§ 2.39 p.m.
§ THE PAYMASTER GENERAL (VISCOUNT ECCLES)
My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committe on this Bill.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Viscount Eccles.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL OF LISTOWEL in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 [Liberty to charge for admission]:
LORD STRABOLGI moved Amendment No. 1:
Page 1, line 7, after ("may") insert ("subject to section (Parliamentary control of admission charges) below").
§ The noble Lord said: I beg leave to move Amendment No. 1. This is a 587 paving Amendment only, and I should like, with the permission of the Committee, to take with it Amendment No. 4, which deals with the Parliamentary control of admission charges; Amendment No. 5, which deals with the free days, and Amendment No. 6, which deals with the exempted persons and reduced charges.
I am glad to see that these Amendments have the support of noble Lords in all parts of the House. I should like to deal briefly with the reasons why they have been tabled. The present legal position is that out of the 18 institutions listed in the Appendix to the Government's White Paper no legislation is required for imposing admission charges in 14 of them. However, the Government have been advised, I understand, that legislation is required for four institutions, including the British Museum: and these are the four named in the Bill. But this is enabling legislation; there is no requirement on the trustees of these institutions to make charges. As the noble Viscount the Paymaster General said in Second Reading, the Bill does not specify the charges, because that is a matter of arrangement between the Government and the museums. The noble Lord, Lord Trevelyan, Chairman of the Trustees of the British Museum, also on Second Reading, and speaking about the British Museum, said:
If Parliament amends the Act in a way which clearly indicates that they want the trustees to charge, the trustees must take into account Parliament's wishes. They must then decide the question in accordance with their views about the balance of advantage to the Museum's visitors; scholars, students and the general public. I cannot anticipate their decision."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22/11/71, col. 862.]
Those were the words of the Chairman of the Trustees. But even if the charges are made against the Trustees' wishes—and I remember well the moving speech of the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, who is, of course, a Trustee of the National Gallery, regretting the charges—there is nothing to stop the Government, either now or in the future, from bringing pressure to bear on the Trustees to increase the charges or to vary them.
As the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, said last October, since the Trustees
get all the money from the Government they always agree with the Government over the general picture, and this is exactly what is happening now." — [OFFICIAL REPORT. 18/10/71; col. 423.]
Parliament is being asked, therefore, to pass legislation the effects of which cannot be foreseen and over which Parliament has no control. These Amendments seek to ensure a measure of control. There is nothing in them which prevents charges from being made, or which prevents the Minister from making what arrangements he can with the trustees of these institutions. All we are seeking to do is to require the Secretary of State for Education and Science, and the Secretary of State for Scotland, to lay a statement, or statements, on the Table of each House which will be subject to the Negative Resolution procedure, setting out the agreed charges and any concessions before the Act becomes effective. This would, I suggest, give Parliament a chance to look at the final scheme. The Government would also have to lay a further statement before Parliament if at any time it is proposed to vary the admission charges. I also suggest to the Committee that such an arrangement would afford some protection to trustees against any undue pressure, both now and in the years to come.
§ Lest it be thought that this proposal might infringe on the independence and responsibility of the trustees, may I remind the Committee that a very similar provision is included in the National Gallery and Tate Gallery Act 1954. That Act gives the Trustees of the National Gallery in particular power to lend pictures or other works of art for exhibition outside the United Kingdom. During its passage through Parliament, there was considerable concern that once this power to lend was allowed the Trustees might be persuaded, against their better judgment, by the then Government, or by a future Government, to lend certain of our national treasures abroad, perhaps for diplomatic reasons, without sufficient safeguards about travelling and climatic conditions, security and so on, a situation of which we have of course seen some examples in Continental countries in recent years.
§ The Conservative Government of the day, after consideration, decided, with the Trustees' agreement, that there should 589 be a measure of Parliamentary control written into the Act, and the noble Earl, Lord Selkirk, who was Paymaster General at the time, moved an Amendment stipulating that no picture painted before the year 1700 was to be lent abroad unless the proposal had been laid before Parliament in a Statutory Instrument. This Amendment became subsection (2) of Section 4 of the present Act, and I am told that it has been a very satisfactory arrangement. I had something to do with it at the time, and I should like to mention that this provision was proposed at the express wish of the Trustees of the National Gallery, to ensure them the protection of a Parliamentary review against any possible pressure from a Minister, or from the Treasury. These Amendments before us to-day are also basically about Parliamentary control of the Executive—one of the most important of our democratic safeguards. I submit that this is a principle which should be supported, whether one agrees with admission charges or not. I beg to move.
§ LORD BEAUMONT OF WHITLEY
There are two opinions about the principle of charging for entry to galleries and museums. In fact, one may well say that there are three, because for a large part of the time I certainly find myself in a third category: that of the "Don't knows". But I have found very few people, whatever view they take about the main principle, who are not interested in and concerned about the way in which charges are going to be administered and about the whole question of season tickets, exceptions and all that one would, in most cases, regard as the minutia of administrative action, but which in this case, I suggest, are very far from minutiae. The particular axe that I have to grind is that I am in favour of the admission of school children, not just in school parties, up to the age of 16. We have heard considerable testimony at one time or another, including that from the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown. who spoke from personal experience, about the value which free entry into museums and galleries can have for children who are growing up, particularly for underprivileged children.
The other day I was in one of the great Northern cities, and, as is usually my way when I have time between a lunchtime meeting at a university and 590 catching my train, I went into the local art gallery. I was interested to see that to a large extent it was acting as what I suppose I can refer to only as "a snogging shop" for the adolescents of the city. They were perfectly well behaved; they were not getting in anyone's way; they obviously did not have anywhere much more agreeable to meet in that particular city on a wet afternoon. I believe very strongly that it is this particular ability to make use of museums and galleries for possibly what one might regard from a straight, artistic and aesthetic point of view as the wrong reason, which gets young people and children used to seeing works of art and to appreciating them. From time to time, perhaps, when their "date" is late, they will go round and will learn what it is all about. Of course, it does not happen only in that way. There are many children who like to go into museums and galleries just for the sake of going into museums and galleries, and they are not necessarily those in relation to whom their parents will always regard it a benefit to buy a season ticket for them, no matter how low the cost might be. I am absolutely convinced that from an educational point of view it would be a crime to put any barrier against children entering museums and galleries as freely as possible.
That is the particular axe that I have to grind. Other noble Lords have theirs; and, indeed, so far as I have been able to discover, anyone with an interest in the Arts has some point of this kind to urge. It is for this reason that I think we should be allowed to see and comment on the details of any scheme that is put forward before it finally goes into law. This Amendment is not in any way a wrecking Amendment: it is an Amendment to allow democracy to have its way; to allow Members of Parliament in both Houses to have a look at a detailed scheme about which there is considerable disquiet and even more interest. I sincerely hope that the noble Viscount the Minister who is in charge of the Bill will see his way to accepting the Amendment, which gives away nothing of the principle which he is standing for, rightly or wrongly, but allows us all, and possibly himself, to go forward with his scheme with a greater sympathy and knowing that he has a far greater measure of public opinion behind him.
