§ 6.16 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Bowles.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The Lord Merthyr in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 [Committees to consider remuneration of teachers]:
LORD COLYTON moved to leave out subsection (3) and to insert instead:
(3) The Secretary of State shall determine the bodies to which paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section applies which are to be represented on each committee constituted under this section, and the number of persons by whom any such body is to be so represented.
(4) The bodies to which paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section applies are as set out in the Schedule to this Act and the Secretary of State shall determine the number of persons by whom any such body is to be represented.
(5) If the Secretary of State considers it appropriate after consulting the Committee mentioned in this section or if he shall receive representations from any of the bodies mentioned in the Schedule to this Act he may by Order made by statutory instrument and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament
§ The noble Lord said: In moving this Amendment, I venture to suggest that we might at the same time discuss the new Schedule proposed to be inserted after Clause 9. As your Lordships are aware, the Remuneration of Teachers Bill is a most important measure, designed to introduce a number of improvements into the old Burnham negotiating system. The Bill was welcomed in all parts of another place on its introduction, and it was welcomed in your Lordships' House on Second Reading—with the exception of Clause 1 (3), on which there was some criticism.
§ The object of this Amendment and of the new Schedule, which of course have no Party political character at all, is to remedy a serious defect which found its way into the Bill at a very late stage, and the implications of which, I venture to suggest, were not fully appreciated in another place when the Amendments were accepted. I refer to the arbitrary power given to the Secretary of State by Clause 1 (3), not only to determine which bodies are to be represented on every committee but also to vary or revoke the representation on the committee.
§ Under Section 89 of the Education Act, 1944, the then Minister of Education was given the power to approve the relevant committees consisting of persons appointed by the bodies representing the local education authorities and teachers respectively. It has been stated that this section gave the Minister power not only to approve the appointment of representatives of the teachers, but also to revoke such appointments. Whether this be so or not, the fact remains that no Minister or Secretary of State for Education has ever, until now, sought either to exercise, or even to claim, these powers.
§ When the present Bill was introduced in November, Clause 1 (3) of the Bill, as it then stood, provided that all committees should be approved by the Secretary of State as appearing to him to represent teachers or particular descriptions of teachers, but again it contained no provision for revocation. The latter provision, as I have already said, was introduced in another place in a series of Amendments put forward on Report stage.1305
§ The express insertion of a power to revoke the membership of the committee of one or more of the teachers associations has caused a great deal of anxiety, particularly in the National Association of Schoolmasters, with its 35, 000 members. The noble Lord, Lord Bowden, in his speech on Second Reading on January 21, expressed the view that it must be possible for the Secretary of State, in the long run, to determine not only the numbers, but also the method by which membership of a committee could be denied to a body which ceased to have a substantial number of members. I feel bound to accept the view that some provision of this sort must be made for revocation or for the removal of teachers' associations from the committees. If, for example, an association were to be merged with another, or were to be dissolved or to go bankrupt, there must be some provision for removing that association from the committees. At the same time, I think there is the strongest possible objection to leaving this action to be taken arbitrarily by the Secretary of State, as the Bill at present does, by his own executive act alone.
§ The Minister of State, replying for the Government in another place on the Report stage on December 22, said that it would be wrong to think that there was any great issue of principle involved. I submit that there is an important principle here, and for one very good reason. Whatever may have been the position of the 1944 Act in regard to the Minister's powers of revocation, the position is now entirely changed by the fact that he is himself for the first time to be represented on the negotiating committee on the employers' side. If the Secretary of State were therefore to be allowed by his sole executive act to remove one of the associations representing the teachers from the committee, it would put him in the position of being both plaintiff and judge in his own cause. It would also, I suggest, be contrary to basic trade union principles that one of the employers' representatives should, by his own act, be able to remove one of the employees' associations from the negotiating body. This is also, I suggest, contrary to the provisions of the International Labour Organisation Conventions, 87, Article 3, and 98, Article 2, both of which forbid interference by workers' 1306 and employers' organisations with each other's agents or members.
