. Millan
Those are not matters for me. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] Perhaps hon. Members will allow me to give the answer. They are matters for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. I have always made it clear that when the Assembly is operating the rôle and responsibilities of the Secretary of State 639 will be considerably diminished. My personal view is that the number of Ministers is bound to be reduced. I have said that on other public occasions. Whether it has cheered up my ministerial colleagues at the Scottish Office, I do not know, but it is not a matter for me.
§ Mr. Millan
It is not a matter for a Government view. As the right hon. Gentleman will know, because he once held the post of Patronage Secretary, these are matters for the Prime Minister.
§ Mr. Millan
If the Committee wishes to have the Prime Minister's view, it will have to ask my right hon. Friend, but I doubt whether he would be willing to give it on this narrow amendment.
I was about to deal briefly with one or two of the wider questions that have been raised in relation to the clause itself. First, on the question whether there should be a Scottish Executive, it is intrinsic in the devolution arrangements that we are providing in the Bill that there should. I have found it difficult from time to time to understand what the Conservative view on devolution is. I had understood that the Douglas-Home proposals had been abandoned not only by the Conservative Party but by Lord Home himself in his speeches on the Scotland and Wales Bill. Therefore, I understand that these proposals are no longer on the agenda.
It is intrinsic in our scheme of devolution that there should be a Scottish Executive. That is not only the Government's view. I believe that anything masquerading aes a sensible scheme of devolution
§ to Scotland which did not include a Scottish Executive would be completely unacceptable to Scottish opinion. We are providing an Executive which will have considerable executive powers, but also considerable legislative powers. In that context, the arrangements provided in the clause will enable the First Secretary, through the intermediary of the Secretary of State, to make appointments to form an Administration that will adequately cover the various executive and legislative functions to be devolved to the Assembly, to which we shall come later in the Bill.
§ Therefore, the clause is a key clause. It establishes the Scottish Executive and allows a First Secretary and additional Scottish Secretaries to be appointed, and provides the mechanisms for those appointments to be made. It is a very important part of the Bill. I commend the clause to the Committee and recommend hon. Members to reject the amendment.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Will my right hon. Friend say something about the double loyalties of civil servants? There is a very real problem here that has been discussed by the Committee.
§ Mr. Millan
There will be no question of double loyalties because the administrative arrangements that we have already considered will provide that any individual—
§ It being Ten o'clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order [16th November] and the Resolution [22nd November], to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 246, Noes 276.643
|Division No. 30]||AYES||align="right">[10.00 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Boscawen, Hon Robert||Bulmer, Esmond|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Bottomley, Peter||Burden, F. A.|
|Alison, Michael||Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)||Carlisle, Mark|
|Arnold, Tom||Bradford, Rev Robert||Carson, John|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Braine, Sir Bernard||Chalker, Mrs Lynda|
|Atkinson, David (Bournemouth, East)||Brittan, Leon||Churchill, W. S.|
|Baker, Kenneth||Brocklebank-Fowler, C.||Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)|
|Bell, Ronald||Brooke, Peter||Clark, William (Croydon S)|
|Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)||Brotherton, Michael||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Benyon, W.||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Clegg, Walter|
|Biffen, John||Bryan, Sir Paul||Cockcroft, John|
|Biggs Davison, John||Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)|
|Blaker, Peter||Buck, Antony||Cope, John|
|Body, Richard||Budgen, Nick||Cormack, Patrick|
|Corrie, John||King, Evelyn (South Dorset)||Raison, Timothy|
|Costain, A. P.||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rathbone, Tim|
|Crouch, David||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Crowder, F. P.||Knox, David||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Lamont, Norman||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Latham, Michael (Melton)||Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Lawrence, Ivan||Rhodes James, R.|
|Drayson, Burnaby||Lawson, Nigel||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||Le Merchant, Spencer||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Dunlop, John||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Durant, Tony||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff WW)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Lloyd, Ian||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||Loveridge, John||Ross, William (Londonderry)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Luce, Richard||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Emery, Peter||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)|
|Eyre, Reginald||McCrindle, Robert||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Fairbairn, Nicholas||McCusker, H.||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Macfarlane, Neil||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Fell, Anthony||MacGregor, John||Scott, Nicholas|
|Finsberg Geoffrey||MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)||Shepherd, Colin|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Madel, David||Shersby, Michael|