§ LORD MAYBRAY-KING
I want to make an appeal to my noble friend Lord Eccles to accept at any rate Amendment No. 5, which is one of those we are dealing with in this group. Some fifty years ago, when I was a poor student in London, I certainly could not afford to hear music. I discovered that the Albert Hall gave concerts on Sunday afternoons and that if you queued on Sunday afternoons then by the terms of the charter of the Albert Hall there were a number of free standing places from which you could hear the concerts there. It is almost not too much to say that my own love of music began through the free standing places that I had in the Albert Hall as a poor student some Sunday afternoons fifty years ago. A little later, when I was able to go abroad for the first time, I found that in Paris the Louvre was either free or at half price on Sunday; that in Venice the Academia, one of the most precious art galleries in the whole world, is free on Sunday mornings; and that the Palazzo Ducale, in Venice, is half price on Sundays—and even to-day, if one goes either to Paris or to Venice, one sees enormous queues waiting on the free days or on the half-price days for the privilege of enjoying works that they could not enjoy if it were not for the reduced prices. So I hope that the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, whatever he does about the other Amendments—and they are quite innocent ones, which simply ask for a little more Parliamentary control over the charges he is going to impose—will accept Amendment No. 5, which says that in any case, whatever charges the Government decide to impose, there will be days on which those charges will either be non-existent or at least half price.
§ 2.55 p.m.
LORD SHIN WELL
I find myself wholeheartedly on the side of the noble Lords, Lord Strabolgi, Lord Beaumont of Whitley and Lord Maybray-King in support of this Amendment. Of course, we are not debating the principle involved; that is to say, whether charges should be imposed. That, I understand, was decided in the Second Reading debate in your Lordships' House. The issue is whether there should be a measure of Parliamentary control. Obviously, Parliament is concerned in the matter of administration as to whether there should 592 be exceptions, and, if there are to be exceptions, or if there are to be special impositions affecting children or the like, whether Parliament should have a say in the matter. It seems to me that as Parliament exercises a certain measure of financial control in matters concerning museums and art galleries, and particularly the National Gallery and other establishments of a similar character, there is every reason why there should be some further measure of Parliamentary control.
I want to follow what my noble friend Lord Maybray-King has said. I gained practically all the beginning of my education in the Kelvin Art Gallery in Glasgow. Like many others who left school at the age of 11½or 12 having received no education, or practically no education, I gravitated towards the Kelvin Art Gallery and gained a great deal of information on the subject of evolution, concerned with palaeontology, osteology and matters of that sort, and became almost an authority on that subject. I have forgotten most of it by now, having engaged in political life. One does not quarrel with these sort of matters, unless one is an expert; but over and above that, one was able to gain some knowledge of art. One did not understand the principles underlying art then. I do not pretend that I understand the principles underlying art even now, but I can admire a fine painting. I can recall some admirable paintings at the time, one in particular of Robert Cunninghame Graham. I think it was by Whistler. Naturally, I was interested in Robert Cunninghame Graham, who was a descendant of Scottish kings, or at any rate claimed, as the laird of Gartmore, that he was a descendant of Scottish kings, because he had written several books and I had read those books. They were books not necessarily for children or even for adolescents, but there was a certain connotation which interested young people; and I read those books and saw that painting. In later years I spoke from the same platform as Robert Cuninghame Graham. I recall incident, of various kinds, during unemployment demonstrations in Glasgow, and so on. He was interested in social matters of that Sort.
593 So one gains some kind of education: not the kind of academic education that noble Lords like Lord Robbins and others can claim, to their advantage and to the advantage of your Lordships' House and those in universities and like academic institutions. It is a great advantage to have had an academic education; but it is equally an advantage, and one derives considerable benefit from it, to have had an education which follows a lack of education of the normal character.
The noble Viscount the Paymaster General has gained a great victory, if such it can be called, in pushing through this measure to impose a charge for entrance to museums, art galleries and the like, and I would ask him to agree to a concession. After all, we are asking not for the establishment but for the maintenance of a principle, which has been accepted in general in connection with many other matters, that Parliament should have a measure of control; that from time to time, when schemes are formulated and presented by the Paymaster General himself or through the medium of trustees or by a combination of both, Parliament should have the right to say, "We do not like this scheme. There ought to be some amendment; some concession should be made."
§ 3.0 p.m.
§ LORD SLATER
I wish to support what has been said in favour of the Amendments. I feel that I should apologise to noble Lords because I have visited only one of the establishments, the Royal Gallery, although I was a Member of another place for well over 20 years. I have never been even to the British Museum, and perhaps I should have taken advantage of the opportunities which were afforded to me, as they were to other people who spent time in the British Museum gaining information which enabled them to write books or assisted them in preparing their memoirs.
I was struck by the opinion expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, who referred to the age of 16 for school children. In the area that I come from, in the North-East, and in the Highlands of Scotland there are families who may be able to visit the capital with their children on only one occasion. It may be that the parents have never been to London before, and when they come 594 as a family on this one occasion they are faced with tremendous expense in the form of fares and payment for accommodation. They would wish their children to be able to visit the museums and other places which children who live in the London area are privileged to do. No one has taken a greater interest in this matter than my noble friend Lady Lee of Asheridge. I remember when I was at the Post Office applying to her in connection with the exhibition in certain post offices of designs prepared by people who had the ability to express themselves on canvas. I do not think it is too much to ask that the Minister, even if he is not prepared to accept all the Amendments, should consider the question of children of 16 referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Beaumont of Whitley. I recall when the noble Viscount occupied another position in Government. I do not consider that he is a hard master or a person who would seek to get something for nothing. I recall that when we sent letters to him containing requests to which he was unable to agree he would add a note in his own handwriting in the reply wishing us "better luck next time". I hope that on this occasion our luck will be such that the Minister will accede to the request which has been made to him.
§ LORD ROBBINS
Should I be out of order if I asked for an explanation? The speeches made so far have been in support of a cause which I have very near to my heart, as noble Lords who were present during the Second Reading debate on this Bill will recollect. My question is this. Would the acceptance of Amendment No. 5 oblige the Minister to commit the trustees of galleries and museums to allow a free day? In which case I should certainly find myself in the Division Lobby in support of the Amendment. At the moment I do not read it in that sense, and I should like some elucidation before making any further remarks.