§ If, however, we accept that some power of altering or revoking membership of the committee on the teachers' side has to be embodied in the Act, some means must be found of doing so without contravening these principles to which I have just referred. It would have been possible, I suppose, to provide for the submission of the matter to arbitration, as in the case of disagreement over the remuneration of teachers. But this, in my view, would have been both unsuitable and inconvenient. The best way of solving the problem, therefore, appears to be to leave the power in the hands of the Secretary of State but to require that any addition, alteration or revocation made by him should be effected only by a statutory instrument, and then with the approval of a resolution of each House of Parliament. In this way the interests of the teachers' associations would be fully safeguarded: Parliament would have the last word. This is a solution which I have embodied in my Amendment, and I hope that it may commend itself to your Lordships.
§ I should like to emphasise that this Amendment makes no attempt to deal with the controversial question of the numbers of representatives of the teachers' associations on the various committees, a matter on which, nevertheless, the National Association of Schoolmasters hold strong views. The Secretary of State has sought to reach agreement between the various teachers' associations with regard to numbers of their representatives, and, having failed to reach agreement, has decided that in order to speed up the introduction of the new machinery the number of representatives and the bodies they represent should be left as at present. For this reason, I have included in the Schedule proposed under these Amendments a list of teachers' associations at present represented on the committees. We have to start from some basis. At the same time, the question of numbers will no doubt be one for early discussion between the Secretary of State and the various bodies concerned soon after the new machinery enters into force.
§ I have given much thought to the drafting of these Amendments, and I have taken the opportunity to consult a number of sources closely concerned in this 1307 matter. I very much hope that the form in which the Amendments have finally been drafted will commend itself, not only to the teachers' associations, but also to this Committee of your Lordships' House and to the Secretary of State, and that the Government may feel able to accept them.
§ Apart from all other considerations, I feel that there are important issues involved here which should be referred back to the other place for consideration before the final decision is taken, since—and I should like to emphasise this point—they were never at any time discussed at any stage of the proceedings in the other place in relation to the factors to which I have referred this evening. The controversial issues to which this subsection has given rise have all arisen since the Bill was passed in another place. I regard it as of the utmost importance that before the measure finally becomes law the elected representatives of the people should have an opportunity of reviewing the matter further. I beg to move.
Page 1, line 25, leave out subsection (3) and insert the said subsections.—(Lord Colyton.)
§ LORD AMULREE
I have listened carefully to what the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, has said, and I think he has put forward a very reasoned case for this Amendment. I do not want to take up a great deal of your Lordships' time in repeating what the noble Lord has said, and I rise merely to express the hope that the noble Lord who is to reply for the Government will give the Amendment favourable consideration and will approve it.
§ THE EARL OF IDDESLEIGH
I was glad to support the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, in this Amendment. The National Association of Schoolmasters feel very genuine alarm and concern at their present position under the Bill now before the Committee. They are the second largest of the professional unions and represent a particular point of view, that of the male schoolmaster, They are not always in agreement with the National Union of Teachers and they have had something of a struggle to obtain a proper recognition for their point of view. It occurs to me that had 1308 they been a body representing the particular interest of women teachers we should have had a very strong case indeed. There would have been appeals to our chivalry and for the principles of sex equality. But chivalry bears a double-edged sword, and sex equality is still equal. I feel that your Lordships will be moved by the plea of this Union, which now asks for your Lordships' protection from dangers which may be unreal but which they feel to be very real indeed.
§ 6.30 p.m.
§ LORD BOWLES
May I commence my speech by offering to your Lordships an apology from my noble friend Lord Bowden, who is away and has not been able to get back for the Committee stage of this Bill? When we debated this Bill on Second Reading two weeks ago, the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, gave it a general welcome, but went on to give notice in a most reasonable way of his intention to move an Amendment such as the one he has now tabled jointly with the noble Earl, Lord Iddesleigh, and has explained to us this evening. On that earlier occasion he also referred very kindly to my maiden speech in your Lordships' House and to our service together in another place. I am grateful to him for his courtesy and his care in all this, and I shall do my best to continue the debate on that level.
