HC Deb 23 June 1982 vol 26 cc332-7
Mr. J. Enoch Powell

I beg to move amendment No. 46, in page 4, line 5, leave out from first 'chairman', to 'of' in line 6.

I am sorry that I do not discern the hon. Member for Bebington and Ellesmere Port (Mr. Porter) in the Chamber. The amendment and the reasoning upon it contain the answer to a question that he put during our debates yesterday afternoon—why, if such an Assembly as this came into existence, it would fall into the traps and would provide the basis which many of us believe that it is intended to provide for participation in all-Ireland institutions and thus pave the way for the transfer of Ulster from the United Kingdom to a United Ireland.

This will be an Assembly of 78 or 85 Members. The clause with which the amendment is concerned provides for the appointment of a committee to shadow each Department of the Government of Northern Ireland. Moreover, it provides for the appointment in each case of a deputy chairman or two deputy chairmen. I am willing to leave it to you, Mr. Dean, to guess whether the decision would be in favour of two deputy chairmen rather than one. When your eye fell on subsection (3), and had you had any initial hesitation, your mind would have been made up when you realised that special remuneration will attach not only to the chairmen but to the deputy chairmen.

Let us suppose that there are eight Departments of Government. That makes eight chairmen and 16 deputy chairmen—24 salaried persons as a minimum, for it must be borne in mind—

Mr. John Patten

As a result of the successful passing of the Departments (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) order two nights ago, there will be six Northern Ireland Departments.

Mr. Powell

But the hon. Gentleman is as conscious as I am that during our earlier time spent on the Bill, which some people argue we wasted, we ascertained the fact that it might be possible, and even desirable, to split some of the Departments. Should it come to the attention of the Assembly that by splitting the Departments the number of chairmanships and deputy chairmanships could be increased, that is not a matter that it would readily pass over.

I put the matter more generally by saying that between 20 and 25 Members of the Assembly, the membership of which is at present envisaged as 78—in other words, about one third of the Assembly—might be salaried. I am not referring to their salary as Members of the Assembly. They will get that in any case. I am referring to a special additional salary in consideration of their being chairmen, deputy chairmen or deputy deputy chairmen of the committees. The Bill also provides that there may be other committees than those which shadow the Departments of Government.

There is, therefore, at the outset an array of patronage. We in this House well understand the working of office. We understand not merely the susceptibility of Members to the duties of office—to their duties as confidential servants of the Crown—but also the influence on their minds that by taking certain courses rather than others and speaking in one way rather than another, the possibility of lucrative and honorific appointments might be increased.

I do not think that that would be absent from the minds of those persons of blameless reputation and integrity who might be elected to an Assembly such as this. At any rate there one has a start, at least on the business of securing a decision of the Assembly to send representation to an Anglo-Irish parliamentary tier. One has made a beginning upon constituting, if not a majority, at any rate a substantial showing in favour of participation in that federal-type institution.

The clause refers to a time when the Assembly will not be exercising its devolved functions. As the shoulder title indicates, it relates to Departments still under control of Secretary of State". Therefore, the committees will not be responsible for Departments, or even responsible for watching Departments, for which the Assembly has taken responsibility. They will be committees responsible to the talking shop for watching Departments for which the Secretary of State is responsible to this House.

Mr. John Patten


Mr. Powell

I promise to give way to the hon. Gentleman if the exigencies of time permit.

In framing the amendment, my hon. Friends and I were in no ungenerous mood. We should consider the substantial salary that will be paid to Members of the Assembly, together with travelling allowances and other considerations in which we in this House have led the way. We have blazed a trail that others will no doubt follow. We might have come to the conclusion that it would be proper to expect not just the deputy or even the second deputy chairman to do whatever work there might be without extra remuneration, but that the chairman himself might regard the privilege of presiding over a committee examining the work of a Department of Government as something to be thrown in as part of the job. We did not take that restricted view and have been content to leave a special salary in the Bill.

Had time permitted, the Committee might have considered whether there should be some limitations upon those special salaries, such as an indication of the maxima and so on. We have been willing in principle to concede for the chairman, but not for the deputy chairmen or the deputy deputy chairmen.

I believe that the Minister wants to intervene. Perhaps he wants to wind up.

Mr. John Patten

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. I do not want to wind up. I merely want to draw something to the Committee's attention. He spoke at great speed, and I shall attempt to speak just as quickly.

