§ 9.18 p.m.
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Brynmor John)
I beg to move.
§ That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (England) Order 1978, which we laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.
§ Mr. Speaker
It may be convenient to take at the same time the following motions:That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (Wales) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.
§ Mr. John
If the orders are approved, they will be in existence for the first Assembly elections on 7th June 1979. I am sure that the whole House wishes to express its thanks for the way that the Commissions, under your chairmanship, Mr. Speaker carried out the remit given by this House. In particular, Parliament decided on a procedure lasting less than five months, which allowed for draft proposals, one round of representations but no local inquiries followed by the final report.
The Commissions obviously felt, to some extent, the absence of the assistance which local inquiries and further representations would have given them in gauging the strength of support and opposition both for their proposals and for any amendment put forward. That was inevitable this time, but in future the boundary commissions are obliged, when reporting upon a completed parliamentary review, to append a supplement stating their views on the repercussions that those proposals will have upon the European constituencies. There will thus be a full procedure for this in future.
The Commissions have had two major statutory limitations placed upon their considerations. The first was a not very onerous one, namely, that a European constituency must consist of two or more parliamentary constituencies and that parliamentary constituencies could not be divided into two or more European ones; secondly, that each constituency should have an electorate as near to the national 1154 average as possible, bearing in mind any special geographical considerations which might apply.
The average electorate in England is 516,436; the highest constituency, which is Hampshire, West, is 10.4 per cent. above that, while the lowest, Lancashire, East, is 6.9 per cent below it. Forty-four of the 66 seats in England are within 5 per cent. of the target figure.
In Wales, the average electorate is 513,793 and in Scotland 473,256. Clearly in the case of Scotland, geographical factors modify the size of the electorate more than elsewhere, with the result that in the Highlands and Islands constituency there is a deficit below the average size of 37.4 per cent.
Despite the truncated nature of the inquiry, the English Commission received over 800 representations. Almost uniquely in this modern world, most of the representations received from individuals and political parties approved of the proposals put forward in draft by the Commissions.
From Wales, 31 submissions were received, but I regret to say that more than one-third were irrelevant to the terms of reference of the inquiry—but that only goes to show that the Welsh are always trying to change the rules. In the final proposals for England, in some cases the Boundary Commission took note of the local representations, because it made four revisions of its draft proposals, affecting eight European constituencies. It also changed the name of one.
The greatest number of individual representations on one subject—that is, 200—was against the inclusion of Plymouth in the Cornwall constituency.—[HON. MEMBERS:"Hear, hear."] but for the reasons set out in paragraph 47, on page 15 of the report, the Commission felt unable to accede to those submissions. [HON. MEMBERS:"Hear, hear."] In Wales, the Commission made no changes from its draft proposals, while in Scotland it made two, plus one change of name.
The Government have accepted the final proposals and laid them before the House without modification. They must of course be approved or rejected as a whole. It is inevitable, as some of the muted interjections have just shown, that 1155 some of the individual recommendations and some of the detailed proposals will be seen by some as unsatisfactory but viewed as a whole, the Government believe that they are sensible and balanced. We therefore recommend them to the House.
§ Mr. David Howell (Guildford) rose—
§ 9.23 p.m.
As the Minister reminded us, these orders form part of the arrangements necessary for the European Assembly elections on 7th June next year. They flow from the shortened boundary procedure laid down under schedule 2 of the European Assembly Elections Act. Although we are not discussing other parts of the arrangements necessary for these elections, obviously these things are all of a piece and it will be interesting to know when the other part of these arrangements—the regulations governing the conduct of the elections—is likely to appear.
We are a little puzzled about this. The draft was published late in August and by now we would have expected those regulations to have come forward, as well as the ones that we are discussing. Until they do, those concerned with preparing for the elections, either in the parties or in the official machine, cannot get the go-ahead for setting up their arrangements.
It would be helpful to know tonight what has happened to the other regulations, particularly since the draft gave 30th November as the date for their coming into force. November has come and gone and we still have not seen them. The more we can hear about what has happened, whether there are any reasons for the delay, and about proposals for changing the style of those regulations, the better for this House.
The Conservative Opposition accept the final boundary proposals as outlined in the orders. My hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) will be saying.a word later—if he catches your eye, Mr. 1156 Speaker—about the specific aspects for Scotland. But, as the Minister has confirmed, on the whole there has been a general acceptance of the pattern that has come forward for confirmation in these orders.
There is no doubt that there might have been fewer difficulties in some areas if the local inquiries had been allowed, but the idea of the full Boundary Commission procedure was ruled out by virtue of the very timing with which the original Bill was brought forward. Once there had been the delay in bringing forward the original Bill, it was impossible, so it turned out—many of us foresaw this—to have the full Boundary Commission procedure.
Some of my right hon. and hon. Friends, and the official part of the Conservative Party, originally suggested some changes to the Boundary Commission proposals. One was that the Richmond and Easington parliamentary constituencies should be swapped between European Assembly constituencies 4 and 5. A second was that Greater London European Assembly constituencies should be based upon existing borough boundaries.
A third problem, which the Minister rightly mentioned, is that there have been very strong feelings in Cornwall about the way in which things have fallen out, and some of my hon. Friends will wish to make further points about that.
We are very glad that the problem concerning Richmond and Easington was dealt with. The proposals that we put forward concerning Greater London were not accepted. This we regret, because it means that some London boroughs—such as, for instance, Barnet—will be sliced up, with parts of them in one European Assembly constituency and parts in another. This is more than just quibbling, because it creates enormous difficulties for the registration officers, who will have to move between and operate in more than one European Assembly constituency. There are problems there, and in our view it would have been better if our proposals had been followed and the boundaries had kept to the London borough boundaries.
