§ 2.49 p.m.
§ Debate resumed on the Motion moved on Tuesday last by the Lord Chancellor; namely. That this House approves Her Majesty's Government's decision of principle to join the European Communities on the basis of the arrangements which have been negotiated.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, SCOTTISH OFFICE (BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELIIELVIE)
My Lords, on this last day of our historic debate one is acutely aware that all that can be said has been said, and so it seems to me that I must try to do two things: first, to recount events since our last debate in July which bear on matters of concern to us all, such as regional policy, to which several noble Lords have referred, and also the negotiations still not yet complete on fisheries; and secondly, to try to gather together the main themes of the speeches that we have heard over the past three days. This will be hard, because all your Lordships will agree that we have heard an extraordinary variety drawn from considerable experience.
First, of all, I should like to add my congratulations to the many on the maiden speeches of the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, and my noble friend Lord Astor of Hever, both so different, both delivered with such wonderful assurance 850 and with great distinction. I am sure that I speak for all your Lordships when I say that we look forward very much to hearing them again, and some of us not least because both noble Lords are in favour of our entry into the Communities.
One of the most compelling reasons for joining Europe must surely be the chance it gives us to achieve and keep a high level of employment. As we know to our bitter cost, however great our skills they are useless unless we have a market suited to the type and volume of goods that we can produce. This is one of the main economic reasons why I believe that Scotland, Wales and other regions of the United Kingdom have much to gain from entry into a market which at the end of the day will be of nearly 300 million people. This is supported by the C. B. I., the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the National Farmers' Union and, I am glad to say, the Commission of the Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
I was sorry that yesterday the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, expressed doubts about regional policy. I can understand very well the struggle that he seemed to go through as to which way he should vote to-night. I am going to try to reassure him on the points that he raised, in the hope that even at this late hour he may reconsider his position. The noble Lord, Lord Hughes, recognised that we shall be able to keep the regional inducements, including tax allowances. The noble Lord, however, cast doubt on whether the I. D. C. control would work if we enter the Community. I can assure him that we will and can apply the control as firmly as did the Administration of which he was a member. But the source of the noble Lord's doubt is that he feels that even the gradual removal of controls on the movements of capital will lead to British firms avoiding the I. D. C. control by going to the Continent. Many firms have already done so, and, as the noble Lord, Lord Stokes, explained, they have done so to secure the benefit of a larger market. But when there is freedom of capital movement firms will also have to take into account the difficulties of coping with other langguages, laws and customs in other countries far from their base. Furthermore, they will have had to move into 851 areas where there is a much heavier pressure on labour resources than in our assisted areas. It is therefore for these reasons that the Government are confident that the I. D. C. control will remain effective and that the removal of capital controls is more likely to bring investment into Britain than to attract it from Britain to the Continent.
§ LORD BESWICK
My Lords, may I ask a question, as the noble Baroness has not answered the doubts that we expressed? The position now is that it is impossible for a firm to evade the I. D. C. control if it needs the exportation of capital, because the Bank of England can veto that export. When we are in the Community it will no longer be possible for the Bank of England to have this power.
§ BARONESS TWEEDSMUIR OF BELHELVIE
My Lords, this is very unlike the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, but I explained exactly that point a minute ago. I said that when capital movements were freed, and while it is perfectly true that firms would be able to go to the Continent—and they can now do so if they are multi-national com-panies—they would have to take into account other factors relating to operation on the Continent: first of all, shortage of labour, and different languages, different customs and local planning controls. That is why we feel that if a firm remains in this country we should be able to operate the I. D. C. controls within Great Britain.
It is therefore, with much respect to the views expressed by the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, that I find myself on the side of the noble Lord, Lord Taylor of Gryfe, who has made a careful study of this problem of regional policies. He is leading the campaign of the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) to attract European investment to Scotland, and I should like to wish him well. He told your Lordships that he was sure that his task would be easier inside than outside the Market. I am glad to have this chance of thanking him publicly for the energy and imagination with which he is leading the campaign, which, of course, is receiving substantial financial support from the Government.
852 Since our last debate in July, the Council of Ministers met on October 20 to discuss four matters of importance to regional policy, for, as the House knows, there is not as yet a common policy within the Six. They discussed, first, general regional policy, including the Regional Development Committee; secondly, a regional policy interest rebate fund; thirdly, aid for agricultural priority regions and, lastly, a level of up to 20 per cent. maximum for aid, and what they term the"transparency"of aids in central areas. The Council did not agree on the first three matters. They adopted, however, the guidelines for the level and transparency of aids. It was said at the time by the chairman, Signor Giolitti, that the application of these guidelines and the idea of a central area would have to be discussed with all the members of an enlarged Community, and particular reference was made to the United Kingdom and the importance which we attach to regional policy.
We believe that the 20 per cent. ceiling for aid in central areas is in our own interests. The object behind this policy is to keep the differential between the prosperous areas and those suffering from unemployment. We also fully support the guidelines for investment aid proposed by the Commission, which are designed to ensure that regional aid is "transparent", or, in other words, is not a hidden subsidy.
So far as regional policy is concerned, the attitude of the Community to the United Kingdom was shown by Signor Spinelli, the E. E. C. Industrial Commissioner, when he said this year in Dublin:We should not think that only the countries or regions with specific problems of underdevelopment, such as Italy or Ireland, will have a vital interest in having a regional policy. Regional disequililbia affect not only under-developed areas, but also those areas which suffer from too much concentration of investments, from excessive urbanisation and from the deterioration of the environment.We realise there is a long way to go to secure an agreed solution on regional policy within an enlarged Community, but we shall have the chance if we enter the Community to shape the policy to ensure not only greater employment but a more even distribution, which is one of the main objects of the Treaty of Rome. For, of course, it is true that neither Scotland, Wales nor any of the English regions can 853 flourish unless the country as a whole can flourish.
Many of your Lordships in these debates have called in aid, vast, practical experience to prove the economic case for British entry into the Communities. Those who doubt the case for entry are, I think, much fewer in this House at any rate, and it is not for me to argue the merits all over again. But the Government are backing the judgment of those who suport entry by a variety of measures designed to encourage investment and to ensure that industry can make the best of the opportunities that will be offered. I do not, for some reason, like the word"growth"—I think it is because I have heard it so often—although it is what I mean; and 1 have myself been convinced that we can achieve it if we will, and so give ourselves the means as well as the will to ease the burdens of those whose earning days are over.
I hope the House will forgive me if I say a little on the problems of fisheries, because I know there are not many of your Lordships who are intimately concerned, but it is a matter of great concern to our economy and for nearly twenty years I had the honour to represent in another place the largest fishing port in Scotland. Therefore, I see the problems, and also that the interests of the deep sea fishermen and those of the inshore fishermen do not, alas! always coincide. As the House knows, the last meeting on this subject took place in September. No decision was reached. The six member-countries of the Common Market have recognised that their present fisheries policy would have to be modified to take account of an enlarged Community. We cannot accept opening all waters from our shores to 12 miles, as has been suggested.
Our present position is that we have a 12-mile limit under the 1964 International Convention. We have exclusive rights to fish ourselves up to 6 miles. Between 6 and 12 miles certain countries, including the Common Market countries, Eire and Norway, have historic rights to fish in certain areas. Our suggestion to the Six was that these historic rights between 6 and 12 miles should extend to the whole of the enlarged Community. The 6 miles would be measured from existing baselines, which would in effect reserve for United Kingdom fishermen the whole 854 of the Minch and the Firth of Clyde which lie inside these lines. The Community did not accept our proposal. As it seemed unlikely that quick agreement could be reached on specific changes in the Common Fisheries Policy, we suggested as an interim solution a maintenance of the status quo. If we cannot reach such an agreement before signature of the Treaty of Accession, that will mean that we shall keep our status quo until a final agreement can be attained.
We also made it clear that if other applicants secure different arrangements—for example, a 12-mile limit off parts of their coast—we should wish to be free to claim the retention of a 12-mile limit for certain areas, of which Shetland is the most notable. The next meeting in Brussels will be on November 9 and my honourable friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will accompany Mr. Rippon as he has done on the last two occasions. If the House could bear with me just briefly, I would add that in any event the United Kingdom will continue to be responsible for making and enforcing conservation measures in all waters within the 12-mile limit. This is the present position, even where certain countries have historic rights for fishing between our 6 and 12 mile limits so long as we do not discriminate by nationality. We arc also trying to secure a better system of marketing regulations than exists at present under the Common Fisheries Policy. Other applicants share our concern. The major problem is that the present Community have adopted a system under which there will be one minimum price for each species of fish, regardless of where it is landed in the Community. We have already made quite clear our wish for a system of varied minimum prices relating to remoter regions.
I have spoken on what I feel are two very important domestic problems, but now I should like to refer to three of the chief arguments that have been raised in these long debates, and no doubt your Lordships will feel relieved if I assure you that I shall try to be brief. I cannot myself accept the view that because so many of the British people appear to be against our entry into the Communities it is a denial of democracy for the Government to lead them in. Surely the nature of our Constitution demands that 855 the publicly elected representatives of the people of this country must use their personal judgment as to the interests not only of their constituents but of the country as a whole.
These fears and doubts are by no means new. At the time of the signature of the Treaty of Rome European public opinion was largely indifferent, as is so much of our own to-day. Those who opposed the Treaty dwelt darkly on the problems which are inseparable from change. My noble friend Lord Bethell used a quotation from Mr. Ramon in 1957 to prove this point. I thought it excellent because, alas!, I had hoped to use it myself to-day. But, of course, as many have said, we cannot calculate everything exactly and we cannot estimate the most important factor of all: whether we as a nation shall have the courage and the ability to adapt to change. As a leading French deputy said at the signing of the Treaty of Rome:To be committed to the Common Market naturally requires a minimum of faith—faith not in Europe but in France's ability to adapt herself.The great economist Keynes once said:… the difficulty lies not in new ideas but in escaping from old ones which ramify into every corner of our mind.I am sure it is true, and it is honourably true of many men and women in this country now so far as the Commonwealth is concerned.
Some have lived out their lives in the far corners of the earth and their descendants now belong to the country of their choice. So to those who still have these close family links overseas (and I have them myself) it has taken a long time to realise the extent of the changes within these nations, large and small, that corridor the earth; and if you add to this the aftermath of the Second World War and Britain's own loss of strength and influence, it has meant a slow and difficult acceptance that an era has come to an end. So, in a way, we have sat about too long in a world which in some ways has seemed to lose its point. But now there is Europe, and the young men and women of to-day see Europe as an adventure. They feel that once again they can make a mark. They feel that through Europe they will again become a source of strength to the English speaking peoples and to the developing Third 856 World, and they are far less conscious of national differences and borders than some of us have been, for two world wars must leave their mark.
As for ourselves, as we search for at least some security in a very dangerous world we can perhaps remind ourselves of the words of a famous Englishman:We can never be a great Power on our own, but we have a certain genius in alliance.Yet it is said that this alliance in Europe will weaken Britain's power to shape her own destiny because sovereignty will pass in some measure to the Continent. My Lords, far more able minds than mine have shown that over the years this country has already ceded some independence of action of her own free will, because it was felt to be in her interests in a swiftly changing world. Therefore all I will say is this: the Treaty of Rome rests upon consent. If it were not so, the Communities would break asunder. I am sure it is in our best interest to have the power to help shape the evolution of this great experiment.
I am glad that so many of your Lordships in our debates in July and again this week—six days in all—have spoken not only of the advantages we hope to gain by membership of the E. E. C. but of all that we think we can bring to Europe, and not least our political judgment. For, my Lords, I believe it is this which many countries expect from us above all else. This was made very clear to me at the United Nations Assembly in 1960. It was the time when Mr. Khrushchev, President Eisenhower and Mr. Macmillan all addresed the Assembly—the famous one when Mr. Khrushchev banged his shoe upon the table. When Mr. Khrushchev spoke there was an awed silence while delegates pondered the unknown strength of the Soviet Union. When President Eisenhower spoke one could see that the Assembly was very conscious of the power he represented in the United States of America. So when our Prime Minister came to the rostrum I wondered to myself what would be expected of Britain, so slender in resources compared with the two giants who went before. But everybody listened, with heightened interest, and I realised that the delegates, who reflected so much of the modern world, wanted and expected from Britain her political judgment born of a long historical experience.
857 That even some of the nations of Europe should unite in any cause is a political factor of great importance to the world as a whole. Continental Europeans will grow in strength whether we join them or not, and I am sure we must have some say in the future of the Continent that we have never been able to ignore. The vote to-night is, to quote the famous phrase, Only the end of the beginning", for of course the E. E. C. will grow. This is only the start, and I think we should be glad to have some part in a great historical movement from one era to another. So when we vote to-night let us recognise this moment for what it is. Great historical moments have never been easy to live through, but I am sure we have the nerve to ride out the storms and to create the power that the world will surely welcome. These gifts we must use for only then can we, with any honour, turn to the next generation and hand the future safety into their keeping.
§ 3.14 p.m.
§ LORD GREENWOOD OF ROSSENDALE
My Lords, my heart went out yesterday to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn—whose presence in this House we shall miss when he retires in a few weeks' time—when lie said that there was little more to say about the Common Market, and the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir, pre-luded her own speech—her thoughful and impressive speech—with the same reservation. This, my Lords, is the third time that I have addressed your Lordships' House on this subject during the short time that I have had the privilege of being a Member here. My own difficulty is therefore peculiarly acute. Nevertheless, I should like to underline a few of the considerations which I think to be the most relevant in making up our minds on this vital subject, and in doing so to congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, and the noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever, on their outstanding maiden speeches, which were both stimulating and non-contentious.
Public agonising, my Lords, is always a little tedious, especially if it tends to be self-righteous and sanctimonious, and I shall not indulge in it to-day. I hope, however, that your Lordships will bear with me while I make one comment. I have always rejoiced in the fact that the Labour Party has been responsible 858 for conducting some of the great controversies in our public life. Indeed, without the Labour Party some subjects would have gone almost unaired. The debate on nuclear weapons and the debate on German rearmament are examples. Had it not been for the strength of feeling inside the Labour Party on both those issues the rights and wrongs would never have been fully discussed.
In the case of the Common Market the debate has gone on in both political Parties, and I am sure that the country is the stronger for it. Speaking personally, I am delighted that we have succeeded in putting the issue of Party discipline into its right perspective. What would have been called by Mr. Ernest Bevina "stab in the back" is now regarded—and rightly regarded—as integrity and courage. What was called, in my days as a rebel," rocking the boat"is now regarded as a brave, humanitarian, life-saving operation. indeed, newspapers which ten years ago were demanding that Mrs. Castle and I should be expelled from the Labour Party—not for voting against it but for insisting that Conference decisions should be treated with respect—are now urging members of the Labour Party in another place to defy the will both of the Parliamentary Party meeting and of the Annual Conference.
It seems to me, however, that the Party which is in real trouble is the Government Party. The noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir, to whom I always listen with interest and with pleasure, spoke of the constitutional position. It was, after all, the view of the Leader of her Party expressed on May 5 last year, that it would not be in the interests of the Community" that its enlargement should take place except with the whole-hearted consent of Parliaments and people of the new member countries." There were no qualifications in what Mr. Heath said at that time. There was no reference to degree: it was a question of wholehearted consent, and it is quite clear that however likely a Government majority is to-night there is no wholehearted consent, much less in another place than here. Moreover, it seems quite possible that the Parliaments neither of Denmark nor Norway will get the required percentage of the votes to allow so important a change.
859 Certainly there is no evidence that the people of Britain are wholeheartedly in support of the Common Market. For example, the Guardian on October 13 published an article under the heading" The mandate that never was", showing the results of analysing 245 election addresses of successful Conservative candidates in the last General Election. Of the 245 addresses your Lordships will be interested to know that 125 did not mention the Common Market at all. The silent majority included Mr. Maudling, Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. Walker, Mr. White-law and Mr. Prior. The majority of those who did mention the Common Market approached it negatively, in the sense that they opposed it unless certain specified or unspecified safeguards were obtained. It appears that only five Members of Parliament expressed themselves as being positively in favour. I know that your Lordships are always anxious to ensure that Governments keep within the mandate that they received at the General Election.
THE EARL OF DUDLEY
My Lords, is the noble Lord able to inform us how many election addresses of Labour Party members stated themselves opposed to the Common Market?
§ LORD GREENWOOD OF ROSSENDALE
My Lords, that is a very good question, but not, if I may say so, wholly relevant. It is not, of course, a Labour Government who are legislating on this issue. The Government are claiming to have a mandate, and the figures given in the Guardian clearly show that the mandate does not exist. Since the time of the General Election, moreover, a number of public spirited Members of Parliament, I believe at their own expense, have conducted their own polls, and my noble friend Lord Taylor of Mansfield referred to them last night. So far as I know, in every case more people expressed themselves as being opposed to the Market than as being in favour of it, and I read in to-day's papers that a recent and very impressive poll in Gloucester has convinced the Member of Parliament for that constituency that she should vote against the Government to-night. We can all have our own opinion, and most of us do, about public opinion polls conducted 860 on behalf of newspapers, and I would not seek to attach too great importance to them. Nevertheless, in the absence of more convincing evidence, the public opinion polls do at any rate suggest that in spite of fantastically expensive campaigns conducted with all the majesty of the Government behind them, and by apparently prosperous companies, they have failed to carry conviction with the most politically sophisticated public in the world.
I am certain that the noble Lord, Lord MacLeod of Fuinary, was wise to warn the Government last night against the danger of flying in the face of public opinion on a matter as crucial as this. I believe that there is nothing more calculated to discredit both our democratic system and our political Parties, especially among the young people to whom the noble Baroness referred, than for a Government to alter the whole constitutional position of the country without having strong support from an overwhelming majority of the population.
§ LORD BYERS
My Lords, does the noble Lord consider that if the Labour Party had won the Election it would, as a Government, have had a mandate to oppose entry into the Common Market?
§ LORD GREENWOOD OF ROSSENDALE
My Lords, the Labour Party's Manifesto clearly stated that we wanted a mandate to negotiate and made quite clear that we wanted no more than that. What would have happened after the Election would have depended on the result and the terms negotiated.
The noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack suggested that some of us were opposed to the Common Market on any terms, and he included me among that number. I do not think that is a fair description. Nevertheless, I know that the noble and learned Lord is an authority on these matters. I keep a small anthology of quotations from speeches of leaders of the Conservative Party, and one of which I am particularly fond is attributed to Mr. Quintin Hogg, then the Member of Parliament for Oxford. I do not know what it was he was objecting to at the time, but he said:The Conservatives do not believe it necessary, and even if it were we should oppose it.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD HAILSHAM OF ST. MARYLEBONE)
My Lords, the noble Lord is perfectly entitled to quote my words; but he does sometimes, I hope, himself make a joke, and sometimes it is a good one. I think that was a very good joke by me.
§ LORD GREENWOOD OF ROSSENDALE
My Lords, the noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack knows the affection in which I hold him, and I thought, too, that it was quite a good joke on my part.
My Lords, my objection to the Common Market is much more moderate than the unqualified opposition that the noble and learned Lord expressed on that occasion, and I have agreed in this debate with those noble Lords who have said how much they would welcome the Common Market if it embraced the EFTA countries and at least some of the Commonwealth countries, and if it was better designed to end the appalling tensions between East and West. I think at least some of your Lordships will agree that it is a little ironical that during the week when China has been received back into the comity of nations we should be discussing the small market of Europe instead of the enormous, gigantic market that has now been opened up in the Far East. No, my Lords, it is not we who are narrow in our outlook.
Nevertheless, many of us feel that we have a special responsibility for the Commonwealth. I was greatly moved last night by what the noble Lord, Lord Clitheroe, had to say, and there was scarcely a sentence in his speech with which I disagreed. I was moved, too, by the speech of my noble friend Lord Brockway. I have studied the position of the Commonwealth with care, and I wish that I could accept the rosy-tinted interpretation which the Government have put upon the arrangements so far. But that, my Lords, I cannot do. I believe that Australia has been the victim of a great injustice, both in respect of her butter and her sugar. If the sugar which cannot come into Europe is put upon the market throughout the world, chaos may well ensue. Nor has the position of the other sugar producers been guaranteed. Mr. Rippon obtained no bankable assurances. He simply made a unilateral declaration which was written into the 862 proceedings of the Community without being accepted by the Six. I do not believe that we shall be in a position when the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement runs out to guarantee the support which has given so much help to our friends in the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
Nor do I believe that the position in respect of India's manufactured goods is as satisfactory as the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, would have us believe. Unless I am misinformed, it is a matter which has been left over for subsequent negotiation. So one could go on—palm oil in Malaysia, bananas in the Caribbean, canned foods from Australia and New Zealand. But these are points which have been frequently deployed and I do not propose to go into them in detail this afternoon. I am bound to say, however, that I have a deep feeling of shame that we are putting the completely hypothetical advantages which we believe we in Britain would derive from the Common Market ahead of the undoubted damage that will be done to Commonwealth interests.
I am glad that on this occasion we have heard less of xenophobia than we did in the previous debate, although the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, referred to it last night. I doubt whether any of your Lordships who have known me for a long time would convict me of chronic xenophobia. I have probably been for longer a member of the Bureau of the Socialist International than any other Member of your Lordships' House, with the possible exception of my noble friend Lord Shinwell. And, in a quite different context, I should regard myself as much poorer if I did not number Pierre Harmel among my friends. Those of us who look with pride to the open seas and to the Commonwealth countries on every continent, the greatest multi-racial, multilingual grouping the world has ever known, can hardly be described, as one of your Lordships described us, as" Little Englanders".
If I may revert for a moment to my anthology of Conservative speeches, I would remind the House of the words which were used by the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, when he was previously a Minister:A small acquaintance with history shows that all Governments are selfish and the French Governments more selfish than most."863 Personally, I would not go as far as that. I regard myself as a lover of France, with all its faults but with all its greatness. There must, however, be just a slight feeling at the back of the minds of members of my generation that, at a time when we had, in the person of Lord Beaver-brook, a Canadian member of the War Cabinet during the darkest days that we have ever faced, Marshal Petain's reply to Mr. Churchill's noble proposal—and there is no other word for it than"noble"—for Anglo-French union was to say that," To make a union with Great Britain would be fusion with a corpse."