|Forman, Nigel||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Silvester, Fred|
|Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)||Marten, Neil||Sims, Roger|
|Fox, Marcus||Mates, Michael||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||Mather, Carol||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fry, Peter||Maude, Angus||Smith, Dudley (Warwick)|
|Galbrailh, Hon T. G. D.||Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald||Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)|
|Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)||Mawby, Ray||Speed, Keith|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Spence, John|
|Godber, Rt Hon Joseph||Mayhew, Patrick||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)|
|Goodlad, Alastair||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)|
|Gorst, John||Miller, Hal (Sromsgrove)||Stainton, Keith|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Mills, Peter||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||Miscampbell, Norman||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)|
|Grist, Ian||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Grylls. Michael||Moate, Roger||Stokes, John|
|Hall, Sir John||Molyneaux, James||Stradling Thomas, J.|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Monro, Hector||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Montgomery, Fergus||Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Moore, John (Croydon C)||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)|
|Hannam, John||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Tebbit, Norman|
|Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morgan, Geraint||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Morris, Michael (Northampton S)||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Townsend, Cyril D.|
|Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)||Trotter, Neville|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Mudd, David||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Neave, Airey||Vaughan, Dr Gerard|
|Hodgson, Robin||Nelson, Anthony||Viggers, Peter|
|Holland, Philip||Neubert, Michael||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Hordern, Peter||Newton, Tony||Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)|
|Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Nott, John||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek|
|Howeli, David (Guildford)||Ogden, Eric||Wall, Patrick|
|Hunt, David (Wirral)||Oppenheim, Mrs Sally||Walters, Dennis|
|Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Hurd, Douglas||Page, Richard (Workington)||Wells, John|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Parkinson, Cecil||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Pattie, Geoffrey||Wiggin, Jerry|
|James, David||Percival, Ian||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd)||Peyton, Rt Hon John||Wood, Rt Hon Richard|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)||Pink, R. Bonner||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch||Younger, Hon George|
|Jopling, Michael||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg|
|Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Price, David (Eastleigh)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Prior, Rt Hon James||Mr. George Gardiner and Mr. Iain Sproat.|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Pym, Rt Hon Francis|
|Allaun, Frank||Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)|
|Anderson, Donald||Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)||Buchan, Norman|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Bidwell, Sydney||Buchanan, Richard|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Bishop, Rt Hon Edward||Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)|
|Ashley, Jack||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)|
|Ashton, Joe||Boardman, H.||Campbell, Ian|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)||Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Canavan, Dennis|
|Atkinson, Norman||Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Cant, R. B.|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Carmichael, Neil|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Carter-Jones, Lewis|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Bradley, Tom||Cartwright, John|
|Bates, Alf||Bray, Dr Jeremy||Castle, Rt Hon Barbara|
|Bean, R. E.||Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Clemitson, Ivor|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol 8)||Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)||Prescott, John|
|Cohen, Stanley||Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Coleman, Donald||Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)||Radice, Giles|
|Colquhoun, Ms Maureen||Janner, Greville||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)|
|Concannon,J. D.||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Corbett, Robin||Jeger, Mrs Lena||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Crawford, Douglas||John, Brynmor||Robinson, Geoffrey|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Johnson, James (Hull West)||Roderick, Caerwyn|
|Cronin, John||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Cryer, Bob||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rowlands, Ted|
|Davidson, Arthur||Judd, Frank||Ryman, John|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Kaufman, Gerald||Sandelson, Neville|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Kelley, Richard||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Kerr, Russell||Sever, John|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Lambie, David||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)|
|Deakins, Eric||Lamborn, Harry||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Lamond, James||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Lee, John||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)|
