HL Deb 26 January 1967 vol 279 cc692-707

4.2 p.m.

House again in Committee.


The Committee has so great a respect for the noble Lord, Lord Champion, that I think the argument he put before us deserves a short reply. The noble Lord mentioned his attitude when what is known as the London Government Act 1963 was before your Lordships' House, and he explained his preference, which he then expressed, that elections in the boroughs and the election of the larger body should not take place in the same year. That is a perfectly possible line to take, and one may or may not agree with it; but what we have to consider is what is the law of the land to-day and whether it ought to be changed to the detriment of the rights of electors in the boroughs. May I say, in passing, to the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, that whether or not a high proportion of the electors will go to the polls either this year or next year, or whether the proportion next year will be greater than it would have been this year, has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the subject before the Committee. If the electors have a right to elect a body, the proportion in which they go to the polls is their affair and not ours.

I turn to the more serious point put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Champion. He said that if we were to amend this Bill we should be endangering our constitutional position. Let us examine that a little further.


I did not say it exactly in relation to the Bill. I was then talking about the Divisions in this House as a whole in the present circumstances, there being a majority on the other side and a minority on this side.


That is fair enough. I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Champion, knows me well enough to know that I should not willingly misrepresent him in any way, and I think I am going to deal quite fairly with his argument. Let us examine that argument. If your Lordships' House is not entitled to amend a Bill which, when it becomes law, will be known as the London Government Act 1966, then by what right was your Lordships' House entitled to reject the Statute of 1963 on Second Reading? We did not reject it on Second Reading, but the Labour Party moved that we should. When the Bill of 1963, which is now the London Government Act 1963, was before this House the Labour Party did not say, "This Bill has been passed by a great majority in the House of Commons and it would be very improper for us to reject it". On the contrary, they divided against it and invited your Lordships' House to reject it. On this occasion we are not seeking to destroy the Bill. If these Amendments are adopted, most of the Bill—a great deal of it, at any rate—will remain. If noble Lords will examine it, they will find that it is not the whole of the Bill that is challenged by the Amendments.

Is the noble Lord right in saying that there is a tendency in this Committee to indulge in too many Divisions? Every noble Lord is entitled to his own opinion, but I certainly do not think that that represents the attitude of myself and my noble friends. What I am quite certain of is that it is the duty of your Lordships' House to try to improve Bills. I do not know, nor, I respectfully say, does the noble Lord know, what will be the attitude of another place to this Amendment if we carry it. Another place will wish to consider the Bill as it is returned to them. Since I had twenty years' service in the House of Commons, perhaps the noble Lord will accept from me that I have the greatest respect and affection for it, as I know that he has, but I deplore this increasing tendency of Her Majesty's Government to say that any Amendment we seek to make on the merits will necessarily be resented by another place. How do they know? And how insulting that is to another place! I do not deny for one moment that conflicts of opinion may arise between your Lordships' House and another place which, when they arise, must be most carefully considered; but what I do say is that, if your Lordships' House is to perform a useful function at all, it must consider on their merits the Bills that come before it.

I gave on Second Reading my own view on the question of postponement of elections. I think there are occasions when it may be right, or necessary, to deprive the electors of their rights of election. Those cases are—they were quoted again by my noble friend Lord Brooke of Cumnor this afternoon—necessity, which cer- tainly does not apply in this case; or agreement of the Parties, which also does not apply. Whatever may be the state of affairs at a later stage, if Her Majesty's Government allege to-day (I do not know whether they will) that we shall be doing something which they know will be resented by another place, they will be making a statement which is not only insulting to your Lordships' House but, I believe, insulting to the other place also.

4.10 p.m.


I think this is an appropriate moment for a member of the Government to speak to defend the Bill and to ask the Committee to reject the Amendment which has been moved by the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor. First of all, may I join with noble Lords who have spoken in welcoming back my noble friend Lord Champion? He issued a warning that perhaps he could not support the Government on every occasion, Now, having independence, he might wish to exercise it. I have had some experience of my noble friend and I should like to say to him that if he is of this mind, will he please stay away; and if he cannot stay away, will he please remain silent, because noble Lords opposite perhaps appreciate as much as I do the power of his silver tongue.

In his speech, the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, gave the reasons why he and the Conservative Party have put forward this Amendment. There was not one moment in that speech when he spoke of the need of quality in local government and of how much local government depends upon the manner in which elections are conducted. Indeed, he said that a high poll in itself was not a compelling reason for change. His whole approach was Party political.