Apart from those worries, we are glad to agree with the final pattern, and I hope that this evening the House will do the same, so that the organisations for these 1157 constituencies can now be set up and the candidates selected. That is what the Conservative Party now intends to do. We made what plans we could prior to these regulations being approved by the House. Now that half the regulations for the elections have been brough forward, further progress could be made. We urge the Government and the Home Office Ministers to bring forward the other regulations, so that the whole arrangements can be confirmed and we can proceed to 7th June next year.
§ 9.30 p.m.
§ Mr. John Nott (St. Ives)
I wish to say a few words on item no. 46 relating to the Cornwall and Plymouth constituency. I speak for a large majority of people in Cornwall, including those in my own constituency, when I say that we all deplore the fact that in this case local inquiries did not take place.
Cornwall feels passionately about its separate identity. It feels strongly that it has been designated with Plymouth as a single European constituency and has had little opportunity to express a contrary view other than by written representations which were made to the Parliamentary Boundary Commission. The Minister said that about 200 objections had been lodged. But those 200 objections were mainly from organisations which, of course, embraced a multitude of individual views. Virtually every local authority in the country, the county council and the Members of Parliament, regardless of party, objected to the designation of a single constituency which would contain Plymouth and Cornwall together. Therefore, to suggest that there were only 200 objections understates the strength of feeling in Cornwall.
Among the letters I received this morning was one from the Cornish Stannery Parliament, which sometimes is regarded in the English national press as a joke. I hope that you will not take offence, Mr. Speaker, when I tell you that the letter was signed by the Lord Protector and Speaker of the Cornish Stannery Parliament.
I quote from the opening two paragraphs:The Royal Duchy of Cornwall was not and is not subject to the Queen's Writ.That is a question of opinion, but it seems to be the strongly held view of the Cor- 1158 nish Stannery Parliament. The letter continues:As such, the activities of Crown Ministers have no lawful validity within the said Duchy. Under the terms of the Charter of Pardon in 1508 it is mandatory for any proposed Bill or order of the Westminster Parliament to be laid before the Stannery Parliament of Cornwall for its assent and consent or rejection prior to enactments at Westminster.I do not suppose the Minister is likely to follow the advice of the Cornish Stannery Parliament, but I wish to put this serious point to him. In spite of the strength of feeling in Cornwall, but because the matter has proceeded to this stage, there is now no opportunity for us to make objections in the normal way through local inquiries. Therefore, will the Minister seriously consider the designation of this constituency? I believe that under paragraph 4(1) of schedule 1 to the European Assembly Elections Act, it is possible for the Government to designate the constituency either as a Cornwall constituency or a Plymouth one. If the Secretary of State picks a Cornish parliamentary constituency, I understand that the High Sheriff of Cornwall, who is always a highly reputable man, will be the returning officer in the joint constituency of Cornwall and Plymouth, whereas if Plymouth were chosen it would be the Lord Mayor of Plymouth.
Our objection to Plymouth is not solely that the Foreign Secretary represents one of the constituencies in that town, although that is good enough reason for anybody to take the grossest objection to Plymouth, but that we also feel that it is across the Tamar, it has a different history and a different tradition. Therefore, I hope that in designating the Cornwall and Plymouth constituency, it will be possible to designate it as a Cornish European constituency. That means that the High Sheriff of Cornwall will be the returning officer and the acting returning officer will be the chief executive of the Cornish county council. These matters are strongly felt in Cornwall and I bring them to the Minister's attention.
All of us, regardless of party, deplore the fact that the legislation on this subject was so long delayed that eventually it was not possible for these local inquiries to take place. Had that happened, I am sure that a united view would have been expressed which would have gone across the parties, including all the local 1159 authorities in speaking up for Cornwall's separate history, its geography and its separate identity.
§ Mr. Nott
If the Parliamentary Boundary Commission had met and heard the arguments it is possible—I do not say probable—that the arguments would have been sustained. The Cornish constituencies traditionally have had lower numbers than the average parliamentary constituency and the Boundary Commission would have listened to these arguments. Had this happened I believe that the wishes of the county would have been properly heard. As it is they have not been heard, because of the manner in which this whole measure has been rushed through the House.
§ 9.36 p.m.
§ Mr. Bob Cryer (Keighley)
This is the last vestige of the machinery which has been introduced by the Labour Government against the wishes and the expressed policy of the Labour Party It will take us that bit further into the European Community. In fact, the machinery as set out in this order will constitute the finest buck-passing exercise that this country has seen.
When people eventually track down their Euro MP—probably some Euro fanatic—he will tell them that the area of their concern is almost certainly a matter for the United Kingdom Parliament. One must remember that the Euro MP will be representing half a million people and that he will not be able to cater for their aspirations in the same way as a Member of the United Kingdom Parliament. All this assumes, of course, that the United Kingdom Parliament will have a slightly greater status than a county council. Anyhow, I am absolutely sure that the Euro MPs will attempt very vigorously to suck power away from the United Kingdom Parliament.
I have not the slightest objection to trading relations with Europe extending 1160 well beyond the existing EEC, because we are all Europeans. However, I object to this sort of order, which is a stage further towards a federal State of Europe in which the power will shift away from the United Kingdom Parliament.
The Member of Parliament in this House, when approached by a constituent, may feel that the subject raised is a matter which he does not want to tackle. He also can say quite easily that it is something that is being taken up by the European Assembly, and can then suggest that the constituent go and see his Euro Member. This will set an extremely difficult task for the ordinary person. We must remember that we are living in a time when the media and various sages are talking about the alienation of the public from the political processes. It is a negation of fact to suggest that these boundaries will introduce democracy. They will not cause any great interest among the people of this country. This measure will be put forward as a step towards democracy when in fact it will be a step in the reverse direction.
It will provide an excellent opportunity for decisions not to be made, and responsibility not to be taken by the people who are approached. It will produce a greater degree of cynicism. If we are concerned with developing an elightened, involved and alert electorate we should improve the democratic responsibility of this House and not seek, through these massive constituencies, to escape obligations and decision making.