At a time when matters of such great moment are under discussion we should ask ourselves about the political stability of some of the members of the Six. He would be a bold man who would completely rule out the possibility of France and Italy becoming Communist countries within the next fifteen or twenty years. The Paris riots of 1968 will be fresh in your Lordships' minds. And very few members of my generation would put their shirts on Germany remaining indefinitely a democratic country. I hope with all my heart that those fears are without foundation, and certainly I am the first to pay tribute to the efforts of men like Willy Brandt to ensure that they are indeed without foundation.
But apart from political stability, one must have doubts about the economic success of the Six. I thought that the noble Baroness was greatly daring to tell us that one of the main reasons why we should go in is to achieve, and keep, a high level of employment. Actually during the Conservative Party Conference the Financial Times published a survey under the title," Troubles in Common for the Countries of the Six". It quoted the President of the Italian Employers Federation as describing the present situation in Italy as," The most serious crisis which Italy has suffered since the war". It said that in Holland,Inflation is now very largely out of control".It went on to say:The major uncertainty hangs over the outlook for the German economy. In particular, whether the downturn which has just started can be controlled so as to avoid recession.That is a pretty gloomy assessment, my Lords, of the state of the economy which 864 has been so glowingly described by many of your Lordships who have taken part in this debate, and it suggests that some, at least, of the economic attractions of the E. E. C. are less substantial than they seemed only a few weeks ago.
I noticed, too, with interest in Newsweek of October 18 a special report which included a section on," The race for efficiency". What interested me in that report was that Switzerland (dare I say it?) in EFTA has increased its production per man-hour more than Italy and Germany (dare I say?) in the E. E. C.; and that Sweden, in EFTA, has done better than Belgium and France in the E. E. C. The Common Market is, therefore, no panacea. Indeed, I agree with the view of Anthony Harris in the Guardian on October 18 that the Government's" Fact Sheets"(as they so wittily describe them) are compounded of half-truths, and that there is no provable economic case for joining.
It is my conclusion, therefore, that the political and economic case for joining Western Europe is, to say the least, not compelling. To inflict what I believe would be a wound on ourselves we should have to pay heavily. The cost of entry, the effect on our balance of payments, the increase in the cost of living would all of them be substantial. However little agreement there may be as to their precise size, there can certainly be no doubt that they would impose a heavy burden upon our already strained economy. Against that, one can only put the quite unquantifiable hopes of economic advantage. In this debate. as in the last, pro-Marketeers have relied on faith rather than on provable facts.
The noble Baroness spoke of two domestic matters. Having represented the Irwell for nearly a quarter of a century I am no authority on fisheries, but I should like to touch briefly on what she had to say about regionalism. I had thought that my noble friend Lord Hughes had dealt with that most effectively during our discussions yesterday. Perhaps speakers on the other side of the House will correct me if I say that, according to my understanding, the Secretary of State for Wales conceded on Monday night that our freedom of action to help the less prosperous parts of Britain would be severely curtailed if we join the Common Market. It was that which evoked 865 an agonised response from a Member of Parliament for Ulster, and which I think was originally responsible for the resignation of Mr. Edward Taylor from the Government.
Those, my Lords, are the reasons which force me to the conclusion that we are embarking upon a disastrous course of action. Perhaps I might venture a third quotation from the greatest Conservative of our time, the one to whom I think the noble Baroness was referring, and one who would never have been the Prime Minister of this country if the choice had been left solely to the Conservative Party. Sir Winston Churchill said, at the time of Munich, that we had sustained a defeat without a war. I believe that that is true once again to-day. Surely all of us must be just a little sad about the step that we are taking. We arc turning our back on many of our friends inside and outside the Commonwealth. We are turning our back on what I believe are our own true interests. We are turning our back—and perhaps this is the most important of all—on our history and our traditions. And we are doing it for reasons which have never been fully explained or understood, and with results that cannot be accurately evaluated.
My Lords, when the cry "Who goes home? "echoes around the Palace of Westminster to-night it will be for the last time this Session. A great and momentous decision will have been taken. It will, in my view, be a grievously wrong decision. I say that, my Lords, without arrogance, and I pray that in the fullness of time events will prove that I am wrong.
§ 3.39 p.m.
§ LORD GORE-BOOTH
My Lords, unless one has been born and bred in the world of politics, it perhaps never occurs to one that one may be involved in an historic moment. Historic moments seem to the laymen to be something that happens to somebody else at some other time. But, when one thinks, there must have been some ordinary people playing bowls with Sir Francis Drake on a certain day in 1588, and it now occurs that certain quite ordinary people are making speeches on this day when this country has to decide whether the mission, in a sense started by Sir Francis Drake on behalf of this country, comes to an end 866 and Britain has to decide whether positively to take another step into a different future.
Speaking to-day, I am filled with a genuine trepidation that one may not be able to be worthy of this occasion. There are people who can be. and I should like to say how much I felt that in the case of the noble Baroness who opened this debate. I should also like to express my respect for the measured terms in which the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, expressed his opposition in principle, and in particular for the very final sentence which he used. I should like to ask him one day, privately, what kind of an anthology a Cross-Bencher ought to keep.
It is not difficult to begin a discourse in this case. I did not have the good fortune to hear the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever, but I should like to join in the general welcome and general commendation of what he said. But I did have the good fortune to listen to the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman. He made a speech with all that insight to which those of us who worked with him in Whitehall became accustomed. The point he made seemed to me to be so pertinent, to be one of those irrefutable conclusions, that I shall allow myself to re-state it in terms which he would probably feel too simple, but which affected those of us who were working in a similar sphere to himself.
I think that his statement added up to saying that those of us who worked together, in perhaps the last dozen years, to promote the exports of such British manufactures as nuclear power stations and sophisticated aircraft did not quite realise, until near the end of the time, that the difficulty we were working under was that this country did not have the home market to enable it to afford the kind of wide range of sophisticated science-based industries which in these days is necessary. I think that this view is not in fact susceptible of contradiction.
§ LORD BALOGH
Indeed, my Lords, it is very susceptible of contradiction. It is one of the biggest fallacies I have ever heard in this House since I had the great privilege and honour to join it.
§ LORD GORE-BOOTH
My Lords, I think I shall leave the noble Lord to 867 argue the matter out with the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, who will have my support. But I am not proposing in my argument to follow the path of industry, nor am I going to follow the path of economics, in which I naturally defer to the noble Lord who has just intervened, except to say that I do not agree with him there, either. What I would say on this is simply that I am immensely impressed by the two parallel columns in The Times of a few days ago, where it appears that 142 professional economists felt that the economic advantages of joining the Communities outweighed the disadvantages, and 152 felt that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages—I am using the slide rule which the noble Lord, Lord Ardwick, used earlier to-day. I hope that he has not slid one or two economists either way, but it does not alter the argument. When I saw that, I immediately had a vision of the noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack saying to your Lordships," The 'Don't knows' have it "and of his utterance being received in a respectful silence. Of course we all want to know what payments we shall have to make across the balance of payments after 1977, and of course we cannot expect to know. All we can know is that this is going to be a very great challenge. We also know that in order to meet it we must have the change of mood advocated by the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, or the injection advocated and prescribed by the noble Lord, Lord Crowther.
What I should like to do in the few minutes that I shall speak is, first, to allude to two space-time fallacies, as I would call them, which have occurred in arguments in opposition to entry into the Common Market. Then I should like to go on to develop a little the side of the argument which demonstrates what we can give to the European Communities. I think it is very difficult for many people who have to argue among the public to stress this particular aspect of the argument. Obviously, it is important that people who believe in the longterm and general advantages of this step should not fall into the trap of saying," This is not about fish and butter." For a great many people it is about fish and butter and we must respect that view. This means that the onus is on people who 868 believe in the long-term advantages to convince the rest that these will out-weigh temporary inconvenience; and the onus is on any Government of the day, if we enter the Market, to keep a vigi-lant compassion in regard to the case of those people who are at the economically weakest end of our society.
One of the fallacies (I do not think it has been aired very greatly in your Lordships' House, but it has been aired influentially outside) is the simple proposition that the E. E. C. is a creation of the 1950s and is therefore obsolete. This is a case of a correct premise being misdirected into a wrong conclusion. It is certainly true that the Treaty of Rome and the formation of the Community was a 1950s miracle in the eyes of its founders. In the 1960s the Community was busy bringing itself up to date—and I will mention one aspect—by becoming a true Customs Union with the abolition of internal tariffs; and this took almost the whole of the decade—until July,1968. What, then, it is pertinent to ask, is the task of the Community in order to bring itself up to date in the 1970s? The answer is, of course, to enlarge itself in the way that we are seeking to promote. So it cannot be argued that the Community, having begun in the 1950s, has stayed there or is staying there.
Another space-time fallacy is the view that has been stated in your Lordships' House in this debate, that what we really need is a World Government. I have much respect for this feeling, except that I should feel it necessary to qualify it by saying that an acceptable World Government would have to be singularly unlike quite a number of national Governments in existence at this time. But I think it was the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, who put the proposition, not perhaps exactly as I should have done but with great point, when he said:… I have come to be a little suspicious of the fellow who always wanted the ideal but was never willing to accept what was availble."—[0i FICIAL REPORT,26/10/71; col.565.]It reminds me of a small pamphlet which was published in Cambridge University before World War I. It had the title, The Beginners' Guide to the Academic
Politician, and it had a piece of advice on how to oppose a progressive step which had been proposed by somebody else. 869 The advice given was to say, at the right moment:No, it blocks the way to a far more sweeping reform.I am not imputing any destructive motives to anybody, but I am saying that this is the effect if you pass up the available practical, limited objective and go for an ideal which is not attainable—because I am quite sure that we shall not get an acceptable World Government in the lifetime of most Members of your Lordships' House.
My Lords, I should like now to come to the question of what we can give, to which the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, has already referred. I should like to look at it imagining myself not at this time here, but in the Community in the South of France, the North of Italy or the centre of Germany. The first thing that clearly strikes you if you look at the map is that that there is a group of countries which are growing together perceptibly. But the map contains an illogical and inconsequent gap in the North-West; and it is a gap which would be filled, and should be filled, by a country of comparable population, of comparable strength and wealth, to France and Germany. Now that is the geographical absurdity of the present map, the way things are developing.
But if you go into the historical and political reasons for wanting Britain in, you come to an extremely interesting phenomenon of Continental politics—and this, again, was alluded to in the extremely prophetic and profound speech of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown. He said that" perhaps we could really play a leading and essential part in cementing the uncertain stability of Western Europe". He also referred to the stable balance of Western Europe. Now may I analyse (and I take my own responsibility for doing so) how this has in fact manifested itself in recent history.
The Community was founded, very properly and very largely, on the determination of wise people from France and Germany that never again must their mutual destructive feud break out. The Six came together as a natural grouping. After a time it is almost bound to happen that dim memories of those feuds come back again—not to the surface, but there 870 are little embers of them somewhere deep down in the soil which occasionally give a little tremble to the soil itself. So, for instance, in the de Gaulle/Adenauer period of the relations between France and Germany there came a certain fear among the others that a situation would arise in which the big Powers would dominate the rest of the Community and would boss it. So there arose a development of opinion in Italy that Britain ought to be in the Community.
Then there was another development. Germany became richer and richer, and there were apprehensions of the consequences of this in France; and opinion in France began to grow that Britain ought to be there. Again, at times you have apprehensions, similar to the Italian apprehensions, among the Benelux countries, and when that happens thoughts go towards Britain as the natural and historic defender of the independence and integrity of the Lowland countries. So for all these reasons there begins to be a feeling that Britain ought to be there. There is one other reason: a certain understanding among the Continental countries that the British have a certain capacity to be, not a" Voice of America"—that is quite wrong—but at least able to understand and explain some of the ways in which the American policy works.
This does not mean that Britain is required in the Six as a leader, as we could have been in 1950, or as anything formal like a mediator. But, exactly as the noble Baroness said, there is this respect for a country which has been developing over the centuries a system of a free political organisation and, which is also important, an uncorrupt Administration. Sometimes when nerves get a little frayed on the Continent over these questions, which have a certain historical foundation, the wish is expressed, and I think rightly expressed, that we, with our political experience, could well be there. That being so, I think it is fair to ask at this moment: if we are so badly wanted, why should we pay anything for going in? The answer is a very simple one. It is that all the other members have paid their annual subscription for quite a number of years, and it would not be exactly fair to ask us to pay less for coming in late. I think it is as simple 871 as that in terms of international argument, and that is something that we simply have to accept. But do not let us get into the psychology, or stay in the psychology, of wondering what" they "are going to do to" us "when we get in. When we get in—if we get in—"they"(if I may put it slightly absurdly) are going to be" us ". We are all going to be" we "working together. That process may well not he easy. They are not all easy people and we are not easy people; but I am sure that in that co-operation and in the difficulties that may arise we shall be well able to take care of ourselves.
If I may come from that political scene into the more human scene of the va et viol' between the Continent and ourselves, the position which must be faced in Europe is that the frontier as an institution is not what it was. The frontier in the European Economic Community is certainly a place where you show a green card—an insurance card. You may produce your passport to show that you have got one. but very often it will not be looked at. Then, when you have done all this, you come back to Dover and the old English Customs, who are efficient and courteous, and maybe you think that is the way life ought to be. Yes, my Lords; but younger people do not think that that is the way that life ought to be. They agree with Mr. Ernest Bevin that you must be able to get around without let or hindrance. They are the people—and I remember so well how vividly the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, described it in the last debate—who say to you, whether you give them a lift when they hitchhike in Europe or whether you meet them around here, "We do not see what the difficulty is about all this". They are perhaps, in the view of some noble Lords, not neurotic enough about sovereignty; but they simply feel that Europe is a small enough place geographically and a united enough place in terms of civilisation to be regarded as a domestic economy.
So, my Lords, everything that goes on around us—politically, economically and scientifically—is, to my mind, leading us in the direction in which this Motion wants us to go. And, if we may once again remember Sir Francis Drake, it is no longer a question of there being 872 "plenty of time to finish the game": as other speakers have said, there is no time except the present to finish this game for a generation. So, my Lords, we have a technological need for a wider market, we have an economic need for spreading our wings and we have a challenge before us. In that challenge we have our own capacities if we can get the mood right, and we have the better instincts of the younger generation. In the light of all these things I can only say that I am sure that what we have to do is to "greet the unseen with a cheer", and a cheer which will go round the world.
§ 3.58 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF HUNTINGDON
My Lords, in February,1945, I had the privilege of introducing a Motion in this House which urged the Government of the day to try to work towards a Federal Union of Europe. The reason for this was that I was convinced of the overwhelming importance of having co-operation between those European countries which up to then had so often been hostile to each other. On that occasion no noble Lord got up in the debate, either to support me or to oppose me, except the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, who was extremely courteous in answering for the Government but who gave me to understand that the proposition and the subject that I was debating was so absurdly unrealistic that it really was not worthy of the consideration of this House. Now, of course, the Common Market idea has been developed—a much more practical idea perhaps than mine—but I hope your Lordships will forgive me some modest satisfaction to see this House as full and as interested in the subject, when at that time it was so unresponsive. Anyway, I hope that at the end of this debate we shall see a very big majority in favour of the Motion.
There is just one point I should like to stress. A big factor in this whole business has been the very strong opposition of certain leaders of our trade unions to entry. For various reasons they have tried to persuade the Parliamentary Party to vote against it, and I hope very earnestly that in the coming months they will reconsider their stand on this matter. I urge them to do so because I think their stand is a very illogical one. The 873 trade union movement in this country has developed from small beginnings to its present dimension and we now have great unions with enormous influence, prestige and power. Not only that, but they have come together in a Trades Union Congress where they meet to discuss, plan and consider policies, not to dictate how each union should be run, but to consider what is to the best advantage of all of them. That has worked extremely well. I think that the power of those unions has in the past brought enormous benefit not to hundreds of thousands but to millions of working people.
What is the origin of this power? Surely its origin was in unity, in the idea of the unions working together. It seems to me strange that organisations which have so benefited from union and which have become so successful together should now he so opposed to this country adopting the same principle and trying to take advantage of the unity with their fellow countries in Europe. Of course, it might be argued that that which works successfully for a trade union might not work so successfully for a country. But, surely, all history would refute that. From the early leagues of Greek States to modern times, whenever national groups have got together they have increased their influence and power and this usually to their benefit. The more they got together, the more power and the more benefits have come to them. An obvious example is the United States of America probably the most powerful country in the world to-day.
It might also be argued that this influence and power can be abused. It is only too true that power can be abused. But this seems to me to be one of the greatest arguments for this country going into the Common Market. Not only for the rather cynical reason that if there is a big powerful group formed it is better to be inside than outside; rather to get the benefits than to suffer from its activities. A much sounder reason is the one which has been touched on already in this debate. Over the years of time, nations develop faults and develop virtues. I believe that one of the great virtues of this country is the possession of a certain political wisdom. From what it comes is hard to define. It may be tolerance or a pragmatic approach 874 to things; but over many generations we have succeeded in combating crisis after crisis and this wisdom has finally developed for us a Constitution which I would say is second to none in the world. I believe that if we went into the Community we could contribute this wisdom and could help in their discussions. That is why so many of the people of Europe to-day are so anxious for us to come in. They appreciate that we will be a balancing force and that we will bring them our wisdom and judgment.
There is one further interesting point. There are many trade unions in the Common Market; ranging from what one might call rather Right to extreme Left. I think that I am right in saying, though I stand to be corrected, that up to the present none of these unions has demanded that their country leaves the Common Market—which seems to suggest that they fully realise the benefits of being one of the Community.
My Lords, the day has come; the actual moment when we must decide. To-night we and the Members of the other place must vote one way or the other. Some people who are very much opposed to our entry have tried to persuade us to their view by saying that it is all very well for Members of Parliament here and in the other place to make the decision, but that before we take this step we should consider that there are many people in this country who are bitterly opposed to our entry and many more who are doubtful. That is true. Therefore, I should like to end with a quotation from a very great democrat. George Washington, who said. when he was in very much the same dilemma as we now are:If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work?
§ 4.8 p.m.
§ BARONESS WOOTTON OF ABINGER
My Lords, although I do not wholly share his opinions I find it something of a privilege to follow my noble friend Lord Huntingdon in this debate because, like him, in the course of a long life I too have sometimes had the satisfaction of seeing the impossible ideals of one's youth become the commonplaces of one's middle and older age. In intervening in this debate I feel (if my noble friend 875 Lord George-Brown will allow me to use yet another aeronautical simile) very much in the position of the air pilot whose plane crashed on the Yorkshire Moors and who asked his way to Leeds, only to receive the reply: "If I wanted to go to Leeds I would not start from here. "My Lords, I do not wish to "start from here", and since the situation in which we find ourselves at this moment has been exhaustively discussed from every angle, both here and in another place, perhaps your Lordships will forgive me if I do not "start from here "but start from a good deal further back and work up to how we got to be here.
For once in my life I shall have the sympathy and support of the Benches opposite if I say that in its day the British Empire was a remarkable phenomenon—although our agreement may possibly stop at that point. The Empire, as we all know, was disfigured by the presence within its territories of coloured colonial areas in which the peoples were at best ruled with a certain paternal benevolence, and at worst ruthlessly exploited, and anyway were kept in lasting tutelage. As, one by one, they gained their independence, that disfigurement was removed. New members joined the Commonwealth of Nations which succeeded the Empire. Some of the new members brought distinctive elements of culture to the common table; some had known only the British way of life. They were, in the very moving words of our beloved colleague the late Lord Constantine, in the only speech he was able to make in this House, simply "black Englishmen". But with their presence we were able, as my noble friend, Lord Greenwood said, to establish a multiracial community of nations stretched across the world united by no binding legal ties, but only by sentiments of affection and mutual tolerance and respect for peace and democracy.
My Lords, we had no sooner got to that point than, it seems to me, we started to destroy what we had created. I wish that I could share with the noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever, the optimism which was apparent in his distinguished maiden speech and the slightly more temperate optimism of the noble Lord, Lord Garner. I cannot. And I noticed that, apart from what was said by these two 876 noble Lords, and by my noble friends Lord Beswick and Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, and the noble Lord, Lord Clitheroe, references to the Commonwealth in this debate have been but few and casual. I think that when students come to read the report of our proceeding in ten years' time they will conclude that at this time the Commonwealth was not only a wasting asset but also a wasted asset. No sooner had we created it than we started to tear it in pieces and to throw it into the dustbin. We tore up the delicate fabric of goodwill out of which it was woven. We did so by insulting the new members. We insulted them by racial discriminatory legislation. We insulted them by atrocious bad manners and a total failure to comprehend their problems at the last Prime Ministers' Conference—and I should think that it will literally be the last. Finally, just to ram the lid down on the dustbin, we now have paid scant regard to the interests of our partners, black and white, in the price that we are prepared to pay to enter a different community.
My Lords, that is how I think we have arrived at this position from which I did not wish to start: that, as we are constantly reminded, we are a little island, weak, and unable to stand alone, on the fringe of a great Continent; and, as the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie said, with but slender resources, and adopting virtually the posture of a suppliant. We need never have been weak or had to stand alone. We need never have adopted a suppliant posture if, instead of destroying the Commonwealth, we had put our whole energies into building up and strengthening the moral, as well as the material, influence that it might have exercised in the world. But now we find ourselves alone and weak and, as it seems to me, we try to bolster up our spirits by ascribing to the magic round-about by which we are anxious to join really almost miraculous qualities.
Since, by common admission, the benefits of entry cannot be quantified, they offer a marvellous field for unlimited magnification. The present Government have never been very good at giving us jam yesterday. They give us precious little jam to-day. But what a magnificent opportunity they have now to promise thick jam thickly spread for ever after. If some members of the European Economic Community 877 seem to be rather more prosperous than we are, or perhaps I should say in the past seemed to be rather more prosperous than we are, we never think to ascribe this to their greater industry, imagination and enterprise; we ascribe it only to the magic of membership. When we are dazzled by visions of great markets to be opened to us we somehow forget that they are not going to be our exclusive possession.