§ LORD STRABOLGI
Perhaps I may be allowed to explain the Amendment. It can allow a free day but it does not specify a free day. It says:…shall specify any day or days or any part of such day or days on which the trustees or other governing body of any such institution may determine that charges for admission be not made or be reduced.It gives the right not to have a free day, although I hope that in negotiation there 595 will be some at those institutions who want a free day. I should explain that not all the institutions do, although I know that the National Gallery does.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
If I may intervene, the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, has raised an important point. Amendment No. 5 is dependent upon the acceptance of Amendment No. 4; that is to say, unless the general power to determine the charges is handed over by the Government to individual museums we shall not he able to get a free day at one museum and not at another. Therefore we cannot take this Amendment to which the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, wishes to speak without knowing whether we arc to get the previous Amendment. When we have had time to look at that I think it will become clearer whether or not the free day Amendment is one which will commend itself to the Committee.
§ 3.10 p.m.
§ BARONESS LEE OF ASHERIDGE
I regard this as a sad and humiliating occasion. My noble friends Lord Slater, Lord Shinwell and Lord Maybray-King spoke with passion and concern about having a free day or at least some free time. How low have we sunk as a nation that at this time in our history (when we accept in terms of power politics the Government's decision to impose certain museum charges) that having lost that battle we should now be fighting a rearguard action by saying, again in terms of power politics, "Can we have some free time?" What my noble friend Lord Maybray-King said when he was referring to his visits to Rome, the Louvre and elsewhere was that on the free days there were great crowds present. Is that not part of our humiliation? Does not this totally undermine the Government's case that if anybody wants to go to the museums and galleries, he can afford to do so? What does happen? We know that in Paris, in Rome and in many other places the attendance on free days is higher than the attendance on days when people have to pay.
Once upon a time, I should have thought that in the Tory Party there was something called noblesse oblige. I ask noble Lords opposite: "Do you feel fine about this?" Practically everyone of us 596 in this Chamber realises that if we want to go to the museums and galleries then once this troglodyte Government have had their way and charges are imposed, we do not have to go in with the rest of the natives. We can go in on the paying days. The questions that arise are these. Who are going to go in on the days when people pay? Who are going to go in on the days which are free? On the paying days anyone who wants to go, who is interested and who can afford to, can do so. That is on the paying days. I repeat, who goes in on the free days? Obviously, people who want to go in, people young and old and middle-aged. Nobody will go in on a free day if he can afford to go in on a paying day. I hope that that is clear. That is why I say that I consider this to be a depressing and humiliating occasion.
We have great national galleries and museums. Most of them have been given to the nation by enlightened patrons. Most of the contents have also been given to the nation by such patrons. Some people are squabbling about Turner's will. I will take Henry Moore's interpretation before most people's; and he is speaking for himself and gives me authority to quote his views. He said, "Whatever the lawyers may quibble about, there is no doubt that Turner wanted his gifts to the nation to be free for anyone to see." That is true also of Henry Moore. We are antagonising our contemporary patrons whether they are our Hugh Leggatts (who have done so well in this fight for entrance to exhibitions) or our Henry Turners or our Francis Bacons. I could name the lot. The Government are antagonising practically all in the civilised world of the Arts.
If you are a great artist and if you can afford to give something to the nation, or if you are a great patron, what incentive have you to do so? Part of the incentive was that you, as one of those more fortunate either by wealth or by your gifts as an artist, could give something. You are not seeking to give to the rich who do not need it; above all, you are seeking to give a little more justice in the world so that no one should be kept out because it was embarrassing or because it was difficult to pay the fee. That is why I say that this is a sad and humiliating day, and I am sorry the present Government should have 597 brought us to the pitch that even from the Cross Benches we are now reduced to pleading with the great Tory, businessman's Government with "everybody standing on his own feet", including Rolls-Royce and the rest. We are reduced to pleading that since in terms of power politics they have agreed that there should be charges, we should now have a free day. More people will want to go on free days. And who are they? They are the people who care. And who are those who care? Some of them will be children. The last thing that I want is a means test for children. I do not want to make war on children. I want children even from the grant-aided schools, who have just been given a present of£2 million by Mrs. Thatcher, and children from Eton or other great public schools whose parents can afford to pay the£600 to£900 school fees, to go in free. The last thing I want is to provide a means test for children.
If the Paymaster General is going to say that he believes in the principle of museum charges and wants to make exemptions only for those people who genuinely cannot afford the charges, then he must look at his priorities, because some children come from homes that can afford to pay. I am in favour of all children going in free. I do not think that the answer is a crocodile of children in school groups. I am concerned that the children can go in individually. I do not care whether they come from hack street slums or from palaces. They ought to feel that our museums and galleries are part of their school.
My noble friend Lord Shinwell spoke about his upbringing in Glasgow. I grew up in Carnegie town, near Dunfermline, and on Saturday nights there were penny concerts. There was no great orchestra, no great musician, no great singer, who did not come to Dunfermline in those days. My father adored music and I can see now the light in his eyes when we went to the penny concert in Dunfermline. It was practically free.
Why I am so sad and depressed is that those days of my father's youth, Lord Shinwell's youth and Lord Slater's youth ought to be behind us. We are now saying in this Chamber: "Please do not take away from the children of to-day, from the people of any age of to-day, the amenities that we enjoyed in 598 our youth." I am not talking about myself. I am privileged. I go to concerts and so on, but I do not understand how the Tory Party, traditionally representing great wealth and landed estates and privilege could humiliate itself and us by saying that it is necessary for the national economy that we should have these kinds of charges. After all, the poor old Chancellor of the Exchequer is trying to deflate the economy. I am not saying that by abandoning these charges in toto we shall cure unemployment or anything like that; but against the background of the Government (who are turning in circles all the time) trying to find out ways of spending more money and not less, it makes these charges even more ridiculous.
In addition to the charges there is the fact that there is something really dreadful in people, whether they are old or young, wanting to go to galleries, finding it an embarrassment to pay and then crowding in on the free days. Of course, the whole background of this is to get fewer people to go to the galleries: if you want to get fewer people to go, cut out the poorest. I fully sympathise wish the Paymaster General in his desire to have better museums and galleries; but though buildings are important, and the contents still more important, people are the most important of all. So I hope that when the noble Viscount comes to reply he will not play over again the old record about having to sacrifice people and contents in order to get more space and more buildings. I think he has his priorities all wrong—and his sums wrong, too; because he talked about a marginal figure of£1 million or less.
I come to what I think is another very important aspect of this issue—that is, the relationship between the Government, between the political Minister of the day, and the trustees. Again I find it odd that leading trustees are not coming here to-day and are skulking in corners, because their personal convictions go in one direction and they fear that they will be politically blackmailed if they come out too openly against the Government and express their opposition to charges. I do not think that anyone can deny that, from the British Museum to the Victoria and Albert, from the National Gallery to the Tate, the overwhelming opinion of the scholars and 599 trustees—of all the people whom successive Governments have appointed because they were the best and the most concerned and the most informed people—is of dislike for this business of having to put up turnstiles and desks and make charges. They have sufficient national pride not to be influenced by what is happening in America or anywhere else. Let us do our own thing in our own way. Though there are some things we cannot do to-day, we have this great pleasure and graciousness that people of every kind and every class are able to go into our galleries and museums whenever they like.