I make it quite clear that my stand throughout has been to oppose direct elections in support of Labour Party policy. This is an illustration of the gap that always exists, and needs to be narrowed, between a Labour Government in office and the will of the Labour Party which puts candidates forward at the election. We want to see the gap narrowed because that is also a cause of cynicism and disenchantment. We want to see a Labour Government carrying out Labour Party policy. I am not one of those who think that Labour Party members are people to be called out just before elections and given a shot of enthusiasm. I want to see Labour Party policies carried out day after day by an alert, enthusiastic Labour Government that takes notice of and applies Labour Party policies.
1161 The orders before us are against Labour Party policy, not least for the reasons that I have outlined. Originally, Ministers were given the right to vote against the legislation that has led to these orders. After that, by an autocratic unilateral decision, they were allowed to abstain as a general concession to the Labour Party policy laid down by the party's annual conference. The orders represent the end of a miserable road of abrogation of Labour Party policies, and I want to place that fact firmly and clearly on the record.
§ 9.41 p.m.
§ Mr. David Penhaligon (Truro)
The orders certainly represent the end of the miserable road of the establishment preserving its position in the electoral system and effectively excluding all minorities from the European Parliament.
The Minister referred to the protests from Cornwall but rather understated the opposition. But for the protests from Cornwall, there would have been no protest of any consequence. A total of 76 parish councils in Cornwall and 18 in England protested. I have been brought up to make that distinction. When I refer to England, I am usually referring to the area outside Cornwall. There were 75 personal protests from Cornwall and 128 from England. I am sure that the House does not realise how seriously Cornishmen take their heritage and their pride in the individuality of their part of the country.
There was a time when Cornwall returned 32 Members to the House and some believe that our country was more prosperous then, in relation to other countries, than it is now. There was even a time when Cornwall, perhaps rather boldly, tried to take over the entire nation. The songHere's twenty thousand Cornish men will know the reason why!still resounds through the villages and halls of Cornwall as our great national song.
There is no doubt that this is a sad day for Cornwall. It is the first time in any election that the boundary of Cornwall, which is sacrosanct and important, has been ignored. The boundary has been denied by what many people in Cornwall see as a London-based Parliament.
1162 It is not just Cornwall's fear of Plymouth, though Plymouth obviously has something to do with it. We recognise that there are those who would like to see Plymouth run a good part of the southeast of Cornwall and someone who does not understand the history of Cornwall may find some logic in that arrangement. I can assure the House that the Cornish will never take that proposal as read or fair.
Cornwall is a Celtic area, with mining, farming and fishing. If the electorate has to be made up, it could be argued that we have more in common with Pembroke than with some parts of south Devon. We had a language of our own. My surname is part of the language of Cornwall. Penhaligon means"head of the willow valley "—although I have never discovered where the willow valley was. Names such as Trelawney, Trevithick, Penhaligon, Hoskin and Penrose are all derived from the Cornish language. Hon. Members who are laughing do not realise the strength of feeling that exists in Cornwall and which I feel. I was born in Cornwall and am proud of it.
I am also struck by the ludicrous notice taken of an actual sovereignty as opposed to a claimed sovereignty in the allocation of seats for the European Parliament. It is ludicrous that Luxembourg has six seats and Cornwall none and Wales only four—though the Welsh did better than my country. There is no logic in the allocation.
One has to admit that the Boundary Commissions were given a job and certain rules to apply, and that there was little other conclusion that it could have reached. Looking through the list of constituencies draws one's attention to one or two other interesting facts. For example, to get the electorate for Glasgow up to the norm for the country, some 13 parliamentary constituencies had to be combined, thus reaching the necessary figure of 500,000 voters. But even so that represents an area which must be less than half the area of my constituency. How one can respect a boundary commission with such frauds and fiddles, I do not know.
I will certainly oppose the orders. Judging by the number of Members present for the debate, there is not an interest in these boundaries being opposed, but I shall oppose the orders. Hon. Members 1163 may laugh, if they wish, but the Celts of Cornwall regard this as a sad day in their history, for it is the day when their boundary was ignored and denied.
§ 9.46 p.m.
§ Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
The trouble with the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Penhaligon) is that he had the chance to do something for the Celts in Cornwall and all the other Celts if he had wanted to, but he got strung along with the rest on the Liberal Bench, clamouring for Europe, clamouring to get in on this gravy train. It may be that he has not been directly involved in Europe as yet. But it will surprise me if, unlike other Liberals, he has not been across there using the vast amount of money that is available for these fact-finding tours. It will surprise me if he has not sneaked across on a couple of occasions swanning around to find out what is really happening to the Celtic money being spent in Europe. Yes, he has some cheek to complain about the orders.
§ Mr. Penhaligon
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I have not been to Europe swanning around. I can also assure him that if I had not been elected to this House I probably would not have come to London either.
§ Mr. Skinner
The hon. Gentleman will no doubt have his chances if he is returned here at the next General Election. They tell me that he is protesting because of the Celtic problem. I hear on the grapevine that the Liberals are protesting against these orders because they could not have proportional representation. The hon. Gentleman would not get into the next Parliament without proportional representation. Nor would a lot of his colleagues.
I suppose that this is the last chance to debate the catastrophe that we have had to contend with over the years, emanating not only from the right hon. Member for Sidcup (Mr. Heath)—he is not here; he has slipped away. He may be in Europe, but I hope that he is still digging a big hole for the Leader of the Opposition. It could be. The Tories at that time, assisted by those 68 Euro-fanatics on the Labour Benches, were the real villains of this piece way back in 1971. 1164 They allowed Britain to be pushed into Europe.
The real problem we have to face now is how we are to fight these elections. I refer now to the question as it affects the Labour Party, As far as I am aware, there is no money in the Labour Party to fight these elections. We have 1979 coming up, with local elections and a General Election. But it is suggested that we should spend about £100,000 on shoving little bits of paper through people's doors in order to get them to turn out for some pro or anti-Marketeer, or whatever he is, in order that he can get on this gravy train.