I would remind the House that the Government responsible for the London Government Act of 1963 said that it would raise the quality of local government in London. As my noble friend Lord Champion said, we took the view that the provisions for separate elections for the Greater London Council and the London boroughs were not in the interests of London local government. We tried on Committee and again on Report to change them. On that occasion, the noble Lord, Lord Hastings, speaking for the Government of the day said that the case was "marginal" and "finely balanced". We did not take that view, nor did those with great experience in local government whom we had consulted. I cannot but believe that if the previous Administration had not been so obstinate, the present Bill would not have been necessary.

The noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, in putting the case for his Amendment, now agrees with the argument we put forward on the London Government Act in 1963. He accepts that there should be elections for the Greater London Council in one year and for the borough councils in another year. He believes that this is right in the interests of London local government. Therefore the principle is conceded and the issue is relatively simple: should this matter, which is right in principle for the electorate of London, be implemented as soon as possible, or should it be delayed for Party political reasons? That is the issue on which the Committee must make up their minds.

The effect of the noble Lord's Amendment is that on Thursday, May 11, elections for the London boroughs will have to take place under Section 57(4) of the Representation of the People Act 1948, and elections for the Greater London Council will take place on April 13, following the Order that has been made by the Secretary of State for the Home Office. I would remind the Committee that the existing borough councils became separate entities only in 1965, and even with the postponement of the borough elections these councils will have been in effective power for only three years, whereas if the noble Lord's Amendment were accepted, the councils would be in power for four years.

I believe that there should be only one criterion on which to base our judgment: what is good for the electorate. Some noble Lords may not be aware of the size of the London boroughs. I would remind them that on the average, a Greater London borough comprises some 230,000 voters, and some boroughs have as many as 250,000. As my noble friend Lord Lindgren said, imagine the difficulties of candidates and political Parties, even in one election, in boroughs of that size, let alone attempting to do the job twice within 30 days. Surely the task of making clear to the electorate the issues involved is a vital factor in the holding of elections and in the maintaining of democracy. The functions of the Greater London Council are utterly different from those of the London boroughs. The Greater London Council are responsible for such things as long-term planning, main roads, fire and ambulance services and overspill building, and the boroughs are responsible for such things as health, welfare, child care and, in some cases, education. If the noble Lord's Amendment were carried, conceive the task of candidates and political Parties in canvassing two basically different sets of issues over these large boroughs. Canvassing is vital in an election, and everyone who has had any experience of elections is aware of the difficulty of finding canvassers.

Is the Conservative Party going to issue one election address to cover the Greater London Council election and the borough elections?—and the election address is probably the best way of giving the electors a clear understanding of the issues involved. I do not believe it is possible to describe the proposals of the Conservative Party for both Greater London Council and borough councils in one election address. On the other hand, even where Parties have a strong force of voluntary workers, how is it possible to deliver two election addresses within 30 days? I remember, on Committee stage of the London Government Bill, seeking to persuade the Government of the day that in view of the size of these boroughs a free postal delivery should be made. That was rejected. But we also have to issue a polling card. A polling card is very necessary for the elector when he wishes to vote. A formidable task confronts even the strongest political Party in the event of just one election for a borough. But for two to follow each other so quickly would, I believe, be stretching the machine beyond its capacity.

Just consider what happens on polling day. Efficient organisation is a most important factor for a high poll. You have to get out the sick and the elderly; you have to be able to deal with the postal vote and those voters who have removed from the district. It is bad enough to do it for one election of this size, but to do it twice in 30 days would, I believe, stretch the machines beyond the limit. One of the greatest obstacles to a high poll is the boredom and frustration of electors. I do not think there is anything more infuriating in elections than the "knocker up", the man who comes in the middle of the television programme and says: "Have you voted?" You answer: "No; but I will come along later". But if he is fairly strong and virile, he will no doubt get you out. I do not think "knockers-up" do the political Parties much good; but they are a necessary means of getting the voters out in the last hour of an election. What sort of reputation would the political Parties have if they used "knockers-up" twice in 30 days?

I have been interested in Party political management and fighting elections, and I have talked, as I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, has, with the Party agent. One thing that is desired in an election is that on polling day the machine and the enthusiasm of supporters shall be at flash point; that the campaign shall have reached the point where the maximum result can be achieved. But can anyone conceive of bringing the electorate to flash point twice within 30 days? I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, would agree that that is not likely.