|Dempsey, James||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Silverman, Julius|
|Doig, Peter||Lever, Rt Hon Harold||Skinner, Dennis|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Small, William|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Litterick, Tom||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Loyden, Eddie||Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)|
|Dunn, James A.||Luard, Evan||Spearing, Nigel|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lyon, Alexander (York)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Eadie, Alex||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Stallard, A. W.|
|Edge, Geoff||Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||McCartney, Hugh||Stewart, Rt Hon Donald|
|English, Michael||MacCormick, Iain||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)|
|Ennals, Rt Hon David||McDonald, Dr Oonagh||Stoddart, David|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||McElhone, Frank||Stott, Roger|
|Evans, loan (Aberdare)||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Strang, Gavin|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor||Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.|
|Ewing, Harry (Stiring)||Mackintosh, John P.||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)||Maclennan, Robert||Swain, Thomas|
|Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Madden, Max||Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)|
|Flannery, Martin||Magee, Bryan||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mahon, Simon||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Ford, Ben||Marks, Kenneth||Thompson, George|
|Forrester, John||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Tierney, Sydney|
|Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Tomlinson, John|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Mason, Rt Hon Roy||Torney, Tom|
|Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Maynard, Miss Joan||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Meacher, Michael||Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)|
|George, Bruce||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Gilbert, Dr John||Mikardo, Ian||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Ginsburg, David||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce||Ward, Michael|
|Golding, John||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Watkins, David|
|Gould, Bryan||Mitchell, Austin||Weetch, Ken|
|Gourlay, Harry||Molloy, William||Weitzman, David|
|Graham, Ted||Moonman, Eric||Wellbeloved, James|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Welsh, Andrew|
|Grant, John (Islington C)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Grimond, Rt Hon J.||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||White, James (Pollok)|
|Grocott, Bruce||Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick||Whitlock, William|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Newens, Stanley||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Hart, Rt Hon [...]udith||Noble, Mike||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Oakes, Gordon||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Hatton, Frank||O'Halloran, Michael||Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)|
|Hayman, Mrs Helene||Orbach, Maurice||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Henderson, Douglas||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Hooley, Frank||Ovenden, John||Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huytnn)|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Owen, Rt Hon Dr David||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Horam, John||Padley, Walter||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)||Palmer, Arthur||Woodall, Alec|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Pardoe, John||Woof, Robert|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Park, George||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Huckfield, Les||Parker, John||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesoy)||Parry, Robert|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pavitt, Laurie||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Pendry, Tom||Mr, Joseph Harper and Mr. James Tinn.|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Perry, Ernest|
§ Question accordingly negatived.645
§ The Chairman then proceeded to put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the Business to be concluded at Ten o'clock.646
§ Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 276, Noes 245.649
|Division No. 31]||AYES||[10.15 p.m.|
|Allaun, Frank||Evans, John (Newton)||Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson|
|Anderson, Donald||Ewlng, Harry (Stirling)||McCartney, Hugh|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Ewing, Mrs Winifred (Moray)||MacCormick, Iain|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Fernyhough, Rt Hon E.||McDonald, D Oonagh|
|Ashley, Jack||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McElhone, Frank|
|Ashton, Joe||Flannery, Martin||MacFarquhar, Roderick|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston N)||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor|
|Atkinson, Norman||Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Bain, Mrs Margaret||Ford, Ben||Maclennan, Robert|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Forrester, John||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)||Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Madden, Max|
|Bates, Alf||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Magee, Bryan|
|Bean, R. E.||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Mahon, Simon|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Garrett, John (Norwich S)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.|
|Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)||George, Bruce||Marks, Kenneth|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Gilbert, Dr John||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Bishop, Rt Hon Edward||Ginsburg, David||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Golding, John||Mason, Rt Hon Roy|