At the same time, we have the Government through various Ministers, suggesting that we have to keep the pay for Members of the European Assembly down so as to equate with Westminster salaries. But we all know what will happen when they get across there. They will have no accountability whatsoever. They will not have constituencies. They will start with them—that is true—composed of eight or nine Westminster constituencies or, as in Glasgow's case, 13. But from then on, what will happen? Unlike Members of this House, they are not subject to re-selection across the board yet. They have no accountability at all. It has been suggested that some of them might have quarterly meetings for the Member of Parliament to come along and have a bit of a chat with the various people who will take part in the selection process. What kind of accountability is that?
I know what will happen. As soon as these people get across there, it will not matter what colour they are in terms of the Market, in the greater number of cases —perhaps not all—they will become so imbued with the kind of operations across the water that they will be completely divorced from not only the constituencies here but also this Parliament.
I can well see the occasion, as indicated by my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer), when those Members of Parliament will be putting their snouts into individual constituencies, and starting to tell, for example, my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley what he has to do
§ Mr. Skinner
They will be cutting across the recommendations being made.
In my view, it will be an appalling situation when this thing finally arrives. I am told that the legislation has not been concluded in some of the other countries. I am told that we are about the only country that has, up to now, managed to get all the legislation through. I remember the occasion when we were told that we must rush this thing through because we were the last in the queue concerning the Common Market, yet it has been indicated that some of the countries on the Continent have not actually completed their legislation.
Even at this late stage, can the Minister categorically state that the elections scheduled for 7th June are bound to take place? Can he be absolutely sure that they will, bearing in mind that the question of how these elections will be financed has not been finalised? Can the Minister say whether the parties will use that Continental money which is swilling around in Europe? I am told that the Labour Party is now making approaches to try getting its hands on some of that money. To what extent has it been successful? To what extent have the Tories managed to get hold of some of the money that has been around since the time of the referendum? In what proportion will the money be spent in terms of those against the Common Market and those in favour of it? I should like to know how this money will be used.
We are supposed to be very careful about the way in which money is used in British elections. There are laws about how much can be spent. There have been many cases of election petitions when people have spent 2½p over the odds. What safeguards are there in that direction? I know of none.
Now we have the appalling proposition that the taxpayers, most of whom resent the Common Market from top to bottom, will be asked to finance the elections in some form by some kind of State aid. What a carry on! Here we are in a Common Market, not only having to be the paymasters, in terms of total contributions, but having to put up with all the infringements against fishing territories and in many other areas of our national life, yet we shall be going to the same taxpayers and saying"This 1166 Common Market, which you all detest, has to be financed by you." What proposals are there in that direction? I should like to know whether these approaches have been made and whether the money will be spent in that way.
There will not be the control that Members of Parliament at Westminster have. There are all the questions about the way in which the elections will be run. There are the questions of accountability at the end of it. All of these questions have to be answered, as has the question of the pay of European Members of the Parliament, which people have been talking about recently.
For those reasons and some of the others that have ben advanced, there will be some of us tonight who will be opposing the orders.
Not all who have opposed the Common Market will be voting against them, because some of them tend to the view that they do not want to give the impression that there is a derisory vote against them. But there are those of us who believe that this matter must be contested to the very end. Votes against the Common Market have been made in this House from the very beginning. Notwithstanding those who are not here tonight, some of us must oppose the orders so that we may say to the country"Yes, there is still a body of people in Westminster prepared to vote against the orders, because we consistently believe that the Common Market has been an unmitigated disaster from beginning to end."
Without any doubt there will be the day, notwithstanding direct elections, any other forms of election, or enlargement of the Common Market, when the whole thing will collapse under its own weight. That day will arrive, and those of us who have been consistent in our views and in our actions in the House will be vindicated at the end. For those reasons, unlike the Liberals, not on the question of a Celtic fringe or proportional representation, we shall be voting against the orders on principle. That is the most important thing that hon. Members can do.
§ Mr. Speaker
The strict interpretation of the scope of our debate would have led us to discuss boundaries only. That is the issue before the House. The House 1167 knows that it is a limited debate, and I ask hon. Members to bear that in mind.
§ 9.56 p.m.
§ Mr. Hugh Dykes (Harrow, East)
I shall take your admonition into account, Mr. Speaker, and refrain from doing what was done by the hon. Members for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) and Keighley (Mr. Cryer), which was effectively to make both Second Reading and Committee stage speeches on the European Assembly Elections Act.
We heard another predictable outburst from the hon. Member for Bolsover. The House is used to that kind of thing from him and others—a small number—and usually receives it with a reasonable amount of polite interest but nothing more. One would not for one moment question the hon. Gentleman's sincerity, but I think that his indignation is wide of the mark when he speaks of the view of the public as a whole of our membership of the European Community. I do not agree with him that the word"detestation"can be used of a majority public opinion on the Common Market, or indeed anything near the word"dislike ". There is, of course, something akin to serious anxiety about certain aspects of Community policy. Everyone in his right mind should share that anxiety, but that is not the same as a general resistance to or dislike of the Common Market as a whole.
In the meetings that I attend throughout the country, not only party meetings but meetings with general audiences, I detect a much greater interest in and acceptance of the Community and what it stands for, including direct elections and all the rest, once the issues are fairly presented and properly put, as I hope they are, not only at the meetings at which I speak but elsewhere.
It is interesting that even if people are relatively—I use that word with some emphasis and slight hesitation, because I do not want to give the wrong impression —alarmed about, for instance, the fisheries policy, certain aspects of the common agricultural policy and some other matters, they do not draw the general conclusions that the hon. Member for Bolsover drew in a highly indignant fashion.