In 1964 we had an unprecedented campaign, when the full resources of the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Party were thrown into the battle. There were great heights to be captured. The Greater London Council elections were held 30 days before the borough elections. On that occasion, the voting was 44.2 per cent. When we took the borough elections—and this is interesting, because the Government of the day believed that the maximum interest of the electors would be in the borough elections—the vote fell to 35.7 per cent. I hope that this proves the point I have been making.

I believe it is vital in the interests of London government, or of any local government, that the issues shall be clearly understood; that the political machines shall be at their highest and most efficient, and that the electorate shall be enthusiastic in the campaign. I believe that this may be achieved by separate elections, but I am convinced that it would not be achieved by having two elections within 30 days. I thought that the liberal Party agreed with us, but I gather from the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, that he and his friends will vote with the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor. I suggest that the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, before he votes, should consult the records of another place to see how his old leader and his new leader voted, together with their other colleagues.


The noble Lord obviously did not listen to what I said. I said that there was a division of opinion among Liberals on this matter, but that we had listened to the speeches on Second Reading and, as a result, had decided to support the Amendment. We in this House, whatever may be the case with noble Lords opposite, are not slavish adherents to what happens in another place.


I am glad that the noble Lord is flexible, and perhaps after listening to my speech, and particularly the piece I am coming to, he will still be flexible, in spite of the commitment that he has made on behalf of himself and his colleagues, and change his mind. I hope he does.

The case put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, on Second Reading and to-day is that what the Government are doing is against the interests of his Party; and he believes that if these elections were to take place in 1967 there would be a massive change. I want the Committee to bear these dates very much in mind. On December 31, 1965, the Home Office consulted with the Greater London Council and the London Boroughs Association as to the dates for the respective elections. On January 25, 1966, there was a Question by Mr. Lubbock, the Liberal Chief Whip, in which he asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he had received from local authorities in Greater London about the timing of the Greater London Council and the London borough elections. The Minister of State said that, so far, no representations had taken place. On February 8, 1966, the Greater London Council considered the approach of the Home Secretary, and this is a passage from their minutes: We also take the view that a separate year. as well as a separate day, should be provided for the two elections in order to keep alive a sense of civic awareness in an otherwise long interval without an opportunity to vote. In 1967 elections to the London borough councils will take place in the week ending the 7th May. They then go on in the minute: It is the Council's view that elections of London borough councillors should as soon as possible be held in a different year from the elections of the Greater London Council". Therefore the public interest, known to all the political Parties, is for a change.

On February 9 the Home Office was informed. On January 28, 1966, the special committee of the London Boroughs Association came to a unanimous decision; and eventually, after consultation, 27 other boroughs endorsed the change, and 20 of them wished the change to take effect from 1967. There were further Questions in the House on April 28, 1966, and May 24, 1966, and on no occasion did the official Opposition raise any comment on it. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor—and I hope the Committee will take this into account—that no representations have been made by the Central Office of the Conservative Party on this matter.

The only possible construction that I can put on the suddenly generated hostility to this change is that the Conservative Party decided to start in Parliament the campaign for the Greater London Council and the boroughs. The noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, used words of dishonour about my right honourable friend the Home Secretary. I think he knows him as well as I do. I do not think anybody who knows my right honourable friend would ever believe that he would be dishonourable. I believe that the Conservative Party have started the political campaign and have started it with the smear—I repeat, the smear—that this Government were prepared to alter the borough elections for their own political advantage. As I said on Second Reading, if I had been a Party political manager wishing to ensure that my Party was going to be returned, I certainly should have tried to find a date which to me at least was foreseeable on which my Party could have been returned.

The main boroughs which have made these recommendations were Labour controlled. We had a great victory last year. It is easy to say, therefore, that it would have been far better for us to go to the poll in 1967 than to go into 1968. The Government have recommended that these borough elections should take place in 1968 when clearly they could go against us. I am heartened in my estimate of what could occur in the borough elections in 1967 by the Gallup Poll and the National Opinion Poll of to-day. I think this is of interest to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor. In the Greater London Council elections of 1964, Labour polled 44.6 per cent.; the National Opinion Poll now place the figure at 47.4 per cent.; whereas the Conservatives, ever declining, in the Greater London Council elections polled 39.8 per cent., and in the National Opinion Poll the figure is now 38.4 per cent. Therefore, on these figures, if one were a Party politician making a decision for Party political advantage, surely the answer would be to go to the poll in 1967.