But the Government of the day—and they must accept this—are interfering in a way that I would never have tolerated during the six years that I had the responsibility for the relationship between the trustees and the Government. I understood that it was the duty of the Government to decide how much they were prepared to spend and to decide the priorities. The duty of the Minister for the Arts was to get together with the museum and gallery trustees, the leaders of orchestras and theatres, and of the other Arts, and to find out the maximum support that the Government could give financially and then leave it to them to see what the Arts of Great Britain at any given moment of time could do. They ought not to reflect the view of the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, however distinguished he may be, or of myself yesterday, however undistinguished I may have been, or of any other Minister of the day. This is all right for a totalitarian, an authoritarian country. But in Great Britain we have developed a very sophisticated and sensitive relationship between the trustees for the arts and the Government. Although the political Minister of the day appointed the trustees, the Minister could not dictate to the trustees (we must get this constitutional point straight) and the trustees could not dictate to the Minister.
In this business of appointments, of course, a Minister knows a limited number of people, and he or she has to come together with those interested in the Arts to appoint the best people. I do not want to be personal. but may I say to the Paymaster General that when the Trustees of the British Museum suggested that he 600 should be their Chairman, I at once agreed. I had full delegated power from the Prime Minister and I did not consult anyone at all. I agreed it "on the nod" straight away. Why?—because the noble Viscount had the confidence of his fellow Trustees; because he was a devoted Museum man and because I thought that he was the right person for the job. I tell your Lordships now that had I thought he was going to propose the vulgarity of these charges, I should have had second thoughts and should have got the Trustees together to find someone else. I am sorry if I have talked with, maybe, some violence, but each of us, in his own day and generation, has had responsibilities. I have certain responsibilities as a privileged member of my family and of my Party. I do not have to worry about a charge of a penny or a shilling to go into a museum, though I think that my heart will turn sick if I have to go through a turnstile, not for what is costs me but because of the insensitivity and vulgarity behind it. I hope that, even at this late hour, the Government of the day will have second thoughts.
§ 3.27 p.m.
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES
The noble Lord who moved this Motion said that if the Committee were in agreement, he would like to discuss Nos. 4 and 5 as well as No. 1 and No. 6.
§ LORD ROBBINS
Then I shall be in order to make a few further observations on that Amendment. May I begin by saying that I feel in a position of very great difficulty, because I am in sympathy with all that has been said in favour of free days and with much which has been said about the general policy of charges. I hope that what I am going to say now will not lead my friends in different parts of the House to feel that I am letting the side down, but it seems to me that if we focus on the ipsissima verba of these Amendments we find that the principle which is under discussion is the principle of Parliamentary control of the imposition of charges and the permission of free days. On that point, I confess that I am in a position of considerable intellectual difficulty.
601 I see considerable objections to the Amendments from that point of view, not from the point of view of the liberties which they seek indirectly to sustain. But in so far as they bear on the point which the noble Baroness, Lady Lee of Asheridge, expatiated upon—namely, the relationship between trustees and the Minister responsible for the Arts, I see grounds for hesitation before supporting the further extension of Parliamentary control. The particular powers of trustees as they have grown up in our society with our administrative procedure are delicate and intangible. In the past they certainly have worked pretty well. Ministers have not sought to impose on trustees policies with which the trustees were in disagreement, and trustees have been mindful of the desirability of acquainting Ministers with what changes they had in mind, what aspirations they entertained, and the general policies with which they would be in sympathy.
Now we are confronted with a position in which, unhappily, that relationship has been—let me be candid—impaired. It is surely no secret that a substantial number—I have not taken a public opinion survey—of the trustees of the leading museums and galleries, for the reasons which I endeavoured to explain shortly when we had our debate on the Second Reading of this Bill, bitterly regret the decision of the Government to impose charges. As I said on that occasion, if we have acquiesced in this policy, it has not been because we were under any illusion that the majority of us were secretly in favour, but rather because we were conscious that we were the victims—I hope the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, for whom I have a great affection will not feel that I am speaking in an unfriendly way—of force majeure. Some people may ask: "Why did you not resign?" To that I would reply that I think the thought must have flitted through the minds of many members of those bodies, and it certainly flitted through my mind but there was also vividly in our minds the fact that, in our judgment at any rate, some matters even more important than the matter of charges were at stake: and it is a well-known and irrefutable proposition that you can commit hara-kiri only once.
The proposal is that safeguards be erected by way of obliging trustees and Ministers to lay on the Table of Parlia- 602 ment details of charges which it is proposed to introduce. I see and appreciate the grounds on which this Amendment is put forward, and I honour those who have framed it, but I ask myself: does this really strengthen the position? If a Minister has made up his mind to impose some alteration in the charges now proposed, and he, in virtue of such an Amendment, is compelled to lay his proposals on the Table of the House, is it not more likely, rather than less, that the chances of getting a modification of these proposals are diminished? Will he not feel committed, in a sense in which he might not be committed in the friendly discussions between trustees and his office, to put the Whips on and make quite sure that his dictum has the full authority of Parliament? In my judgment—perhaps I am over-optimistic —in general, trustees have more chance of getting their way with Ministers if the disputes do not take place in public. If, by some unlucky accident, as has lamentably taken place recently, principles are introduced in regard to which they have not been consulted, and with which they are in disagreement, even though there still remains the possibility of having the kind of debate that we are having now, my conviction is that this kind of debate does not induce the Minister, whoever he may be, to alter his determination. The mere fact that he has to give forty days notice, or something of that sort, to the Houses of Parliament will not make him change his mind.
Therefore, to conclude, while I endorse wholeheartedly the eloquent pleas which have come from various parts of the Committee for the Minister to consider yet again the principle which he is imposing on the museums, and to consider again the modest plea that some of us have made for a free day, if it is a question of dividing the House on this extension of Parliamentary control I shall feel compelled to abstain.
§ 3.37 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT AMORY
I wish to intervene for only a moment or two, because I have not one-thousandth part of the knowledge of these matters possessed by my noble friend Lord Robbins, who has just spoken, or the noble Baroness, Lady Lee, who not only has an immense knowledge on this subject but speaks with 603 such deep eloquence and great charm that we are always interested in what she says and attach the greatest weight thereto. I am only going to raise a very humdrum point, following a point that my noble friend made in his speech. I think that these Amendments, taken together, are really asking my noble friend the Minister to accept something which is beyond what is reasonable, because, as I understand it—I may be wrong—they would mean that the trustees would, by their decisions, influence what sum in the aggregate would be raised by the charges. As I understand it, considerable importance is attached to the minimum which it is hoped will be raised by this contribution. If that is so, then the situation is one which it would be difficult for my noble friend to persuade his right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or, for that matter, Parliament, to accept. I know that, having once mentioned the Chancellor of the Exchequer, noble Lords will pay no more attention to what I say, because the attributes which one earns in a few years' service at the Treasury —cheeseparing, miserly, bloodsucking and mean—remain with one.