As you asked, Mr. Speaker, I return to the orders and particularly that con- 1168 cerning the English constituencies. I should like to add my voice to the opening speeches which commended the Boundary Commission's work. I believe that the members of the Commission would not misunderstand if we said that it would be incredible if there were no misgivings, protests or upsets over some of their recommendations. After all, they had to adhere to an electoral quota, to try to have some regard to the demographic characteristics of particular European zones to be created, and to take into account the fact thatit would not be possible to commend areas which looked artificial, because they would involve people with widely differing outlooks in contiguous areas which have little in common except their geographical position ".That is to be found in paragraph 8 on page 2 of the Commission's report.
In that context I join my hon. Friend the Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) and the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Penhaligon) in their protest. Cornwall is in a very awkward position, and a great deal of sympathy is due to its electors.
None the less, on balance the Boundary Commission has done a very good job. I say that with a high degree of enthusiasm in respect of London which the Commission acknowledged freely was in many ways the easiest exercise for it. I think that it has produced a very balanced constellation of European constituencies in the Greater London area with the exception of the rather awkward anomaly of Barnet-Finchley referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell). I add my own words of sympathy for electors there. I agree that it looks wrong and awkward for them not to be included in the London, North-West constituency rather than in London, North.
I hope, therefore, that the House will support these orders even though there are greater physical and demographic problems involved in Scotland and Wales than there are for England, where even with a lower number of seats than on the national parliamentary boundary construction there are still inevitable anomalies up and down the country.
Unlike a number of hon. Members who spoke earlier, I welcome wholeheartedly direct elections to the European Assembly. They will implant an essential additional layer of democracy, yes, 1169 democracy for us and for the Community as a whole. I may say, I hope without embarrassing the hon. Member for Truro. that I regret that the Liberal Party faces an awkward problem, not that I wish it to have votes. Obviously I should prefer my own party to have them. I supported the proportional list system because in my view that would have been a much better arrangement. But that is water under the bridge. We now have this arrangement. We must congratulate the Boundary Commission for its skilful work, and I think the House should approve these orders.
§ 10.3 p.m.
§ Mr. John Cope (Gloucestershire, South)
I cannot congratulate the Boundary Commission very powerfully from my part of the world. But I can give at least a small piece of good news to the hon. Members for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) and for Keighley (Mr. Cryer). They seemed to think that this was the last opportunity to debate the arrangements for elections to the European Assembly. That is not so. There are more orders to come. I hope that we shall not have the same speeches all over again but, if we do, we shall have to put up with them.
I was surprised by the speech of the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Penhaligon) It was his party, after all, which wanted to put Cornwall in one constituency which included Bristol as well as Plymouth on the proportional representation basis which was suggested earlier.
§ Mr. Penhaligon
There is a vast difference between being part of a constituency which boils down virtually to the southern half of Britain and being in a constituency with a little bit of Devon tacked on to it.
§ Mr. Cope
If the hon. Member thinks that he would have been better represented in Cornwall by having one-eighth of a group of electors all over the South-West from Bristol southwards, he is entitled to his opinion. However, I do not share it.
In the legislation, we gave the Boundary Commissioners one awkward problem which was probably insoluble. The Minister of State referred to what he described as the not very onerous legislative restriction to follow constituency boundaries. It may not have been 1170 onerous, but with hindsight I think that that restriction led to some unsatisfactory boundaries, including the constituency in which my own part of the world finds itself.
As set out in the order, the constituency is about 42 miles long but only 10 miles wide in the middle. The city of Bristol is in the South-West, which means that some people will be 35 and more miles from Bristol in a constituency which is 42 miles long. The problem is not the overall shape. It is that the constituency is made up of bits from each direction. Three separate administrative counties and bits of three separate historic counties are included in one constituency. It is not in any sense a natural grouping of constituencies. All the organisations that divide the country into 10 or a dozen regions for their own purposes put the Euro constituency into different regions.
Two different regional water authorities will have a boundary which runs across the constituency. The Labour and Conservative parties put the boundary elsewhere in different regional areas. Two regional electricity boards will function in the constituency. Under the proportional representation list system the proposal was that there should be two different multi-member constituencies for that purpose.
The proposals do not create a natural grouping of constituencies. The fault lies not so much with the Boundary Commission as, with hindsight, with the House of Commons because it gave the Commission the difficulty of having to stick to the parliamentary boundaries which are rather out of date.
My constituency covers bits of two separate counties and takes the name of the smaller section. Most of my constituents live in the county of Avon not in Gloucestershire.
The Boundary Commission chose the wrong name. Bristol contains the majority of the constituents but only slightly more than half the inhabitants many of whom live a long way from Bristol and are in no way within the orbit of the city.
If I could I should like to vote to amend the order both in respect of the boundaries and of the name. That is not possible under the rules. Because I support direct elections and because I think 1171 that they should happen next year I shall support the order.
§ 10.8 p.m.
§ Mr. George Younger (Ayr)
The short debate has been enlivened by the contributions from the hon. Members for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) and Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) who, as always, have brought their complete sincerity to the subject of the debate. I cannot say that they have impressed me with the logic of their arguments.
I am sad to hear that the order is against Labour Party policy. It must be distressing for the hon. Member for Bolsover to discover that, but that does not make me any less likely to support the orders. The argument tonight is not whether we should be part of the European Economic Community. That was decided long ago. The right hon. Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) confirmed it. The present Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have said repeatedly that there is no question of anything else being the Government's policy at present.
The hon. Member for Bolsover enjoys beating his breast and telling us that he is the great chap who will vote according to his conscience. We enjoy that attitude but we do not take it seriously. The hon. Member never behaves in that way when it really matters. He only does that when he thinks that he can make a scene and hit the headlines.
That does not alter the sincerity of what he has said. I know that he is sincere in what he believes. However, I do not understand his logic. If one accepts that we are part of the Community there is a good argument for the hon. Member for Bolsover, if nobody else, wishing to make the Community more democratic. If there is much wrong with the Community, as the hon. Member says, we must have directly elected representatives from this country who are able to go there with the authority of the electorate to argue the case. That is the gap in the hon. Member's logic.