I will say this to the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor. If we were to do what the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, wants us to do, to accept the Amendment, it would be we who would be gerrymandering, because we should have changed our minds as to what is right in the interests of the electors, and changed our minds in order to take advantage of the surge of popular support we are now receiving. Noble Lords may laugh, but is it not true? Noble Lords opposite have decided—I would say this to those noble Lords on the Cross Benches, who may not have so much knowledge of the political activities of the Conservative Party—to indulge in the one thing which they do when they get desperate, when they have no policy, and that is, smear. The speech of the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, was a smear on my Party, my Government, and my right honourable friend. I do not worry, because the electorate are getting wiser. They see a smear for what it is. They see what is right, and it is on that that they will judge.

We believe that this Bill should go forward; we believe that it will provide the proper basis for the electors of London to decide what, and who, shall govern the Greater London Council, and what shall be the policies. By delaying this election for one year there will be no confusion, and the electorate will be able to understand the position fully and make their decisions as to who shall be their councillors in 1968. I believe that if the Committee were to accept the Amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Brooke of Cumnor, it would be one of the greatest disservices to London government and local government that this Committee could possibly do.

4.34 p.m.


If I may say so with every respect, I have seldom heard a more audacious attempt to make the worse appear the better cause. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, for having announced the support of the Liberal Party in this House for my Amendment; and I would wish also to refer to the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Champion. When I first came into this House, I quickly sensed that there were few people in the House from whom I could better learn how to behave in this House, how to speak, and how to carry conviction among noble Lords on all sides of the the House than the noble Lord, Lord Champion, and nobody regrets more than I do that he is no longer sitting on the Front Bench opposite. But I cannot go with him when he suggests that it would be somehow improper for your Lordships' House to amend this Bill in the sense suggested. This was not in any Party programme; it was not announced as one of the issues on which the electorate were asked to cast their votes last March. Nor is it a matter of finance.

The noble Lord, Lord Champion, said that there was a matter of vital principle here. I think there is a matter of vital principle, which should lead all well-principled people to support this Amendment. But, surely, the argument that your Lordships' House must seldom divide is a fallacious one, based on the supposition that in some way the final power rests with this House. Surely when an Amendment is carried against the Government in your Lordships' House, whatever Government may be in power, that is really an invitation to another place to think again. It gives time for that to be done. Few of us would ever consider it improper if we were asked to think again by somebody on any subject, and most of us are well aware that we should have lived our lives rather more sensibly if sometimes we had given ourselves time to think again.

The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, took me to task for not showing sufficient interest in the quality of local government. I am quite prepared to let the record stand over many years as to whether he or I have shown the greater interest in the quality of local government. I was not aware that I used the argument he attributed to me, that a high poll was not a compelling reason for change. I think a high poll is a good thing, but I also think it is perfectly possible to conduct two sets of elections within four or five weeks. His Party and my Party did it in 1949. I remember it well, because I was leader of the Conservative Party on the London County Council at that time. His Party and my Party did it in 1964, and there was no practical difficulty about it.

I am quite prepared to accept the view of the Government now that in the years ahead of us we should not have two sets of elections on the same day, as set out in the 1963 Act, because, as I said on Second Reading, I am greatly influenced by the town clerks' report about the practical difficulties. But the noble Lord was really astray in bringing the town clerks into his argument here, because their report was not related to the problem with which this Amendment is concerned. There is no question of the two sets of local government elections taking place on the same day in 1967. They are going to be at a four weeks' interval in any event, and I am accepting that they should not be on the same day in 1970 or thereafter. What I am not accepting is that it is lawful to change the rules in the middle of the game.


You have changed them often.


The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, was making a speech which amounted to saying that if one side is one goal down and persuades the referee, incorrectly, that his watch is fast and therefore he must allow another quarter of an hour's play, the side leading by a goal is in some way smearing if it protests. It seems to me that any moral obliquity is entirely on the other side.

The noble Lord was concerned to argue that people in London would be much more desirous of casting their vote in May, 1967, than in May, 1968. By chance, during this debate, and since I made my earlier speech, a letter has been handed to me from a complete stranger, with a South-East London postmark, and it says this: May I, as an elector, ratepayer and parent, urge you to use your considerable influence and authority to persuade your eminent colleagues in the House of Lords to reject the specious and unworthy London Government Bill? Many of my friends feel that the London borough elections are being postponed for one reason among others—that the Labour Party finds it convenient to postpone the electors' wrath over their comprehensive education proposals for London. However that may be, that is what some people clearly are feeling about this, judging by the letters that I and others of my noble friends have been receiving.