My Lords, may I for a moment indulge in a romantic dream? Suppose none of this had happened. Suppose that instead of throwing away the Commonwealth we had devoted all our energies to strengthening and enhancing its influence in the world. Might not the present position then have been reversed? Might it not have been for us to issue the invitation and to say to the democratic countries of Europe—all of them: let us not forget that the Six are not the whole of Europe—"Have your Common Market, those of you who wish; but all of you come and join us in our free world-wide association of democratic self-governing people devoted to peace".
My Lords, it is too late for that; maybe it is so late, and we have gone up the wrong path so far, that there is no turning back. There, I think, we find a much more credible explanation of the opinion polls than the astonishing theory put forward last night by the noble Lord, Lord Alport, who said that the reason why the majority of the public would vote against entry into the Market but yet accepted its inevitability, is because they believe that Edward Heath knows better than they do. Surely, my Lords, the real reason is that they think, as they well may, that it is too late to turn back. It is indeed the eleventh hour. But, my Lords, my romantic dream very well might have come true; and I still think that the judgment of history may he that it would have been better for us all if it had come true. I suppose that it is in the expectation and hope of that judgment, rather than anything else, that I shall cast my vote against what seems to me to be the unhappy termination of a misguided journey.
§ 4.17 p.m.
§ LORD NETHERTHORPE
My Lords, there is little wonder that so many speakers in your Lordships' House and in another place feel compelled to take 878 part in the debate prior to the critical vote that is about to be taken. The issue of whether we join an enlarged European Economic Community is of fundamental importance to the United Kingdom, to Europe and to the world at large. The opportunity of so doing is before us now on the terms negotiated, but if it is not taken I feel that the prospect of its recurrence is remote, to say the least. The balance of advantage over disadvantage has been analysed and argued from every conceivable angle, but any precision of argument is bedevilled by the element of conjecture that inevitably envelops such a complex conception. In the final analysis, therefore, judgment has to be exercised on speculation as to where the greater probabilities lie and whether the risks to our country of not going into Europe transcend those of entry.
What is not always fully appreciated, however, is that the E. E. C. is now a very different animal from that which will emerge when the Community is enlarged. The noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, put that same sentiment in different words. Within an enlarged Community Britain would have some opportunity to influence the direction that the financial, economic and political policies take in Western Europe; but outside the Community we should be virtually powerless to exercise any influence whatsoever. By inclination, we in Britain are opposed to inward-looking economic nationalism, and within the Community, therefore, we should at least be an influence for good in curbing any tendency towards excessive, collective, inward-looking economic regionalism.
The advantages of a larger domestic market have been variously assessed. industry by industry and firm by firm. Industry at large, as represented by the Grand Council of the C. B. I. and including the leaders of the nationalised industries, is overwhelmingly convinced of the potential advantages of joining Europe. For those businesses in which I am personally involved, the verdict is unequivocal: that the prospect of economic growth is greater within the E. E. C. than without. Especially is this true of industries based on research and development. The enlarging of the domestic market is the only effective way of sustaining investment in research and development by the spread of its cost over a greater volume of more certain sales in a domestic market, thereby ensuring the 879 pay back and thereafter facilitating the quest for wider markets through more competitive pricing, based on lower unit costs. The problems of reconciling the divergent interests of food producers, consumers and taxpayers that now beset the Community will not be easily resolved, but surely the valuable experience we have accumulated in the United Kingdom in searching for a sound policy for ourselves should help, rather than prejudice, their resolution.
The fact that an effective Common Agricultural Policy has not yet been evolved invites—indeed, almost compels—a positive contribution from the United Kingdom to its development from the wider area of knowledge and experience generated by an enlarged Community. With our background of nearly 25 years of practical experience of collaboration between Government and the agricultural industry, resulting, as it did, in reasonably stable markets and the avoidance of embarrassing surpluses, we should be well equipped to exert a powerful and useful influence in providing greater stability and greater rationalisation through more appropriate food and agriculture policies for the E. E. C. Over these years our consumers enjoyed the advantages of cheaper food, so long as the taxpayer willingly shouldered the consequential burden of the open-ended commitment in making good the lower return derived from the market up to a price high enough to maintain such a volume of production from our own land of the requisite quantity and quality as would insulate us as a country against exploitation on a sellers' market.
The size and uncertainty of our Exchequer liability was aggravated by the use made of the United Kingdom market by any country wishing to unload surpluses, however spasmodic, however subsidised, or simply just dumped, all of which contributed to unwelcome vacillations of price and supply in the British market place. Anti-dumping legislation proved some deterrent in itself in those years, and in extremity, when it was invoked, afforded corrective action; but all in all it was too often too little and too late. The only certain mechanism would have been direct import control of such a degree as to be effective, yet not contravening the requirements of GATT. The 880 prospect of sustaining the deficiency payment system and a free market was declining fast, and minimum import prices and import levies were beginning to be preferred on the political scene.
Meanwhile, the erstwhile suppliers of our cheap food and raw materials were themselves developing their own secondary industries, and in consequence reciprocal trading of the old order was raipidly declining, as the independent nations emerged, selling their products and raw materials processed by their own industries. Thus supplies of cheap food, other than spasmodic surpluses, were progressively declining. Whether we join the E. E. C. or not, food prices will be bound to rise, unless of course the rural workers are to be forever exploited by their fellow man. These circumstances cumulatively caused a veering in our agricultural policy towards the market place rather than the Exchequer as the vital source of the farmers' gross income, but with the consequential changes in import control to ensure that the market place provided an economic price. This change of policy, with its impact on food prices, was initiated by the last Government but one, continued by the last Government and accelerated under the present Government. I personally hold the view strongly that our system of deficiency payments, complemented by a realistic import control policy, but coupled with an effective marketing system, has the greatest prospect of providing a sound, progressive agricultural policy, even for the present Six, and most certainly for a Community of ten countries.
On an entirely different plane, one of the burdens of British industry and commerce is the fragmentation of its politico-economic representative organisations, involving excessive duplication and over-specialisation of representative bodies. That economies of money and manpower could be achieved by rationalisation there can be little doubt, but to transform the acceptance of this fact into a will to progress towards the remedy needs a really effective, almost vibrant, catalyst, which joining the E. E. C. already shows evidence of providing. The very challenge of change is, in itself, a vital stimulant to new thinking and new ways.
I refrain from further general comment for fear of repeating what has already been said so often. All sides of industry 881 —labour, capital and management—and all three political Parties search for economic growth as the prerequisite to providing our population with an improving standard of living. Economic growth is really the creation of wealth from our national resources. Our natural resources are confined to a rapidly declining coal-mining industry and only very limited underground mineral wealth, which by its very nature is a declining asset, along, of course, with the potential out-turn of the diminishing area of our productive agricultural land. These apart, our only other national asset is our people, whose cumulative productive potential is based on intellectual capacity, scientific acumen, creative genius, technological training, artisan skills, professional accomplishment and a more able and capable total population, man for man and woman for woman, than anywhere else in the world. The limitation of our natural resources and the loss of preferential access to our historic sources of cheap food and raw materials, owing to the development by the newly independent nations of their own secondary industries, throws us, as a nation, right back to the imperative need for the fullest possible use of our remaining resources.
To this end, then, we must obtain the highest level of economic production from an efficient, well-equipped, well-manned and properly rewarded agricultural industry, and the highest possible absorption of our manpower into wealth-creative endeavour, producing goods and services that will meet a continuing demand in world markets, based on competitive price, excellence of product and/or quality of service. Economic and financial salvation depends upon, and certainly our prospect of prosperity is geared to, the effectiveness with which this country uses its available resources. This nation cannot afford to underemploy those resources that remain available to it, and our best prospect in this highly sophisticated world is to transform industrial raw materials, of which nearly 90 per cent. are imported, into end products containing a high content of human talents in research and development, ingenuity in produce innovation, technological knowledge and real artisan skills, so that the added value thus accruing represents real wealth creation, thereby ensuring an ever-growing national cake. 882 This challenge is formidable enough in the most favourable of circumstances: but these we cannot dictate.
In the great debate within and outside Westminster I have been tremendously impressed by the knowledge and experience of productive enterprise of those who are numbered among the supporters of entry. For my own part, I am convinced that our prospects of economic growth, so vital to the strength we need to fulfil a more positive political role in this changing world, are infinitely greater within the Community than without. It is because of this, my Lords, that I strongly support the Motion before the House.
§ 4.32 p.m.
§ LORD BLYTON
My Lords, to force Britain into the Common Market, which will change our Constitution and is intended to be irreversible, against the clear wishes of the majority of the people of this country is a denial and a betrayal of our democracy. The vote at the end of this debate will be declaratory on the principle of joining the Common Market, but it will have no legal consequences. If the Government win, it allows them to take two steps, both taking a long time to make us a member. The first step is the signing of a Treaty of Accession to the E. E. C., and the other step is the passing of many amendments to existing British laws that will be necessary to implement the Treaty of Accession. These are the irrevocable steps of the future.
The Treaty, to the best of my knowledge, is not yet drafted, and the signing is not expected to take place until early in 1972. The amendments to our laws are likely to take up much of Parliament's time in the next Session. Therefore, this debate and its vote, which will find me in the Lobby against the Motion, is a vote against the principle of membership; it is not an irrevocable step, but an expression of Parliamentary opinion on which the Government will act. Parliament will speak with its vote, and before we abandon our independence, the sovereignty of Britain and the right to democratic self-government, which we have always fought to preserve, and become one of the Seven, Eight or Ten, the people of Britain, whose lives are seriously affected, both in the political and the economic spheres, should have a 883 say as well. If the Government want to ensure that the Prime Minister's words about wanting the fullhearted support of the people are confirmed, then the people ought to be given the opportunity to declare where they stand on this great issue before the Treaty of Accession is signed.
The Labour Party Manifesto in the last Election made little mention of the Common Market issue, while the Conservatives said: "Our sole commitment is to negotiate ". The Tories never made it clear to the public that these negotiations were not about the provisions of the Treaty of Rome and its thousands of regulations, but merely about the transitional period. This fact is now clear to the people, and they now realise that the Tory Government started off by accepting all the principles of the Community as they stood, and the matters for negotiation concerned only the short period of transition. That is why there has grown up among the people in this country the increasing feeling that they have been tricked into a position where they have no say as to their future. This feeling has resulted in a demand for a Referendum. What has surprised me in this House is the reaction to this demand by the very people who were responsible for the avoidance of discussion on this vital issue at the last Election. Instead of welcoming a proposal to make good this deficiency, they express horror at the thought of such a departure from our Parliamentary democracy. Yet to-day the Government are advocating in their Motion a policy which, if accepted, will change the system of Parliamentary democracy in this country.
Under Article 189 of the Treaty of Rome, regulations emanating from the Council and the Commission are binding in every respect, and directly applicable to each member State no matter what their Parliament may think. Acceptance of the provisions of the Treaty means inevitably surrender of the independence and sovereignty of the British Parliament over a large area of our national life, and entails the acceptance of over 3,000 regulations that have been passed prior to our entry. I do not know whether duplicity can go much further.
Among the major sectors in which the Council under the Treaty of Rome has 884 the right to issue regulations are agriculture, free movement of labour, rules governing competition and the European Social Fund. It can issue directives in fields such as the right of establishment, capital movements and the harmonisation of legislation— whatever that may mean. To say, as many Common Marketeers do, that the acceptance of this Treaty entails no more surrender of sovereignty than membership of GATT, the International Monetary Fund, NATO, EFTA, or similar international agreements, is to falsify the issue. The Treaty of Rome is for an unlimited period—for ever. We can leave the others by giving due notice. Also, the Treaty of Rome is very different from the other Treaties in many vital respects.
Much of the propaganda that has been put out to persuade people to change their minds about the E. E. C. either consists of half-truths or else conceals information from the public. Sometimes it descends to utter falsification. One example is the leaflet published by the European Movement, which says in bold type: "You've lost £ 7 a week in your pay packet". Then it says that "we are losing £ 7 a week because we are still outside the Common Market" and that "incomes in the Market have risen twice as fast as in Britain ". Shortly after this pamphlet was published, Mr. John Davies, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, spoke to the Federation of Industry in Dusseldorf and said that Britain's entry into Europe would reinforce the need to reject inflationary wage demands. When the Government were asked in another place to state, now that they accepted the terms and conditions before us to-day, what action they intended to take to increase wage rates in Great Britain to those which are alleged to be paid in the Six countries, the answer of the Government was "None".
I wonder whether the European Movement saw paragraph 43 of the Government's White Paper (Cmnd.4715), which says:The influence on wage movements of the increase in the cost of living is not expected to have any significant effect on the costs of industry.Paragraph 43 shows that there will be a major rise in the cost of living and practically no money increase as a result of entry. This is Government policy. That is why the Secretary of State for Trade 885 and Industry spoke as he did in Dusseldorf, and the reason for his answer to the Member of Parliament who asked in another place about wages rising to Common Market standards.
Mr. Jack Jones, the Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, has stated that a study of the collection of figures and statistics comparing wage rates of those countries and ourselves refutes entirely the propaganda put out by the European Movement of this £ 7 a week in the wage packet. This was indeed phoney propaganda. The White Paper clearly indicates that the main effect of joining the E. E. C. on the terms before us will lower real wages in this country. Food prices are to go up by 16 per cent. over the years of transition, on top of the rise that has been engineered by the Government—which means that we face a 20 per cent. over-all increase. On top of this we have the value-added tax; this will work against the working-class people in the future. So it is clear from reading this document that there will be practically no money increases to offset the increases in the cost of living. More competent people than I say that this is an under-estimate. and there are some who say that the increase will probably be over 25 per cent., or even 50 per cent. But the facts indicate that the gap between the E. E. C. prices and world prices is more likely to widen than to narrow in the future. This is supported by the official figures of the F. A. O. If this gap does widen, the advantage to Britain of staying out will be greater in the years ahead than it is now.
Food prices, as we know, have gone up in Britain by 8 per cent. They have gone up by the same amount in France; a little more in Germany; the same in Italy and also in Holland. But much of our rise in food prices here is due to the Government's efforts to raise the prices in preparation for joining the Common Market. Then again, France, Germany and Italy always had a dear food policy. Our policy has been different. For over a hundred years we have bought our food at lower prices from the most efficient farmers in the world. That is why our standard of living has been, and still is to-day, despite the false propaganda of the Common Marketeers, higher than in any of the Six countries except 886 in Germany. Our country has created a world-wide free trade system in our Commonwealth, EFTA and the rest of the world. We shall have to give all this up. None of the Six had such a system before they joined: therefore they had nothing to give up. Also, we shall have to apply an external tariff on the whole of the rest of the world except the Six. We shall have to pay £ 500 million to subsidise French farmers. We shall lose exports throughout the Commonwealth and EFTA. There is no reason that I can see why we should pay this tribute to France, and no reason why the British taxpayer should be asked to pay it.
President Pompidou is delighted. He told the French people on June 26 last that under the regulations New Zealand's exports will decrease and eventually disappear. He told the French farmers, "There is a new opportunity for you and it must be taken". The Government have accepted terms which contain no guarantee for the importation of New Zealand food after 1977. It is clear that the French President thinks that this market is his after 1977. So this increase of 20 per cent. in the cost of living—the figure may be higher—will in fact fall heavily on those who are least able to bear it. It is the wage-earner, the working class, the fixed income groups such as the old-age pensioners with least money to spend, who have traditionally bought cheaper foods in Britain, who will suffer. Now in accepting the terms, we declare that these cheaper foods must not be allowed to undercut the level of Community prices: they may only be let in if the price is raised and they may be shut out altogether. As the cost of food forms a large part of the weekly budget for the lower income groups and for many of us here, again these groups will carry the major burden of what I regard as a disastrous exercise.
It is almost unbelievable that this Government, which exploited rising prices when in Opposition and promised to reduce them at a stroke, are not only operating policies to keep prices higher than they should be, but are telling us that under the terms now before us prices will go up by a minimum of 20 per cent. in the years ahead. I ask you, my Lords, what will the trade unions do when this blast hits them? I predict great industrial 887 unrest, regardless of the Industrial Relations Act that has recently passed through this House. You cannot expect that organised labour will just sit back and see their standard of life attacked in this way.
In the lower wage groups it means that a housewife who now spends £ 8 10s. per week to feed her family will have to spend over £ 10 per week. It is to my mind ridiculous of the Government to think that all this will come about without any effect on wages, and that there will be no loss in our competitiveness in the markets of the world. This suggested 21 per cent. increase in the cost of food means, in money terms, another £ 150 million a year that will have to be found by the British housewife on our present imported food bill, and over the six years it means a sum of £ 900 million that will have to be borne by the people.
Trade unions can, by their organised strength, probably offset some of this by fighting for more wages, but what of the pensioner, and those on small, fixed incomes? The plight of the pensioner is bad enough to-day. His £ 1 increase was practically eaten up before he got it this month, and his position is not to be reviewed until 1973. So, as all these increases take place as a result of entry, apart from the increases created by the Government's internal policy, the outlook for our old age pensioners is not a very happy one; they will lag behind all the time. I shall be told that the Government will cushion them against this, but I have no faith in this Government's doing that, as I look back over the past 16 months, when they have taken milk away from children, increased the charge for school meals, taken away the three waiting days' pay under the social security scheme, put up prescriptions to 4s. per item. And next year huge increases will be made in rents, and there will he rising prices as a result of Government action—although the Government said that they would reduce prices.
It is quite apparent that the huge burden of entry into the E. E. C. will be borne by the working classes of our country. Even the Farmers Weekly of October 22—only last week—has suspicions that the public and Parliament have not been told all about what the involvements of 888 Britain are under the terms. In its leading article, called, "Who's fooling whom?" the Farmers Weekly says:There is a growing suspicion that we have been hoodwinked, that the Government has not told us all about the Luxembourg Agreement, and we may discover a lot more unpleasant things nestling among the European goodies when the first layer of the hamper is removed after October 28.So even among the Government, our friends, the farmers, are very dubious about the outcome of these terms. This does not seem to me to indicate that the farmers are in wholehearted support, as the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, said.
What of our trade with the outside world? Some say that we shall not lose a significant amount. I do not accept this for one moment. If the increased cost of living is to be retrieved by increased wages and salaries all along the line, then our industrial costs will be much more, our exports will be less competitive on the markets outside the Six, and our balance of trade will suffer a severe blow through increased imports and falling exports. On top of all this will be the value added tax, and this can be a more serious threat as when we enter it will apply to necessities. We have to pay one per cent. of this tax to the Community. The Government have made no attempt to assess the size of this contribution, or the burden that it will place on the people on top of the burdens I have stated. Possibly it will be £ 100 million added to our food costs alone.
When we come to the terms before us, what is the cost of entry? When the negotiations commenced the Government suggested that they should pay 3 per cent. of the Common Market budget. This was called Anglo-Saxon humour. We finished up agreeing to pay three times this figure. which is 8. 64 per cent. It is to rise to 19 per cent. by the fifth year. The French demand was 20 to 21 per cent. They did very well with that negotiation. This is a huge future burden because it will rise each year as the gross national product of the Six expands. The White Paper says nothing about this.
From 1980 onwards there will be no limits to what we shall have to pay to the Community. The White Paper makes no estimate, either, of what percentage 889 contribution Britain will pay, or what the balance-of-payments cost will be in 1978,1979 or in 1980 when the financial arrangements will be applied without limit. It makes no estimates of Britain's receipts from the budget. In the paper, Europe of July 30 official estimates were made of the budget of the Community of the Ten in 1978. It states what the contributions will be in 1978, and what the recipients will get back. In the Community of Ten it states that we shall pay 31 per cent. of the budget, and receive only 6 per cent. of its expenditure. It means, in money terms, that our contribution will be about £ 400 million. That is the estimate of the paper, Europe, and I have it here if any noble Lord desires to see it. France will receive 21 per cent. more than she pays in. Holland will receive the same,21 per cent. more than she pays. Luxembourg gets more than she pays. Italy gets more than she pays. The main burden of the Community budget will be carried by Britain. If the size of the Community budget reaches £ 1,900 million in 1980, and if our net share of it is 22½-or 25 per cent., then the balance-of-payments cost under this heading alone will be between £ 340 million and £ 360 million. If these terms are regarded as a success, then I shudder to think what they would have been if we had not been so successful. On any fair reasoning of these terms, there will be a cost on our future balance of payments of from £ 650 million to £ 1,000 million.
The terms that we are asked to accept mean that we have to accept the loss of British sovereignty without asking the people of this land; we have to swallow the whole of the Community's agriculture policy and he told where we buy our food. We have to accept the financing of the Community budget—where we get it fairly "in the neck"—and, having been dictated to, we shall have to pay 90 per cent. of levies on our imported food,90 per cent. of customs duty on manufactured goods, and a percentage of the proceeds from the value added tax. We have to accept the freeing of capital movements, which will make regional problems harder to solve, and we have to accept the Treaty of Rome and abide by the whole of it, with its rules, directives 890 and regulations. As I come from the North-East, where unemployment is high, I cannot see our people getting anything from entering the Common Market. I can foresee the possibility, also, of a greater proportion of international companies, and other foreign-owned international companies, placing a greater proportion of their investment on the Continent and serving the British market from there. If this happened it would be disastrous for all of us.
As I said last time, my Lords, I regard the E. E. C. as the citadel of a perpetuation of power, privilege and profit of the international capitalist structure. I am supported in this by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Secretary wrote in a Tory pamphlet, Britain's Place in the World,1969:That if the individual countries of West Europe are not to combine, then the outlook is bleak. Each separately will be under increasing pressure from the Soviet world, who will not let up as long as they see that capitalism might crack. Capitalism requires unity to mobilise its full resources and gain full rewards.That is one of the basic reasons for this whole settlement.
I, as a Socialist, can see no hope for my way of thinking within this Market. In my lifetime we have gained what we have by our own economic strength in opposition to the ruling class, and it is pleasing to some of us who have opposed the E. E. C. over so many years that the Labour Party outside, the Trades Union Congress, the Parliamentary Labour Party and the huge majority of people outside, are now against these terms.
In conclusion, my Lords, it is quite apparent in this debate that big business has been well represented in speaking with one voice to take away from the public rights and liberties they have gained in the past. It is the public now who should have a voice, just as big business has had here in this debate. And if youth is on their side as the Common Marketeers argue, why not try it outside and have a vote and see what the young people will vote on that basis? I regard joining the E. E. C. as a gamble by desperate men, and if it fails, because of the tremendous high costs that we face, we shall be the poorest of the poor. It is because of these reasons that I shall vote against the Motion to-night.