§ LORD ROBBINS
The noble Lord may not be aware that he will go down in history as having achieved an absolutely discontinuous increase in the grants to the National Gallery.
§ VISCOUNT AMORY
I am too modest. I once had an ode written to me and a dinner given to me, and was compared at that time with Mæcenas, though the figures that we were talking about then may seem a little derisory to-day. When I went to the Treasury I had a heart; two and a half years later I was not sure whether I had that organ; and when somebody asked me the other day whether I would ever have my heart transplanted, I said: "I don't think I have ever had that organ to be transplanted since I left the Treasury."
The single point I want to make is: would it be reasonable, in the light of the aims of this Bill, to ask my noble friend to accept the consequences if these Amendments were taken together? If I am wrong, I shall be glad to have it explained to me. Listening to my noble friend when he opened this debate, I 604 formed the impression that in fact my noble friend had reached an understanding with his colleagues which was likely to prove extremely favourable to the future of the museums. As I understand it, with the acceptance of the principle of charges went very considerable assurances that the sums which would be allocated to the future support of museums would be considerably larger than they are to-day; and I believe that should be our main object to-day. I have great sympathy with the position of our museums. I believe it is a fact, as has been brought out by so many noble Lords, that every year that goes by more and more people are visiting the museums with greater pleasure and saisfaction, and that is one of the excellent results following the expansion of education which has taken place in recent years. But if that is so, then I entirely agree with what my noble friend said at the beginning, that if that is the fortunate position then we must make sure that these museums are in all respects worth visiting. I regard that as the main object of the exercise, and although I am not enchanted with the principle of charges it fits in with the general principles of the Government. I would regard it as a modest price to pay for assurances of greater funds in the future for the expansion and development of our museums.
§ THE EARL OF CRANBROOK
I speak as an individual who is also a Trustee of the Natural History Museum, and I believe that all these Amendments are entirely misconceived, bearing in mind the way in which those of us who are trustees work in our relationship with the Minister. I personally like the system which was started in the 1750s for the British Museum. I think the way of running our museums by appointing trustees chosen by the Prime Minister or the Royal Society or others for reasons which I flatter myself are admirable, is the right way to run those museums. But I think it depends very much on the relationship between the body of the trustees and the Minister who has very tight budgetary control over the way in which those institutes are managed and over the principles on which we run them, which inevitably go with budgetary control.
When the Bill dividing the two branches of the British Museum was 605 passed, I think in 1963, setting up the Natural History Museum as a second body, I moved an Amendment—I was not then a Trustee—to oblige two Trustees to report every three years to Parliament. That Amendment was opposed by the then Trustees of the British Museum, but I moved it quite deliberately because I felt that the Trustees ought to have some protection against the Minister and that a three. yearly report in which they could say that they were being damned badly treated, if indeed they thought this, was the right way of bringing pressure to bear on the Minister. The matter could then be debated in Parliament, and probably would be so debated, if they reported to that effect. But, frankly, speaking as a Trustee—and perhaps it is significant that only two of us who have spoken this afternoon are in that position and I think we are both in agreement—I should prefer our relationships to remain direct with the Minister, without the control by Parliament in between those three-yearly periods which these Amendments involve.
I feel that my relationship, as an individual trustee, with the Minister implies that within limits I have to he prepared to work on the lines which he lays down. If I do not like that, I resign. That is my proper course: to resign, write the sort of letter to The Times which usually goes with such a resignation and hope that it may cause such a stink that the Minister may change his mind and that, even though I myself am not there, my fellow trustees who have not resigned may have a better way of working the museums. For that reason, I strongly hope that these Amendments will not be pressed. I think they are misconceived. It would be most unfortunate if the machinery which we have built up over 200 years for running our museums were changed. I therefore hope that if the Amendments are pressed your Lordships will reject them.
§ THE EARL OF CORK AND ORRERY
When my noble friend the Paymaster General comes to reply, he will unquestionably make a powerful case on his own behalf, but I am not at all sure that when that time comes the impression that is made most powerfully on all parts of your Lordships' House will not have been made by the two trustees who have just spoken, my noble friend, Lord 606 Cranbrook and the noble Lord, Lord Robbins. Here we have trustees, who are the people to whom we should pay more attention than to anybody else during the Amendments. Yet it is possible that the clouds of Second Reading steam, generated earlier in the debate, may not have cleared away sufficiently so it is important to see exactly what the Amendments are all about. Therefore, if your Lordships will forgive me, I will return for a few moments to the place where the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, left off and point out that all that is being asked for is that Parliament should have the ability to say "No": no more than that. It is not an entirely unreasonable request, though it may be undesirable from the point of view of the trustees. This, I think, should be very much borne in mind.
Sometimes when considering the purport of a Bill it is a salutary exercise to consider whether it could have been better drafted in some other way. I recall, and no doubt others will too, that my noble friend Lord Conesford had some effect on the Second Reading of the British Standard Time Bill when he said that it might have been drafted to the effect that—Winter shall hereafter be deemed to be the summer".Nothing quite so diverting as that can be done with this Bill, but the attempt was made on Second Reading, I think by the noble Lord, Lord Platt—and I hope I am not pre-empting anything he may be thinking of saying now when he pointed out that the Bill could have been drafted so as to give power to the Minister to fix and collect entry charges from the museums concerned. That is what in fact the Bill ultimately does, and the question is whether it is right that the Minister should be judge, jury, collector and everything else in his own case. This is what your Lordships are asked to think about.
Many of your Lordships are trustees of private trusts—not public trusts, but, say, marriage settlement or will trusts—and there is nothing in law to prevent your buying undated Government stocks with your trust capital. Probably you would think that this was not a very good idea and that it was not the best you could do with the trust. You might say, 607 "No, I don't want to." If the Chancellor of the Exchequer came to you and said, "You must.", you would say "No"—at least I guess that you would. If he then said, "That's all very well. I cannot force you; but if you don't do it I will see to it that the Inland Revenue and the Estate Duty office are as un-co-operative as they possibly can be and you will end up worse off than if you had paid the bill like a good boy when I asked you to." That is a rough but pretty reasonable analogy, I submit. If you were in that position I think you would be pleased if you knew that you had a happy opportunity of making a complaint through a Member either of this House or of another place, so that some objection could be made to prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer from doing any such thing. It would not happen; the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not do it—but that is not the point. That is really all that the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, and his friend are asking for in this case.