But I am not resting my case on comprehensive education or any policy items of that kind. I am resting my case on the importance of not changing the laws in the middle of the game. It is perfectly legitimate for Parliament to say that those persons who are elected at some future election, whether for Parliament or for a local council, shall serve for a different period of years. That is exactly the same as the M.C.C. were doing yesterday; namely, altering the rules of the County Championship for the coming summer. But what is not legitimate is, in the middle of the game, to alter the rules and say, "Whatever the other side may say, we are going to play to these new rules, which will give us a better chance of winning". That is condemned universally, and that is precisely the objection we have to this particular clause in the Bill.

What gives me most concern is that there are so many members of the Labour Party—I hope not many in this House, but outside—who fail to realise the force of that objection. I have had it quoted that all this is excused by the London Government Act, 1963, when the Conservative Government carried out the reorganisation of London local government. But that reorganisaion was carried out on the unanimous recommendation of a Royal Commission, which included members of all Parties and of none. They came to a unanimous conclusion, and the Conservative Government of that date carried through a reorganisation plan which, so far as the boundaries of Greater London were concerned, was rather less favourable to the Conservative Party than the unani- mous recommendations of the Royal Commission.


I am grateful to the noble Lord for giving way. It seems to me that had the Conservative Government of the day followed the unanimous proposals of the Royal Commission, there might have been some force in his argument now. But the fact of the matter is that they departed radically from those recommendations.


I was just pointing out that they did depart in one respect, which was unfavourable to the Conservative Party. And that reinforces what I said; that all of those who carried responsibility in the Conservative Government for matters of the representation of the people always sought to ensure that there would be no Party bias in their decisions or recommendations to Parliament.


Perhaps I may ask the noble Lord one question, and I put it merely as a question, although perhaps an attacking question. I understand the noble Lord's hostility to this Bill, but may I ask him, recognising that the boroughs of London knew that the Home Secretary was considering their representation, and also the representation of the Greater London Council, and that all political Parties must have been aware of it, why the head office of the Conservative Party did not raise it with the Home Secretary? Why did not Members of this House raise it by Question or debate? Why was there not a greater noise in the House of Commons?


My answer is that when I was Home Secretary I never remember receiving representations from Transport House or from Labour Party headquarters officially on any matter that was highly charged with Party politics. Those matters were dealt with by Members of both Houses of Parliament, and it seems to me that is right.

I cannot speak for all my noble friends, but my own belief, quite frankly, last year was that the Labour Party would not sink to bring forward a measure that would change the rules for the 1967 elections. It seemed to me quite unthinkable that a political Party would do that. I had assumed that in due course we should have a Bill to separate the elections on to different dates in 1970 and thereafter, and that was a matter which could be taken in its turn. The moment I heard of this iniquitous proposal I lost no time in expressing my personal views about it, and I know that they are widely shared in London.

But may I come back for a moment to the point I was making before I was interrupted by the noble Lord, Lord Pargiter? I was seeking to make clear to your Lordships the distinction between the London Government Act 1963, founded principally on the unanimous recommendations of an all-Party Royal Commission, and this Bill, which, so far as the 1967 elections are concerned, touches quite obviously on a matter of sharp Party controversy, in which nearly all the Conservative-controlled boroughs and the Conservative minorities in the Labour-controlled boroughs wished for the elections to take place in 1967 and not to be changed. So far as the 1967 elections are concerned this measure is founded by the Government solely on the argument that if the elections take place in 1968 rather than in 1967 there may be a higher poll. I do not accept that hypothetical argument as a sufficient reason for doing what I have always regarded as the unforgivable thing, and that is changing the rules in the middle of the game for the benefit of one side.


May I ask the noble Lord whether he is dealing with this matter entirely from the point of view of an important principle? May I have an answer to that question?


I am not absolutely certain whether I heard the noble Lord correctly, but if he asked me whether I was dealing with this matter entirely from the point of view of principle I say, Yes. I am dealing with it on the grounds that when the electors have been led to expect that those whom they elected are going out of office on a certain date and that they will have an opportunity to make their new choices on that date, a Parliamentary majority ought not to deprive members of the public, in their capacity as electors, of that right.