|Boardman, H.||Gould, Bryan||Maynard, Miss Joan|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Gourlay, Harry||Meacher, Michael|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mellish, Rt Hon Robert|
|Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur||Grant, John (Islington C)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Boyden, James (Bish Auck)||Grimond, Rt Hon J.||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Bradley, Tom||Grocott, Bruce||Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mitchell, Austin|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Harper, Joseph||Molloy, William|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Moonman, Eric|
|Buchan, Norman||Hart, Rt Hon Judith||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Buchanan, Richard||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)||Hatton, Frank||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)||Hayman, Mrs Helene||Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Campbell, Ian||Heffer, Eric S||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King|
|Canavan, Dennis||Henderson, Douglas||Newens, Stanley|
|Cant, R. B.||Hooley, Frank||Noble, Mike|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hooson, Emlyn||Oakes, Gordon|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Horam, John||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Cartwright, John||Howell, Rt Hon Denis (B ham. Sm H)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Castle, Rt Hon Barbara||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Ovenden, John|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Huckfield, Les||Owen, Rt Hon Dr David|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)||Padley, Walter|
|Coleman, Donald||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Colquhoun, Ms Maureen||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Pardoe, John|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Park, George|
|Corbett, Robin||Hunter, Adam||Parker, John|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)||Parry, Robert|
|Crawford, Douglas||Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)||Pendry, Tom|
|Cronin, John||Janner, Grevlile||Perry, Ernest|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Prescott, John|
|Cryer, Bob||Jeger, Mrs Lena||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||Radice, Giles|
|Dalyell, Tam||John, Brynmor||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Johnson, James (Hull West)||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)||Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Davies, Denzll (Llanelli)||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Robinson Geoffrey|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Roderick, Caerwyn|
|Deakins, Eric||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Judd, Frank||Rose, Paul B.|
|de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Kaufman, Gerald||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Dell, Rt Hon Edmund||Kelley, Richard||Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)|
|Dempsey, James||Kerr, Russell||Rowlands, Ted|
|Doig, Peter||Lambie, David||Ryman, John|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lamborn, Harry||Sandelson, Neville|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lamond, James||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Latham, Arthur (Paddington)||Sever, John|
|Dunn, James A.||Lee, John||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Eadie, Alex||Lever, Rt Hon Harold||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Edge, Geoff||Lewis, Ron (Carlisie)||Short, Mrs Renée (Wolv NE)|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Litterick, Tom||Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)|
|English, Michael||Loyden, Eddie||Silverman, Julius|
|Ennals, Rt Hon David||Luard, Evan||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Lyon, Alexander (York)||Small, William|
|Evans, loan (Aberdare)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)||Thompson, George||Willey, Rt Hon Frederick|
|Spearing, Nigel||Tierney, Sydney||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Spriggs, Leslie||Tomlinson, John||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Stallard, A. W.||Torney, Tom||Williams, Sir Thomas (Warrington)|
|Steel, Rt Hon David||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Stewart, Rt Hon Donald||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)||Wilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)|
|Stoddart, David||Ward, Michael||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Stott, Roger||Watkins, David||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Strang, Gavin||Weetch, Ken||Woodall, Alec|
|Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.||Weitzman, David||Woof, Robert|
|Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley||Wellbeloved, James||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Swain, Thomas||Welsh, Andrew||Young, David (Bolton E)|
|Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)||White, Frank R. (Bury)|
|Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)||White, James (Pollok)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)||Whitlock, William||Mr. Ted Graham and Mr James Tinn.|
|Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)|
|Adley, Robert||Finsberg, Geoffrey||Luce, Richard|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Fisher, Sir Nigel||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Alison, Michael||Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)||McCrindle, Robert|
|Amery, Rt Hon Julian||Fookes, Miss Janet||McCusker, H.|
|Arnold, Tom||Forman, Nigel||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C't'd)||MacGregor, John|
|Atkinson, David (Bournemouth, East)||Fox, Marcus||MacKay, Andrew (Stechford)|