Is that what your Lordships want? Do you want control in a negative form over the imposition of charges or not? It is not a question, with the greatest respect to the noble Baroness, Lady Lee, and others, of whether these charges are right or wrong. I opposed them long ago. I am not taking this stand now; I think it is irrelevant. The charges are going to be imposed. The question is, "Do you or do you not want to have some say in whether they should be controlled by the Government or not?" That is what these Amendments are about. The details can be argued later, and I have no doubt that the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, will be happy if the principle can be accepted and the remainder left to debate.
§ LORD CAMOYS
I have spent some 15 years on the Advisory Council of the Victoria and Albert Museum, so I may claim to know a little about it. I talked to the staff this morning and we are all against imposing any charges. We feel that we can raise the money in some other way.
§ 3.51 p.m.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
The Committee will see that I am in some difficulty because my noble friend Lord Cork and Orrery thinks that these Amendments raise only one simple matter; namely, 608 that Parliament should have a chance to approve the scale of charges. The noble Lords who intervened at the beginning of our debate, Lord Beaumont of Whitley, Lord Maybray-King, Lord Shinwell, Lord Slater, and, to some extent, Lord Robbins, were asking for a modification in the system of charges which we have already adumbrated and, in particular, either no charge for un-accompanied children or a free day. These are matters which are well worth discussing. I have already told your Lordships on another occasion that the reason why we have kept the number of exemptions as low as possible is in order to keep the basic charge down. After we have had experience of two or three years of charging of course it would be right to look at the tariff to see whether amendments should be made. The trouble is that these amendments for children or for free days could not be made under the Amendments that have been spoken to by the noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, without immense and absolutely unacceptable difficulties. Therefore I must ask your Lordships to allow me to speak to the Amendments as they are on the Marshalled List. The Amendments would introduce a radical change in the well-established relations between the Government and those national museums and galleries which have trustees or a governing body, though not all of them.
I am not against a radical change if it makes sense. But I shall have to explain to the Committee that those now proposed would lead to chaos. I will come in a moment to the two principles to be found in the Amendments; namely, the proposal that the Government should surrender to the trustees of a museum their right to determine the scale of charges. That is firmly stated in the first of the new clauses. Secondly, there is the proposal that scales of charges so determined should be laid before Parliament for approval.
The Committee will first wish to examine the practical effects of the Amendments. This would be to introduce a network of charges so uneven, so chaotic and so troublesome to vary in the smallest particular that this Bill, and the policy behind it, would become worthless. This must happen because each museum which had a governing 609 body would, under these Amendments, be given the power to determine its own scale of charges, exemptions and free days. I am advised that this is exactly what the first Amendment says. These museums do not all think alike. At some the charges might be so low, and the exemptions so numerous, that the costs of administration would swallow up all the receipts. At the other extreme a museum itself—think what they already charge for special exhibitions!—might, in order to keep the crowds away, raise the charges to levels which no one in this Committee would approve. And all the time the Government would be charging their own scale at the Victoria and Albert, the Science Museum and the Royal Scottish Museum.
The public would ask why, since all the museums are dependent on the Government for their money, the Government did not see that the rates and the exemptions were all the same. What would happen, for example, if students were treated differently at different national museums? And if some museums wanted to risk a free day and others did not, as we know would be the case, what then would be the pressures on those who were trying to avoid the dangers of overcrowding? We cannot know in advance how chaotic this patchwork of charges will be, or how much the public will suffer. But what is certain—a point made by my noble friend Lord Amory—is that the Government's plan for financing the museums would be destroyed. We could never be sure whether the sum would be collected in charges which we consider the visitors can afford to pay, without serious hardship, towards the development and expansion of the museum service.
I must say again that the purpose in introducing charges is to improve the museum service: more buildings, better amenities, more staff and more acquisitions. These Amendments, if carried, would put an end to the prospect of raising in an orderly manner any predetermined sum. I should have to advise your Lordships to resist them on these practical grounds alone.
§ THE EARL OF CORK AND ORRERY
I should like to ask my noble friend a question purely for clarification; it is not in the least argumentative. I have probably misunderstood the Bill; 610 although it is simple, perhaps it is too complicated for me. I do not see what it is in the Bill that empowers the Government to ensure that the museums all charge the same entrance fees now.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
The Government can always use their influence to insist that all the charges are the same. The object of these Amendments is to give, for example, those museums who want to have a free day the right to claim one. We cannot do this and still preserve the general financial scheme for the museums which we have in mind.
I should like to turn now to the two principles around which the Amendments are constructed. The noble Baroness, Lady Lee of Asheridge, raised the question of the duties and powers of trustees, and their relationship with the Government. My colleagues and I have been giving a great deal of thought to this matter. We think that the present situation is unsatisfactory. It is also very complicated because we have a hotchpotch of structures with which we have to deal. Your Lordships will know that the national museums and galleries operate under widely different legal arrangements. At one end of the scale you have six museums managed by trustees who have statutory powers. In the middle there is a group of five museums set up by Treasury Minute. Their powers have been varied from time to time by the issue of new instruments. At the other end are the departmental museums which are managed by a director advised by, but not subject to, a body of distinguished persons. Lastly, there are two museums run by chartered bodies, of which the National Museum of Wales is an important and outstanding example.
Your Lordships might think that such a variety of legal instruments would have produced an equivalent variety in the museums' relations with the Government; but this is not so. Finance and Treasury control have seen to that. There is almost complete uniformity in the range of decisions which have to be referred to the Department of Education and Science, to the Scottish Office or to the Welsh Office. I will not trouble your Lordships with the one major exception; it is not relevant, and I hope soon to put it right.
When I was at the British Museum I chafed at times under the system, but in 611 the end one always had to accept that the money came from the Government. Within the framework of the grant the Trustees can do a great many things; and they do a great many things of the utmost value. But certainly they cannot do everything which they would like. Their relations with the Government would be impossible if everything they did not want to do had to be imposed upon them by Statute. Equally, one would not expect everything they can do to be set out in their governing instruments. The way this works may be clearer if I give the Committee a few examples. There is nothing in the legal instruments to prevent the Trustees from closing the Museum for a month or for one day a week. There is no legal requirement to charge for the various services which they offer to the public, nor for special exhibitions; and they accept that the rate of charges is fixed with the Government. Nor is there anywhere an instruction which stops them from putting some of their building work out to private contract and not having it all done by the Department of the Environment.