§ 5.3 p.m.
§ LORD ALDINGTON
My Lords, I think we all feel respect for the sincerity of the feelings of the noble Lord, Lord Blyton, and the depth of those feelings, but perhaps some of your Lordships will question whether that sincerity and depth of feeling is wholly matched by the accuracy of the conclusions he draws from ministerial statements or some of the economic statistics he quoted. If, as I suppose, I come under his whiplash as being something to do with big business, perhaps the noble Lord will give to me the same respect as I give to him for the sincerity of what I am about to say. And may I remind him that I count precisely one, as he counts precisely one.
It has been said by more than one of your Lordships that there is nothing left that is new to say; indeed, only the way in which we say it may be of interest. For my part, this is the first speech I have made about the Common Market in this place, or even in the other place, during the last ten years. That does not mean that I have not felt myself closely involved for a much longer time than those ten years. Indeed,16 or more years ago I was watching with growing concern the reports of the Messina talks, and then, happily, under the direction of my noble friend Lord Thorneycroft I became involved in the early proposals for Free Trade Area arrangements—very much second best those proposals look now. But that is not the way they looked then, for, like many others, in those days I felt that the more compelling case for Britain's involvement in Europe lay in the economic and trade advantages rather than in what I might call the internationally political benefits. But I changed my mind about that more than ten years ago now, and since 1961 I have been convinced that the broad political case for Britain's entry into Europe was even more compelling than the economic case by itself.
Like other men engaged in industry and banking, I can say to-day to your Lordships that, despite all the economic advantage that in our opinion must clearly accrue to us in Britain from our entry into the Community, the strongest case for entry is the stronger contribution which Britain in Europe can make to peace and general prosperity in the world—a contribution which we could not 892 make so successfully if we were not inside the Community. I find it very difficult to accept that anyone can really think that Britain's interest in the modern world will not be stronger if we are working with our European partners inside their own councils at every stage of their thinking, than if we go it alone "outside. I know there are some of your Lordships who consider that there is such a loss of sovereignty inherent in these proposals that even that advantage is a secondary consideration to what they consider is a damaging loss of sovereignty. I must say that, despite what the noble Lord, Lord Blyton, has just said to us, it is my view that there is no loss of sovereignty inherent in the proposals in front of us in so far as vital matters are concerned. Give and take, yes; but that we have now in a number of treaty organisations and in a number of negotiations.
May we just look at the alternative? Are we quite certain that if we now reject the opportunity to join we can expect the same close consultation that we have built up with our European partners over the years in which everyone knew we were intending to apply to join? Some of your Lordships—I would refer particularly to the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, in what I should like to say, with some humility, struck me as a most cogent and rationally argued opposition to entry on any terms, if I may put it like that—spoke of the fear one had of the results of contacts with politically unstable countries. The political instability of any major European country would, in my opinion, hurt us, whether we were in or out, and I hope we shall not have to meet that. But, surely, we should be in a better position to help any such country if we were in their councils and if we are able to offer them privately as fellow councillors the experience that we have gained from the 700 years in which we have evolved our own political institutions—an experience which may well be valuable to those countries (as even to some of the older countries) whose present political institutions are in some cases not much more than of twenty years' standing.
I referred a moment ago to one possible result if we were to decide to-day not to seek entry. My noble friend Lord Eccles in his speech yesterday suggested 893 that the alternatives should be defined and then exposed. He was right to speak of alternatives. I hope it will not seem rude to the opponents of entry if I say that in listening to them and reading what they have to say it seems that they do not agree on many things except that they oppose this Motion. There are a variety of alternatives. We have not seen any of them worked out in the detail in which these proposals in the White Paper have been worked out for us. I venture to suggest to your Lordships that some of you might have had even more damaging comments on them, and have taken even longer to put them to your Lordships. than the noble Lord who has just preceded me and who I see is not now in his place.
One such alternative was mentioned by the noble Baroness, Lady Wootton of Abinger, and it relates to what might have happened if we had been able to inspire the Commonwealth, old and new, in a different way. I think she knows that I share an attachment to the Commonwealth, both, as it were, emotionally and in doing business. But I cannot share her belief that we could have inspired a Commonwealth, new and old, which would have wished to combine with us in world influence or economic policy to match this proposal now in front of us. Nor do I share the belief of other noble Lords that we are going to damage the Commonwealth by what is now proposed. Here I would pay my tribute to the maiden speech of my noble friend Lord Astor of Hever.
§ BARONESS WOOTTON OF ABINGER
My Lords, if the noble Lord will forgive me, I did not suggest that the Commonwealth and the Community were alternatives but that they might have been combined, on our initiative.
§ LORD ALDINGTON
My Lords, I appreciate—or at least I hope I appreciate—what the noble Baroness has said, and I am sorry if in summarising I have misled the House. I do not think she would wish me to go further into it, other than to express my conclusion.
May I now turn to the economic case? As we all know, this is based on the great opportunities which entry will present to industry, commerce and what are called the "invisible exporters". The existence 894 of that opportunity does not, of course, guarantee that it will be seized. We all know that every single industry will face its problems. The noble Lord, Lord Stokes, in his excellent speech on Tuesday, indicated some of the problems in his field, and the noble Lord, Lord Netherthorpe, has to-day told us about his experiences. Every industry will have some problems, and it is to tackle those problems that they have higher direction and management. But why is it that so much of the leadership of British industry and commerce welcomes the prospect of entry? It is because they want those greater opportunities, and because they know that their work force and they themselves are capable of taking advantage of those opportunities. They do not share the fears and—I go further—the lack of confidence in themselves and in the working people of this country which seems to be at the back of so much of the opposition to the economic case.
The standard of living in Britain will be higher because we shall have a larger market where growth is faster, and I hope that we shall not be misled by false statistics about comparative growth. There is no doubt at all that the growth in the European Community has been, and is now, faster than that in this country. Our success in industry depends so much, as the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, said, on exploiting the technological progress which itself needs larger markets, as it generally needs a larger agglomeration of capital and production units. The noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, referred to Europe as a small market compared with the gigantic market of China. Surely there was a schoolboy howler in that remark. The size of a market for this purpose is the quantity of its purchasing power, and who can doubt that the purchasing power of the Europe we know and are about to enter is many times larger than that of the enormously populated sub-continent of China? We are all rightly concerned about employment prospects. But on one thing I should have thought we can all be agreed: employment will be higher and unemployment lower if we have a larger free market open to us. Surely we can think otherwise only if we have no confidence in our own efficiency.
895 Perhaps I may add one other thought here. Quite a substantial part of the horribly high unemployment figures to-day is due to the growing efficiency in industry and commerce in Britain. It is a growing efficiency which results in fewer men doing the same as more men did last year and in previous years. This is a time when we not only need the opportunity of a larger market but can truthfully say that we can, better than in recent years, face the challenge of freer trade.
Yesterday I heard the noble Lord, Lord Hughes, referring to the dangers of the freer movement of capital by industry. But surely he was overlooking the fact that he was a member of a Government which, although it had controls over the movement of capital by industry into Europe, allowed industry to set up production and other facilities in Europe so as to maximise its sales to Europe. I really cannot believe that he, as a member of that Government, was committed to the proposition that it was a good thing to go into Europe and so operated his controls that he prevented industry from getting ready to take advantage of it. Of course he did not, and I really do not think that, on consideration, he will feel that the point he made to us was correct.
§ LORD HUGHES
My Lords, I think the difference lies in the words the noble Lord has just used."Operated its controls" is quite a different thing from opening the floodgates.
§ LORD ALDINGTON
My Lords, with respect, what matters is the result; and for the reasons that my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir explained to us, industry itself will operate its own controls and will not go and invest in Europe when it is not sensible to do so.
If I appear to be optimistic, I would add that I do have one fear. It is a fear not about the incompetence or inefficiency of my own countrymen but of a world trade recession and an era of protectionism rampant all over the world. Our present Government, and indeed their predecessors, have given a lead in warning the world against this and in trying to find solutions to prevent it; but there is that risk, and surely we can be clear on one thing. If there were to be growing protectionism outside our shores, how 896 much better for our standards of living and for employment that there should be available to us a much larger market, free of protectionist obstacles, than that the only tariff-free and quota market available to us should be our own small island!
I have one more point to make. It is said that by entering Europe we shall reduce our ability on our own to help the developing world with aid and by encouraging private investment in those countries. Many of your Lordships will know the importance that I have long attached to that function by the British Government and by British industry and finance. But I have never understood the argument that going into Europe will make us weaker in this regard. For surely if we become stronger economically, there will be a larger cake out of which we can give more aid. Surely our industry will be stronger, and so will our financial institutions, so that they will be able to invest more. Our home market will be stronger, so that we shall be able to play our proper part in accepting free of restrictions the manufactured exports of the developing world. Perhaps more important than all that, we shall be able, in partnership with our European friends, to make better concerted schemes of development in those less prosperous areas of the world; and perhaps we shall be able to encourage our European partners (or some of them) to do more than they have felt able to do in recent years. I believe that, far from damaging developing countries, and particularly the Commonwealth countries, Britain's entry into Europe will greatly help them.
So, my Lords, taking all these points, and many others of which your Lordships are aware, I share the views of noble friends on both sides of the House in this matter, that the case for entry is clear. I declare my firm faith that Britain will be stronger in influence and wealth inside Europe, and that faith is founded upon an equal faith that the British people will rise to the new challenge.
§ 5.20 p.m.
THE LORD BISHOP OF CHESTER
My Lords, it may be thought rash at this time, when the long debate on our entry into the Common Market is drawing to a close, that someone like myself, who makes no pretensions to expertise in the 897 complex economic and political issues involved, should venture to address your Lordships. My excuse for doing so lies in this very fact. For most people are not experts; yet it is they upon whom the impact of our entry or otherwise will fall; it is in their name that we are to make our decision.
The path of the ordinary citizen has not during these recent months of debate been any easy one. He has been bombarded by propaganda one way or the other. He has been hit by a spate of words and pamphlets and newsprint. He has been faced with a series of graphs and tables involving percentages dealing with figures of such astronomical proportions as to be beyond his comprehension. He has listened to an array of experts providing contrary interpretations about their implications. No wonder the man in the street is bewildered, and tends to lapse back into our traditional insularity of outlook, bred in us just because we live on an island and for so long have been wealthy and powerful.
But I suspect that most people know that decisions of this magnitude cannot be taken on the grounds that because we find the whole business very complicated, because we are confronted with so many conflicting interpretations, because we grow weary of the welter of propaganda, we had better stay as we are and continue to enjoy what we have always enjoyed. And our unease at this rather facile situation is extended when we observe some of the factors which are clearly to be apprehended. It is not difficult, for instance, to understand the danger of economic isolation. We observe the countries of the Commonwealth and of the New World realigning their economic policies and their traditional relationships with this country; and we cannot go on alone. Nor can one fail to be impressed by the potential of the great markets of the E. E. C. and by the opportunities presented for our traditional skills and commercial instincts. Even though we come late, who can doubt that we shall be able to take advantage of the opportunities just as effectively as the members appear to have done during their membership.
Most impressive of all is the fact that all three political Parties have thought it right to advocate our entry into the Common Market, and when able to have 898 sought to implement that conviction. The Liberal Party has not wavered in its belief that integration of Great Britain into Europe is an ideal highly to be prized. The Labour Party when in power promoted a round of discussions which were prematurely brought to a stop. The Conservative Party has twice initiated discussions and has brought us now to the moment of decision. In other words, whatever the conviction of individual politicians, the man in the street cannot but be impressed that officially the great political Parties have thought it right to accept the principle of entry into the Common Market, and when they have been in a position to do so have sought to establish circumstances under which entry can be acceptable to this country.
There are sonic, it is true, who oppose entry on any terms, and as I have listened to this debate I think that there are more of that persuasion than I had previously imagined. But the three political Parties approve entry in principle: they are prepared to go forward if the terms, in their view, are just and equitable. It seems therefore, that the differences of opinion arc upon grounds of expediency. Is the price required of this country too high? Are we expected to make too great a sacrifice? Will the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
At this point the ordinary citizen is even more confused, for he is faced with a wealth of expert and apparently reliable information which flatly contradicts itself. The Government White Paper states in paragraph 65 that a decision to take up full membership of the Communitywould be in the best interests of the peace, security and prosperity not only of the British people, but of the peoples of Western Europe and of the world as a whole.The document issued by the New Statesman replies in paragraph 67:The costs of joining the Community … are the heavy price that we should have to pay for largely hypothetical economic gains. These costs, which would depress our living standards and threaten employment, would immeasurably outweigh any advantages that can be expected.As we have been reminded, on October 22,294 experts in economics wrote to The Times: 52 per cent. told us that the economic effects of joining the Common Market would be more likely to be unfavourable to this country; 48 per cent. said exactly the opposite.
899 What are we to make of all this? It is reasonable to conclude that on grounds of economic expediency the experts have no clear guidance to give us. The contest is drawn. We must look elsewhere for the grounds on which we are to base our decisions. It has been said that that basis must be political. That is true so far as it goes; but the matter must be judged on wider considerations than these. The issues arc fundamentally moral and ethical issues, for they concern the character of the world that we are to live in, the kind of relationships that we desire with other people, the extent of the opportunities that will be open to us, not only to make ourselves prosperous but to contribute to the welfare of others and to serve those less fortunate than ourselves.
Fundamentally I believe that it is better to be in community with others than to be isolated from them; to be co-operating with others than to be in competition; to create the conditions in which unity, peace and prosperity can grow rather than to accept a status quo wherein others go ahead and we are increasingly left out. It is because I believe it to be self-evident that these good things are more likely to have opportunity to establish themselves if we are in the Market than out of it that I shall vote for entry. I recognise that we have obligations to others. I believe that to the best of their ability our negotiators have protected those obligations. I think it more probable that we shall have the means to meet those obligations now existing or which will arise in the future if we avail ourselves of the opportunities which will be ours in the Common Market than if we stay out.
We have been warned of the dangers to which we shall be subject if we go into the Common Market. Of course there are dangers. What venture ever worth while was free of danger? Perhaps the greatest is the possibility that in joining a rich man's club we shall become inward-looking, self-seeking, ungenerous. But, my Lords, these dangers are not built into the system of the Common Market. It is not inevitable that by entering we shall therefore automatically be tied to a system which makes us selfish and indifferent to the needs of others. The Common Market offers as many possibilities for increased aid to the impoverished 900 world as it does for insensitive self-interest; and if it should be that this country does become indifferent to the cries of the poor and destitute it will not be because of the system, but it will be ourselves who are under condemnation: and it will be in this House and another place where we shall be able to raise that voice of protest.
I have listened with great attention to the debate here yesterday and to-day, and especially to the speeches of those opposed to entry, for I was hoping that I might have heard some positive alternatives to entry. I have heard only one, which was, I think, from the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale. I hope that I am interpreting him correctly when I say that I remember that he said he would be prepared to go into Europe if it was on a much larger basis. The noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, has pointed to the danger of that argument. It is an argument with which, in a different guise, we who sit on these Benches are very familiar, because when we are trying to effect a unity with the Methodist Church we are always told by the opponents that it would be much better to have a wider scheme including the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, and the Baptists. The way of wisdom, I believe, is to proceed from what is attainable, believing that when you have achieved that you will be more likely to attain the ideal.
I have heard many noble Lords for whom I have great respect and from whom I would have expected to hear some radical, forward-looking ideas, and I have not heard those things. We have heard a good deal about fears: fear of the super State; fear of economic recession; fear of agricultural hardships; fear of the break-up of the Commonwealth; fear of loss of sovereignty and patriotism; fear that our partners may go Communist or Fascist. When we have weighed all the issues, I do not believe that fear is a wise counsellor. I have heard no constructive suggestions of what we should do except to coast along as we are, hoping, as the noble Lord, Lord Soper, said yesterday (col.702),for a future bright not only with hope but with the greatest traditions that belong to our past.But, as the noble Lord, Lord Balfour of Inchrye, reminded us yesterday, vast changes, important new alignments, have 901 taken place in the last 12 years, and we cannot be indifferent to them, and we cannot go on as we are, hoping that something better will turn up.
Here I must refer to some remarks made yesterday by the noble Lord, Lord Shinwell, who twitted my right reverend colleagues, the Bishops of London and Blackburn, for saying that we must make an act of faith. He told us that he wanted guarantees, not "faith, assumptions, speculations, conjectures ". The noble Lord, Lord Greenwood of Rossendale, said something of the same when he said that he did not want faith but provable facts. This is not the occasion to enter into a theological disputation about the nature of faith. But I would say that my reading of history is that the really important achievements of the human race have been brought about by those who have had the vision of a great ideal, have carefully calculated all the issues involved, and though they could not know where the way would lead, believing it to be the right road, have gone forward in faith. I can think of no important creative movement initiated by those cautious people who only back dead certs. I know of a good many instances of those who have done so and have lost everything.
My Lords, for me the most significant speech made yesterday was that of the noble Lord, Lord Crowther, who put the whole matter of our entry into the E. E. C. in its right perspective. The noble Lord, Lord Soper, was right in saying yesterday that the idea has been propagated at too superficial a level. In a recent article by Canon David Edwards, the Rector of St. Margaret's Westminster, he quotes Father Thomas Corbishley in saying:If we come to think of Europe simply as a larger factory… we are betraying the cultural and religious tradition for which in the past Europe has stood. That is not Europe except in the superficial geographical sense…. No Christian can accept a Europe which does not see human life primarily in terms of human values, spiritual values!Canon Edwards goes on to remind us:Before the seafarers' adventure of Empire became possible, the British Isles were always thought of as parts of Europe. Feudalism and the monasteries were international. The England of Chaucer was also the Europe of Dante. Nationalism and the Reformation broke up that Europe, and fresh Europes arose without us.902 My Lords, our entry into the Common Market will unlock the door through which we can move in the future towards a unity we once had and have lost awhile. It will not all happen at once: but the economic, psychological and spiritual conditions will have been provided. I, for one, look forward to the opportunity which will be provided in fuller measure for the healing of the religious wounds which have brought so much suffering to Church and people. A prize of great value is offered to us: we must not allow it to elude our grasp.
§ 5.37 p.m.
§ THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, to the aspects of political morality to which the right reverend Prelate has just alluded I shall be returning. First, I make three vital, pragmatic points. Recent events have now deprived us of the inglorious option of living as a comfortable American satellite. Our escape from isolation would help to counter that fragmentation of the middle ground which the super-Powers contest. And since Europe is likely, in the coming decade, to need to import double her present volume of raw materials, and we have the deep water sites through which those could be imported, our association with Europe can give us a very splendid opportunity.
But do not let us allow the fluff of pragmatism to stifle political debate, even when advantage points one way. I should like, with respect, to re-focus attention on words used by my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor in the last debate in July, when he assured us that "the instruments of power are in the hands of the Members ". The effects of to-day's votes, if they go as is widely expected, will be to authorise the Government to accede to the Treaty of Rome, and thereby bring us into a superior lawmaking body different in kind, my Lords, from NATO, W. E. U., the United Nations and so on. Secondly, once ratifications have been exchanged—and for us that is a matter of administrative procedure only, not requiring a Parliamentary vote—E. E. C. law will, at points, from that moment be superior to British law. From that moment on, the Council of Ministers' decisions—at any rate when they are unanimous—will be superior to those of Parliament. That is something that no 903 British Government has attempted to bring about since Oliver Cromwell. That is why, in our last debate, I put six questions to the Government to elucidate the stiuation. The answers which I received later in writing—and in parenthesis I must thank my noble friend Lord Jellicoc for going to such trouble—were as opaque as agate itself, and they forced me to further inquiry. The further inquiry, and the answers given, did little to enlighten me, either on the E. E. C. or on British policy. But I think I now know a little more about the Delphic oracle.
To two of my questions I must call attention. I asked what controls exist to safeguard Britain against any undue rise in the Common Market budget, and whether that was a field worthy of the exercise of the veto. I had no answer. Secondly, I asked—and I believe it is more important still—whether the Government must come back to Parliament for a Supply Vote, whether on the projected import levies or on a percentage on V. A. T., as our contribution to the Common Market resources. Again, the answers that I have had have been both unclear and unsatisfactory. With regard to the Common Market budget, there is nothing but the flimsy barricade of horse-trading among the six or ten members of the Council to stand between ourselves and the inexorable growth of that budget far beyond the mere extra £ 50 million-a-year rise implicit in paragraph 93 of the White Paper, until our net dues could soar well into the £ 500 million range and beyond.
These figures may be acceptable. Our balance of payments may exceed all previous expectation and performance and make thorn possible. But what is not acceptable, I beg with leave to suggest, is a British commitment to an escalating tribute, without chance of review let alone reverse, at least in each Parliament if not in every Session. It is false to pretend, as some noble Lords have sought to do, that the passage of monies to the Common Market would be no different in kind from our yearly subscriptions to NATO, the W. E. U., the United Nations and the rest. Those subscriptions are brought to Parliament each year and are open to debate on the Estimates. But these 904 imposts and levies, it is the avowed intention—and I have beside me for reference the letter of my noble friend Lord Jellicoe—shall amount to an automatic transfer of revenues. The White Paper was notably obscure on all this, but it is suspected—at any rate, it is widely reported in Whitehall where controversy rages on this matter—that the intention is to attempt to bind Parliament by some once-for-all enabling Act to authorise payment from the Consolidated Fund of whatever sums our representative in the Council of Ministers agrees.
This Budget, to which we shall have to contribute, starts in the Brussels Commission. Its members are unrepresentative, hiding their velvet touch within an iron glove, for quite naturally, they equate the Community's advance with that of their own power; and centralism, as we all know from our national experience, develops a momentum of its own. The Commission alone introduces matters to the Council of Ministers. Thanks to our obligations under the Treaty, when the Council of Ministers agrees on something it has the force of Common Market law, and what has the force of Common Market law cannot be gainsaid in Parliament. What cannot be gainsaid in Parliament is a tax on public consumption, which the public's Parliamentary representatives are, at the end of the day, powerless to resist without either breaching the Treaty or withdrawing from it. It comes very close to taxation without representation.