|Baker, Kenneth||Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)|
|Bell, Ronald||Fry, Peter||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)|
|Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham)||Galbraith, Hon T. G. D.||Madel, David|
|Benyon, W.||Gardiner, George (Reigate)||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Biffen, John||Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)||Marten, Neil|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)||Mates, Michael|
|Blaker, Peter||Glyn, Dr Alan||Mather, Carol|
|Body, Richard||Godber, Rt Hon Joseph||Maude, Angus|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Goodlad, Alastair||Maudling, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Bottomley, Peter||Gorst, John||Mawby, Ray|
|Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown)||Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent)||Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Bradford, Rev Robert||Gray, Hamish||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Grist, Ian||Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove)|
|Brittan, Leon||Grylls, Michael||Mills, Peter|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, C.||Hall, Sir John||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Brooke, Peter||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Brotherton, Michael||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Moate, Roger|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Hampson, Dr Keith||Molyneaux, James|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Hannam, John||Monro, Hector|
|Buck, Antony||Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Budgen, Nick||Haselhurst, Alan||Moore, John (Croydon C)|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Hastings, Stephen||More, Jasper (Ludlow)|
|Burden, F. A.||Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Morgan, Geraint|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Hayhoe, Barney||Morris, Michael (Northampton S)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Higgins, Terence L.||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Carson, John||Hodgson, Robin||Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester)|
|Chalker, Mrs Lynda||Holland, Philip||Mudd, David|
|Churchill, W. S.||Hordern, Peter||Neave, Airey|
|Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)||Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Nelson, Anthony|
|Clark, William (Croydon S)||Howell, David (Guildford)||Neubert, Michael|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Hunt, David (Wirral)||Newton, Tony|
|Clegg, Walter||Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Nott, John|
|Cockroft, John||Hurd, Douglas||Oppenheim, Mrs Sally|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol W)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby)|
|Cope, John||Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)||Page, Richard (Workington)|
|Cormack, Patrick||James, David||Parkinson, Cecil|
|Corrie, John||Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd&W'df'd)||Pattie, Geoffrey|
|Costain, A. P.||Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)||Percival, Ian|
|Crouch, David||Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Peyton, Rt Hon John|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jopling, Michael||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford)||Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch|
|Dean, Paul (N Somerset)||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Kershaw, Anthony||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Kimball, Marcus||Prior, Rt Hon James|
|Drayson, Burnaby||King, Eveiyn (South Dorset)||Pym, Rt Hon Francis|
|du Cann, Rt Hon Edward||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Raison, Timothy|
|Dunlop, John||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Rathbone, Tim|
|Durant, Tony||Lamont, Norman||Rawlinson, Rt Hon Sir Peter|
|Dykes, Hugh||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)|
|Eden, Rt Hon Sir John||Latham, Michael (Melton)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Lawrence, Ivan||Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts)|
|Emery, Peter||Lawson, Nigel||Ronton, Tim (Mid-Sussex)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Rhodes James, R.|
|Fairbairn, Nicholas||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Ridley, Hon Nicholas|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Lloyd, Ian||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Fell, Anthony||Loveridge, John||Rifkind, Malcolm|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Spence, John||Vaughan, Dr Gerald|
|Ross, William (Londonderry)||Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)||Viggers, Peter|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne V)|
|Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)||Sproat, Iain||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Royle, Sir Anthony||Stainton, Keith||Walker-Smith, Rt Hon Sir Derek|
|Sainsbury, Tim||Stanbrook, Ivor||Wall, Patrick|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)||Walters, Dennis|
|Scott, Nicholas||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Stokes, John||Wells, John|
|Shelton, William (Streatham)||Stradling Thomas, J.||Whitelaw, Rt Hon William|
|Shepherd, Colin||Tapsell, Peter||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Shersby, Michael||Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Silvester, Fred||Taylor, Teddy (Cathcart)||Wood, Rt Hon Richard|
|Sims, Roger||Tebbil, Norman||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Temple-Morris, Peter||Younger, Hon George|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)|
|Smith, Dudley (Warwick)||Townsend, Cyril D.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Smith, Timothy John (Ashfield)||Trotter, Neville||Mr. Spencer Le Marchant and Mr. Michael Roberts.|
|Speed, Keith||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
§ Clause 21 ordered to stand part of the Bill.