In these and many other matters the deciding factor is the conditions under which the trustees get their money. Now one can argue about most of these examples whether or not the Government should have the last word, but there cannot be any argument that entrance charges which are to be treated as appropriations in aid must be a condition of the grant. The system under which Government-financed institutions work creaks and groans sometimes, but it goes forward and much is accomplished because of the good sense and great experience of the trustees and their staffs. This really is the point at issue. Entrance charges are not taxes, although three noble Lords opposite recently spoke as if they were; and if they believed what they were saying these Amendments could not possibly have been put down. The charges are in fact contributions towards the cost of maintaining the museums. Similar charges are made at publicly maintained buildings, and they arc all treated as appropriations in aid; that is to say they are a source of revenue not suitable to be determined except on the conditions laid down by the Government.
612 Therefore it follows that, while the attitude of the trustees towards charges was of course a very important consideration, it could not be decisive. So far as the governing bodies expressed a corporate view, they deplored the introduction of charges. Their objections were the stronger, of course, because it was not possible to tell them in advance that the Government's decision was part of the plan to finance their own expansion. If we could have done this they might have been more sympathetic, but I think it very likely that many of them would have maintained their objections on principle; and I should have understood that. After all, if we had asked the local education authorities whether they approved of an increase in charges for school meals it is almost certain they would have said, No. If we were now to ask the universities or the colleges of further education whether they approve of the tuition fees it is extremely likely that we should hear a great many objections.
It is a fact of life that Government-financed institutions would like to receive all the money they ask for and without any strings attached. But my right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having many claims to consider, must try to make the funds at his disposal go as far as possible, and for this reason he must remain in control of appropriations in aid which yield a small addition to his revenue. After what we have heard I think your Lordships will be interested to know that no body of trustees has told me that they think they ought to determine the scale of charges or the conditions attached to them. This is a proposition —
§ LORD PLATT
May I intervene, just to ask a question? If that really is the case, how can the words in Clause 1 be justified: that the governing bodymay make such charges for admission to any museum or gallery as they may determine"?What on earth do those words mean?
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
It is of course the museums themselves that will issue the scale of charges, but they do this on the conditions which the Government attach to their grant. All the other financial matters with which the museums deal are in exactly the same situation, as anyone who has been a trustee knows very well. Once the museums were made 613 aware that it was the Government's policy to charge, they have collaborated, in a way for which I am very grateful, in the preparation of the many details. I have here what the noble Earl, Lord Crawford, says in making his Annual Report on the National Galleries of Scotland. He says:We have already assured you"—that is the Secretary of State for Scotland—that if it is the will of Parliament that admission fees should be imposed on visitors to the National Galleries of Scotland we will do our best to implement the measure, but that as a body of trustees we will share objections and misgivings, which have been widely expressed.This is the general attitude of museums: that charges are part of the conditions of their grant. Do your Lordships really think that if there were no charges at the Tower of London or Hampton Court the Department of the Environment would be able to spend what it does spend in maintaining the gardens, and all the rest of it? It is all part of the financing of the institution.
The second change in existing practice which the Amendments would bring about is to require that the scales of charges should be approved by Parliament. Here, I am sure, the Committee were very interested in the views of the noble Lord, Lord Robbins. It is a very unusual proposal. It is not done in similar cases. Parliament does not have to approve the entrance charges for palaces, historic buildings and ancient monuments. Parliament does not have to approve the fees that are charged for further education. I am not aware that anyone has ever made a proposal of this kind before. Certainly the Labour Government did nothing of the kind. They cheerfully increased the charges at historic buildings without reporting to Parliament. And they were quite right. The scales of charges are many and various and often require to be amended. Your Lordships may think that the amount of Parliamentary time that would be needed to approve them could be more usefully devoted to larger matters. I imagine that this would be the view of the great majority of the overworked Members of another place. I also agree with the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, that once we get so official a procedure the room for going to and fro in argument between 614 the Minister and the trustees is much reduced.
The main Amendment before us is defective. It provides that if the Trustees of a museum sought to introduce one single item or condition to which Parliament objected no charges of any kind could be made for 40 days. That would add to the chaos to which I have already referred. But I would not ask your Lordships to resist these Amendments solely on account of their drafting and there are indeed other passages which would need altering. The two principles which they embody are seriously wrong. They go directly against our well-understood practice that the financing of the national museums and galleries is a matter of policy which any Government must keep in their own hands.
May I conclude these remarks by trying once again to make vivid to your Lordships the Government's purpose in introducing charges. If one approaches Trafalgar Square from Whitehall, on the far side, next to the National Gallery on the left is that great empty site which before the war was occupied by Hamptons. It was badly bombed, used for a time as a single storey building, and then sold to the Canadian Government and cleared. But, by good fortune, in 1959 the Canadian Government resold it to Her Majesty's Government, and well I remember how delighted I was. Twelve years have passed, but no move has been made even to plan the new building which the National Portrait Gallery so badly needs and which will release its present gallery for adaptation and use by the National Gallery. A long period of inaction reflects no credit on any of us. But now I have authorised the National Portrait Gallery to go ahead with planning their new building and I have promised them the money—something no one else has ever done. It will not cost less than£4 million, and when it is completed it will require substantial grants.
§ LORD ROBBINS
While expressing delight at the announcement that the noble Viscount has just made, may I say that I hope he will be prepared to redress some injustice to the Trustees of the National Gallery, the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery and the Ministry of which at one time he was the 615 distinguished head. In the years which followed the acquisition of the Hamptons site much time was spent in replanning the whole of the North block of Trafalgar Square. The noble Viscount will recollect that when the Hamptons site was acquired it was at first intended that it should be occupied by an extension of the National Gallery, and it was only after complicated negotiations that a transfer was made in regard to the claim of the National Gallery to the site at the back of the National Gallery and the Hamptons site, in such a way that the National Portrait Gallery should have the Hamptons site.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
All credit to the Trustees of the National Gallery; but they did not succeed in getting anything started. They may have pressed the Government—I am sure they did: first a Conservative Government, and then for six years a Labour Government, but they got nothing done. It is rather odd, is it not, that now I am doing it the Trustees of the National Gallery do not appreciate what I am doing? Never mind. Anyhow, the point at issue is this: is it really fair, when we have to finance great building programmes in so many directions that sums of the order that we require for the Hamptons site—and this is only one of many new projects—should be provided to this one branch of the Arts without any contribution from the users? That is what the Bill is about; and the Amendments, if carried, would make it much more difficult to secure the finance for projects like building on this site and elsewhere. When the dust of this controversy has settled and when the new buildings are completed (I hope in time to cope with the crowds that are coming) I am confident that the policy behind this Bill will be seen to have been in the public interest.
I do not know whether the Opposition intend to divide the Committee. If they do, they would be asking your Lordships to upset established relations between the Government and those of the national museums who have trustees or a governing body, and they would be laying niggling burdens on a hard-pressed Parliament.