Before I come to the more technical aspects of the Amendment, there are a few more general matters that I should like to bring to your Lordships' attention because I believe them to be very relevant. I hope the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, who was persuaded by the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, will listen to the arguments against, because they are rather important. I feel that a good deal of emotion has been injected into this matter. The noble Lord, Lord Colyton, said just now that there was criticism in another place at the Report stage. I have no record of that, and I do not know whether he has. It has all been stirred up since the New Year started.
First—and I make no apology for repeating this, although my noble friend Lord Bowden has already stressed it—the Secretary of State has no desire whatever to dictate to the teachers, or to the local authority associations, how they 1309 should be represented on the negotiating committees to be established under this Bill. That was made clear to the teachers when my right honourable friend who is now the Foreign Secretary first met them in this connection within a few weeks of taking office, and it stands. But we must recognise that the different associations may fail to agree among themselves—and your Lordships know that on this occasion the teachers' associations have failed to agree—and we must provide in that event for someone to take the necessary decisions if negotiations are not to be frustrated before they have even begun. As the noble Lord, Lord Aberdare, said in our debate on Second Reading [Official Report, Vol. 262 (No. 30), col. 1035, January 21, 1965]:the Minister is the only person who can do so"—but he does so with the utmost reluctance, and not through any lust for power.
Next I should like to take up some of the points made at Second Reading by the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, particularly those in which he quoted criticisms which he made of the manner in which Clause 1 was amended at Report stage in another place. This is relevant to our present business, for the Amendments now before your Lordships—and we are taking them together; I quite agree with the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, that both his Amendments should be considered together—are in a sense in response to those Amendments in another place. The noble Lord, Lord Sandford, was good enough to say that the charge against the Government appeared to be one of "a little inept handling" rather than of bad faith, but if your Lordships will allow me to devote a few minutes to this aspect of the matter I shall show that even the minor charge is groundless.
The criticisms start from the premise that the Government Amendments to Clause 1 were designed to give the Secretary of State a new and not previously intended power to vary the composition of a negotiating committee at any time after its initial establishment under the Bill. But, in his speech introducing the Bill on Second Reading in another place on November 20 last, the Secretary of State said plainly:I said that there would be two sides or panels, a teachers' panel and a management panel … The actual form of that panel, and, indeed, of the teachers' panel, is left 1310 nominally in Clause 1 to the discretion of the Secretary of State.'—[Official Report, Commons, Vol. 702 (No. 17), col. 788.]I really find it hard to believe, from those words and from the form of Clause 1 as it stood at that time, that the Secretary of State intended, and that the interested associations intended or understood, that the negotiating committees would have to stand immutable for all time as he first determined them because he would have no subsequent power to vary them. Any association that took that view and acquiesced in it would have precluded any hope of increasing their own representation if their strength within the teaching profession increased in future, yet no one raised the point in debate. I think the only possible conclusion is that all concerned took for granted that Clause 1 enabled the Secretary of State not only to determine the composition of the committees initially, but also to vary their composition subsequently.
As your Lordships will recall from my speech here a fortnight ago, one of the local authority associations subsequently queried whether, as drafted, the Bill did in fact give the Secretary of State power to vary his initial determination of the composition of a negotiating committee, and suggested that the power to amend should be written explicitly into the clause. That was the difference. I am not quite certain, but I have some little feeling in the back of my mind that the draftsman does not think it has made any difference at all. The words added, I think, were "or revoke". Evidently that association was in no doubt as to the intention. The Secretary of State, on legal advice, tabled the Amendments necessary to clarify the point beyond doubt. It has been said, and was said by the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, in his second argument, that he did so at the last minute. This rather suggests that all the time this has been a trick by the Secretary of State in another place, and I resent that suggestion. The fact is that he did so at the very earliest opportunity. The local authority association's query was received on the same day, December 1, that Clause 1 was discussed, amended and ordered to stand part of the Bill in Standing Committee. Nothing could then be done until the Report stage; and the necessary Amendments were accordingly tabled on December 15 and discussed and adopted on 1311 December 22. I can find nothing sinister in that.