Power should always be distrusted, in whatever hands it is placed. At the heart of this debate, I submit, there lies not simply the question of material advantage. I believe that argument has been won. But there is the stark issue of the accountability of power. Surely a Conservative may quote the great Burke:The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse",and our Parliamentary history shows us that the simple test is the test of all Parliamentary life: where lies the power to vote or to withhold Supply? In the last resort, one can at least take comfort in the Quinquennial Act. Parliament is omnicompetent and can therefore do as it likes. But, by the same token, Parliament 905 as omnicompetent can undo what it likes. That is—
§ LORD GLADWYN
My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Earl? Will he not admit that, under the Treaty of Rome, the collective budget is eventually going to be subject to the control of the European Parliament?
§ THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, I am much obliged to the noble Lord for making that point, because the European Parliament has not yet had this power and we do not know when it will have it.
§ THE EARL OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, the noble Lord says that it will eventually have it. He may be a successful prophet.
§ THE EARL. OF LAUDERDALE
My Lords, I think we can leave that little exchange where it is. Happily, there is the Quinquennial Act, as a result of which Parliament can undo, just as well as it can do, what it likes. I can only conclude that it is in that sense that my noble and learned friend who sits on the Woolsack was able to assure us that, "the instruments of power rest in the hands of the Members." But just because Parliament cannot bind its successors, surely there is nothing unworthy, surely there is nothing improper, surely there is nothing insincere, if only for the sake of honesty and frankness towards our neighbours and friends, in calling attention to this. By the same token, surely the Government would be very well advised in framing their consequential legislation boldly to build it around this fact, rather than seek to obscure it and mask their inability to hind their successors.
By so doing, our Government's own hand within the E. E. C. would be immeasurably strengthened if, as I trust, their aim within it will be to accomplish that best of all economies of scale, by which I mean economy of Government itself, preaching not the concentration but the diffusion of power true to their philosophy of disengagement and humbly 906 acknowledging, I trust, that the best form of government is always the least.
Despite deep and anxious personal reservations, my sense of proportion bids me, as I believe the logic of our course of history bids us, not to recoil from this distasteful pornography of power, not to run away from the self-generating centralism of the Common Market Commission, but to face this power, to master and check this power, to diffuse this power and, since "the instruments of power rest in the hands of the Members", never to abandon that final check on all tyranny, which is the power to refuse Supply.
Because factors within the Common Market are now at work to make the opportunity more rather than less tractable, if we show courage, I am ready to vote for this step, but for the principle only, and only so far as the arrangements have been unveiled. But I give no pledge whatever about arrangements that have yet to be determined, or made clear or made more precise. I count myself under no obligation to back the ensuing legislation, for I shall look at that as the test of our Government's intentions. I pray that our Government may make good their promise that the "instruments of power rest in the hands of the Members", by making sure that all payments to the Common Market's funds are subject at least to review in each Parliament, if not at every Session, and thus implant upon the European scene the very kernel of the seed of wisdom which has sprung from the 600 years' story of this Mother of Parliaments.
§ 5.49 p.m.
My Lords, I must first declare to the House a particular interest in the subject under debate to-day, since I have the privilege of leading the team who are directing the affairs of the State-owned British Steel Corporation. In the few words which I wish to address to your Lordships, I shall take care not to trespass on the prerogative of Ministers to answer in the House for the conduct of nationalised industries, which is the well-established practice. My reason for speaking is that I have been a Member of your Lordships' House for rather more than twenty years, and I feel that on an occasion of this importance it is really impossible for anyone with deep convictions to stand aside.
907 During the time I have had the privilege to sit in your Lordships' House we have debated and worked to raise both the quality and the material standard of the life of our people. This has been the objective of successive Governments, but it is an objective that has so far eluded us. There have been many setbacks and many disappointments. In the past, we have undoubtedly missed some great opportunities—opportunities which have been referred to during these debates—when we might have joined the European Communities. I believe, my Lords, that we now have a unique opportunity which must not be missed. We have a unique opportunity to join the enlarged Community and thereby secure for ourselves a new hope of establishing and sustaining a faster rate of growth in our own economy.
We undoubtedly all have deeply felt convictions and views on the broad political, economic, defence and monetary issues which surround the whole question of joining the Community. These matters have been extensively debated in the House, both in July and during the last three days, and I do not wish to retread any of this ground. However, during the last five years I have been intimately concerned with the current fortunes and the future plans of the British steel industry. Like the noble Lord, Lord Rohens of Woldingham (whose notable maiden speech in your Lordships' House in July made such an important contribution to the debate on this subiect), I too, as a member, have attended the Council of Association between the United Kingdom and the European Coal and Steel Communities. I have also during this time had the opportunity of continuous and frequent contact with the leaders of the steel industry in the Six countries. My Lords, my personal experience and observation lead me to a single conclusion: that our publicly owned Corporations in the coal and steel industries in this country have no need whatever for concern if this nation decides to accede to the Treaties of Paris and Rome. On the contrary, I believe that they could expect to gain positive benefits.
Perhaps your Lordships will allow me to explain that there are some features of the British Steel Corporation which give my colleagues and me the opportunity 908 —a special opportunity—to judge some of these matters. We are the largest single manufacturing organisation in this country. There are bigger companies based in this country and there are larger organisations in terms of employment, such as the Post Office; but in the field of manufacture and marketing we have far away the largest operation. Our turnover in the United Kingdom is £ 1,250 million per annum. We sell a large variety of products to motor car manufacturers. to the construction industry. to shipbuilders, to can-makers and to all sections of the engineering industry. This gives us the opportunity of both seeing and understanding some of the problems and operations of a large part of the rest of British industry.
We also have very wide contacts overseas. We happen to be third in the league of the United Kingdom's exporters, selling directly ourselves £ 270 million worth of products into overseas markets. We also have extensive operations overseas, many of them in co-operation with other nationals. We obtain our raw materials from all parts of the world, involving purchases amounting to over £ 180 million a year; and. oil apart, we control the largest single shipping operation plying to United Kingdom ports. The British Steel Corporation's own net contribution to the United Kingdom balance of payments is £ 100 million a year; and I might just mention that, in addition, more than half the remainder of the exports from this country are steel-based. I speak, therefore, not only with conviction but also with the benefit of some up-to-date knowledge of the trading and manufacturing situation in this country as a whole.
My Lords, entry into the Communities, in my judgment. will bring faster growth to the United Kingdom economy. This will benefit our basic industries, firstly because of the greater activity of their customers. But for steel I see a wider market in the enlarged European Community. There will also be additional competition, but this is something that we should welcome, and not fear. Like the noble Lord, Lord Aldington, and the noble Lord, Lord Stokes, who spoke earlier in the debate, I am an optimist. I am optimistic that we can both compete and succeed in reasonable and fair competition with our friends across the 909 Channel. I see also a more vigorous growth of the economy, enabling us to provide an essential springboard from which we shall be able to modernise and rationalise large parts of British manufacturing industry, not least the steel industry. The European Coal and Steel Community rules will also, in my opinion, take us a step further towards ensuring the essential commercial freedom which is required by an industrial enterprise, coupled with proper public accountability where the State is heavily involved.
I see also improved prospects for financial stability under the disciplines and the safeguards which are clearly set out and provided in the Treaty of Paris. In fact, my Lords, the Community is especially tailored to the needs of the basic industries, and within the theme of regulated competition I foresee greater market stability and less erratic price movements than we have had to cope with in this country during the last decade. All this will lead to a more rational approach to the development of British industry in general and the steel industry in particular in an international context, which in my view is indispensable for the future.
Finally, my Lords, in the light of my own most recent experience I am convinced that nothing could put our regions, our development areas and the employment of our people in greater jeopardy than turning our backs on Europe to-day. To contemplate the next ten years with the growing economies of Europe, the United States and Japan, with this country in isolation, is a daunting prospect indeed. We need to cooperate with Europe. We need to co-operate with Europe to obtain the raw materials we require for our industries, including, in some cases, semi-processed materials. The great rich deposits of the future no longer lie in Northern Europe; they mostly lie in the Southern Hemisphere, at great distances; and the development of these future deposits are beyond the scope of any single European nation to-day.
We must co-operate with Europe, and this will undoubtedly lead us into further co-operation in selling and, I believe, in some cases, in manufacture in the third country markets which we have progressively surrendered to the Japanese in the last few years. We shall also need to contemplate joint manufacture in Europe 910 itself; because technology, as the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, told your Lordships earlier, has already led us to the point where we need very large investments indeed and in some cases investments beyond the scope of the resources which this country is able to muster on its own. There are, of course, still some practical details which have to be worked out and resolved; but, having been fairly close to one aspect at least of these negotiations, those concerned with the Treaty of Paris, I am personally convinced that we have negotiated good terms for entry. For my industry, the key questions of scrap supplies, tariffs, the structure of the industry and pricing have either been satisfactorily resolved or are being sympathetically negotiated with the other six countries involved. My Lords, if you want to see this country prosper and ensure full employment and a better quality of life for our people you should go into the Lobby and vote for the Motion before the House to-night.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ LORD DIAMOND
My Lords, I am sure that it would be your wish that I should express to the noble Lord, Lord Melchett, at all events my very deep appreciation of the fact that he has been able to come here and add his deep knowledge and supremely weighty and authoritative opinion, as the most responsible public servant in his nationalised industry, to those of other nationalised industries in support of going into the Common Market on the basis of improving the standard of living for those for whom we are all responsible. Your Lordships will remember that it was only a short time ago that my noble friend Lord Robens made a similar speech in respect of the coal industry. His speech has been confirmed by the present chairman, and both their speeches have been confirmed by the Minister in the Labour Government who held responsibility and who himself rose from the pits to become the President of the Board of Trade. So I do not think that there is any room for doubt as to where the argument lies in the opinion of those most capable of judging with regard to two of the largest employers and the most important organisations in this country.
But really I should have started off by apologising to your Lordships for seeking to speak in this debate when I have 911 been unable to attend this House on the first two days. The simple answer is (and I am sure that your Lordships will accept my apology) that I have not been very well. If I were to listen to my doctor I should not be here to-day. The simple answer to my doctor is: in the light of the sacrifices that have been made by millions in pursuing war in Western Europe, how dare I not put up with a momentary inconvenience to play my modest and unimportant part in helping to promote a lasting European peace? And a further answer is, and it is an answer to my noble, and, if I may say so, my much-loved friend who speaks with such authority upon the North-East: is it not right that I, who can perhaps in this House claim to have earned by the sweat of my brow the right to be heard when I am saying what I honestly believe is in the interests of the workers of the country, should come here and play my part in securing what I believe as Lord Melchett has just said, is going to be the surest opportunity—not a certainty, but an opportunity—for the working class to receive a much deserved increase in its standard of living?
Peace and properity are two arguments which take a lot of defeating. It takes a lot of butter and a lot of the other arguments that we have heard about to defeat those two main arguments on which I hope that most of us who are and have been for years keen Europeans, base our case. But it is also right that one who has propagated this view ever since there has been any organisation of any kind for it, should look at the arguments which have been used over the years to see that one is right and that one is not merely obstinately sticking to preconceived views. It is also helpful in judging where an argument stands to see the movement of it in the past so that one can see which way it is likely to go in the future. There is no more encouraging process than to go over the arguments in this way and to find that all those arguments which we put forward some ten years ago and which were positively in favour of join-'rig the Community have strengthened, and all those arguments which were against joining the Community have weakened.
In the first category I include, most importantly, the consolidation of public 912 opinion throughout the Six in favour of the Community; because we are liable to forget that their public opinion was precisely as concerned as is our public opinion td-day as to the wisdom of going in; and there is not one responsible body of opinion in the Six which is promoting the possibility of coming out. All seem to be reasonably satisfied, although, naturally, they have views about the way in which the Commission is working. Another argument is economic growth—on which one based one's case ten years ago in the hope that one would be able to prove it right ten years later; as we now can. We can compare the acceleration in growth that we have achieved and the acceleration in growth that the Community have achieved and that achieved by nations in like circumstances to ours, as a result of joining the Community. We can compare the consequential social policies which have been adopted and which we hoped would be the case and which are now proved. We can look at the success of their regional policies, a success beyond measure. We sometimes forget what was the position in Southern Italy a few years ago, never mind ten years ago. It has moved out of all recognition as a result of the regional policies carried out by the Six, policies on which those on both sides of the House place enormous importance. Finally, the argument that we hoped would be shown to be correct, the development of an outward-looking attitude on the part of the Six: which has been proved by the aid that they give to developing countries, which has been proved by their support for measures to liberalise world trade, which has been proved by their support for worldwide solutions to solve our monetary problems. All these have moved strongly in the right direction.
The negative arguments which have weakened in the main are, first, the argument of the Commonwealth trade patterns. Trade with the Commonwealth in those days was still on a very substantial scale, although dwindling. It has continued to fall off substantially, recognisably, understandably, because of trading with nearby trading partners. As a result, the possible damage to the Commonwealth has been very much reduced. Sterling balance difficulties which loomed large no longer loom large. Food price 913 differentials which were likely to be enormous are now likely to be very much reduced. And the one negative argument that has come out clear as a bell, and has been mentioned in many of the speeches of noble Lords, has been lack of an alternative. It has been asked for for ten years at least. It has not been made available. Everybody, in both Governments, knows that we have all done our best to achieve higher growth, to improve the standard of living of our people, and we have all been driven to the conclusion that this was not possible without going into the Community. And so I say that there can be no doubt that the arguments which were put forward ten years ago have strongly increased in favour of entry. So, my Lords, I am going to have the privilege of voting for entry on this historic occasion tonight. And the one thing I have to ask myself is: in doing so, shall I be flouting public opinion and also shall I be flouting Party opinion?
Let me deal with public opinion first. I accept the point which was made by the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, in her excellent speech at the start of today's proceedings, as to the function of this House and its Members. For example, if we were talking about capital punishment, where the opinion of your Lordships is very different from the opinion of those people outside—thank heavens !—then I do not think any of us would hesitate to vote as our consciences directed. But I do not seek to put it on that plane; I merely interpret to your Lordships what the public opinion polls are telling us, and telling us, I should have thought, quite clearly. They are saying that John Citizen believes that he, personally, would rather not take the plunge into the Common Market. They then go on to say, "But he thinks that, as a nation, we should go in ". Above all, they go on to say that the one thing he is declaring, by more than 80 per cent., is" For heaven's sake don't ask me to decide. It is you who have the knowledge, not me ". That is what he is saying, and I propose, as a Member of your Lordships' House, to respond to that appeal, to exercise such judgment as I have and to walk into the right Lobby.
May I, if your Lordships will be good enough to allow me, devote a few 914 moments to the question, am I flouting Party opinion? I daresay that what I am now going to say will be of more interest to those on this side of the House than to those on the other side. Having listened to all the speeches, including the interesting speech of the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale (who did not seem fully to appreciate that a unanimous view of a council, unless my classics have deserted me, is the view of a council in which every single member is of one mind) may I say that so far as the Government side of the House is concerned the only thing that I think is needed between now and the time for voting is a large enough Lobby to accommodate all those who want to go into the Market; and so there is no need to spend a great deal of time on that side. I am one who in 25 years has never voted against his own Party, and I hope that your Lordships will, therefore, forgive me if I try to look a little more deeply into the present situation within my Party and to try to distinguish between the reality and the superficiality.
First of all, may I invite your Lordships to remember what happened when we, the Labour Party, were in Government? We went into Government not openly enamoured of the Common Market. We did not go into government on the basis of a Manifesto saying, "Vote Labour and we will join the Common Market." The reason my Government took the initiative to send the then Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary into the European capitals to try to reopen entry into Europe was that they had been convinced, as a Government in Office, of the need for so doing; as the previous Government had been and as the present Government are. It is that which determined the initiative which was then taken; and, indeed, the initiative was taken very forcefully on the basis of, "We will not accept 'No' for an answer". It was made clear to everybody in the other place, and I have no doubt here also, that that entry was not on the basis of conditionally accepting or refusing the Common Agricultural Policy. That was an integral part of the Treaty, and the only way to change it—as indeed it needs changing, and as most in the Six recognise that it needs changing—is from within and from arguments based from within. 915 So that is the basis on which we endeavoured to enter Europe; and that, my Lords, is the basis on which the last Labour Government went to the Electorate. Their Manifesto makes that position absolutely clear. I have a copy here in case anybody wishes me to refer to it. I think that I had better say two words about it. It says:We have applied for membership of the European Economic Community and negotiations arc due to start in a few weeks' time. These will be pressed with determination with the purpose of joining the enlarged Community, provided that the British and essential Commonwealth interests can be safeguarded.That speaks for itself. Now I want to turn to the position of the Parliamentary Labour Party, which last week, in my presence, voted substantially against joining the Community, but noble Lords on this side of the House, those of my noble friends who listened to that debate, will agree with me that the main argument produced was the argument of defeating the present Government because of their economic and social policies—an argument which I found very appealing, too. But it is an argument against the Government and their social policies; it is not an argument against entering Europe. I find it impossible to be persuaded by the argument that the duty of an Opposition is to oppose what the Government are doing if it does not like the Government, as I do not. I cannot be persuaded by that argument, and I test it in the simple way of reversing it—the usual method. Suppose the Government had come forward and said, "These terms are not satisfactory. We propose that we do not enter the Community. "I ask all my noble friends who are anti-Marketeers, would they then have voted against the Government? Of course they would not. They would have said, "We have been convinced anti-Marketeers all our lives on principle, never mind the details, and we are not going to change our view merely because the Government have taken up a particular point of view. "That is how I regard it at the present time.
I now come to the question of the responsible Labour Ministers, to see where the weight of opinion is. In the Labour Government from 1964 to 1970 916 we had three Foreign Ministers: Mr. Patrick Gordon Walker, my noble friend Lord George-Brown, and Mr. Michael Stewart. Each of them has made it quite clear that he believes in entering into the Common Market, and they are going to vote for it in their respective Houses, irrespective of Whips or otherwise. That is their view as to the principle. Now let us consider the details. During the course of the Labour Government various Ministers were charged with the responsibility of the detail of going into Europe. They were generally known as "Mr. Europe". One of them was my noble friend Lord Chalfont, and another was my friend in another place, Mr. George Thomson. He was charged with that responsibility at the time when negotiations were being prepared at the very end of the Government. The third is Harold Lever, who is the present "Mr. Europe" on the Shadow Front Bench. All these three have stated clearly that they are in favour of joining the Community and have stated their determination to vote for it in their respective Houses, irrespective of the Whips.
I come finally to the nub of my argument, and mention three individual Labour Members—Mr. Roy Jenkins, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Douglas Houghton. Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and to his great embarrassment, my noble friend and Leader, Lord Shackleton. If he is feeling lonely about this, may I tell your Lordships that his predecessor, my noble friend Lord Longford, has authorised—indeed, requested—me to say that he very much regrets that, owing to his having to carry out a long-standing public engagement to debate a topic dear to his heart in one of the older universities, he is unable to be here to vote, but would undoubtedly have voted for entry had he been here. I refer to these three distinguished men, each of whom has a responsible position and each one of whom has made his position clear and by doing so has in varying degrees imperilled his official responsibility. Not one of them is resigning. Each one of them enjoys his responsibilities. Each one is going to vote for entry.
What is it that makes each one of these men do that? It is their sense of integrity. It is their self-respect. It is their desire to continue to enjoy the 917 respect of their fellow men, inside and outside the Party. They value that more than their official responsibilities. I understand that. That, in a much more limited field, is my own feeling. That is why, as a Member of your Lordships' House, I accept the responsibility put on me by public opinion. That is why, as an ex-Cabinet Minister, I am going to vote consistently for what I believe is in the best interests of the people of this country and particularly of the workers of this country, as also of the people of Western Europe. That is why, as a fervent international Socialist, I propose to respond to the appeals from Socialists and trade unionists in the countries of the Community to come and help them. That is why, as a good Party man, I shall be accompanying my noble friend and Leader in the Lobby, as I am free to do, with firm conviction, with hopes high, with my views confirmed and, above all, with a clear conscience. I fully respect the views of those who have a different conviction, but those of my noble friends who share my view I invite with all humility to stand at the appointed time and be counted.
§ 6.24 p.m.
§ Loin BUTLER OF SAFFRON WALDEN
My Lords, I am sure we are all greatly obliged to the noble Lord for defying his doctor, and if I were able to have a short word with his doctor I could assure him that his patient is in excellent form. Several political commentators and writers have compared this historic occasion in your Lordships' House to that of the passing of the great Reform Bill. Some, not content with that, have compared it with the passage of the Revolution Settlement in 1688. But I think that these are somewhat exaggerated parallels. They deal almost exclusively with our constitutional history; and while the atmosphere to-night and. I think, the political implications and repercussions will not be very different from those of the passing of the great Reform Bill, I look upon this more as a foreign policy revolution.
For myself, having just read A. J. P. Taylor's The Struggle for Mastery in Europe,1848– 1918, I regard this as the fulfilment of Winston Churchill's prophecy at Zurich, that Germany and France would bury the hatchet and Europe would unite after the most bloody 918 of wars. M. Jean Rey, of the E. E. C., spoke of an American who said: "Have you thought of our long struggle in the United States between the Jeffersonian supporters of State rights and the Federalists who emphasised the rights of the Union? We fought a civil war to put an end to these quarrels and I suppose you think you have done enough in the same direction in fighting wars in your community. "The answer to this amiable American historian is, I think, that we have certainly fought such wars, but what we now intend to do is to rebuild Europe spiritually, morally, economically and in every other way.
The second answer to this American is, as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has said, that there is no proposal for the suppression of national rights. Schumann, in his original utterances, never intended this; nor does M. Pompidou now. I should like to quote what M. Pompidou said at his Press Conference of July 21. He said:I therefore conclude that important decisions can only be taken on the basis of unanimous agreement and that what is at issue here is political reality rather than juridical rule. If one ignores that reality, everything would be destroyed.No doubt my noble friend the Leader of the House will reassure us, when he winds up, that any proposal to go beyond the Treaty of Rome and threaten our national sovereignty would obviously come back here before Parliament. I am certainly voting to-night on that understanding, because if there were an occasion on which our national sovereignty was endangered or threatened I should certainly want to discuss it in your Lordships' House. I am sure that that is the intention of the Government, and that is really the answer to so many who have expressed doubts up and down the country, about entering Europe at all.