Is it not a fact that this Bill comes to us from the House of Commons, and therefore the House of Commons has accepted this principle to which the noble Lord so much objects, and therefore a Division on this will be a challenge to the House of Commons on a question of principle? Is that not the position?

4.50 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 86: Not-Contents, 61.

Ailwyn, L. Eccles, V. Milverton, L.
Airedale, L. Ellenborough, L. Molson, L.
Albemarle, E. Elliot of Harwood, Bs. Monk Bretton, L.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Emmet of Amberley, Bs. Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Amory, V. Erroll of Hale, L. Moyne, L.
Ampthill, L. Ferrers, E. Napier and Ettrick, L.
Ashbourne, L. Ferrier, L. Newton, L.
Auckland, L. Fleck, L. Nugent of Guildford, L.
Balfour of Burleigh, L. Foley, L. Ogmore, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Forbes, L. Redmayne, L.
Barrington, V. Fortescue, E. Ridley, V.
Blackford, L. Fraser of North Cape, L. Russell of Liverpool, L.
Boston, L. Gage, V. St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.]
Bourne, L. Greenway, L. St. Helens, L.
Bridgeman, V. Grenfell, L. St. Oswald, L.
Brocket, L. Hacking, L. Salter, L.
Brooke of Cumnor, L. Harlech, L. Sandford, L.
Brooke of Ystradfellte, Bs. Hawke, L. Sandys, L.
Carrington, L. Hereford, V. Sempill, Ly.
Clwyd, L. Horsbrugh, Bs. Somers, L.
Coleraine, L. Howard of Glossop, L. Stamp, L.
Conesford, L. Ilford, L. Strange, L.
Cottesloe, L. Inglewood, L. Strange of Knokin, Bs.
Craigavon, V. Limerick, E. Strathclyde, L.
Craigmyle, L. Lindsey and Abingdon, E. Vivian, L.
Denham, L. [Teller.] MacAndrew, L. Wakefield of Kendal, L.
Derwent, L. Massereene and Ferrard, V. Windlesham, L.
Drumalbyn, L. Merrivale, L. Wolverton, L.
Dudley, L. Meston, L.
Addison, V. Hilton of Upton, L. [Teller.] Phillips, Bs.
Arwyn, L. Hunt, L. Popplewell, L.
Beswick, L. Hurcomb, L. Rhodes, L.
Bowden, L. Iddesleigh, E. Ritchie-Calder, L.
Bowles, L. Inman, L. Royle, L.
Brockway, L. Kennet, L. Sainsbury, L.
Burden, L. Kirkwood, L. St. Davids, V.
Burton of Coventry, Bs. Latham, L. Shackleton, L.
Campbell of Eskan, L. Leatherland, L. Serota, Bs.
Chalfont, L. Lindgren, L. Shepherd, L.
Champion, L. Llewelyn-Davies, L. Silkin, L.
Citrine, L. Lloyd of Hampstead, L. Snow, L.
Collison, L. Longford, E. (L. Privy Seal.) Soper, L.
Cooper of Stockton Heath, L. Maelor, L. Sorensen, L. [Teller.]
Crook, L. Merthyr, L. Strang, L.
Faringdon, L. Mitchison, L. Taylor, L.
Francis-Williams, L. Morris of Kenwood, L. Wells-Pestell, L.
Gaitskell, Bs. Morrison, L. Williamson, L.
Gardiner, L. (L. Chancellor.) Moyle, L. Willis, L.
Granville-West, L. Pargiter, L. Wootton of Abinger, Bs.
Hall, V.

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.


As the remaining Amendments are linked together, I wonder whether the Committee would agree to their being put en bloc.


Certainly I would agree.


I beg to move.

Amendments moved—

Page 1, line 8, leave out ("1968") and insert ("1971").

Page 1, line 9, leave out ("1968") and insert ("1971").

Page 1, line 11, leave out from ("1963") to end of line 12 and insert ("after the words ' three years ' there shall be inserted the words (except as hereafter provided in this subsection)', and after 1967'there shall be inserted the words in the year 1971'").

Page 1, line 13, leave out subsection (2).

Page 1, line 20, leave out ("1967").

Page 1, line 22, leave out ("1968").

Page 1, line 24, leave out subsection (4).—(Lord Brooke of Cumnor.)

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.