Finally, the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, put it to your Lordships that the Government failed to mention to the representatives of the National Association of Schoolmasters that they were about to table these Amendments. Nor, for that matter, did they tell any other of the interested parties except, as a necessary courtesy, the local authority association which had raised the point in the first place. That is the measure of the small importance of the Amendments. It happened by coincidence—as a stage in an entirely different sequence of events—that the Secretary of State received a deputation from the National Association of Schoolmasters to discuss the size of their representation on the negotiating committee on the same day, December 15, on which the Amendments were tabled. In that meeting the Secretary of State confirmed to the Association his intention to leave the present composition (which gives the Association two representatives) unchanged during the forthcoming negotiation, since he saw no other way of getting the negotiation started quickly. But he assured them (and subsequently confirmed in a letter to all the associations) that the question could be reopened after the conclusion of that negotiation.
Here I should like to repeat to your Lordships, as a new Secretary of State has now succeeded to that post, that my right honourable friend has reached no determination as to how the teachers' panel should necessarily be composed in later years, and will be ready to consider any representations made to him once the first negotiation has been completed. The Association were naturally disappointed to be offered only two seats at once, but they welcomed the assurance I have quoted. Even at that stage—when the possibility of changing the composition of the negotiating committee at some future date was explicitly under discussion—no one questioned the obvious implication that the Secretary of State must have power to make the kind of change that they were envisaging. It is hardly surprising that it did not occur to the Secretary of State either to mention that he was taking steps to clarify beyond doubt the very power that 1312 the Association were taking for granted and from which they hoped to benefit.
I submit that the criticisms made of the Government on this matter in the early weeks of this year—because that is when they started—were without foundation, and I hope that controversy is now ended. But I thought it necessary, both in response to what the noble Lord, Lord Sandford, said in our debate here on Second Reading and in fairness to my right honourable friend who was the Secretary of State at the time of these events, to give your Lordships the facts that I have just outlined. Now I must turn more closely to the Amendments themselves.
Noble Lords who do not have the resources of Government at their disposal are always in some difficulty in drafting Amendments—as those of us who have taken part in active politics for many years, particularly in matters as complex as this, know—and I should like to compliment the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, and the noble Earl, Lord Iddesleigh, on the skill with which they have conveyed their intentions to your Lordships. They will not, I am sure, be surprised to learn that certain defects have been detected in their drafting. But I am equally sure that they would prefer me to deal with their intentions, rather than their drafting, and that is what I propose to do. I always used to do that in the old days, and thought that Ministers taking little drafting points were avoiding the main issues; and that I do not intend to do to-day.
In broad terms, the Amendment would oblige the Secretary of State to seek the approval of Parliament, by Affirmative Resolution in each House, for changes that he proposed to make in the representation of teachers on the negotiating committees to be established under the Bill. There are, of course, no established principles by which to determine when this Affirmative Resolution procedure should be employed and when the Negative Resolution procedure should be employed. This is for Parliament to decide in each case, but I submit that the proposal to apply it here seems wholly disproportionate. I do not think the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, mentioned anything about Affirmative Resolutions in his speech—
§ LORD BOWLES
I must have missed it. I must have been taking down notes on something else which, to my mind, was wrong.
What I was about to say was that Orders changing the representation of teachers would have no effect upon the general law or the freedom or rights of the public at large, but would be of the very narrowest application. Moreover, an Order subject to the Affirmative Resolution procedure can have no effect until time has been found in both Houses of Parliament to consider and vote upon it. This means that even non-contentious changes might be delayed for very long periods, particularly if Parliament were in Recess.