The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that in addition to the departmentally related committees that would have chairmen and vice-chairmen, the Assembly could also create other committees. That is perfectly correct. But as they do not have statutory responsibilities, it is extremely important to realise that the chairmen, vice-chairmen and officers of those committees cannot be paid. The Assembly cannot indulge in some sort of job creation exercise. Its proper role will be to ensure that the departmentally related committees do the hard and serious work of shadowing the work of those Departments.

Mr. Powell

It is a relief to know that although the committees and chairmanships can pullulate, there will not necessarily be a corresponding pullulation of salaries. I therefore restrict myself to the modest picture that I painted of about 20 or so Members out of an Assembly of 78 having an inducement greater than that of receiving the salary and other emoluments that their fellow Assembly Members will receive.

This House is fairly jealous of the ratio between the payroll and the non-payroll. Estimates of the payroll vary, and the payroll is not entirely made up of people who are paid. When the payroll vote comes in at 1 o'clock or 3 o'clock in the morning, we are accustomed to seeing not only those in receipt of salaries but those who are in expectation. That should also be borne in mind.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the figure that was scored in the recent Divisions?

Mr. Powell

About 130. I was proceeding to treat 130 as a fraction of 635. I was about to indicate that without any other considerations, inducements or pourboires that might be devised, the clause as it stands constitutes a payroll vote half as large again as the payroll vote that many of us consider to be dangerously excessive.

Mr. John Patten

It will be for the convenience of the Committee if, in the short time remaining to me, I attempt to answer some of the questions that were put at such speed.

I must make it clear at the outset that the Government are not able—

It being half-past Six o'clock, THE FIRST DEPUTY CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order [22 June] to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, That the amendment be made: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 21, Noes 146.

Division No. 234] [6.30 pm
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Morris, M. (N'hampton S)
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Murphy, Christopher
Budgen, Nick Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)
Cranborne, Viscount Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cryer, Bob Skinner, Dennis
Dunlop, John Smyth, Rev. W. M. (Belfast S)
Farr, John Stanbrook, Ivor
Gardiner, George (Reigate) Walker, B. (Perth)
Gorst, John
Knight, Mrs Jill Tellers for the Ayes:
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Mr. K. Harvey Proctor and
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. Mr. William Ross.
Molyneaux, James
Alton, David Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Arnold, Tom Hampson, Dr Keith
Aspinwall, Jack Hawkins, Sir Paul
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (S'thorne) Hawksley, Warren
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Heddle, John
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Beith, A. J. Hill, James
Benyon, Thomas (A'don) Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Hordern, Peter
Berry, Hon Anthony Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Bevan, David Gilroy Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Biffen, Rt Hon John Howells, Geraint
Blackburn, John Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Jessel, Toby
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Braine, Sir Bernard Kershaw, Sir Anthony
Bright, Graham Kilfedder, James A.
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Lee, John
Brooke, Hon Peter Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bruce-Gardyne, John Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Butcher, John Loveridge, John
Cadbury, Jocelyn Luce, Richard
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lyell, Nicholas
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)
Cartwright, John Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Chapman, Sydney Macfarlane, Neil
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Major, John
Cope, John Marlow, Antony
Costain, Sir Albert Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Crouch, David Marten, Rt Hon Neil
Dorrell, Stephen Mather, Carol
Dover, Denshore Mawhinney, Dr Brian
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Mellor, David
Dunn, James A. Meyer, Sir Anthony
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Eggar, Tim Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Ellis Tom (Wrexham) Miscampbell, Norman
Fisher, Sir Nigel Mitchell, R.C. (Soton Itchen)
Fitt, Gerard Moate, Roger
Fookes, Miss Janet Montgomery, Fergus
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Moore, John
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mudd, David
Goodlad, Alastair Myles, David
Grant, John (Islington C) Neale, Gerrard
Grimond, Rt Hon J. Needham, Richard
Gummer, John Selwyn Newton, Tony
Hamilton, Hon A. Onslow, Cranley
Osborn, John Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Page, John (Harrow, West) Speed, Keith
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Speller, Tony
Patten, John (Oxford) Stainton, Keith
Pawsey, James Steel, Rt Hon David
Penhaligon, David Stevens, Martin
Pitt, William Henry Stradling Thomas, J.
Pollock, Alexander Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Prior, Rt Hon James Thompson, Donald
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Thornton, Malcolm
Rhodes James, Robert Trippier, David
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Trotter, Neville
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wainwright, R. (Colne V)
Robinson, P. (Belfast E) Waller, Gary
Rodgers, Rt Hon William Watson, John
Roper, John Wellbeloved, James
Rossi, Hugh Wells, Bowen
Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy Wheeler, John
Sandelson, Neville Wickenden, Keith
Scott, Nicholas Wigley, Dafydd
Shaw Sir Michael (Scarb') Wolfson, Mark
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Silvester, Fred Tellers for the Noes:
Sims, Roger Mr. David Hunt and
Smith, Dudley Mr. Ian Lang.