§ VISCOUNT NORWICH
May I ask the noble Viscount for clarification on one small point? I think this is the second 616 time he has mentioned additional burdens being imposed on Parliament. Surely, if these charges are simply laid before Parliament for 40 days and if Parliament has no objection there is no additional burden on Parliament?
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
If that is the case, there is no point in laying the charges because if no one is going to look at them and no one is going to object, they must always have been right.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
I am not sure whether the noble Viscount was here at the beginning of our debate, but from the speeches we heard from the other side it seemed to be eagerly expected that there would be opportunities for making amendments when these scales of charges were laid. All I can say to the noble Viscount is that if we adopted this principle with all the scales of charges, or even with only 10 per cent. of them, which are now made by Order, Parliament would have additional work, which is certainly not the best way to use its time.
I must come to an end. I simply say that these Amendments are mistaken in principle, they are defective in drafting and they would produce chaos. I must therefore recommend the Committee to resist them.
§ 4.18 p.m.
§ LORD STRABOLGI
I should like to thank all noble Lords who have taken part in the discussion on this Amendment, and also the noble Viscount, the Minister, for deploying his case. I am particularly grateful to my noble friend Lady Lee, and also to the noble Earl, Lord Cork and Orrery, for bringing us back to the arguments on the main Amendment. May I say how grateful I am to the noble Viscount, Lord Norwich, for reminding us that this involves a Negative Resolution. I thought at one time that the noble Lord, Lord Robbins, did not really appreciate this. I am surprised that the noble Earl, Lord Cranbrook, did not refer to the precedent that I explained in the National Gallery and Tate Gallery Bill. He was a Member of the House at the time and we both took part in the lengthy Committee stages of that Bill. It seems to me that that is an answer to what the noble Lord, 617 Lord Robbins, implied might be possible interference with the Trustees. Here was something the Trustees wanted and Parliament was asked merely to approve loans that, against their wishes, the Trustees might be pressurised into making. In this instance all we are asking is that Parliament should have a chance to review the scale of charges.
As the noble Lord, Lord Platt, has pointed out, there is nothing in this Bill that does anything but remove impediments. It seems to me that he trusees themselves have a right to impose any charge they like. It is possible, though, that the Government might come to them and ask them to increase the charges. The noble Viscount has said that the charges are a condition of the grant. I am not saying this about him personally but there may be a holder of his office in some future Government who may bring great pressure to bear on the trustees to increase the charges considerably, and Parliament would have absolutely no control over this action. All we are asking is that when the noble
§ Viscount has made his arrangements he should then lay the statement on the Table. All that will happen is that it will lie on the Table for 40 days, which is not really so chaotic as the noble Viscount seemed to imply, and during that period it will be subject to a Negative Resolution. If there is no such Resolution, the Statement will then become effective.
§ Nothing that has been said this afternoon persuades me that these Amendments should not be accepted. It is possible—I do not know—that there may be small drafting defects. I was not greatly impressed with the points the noble Viscount made about this, but lawyers can always find defects in drafting. The main thing is the principle, and it is the principle on which I must ask your Lordships to come to a decision.
§ 4.21 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 68; Not-Contents, 71.619
|Airedale, L.||Faringdon, L.||Platt, L.|
|Alexander of Tunis, E.||Fiske, L.||Rathcreedan, L.|
|Amherst, E.||Gaitskell, Bs.||Ritchie-Calder, L.|
|Arwyn, L.||Gardiner, L.||Sainsbury, L.|
|Auckland, L.||Garnsworthy, L.||St. Davids, V.|
|Aylestone, L.||Geddes of Epsom, L.||St. Just, L.|
|Bacon, Bs.||Hayter, L.||Sempill, Ly.|
|Beaumont of Whitley, L.||Henderson, L.||Serota, Bs.|
|Bernstein, L.||Hilton of Upton, L.||Shackleton, L.|
|Beswick, L.||Hoy, L.||Shepherd, L.|
|Blyton, L.||Hurcombe, L.||Shinwell, L.|
|Brockway, L.||Jacques, L.||Silkin, L.|
|Buckinghamshire, E.||Janner, L.||Slater, L.|
|Burton of Coventry, Bs.||Kennet, L.||Soper, L.|
|Byers, L.||Leatherland, L.||Stocks, Bs.|
|Camoys, L.||Lee of Asheridge, Bs.||Strabolgi, L. [Teller.]|
|Champion, L.||Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, Bs.||Summerskill, Bs.|
|Clwyd, L.||McLeavy, L.||Taylor of Mansfield, L.|
|Cooper of Stockton Heath, L.||Maybray-King, L.||White, Bs.|
|Cork and Orrery, E. [Teller.)||Moyle, L.||Wootton of Abinger, Bs.|
|Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.||Norwich, V.||Wright of Ashton under Lyne, L.|
|Douglass of Cleveland, L.||Nunburnholme, L.||Wynne-Jones, L.|
|Falkland, V.||Phillips, Bs.|
|Aberdare, L.||Colville of Culross, V.||Ebbisham, L.|
|Ailwyn, L.||Conesford, L.||Eccles, V.|
|Albemarle, E.||Cowley, E.||Effingham, E.|
|Amory, V.||Craigavon, V.||Emmet of Amberley, Bs.|
|Balfour of Inchrye, L.||Cranbrook, E.||Erroll of Hale, L.|
|Belstead, L.||Crathorne, L.||Ferrers, E.|
|Berkeley, Bs.||Daventry, V.||Goschen, V.|
|Bledisloe, V.||de Clifford, L.||Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L. (L. Chancellor.)|
|Boothby, L.||Denham, L. [Teller.]|
|Brock, L.||Derwent, L.||Hawke, L.|
|Carrington, L.||Drumalbyn, L.||Hood, V.|
|Colgrain, L.||Dudley, E.||Howard of Glossop, L.|
|Hylton-Foster, Bs.||Monck, V.||St. Helens, L.|
|Ilford, L.||Morrison, L.||Sandford, L.|
|Jellicoe, E. (L. Privy Seal.)||Mowbray and Stourton, L.[Teller.]||Sherfield, L.|
|Jessel, L.||Somers, L.|
|Lauderdale, E.||Northchurch, Bs.||Strang, L.|
|Lothian, M.||Nugent of Guildford, L.||Teviot, L.|
|MacAndrew, L.||Oakshott, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Macleod of Borve, Bs.||Perth, E.||Thomas, L.|
|Macpherson of Drumochter, L.||Rankeillour, L.||Tweedsmuir, L.|
|Mancroft, L.||Reigate, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Merrivale, L.||Ruthven of Freeland, Ly.||Wakefield of Kendal, L|
|Milverton, L||St. Aldwyn, E.||Windlesham, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ VISCOUNT ECCLES
In order that the House may hear the Statements which are awaited, I beg to move that the House do now resume.
§ Moved, That the House do now resume.—(Viscount Eccles.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to: House resumed by the Lord Chancellor.