The Affirmative Resolution procedure seems particularly inappropriate as a means of making alterations to a Schedule which specifies teachers' associations by name. Since trade unions may disappear or become insignificant, or may amalgamate with others, or simply change their names, the procedure for amending any Schedule specifying them, if this had to be done, ought surely to be kept as simple as possible and not go through this paraphernalia of Affirmative Resolution procedure in both Houses of Parliament. This is a point which I feel should be brought out very emphatically.
Next, your Lordships will observe that the Amendments deal only with the representation of teachers and make no parallel provision relating to the representation of the local authority associations and other bodies to which paragraph (b) of Clause 1 (1) applies. I can see no evident reason why the bodies which represent the employers of the teachers and the interests of the management of the schools should be given any less protection, if protection is thought to be necessary, than is proposed for the teachers' associations.
Moreover, the degree of protection offered to the teachers' associations by the Amendments is incomplete. I hope your Lordships will see why. The Amendments would enable Parliament to veto the Secretary of State's intention to add a new body to the Schedule, to remove a body from a committee, or to change the numerical representation of a body after the initial determination. But the Secretary of State could still, without 1314 reference to Parliament, exclude any body named in the Schedule from any committee at the initial determination. Moreover, Parliamentary control provided by the Amendments would be entirely negative: to veto the Secretary of State's intended action in certain circumstances, but never to impose upon him the action Parliament considered desirable. Thus, the Secretary of State would still be free to decline to add any body either to the Schedule or to a committee, to decline to remove a body from a committee or to decline to vary a body's numerical representation, and the Amendments would be of no assistance to those who disagreed with him.
I submit to your Lordships that these Amendments are mistaken in their suggestion that Ministers have to be made accountable to Parliament by requiring their administrative action to be carried out through statutory instruments made subject to Parliamentary procedure, After all, most of the changes to be made in the constitution of these committees in the future will be of a routine and non-contentious nature; and it is unnecessary and inappropriate to provide a Parliamentary procedure to govern such changes. Parliament's critical faculty should not be blunted by such use, but rather reserved for the exceptional case that may raise important and controversial questions. In those circumstances, whether or not a statutory instrument is involved, occasion will always be found to oblige Ministers whose actions are raising doubts in the minds of Members of Parliament to explain and justify themselves through Question, Answer and debate. Moreover, because it is as effective against a Minister's failure to act as against his intended action, this more general, constitutional accountability of Ministers to Parliament is much more complete than any proposed in the Amendments.
The noble Lord, Lord Colyton, referred to the slightly altered situation where the Minister is now a member of a negotiating committee and I think I ought to try to deal with the argument. The argument that control by Parliamentary Resolution of the composition of the negotiating committee is all the more necessary when the Secretary of State is himself a party to the negotiation, since he might otherwise use his power over its composition to diminish 1315 or exclude an awkward opponent, cannot be accepted. It is not unusual for Ministers to be required to act impartially in one capacity in matters in which, in another capacity or at a different stage, they must take an active part. Parliament assumes that Ministers will act fairly in such circumstances, and any Minister who incurred the suspicion that his impartiality was being affected by his departmental interest would be called to account in Parliament very quickly indeed.
During the Second Reading debate the noble Lord, Lord Colyton, suggested that Clause 1 of the Bill, as it stands, contravenes certain Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. I have now been able to consider this point and am satisfied that there is no substance in it. Even if there were, the Amendments would hardly repair the defect, for an interference by the Secretary of State in the teachers' affairs would still be an interference even when supported by Parliamentary Resolutions. The noble Lord suggested that subsection (3) of Clause 1 of the Bill contravenes Convention 87, Article 3, and Convention 98, Article 4, of the International Labour Organisation. As I have said, having considered this point I am satisfied that there is no substance in it—another bad argument that the noble Lord has used.