§ Mr. Skinner
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman has followed events in this House very closely. If he had, he would not make the silly statement that my votes against the Government occur only when they do no harm. If he checks 1172 the record, throughout the period of this Government, he will find that there have been many occasions when I have voted against the Government and assisted in defeating them. I will not repeat them all, but there are some which affect Scotland. While his critique may apply to some hon. Members it certainly does not apply to me. So much am I concerned about trying to defeat the order that I have been spreading the opinion all day that there would not he any vote tonight, so that we could get rid of the payroll vote and win the Division.
§ Mr. Younger
This becomes more and more fascinating. We shall leave the matter there. Those reading Hansard can draw their own conclusions as to what the payroll vote is.
My function this evening is to welcome the Scottish order. I do so with great ease and pleasure, since it so happens that the two changes which the Boundary Commission has made to its original recommendations are matters raised by the Scottish Conservative Party.
I am glad to see the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. Wilson) here, for at least a few minutes of the debate. It is interesting to note, after the song and dance which the Scottish National Party has been making about the unfairness of the breakdown of these electoral boundaries within Scotland, that this order relating to Scotland spells out in no uncertain terms the much better treatment we have received. The figure for the number of electors needed in Scotland to produce a Member is fewer than for any other part of the United Kingdom. Under the Scottish order there need to be 473,256 electors per Member, whereas for Wales the figure is 513,793 and in England, 516,436. I had thought that we would not see any representatives of the SNP tonight. I am delighted that the hon. Member for Dundee, East is present to witness this example of how the Boundary Commission has managed to produce an answer which is eminently fair and which recognises the peculiar geographical problems involved in parcelling up a country as widely spread and as thinly populated, in parts, as Scotland to produce the fairest possible result.
The first of the two changes that have been made to the original recommendations concerns the change of name of the 1173 northernmost constituency, from North of Scotland to Highlands and Islands. That is a good change, because it recognises the character of the constituency much better than did the original name. The other change concerns the positioning of the parliamentary constituency of Berwick and East Lothian, which was to be placed with the Lothians and is now, in response to representations, to be within the South of Scotland constituency. I accept that there are two views about this.
It is not easy to be quite certain where the best interests lie. I believe that most people who know the area would agree that most of the Berwick and East Lothian constituency will have a greater affinity with the South of Scotland than with the Lothians. Although there may be a little bit of an anomaly in the East Lothian end, I believe that, bearing in mind the difference in the size of the electoral divisions as originally drafted, this makes for greater convenience and recognises the best interests of the constituency.
§ Mr. John Home Robertson (Berwick and East Lothian)
Is the hon. Member aware that many of us welcome the change, not only because it means that the Labour Party will almost certainly take the Lothian seat in the European Parliament elections, but because it is also likely to win the South of Scotland seat in those elections?
§ Mr. Younger
I am grateful to the hon. Member for intervening in a matter that affects his constituency. That is only right, and I know that he takes a great interest in these matters. I suggest, however, that we should be looking at these matters in terms of securing the best possible spread of the electorate rather than of who is to win which sort of seat. I can assure the hon. Member that the Boundary Commission takes no account of who may or may not win a particular seat. I hope that hon. Members will approach the question in the same spirit.
The report of the Boundary Commission underlines one important point. I do not expect a reply to it tonight, but I hope that the Minister will draw it to the attention of his colleagues, particularly his right hon. Friend the Lord President. It relates to the size of the Highlands and Islands constituency. Even bearing in mind the difficulty that always arises in 1174 these matters, it is tremendous. It stretches from the northern end of Shetland down to the bottom of the Mull of Kintyre, which is not far short of being level with the North of England.
Irrespective of the salary paid to European Members, it is essential that more realistic and better arrangements are made for the Member representing that constituency and others like it, for travelling and subsistence, which affects a Member's ability to do the job, than has ever before been contemplated by this House. In the past, Parliament has been peculiarly insensitive to the needs of those who represent large and scattered constituencies.
Will the Minister therefore discuss the matter with the Lord President, bearing in mind the questions that have to be decided in Europe with our partners about not only salary but expenses for this member? The Member representing the Highlands and Islands will be almost perpetually on the move, and his conditions of service must take that into account.
I welcome the Scottish part of the Boundary Commission report and I congraulate the Commission on the job it has done. By way of a sting in the tail, I do not think that it should pass unmentioned yet again that the reason the Commission had such a short time to do its job, was unable to hold as many consultations as it would have liked, and was unable to allow representations to be made about the final pattern of its report, was the perpetual refusal of the Government to bring the legislation forward in time in spite of repeated demands by hon. Members, mostly but not exclusively on the Opposition side, that went unheeded.
The Government are guilty of a dereliction of duty which is partly responsible for the Commission's having been faced with an extremely difficult job which it has carried out effectively.
§ 10.18 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Harry Ewing)
One of the advantages of winding up a debate of this nature is that one can say to all the hon. Members who have raised detailed constituency points that the answers they seek are equally detailed and are dealt with in the respective boundary commission reports. I should be doing the commissions a disservice if I were to quote 1175 verbatim what they say. I am sure that hon. Members will find that the points they have raised are adequately answered by the Boundary Commissions themselves.
I and the Government share the view of the hon. Member for Harrow, East (Mr. Dykes) that the Boundary Commissions have done a good job. They have done it remarkably quickly with remarkably little disagreement. I shall, however, deal with one area of disagreement in what I propose shall be a brief speech.
The hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. Howell) referred to the other order that he hoped we would be debating in the not too distant future. I can tell him and my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner), that many of the points of detail that my hon. Friend raised concerning the conduct of the election, who pays what, the salaries and so on will be contained in the other order that we shall be debating later, and are not relevant to the business we are now discussing. Hon. Members asked when that order will be introduced. The answer, in that time-honoured phrase, is"As soon as possible ". We shall have to leave it at that for the moment.