Quite apart from the question of rights and of independence, I want to discuss, very shortly, because we are at a late hour, the economic aspects of this matter. There are at present four industrial groupings more powerful than Britain: the United States of America, Europe, the Soviet Union and Japan—with China coming along behind. If we stay out, the best we can do is to come along about sixth. When I look at the Financial Times monthly review of capital spending, I 919 find that it stands at the present moment at about the lowest for four years. Our lack of industrial investment is far below that of the average in the Community, and it will be unlikely to increase if we do not go in. If we do go in, it is quite possible that we shall be running among group 2, and very near the top of it.
I want to tell your Lordships that all this was discussed by Mr. Macmillan and myself, when he was Prime Minister, in 1961. I told your Lordships when I last spoke in July that we had had a talk in the gardens of Marlborough House, when we had a Commonwealth Conference on, about the realities of this situation. We discussed five aspects of this matter, which I can put very shortly, and I can show your Lordships how, in the ten years between 1961 and 1971, our forecasts have come true. We feared then that if we were out Britain would have a far less growth rate than the European countries. Speaking ten years later, in 1971, I can say that this is undoubtedly the case. Secondly, we argued that we should fall behind in advanced industries. This has happened. Advanced industries are having a very sticky time—although we must acknowledge the value of the contribution made by the noble Lord, Lord Melchett, to our debate this evening. Are we to confine these advanced industries to a 53 million people market or give them scope in a market of 300 million people? I think the answer is quite obvious for anybody who wants to make up his mind in this debate.
Thirdly, Mr. Macmillan and I argued in 1961 that if we stayed out our investment would be well below the European levels. I have just described how that is the case. We forecast in 1961 that European standard of living, then below ours, would overtake ours by 1970. And it had overtaken ours by 1970. We claimed, lastly, that our trade to the Commonwealth would not increase in proportion to the Community's. Here I need only quote the Foreign Secretary in another place a day or two ago, when he referred to the level of Commonwealth trade. He said:The fall has been dramatic. In the years from 1961 to 1969 our proportion of the Commonwealth countries' imports of manufactured goods fell from 29 per cent. to 15 per cent., while their contribution fell from 35 per920cent. to 23 per cent. of our total imports."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 21/10/71, col.918.]These figures, my Lords, speak for themselves. But I have had the opportunity recently of visiting Australia and seeing the staggering alteration in the pattern of trade made by that country: how Japan leads, the Community more or less comes second, and we have now to take a comparatively low place, where we used to be the principal customer. This is very regrettable, and I sympathise with the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood, when he says that his eyes are on the open seas and that he looks to the Commonwealth. So do I. One thing that I hope and pray is that if we pass this vote to-night we shall not only be in Europe but also still remain the leader of the Commonwealth, and backing the Commonwealth in every way we can, including India, whose Prime Minister is shortly to visit us. Nevertheless, we have to face the fact that we are living in an industrial world. It is no good the noble Lord, Lord Greenwood, talking about the comparison with China, because what we want is industrial markets for our industrial goods. That we must get in the immediate future, if we can in Europe.
Looking back on all this conversation I had in 1961, I cannot help feeling that the case is absolutely clear. If we miss our chance, the five tendencies or aspects that I have discussed, which we foretold in 1961, will deteriorate still further. By going into the wider market the challenge will develop; our investment growth will increase, and this will help cure our unemployment, which is the single most human and tragic problem of our own world to-day. I think that these advantages will much more than balance the disadvantages of helping the E. E. C. out with her agricultural problems, and the consequent strain on our balance of payments. The increase in the growth rate, which is almost inevitable, will help also, I think, to deal with the very big problem, not only political but economic, of prices. Our own producers, through the N. F. U., now support our entry—a very different story from what it was in 1961. I cannot agree with the noble Lord, Lord Woolley, in the speech that he made to your Lordships' House. But I can agree 921 with the noble Lord, Lord Netherthorpe. I hold in my hand perhaps the most striking document produced in the whole of the E. E. C. struggle, and that is the latest N. F. U. pamphlet about the reasons why our farmers are in favour of entry: and I am glad to say that, for once, British farming has something to look forward to.
I should like to conclude this short speech by simply saying this. Europe needs our industrial and economic contribution: and in terms of financial institutions and companies, this will be greater than Germany's. It needs also our political skill and balance. Of course we know that Italy is in a difficult situation. Of course we know the problems of political France. Of course we know the fear of changes in Germany. But, as Lord Halifax said to me when I served him in the Foreign Office: "I always tell my groom to get very close under the horse so that he cannot be kicked."And I should very much rather be in Europe, dealing with these problems at first-hand, than outside watching them develop without my own care and attention.
We shall bring our own compact and modern defence; and, as the noble Viscount, Lord Eccles, said, we shall bring our cultural contribution. I happen to be President of the European Cultural Foundation in this country, and we work with the Council of Europe. Strange to relate, our first projects in Europe are social and economic. We have been trying to find out whether agriculture, for example, is going to spread and form such a large part of the economies of European countries as it did before. In fact, it is not going to. So a great many of the fears of the anti-Marketeers will in the course of time be gradually dissipated. At the same time, we shall bring our mixed, varied, Christian civilisation and culture to serve that of Europe. I am not content to leave Europe only to Dante, Voltaire and Goethe; I should like one quotation at least from Shakespeare.
I do not want to detain your Lordships any further. I am certainly going to vote to-night in favour of this great event. It is a challenge to our civilisation. Our civilisation in Britain needs 922 a challenge, and when we face this challenge we shall be surprised at the effect that it has on all of us.
§ 6.36 p.m.
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, I think the Party Whips to-night must have been in a mischievious mood to put me immediately following the noble Lord, Lord Butler of Saffron Walden. The noble Lord and I are fellow officers of one of our newer and most promising universities, and there we work together in complete amity and concord. So all my instincts are to say: "Three cheers for what has been said by the noble Lord, Lord Butler! "But, alas! that is not to be the case. Then we had a most fascinating and delightful speech this afternoon from the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir. She ended up by saying that the Division to-night was to be the end of the beginning. She must not blame us if some people—some uncouth people—probably say: "Ah!; but may it not also be the beginning of the end?" Then, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester invited us to have faith, to take a long view. May I remark, in terms perhaps with which the right reverend Prelate is familiar:I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me.I stand before your Lordships to-night as a sinner who has repented. Let me explain how it came about that I saw the light. Until earlier this year I had been persuaded that the Common Market was a perpetual hive of prosperity and was the answer to all our economic prayers. Naturally, that made it very attractive to me. But I spent the greater part of the Recess in searching through financial and economic reports covering the past three years to fortify myself as a pro-Marketeer, but the facts I found led me in exactly the opposite direction. I began to ask myself: Why are the Six so eager to have us in at this moment when they were not eager a few years ago? Is it because their economic miracle is ending? Is it because they are past the peak? Is it because they have picked nearly all the apples off their own tree and now want to start picking ours? And I found that they are now suffering from the same economic hysteria, the same economic melancholia, that has been afflicting us during the past few years.
923 I will try to give your Lordships, as briefly as I can, a few of the facts that I found. I shall have to give them largely in telegraphese because of the hands of the clock, and I cannot quote the individual sources for the same reasons, but I will say that they are from the Financial Times, the Investors Chronicle, The Times Economic Review, the O. E. C. D. Official Reports and the E. E. C. Official Reports. This is what I found. Holland: riddled with inflation which wage controls cannot hold hack. The Government has had to impose a six months' surcharge on income tax, petrol tax and company tax and has increased value-added tax from 12 per cent. to 14 per cent. The new Cabinet is calling itself "the Austerity Cabinet "—it has given itself that description—and they are facing the biggest ever balance-of-payments deficit of 2,000 million guilders expected this year. against last year's deficit of 1,700 million guilders. There are widespread dismissals. The giant Philips electrical plant is cutting staff by 20,000 to 25,000. The Fokker Aircraft Company is laying off 10 per cent. of its workers in the next nine months, and the diagnosis of Barclays Bank is:Upsurge in inflationary pressure, deceleration in growth, faster increase in wages and prices, continued deterioration in trade deficit.And it adds:The trade position will continue to cause concern.The Times Economic Review this month says:Holland living far beyond its means; economy beginning a serious slide.Now let us look at Belgium. The O. E. C. D. says:Belgium and Holland both continue the deceleration in output and growth. The Prime Minister himself says tough measures are needed to fight inflation and control the economy. Increased taxes are threatened for the end of this year.They have not been put on yet, although they are justified at this moment, because there was a General Election in prospect and the Prime Minister wanted to put them off until after the Election. The Financial Times says:French-speaking Wallonia, whose coal mines and heavy industries were once the main source of Belgium's industrial wealth, is near economic decay.924 Referring to France, after the Market had been running for ten years, which is a pretty good running-in period anyway, the Financial Times said:Not since the last War has there been a swifter reversal in the fortunes of a major country than in France last year. Unemployment reached historical proportions. The Bank of France accepted a massive foreign loan to bolster its resources.Now that sounds like an economic crisis; and devaluation and tough monetary and fiscal measures had to be taken to deal with it. More recently in France we found wage increases, cost-push inflation and price increases still worrying the Government; unemployment steadily rising; stock markets fallen steeply—in mid-September they were at or near the year's lowest level. The giant Citroen company. one of the prestige emblems of France, lost 378 million francs last year (a loss of 616 million francs since 1968) and is thinking of reducing its capital. British building firms operating around Paris have lost millions of pounds. The Times Economic Review this month says:Ministers fear rising prices and union militancy will provoke strikes this winter and might blow the economy off course again. They fear mass disturbances, with disastrous effects on the franc and balance of payments.And the O. E. C. D.—a very official body—said:France is suffering from the twin dangers of stagnation and inflation.Now let us look at Italy. Capitalists there are refusing to invest and Government bodies are having to take over one industry after another. Nationalisation is increasing more rapidly there than in any other Western country. The Financial Times says:Private investment dwindling to a trickle: the flight of capital has grown alarmingly.
§ THE EARL OF DROGHEDA
My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord would allow me to interrupt him for one moment? I have some connection with the Financial Tunes. I do not know whether he reads the leading articles, but despite the terrible things which he is allegedly quoting from our newspaper I should like to tell him that we do strongly favour British entry into the Common Market.
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, that is all right. I am not surprised that the Financial Times speaks with two voices—not at all—and the quotations are correct.
Let me turn again to Italy. There was a wave of disastrous strikes in 1969 and 1970. and cost-push inflation is rampant. The Employers' Federation President has said that the outlook is gloomy. The Investors Chronicle says:Financial circles call Italy 'the sick man of Europe'.In May the Investors Chronicle said:Entire stock market collapsed to the lowest level for seven years and nearly the lowest for 12 years: atmosphere chaotic; selling in almost panic proportions.And on September 3:Stock market gloomier than ever.Zanussi, the refrigerating and electrical appliance giant, put 6,000 workers on short time; Pirelli have invited 15.000 workers to quit. with the promise of more than usual compensation. The Times on October 3 said:The Budget Minister has presented a bleak forecast—a worsening of the current recession.Do they have recessions in the Common Market, my Lords?—apparently so: and they recur. The Times Economic Review said this month:Two years of stagnation: the economy has been going downhill for a year.The Financial Times on September 30 complained of growing unemployment and rising prices; and the Italian Government itself told E. E. C. officials a few days ago that there are now 1.700,000 unemployed, and that figure is still rising.
Now let us come to Germany. Here profits and investment are falling. Short time and unemployment are growing in all the commanding heights of the economy: in motor cars, shipbuilding, steel, chemicals and coal. On motor cars, the Financial Times says:Volkswagen leads the way downhill: 1970 profits down 42 per cent.: likely to worsen. Seldom has a fall from grace been more dramatic.And Volkswagen was one of the economic miracles. In the Opel factory profits are down 41 per cent. The Financial Times on Tuesday of this week—
§ THE EARL OF DROGHEDA
My Lords, I should just like to thank the 926 noble Lord very much for this colossal "plug"
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
I am a newspaper man myself; I am always kind to others. The Financial Times on Tuesday of this week said that Daimler-Benz are putting 6.000 workers on short time and that the Kloeckner lorries firm is putting 5,000 on short time. Let us look at shipbuilding—and here the Financial Times words are far more eloquent than any of mine could be. They talked of "very heavy losses in 1970" and added:In Hamburg one answer seemed to lie in forming a super-yard by merging the giants, H. D. W. and Bloem and Voss. The logic was doubtful, since four years ago H. D. W. itself had been formed by mergers which made it the largest yard in Europe, only to find the losses growing bigger and bigger.So what Upper Clyde can do, Hamburg in the Common Market can do better.
§ LORD ROBBINS
My Lords, I wonder whether the noble Lord would aid my perplexity over the point to which he is leading us? I ought to say that I have no connection with the Financial Times now. Are we to draw the moral from these gloomy facts which he has been adducing that a disinterested observer would advise the dissolution of economic union in Europe?
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
The noble Lord asked me to pronounce on morals: I am not competent to do so. Now let us look at steel, another of the commanding heights of the economy. Production is down by 10 per cent; unemployment is increasing; short time at Krupps and Thyssen; Thyssen dividend this year to be notably reduced; orders down by 10 per cent.; steel workers stage protest march—10,000 on short time.
Then, in chemicals, we have profits 30 per cent. lower than the already deteriorating period of 1969. Hoechst profits fell by 36 per cent. in the first eight months of this year and the company are severely cutting staff. Then, in coal, the Ruhr industry lost 400 million Deutschmarks last year, after losing 199 million Deutschmarks in 1969—more than their entire share capital—and the Government are having to arrange a subsidy. In other industries, Zeiss optical 927 are closing down their Brunswick factory. The Pfiff engineering company have 5,000 people on short time. The Olympia typewriter company are dismissing workers.
Now we might have a few general comments from other well informed sources.
§ THE EARL OF PERTH
My Lords, before the noble Lord proceeds, may I ask him whether he can tell us about the foreign exchange position of Germany? Are they suffering, too? He has told us all about the other countries. I wonder why he has not told us about Germany.
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, I am not an international currency speculator, so I will leave that until later. The Financial Times on October 4 said:Touch and go whether economic downturn can be controlled. The boom is over…. Company profits down by 20 per cent. on a year ago. Considerable pockets of poverty and under-privilege.The Investor's Chronicle of September 3 said:Stock markets depressed. Capital investment stagnant. Investors concerned about company profits.The Times Economic Review earlier this month said:The worst inflation for 20 years has cut severely into economic growth…. The expansion curve shows a clear downward trend…Now we get this Churchillian passage:… A country tormented by inflation, whose industry is moving gradually from boom into stagnation.It goes on:Experts fear that if inflation is not controlled soon, the nation could face a severe industrial recession.The Times (and this is no relation to the other firm) on September 29 said:Twelve per cent. increase in German bankruptcies alarms industry.The Guardian on September 7 said:Germany's seven month current account was 469 million Deutschmarks in deficit to the end of July.Then, if I may dare to quote from the Financial Times of Tuesday, they reported the findings of five main economic institutes in Germany, and it was said:Germany may have negative growth rate for most of next year.928 Now let me leave the Financial Times—
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
—until I read its tips to-morrow morning, and quote the O. E. C. D.—an eminently respectable international organisation. This is what they have to say about the Six generally:Real G. N. P. growth rate slowed down in France, Germany and Italy between 1969 and 1970.Then they added this:The fast rise in consumer prices is appreciably impeding progress towards a higher standard of living.Let us now come to the E. E. C. itself, the Cabinet of the Common Market. Earlier this year (and I emphasise that this was before the Nixon "coup") they said:In 1970 the Common Market as a whole had its biggest trade deficit since 19641,400 million dollars.They added:The growth of economic activity has lost momentum.While this deterioration was going on in the Common Market, Britain had the second biggest surplus in the world. Speaking of Germany, the E. E. C. said:In July the Government economic stabilisation programme put a 10 per cent. temporary surcharge on income tax, pay roll tax and corporation tax.So, my Lords, vote for the Common Market for higher income tax! Regarding Italy, it says:Tax increases were necessary last year to restore economic equilibrium.Fancy a Common Market country full of dynamism falling off its economic equilibrium! About Holland, it says:Fairly high deficit this year on current account. In September last year surcharges on wages and income tax. corporation tax, motor tax and petrol tax were imposed.The Commission added about the Six as a whole:If present trends do not change, serious consequences for standards of living and employment will be inevitable.A few days ago the Commission issued a new report forecasting a continued rise in prices in the Six, and a mounting trade deficit for the Common Market as a whole. So the closer we look, the clearer it becomes that Britain has been "conned" on a magnificent scale about Common Market prosperity.
§ LORD GLADWYN
My Lords, may I interrupt the noble Lord for one moment? Are we to understand that the noble Lord's cure for the deplorable situation is to vote to-night in favour of economic nationalism?
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, when I permit my political thinking to be determined by a Liberal Party which has split more than once in its career I will give up. Now let me go on. One must not waste time, my Lords.
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
My Lords, I was saying that the closer we look, the clearer it becomes that Britain has been "conned" on a magnificent scale about Common Market prosperity. It is as clear as a giant hogweed in the middle of some blasted heath. So, what do we see? Raging inflation; soaring cost of living; rising unemployment and short time; increased income tax and other taxes. We have some of these diseases afflicting us here, but we are not paying hundreds of millions of pounds a year to the French for the privilege of enduring them.
At a time—and this is almost the last thing I will say—
§ LORD LEATHERLAND
I note the unanimity! My Lords, at a time when Mr. Heath tells the Conservative Party Conference that:Britain is standing on the threshold of growth and prosperity unparalleled since the Warwe are asked to gamble our nation's future on a basis of dangerous guesswork; on a basis, according to the White Paper, of 1969 figures. Things have altered very considerably since then. In an assembly of this kind we ought to pay some heed to the warning of one of the leading firms of London stockbrokers last week; namely, thatBritish industry will be vulnerable to competition, and is not well placed geographically to benefit from entry. The country with the most to gain is Germany.So, my Lords. I come reluctantly, because the whole of my personal (if I might call it) intellectual history for the past 40 years has been in favour of customs unions and organisations of that kind, to 930 the decision that in the present conditions, and at the present price, we should stay out. But whether we stay out or go in, whether we are in the Six, or whether we are not, we cannot 'stay as we are. Britain needs a very powerful industrial aphrodisiac—and that goes right up from the factory floor to the boardroom.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ LORD BYERS
My Lords, after that speech, I think the House will want to come to an early conclusion of this debate. It is obviously a lot later than we think, and I am surprised that the noble Lord did not announce that the end of the world was nigh. But we have had many speeches in the course of this important and excellent debate and I will not conceal from the House that the ones that appeal to me most are those which are forward looking and outward looking. I take the line which the noble Baroness, Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie, took at the beginning of this debate today: this is an end of the past and there is a new beginning before us. We should forget the political casualties on the way and get to grips with the problems that we have to face.
We must now look forward to the Community with the United Kingdom as a member, and to the United Kingdom as a member of the Community. I think that the article which was written by Mrs. Miriam Kripps recently hit the nail on the head when she put forward the views which some of us have been canvassing for some time, that a new expanded Community could be the catalyst for the obvious changes which must be brought about in Europe in the next few years. This is where Britain has a real contribution to make. What is needed is something imaginative enough to generate the sort of enthusiasm which people of my generation felt when the Schumann plan burst on Europe. That opened up entirely new vistas for us, and this is what we can see ahead in an expanded Community if we tackle it in the right way. We need new targets and new ideals. We want to sit down with our European colleagues and decide where the Community is going and where the Community should be going, and Britain can help to give the impetus and the political leadership which is going to be very important in shaping these new relationships.
931 The start of this new journey must be to recognise the changes which have been taking place in the world over the past twenty years, because the world is very different from the world of the 1950s. There are a number of most important factors which it is not difficult to identify. Most of them have been touched on to-day, particularly by the noble Lord, Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, in that remarkable and excellent speech. There is the strategic parity which has been achieved between the United States and Russia, and it now appears to be accepted that the risk of a major war has at least receded. This is a fact. There is a new attitude to China and the fascinating, tentative relationships between China and Russia, China and the United States, and all three together.
There is the emergence of Japan as an economic super-State. I have been engaged recently on studies of the corporate environment, sponsored by the Hudson Institute in America, and they have made some important forecasts on the Japanese economic future. I doubt whether the rapid emergence of Japan has really been appreciated, because that emergence of Japan as a super economic State has a marked effect on the decision one makes about the Common Market. During the 1960s the Japan real G. N. P. growth rate was 11 per cent. a year. By the end of the century, on a conservative estimate of the way in which Japan might grow, it is not only going to overtake the United States in 1990 as the greatest industrial Power in the world but by the end of the century they will have, if this conservative forecast is right, a per capita G. N. P.—that is, if you like, the income per person—of 15,000 dollars, compared with 10,000 dollars in the United States, with Europe as a whole (not Britain) at 7,000 dollars, and Russia at 6,000 dollars.—That is the picture which is going to emerge.
I think that the common denominator is the development not of individual nation States as we knew them in the 'forties and 'fifties but of five major Powers: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Western Europe. And it is pretty clear that Britain cannot achieve its full potential if she remains isolated and alone. Her obvious place economically and culturally is within one of those 932 groups. In Western Europe we shall be on equality with other nations. If we choose any other group—and it is unlikely we would—we should be subjugated to the detriment of our influence and power. And Europe—and this really means the expanded Community—must, in my view, organise itself effectively to speak collectively and with authority in the essential debates with the other major power groups, and again Britain has a great part to play when this dialogue, triologue or whatever it is, takes place at that level. The growth in economic interdependence and interaction demands that a number of international problems must be dealt with by the major Powers acting together and not unilaterally. One has only to look at the chaos which resulted from the United States' unilateral action on the surcharge and the dollar to recognise that these matters affect us all.
The prospect of a trade war developing to carve up the European markets means that Europe must stand firm as a whole and not allow its national markets to be picked off one by one. As a number of noble Lords have said, pollution, environment and the quality of life are of concern in varying degrees all over the world. There must be a strong European voice to speak up on these subjects. Monetary union, drugs and aid—all these, and other subjects, call for action and decision above the level of the nation State.