The first Convention deals with freedom of association and protection of the right to organise, and Article 3 safeguards both the rights of workers and employers' organisations to draw up their constitutions and rules, to elect their representatives in full freedom, to organise their administration and activities and to formulate their programmes. It also requires public authorities to refrain from any interference with the exercise of these rights. The Bill leaves unaffected the rights in question of the organisations, representing both teachers and employers, and there is therefore No 1nfringement of the Article. Convention 98, Article 4, requires that appropriate measures shall be taken to encourage and promote the full development and utilisation of machinery for voluntary negotiation with a view to the regulation of terms and conditions of employment by collective agreement. It applies, however, only when such measures are necessary, and as the purpose of the machinery to be 1316 established under the Bill is to settle the terms and conditions of employment of teachers, the Article has no application: no further measures are necessary to achieve the purpose of the Article. Certainly there is no contravention of it.
Several features of this Bill and of the arrangements already announced for its administration demonstrate that the Secretary of State is entering the new machinery in a co-operative and not a dictatorial frame of mind. He is accepting a statutory obligation to implement agreed settlements and arbitrated settlements, subject only to the overriding decision of Parliament. Noble Lords will remember that if the economic state of the nation makes impossible or undesirable the implementation of the award, then Parliament overrides the Minister. He is accepting a minority position within the joint management side. I believe that the significance of these features has been understood and appreciated both in your Lordships' House and beyond.
There are other sectors of the machinery where someone has to act decisively if the proceedings are not to be frustrated, and it has been thought right to vest this power in the Secretary of State. Clause 3 of the Bill, for example, empowers the Secretary of State, after consultation, to make arrangements under which matters on which a negotiating committee has disagreed can be referred to arbitration; and your Lordships are not, I think, challenging this, although it is surely of greater importance than the matters affected by the Amendments. No case has been made out for subjecting the Secretary of State's responsibility and judgment in the matter of the composition of the teachers' panels to any more explicit control than Parliament already constitutionally exercises over the whole field of its administration.
An argument is often used to justify the continued existence of your Lordships' House, and that is that it is a good revising Chamber which improves Bills sent from the other place. To pass these Amendments would spoil a good Bill and could tarnish your Lordships' reputation for wise revision. I therefore oppose the Amendments on behalf of the Government and invite the noble Lord, Lord Colyton and the noble Earl, Lord Iddesleigh, to withdraw their Amendments.
§ 6.51 p.m.
§ LORD ABERDARE
My noble friend Lord Colyton moved this Amendment with his usual persuasive charm, and the National Association of Schoolmasters I think deserve congratulation on the way in which they have kept us informed of their case. But, much as I dislike disagreeing with my noble friend, I find myself unable to support his Amendment. The noble Lord, Lord Bowles, has made a powerful case against it, and I do not think I need go into any great detail. We believe that it is better that the Bill remain as it is, as it only spells out the situation that has existed for many years in the past. Under the previous arrangements the Secretary of State had the power to determine which bodies should be represented on the old Burnham Committee and to vary those bodies or the number of people representing them. It was, I think, most unfortunate that at a very late stage in the proceedings in another place the Secretary of State introduced the Amendment that spelt out these powers in greater detail, although it did not seem to be otherwise necessary and it has caused a great deal of alarm. Up till then the Minister's powers had not been in dispute. I think we should remember also that it is only because the teachers' organisations are unable to agree among themselves that the Secretary of State has to wield these powers. He would obviously prefer that they should make up their own minds, but in view of the fact that they cannot, or will not, he has to assume this responsibility.
It is because he is ultimately responsible for the working of the whole of the system for the remuneration of teachers that we believe that the responsibility should be finally left with him, and to hedge this responsibility around with the provision of an Affirmative Resolution of each House is to introduce unnecessary complications. This type of Parliamentary procedure is suitable for use only on rare occasions, and I do not believe this is one. The noble Lord, Lord Bowles made some very powerful arguments against it. Moreover, any Minister's decision can always be challenged in Parliament, and no doubt were he to use in an arbitrary or unfair way the power he has under this Bill, his actions would very soon be questioned. To sum up, we 1318 believe that the powers of the Secretary of State should be left as they are in the Bill and that his decisions should not be subject to the Affirmative Resolution procedure, as suggested in this Amendment. I hope that after the arguments that have been heard from both sides of the House my noble friend will withdraw his Amendment; but if he will not, I hope your Lordships will not accept it.