§ Mr. Max Madden (Sowerby)
Whatever the boundaries—we have heard certain criticisms of them—does my hon. Friend agree that it would be intolerable if candidates were selected for Euro constituencies without those making the selections being aware of the salary, expenses and tax status that those Members would enjoy and, indeed without the candidates knowing those details? Is he saying that that information will be made available within the very near future in the orders that we are expecting?
§ Mr. Ewing
The salaries will not be determined by that order. All the other details about the conduct of the election will be determined by that order, and that order will be open for debate.
My hon. Friend raised an important question about candidates and selection. I shall come to that point later, because my hon. Friends the Members for Keighley (Mr. Cryer) and Bolsover also referred to it.
§ Mr. Ewing
I am reluctant to stray into the area of an order which is not yet before the House. That would be unwise both of the House and of me as Minister. Therefore, I do not want to stray into that area. The point made by my hon. Friend can be made when the order is before the House.
The hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Nott) raised the question of the designation of Cornwall. My hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Home Office will look at this matter. I cannot give any guarantees or undertakings. All I am saying is that my hon. Friend the Minister of State will look at that aspect of the contribution made by the hon. Member for St. Ives.
My hon. Friend the Member for Keighley raised the question of the selection of candidates and the attitude of the Labour Party. I know that my hon. Friend, from his new seat, will not go on lecturing junior Ministers on their role between now and the end of this Parliament. All of us consider that we are just as loyal as he is to the Labour Party, to the Government and to all sections of the labour and trade union movement. Therefore, I know that my hon. Friend will not go on lecturing us about the Government's relationship with the Labour Party.
I turn now to the order and its relationship to the selection of candidates. One reason why the order is before the House tonight is to allow the parties to get ahead with their selection procedures. My constituency party met yesterday. We had three very good nominations of first-class young men
§ Mr. Ewing
It is all very well for my hon. Friend to laugh, but that is to do a disservice to my comrades in Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth who have been nominated for the European seat of which we shall be part. They are interested not in joining a gravy train or of becoming part of the establishment described by my hon. Friends the Members for Bolsover and Keighley, but in serving the interests of the Labour Party and movement in Europe.
1177 The Labour Party—this should be put on record—has clearly defined its machinery and timetable for the selection of candidates to contest the European Assembly elections. Whatever may be said about the Labour Party's attitude to membership of the European Community, the truth is that the party has determined and indicated the timetable for selection of candidates, and this order tonight helps along that road to the selection of candidates. That is one of the things that the order is all about.
§ I come now to what was said by the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Penhaligon). I do not want to get involved in the internal politics of Cornwall—I have enough problems with the internal politics of Scotland—but perhaps I may add that Cornwall happens to be my favourite holiday place and I spend every second year there, going usually in the alternate year to Devon. I therefore know a little about Cornwall, and I am sure that the people of Cornwall will not mind my emphasising what the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Cope) emphasised—that it comes ill from the lips of the hon. Member for Truro to lecture us today about the disadvantages for Cornwall when he was one of the architects of the move to include Cornwall in a south of England constituency.
§ I found the hon. Gentleman's defence of that approach weak, to say the least, and, as I say, it comes ill from his lips tonight to make the kind of stinging attack which he made on the Boundary Commission, because of the proposals it
|Division No. 7]||AYES||[10.28 p.m.|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||Hooley, Frank|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Dormand, J. D.||Horam, John|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||Howell, David (Guildford)|
|Bates, Alf||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Huckfield, Les|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Dykes, Hugh||Hunter, Adam|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||English, Michael||Hurd, Douglas|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Ennals, Rt Hon David||John, Brynmor|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Evans, John (Newton)||Johnson, James (Hull West)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Fairgrieve, Russell||Jones, Barry (East Flint)|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Faulds, Andrew||Judd, Frank|
|Campbell, Ian||Ford, Ben||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Cockcroft, John||Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Knight, Mrs Jill|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Lofthouse, Geoffrey|
|Cohen, Stanley||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Luard, Evan|
|Coleman, Donald||George Bruce||McElhone, Frank|
|Cope, John||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||McKay, Alan (Penistone)|
|Cowans, Harry||Golding, John||MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Grant, John (Islington C)||Magee, Bryan|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Gray, Hamish||Marks, Kenneth|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Deakins, Eric||Home Robertson, John||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
§ has produced, against the background of his own involvement in the Liberal Party's amendment. I hope that that will not go unnoticed in the proper quarters.
§ I have, I hope, dealt with the questions raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover. I am not brushing off the rest of what he had to say tonight. That is matter for debate when the other order comes forward.
§ Winding up the debate for the Opposition, the Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger), welcomed the order, particularly in relation to Scotland, and I am grateful to him for that. We should place on record at this point our thanks and appreciation to the Boundary Commission in Scotland, which is different from that which works in England and Wales, for it, too, has done a very good job and produced an acceptable report.
§ The hon. Member for Ayr raised the question of the Highlands and Islands constituency. Geographically, of course, this is a very large constituency, but electorally it is 37 per cent. below the electoral quota. This is one of the problems in an area with a widely scattered population. But I shall draw the hon. Gentleman's remarks to the attention of my right hon. Friend the President of the Council.