Question accordingly negatived.

THE FIRST DEPUTY CHAIRMAN then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at half-past Six o'clock.

Question put, That the clause stand part of the Bill:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 141, Noes 21.

Division No. 235] [6.40 pm
Alton, David Grimond, Rt Hon J.
Arnold, Tom Gummer, John Selwyn
Aspinwall, Jack Hamilton, Hon A.
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (S'thorne) Hampson, Dr Keith
Atkinson, David (B'm'th,E) Hawkins, Sir Paul
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Hawksley, Warren
Beith, A.J. Heddle, John
Benyon Thomas (A'don) Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Benyon, W. (Buckingham) Hill, James
Berry, Hon Anthony Holland, Philip (Carlton)
Bevan, David Gilroy Hordern, Peter
Biffen, Rt Hon John Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Blackburn, John Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Howells, Geraint
Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W) Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Jessel, Toby
Braine, Sir Bernard Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Bright, Graham Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Kershaw, Sir Anthony
Bruce-Gardyne, John Lang, Ian
Butcher, John Lee, John
Cadbury, Jocelyn Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (R'c'n) Loveridge, John
Cartwright, John Luce, Richard
Chapman, Sydney Lyell, Nicholas
Cope, John Lyons, Edward (Bradf'd W)
Costain, Sir Albert Mabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Crouch, David Macfarlane, Neil
Dorrell, Stephen Macmillan, Rt Hon M.
Dover, Denshore Major, John
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
Dunn, James A. Marten, Rt Hon Neil
Dunn, Robert (Dartford) Mather, Carol
Eggar, Tim Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Mellor, David
Fisher, Sir Nigel Meyer, Sir Anthony
Fitt, Gerard Mills, Iain (Meriden)
Fookes, Miss Janet Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon)
Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Miscampbell, Norman
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mitchell, R. C. (Soton Itchen)
Goodlad, Alastair Moate, Roger
Montgomery, Fergus Silvester, Fred
Moore, John Sims, Roger
Mudd, David Smith, Dudley
Myles, David Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Neale, Gerrard Speed, Keith
Needham, Richard Speller, Tony
Newton, Tony Stainton, Keith
Onslow, Cranley Steel, Rt Hon David
Osborn, John Stevens, Martin
Page, John (Harrow, West) Stradling Thomas, J.
Page, Richard (SW Herts) Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Patten, John (Oxford) Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Pawsey, James Thompson, Donald
Penhaligon, David Thornton, Malcolm
Pitt, William Henry Trippier, David
Pollock, Alexander Trotter, Neville
Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Wainwright, R.(Colne V)
Prior, Rt Hon James Waller, Gary
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Watson, John
Rhodes James, Robert Wellbeloved, James
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Wells, Bowen
Ridsdale, Sir Julian Wells, John (Maidstone)
Rodgers, Rt Hon William Wheeler, John
Roper, John Wickenden, Keith
Rossi, Hugh Wigley, Dafydd
Rumbold, Mrs A. C. R. Wolfson, Mark
Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Sandelson, Neville Tellers for the Ayes:
Scott, Nicholas Mr. David Hunt and
Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb') Mr. Peter Brooke
Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Morris, M. (N'hampton S)
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Murphy, Christopher
Budgen, Nick Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)
Cranborne, Viscount Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cryer, Bob Robinson, P. (Belfast E)
Dunlop, John Skinner, Dennis
Farr, John Smyth, Rev. W. M. (Belfast S)
Fraser, Rt Hon Sir Hugh Stanbrook, Ivor
Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Kilfedder, James A. Tellers for the Noes:
Knight, Mrs Jill Mr. K. Harvey Proctor and
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham) Mr. William Ross.
Molyneaux, James

Question accordingly agreed to.

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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