But, equally, while there are many problems to he solved at and above the European level, there is a strong case for decentralising other problems downwards to local regional government, to strengthen their powers and their chance to involve more people in local community work and local decision making. And here again we have the political experience to know how important it is to work along these lines in Europe to devolve decisions down to Scotland, Wales and other parts of the European Community. I find there is so much that is stimulating and challenging in the concept of the United Kingdom in the expanded Community that I sincerely hope—and I address this to the noble Lords on the Labour Benches—that we shall not see the dreary, undignified and humiliating spectacle of Mr. Wilson being allowed to lead his Party into the Lobbies day in and day out in a 933 futile attempt to defeat the enabling legislation. This will be bad for British politics, it will be bad for British policies as a whole, and I think it will be disastrous for the Labour Party.
But there is more to this than the mere humiliation of British polities. In the July debate I appealed to the official Opposition, particularly to Mr. Harold Wilson, not to allow doubt to prevail about the Opposition's intentions concerning secession from the expanded Community if Labour came to power in the future. I felt that it was an important declaration that had to be made and I was delighted and relieved when almost immediately afterwards the Labour leadership confirmed that Labour would not attempt to remove Britain from the Community. Much the same consideration applies to the way in which the Opposition treats the enabling legislation. By all means let us clarify, amplify; let us fully debate the Bill clause by clause. But once the principle is accepted by both Houses, I plead that we do not embark upon tactics which will cast doubt on the finality and the validity of that decision of principle. I make this appeal because the decision to enter the Community should lead to an upsurge of economic activity pretty quickly. It should trigger off a number of decisions in business to embark on capital investment projects and a host of other actions that will help us to create more employment and reduce the number of people out of work. If the Opposition are determined to fight the legislation line by line and subject the Government to a series of narrow majorities or narrow technical defeats, they will prolong the doubts about our entry and delay the very decisions the country is awaiting to help our economic recovery. It is a tremendous responsibility and we owe the unemployed and British industry a far better fate than that.
I feel that I must stress once again my deep regret that this tremendous constitutional matter should have been removed from the non-Party arena in which we had it in 1969. I am sorry that it should now be subjected to narrow Party political considerations. This is a further reason for not prolonging the agony once we have obtained a decision in principle. I salute those members of the Labour Party who have stood their ground and done so much to develop the concept of 934 the United Kingdom in the expanded Community. I sympathise with them at the present time. They had every reason to think that their Party would continue on the lines it initiated in Government. I would say to the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, who is to follow me—and I suppose the implication is that he is going to vote against entry to-night since he has rested his papers on the Despatch Box—that, once there has been a decision in principle, can we not get together, pro-Marketeers and anti-Marketeers, and try to solve the problems which will face us, instead of going through these mock political manoeuvres in the Lobbies, which will only delay, in the minds of many people who have to make decisions, the validity of what we are about to do. This is a responsibility which I hope will be accepted by the Labour Party and that we shall have an announcement in the not too distant future that, once the principle is accepted, we will go into Europe together, using every bit of intellect and expertise that we can.
§ 7.11 p.m.
§ LORD SHEPHERD
My Lords, at the outset I should like to express on behalf of noble Lords on this side of the House our very deep appreciation to the noble Earl the Leader of the House and to the Chief Whip for the arrangements which have been made for this and the previous debate on the Common Market. Also, since mine may well be the last speech of the Session from these Benches I should like to convey further thanks on behalf of my noble friends for the way in which both noble Lords have sought to meet our wishes during a long and tiring Session. I should like to congratulate, too, the noble and learned Lord who sits on the Woolsack. He certainly achieved his intention of making a brief speech, and I hope to be able to follow his example this evening. Equally, I hope I may succeed, as he succeeded, in not raising the temperature of your Lordships' House.
My Lords, we are nearly at the end of a long debate and soon we shall have to go through the Division Lobbies to register our individual decisions. It has been a notable debate, both in quality and in breadth of view, and I think it is impossible, if not invidious, to mention speeches that struck one in particular. But the debate was certainly enriched by 935 the maiden speech of the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, to whom I should like to extend my congratulations and join with others in the hope that he will attend your Lordships' House frequently to give us the benefit of his wide experience. In a similar way we wish to offer our congratulations to the noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever.
The decision we take tonight is one of momentous importance and will, with the passing of the years, have a profound effect upon our nation. Whether that effect is good or ill will, in my view, depend in the main on our own exertions. But if we enter and the great expectations that have been presented to our people do not materialise, I believe that then there could be dire consequences to our social fabric and our political stability. Great expectations have been put before our people. They may be achieved in the long term; but there are hard years immediately ahead of entry, and I do not think there is any doubt, as my noble friend Lord Blyton said, that the main burden of entry will fall upon the working class of this country. Do not let us have any misunderstanding about that.
Let us not underestimate the profound change of attitude and policy that will flow from entry. First, we are a sturdy, independent people. We do not mix easily, and we shall have to adapt not only our procedures but, I believe, our whole attitude if we are to succeed in Europe. While it is true that we are, and have been, part of Europe and have been deeply involved in Europe for many years, we have always looked consciously beyond the seas. We created an empire and built on it our industries and acquired our trading and financial expertise. That empire is now a Commonwealth of free nations whose links and friendships many of us deeply appreciate. It may be that our entry will not break those links, but I think we must be realists. As we become more integrated by trade, and eventually by more political connections, these links will become more fragile and some are bound to break. The decision to enter the E. E. C. and to accept the Treaty of Rome alters the whole course of this nation and its relationship with the Commonwealth.
936 That in itself must have a touch of sadness; but I would hope tonight, if our decision is to go into the E. E. C., and recognising its possible effect on the Commonwealth, that we in Parliament and those who have any connection at all with the Commonwealth, will have a renewed determination to see that those links do not break but, if possible, are strengthened. We owe a debt to the Commonwealth which I hope none of us will ever forget.
My Lords, the debate has ranged widely. I think it is true to say that there cannot be one aspect of the issue that has not been discussed during the last three days. I suspect that those who are convinced that we should enter the European Economic Community will leave your Lordships' House more convinced; those who take an opposite view I suspect will leave your Lordships' House convinced still that they are right, and those who came to your Lordships' House with doubts I suspect will leave with those doubts unsettled, because in the main the case for entry, particularly in the economic field, is based on assumption. There is no hard fact, and I do not believe that any speech would sway the determination of those who support entry or who are opposed to entry—not even the silver tongue of the late Lord Birkett and some of the great orators of our time.
I am not going to ask the House to hear from me my particular feelings towards the E. E. C. I put them forward in August. But I will ask the House, irrespective of the views noble Lords may hold, to pause for one moment. There has been a repeated claim throughout our debate that what we can offer the E. E. C. is our democracy, our sense of stability, our sense of understanding. I would ask the House to consider for a moment how best we can serve democracy in this country and in Europe. I do not make a great case on the question of sovereignty, but it would be idle to believe that when we enter the E. E. C. the power and control of this Parliament will remain the same. Food and agriculture clearly will go. So will matters dealing with overseas trade and international financial relations. Indirect taxation, too, will have to be harmonised with directives from' Brussels. There may be other things. My Lords, I suspect that some 937 of us are going to have a slight shock, when the enabling legislation comes before Parliament next year, as to the extent to which Parliament itself has been affected. I do not question whether that is right or wrong. What I question is whether this irreversible loss of sovereignty is to be accepted by the British people without their having some further say in the matter.
I am not now making Party political points. I had three very happy years as a Minister of State in the Commonwealth Office. I chaired a good number of constitutional conferences, and I see on the Benches opposite distinguished noble Lords who held similar responsibilities, but as Secretaries of State. I think they will confirm that whenever we considered constitutional changes or advances, we always sought, both at ministerial and at official level, to assess the degree of public support and agreement to the proposals that were being made. We went to very great lengths. There were occasions, certainly during my time, when it was quite clear that we could not reach agreement between the Government and the Opposition on the changes proposed, and we said to them,"Go back to your country, hold a general election on a manifesto with your proposals, come back with a mandate and we will implement it ". In the case of the Federation of Malaysia, when it was a question of bringing Borneo and Sarawak into the Federation, we even sent a Commission of eminent gentlemen to assess what were the wishes of the people. Certainly in my time in the Commonwealth Office that was the guiding word: what were the wishes of the people. We went to great efforts to find out.
Is it to be said that our colonial people are to he treated better than our own? Are we to deny to our people what we in this British Parliament have insisted on as of right for our peoples in the Colonies? It must have been the hope of all those who for years have been dedicated to British entry that when the moment of decision came there would be a wide measure of support in Parliament and in the country. The Prime Minister expressed the view last year in Paris that it would be inconceivable that any British Government could take the United Kingdom into the E. E. C. without a broad measure of agreement. What was incon- 938 ceivable then appears to be conceivable to-day.
The major political Parties are deeply opposed to each other on this issue. The major political Parties are deeply divided within themselves. This is not surprising, since the country as a whole is deeply divided. As my noble friend Lord Beswick said on Tuesday, despite the intense debate, despite the wide coverage in Press, television and radio, the country appears obstinately to oppose entry. Certainly the conditions laid down by the Prime Minister are not present for Parliament to commit this nation to such an irrevocable act as joining the E. E. C., whatever view one may take on the issue itself. I do not think any noble Lord would challenge my assertion that the electorate is either unconvinced on the merits of entry or opposed to entry. Certainly no noble Lord has stood up in this House and suggested that the electorate are supporting the Government's proposals.
What should the House do in these circumstances? First of all, have the Government a mandate? The Prime Minister has never hidden his determination to join the E. E. C. The Conservative Manifesto at best could be described as lukewarm in its commitment:Our sole commitment is to negotiate, no more, no less.The world "sole" surely means that there was no other commitment in that Manifesto. The question of a Manifesto is important, since the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, I think speaking on behalf of most noble Lords in this House, expressed the view that your Lordships' House should never oppose the Commons if the Government of the day had a clear mandate based upon its Manifesto.
In his maiden speech, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry declared that he had no sense of a mandate for the Common Market and found it difficult to believe that the country had given a mandate. May I quote what he said in another place:I have no sense of mandate for the Common Market and find it difficult to believe that the country has given a mandate. I feel that there must be further consultation with the electorate hut find great difficulty in considering what that further consultation should be."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, 6/7/70, col. 389.]939 The Nuffield College election study found that 38 per cent. of the Conservative candidates never even mentioned Europe in their Election addresses, and, moreover, less than half of the present Cabinet devoted a single word to Europe in their Election addresses. Clearly those who support the Government in the Conservative Party were coy; they kept their options open; I do not think anyone would question it. If that is so they cannot claim to have a mandate from the electorate.
If the Government have no clear mandate from the country, and if it is agreed from all the available evidence that the country is opposed to entry into the E. E. C., what should this House do? Does it say, as some of my noble friends and noble Lords opposite said yesterday, "It really does not matter. We know best. We are the leaders. Public opinion? Immaterial. It is for us to lead, others to follow ". I do not think there is better advice which I can give to noble Lords opposite than that given by the noble Lord, Lord Carrington. speaking in your Lordships' House in 1965 on the War Damage Bill and speaking with all the authority of the Leader of a majority Party. I feel that I must quote what he said on that occasion:It may well be that in the future some issue may arise of such gravity and of such importance to the wellbeing of the country as a whole, that it would be perfectly right and proper for your Lordships to use the powers which remain to you in order to bring home to the people of this country the gravity of that issue, and to give them time to understand its importance "—[OFFICIAL REPORT,25/5/65, col.734.]In a paragraph above he said this:In the procedure debate the other day I said that I thought there could be occasions, when measures were passed through the House of Commons on which the opinion of the electorate was not known, or in so far as it was known it was not thought to be favourable, when our delaying power might be used, and perhaps should be used, so as to enable public opinion to make itself felt."[col.734.]I should have thought the noble Lord must have done some crystal gazing, because is this not exactly what he himself must have had in mind? The public clearly opposed; no clear, stated mandate for the Government for the action they take. If these words are to have 940 any credibility or meaning, I have no doubt at all where the noble Lord, Lord Carrington, should be this evening, and those who supported him on that occasion. If democracy is to have any meaning, the electorate are entitled to express their view. Any Government proposing irrevocable steps of such profound importance should take them only with a clear mandate from the people.
It falls to me, as the concluding speaker for the Opposition, to give such advice as I can to those who sit on these Benches. I do so deeply conscious of their personal anguish at this moment—and may I say to the noble Lord, Lord Byers, that his contribution this evening did not help? Some of my noble friends regard to-night's debate and vote as a matter of principle and conscience. Whether it is so is a personal matter of judgment for them. We who are Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party are bound by the rules of the Party, which we have freely accepted. But, as my noble friend Lord Beswick has said as Chief Whip, we do not require those who, on this unique occasion, feel passionately on this issue to vote contrary to their strongly held beliefs. I personally do not believe that this is a matter of conscience; it is a matter of judgment on whether a policy is to the long or the short term advantage or disadvantage of our country and our people.
In an earlier debate I set out my own view that the advantages and disadvantages were finely balanced, and at the end of that debate in July I concluded that I supported entry and I accepted the terms. I made it clear that I had grave reservations about the terms and the economic policies that were being adopted by the Government; and about their effect if we entered the E. E. C. Since that debate, whatever new we have learnt of those terms, they certainly have worsened and have not improved. Since that debate, my Party has gone through the democratic procedures, and has reached a decision to oppose entry on the terms negotiated. I refer to my position if only to show that my dilemma is no less than that of my noble friends.
I am guided to-night in my decision to vote against the Motion by two basic reasons. First, while it is true that we in this House have always enjoyed greater freedom than Members of another place, 941 I have always held the view that, as a member of this Party, one that I have freely adopted, we have some accountability to those who are the rank and file and whose views should be taken into account on major decisions. The Labour Party, at its Annual Conference, called upon the Prime Minister to submit to the democratic judgment of a General Election. In the light of the remarks that I have made to the noble Lords opposite, I cannot help feeling that a vote for such a Motion can be construed only as a denial of the right of the electorate to make a democratic judgment on this issue. Therefore my strong advice to my colleagues, no matter how passionately they may feel on the principle of joining the Market, is that this consideration must mean that they should not consider voting with the Government to-night. But, as I said earlier, this is for them to decide.
The noble Lord, Lord Byers, asked me a question about what will be the attitude of the Parliamentary Labour Party when the legislation comes before Parliament. The noble Lord is as well aware as I am of the constitution of the Parliamentary Labour Party. We are a democratic Party, and it will be for the decision of the members of my Party as to what steps we take when legislation comes before Parliament.
My Lords, I have only a few more words to say; in the main, they are to my friends behind me. We have had long debates in this House, and within the Party. They have been conducted, despite all the reports to the contrary, with great humour and tolerance. Some of us have been under very great strain. Tomorrow is another day, and next week is another Session; and I hope, therefore, that we shall forget these difficult weeks, and that we shall combine our energies for the purposes that brought us into the Labour movement. To the House itself, I say that we are part of Parliament, and it has been said many times that we stand between the Commons and the country. I believe that there is an issue to-day, and I say, as one who supports entry into the Common Market, that I believe that this irrevocable act of such supreme importance should have the support—the declared support—of the people of this country. I believe that if we had that support, we should go into the Com- 942 mon Market infinitely stronger than we will under the present circumstances.
§ 7.38 p.m.
THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (EARL JELLICOE)
My Lords, this is our second marathon within three months on this great issue. Once again I think it fair to claim, without undue modesty, that your Lordships have risen to the importance of the occasion. It has been a good debate, sustained, on the whole, at a high level and with a noteworthy absence of partisan rancour.
First of all, it is my pleasant duty to congratulate our two maiden speakers. We heard a notable maiden speech from the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman. I have known him for many years, ever since the time when, as an adviser to the Chief of Combined Operations, he took a friendly interest in some experiments which a young commando officer, myself, had been conducting into the possibility of living off the land. I had tried to acquire, and to instil into my unit, a taste for snails and grass—the sort of diet which some of the anti-Marketeers seem to suggest we are condemning ourselves to if we enter Europe. More seriously, the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, is a great public servant. He has rendered great service to the State, and his speech two days ago showed that he will be a notable addition to your Lordships' House.
I think I can fairly say the same so far as the speech of my noble friend Lord Astor of Hever is concerned. Like the noble Lord, Lord Zuckerman, he happens to be an old friend of mine—as his father was a friend of many of your Lordships—and we served together in the same unit at the start of the war. He has a very wide range of interests, and one of those interests came through loud and clear in his penetrating speech yesterday. That was the importance which he attaches, as I do, to the whole nexus of Commonwealth relations, to its preservation and fertilisation, and his feeling that that relationship can be enriched rather than diminished by our entry into Europe.
There was no one in your Lordships' House yesterday who was not glad to see the noble Lord, Lord Soper, back with us and on his feet again. He said that his speech was testimonial rather 943 than evangelical. There may be some doubting Thomases with us this evening, but there are few Sauls, I suspect, who can be put on the road to Brussels by me in these last few remaining minutes of our debate. That being so, I think it right for me to express, speaking from this Box, how I regard the basic issues here, and I shall attempt to do so as a simple capsule credo.
First, economics. As the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, put it yesterday, my knowledge of economic theory is distinguished by the few gaps which illuminate my ignorance. And on the economic issues which have been debated up hill and down dale by laymen and pundit alike, I should like to say only these few brief words. I am very willing to concede that the economic case for entry is not provable, pro or con. By its very nature it is unprovable. But, my Lords, I can only say (and I am sure that I am not alone in your Lordships' House in saying this) that I was impressed by the testimony in these two great debates that we have had in these last three months of men who know as much about business—and about their business—as any in the world. And their testimony, almost universal (and we heard it again to-day from the noble Lord, Lord Netherthorpe, from my noble friend Lord Aldington and from the noble Lord, Lord Melchett) has been decisively and categorically in favour of entry, and in favour of our acceptance of the terms which our negotiators have won for us.
However, my horse-sense tells me something very clearly. It tells me to agree with the view expressed by my noble friend Lord Molson, that if we cannot compete inside the European Economic Community we cannot compete outside, and the advantages of being within seem to me to be compelling. There is the wider home market approaching 300 million people which entry will open to us. But if we exclude ourselves we shall not only deny ourselves the advantage of that enormously wide home market; we shall also be vulnerable, on the basis of our far smaller domestic market, to increasing competition in third markets from Europe, from Japan and from the United States.
944 I should now like—and I make no apology for turning so quickly from the economic side of this matter—to state, as clearly and simply as I can, the underlying political reasons for entry.
In the first place, I am convinced that our entry would help to enhance, would help to cement—to use the phrase of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown—the peace and stability of Europe. Even the most fervent anti-marketeer would not deny that we are involved and inevitably involved, with the affairs of our European neighbours. That Cenotaph a few hundred yards away in Whitehall is mute testimony to this. But those World Wars were in origin, and in essence, European civil wars, and it must be an absolute in our policy to do everything we can to create the conditions in which Europe could never again rend itself apart. As the noble Lord, Lord Gore-Booth, pointed out, in a speech full of wit and pith, and as my noble friend Lord Butler pointed out, the essential pre-condition of this was of course Franco-German reconciliation; that reconciliation which was called for by Winston Churchill in that great speech in Zurich a quarter of a century ago; that reconciliation which was subsequently achieved by statesmen of world stature—Adenauer and Schumann and, let it be said, de Gaulle.
But, my Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, rightly reminded us two days ago, much still remains to be done if the still uncertain stability of Europe is to be firmly cemented. I am convinced myself that a further and important step in that direction is our entry as a free and equal partner into the enlarged Community. I am equally certain that as the institutions of the Community develop—as we help those institutions to develop—they will in themselves constitute a guarantee against the danger, a danger which has haunted British statesmen for 500 or 600 years, that any single State in our Western Europe becomes so powerful that it bursts through the European fabric.
I should feel differently about these matters if I really believed that the Europe which I hope we shall help to create from now on would be an inward-regarding Community; if those with whom we shall be associated were seeking in some way to constitute Western Europe 945 as an island to itself; and if that Western Europe were therefore to become an impediment to some eventual wider grouping, which one day perhaps could emerge. My Lords, I do not for one moment believe this to be the case. Per contra, I believe it should be one of the fundamental tasks of Western European statesmen in the coming decades to bend their best endeavours, by means of peaceful persuasion and peaceful penetration, to healing that tragic breach between the Western and the Eastern halves of Europe which opened up in the aftermath of the Second World War. Nothing is likely to do more to frustrate the coming together of the two halves of Europe, which I hold in the long run to be inevitable, than lack of cohesion in our Western Europe. I do not wish to be dogmatic about these matters, but in my view enlargement of the Community would most certainly help, rather than hinder, that opening to the East; that positive dé tente with our fellow Europeans in Eastern Europe, who are just as much the heirs of European civilisation as we are; that dé tente which we all desire. What is more, that great Social Democratic statesman, Herr Willy Brandt, has made it clear time and time again that he takes this view. Indeed, his whole Ostpolitik rests upon this fundamental assumption.
By the same token, a strong, confident Europe is much more likely to strike a fruitful relationship in the coming decade with the countries of North America, with the United States, than a Europe which is fragmented or not realising its full potential. Ever since the war there has been an unreal element in that relationship: the element of Euronean weakness and of undue European dependence upon the American economy and upon American generosity. But there have been many signs these past years, and these past months, that that relationship is changing markedly and swiftly. The North Atlantic Alliance will be cardinal to our security for many years to come, but we have been clearly put on notice that we in Western Europe shall be called upon in these coming months and years to make a greater effort in our own defence; and in the international monetary sphere the events of August show that we shall suffer, that Europe will suffer, the world will suffer, unless a better and more 946 enduring balance can be found between the respective weights of the American and European economies.
In all these spheres, an enlarged, self-confident grouping in Western Europe is almost the precondition of a better balance.
Above all, I am convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that it is through our membership of an enlarged Community that we can best contribute, and permit Europe to contribute, to helping to solve, or, if not to solve, at least to alleviate that crucial problem which confronts us all in the next third of this century—the problem of which the noble Lord, Lord Chalfont, spoke so eloquently last night—the problem of bridging the gap, economic, social and psychological, between the richer nations of this world and the poorer nations of this world.