§ With those comments, I hope that these orders will be acceptable to the House.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 112, Noes 23.
|Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.||Sandelson, Neville||White, James (Pollok)|
|Morton, George||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)||Whitlock, William|
|Moyle, Rt Hon Roland||Stallard, A. W.||Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)|
|Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Nelson, Anthony||Strang, Gavin||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Palmer, Arthur||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley||Woodall, Alec|
|Parker, John||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Radlce, Giles||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)||Tinn, James||Younger, Hon George|
|Robertson, George (Hamilton)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Roper, John||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)||TELLERS KIR TUF AYES:|
|Rowlands, Ted||Watklnson, John||Mr. Ted Graham and|
|Royle, Sir Anthony||Weatherlll, Bernard||Mr. James Hamliton|
|Ryman, John||Wellbeloved, James|
|Allaun, Frank||Lee, John||Skinner, Dennis|
|Belth, A. J.||Madden, Max||Sprlggs, Leslie|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Maynard. Miss Joan||Tilley, John|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Pardoe, John||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Penhallgon, David||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Ross, William (Londonderry)||Mr. Bob Cryer and|
|Kerr, Russell||Short, Mrs Renee (Wolv NE)||Mr. Eddie Loyden.|
|Question accordingly agreed to.|
|That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (England) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.|
|Motion made, and Question put:—|
|That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.—[Mr. Bates.]|
|The House divided: Ayes 113, Noes 22.|
|Division No. 8]||AYES||110.38 p.m.|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Golding, John||Parker, John|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Graham, Ted||Radlce, Giles|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)|
|Bates, Alf||Grant, John (Islington C)||Robertson, George (Hamilton)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Gray, Hamish||Roper, John|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Rowlands, Ted|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Ryman, John|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Home Robertson, John||Sandelson, Neville|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Horam, John||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Campbell, Ian||Huckfleld, Les||Silkln, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Cockcroft, John||Hunter, Adam||Stallard, A. W.|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Hurd, Douglas||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)|
|Cohen, Stanley||John, Brynmor||Strang, Gavin|
|Cope, John||Johnson, James (Hull West)||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Cowans, Harry||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooting)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Judd, Frank||Tinn, James|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Torney, Tom|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Knight, Mrs Jill||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Lolthouse, Geoffrey||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Deakins, Eric||Luard, Evan||Watkinson, John|
|Dormand, J. D.||McElhone, Frank||Weatherlll, Bernard|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Wellbeloved, James|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||McKay,, Alan (Penistone)||White, James (Pollok)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor||Whitlock, William|
|Dykes, Hugh||Maclennan, Robert||Williams, Rt Hon Allan (Swansea W)|
|English, Michael||Magee, Bryan||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|Ennals, Rt Hon David||Marks, Kenneth||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Millan, Rt Hon Robert||Woodall, Alec|
|Faulds, Andrew||Morris, Alfred (Wythensnawe)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Ford, Ben||Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Morton, George||Younger, Hon George|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Moyle, Rt Hon Roland|
|Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|George Bruce||Nelson, Anthony||Mr. Donald Coleman and|
|Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Palmer, Arthur||Mr. Joseph Dean.|
|Allaun, Frank||Kerr, Russell||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Berth, A. J.||Loyden, Eddie||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Maynard, Miss Joan||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Cryer, Bob||Pardoe, John||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Penhallgon, David|
|Evans, Gwynfor (Carmarthen)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hooson. Emlyn||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Mr. Max Madden and|
|Howells, Geralnt (Cardigan)||Short, Mrs Renee (Wolv NE)||Mr. John Lee.|
|Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)||Skinner, Dennis|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
|EUROPEAN ASSEMBLY CONSTITUENCIES (WALES)|
|Motion made, and Question put:—|
|That the draft European Assembly Constituencies (Wales) Order 1978, which was laid before this House on 23rd November, be approved.—[Mr. Bates.]|
|The House divided: Ayes 113, Noes 26.|
|Division No. 9]||AYES||[10.49 p.m.|
|Anderson, Donald||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Parker, John|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Golding, John||Radice, Giles|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Graham, Ted||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)|
|Barnelt, Guy (Greenwich)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Robertson, George (Hamilton)|
|Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood||Grant, John (Islington C)||Roper, John|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Gray, Hamish||Rowlands, Ted|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Brown, Kugh D. (Provan)||Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Ryman, John|
|Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)||Home Robertson, John||Sandelson, Neville|
|Brown, Ronald (Hackney S)||Horam, John||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Campbell, Ian||Huckfield, Les||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)||Hunter, Adam||Smith, Rt Hon John (N Lanarkshire)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hurd, Douglas||Stallard, A. W.|
|Coleman, Donald||John, Brynmor||Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)|
|Cope, John||Johnson, James (Hull West)||Strang, Gavin|
|Cowans, Harry||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|Cox, Thomas (Tooling)||Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Judd, Frank||Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)|
|Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.|
|Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)||Knight, Mrs Jill||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)||Lofthouse, Geoffrey||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Deakins, Eric||Luard, Evan||Watkinson, John|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)||McElhone, Frank||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Dormand, J. D.||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Wellbeloved, James|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||McKay, Alan (Penistone)||White, James (Pollok)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||MacKenzie. Rt Hon Gregor||Whitlock, William|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Maclennan, Robert||Williams, Rt Hon Allan (Swansea W)|
|Dykes, Hugh||Magee, Bryan||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)|
|English, Michael||Marks, Kenneth||Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)|
|Ennals, Rt Hon David||Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||Wilson, William (Coventry SE)|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Ewing, Harry (Stirling)||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce||Woodall, Alec|
|Fairgrieve, Russell||Morris, Alfred (Wyihanshawe)||Wrigglesworlh, Ian|
|Faulds, Andrew||Morris, Rt Hon Charles R.||Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)|
|Ford, Ben||Morton, George||Younger, Hon George|
|Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin)||Moyle, Rt Hon Roland|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd)||Murray, Rt Hon Roiald King||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald||Nelson, Anthony||Mr. Alt Bates and|
|George Bruce||Palmer, Arthur||Mr. James Tinn.|
|Allaun, Frank||Lee, John||Sprigs, Leslie|
|Beith, A. J.||Loyden, Eddie||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Madden, Max||Torney, Tom|
|Cryer, Bob||Maynard, Miss Joan||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun)||Moate, Roger||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee E)|
|Evans, Gwyntor (Carmarthen)||Pardoe, John||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Grimond, Rt Hon J.||Penhaligon, David||L|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Short, Mrs Renee (Wolv NE)||Mr. George Rodgers and|
|Kerr, Russell||Skinner, Dennis||Mr. Doug Hoyle.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.