§ LORD COLYTON
I have listened with great care to all the noble Lord, Lord Bowles, has said in reply to my arguments. I am not satisfied that he has really answered the cardinal point of the argument, which is that the Secretary of State's position now is entirely different from what it was under the 1944 Act, when those previous powers did or did not exist. I am not satisfied with the answer given to me by the Minister. He has sought to explain that the Secretary of State's general accountability to Parliament should be sufficient to cover the anxieties of the member bodies of the teacher associations. I am not satisfied that is so. He also sought to suggest, as did my noble friend Lord Aberdare, that the Affirmative Procedure was unduly cumbrous for a matter of this sort. That is perhaps possible.
The Minister made a number of points some of them of a rather technical character, in regard to the Amendments, which I should have to study with greater care and to which I do not feel able to reply at this moment. He also made an important point, which was that there was no provision in my Amendments to deal with the position of the employers' association. The reason I do not think that is necessary is that the Secretary of State is himself one of the employers; he is there in the position of an employer and I do not think that the employers' association need any protection from him. I am thinking in my Amendment of the employees.
§ LORD BOWLES
The noble Lord will of course remember that the Minister is in a minority of the employing panel on the negotiating committee, and therefore it is rather relevant.
§ LORD COLYTON
I quite understand, What I would suggest and what I propose to do is this: I think at this hour of the evening, with a rather thin House, 1319 it would perhaps not be the best thing to press this matter to a Division now. What I should like to do is to look at the matter again and to read the Minister's speech. In redrafting the Amendments for presentation at Report stage, I should certainly be willing, if it would help the Government, to drop the proposal for the Affirmative Resolution procedure in favour of the Negative Resolution procedure, which, of course, as the noble Lord will be aware, has been used in cases of this sort: it was used in the Education (Scotland) Bill, 1946, which prescribed the scales of teachers' salaries and which laid down that these were to be fixed by regulation for which the annulment procedure could be applied in both Houses of Parliament. If he will look at that Bill he will see that this kind of procedure has been used in this sort of case before.
I would propose to introduce the Negative Resolution procedure into the further Amendments and to move them again on Report stage, when I hope we shall have a fuller House, and I would propose to press them to a Division. I believe this is a matter which the other place should consider; they have not considered this new point at all. I think it is a matter which should go back to the other place to give them a chance of ruling on it again. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 to 8 agreed to.
§ Clause 9 [Short title, citation, construction and extent]:
§ 6.59 p.m.
LORD BOWLES moved to leave out subsection (2) and insert—
(2) The Education Acts 1944 to 1964 and this Act may be cited together as the Education Acts 1944 to 1965.
§ The noble Lord said: I beg to move this Amendment. This Amendment and the following one are minor ones which do not in any way affect the substantive provisions of the Bill. They are necessary because the Bill was passed through the House of Commons last year, 1964, and it is now 1965, and the formal provisions as to its being one of the series of Education Acts and as to its construction as one of those Acts are in a form 1320 which was suitable in 1964 but is no longer suitable in 1965.
§ Perhaps I may talk about the next Amendment, and I will move it formally. The first Amendment has the effect of enabling the Bill and all the previous Education Acts to be referred to together in a short and convenient form. The exact wording of the subsection was necessary in 1964 because the Education Act, 1964, had already been passed during that year. The second Amendment, which I shall move in a moment, is consequential on the first and omits words which have now become unnecessary. It is probably unnecessary to inform your Lordships that it is not necessary to have the date changed because it is done automatically by the printers when the House orders the Bill to be printed for the last time. I beg to move.
Page 6, line 29, leave out subsection (2) and insert the said new subsection.—(Lord Bowles.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Page 6, line 31, leave out from ("with") to second ("the") in line 32.—(Lord Bowles.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 9, as amended, agreed to.
§ House resumed: Bill reported with Amendments.