My Lords, as we peer over the horizon of this century I think that many of us believe that the area of Europe's greatest difficulty and greatest challenge in the future is likely to lie in its relations with those billions who are mostly poor, and mostly hungry, who mostly live in the southern hemisphere, and whose skins have a different colour from ours. Quite rightly, the younger people recognise this as one of the crucial challenges of our age. I agree very much with what the noble Lord, Lord Aldington, said in his speech earlier this afternoon. I believe that the enlargement of the Community which will come with our entry will create an unrivalled opportunity for us all, all the partners in this enterprise, to work together in Europe in discharging the responsibilities of our richer Continent towards the poorer Continents of this world; and there is a great part for Europe to play here in its relationship with the developing Commonwealth countries.
My Lords, the opponents of entry are inclined to say at times that those who propose it are actuated by a lack of faith in ourselves and by fear. I would claim to have as much faith and belief in the future of Britain as any noble Lord in your Lordships' House, including the "Ancient Briton" himself, who disclaims the title of "Ancient Briton" and put on a marvellous show yesterday evening as part of that disclaimer. But, my Lords, I frankly confess that I really 947 fear some of the consequences which I believe would follow a decision by us to reject the hand which Europe is now proffering us. I fear the diminished prospects of economic growth which I, at any rate, believe will ensue from entry. Nothing is provable here, and that I readily concede, but it happens to be my belief—and I was glad to hear the noble Lord, Lord Melchett, endorse it—that, following entry, and provided (and, of course, only provided) we seize opportunity by the forelock, we should be able to secure a substantial increase, in time, in our national product.
I know that in these days it is fashionable to decry economic growth—we have heard it decried in this debate—and I agree that there is no point in economic growth for growth's sake. But I wish it for the things which we forgo when we do not get it: the hospitals and the schools, and our ability really to care in our society for those who are poor, or deprived, or handicapped. Not least, my Lords, I regret it if we do not secure it because of the ability which more growth will give us to close the gap between the richer and poorer regions of our own country and to deal with the gaunt and daunting spectre of unemployment. But I frankly fear—and I confess it—for the consequences in diminished expectation and in diminished economic confidence which would follow rejection.
On another plane, I have an equal fear. If we opt out we shall be, by a deliberate if wanton decision, denying ourselves much of that positive and humane leverage in the big affairs of the big world which I am convinced we can exercise as a country if we are members of the Economic Community. I frankly fear a world in which all the really vital decisions will be taken, willy-nilly, over our heads. I wish us to be involved effectively in moulding our own larger destiny, be it in the domain of security, in the crucial monetary sphere, in our relations with the developing world, in the issues which threaten us even on our own doorstep—in the Middle East, for example—or be it in the environmental field. We by ourselves, try as we may, would have little impact in all this vital decision-making area. We as part of an enlarged Community will have all to play for here.
948 Again, I fear the consequences of rejec-tion, and all that rejection would involve, in missed opportunities for us as a nation. In essence, my Lords, we are to-night considering more than just an economic package: what we are being offered from now on by our friends and neighbours in Europe is the chance to contribute on a free and equal basis to a developing and deepening economic community. We are being offered, as the noble Lord, Lord Crowther, pointed out, a chance to contribute to the design and structure of the economic and political institutions of that nascent grouping at a time when perhaps the foundations have been laid but when the structure is still infinitely malleable. We are being offered, too, a chance to contribute to the common pool, and to our mutual advantage, our rather special skills and attributes. I am thinking of our political maturity, on which my noble friend Lady Tweedsmuir of Belhelvie remarked, in a notable speech opening this afternoon's debate. I am thinking. pace the noble Lord, Lord Balogh, of our social cohesion. I am thinking of the special contribution whcih we could make to the problems of the environment, to the problems of urban society and in the mass media. I am thinking of the skills which our scientists. engineers and technologists can bring to bear in projects conceived, planned and executed jointly or not at all. And I am thinking, not least, of our administrative skills as a nation.
In some of these fields, my Lords, we could do something in co-operation with Europe even if we remained outside the Community. But in all these fields we can do much more, and have much more leverage, if we operate from within the Community. I really believe that there is a great task of construction waiting to be achieved by us, and with us. I hope that we shall embrace that task wholeheartedly, positively and (echoing the noble Lord, Lord Byers) imaginatively.
Equally, my Lords, I fear the social consequences of rejection. Ever since the Tudors, we have been involved, and effectively involved, in the affairs of this world. If we opt for "the mixture as before" we shall be, perforce, either uninvolved or ineffectively involved. There may be nations who are able to jog along quite comfortably on this sort of diet, but 949 I do not think that our nation is that sort of nation. It is my belief that opting out—that outward manifestation of the withdrawal symptoms to which my right honourable friend the Prime Minister referred recently—would bring with it, sooner or later, an impoverishment and a crippling of our national spirit.
There is one further consequence of a decision to reject, now or later, which again I frankly fear. We should be rejecting a set of proposals hammered out in negotiations which, one way and another, have been under way for ten years or more. We should be rejecting proposals agreed, not merely in response to a recent application by a recent Conservative Government which some noble Lords may dislike, but in response to an application by a Conservative Government in the 'sixties, renewed by a Labour Administration in the later 'sixties, and reaffirmed by a succeeding Conservative Administration. If we were now, at this moment, when the plane of the noble Lord, Lord George-Brown, is waiting to depart, to shuffle hack to the air terminal and to cash in our ticket to Europe, we should, if nothing else, be cutting a very poor figure in the eyes of Europe and the world. We should be showing that, as a country, we now lack consistency in our basic policies. It would be no easy matter for this Government, or for successor Governments, to regain or retain respect in other future negotiations on this subject or on others. Because, my Lords, we should have shown ourselves, not perhaps as a perfidious Albion but as a light and frivolous Albion.
That, my Lords, basically, is how I view this issue, and those are the advantages which I see should flow from entry and the sad consequences which would follow a decision, at this late hour, for us to turn the cold shoulder on our friends, our neighbours, and, I hope, our future partners in Europe.
My Lords, as I come to my conclusion I should like to deal with the fact that some have sought to question our mandate in this matter. I listened carefully to what the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, said in a moderate, balanced speech. I should like now to thank him for the things that he said at the outset of it. I would only say this in reply. When in 950 Opposition we backed the last Government's application. We also made it crystal clear that if we were returned at the General Election we proposed to pick up the negotiating hand. It was quite evident to the electorate in June.1970, and evident to the world, that a Conservative Administration would wish to join the Community if we were able to negotiate acceptable terms. It now happens to be our belief and it is a belief which is endorsed by a great weight of informed and impartial opinion, and a belief which this evening we are submitting to the judgment of Parliament, that the terms are acceptable. That being so. it is right and natural for a Government who believe in themselves and believe in their policy towards Europe to be submitting this matter, as we are submitting it this evening, to Parliament, to both Houses, for its approval.
Some noble Lords claim that we should wait, since opinion in this country is divided. Well, we have bandied the polls around enough in this debate. My reading of them—and I admit that it may be a subjective interpretation—is that a clear majority of the electorate would seem to expect us to enter Europe, and that a majority believe that it is in the national interest. But that is not the real point. The real point is that it is a poor government which looks over its shoulder all the time at the ups and down of transient popularity. That is not democratic leadership. That is the sort of thing for which, rightly or wrong, Governments between the wars were condemned.
The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, quoted some words used by my noble friend Lord Carrington on this issue. Perhaps I could return the compliment and quote some words written by his right honourable friend the Leader of the Opposition. They are these:To retreat at the first whiff of psephological grapeshot is not only cowardly, but may be the means of inflicting on the nation long-term hardship, even national decline… Treat the polls with respect … then recognise that you were elected as legislator, as an executive, to exercise a judgment—not on what is expedient, or electorally rewarding, but a judgment on what is right.My Lords, the Government are prepared to accept that advice from that authoritative quarter.
951 My Lords, it is said that this is an historical vote, and I believe it is; although I must confess that my confidence was shaken when I heard that the noble, much beloved Earl, Lord Longford, had accorded our debate second priority to his favourite subject. Nevertheless, I believe that this is an important debate, and so do your Lordships. That being so, I recognise that this is a vote which has caused and is causing anxiety for some of my noble friends on this side of the House—not, I suspect, the majority. Be that as it may, I respect the sincerity of those who take a different view of this matter from that which the Government take and from that which I have been seeking to elaborate, and I accept their judgment in the Division Lobby.
By the same token, I recognise—and I do not wish to trespass on the territory of the other side and certainly do not wish to sound patronising—that it may be an even more painful vote for some noble Lords opposite. For some, I know, the decision is an easy one. They have always been opposed to entry, they remain opposed, and will vote against entry. Those who are genuinely doubtful may possibly decide in the last analysis to give Party the benefit of the doubt. But it is my view that in the last analysis—and I would hold this for my Party as well as for the Party oppo-
§ site—that Party, for its part, must recognise the claims of passionate and strongly-held convictions. If this applies anywhere in Parliament, it most certainly applies in this House of Parliament.
In conclusion, may I just add this. My eye was caught recently by a quotation which reads as follows:
To have common glories in the past, a common will in the present; to have done great things together; to wish to do greater; these are the essential conditions which make up a people.
In our endless adventure, we, as a people, still have great things to do. Our 60 million people still have a distinctive, moderating mark to make on this dangerous planet which we inhabit with some three and a half thousand million of our fellow human beings. It is because I believe that we shall have far more scope for exercising that potential for greatness within the Community; it is because I believe that with entry could come a resurgence of national spirit and national self-confidence; it is for those reasons, my Lords, that I would urge you to-night to vote decisely and, above all, to vote wholeheartedly, in favour of the Motion.
§ 8.6 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether the said Motion shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents,451; Not-Contents, 58.953
|Aberdare, L.||Avebury, L.||Bledisloe, V.|
|Abergavenny, M.||Bacon, Bs.||Bolton, L.|
|Abinger, L.||Baldwin of Bewdley, E.||Boothby, L.|
|Adrian, L.||Balerno, L.||Bourne, L.|
|Ailsa, M.||Balfour, E.||Bovd of Merton, V.|
|Ailwyn, L.||Baifour of Inchrye, L.||Bradford, E.|
|Airedale, L.||Barrington, V.||Brecon, L.|
|Airlie, E.||Bathurst. E.||Brentford, V.|
|Albemarie, E.||Beatty, E.||Bridgeman, V.|
|Aldenham, L.||Beauchamp. E.||Brock. L.|
|Aldington, L.||Beaumont, T..||Brooke of Cumnor, L.|
|Alexander of Tunis, E.||Beaumont of Whitley, L.||Brooke of Ystradfellte, Bs.|
|Allerton, L.||Beeching, L.||Brougham and Vaux, L.|
|Alport, L.||Belhaven and Stenton, L.||Broughshane, L.|
|Amherst, E.||Belstead, L.||Brown, L.|
|Amherst of Hackney, L.||Berkeley, Bs.||Buchan, E.|
|Amory, V.||Bessborough, E.||Buckton, L.|
|Amulree. L.||Bethell, L.||Burgh, L.|
|Annaly. L.||Birdwood, L.||Burntwood, L.|
|Annan, L.||Birk, Bs.||Burton of Coventry, Bs.|
|Arbuthnott, V.||Birkenhead, E.||Butler of Saffron Walden, L|
|Ardwick, L.||Birkett, L.||Bvers, L.|
|Armn, E.||Blackburn, L. Bp.||Caithness, E.|
|Ashbourne. L.||Blackford, L.||Camrose, V.|
|Astor of Hever, L.||Blake, L.||Canterbury, L. Abp.|
|Auckland, L.||Blakenham, V.||Carnock, L.|
|Carrick, E.||Esher, V.||Hylton, L.|
|Carrington, L.||Essex, E.||Hylton-Foster, Bs.|
|Cawley, L.||Evans of Hungershall, L.||Iddesleigh, E.|
|Chalfont, L.||Exeter, M.||Ilford, L.|
|Champion, L.||Fairhaven, L.||Inchyra, L.|
|Chandos, V.||Falkland, V.||[nglewood, L.|
|Chelmer, L.||Fal mouth, V.||Ironside, L.|
|Chesham, L.||Ferrers, E.||Tacoucs T|
|Chester, L. Bp.||Ferrier, L.||Janner, L.|
|Chichester, L. Bp.||Fisher, L.||Jellicoe, E. (L. Privy Seal.)|
|Cholmondeley, M.||Fiske, L.||Jessel, L.|
|Chorley, L. Clarendon, E.||Fletcher, L. Foot, L.||Kemsley, V.|
|Clinton, L.||Forres, L.||Kennet, L.|
|Clwyd, L.||Fortescue, E.||Keyes, L.|
|Cohen. L.||Fulton, L.||killearn, L.|
|Cole, L.||Furness, V.||Kilmany, L.|
|Coleraine, L.||Gape, V.||Kilmarnock, L.|
|Coleridge, L.||Gaitskell, Bs.||Kiixlersley, L.|
|Colgrain, L.||Gardiner, L.||Kinnoull, E.|
|Collison, L.||Garner, L.||Knutsford, V.|
|Colville of Culross, V.||Geddes of Epsom, L.||Landsdowne, M.|
|Colwyn, L.||George-Brown, L.||I, rjtymcr, L.|
|Combermere, V.||Gisborough, L.||Lauderdale, E.|
|Conesford, L.||Gladwyn, L.||Leathers, V.|
|Coneleton, L.||Glasgow. E.||Leicester, L. Bp.|
|Cork and Orrery, E.||Glendevon, L.||Leicester, E.|
|Cornwallis, L.||Glcndync, L.||Lciirh, L.|
|Cottesloe, L.||Goodman, L.||Lichfield, L. Bp.|
|Courtown. E.||Gore-Booth. L.||Limerick, E.|
|Cowley, E.||Gormnnston, V.||Lindsey and Abingdon, E.|
|Craigavon, V.||Goschen. V. [Teller.]||Linlithgow, M.|
|Craigmyle. L.||Gowrie, E.||Listowcl, E.|
|Craigton, L.||Grantchester, L.||Lloyd of Hampstead, L.|
|Cranbrook, E.||Greenway, L.||Lloyd-Georee of Dwyfor, E.|
|Crathorne, L.||Grenfell, L.||London, L. Bp.|
|Crawshaw, L.||Gridley, L.||Long. V.|
|Croft. L.||Grimston of Wcstbury, L.||Lonsdale, E.|
|Cromartie, E.||Grimthorpe, L.||Lothian, M.|
|Crook, L.||Hackinrr, L.||Loudoun, C.|
|Cross, V.||Hailes. L.||Lucas of Chilworth, L.|
|Crowther. L.||Haihham of Saint Marvlebone,||Luke. L.|
|Cullen of Ashbourne, L.||L. (L. Chancellor.)||Lyell, I..|
|Dacre, Bs.||Halifax. E.||MacAndrew, L.|
|Darcy (de Knayth), Bs.||Halsbury, E.||Maclean, L.|
|Darwen, L.||Hamilton of Dalzell, L.||Macleod of Borve, Bs.|
|Daventry, V.||Hampden, V.||Macpherson of Drumochter,1|
|Davidson. V.||Hankey. L.||Malmesbury, E.|
|De La Warr, E.||Hanworth. V.||Mancroft, L.|
|De L'Tsle, V.||Hfircourt, V.||Mar, E.|
|De Ramsev, L.||Harding of Petherton, L.||Mar and Kellie, E.|
|Dcnham, L.||Hnrlech, L.||Margadale, L.|
|Derwent. L.||Hirvev of Prestburv, L.||Masham of Tlton Bs.|
|Devon port, V.||Hnrvev of Tasburgh, L.||Massereene and Ferrard, V.|
|Diamond, L.||Hnstines. L.||May, L.|
|Dieby, L.||Hatherton, L.||Melchett, L.|
|Dilhorne, V.||Hawke, L.||Merrivale, L.|
|Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.||Henrlfort. M.||Mersey, V.|
|Dormer, I,.||Helsbv. L.||Merthyr, L.|
|Doup-liss of Cleveland, L.||Hemingford, L.||Meston, L.|
|Dowding. L..||Hemphill. L.||Middleton, L.|
|Drogheda. E.||Henderson, L.||Mills, V.|
|Dnimaibvn, L.||Henley. L.||Milne, L.|
|Dudlev. E.||Hereford, Bp.||Milverton, L.|
|Dufferin and Ava, M.||Hertford. M.||Molson, L.|
|Dundee, E.||Hilton of Upton, L.||Monck, V.|
|Ebbisham, L.||Hindlip. L.||Monckton of Brenchley, V.|
|Eccles, V.||Hirshfield, L.||Monk Bretton. L.|
|Effingham, E.||Hives, L.||Montagu of Beaulieu. L.|
|Egremont, L.||Holford. L.||Morris of Grasmere, L.|
|Ellenborough, L.||Hood, V.||Morrison, L.|
|Rlliot of Harwood. Bs.||Howard of Glossop, L.||Mottistone, L.|
|Emmet of Amberley, Bs.||Howe, E.||Mountevans, L.|
|Enniskillen. E.||Huntingdon, E.||Mowbray and Stourton, L.|
|Erroll of Hale, I.||Hurcomb, L.||Muirshiel, V.|
|Munster, E.||Rootes, L.||Strathalmond, L.|
|Nairne, Bs.||Rosenheitn, L.||Strathcarron, L.|
|Napier and Ettrick, L.||Rosslyn, E.||Strathclyde, L.|
|Nathan, L.||Rothermere, V.||Strathcona and Mount Royal,1|
|N'clson of Stafford, L.||P. otherwick, L.||Strathcden and Campbell, L.|
|Nethcrthorpc, L.||Rothcs, E.||Suffield, L.|
|Newton, L.||Royle, L.||Swaythling, L.|
|Norlhchurch, Bs.||Runciman of Doxford, V.||Tangley, L.|
|Nugent of Guildford, L.||Rusholme, L.||Tanlavv, L.|
|Nunburnholmc, L.||Ruthven of Freeland, Ly.||Tavlor of Grvfe, L.|
|Onkshott, L.||Sackville, L.||Tenby, V.|
|Ogmore, L.||Sainsbury, L.||Terrington, L.|
|O'Hagan, L.||St. Aldwvn, R. [Teller.]||Teviot, L.|
|On slow, E.||St. Davids, V.||Teynham, L.|
|Orr-Ewing, L.||St. Helens, L.||Thomas, L.|
|Penrcc, L.||St. Oswald. L.||Thomson of Fleet, L.|
|Peddle, L.||Salisbury, M.||ThorneycTOft, L.|
|Pender, L.||Sandford, L.||Townshend. M.|
|Penney, L.||Sandys, L.||Trefcarne, L.|
|Penrhyn, L.||Savile, L.||Trevciyan, L.|
|Perth, E.||Seear, Bs.||Tweedsmuir of Belhclvie, Bs.|
|Peterborough, L. Bp.||Sseal, L.||Ullswater, V.|
|Platt,"L.||Selkirk, F.||Vernon, L.|
|Plowden, L.||Selsdon, L.||Verulam. E.|
|Poiwarth, L.||Somrill, Ly.||Vestcy, L.|
|Poole, L.||Shackieton, L.||Vivian, L.|
|Ponnlcweli, L.||Shaftcburv. E.||Wade. L.|
|Radnor, E.||Shannon, E.||Wakcfield of Kendal, L.|
|Rnrilnn, L.||Sharp, Bs.||Waldesrave, E.|
|Rinfuriv, E.||Shawcross. L.||Waiston, L.|
|Rank, I..||Sheffield, L.||Ward of Witley, V.|
|Rnnkei'lour. L.||SUkin, L.||Watkinson. V.|
|Ralhcavan. L.||Silsoe. L.||Waverlev, V.|
|Rendina, M.||Simon, V.||Weir, V.|
|Reav, L.||Sirron of Giaisdale, L.||Westminster. D.|
|Redcliffe-Maud, L.||Sinclair of Cleeve, L.||Westwood, L.|
|Redesdaie. L.||Slim, V.||Wheatley. L.|
|Rcdryipvne, L.||Somerleyton, L.||Wifrram, L.|
|Reisate, L.||Somprs. T..||Wilberforcc, L.|
|Remnant, L.||Southward. L. Bp.||Williamson, L.|
|T^nneil. L.||Snencr, E.||WilliiTdon, M.|
|Rhvl, L.||Stair. K.||Winchester. L. Bp.|
|Ridlev, V.||Stamford, E.||Windlesham. L.|
|Ritchie of Dundee. L.||Stamp L.||Winterbottom, L.|
|Rabbins, L.||Stokes, L.||Wolverton, L.|
|Robertson of Oakridge, L.||Stonehaven. V.||Wrenbury. L.|
|Rochdale. V.||Stow Hill. L.||Wynford. L.|
|Rochester, L. Bp.||Strabolgi. L.||Yarborough, E.|
|Rochester. L.||Stradbroke. E.||Younn. B.|
|Rockley, L.||Strange of Knokin, Bs.||Younger of Leckie, V.|
|Archibald, L.||Hushes, L.||Ritchie-Calder, L.|
|Arwn, L.||Tnsleby, V.||Serota, Bs.|
|Balogh L.||Kahn. L.||Shepherd, L.|
|Bernstein, L.||Leatherland, L.||Shinwell, L.|
|Beswick. L. [Teller.]||Les of Asheridge, Bs.||Slater, L.|
|Blyton, L.||Llewelyn-Davies of Hastoe, Bs.||Soper, L.|
|Bowden, L.||Lucan, E.||Stocks, Bs.|
|Brockway, L.||McLeavy, L.||Stonham, L.|
|Buckinghamshire, E.||MacLeod of Fuinary. L.||Strani, L.|
|Clitheroe, L.||Maelor, L.||Strange, L.|
|Davies of Leek, L.||Mais, L.||Sudeley, L.|
|de Clifford. L.||Milford. L.||Tavlor of Mansfield, L.|
|Dclacourt-Smith, L.||Milner of Leeds, L.||Wells-Pestell, L.|
|Fraser of North Cape. L.||Monson. L.||White, Bs.|
|Garnsworthy, L. [Teller.]||Moran, L.||Wiea, L.|
|Granville of Eye, L.||Moyle, L.||Wise. L.|
|Gray, L.||Pargiter, L.||Woolley, L.|
|Greenwood of Rossendale, L.||Phillips. Bs.||Wootton of Abinger, Bs.|
|Harris, L.||Poltimore, L.||Wynne-Jones, L.|
|Resolved in the affirmative, and Motion agreed to accordingly.|